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As part of the personal finance community, I am conscious of my spending habits.
I work hard at my job to pursue my career goals, prove myself, and climb up the career ladder.
I launched the Frugal Asian Finance blog and hope to turn it into a business one day.
Everything is going smoothly and follows a particular rhythm that I set for myself.
I wake up, go to work, go home, take care of my family, work on my blog, and go to bed.
However, there are times when I wonder what my life would be life if I followed a totally different path.
In other words, what if I could live whatever dreams that I have, enjoy the moment, and not worry too much about my paychecks or 401(k)?
I am extremely risk-averse, especially when it comes to finances.
I don’t want to give up everything that I have worked so hard for to live on a whim.
Yet, there’s this tiny little adventurous voice that keeps encouraging me to explore the seemingly impossible.
Today I will share with you the three different lifestyles that I want to experience even briefly after I gain financial freedom.
1. The food traveler
I don’t like cooking, but I love eating. I like all kinds of cuisine, especially Asian food. I particularly like Mike Chen from Strictly Dumpling.
Mike is an accountant turned Youtuber who started a food channel on Youtube and became his own boss.
Mike followed the traditional route of a good Asian son: going to college to get a degree and working full-time as an accountant afterwards. However, he got tired of doing accounting one day.
Mike loves to eat and started to post Youtube videos of himself exploring different restaurants. Mike is so friendly and describes his food in such detail that I sometimes feel like I’m sitting at the table and eating the same food with him.
Mike mentioned that when he launched his Youtube channel, he had no idea if it would take off. If it didn’t, he would go back to being an accountant. As the story goes, Mike is now a sensational Youtuber with 104,691,345 views. His channel has grown so fast that Mike started hiring more staff and set up his own media company.
Every time I see Mike eat something, I just wish I could be like him: Making a living doing something I love and becoming my own boss. I can totally go to different restaurants and just eat whatever I want without worrying about paying for it.
But when I eat out, it’s purely me spending money. When I make Youtube videos of what I eat, however, it’s me making money and growing my business. Those are two very different things.
I have to wait until I’m financially free to follow Mike’s footsteps for the following reasons:
— Making Youtube videos is time-consuming. It’s tempting to think that being a Youtuber is fun and easy. But based on successful Youtubers’ stories, many of them work full-time and even on the weekends for years before receiving a livable income. Besides, I want to focus my energy on growing my blog first.
— Making money on Youtube is not easy. I do have a Youtube channel on a topic unrelated to food. I have seen how difficult it is to get big on Youtube and make some meaningful money on this platform. I want to be financially secure before giving up my full-time job to take a plunge into this endeavor.
— I don’t want to videotape myself when hanging out with family. When Mr. FAF and I eat out, it’s family time. I don’t want to talk to a camera or videotape the two of us eating. Mr. FAF is super shy and doesn’t like to be on camera. I respect his privacy and don’t want to do something that makes him feel uncomfortable. When I am able to retire, however, I can try making more videos when I’m eating by myself.
2. Van/RV/tiny house life
I follow many Youtubers who live in a van, RV, or tiny house and are always amazed at how happy they are with their minimalist lifestyle. When I was growing up, I dreamed of having a toy house for myself.
It would be a simple little house made from plastic or wood, but it would be my own. I never got it since our family was poor. My parents wanted to spend money on food and utilities than a toy that would just bring me joy. Our house was also too small for a toy house.
When I first learned about the tiny house movement and discovered some beautiful house models on Youtube, I was mesmerized and just kept wondering what it’d be like if I could live like that.
I would be able to downsize and keep my expenses really low. I wouldn’t have to worry about paying rent or dealing with roommate problems. Mr. FAF and I could just have each other’s company and travel to see the world.
However, this dream will also need to wait for the following reasons:
— Mr. FAF and I need to live close to the cities for our jobs. We could think about quitting our jobs to do something different while traveling the world. But Mr. FAF and I spent years in school and are now just starting to put what we’ve learned into practice. We also want to climb up the corporate ladders to build our wealth and explore our full potential.
