Lazy Budgeting For Freelancers | Joseph Jacobson | Skillshare

Lazy Budgeting For Freelancers

Joseph Jacobson

Lazy Budgeting For Freelancers

Joseph Jacobson

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7 Lessons (27m)
    • 1. Intro

      1:15
    • 2. 1. Expectations and Process

      4:43
    • 3. 2. What's Your Spending Type?

      2:40
    • 4. 3. What Type of Bank Accounts?

      6:38
    • 5. 4. Money Zones

      3:08
    • 6. 5. Setting Up Our System!

      2:42
    • 7. 6. Monthly Checklist and Case Study

      5:38
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About This Class

Stressed about money? Have an income that is inconsistent? That doesn't mean you're doomed to have small panic attacks every time you check your bank account balance.

Getting a grip on your finances as a freelancer means you can begin to:

  1. Create artistically with more freedom.
  2. Stop working on projects you hate to just make ends meet.
  3. Save for the big purchases that will improve your craft.

This course is designed from the ground up to take you through every step of setting up an effective budget for the first time.

We'll Cover:

  • The apps and software I use to run my finances
  • The four Money Zones you need to take advantage of
  • Easy psychological tricks to stop overspending

This technique requires no spreadsheets, little math, and you only need to think about your budget once a month.

I'm so excited to be your teacher for these 20 minutes. My name's Joseph and I've been a full-time creative for over 6 years. In that time I've managed to fund a robust retirement fund, save steadily, and maintain a successful freelance business as a screenwriter. 

