Episode 29 – Casting a Vision for Your Financial Future, with Tess Wicks of Wander Wealthy

House of FI, it’s time to get back to the basics of money management.  The first month of 2019 is behind us. We’ve set our personal and financial goals but the newness of the New Year has worn off, and now it’s time to renew our commitment to the changes we know will inspire huge wins for our families.  

This is the reason we spoke to Dan Shaw in the previous episode, and it’s why we are speaking to Tess Wicks in this episode.  Tess Wicks is a personal finance coach and educator who breaks down the journey to financial independence into key action steps and makes the connection between our priorities, the things we acquire, and our life vision.  Tess has a vibrant online community, and she is also the host of the Wander Wealthy Podcast.

Tess aims to empower her clients to get smart about their money while still being able to spend it on the things that bring them joy.



In this episode, we touch on her money story, her views on the cost of education, entrepreneurship and the concept of the Anti-Budget.

Money Story

Who we are and why we end up doing the things we do as adults can often be traced back to early memories and experiences we had along the way.

Tess Wicks is no different.  

Tess grew up with parents that owned a very successful business.  She was the fourth child, and because of her place in the birthline, Tess had the unique experience of growing up on the other side of their initial business struggles.  Before she was born, they lived in a tiny house in another part of town. By the time she came around, they’d seen business success, they achieved a more stable money position and they lived in a nicer home.

What we loved the most about Tess’ experience of their increased financial stability was that her parents often drove back to the smaller home and revisited the way things were along the path to their success.  Sometimes, in order to teach your kids where you are headed, you have to show them where you have been.

Charting Her Own Path!

Originally Tess was less than thrilled about following in the business ownership footsteps of her parents.  At first, she planned to be a forensic pathologist. However, when college was all said and done, Tess actually excelled in the area of Actuarial Science.  

While working as a pension consultant – valuing the pension plans of various agencies – it became clear to her that her time in actuarial work was limited.  She needed something more and began to imagine a different future for herself.

She found a creative outlet in podcasting.  

The corporate structure was repetitive, so while completing all of her data-driven work, Tess began listening to personal development podcasts.  At the time, the podcasts were all male owned, and because of that, there were very few female guests for their interviews. So, Tess and a friend, in an effort to elevate the female voice started their own podcast together.

Today Tess owns the Wander Wealthy company, where she helps young people take control of their money, and grow their investments.

Tess On The Cost Of College

College costs are front of mind for many parents. The subject of how to avoid college costs, and also whether Tess felt college was helpful now that she is an entrepreneur came up. In the end, Tess was pretty torn about whether college (all costs included) is actually worth the money.

Reasons Why Tess is Torn on The Need to Pursue College:

  1. The rising cost of college is crushing its participants.
  2. Parents and families don’t always understand the implications of chasing the higher education dream.
  3. Most people are going to get a higher salary by attending school, but sometimes it doesn’t happen this way.

To determine the need for college, Tess suggests that families sit down and map out their goals. After writing down everything you want to achieve through college, break down the math to see how much the goal is really going to cost you.

First Steps of Financial Stability

List your goals – this ties your starting place to your ending place.

Emergency savings fund – Starting with a foundation of an emergency fund help ward off budget problems later.

Create your strategy next – for this you may need help, but the key is to create a strategy that fits your personal experience.

Live a little – it is important to give yourself some buffer to breathe and live. If you can’t reward yourself for doing such good financial planning, what are you doing it for?

Tess has an awesome new course called the Invested Plan, where she teaches you how to save and invest for the future – something that can be so daunting for many of us. 

Tess on the Final Questions:

Money Lesson :

Work with people and hire professionals that can make your life easier. Tess’ parents had very smart people on their team that they were able to invest in. This pays off early and easily.

Life Hack:

Pursuing a more minimal lifestyle with additional spending on the items that positively affect her lifestyle.

It’s good to be frugal and save money, but have an area of your life that you are able to spend in.  Be very specific about what you allow into your life and spend a little more for good quality items.


Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Joe Defenza  

The Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker

How to Find Tess:

Wander Wealthy is where you can find free training on the site and a free investment training from Tess!

Subscribe to Tess on YouTube!




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