— We own a house. We live in a good area in DC where the appreciation rates increase remarkably every year. We like the idea of building equity for our home and turning it into a rental property one day.
— We will need to live with and take care of our parents. It is feasible for a couple and even their children to live in a tiny house or an RV. But when we have two sets of parents who are now retired and want to settle down in a place, being on the road every day can be a challenge.
Mr. FAF has agreed to give the RV life a shot for a week or so just to see what it’s like. And who knows, we might like it so much that we will decide to purchase an RV in the near future. Or we might find out that this is not really the lifestyle that we want. And we don’t know the answer until we give it a shot.
3. Expert vlogger
I wouldn’t call myself an expert in anything. The only thing I’m sure I’m good at is enjoying good food. However, there are a few things that I know I have unique experience in such as building a life as an immigrant in America and marrying someone from a different culture.
Many people can relate to my stories since they might be going through the same thing. All of us have a different story to tell, and I want to offer mine to the Youtube community.
I actually have started a Youtube channel (I won’t reveal it here since I blog anonymously). It’s been growing slowly for a couple of reasons:
— I had a low quality camera built into my Toshiba laptop, and I was too cheap to invest in a better one. My Youtube videos are dark, blurry, and simply low quality. In the first video that I made, the sound somehow lags behind the image, which makes me look and sound really odd. I made a series of videos, some of which ended up getting thousands of views while the rest simply didn’t take off.
— I am too lazy to put on nice clothes and makeup. Have you seen the videos of those beauty gurus who look so effortlessly gorgeous? I know they invested a lot in the lighting, clothing, and makeup. There’s a lot of prep work going into a Youtube video. Given my 100% bare face and 5-10 year-old clothes, it’s a bit daunting to see what I need to do to up my video quality. One thing I realized about my Youtube surfing behavior is that I tend to click on videos of Youtubers who look pretty and who are my age.
You now have a closer look at my Youtube lifestyle aspirations. Theoretically, I can start all of those lifestyles today and don’t have to keep wishing anymore. However, there are reasons (or excuses?) that prevent me from pursuing what I find so inspiring.
Deep down, we all have passions that we want to pursue and adventures we want to embark on. However, the reality is that we still need to work full-time to support ourselves and our family, take care of our young children and elderly parents, and need to prioritize what serves in our family’s best interests.
For now, I will put my Youtube passion on the back-burner and focus on the reality: work harder, save more, invest smarter, and gain financial freedom sooner.
When I’m financially free, I will start exploring my passion projects regardless of they can generate an income or profit.
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19 thoughts on “3 Youtuber Lifestyles I Want To Adopt When Financially Free”
Okay this is super weird but I was just thinking this morning about how much different my life would be if I didn’t have an arm. Like, I get in a car crash, have to cut off my arm.
Writing would suck – what would I do?
And I chose YouTube or at least a podcast to continue to be present in the online personal finance community.
SUPER random but my brain’s weird sometimes. Whatevs. 🙂
I think if I didn’t have any sort of that and it was just me doing whatever I wanted and could, I’d be all about the food. I bet at some places he doesn’t even pay for his food, the restaurants just like the free advertising.
You’re not the only one who’s thought about that scenario. I have too! But I try to live in the present and not get so worried about the future. I think I’d do interpretation or something.
I was thinking the same thing! Some famous restaurants might even invite him to eat for free in order to reach hundreds of thousands of viewers. That’s a sweet deal to have! 😉
Lol, this is actually one of my dreams. I want to be like this guy: https://www.youtube.com/user/strictlydumpling
He has like 12 channels, but I love the strictly dumpling. I guess watching him eat makes me happy? He has another channel for just historical/visiting places.