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Transcripts

1. Intro: you know you're a freelancer. When you do a course in sweat pants, I know you don't wanna have to stress about money as a freelancer there, an artist, your creative. So now is the time to get a hold of your finances in this really brief course, we're gonna go over everything I've learned in my six years of freelancing experience to manage my money properly, reduce stress and end up in a better position that I was the previous year. Every year I've been able to increase my income and increase my savings. It's been pretty great, especially in financially tumultuous times. It's great to know that you can manage your money properly and still keep creating the things you want to create. There's nothing that sucks more than realizing you have to resort to doing work that you hate nor to pay the bills. As a freelancer, I think this could be easily avoided with a few tips and techniques for managing your money properly. With that, we're gonna cover a few things in the sports number one. We're gonna cover the apse and the actual programs I use to manage my money properly. On top of that we're gonna go over a simple, simple method that I used to keep track of my money and save automatically. I think a lot of us have tried fancy APS and things like that. I don't like that. I'm also not a spreadsheet guy. I like things to be a simple It's possible. It's why I'm calling this the lazy budgeting technique for freelancers. I think every artist deserves to be in power to create the things that they want to create , and stressing about money only gets in the way of that. So let's dive in. 2. 1. Expectations and Process: Thank you so much for joining me today. And I could not be more excited to talk to you about one of my favorite subjects in the entire world, which is budgeting and running our money properly specifically as creatives. This is so, so, so important to us. We want to keep creating. We want to keep making things. We want to keep expanding our horizons and entering new territory. If we don't take care of the business side of things first, that all comes crumbling down and all starts a folder. So in a second, I'm gonna turn over this presentation, you'll still be able to see me in the corner. And we're gonna kind of walk through with some visual aids how we can start walking down this path of getting a hold of our finances. So hopefully we could be a little less stressed, create the way we want to create. So let's take a look here. So this is lesson one expectations and motivation. First off, grab a piece of paper. I would highly highly recommend following along with a paper and pencil. This is just gonna make it really easy for you to jot down some notes, There's gonna be some things that I'd like you to write down as we go through this. So really, being on top of taking notes is gonna be super helpful. First, I want to talk about kind of the some of the pitfalls of being a creative and dealing with money. I think the first big one is that we view budgeting and taking care of our money as restrictive when I think that's the wrong way to approach it. In my experience, viewing my money through the lens of buying autonomy and saving money as buying autonomy has been the most helpful thing in the world for getting a grip on my finances. What I mean by this? Well, for instance, when you have that $5000.10,000 dollars in the bank that you can use as a freelancer, an artist or a creator, it gives you so much autonomy in the future to be able to expand into new and exciting areas. For instance, of your a destination wedding photographer, you want to start shooting beach weddings, and you've only been shooting in the mountains. Well, having that extra little bit of money allows you to pay for your own trip out to the beaches, for instance, do a test shoot for free with someone and then get a ton of beach work that expands your portfolio. Maybe you're a graphic designer, and having a touchscreen large screen computer will be a very helpful tool in your arsenal . Trying to attempt to get a grip on our finances without a purpose is pretty useless. What do you mean by this? I think a lot of us grew up hearing this phrase you're saving for a rainy day sitting for a rainy day. That's not a really compelling reason to save money. The fact of the matter is, a rainy day is something intangible. It's something that we can't quite picture and then, when it comes, were never prepared for it. Defining that purpose is gonna be one of the essential elements to running our finances properly. So here's some expectations. We're gonna cover basic concepts here. This is not gonna be in investing courses is not gonna be something about all the little tips and tricks to eat money out of your credit cards. We're gonna go over the bare minimum here just so you can get in a place where you're above water, you're operating well, and you're able to create the things you want to create. No experience required here. I don't have an accounting degree, and I don't expect you to, either. There's very little math involved. I failed almost every math class in high school, and I don't like math. So I have created ways to budget my money That doesn't involve math. No spreadsheets, either. To be completely honest with you, I have a very rudimentary knowledge of things like Excel on Google sheets. So we're not even gonna touch that. And I'm not a huge fan of tracking spending regularly. When you go to other budgeting methodologies you're gonna notice. A huge proponent of that is keeping a line item budget of everything you spend that comes in and out of your wallet. I don't believe in this. I don't think it's practical for people who run a fast paced lifestyle. People were very active. People were very busy. I don't think tracking your spending regularly is something that could benefit us in the long term. I think about these little steps that make the big differences so again. Why are you budgeting? That's what I want you guys to write down right now with your pen and paper. And just write down your purpose for budgeting your purpose for saving your purpose for getting a grip on your finances. When it comes to your ability to create your ability to expand your business or your ability to just move into the that next season of life a little bit more prepared, here's what you can expect. By the end of this course, we should reduce the stress surrounding money on Lee. Focus on finances once a month. I don't think we need to spend