People Are Basically Generous – Featuring Tim from Life For The Better

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In continuation of my interview series, “people are basically...”, I am excited to introduce you to Tim and L.

They are a young couple with a very bright future and an already impressive net worth. However, that has not come by happenstance as they make very intentional choices in their lives.

Without further ado, here is Tim & L from Life for the Better

Introduce Yourself to Ms. Fiology Readers

Hey! My name is Tim and I’m 26 years old. I currently live in a Tiny House and love every second of it. I recently got married to, “L” and we have a little puppy named Atlas who is 8 months old. He’s half Australian Sheppard half Husky. I have been in the Air Force for 8 years and plan to do my 20-year career.

Did you go to college?

I went to college and graduated in 3 years. I came out with two degrees as well. One from the Air Force and the other in Management Communications.

I worked the overnight shift from 11 pm to 8 am and then went to class during the day. I recommend this to a lot of individuals who want to complete their degree while also having a job. Additionally, I could do my homework sometimes at work when it was slower but it also gave me a paycheck and job experience for the future.

[Deanna here – and I just want to highlight that last paragraph as Tim said it so nonchalantly. Working night shift and taking college classes during the day takes immense discipline and perseverance. I think it’s brilliant but additionally very hard. Kudos, Tim.]

Do you have any debt?

The only debt I have is a rental property. I’ve avoided debt by going to college on the overnight shift and using that money to pay for tuition, rent, gas, food, etc. etc. This simple choice of working different hours than the regular individual has helped me avoid debt.

I also don’t buy items that don’t bring me happiness. I feel as if there are so many objects in the world that we can

Tim & L’s tiny house. How adorable is that??

bring into our homes that this becomes the “norm.”

However, I have realized that I’m only going to buy things that bring me true happiness in life. I will buy a more expensive guitar for example, because it brings me happiness. By purchasing a better guitar I am more apt to play it and respect it versus having a less expensive guitar. I value the purchases that I make.

I also pay myself first and treat my savings as a bill because it forces me to pay myself first. Paying yourself first is a sure way to become financially independent. You do not have to be in debt to anyone else.

What is the biggest obstacle you’ve faced in life?

That’s an interesting question. I feel there are many obstacles in life that are hurdles. Some of them compile and become bigger and bigger hurdles that compound. One that sticks out most to me is joining the Air Force. I say this because the military provides so many opportunities to succeed in life but that isn’t without compromises.

I’ve been fortunate enough to obtain two college degrees, have a full-time income, see 20+ countries, meet life-long friends, do things I would have never done in the civilian world, and many other things. This is all due to me signing my name on the dotted line.

However, some of the compromises are sacrificing family and friend time to create a work-life balance. Our work operations are 24/7/365. This forces us to work shift work throughout the year.

Anyone who has worked shift work will tell you it’s exhausting. Planning oil changes, doctor visits, groceries, family outings, etc. around work takes a toll on the body. Not to mention shifting your sleep pattern and entire body rhythm.

What I’ve learned from this is to balance my work and personal life.

Not everything is about work, granted that is different by being in the military. I will always do my duties. The saying “you don’t know what you got til it’s gone” holds true here. I didn’t know that I had such a strong support system with my family and friends. I’ve also learned that I love spending time with these individuals in my life.

Do you know what your purpose is?

That’s a deep question! I think it’s always evolving for me as I become older and more mature with different life experiences.

My life motto has always been adapting and changing over the years but each time it comes back to helping others, traveling the world, experiencing all there is, living, laughing, and loving.

I’ve always been aware that I am a gifted individual by having an education, financial literacy, athletic ability, a desire or drive to learn new things, amongst many other gifts. I have always wanted to take these gifts and help others in some way.

I keep going back to the idea of starting a non-profit organization to help others. This would incorporate helping others, traveling and enjoying life. To me, that is my purpose in life.

Right now, I’m doing that by being in the military but I’m also doing it for the future by learning all that I can now so I can develop my skills for the future.

What is your investment/retirement strategy?

I invest in the Thrift Savings Plan through the Air Force and max that would along with a Roth IRA. I think being so young and maxing both of those accounts out is more than enough. However, I have had extra cash at the end of each month and saved up enough for a rental property. I also invested in silver for extra savings.

My thoughts on this are to save as much as possible while I’m younger and then let it sit for the future. Compounding interest is my friend right now!

I currently have a net worth of 250K and it’s kind of satisfying to know that if I let this sit until retirement age that I could just live paycheck to paycheck and be a millionaire by then.

[Deanna here – um, woah! That is a stellar net-worth at 26 years old. That certainly did not happen by mistake!]

How do you give back?

I give back in many ways! One of my favorite ways to give back is by donating my time to others. I like to volunteer when able. This simple gesture of giving someone time is invaluable.

I volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters for a few years and had my own “little”. He didn’t have a father figure around so I found it amazing to teach him about life in the few years we interacted with one another.

I also give back to others secretively with Random Acts of Kindness. Some of the things that I’ve done is pay for a random strangers meal in a diner.

On one occasion we & another patron were the only ones in a diner. We told the waitress we’d like to pick up his tab. We watched from the window and his reaction was priceless when he found out dinner was paid for.

I’ve also bought…

  • A tank of gas for someone while traveling
  • Starbucks for others behind me in line at the drive-thru
  • Uber Eats’ ed coffee to the local police department
  • Left money on the water refiller so they didn’t have to pay
  • Amongst many other things.

This is all doable because L and I give one another a $100 Visa Gift Card for Christmas and we use it throughout the year on others. When the money runs out we just continue with the random acts because it’s what makes the world go round!

Often times we are so involved in our own space and own little world. Additionally, we forget to look up to other humans and give them love. How cool would it be if we all loved one another and used our two hands to help each other versus for ourselves?

That’s 14 billion hands working together versus 2 hands working for ourselves.

Closing Thoughts

When I do these interviews, I read through them and look for a theme that jumps out at me before I choose the adjective for the title. After reading this article by Tim, the thing that jumped out at me loud and clear is how Tim & L practice generosity.

The other obvious thing that jumps out at me is their intentionality in life and at such a young age!! They live in a tiny house (adorbs!), max out their retirement accounts, and practice mindful spending.

It’s pretty clear that Tim & L’s present lives and future are pretty bright. Additionally, they are two people making the world a better place. I like the thought of 14 billion hands working together. 🙂

Theme pic by Everton Vila on Unsplash

6 thoughts on “People Are Basically Generous – Featuring Tim from Life For The Better”

    1. What a great name! 🙂 I think it’s such a unique hack to work nights and go to school but it just takes dedication. I think personally it was easy for me to type was because it’s all I really know. I didn’t know how hard it was in the moment because that’s what I had to do.

  1. Abigail @ipickuppennies.net

    Wow, he’s definitely too nonchalant about how much work it must have taken to go to school full time and work full-time (on the night shift, no less). It sounds like he has an amazing, fulfilling life with everything he wants and nothing he doesn’t, which is what we are all probably striving toward. Way to go, Tim!

    1. Thanks Abigail! I think I excelled with doing college and work because it’s what I knew at the time. I forgot to mention all the upgrade training at work during that time. I was promoted multiple times with additional education through the Air Force.

      I just firmly believe if there is something you want, go get it. Time will pass anyway. Set yourself up for the future.

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