I would absolutely love to just travel the world and talk about food/the place I’ve gone to. 😀 Now, that’s heaven. Unproductive, sure, but who cares. I’ll be FIRE’d!
Me too! He has a series of other channels for sure, but I only like his foodie one lol. Sometimes listening to him describing what he’s eating makes me feel like I’m sitting right there eating the food with him. @_@
The food channels are so cool. It’s great that people can make a living doing this now.
You really have to have the personality for it, though. I’m very boring in real life so I don’t think I’d make a good YouTuber. Probably need high energy and come off very enthusiastic. I’m sure it takes a lot of work too.
“I’m very boring in real life so I don’t think I’d make a good YouTuber.”
Hmm based on your blog and feedback, I’d beg to differ hehe. But I know what you mean though. I think the only things I’d say over and over are “This is good. I’d eat it again” or “Not very tasty. Probably won’t try this again.”
I think people’d like to see you eating the delicious food that you make 😀 You know mukbang? Some people just eat without saying anything!
It all comes down to what you’re most passionate about doing Ms. FAF. Every one of these “online careers” takes a HUGE amount of effort and some luck too.
I don’t think I could ever be a youtuber because I lack the passion for making videos. I’ve already got a few up on my youtube channel, but still pictures are more my game.
I totally agree. Those videos are 10 mins, but it takes forever to record and edit them. My videos are unedited and of low quality hehe. I’m very passionate about eating good food, so I will need to incorporate it into my FIRE plans unless I have some dietary restrictions when I’m old. >_<
I love Mike Chen’s channel as well. He goes into so much detail about what he likes. But mainly, I watch for his facial expressions. Very funny.
Watching Youtube is so much better than TV!
It’s interesting you have an aspiration to do YouTube once you’re retired. Do you think it will fit into your strategy for FAF?
I know! Mike Chen’s not the best looking man out there, but his personality and talent trump it all. I’d love to eat with him one day lol
The only thing I want to be is Mikey Chen!!!! Always and forever hehe. The other option is being a family vlogger. You know? Record your life and your babies so as they grow up and everyone follows on that adventure.
Yes, Mike Chen. I want to be like him!!! I used to follow some vloggers like It’s Judy Life and AprilJustinTV. They’ve been around for a while and make a ton of money from their videos!
I’ve been told that I have “a face made for radio and blogging”, so perhaps YouTube would not be a good move for me 🙂
I followed a few people doing the RV life on youtube from time to time and its really fascinating that driving around the country in a RV and checking out the great attractions the US has to offer is what they do in everyday life. I know that Michelle from Making Sense of Cents and Steve from ThinkSaveRetire does it and it’s really cool seeing where they are going next.
I don’t know if I could ever do the RV life, the most I would do is a month or two. Sounds like a really fun vacation!!
My escapist fantasy is very boring, I would want to sit at home and read books. Or become a handyman, because I like working with my hands 🙂
I do think vlogging and youtubing sounds tough! A couple of youtubers I follow stopped doing it because of the pressure. It seems hard to come up with exciting things you’re doing every day. And it could be hard on your family, with all the over-sharing.
They look like great fun to try out!
I want to try the travel blogger / nomad lifestyle out when I FIRE, and am pretty sure I will actually do this in three years time.
Cool, I have never heard of these Youtubers. I actually don’t follow many Youtube videos except for Wong Fu Productions (I love their movie/shorts). That’s really amazing that you have a Youtube channel!!
You have that old school, traditional, hard work, save, live frugal mindset my parents always instilled in me, and I absolutely admire that! Though to be honest, you are more frugal than I am.
I think that you already know this, but still I will repeat) if you really like it, then you should do it right now, then in half a year you will do better, and in a year it’s as good as you want)
I myself occasionally stand in front of such a choice, and right now I took upon myself much more than I could have done, but I know that soon a part of this will disappear, which is often that I’m not really interested in, but now I will be calm, because I have already tried it)
Good luck to you!