multiple days, a week or even one day of the week thinking about our money. I think this is something that we deal with once a month. We set it and forget it, and that's the way that this entire system is built on. Then finally, let's stop overspending and scraping by until the next paycheck. This could be the most important take away for a lot of you guys watching right now. I know we've all been there where you're having to do work that you hate to be able to fund your life because you over spent and let's let's curve that. Now let's figure out ways to stop that with some really, really, really basic techniques. So that's what you can expect from this course, and I really hope you'll stick around for the rest again. It's gonna be a short course. We're gonna just boom, boom, boom, go through everything. Keep your pen and paper ready. We're gonna move fast. I encourage you to go back and watch the lessons again. If there's any techniques you need to know a little bit more about, I could not be more excited to do this with you. 3. 2. What's Your Spending Type?: welcome to lessen to in this lesson, we're gonna talk about the different types of over spenders that different types of people who mismanage their money. You probably fall into one of two categories. They say the first step to solving a problem is admitting there is one. And so in this, we're gonna get a little self awareness. We're going to start to really unpack how were mismanaging our money. I like to separate the types of people who mismanage their money into two categories. He's the spending types, the 1st 1 I like to call the slow bleeder. 2nd 1 I call the impulse buyer. Let's take a look at these slow bleeders. Usually neglect to track little purchases and money seems to vanish. Money he spends on food delivery cocktails, movie rentals, online shopping. You're definitely a slow bleeder. If you've ever checked your bank account and go, where has this money gone? Why don't I have anything? My account. I deposited $2000 two weeks ago, and now I'm left with 400 bucks. Where did it all go? If that's an experience that you can relate to, your probably a slow bleeder, the other type is an impulse buyer. The impulse buyer saved their money until something expensive catches their eye money spent on designer clothes, expensive technology or the next big thing. If you're somebody who likes to keep up with trends, if you're somebody who really cares what other people think about you, you've probably fallen into the trap of being an impulse buyer, even if you're just somebody who generally has, ah, struggle with impulse control, being an impulse buyer, something that you might relate to until I got a hold my finances the number one way that I would end up losing money is buying really expensive things as a spur of the moment decision that I did not budget for. So take a moment. Looking at these two types, it's gonna be beneficial down the road as we go through some tips and techniques to understand yourself a little bit more because these solutions, while they may apply to most people, are not one size fits all. So here's some simple techniques, and here's the way we're going to start framing how to manage our money based on the two types. First, with the slow bleeders, I say that Tracking your spending and dissecting your bank statements is the first step to curbing your overspending as a slow bleeder. A slow bleeder You probably stuck in that bubble of, you know, don't ask, don't tell. Out of sight, out of mind. And you're not treating your finances level of respect in the level of care that they probably deserve with an impulse buyer, you need to create roadblocks, impulsive buying. I've had to train myself to do this. Now I will say this The lazy budgeting technique covers both of these. So we're gonna go through both of these as they apply to you. But as you hear me talk about different techniques and stuff, you'll be able to see which ones apply to you more. But definitely creating roadblocks is important for the impulsive buyer to stop ourselves from having access to the money that we would normally overspend. So take a moment right down your type, and then think about some instances in life where you have been an impulse buyer. Slow bleeder. Think about times you've been really disappointed in yourself for the way that you spent, and I want you to write that down 4. 3. What Type of Bank Accounts?: Now it's time for lesson three, and this is where things start to get a little more serious. The whole crux of lazy budgeting technique is all about where we store our money, not what we do with it. And so, in this lesson, we're gonna discuss briefly. Where should we store our money? I find that this is, Ah, the number one mistake I was making when I was mismanaging my money. To a large degree, it was simply where I had my money. I had two bank accounts and we'll talk about why that's a problem. I had full access to my money at all times, and that was a massive problem. So where we store our money is one of the most essential aspects to getting your grip on our finances. Money should be sorted with a purpose. Always. Everything about what we're doing here is about creating purpose behind our money, healing the relationship that we have with our finances. So money being sorted with a purpose is the first step to get there. I think for most of you watching, you probably have maybe two bank accounts of checking accounts savings account. I know most of my friends do. Specifically, people in their twenties seem to think that that's the way it's done. Maybe you have 1/3 account that has barely anything in it that you're saving for some big goal, and it's all at a local bank or all your finances are stored in one bank. I'm gonna show you why that can be incredibly problematic for getting ahead with our finances. Let's take a look. Reason number one. Not all bank accounts are created equal. Certain bank accounts are actually counterproductive to saving money. It sounds insane, but I'll show you why. Annual percentage yield is something you may or may not have heard before. Annual percentage yield is the amount of interest your bank account gets. It's the amount of interest that the money that you store in the bank cruise over time, and that money goes back into the account you probably experience before when you put a few $100 in the bank account at the end of the year, you have a few cents that are added on to that bank account. Well, here's the important factor. High annual percent deal, bank accounts, equal