The really good reason The Long Game’s Lindsey Holden shared a bathroom with 40 people for 5 years

Lindsay Holden Instagram White Border (1).png

Serial entrepreneur Lindsey Holden, who is the CEO and Co-Founder of the personal finance app The Long Game, literally played the long game when she spent 5 years living in her family’s veterinary office, to pay off her student loans and build a solid financial foundation. 

In Lindsay’s money story you will learn:

-Why she lived at her family’s veterinary office for 5 years

-Some of the unique experiences she had and what, if anything she would do differently

-How to come up with creative solutions to financial problems

-Tips on how to pay off student debt

In Lindsay’s money lesson you will learn:

-How to stick to your convictions and deflect judgement when making personal money decisions

-Why Lindsay considers herself a minimalist spender

In Lindsay’s everyday money tip you will learn:

-How to leverage coupon codes using Google ads to get discounts on services like Uber and more.

In My Take you will learn:

-How using gamification can motivate you to save and encourage better money habits

-How to get the most out of a rewards programs

Bobbi and Lindsay also talk about:

-How Lindsay’s app The Long Game works

-Lindsay’s experiences as a serial entrepreneur

EPISODE LINKS

Uber

Google Adwords

Cryptocurrency

https://www.longgame.co/ 

Follow Lindsay!

Twitter @linzor1

Linked In @LindsayHolden


Follow Long Game 

Twitter: @LongGame

Instagram: @LongGameSavings


Transcription

Lindsey Holden:
It's kind of like a sitcom story, right? You're like, "Yeah, I'm actually living at a veterinarian office," which is really weird and also kind of hilarious for your dating life.

Bobbi Rebell:
You're listening to Financial Grownup with me, certified financial planner, Bobbi Rebell, author of How to Be a Financial Grownup. You know what, being a grownup is really hard, especially when it comes to money. But it's okay, we're going to get there together. I'm going to bring you one money story from a financial grownup, one lesson. And then my take on how you can make it your own. We got this.

Bobbi Rebell:
Hey, Financial Grownup friends, hope that little teaser at the top got you curious. This story is one-of-a-kind. And it makes you think, what would you do to get yourself on solid financial footing if you had debt coming out of school? How far would you go? And for how long? And would you care what people thought?

Bobbi Rebell:
Welcome to everyone, and thank you for spending time with us. We keep it short here, around 15 minutes, flex time for podcasts. If you find value, the only payment that we ask is that you share it with friends, the ones you care about, the ones you want to live a richer life.

Bobbi Rebell:
Now to our guest, Lindsey Holden. She is the CEO and founder of Long Game, which is a personal app that uses games and rewards to incentivize financial habits. All of us could use a little extra motivation. And Lindsey was certainly motivated to get her financial life in order. Great story, my friends. Here is Lindsey Holden.

Bobbi Rebell:
Hey Lindsey Holden, you're a Financial Grownup, welcome to the podcast.

Lindsey Holden:
Thank you so much.

Bobbi Rebell:
Congratulations on the Long Game. You're certainly in it for the long haul. This is not even your first company.

Lindsey Holden:
Yeah, we built a financial app, so we're an FDIC insured savings account. That have games on top, and you can win up to a million dollars on our app for saving your own money.

Bobbi Rebell:
That's awesome. Let's talk about your money story, because that has to do with building a base to now have the kind of success that you're seeing. You kind of took a step back at one point, to make sure you have that firm foundation, and it had to do with sharing a bathroom with 40 people for about five years? Am I getting that right?

Lindsey Holden:
Yes you are. Let me tell you a little more about that. After leaving college, I had a graduate degree. I had also, major student loans, like a lot of people today. And, I had a job offer in San Francisco, which is a very expensive place to live, and my finances are tight. My father owns a veterinary hospital in San Francisco. So I decided to move into a veterinary hospital, in a room in the back, where I did share a bathroom with 40 people.

Bobbi Rebell:
Explain more. How exactly did that work? Were there 40 people living there?

Lindsey Holden:
No.

Bobbi Rebell:
I didn't think so.

