Tess Wicks | Wander Wealthy

August 24, 2016
Tess Wicks

Tess Wicks is one of those women who has it together. She’s incredibly smart, accomplished, always looks put together, and is so, so nice. You would want to hate her (only because you’re jealous of course), except that she’s inspiring and fun and quickly feels like a friend you’ve known for years. I’ve only known Tess a few months, but we’ve already shared co-working dates, homemade wine, boyfriend stories, and of course, lots of conversations about blogging and freelancing and running a business in your 20s when you simultaneously feel like have no idea what you’re doing yet also like you’re ready to take on the world. Her Wander Wealthy brand encourages women and gives them the tools to live a wealthy life, whatever that means to them, and her Words + Money podcast is full of great tips (and funny!).

Here’s Tess in her own words:

I’ve got a background in Actuarial Science, Finance and Insurance, a certification to teach financial literacy through National Financial Educators, and a knack for getting intimate with the intimidating topics of the financial world.

And when I’m not speaking, researching, and writing, I can be found doing Improv late night in the famous Chicago scene, coaching kettlebell classes (because strong is sexy, and I love improving other’s lives, not only in finance), or finding a reason to work at a local coffee shop and drink all the coffee.

Pretty awesome, right? I’m so glad we’re friends, and so excited to share her travel finance tips today on Curiosity and a Carry On!

Words + Money podcast

Why did you leave your full-time job to start the Words + Money podcast and Wander Wealthy brand?

I like to consider myself a recovering actuary. I spent my schooling doing finance and math. Now I want to make a bigger impact on personal lives instead of companies. I left my job to help millennial women learn about money. I remember being in finance classes and being one of four women out of 20 students, and feeling stupid because I didn’t know some of the most basic things I should have. It seemed like the guys knew it all.  Women take a very passive approach to their money until it’s almost too late. It’s funny, because women are naturally good at money management, but we need to break through barriers and take the time to learn about it. I want to provide a place for money to make sense and for it to be an important part of women’s lives.

Tell me about Wander Wealthy.

The concept of the brand is to provide a platform for women to explore how they can live a life of luxury and exploring the world, even if they’re not rich or famous. I can show them how. I want to give women the inspiration and tools to take the dream vacation or afford the shoes or finally quit their job if that’s something they want to do. There are people out there doing it already. That’s why I interview women on my podcast and why I write about various topics that to me reflect what it means to have a wealthy life, and to have a lot of freedom in your life to explore the world in various ways.

What is the Words + Money Podcast?

It’s a weekly dose of inspiration and education for women. It’s a casual conversation around money. Whether the guest knows a lot or not very much about finances, it’s always someone I see as living a life of freedom and wealth. So I want to explore what that is. Whether they’re a minimalist or a travel blogger or a personal finance expert, I want to interview them and talk casually about money, and then learn something from what they do and how they live their life.

{By the way, I’ll be on the podcast in a couple of months, so stay tuned!}

What is one main takeaway you hope readers and listeners get from your blog and podcast?

The lesson, as it relates to money, because that’s the root of what I do, is that a lot of the most successful people who focus on money see it as a tool, but also as this constantly flowing thing. To come from a place of abundance and see money as constantly flowing means it’s out there, and whatever you do there are opportunities for you to make money. You just have to do it and go after it! It’s a lesson I’ve learned through interviewing people and through starting my own business, and seeing money abundantly and knowing that it’s constantly exchanging hands. You just need to be the person who gets in there and gets it!

What has been the most challenging part of starting your own business?

Everything! The unpredictable income part. Is that it? I don’t know! I think the most challenging part is believing that what you’re doing is making an impact and that the value of what you’re providing doesn’t necessarily reflect the money coming in the door, even when you’re starting. You’re doing this for a reason, and people are seeing it,and loving it, but for whatever reason it might take longer to make money from that, and so, feeling good about that is probably my biggest challenge.

And the most rewarding part?

Getting messages and texts from people I haven’t seen since high school or college. A girl living in china or a friend I haven’t talked to since high school telling me they’re reading my stuff and it’s helping.

Do you have a favorite travel destination?

Yes! Egypt. I went for school and it was a very well curated trip, but it was just sooo…there’s so much history there. Almost more than any place you could ever go. It’s just amazing what people could do.  Other than that I really loved New Zealand, because people were very friendly and it was very easy to get around. I went there by myself, and it gave me the confidence that I’m an independent woman and I can do things like this!

What is your favorite travel finance tip?

If you want to take your dream vacation, open a separate savings account. You can do it for free through an online bank or usually your bank too. Put in $10 each week, because you’re not going to miss that. You can go with out $10 a week, but after a certain amount of time, you have the money to take your vacation. It will feel automatic! You wont even notice, until you have it.

You can subscribe to the Words + Money podcast here, read more about Tess’s travels on her blog, and get your finances in control through browsing her website.

In Her Carry On

While not necessarily finance related, these items are favorites in Tess’s travel bag.

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