free money. It's really that simple. Now, this may not sound like a big deal. Now you're thinking a few cents here or there, but those few cents can add up to a few dollars. And depending on how long you're saving and how much money you have there, that could be hundreds of dollars a year that you're simply throwing away by not having a good high end bank account. Personally, I use an online bank like Ally allies, a great bank with a high A p Y somewhere around 2% meaning that if I have $10,000 in that account, I'm saving for a house or a expensive car, something down the road. I'm making $200 a year simply from storing my money there, whereas at my local bank I'll be making nothing. And oftentimes, inflation rates are so high that my baking count is actually losing money. The other factor here with bank accounts, annual fees. I have so many friends who have a bank account that they have no idea what the fees on their savings account are. It could be a few dollars a year and again in tandem with inflation that's working against you you're bleeding money out of your savings accounts, so it's the first point. Not all bank accounts are created equal. Another primary reason you shouldn't store your money and simply two or three bank accounts is overestimating funds. Let's take a look at a little example here. Here's why. Reason Number two. It's so important. Say you deposit $3000 in your bank account. That's great. But after rent, food, gas, phone bill, subscriptions and debt, you only have $75 left to spend. If you don't have the self control toe, walk into a store with $3000 cash in your pocket and spend nothing but the $75 that you know you're gonna have leftover. Why would you keep that money in your checking account, where you can easily access it at any time? This is the number one way that I see people overspending. Reason number three that you need more than two bank accounts is inconsistency in your routine as a freelancer. This is so, so, so vital. We need to get into a routine of expecting a certain amount of money in our bank account at a certain time, so we know what we can and can't spend. And the fact of the matter is when you only have to bank accounts, your training your brain to accept the fact that your income fluctuates like this. Now, in reality, it does as a freelancer or as a self employed individual. You don't have a consistency with your income. But we need to train our finances to work as if we do as freelancers often will have $5000 in our checking account one month and $500 the next. This is to be expected. So having a consistent routine with how much money we can expect to have in our checking account is so, so vital we're gonna get into that soon. I want to show you guys how to do that. So again the question rises. Where should I put my money? Well, I'll show you what I do, and this is part of the technique, and this is something you guys can follow along with. This is a great time to start making some notes. I have one local bank. I love having a local bank. There's a lot of benefits to that. We'll talk about it in a second. But having a local bank that I could actually stop in to see a real person. I feel like it's just a little bit more security there really like it. I also have one online bank that serves a very different purpose. I can actually separate myself from my money. There's no ATM for me to just roll up to. I can delete the app off of my phone. Having an online bank and a local bank is vital. I also have one brokerage account. I personally love investing. This is not a course on investing, but if you don't have a retirement fund of any kind, we're gonna talk about that a little later. It's so, so, so vital. I also use cash. Cash serves a very specific role in my finances, and we'll talk about that as well. Cash is amazing for physically feeling when you're spending money and being able to gauge that mentally looking in your wallet and taking a quick inventory of how much you have left is so vital. Specifically, on nights when you go out with friends, you're going into a bar, a restaurant having cash on hand to pay with is so, so, so helpful. So I like to call these my money zones again. The local bank, online bank brokerage accounts in cash. So here's what I look for in each four of these money zones, and for you, it could be something else. But these are my criteria for picking good options in each one of these zones. First with local bank, it has to be convenient and have great hours. I have to be able to stop in their after work and often times I leave our studio. You know, six PM. I need to be able to stop by the bank online bank again. A good a p Y. This is so easy to find an online make because they don't have the overhead of a brick and mortar establishment, so they're able to offer you higher interest on your savings account. Also, make sure you find a bank that's federally insured. What this means is there's a lot of online companies that give you a cash management account, and that's just a place to store your money. And that could be great. But it's not federally insured. If anything happens to that money, the government doesn't back it up. Third Money Zone is my brokerage account. This is gonna vary from person to person, depending on your investment style. But when I first started investing, I found that convenient and beginner friendly app based investing platforms like Betterment and Robin Hood are an incredible option. I would highly encourage you to check out both Betterment and Robin Hood cash. My only concern is that it's not counterfeit, so that's less than three. Those are my four money zones again. Local bank, online bank brokerage account in cash. In the next lesson, we're going over how we consort our money into those zones and utilize them properly. 5. 