Lindsey Holden:
It was a place of work. Essentially, my bathroom was also shared by the people that work there. And there're specific hours, obviously, where it was much more comfortable to take a shower or whatever it was. But it was kind of a silly thing, but it was a really long period of my life. I had lived there from, I'm embarrassed to say, five years, to pay off my student loans, and get a good start on my career. But there're a lot of silly little things, when you're there. Because you end up being part of a community in the place that you live.

Bobbi Rebell:
So, like what?

Lindsey Holden:
I lived in a room in the back of the hospital, and we had a mouse infestation. Mice, they moved into my room. I was like, "Well, we have so many cats here." So I went downstairs and basically said, "Hey, can I borrow a cat for a minute?" And they're obviously like, "No, you cannot. You cannot take a cat."

Bobbi Rebell:
I thought they were going to say yes.

Lindsey Holden:
I know, me too. There's like a boarding cat, that wants to do some work here.

Bobbi Rebell:
But you actually accomplished quite a bit, because you did pay off your student loans.

Lindsey Holden:
Exactly, yeah. There's a lot of expectations around starting your career, and having this life that you've always imagined. I think it's really important to be practical, and not to be afraid to have creative solutions, and just develop the foundation that you need to build a life that you want.

Bobbi Rebell:
What are the specific things you did, besides not paying rent, to pay off those loans, and form that foundation? So you could go and be an entrepreneur?

Lindsey Holden:
Paying off loans is absolutely huge. Most people today, that are graduating, have student loans, about $38,000 on average. So, to build a lifestyle that you're living well within your means, when you get that first job, is just really important.

Bobbi Rebell:
What are the specific things that you did? So you lived rent-free. Were you changing the kinds of foods that you ate? Did you go out less with your friends? What other things helped you achieve that goal?

Lindsey Holden:
I'm kind of a minimalist when it comes to things, so I wasn't spending too much on extra things, and trying to really optimize my life in that way. I think that's basically a mindset and an attitude that you can get in, that's really helpful.

Bobbi Rebell:
So what is the takeaway lesson for our listeners?

Lindsey Holden:
The takeaway is that maybe it's not cool to move in with your parents or whatever, but don't let shame be the driver in this. I think it's ridiculous. The way to really live a cool life is to be an individual, and be responsible for the financial life that you want to live.

Bobbi Rebell:
Did you ever get criticized? Or did you feel like people judged you?

Lindsey Holden:
Not criticized, but it's like a sitcom story, right? You're like, "Yeah, I'm actually living at a veterinarian office," which is really weird and also kind of hilarious for your dating life, as you can imagine. But I just owned it because it was something that, I really care about building the foundation that you need to have the career that you want. And the people that love you, really start to think that's cool too.

Lindsey Holden:
I've had flowers delivered to the front desk there, before. So all the people that work there, just knew my social life.

Bobbi Rebell:
All right, let's talk about your every day money tip. You have one of the most creative ways I have ever heard of, to really leverage reward codes.

Lindsey Holden:
This one's fun. You know, there're a lot of referral programs out there. When you're playing on the internet a lot, you find creative ways to use these. And one of the things that I did when I was living at veterinary hospital was to run Google AdWords against my Uber code. This can be done with any other referral program, but essentially, the link that you're using is your referral link. And then, you're able to get the money from the referral, which ended up being credits for Uber. It was just a fantastic way to get some free rides around the city.

Bobbi Rebell:
All right, let's talk about the Long Game. So, as I mentioned earlier, this is not your very first venture. You're an experienced entrepreneur. Tell us more about the Long Game.

Lindsey Holden:
Like I said, Long Game is a gamified financial app. We're trying to make banking into a wonderful, joyous experience. And we do that through use of games. A lot of those games are games of chance, where you can win up to a million dollars. But you can also win cryptocurrency in our app. We're always talking to our users and finding out what rewards they want to see in our app. And then using those to help people build a financial foundation that they need.

Bobbi Rebell:
So specifically, how does it work?

Lindsey Holden:
So you download an app, where Long Game, obviously on Google Play and the App Store. You get a FDIC insured savings account. Then, as you save in that savings account, we reward you with games. And you can choose which game you'd like to play. Some of our games are instant win, some of them are a weekly drawing. But they're all giving you a chance where you can win cash. And, the more you save, the more games you can play.