4. Money Zones: we're back. And now for lesson For I want to cover a little bit of the philosophy behind each one of the zones and exactly how much money I allocates each one of these zones. First start at the local bank. I use my local bank zone for two things. First is paying bills. I define bills is anything you have to pay every single month toe, live and survive. This includes your rent, your food, your gas money phone bill, etcetera. Second is I have a small emergency fund at my local bank in a separate savings account. This is money I can access quickly in case I'm in a pinch. Usually no more than $1000. I like to keep just around $1000 in my emergency fund. You can add more to that. But for me, I find that any more than that is a temptation to overspend. So in my local bank, I've access to $1000 for emergencies and everything I need for the month to pay bills. And in the next lesson, we're gonna talk about how you find out exactly how much you should be putting in those two accounts. That's what I use my local banks on Pay bills. Emergency fund. Next is online bank. This might be my favorite zone because this is the zone that changed my entire ability to save money. First, I have my high A p Y. Savings account. I love the ability to make great interest on the money that I put in there. This savings account is for long term saving. This is for stuff. I'm packing away money for years and years to build a house, a really nice car or a dream vacation. The money that goes in this savings accounts probably be there for at least a year. So I have that. The second thing I have is a collection fund. You probably haven't heard of this, and we're to cover what that is a little bit later in detail. But suffice it to say this is the first place my money goes when I get a paycheck goes into my collection fund in my online bank. This is where I collect money throughout the month. As a freelancer, I might make money on the first, the fifth, the 15th 20th. I'm getting paid at random times throughout the month, So having one place to put all of that money is vital. The next zone is my brokerage account that has my retirement fund. This is amazing. This retirement fund is probably the thing that helps me sleep. Easiest at night really quickly. I won't let you guys know. Use a Roth IRA. If you're just starting out. I cannot recommend betterment enough for your retirement fund. You can put as little as, ah, 100 or $200 a month in there. I've been putting money into my retirement account since I was 18 because I know that the way compound interest works. If I put a little bit each month into my retirement account, I'll be able to retire very, very, very well. And just enjoy those last years of my life with a lot of dignity. Happiness. So retirement fund is totally vital if you're just trying to get a grip on your finances right now, this is the zone you can probably wait on for a little bit until you get everything else sorted out. But by all means take advantage of it as early as possible, because with compound interest, the sooner you start the more you make last his cash. This is really simple. It's spending money. And for this known I like to just keep cash in my wallet. I have a little Tupperware here in my bedroom, and if I know I'm going out or I know I'm going out on the town, I'll carry, you know, 30 or 40 bucks with me in case I want to buy that extra meal or that fun thing at the store . But I make sure that I have enough for I'm not ever missing out, but not too much that I overspend. Stick around. Next, we're gonna show you how to set up the system where all this comes together. 6. 5. Setting Up Our System!: Hey there, and welcome to lessen five. I'm calling this lesson setting up our system because this is a lesson where we're gonna set up our system. Uh, pretty simple on. I want to kind of walk you guys through how I think you go through the steps to set this up , and then the next lesson will go through a really detailed checklist of every little thing you need to take care of. There's not a lot here. I try to keep things as simple as possible. Let's take a look. So here's how we simply use our new system. The goal here is to stop thinking about money. It may take a little adjusting, but I think keeping this method simple is gonna be the thing that pays off for you. The most step one is going to calculating your expenses. This is the first thing you need to do to set up your system. Calculating your expenses is a simple I was looking through a bank statement looking through the app that you have for your local bank right now and just figuring out how much money you actually spend. Anything you spend is an expense separate that into two categories for our purposes, we're gonna call one bills and one fun. This is gonna be really important later. So remember these. Write this down. Take a minute, maybe pause the video and come back. Or you can do it after you finish this lesson. But calculate your expenses. Figure out that exact number of how much you're spending each month, separate into two categories bills and fund. Next, we're gonna set up automatic payments. This may actually take you a little bit of time toe fully flush out and get done. But make a note of it now and you can come back to it later. Contact your phone bill, contact your electric company, maybe even your landlord, and see if you can figure out a way to make automatic payments payments on anything that you spend money on. This is another step in the direction of moving towards the goal of not having to worry about your money anymore. I specifically love having all of my automatic payments come out on the same day of each month. Three. Open the bank accounts we discussed in the last lesson at your local bank. That's your bills account and your emergency fund, Your online bank. That's your savings account in your collection fund. Also, now is the time to go and open your brokerage account. This is gonna be at betterment or Robin Hood. Fidelity. Charles Schwab. Whatever brokered you like that has the features you look for. But go ahead, open a brokerage account. This should all take you a few hours. At most. The opening a bank account with an online bank is as easy as filling out a quick form. And opening a brokerage account is basically just a ZZ real quick. This is the breakdown of what those accounts look like again local bank bills, an emergency fund, online bank savings account collection fund. So that's really the system in its entirety. It's just those specific money zones and those specific accounts. Once you have all that set up, you're ready to start going through and actually sorting your money with the technique. That's what the next lesson is all about. We're gonna break down step by step, what you need to do on a monthly basis to sort and divvy up your money so you don't overspend. So stick with us. The next lesson is gonna make all the puzzle pieces come together 7. 6. Monthly Checklist and Case Study: Here's our monthly check list. This is everything we should need to do in a month to make sure that we take care of all of our finances. Step one. When you get paid, deposit your money into the collection fund again. The collection fund is in your online bank. There's a lot of different ways you can deposit money into an online bank collection fund. Personally, my bank allows me to take a picture of my paychecks, and it will deposit those into my account. But if your online bank doesn't have an easy way for you to deposit money into the account without transferring from another bank, you can deposit it into your bills account. But then immediately everything transfers directly over into your collection fund. The main purpose here is that your collection fund collects all of the money that you make throughout the month. So if you get paid on the first deposited into the collection fund, if you get paid on the 15th deposited into the collection fund, anything you make throughout the month goes into the collection fund first. This is the catchall for any income that you have next, what you're gonna do is transfer your expenses to your bills account. So last lesson we actually calculated our expenses. It was the bills, money and the fund money combined. It was the things that we didn't have to spend money on, things that we did put those into one some. And then that's our total expenses. That's how much we spend each month toe live and have fun and survive and all that stuff. So you're gonna take that amount of money from your collection fund and transferred into your bills account at your local bank? Now that a big sum of money, whatever you spend every single month, that's all in your bills account at your local bank's. So step three is withdraw your fund money, the money that you don't have to spend on anything withdraw that in cash. This is all gonna make sense once I give you guys a real life example. But just just bear with me for a second, for you're gonna sort the leftover money in your collection fund to your retirement account and your savings account. Depending on however you see fit. Maybe you're in a season of life where you'd really like to save for a big purchase and you're gonna favor your savings account. Or maybe you're really looking forward to retirement and you have a really robust retirement account. You put a little more money in there, but the leftover money that you haven't put in your local bank that's still in your collection fund gets divvy between savings and retirement. You're done until the next check comes. When the next check comes, you're just gonna take that money, put it in your collection fund and then divvy it up accordingly. If you get paid throughout the month, I like to just keep my money in the collection fund until the next money month comes around . So, for instance, if I get paid $500 in the middle of the month and I've already cover all my expenses for the month, I'm gonna keep that in my collection fund and on the first of the next month, when I go to do this process, all of an extra $500 to count towards my monthly income. So if I get paid $500 in the middle of March and I've already got all my march expenses covered, I'm actually gonna count that $500 towards my April money? I'm gonna count that towards my April income. Which means that more money to save more money to invest and potentially even more fun money if I would splurge. It's been kind of hard to follow along this far. I'm a visual learner myself. I'm gonna give you guys a quick, quick and dirty visual example. I scribbled this on a piece of paper, so I apologize for the rudimentary nature. But just go ahead and check out this quick example and that kind of explain what I'm talking about. You made $3500 this month. Congratulations. You know your bills or 2200 month or survive. That's your bills. And you spend about $450 on eating out drinks, clothes, etcetera. That's your fun. Drop that check in your collection fund and transfer the bills money plus the fund money to your local bank bills account. Now there's $850 left in your collection account to sort. Spread it between your online bank savings account in your retirement fund and then delete those abs from your phone. You're done. You can see that the bills money is in the checking account. The fund money is in cash, and the rest is on online APS that I can easily delete from my phone and all require transfer times. So there's barriers between me and my money. Here's a few benefits that I've realized to using this method. First and foremost, I have been able to keep my money in places where I don't have major access to it. This is absolutely a game changer. When I don't have full access to my money all the time, I have the ability to walk into a store and know exactly how much I can spend. The second thing that's been a huge game changer for my finances is the collection fund. Be able to collect money throughout the month and then train my brain to expect that to be a part of next month's pay. There have been months where maybe I made $2000 at the beginning of the month, and personally, my monthly expenses are about $1800 for everything. So I had $200 left over to save, and I just put that in my savings. But then later on in the month, I may be made in another $2000 from a surprise project that popped up that end up being super super amazing. Well, instead of blowing that money, what I did was I counted that money towards the next month's income, and I just kept it in my collection fund until next month and again, the collection funds in the online bank. So you're not touching it, you don't have access to it, and it's made my life so much easier when it comes to saving money. I think if you're only going to take one thing away from this entire lesson, it's have a collection fund, collect your money throughout the month and then count it towards next month's expenses. But I feel that this whole system holistically works super, super well for me. And I hope it works well for you, too. I really, really hope you've gotten some value from this lesson. I know this is pretty rudimentary and basic, but hopefully as the pieces have come together, you give this a shot. You give us a try the ability to save money, stress less about money and not have to use a single spreadsheet or any math has been a game changer for me, and I hope it'll be a game changer for you to go out there and create the things you want to create. And hopefully we can all get a little less stressed about our money If you want to get in touch with me. My instagram is at Tall, Dark and tacos the greatest instagram handle of all time. On Please leave a comment interview on the skill share course and share with a friend. Thank you so much for joining me for these 20 or 30 minutes. It's been a real blast for me, and I hope it's been beneficial to you.