Bobbi Rebell:
How did you come up with this?

Lindsey Holden:
It came from an idea that's called Prize-Linked Savings. It's usually run by financial institutions, or governments, actually, for bonds. But, it's offline, you basically deposit in an account, and there's a monthly raffle, generally. So we've taken that idea, and brought it into an app form, and made it much more engaging and accessible.

Bobbi Rebell:
And tell us more about the future. I know you're always coming up with new games. What can we expect to see next?

Lindsey Holden:
Not only are we coming up with new games, new rewards, all the time, new characters in our app. We're also adding financial products. So, Long Game hopes to be the financial hub that can help you with all your financial needs, in a rewarded way. So you can imagine us later, online banking, letting you pay down your loans, and that sort of thing. And then giving you rewards for completing those actions.

Bobbi Rebell:
What's the biggest prize that anyone has won?

Lindsey Holden:
It's a thousand dollars.

Bobbi Rebell:
A thousand dollars is the most you've given away?

Lindsey Holden:
A lot of people have won a thousand dollars, actually. We've given away over a hundred thousand dollars to-date.

Bobbi Rebell:
Awesome, great. Tell us where people can find out more about you and about the Long Game.

Lindsey Holden:
You can find out more about us on LongGame.co. You can download Long Game in the Google Play store, and the App Store.

Bobbi Rebell:
And, to follow you on all your socials?

Lindsey Holden:
On Twitter, I'm @linzor1. And you can find me, Lindsey Holden on the rest of them.

Bobbi Rebell:
Awesome. Thank you so much Lindsey. This was amazing.

Lindsey Holden:
Thank you so much.

Bobbi Rebell:
Wow, that was a genius money tip there. Super original for sure. DM me if you try it, and let me know how it goes.

Bobbi Rebell:
Financial Grownup tip number one. Apps that use gamification to motivate you to adopt better financial habits, are always a good thing. In addition to, of course, checking out the Long Game, some other popular ones are Beeminder. It forces users to make a commitment to a financial goal, and to hit milestones. Now, if you don't hit them, you have to make a payment to Beeminder. Obviously, you can fake out the system, but, if you go with it, it might be just painful enough to make a difference.

Bobbi Rebell:
Another one that's a little different, is Fortune City. Along with bookkeeping and so on, to check expenses, the app has a simulation game to build and grow your own city, so it keeps it interesting. Other more traditional apps that make paying more attention to your money, more fun, and help you achieve savings goals for example, include Acorns, Stash, You Need a Budget, Thrive, and Qapital, that is, Qapital with a Q. I'm going to leave more info in the show notes, which can be found at bobbirebell.com/podcasts/lindseyholden.

Bobbi Rebell:
Financial Grownup tip number two. Lindsey talked about sharing her Uber code through Google AdWords. We all get codes all the time. Make sure if you love a product that you use, and you recommend it to a friend, you tell them, give them your code, ask them to use your code, if they try the product. And it's fine to say, "I'll get a bonus," because almost every case, they get something too. And even if they don't, friends want to see you rewarded. So don't be shy about it.

Bobbi Rebell:
And every time you sign up something new, don't forget to use a friend's code, that they can share with you. So if you know a friend uses a service, or goes to a certain exercise place, or buys a certain product, ask them, "Do you have a reward code that you can give me, because I might sign up for that as well." Just think for a moment, who you know that uses that product or service, pay forward.

Bobbi Rebell:
And with that, I want to thank all of you for sharing your time. DM me, let me know your favorite gamification apps. On Twitter, I am @bobbirebell. On Instagram, at bobbirebell1. More about the podcast, at bobbirebell.com/financialgrownuppodcast. And did I mention, my book, How to Be a Financial Grownup is now out in paperback. I'd love it if you pick up a copy, and maybe one for a friend.

Bobbi Rebell:
Thanks, to the Long Game's Lindsey Holden, for helping us all get one step closer to being financial grownups.

Bobbi Rebell:
Financial Grownup with Bobbi Rebell is edited and produced by Steve Stewart, and is a BRK Media production.