PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - After paying off $52,000 worth of debt in 18 months, Deacon Hayes wants to share his secrets to success. He started doing TikTok videos a little over a year ago during the pandemic, but he already has nearly 15,000 followers on the social media app. "I always wanted to own my own business, but I was never really into personal finance," said Hayes.

Starting a marriage off with that much debt though changed Hayes' approach pretty quickly. "The biggest thing we had to figure out was how to get more income," said Hayes. "I'd go to yard sales on the weekends, and I'd buy stuff for less. And I'd look it up on eBay or Amazon and see how much it was selling for, and then I'd sell it for more".

When the debt was paid off, Hayes started his website to help others learn about concepts like credit and savings accounts. But he wanted to reach a wider demographic. "There's a lot of value on TikTok to me," said Hayes. "And I wondered, 'hey I wonder if I could create some content that would help people with their money on TikTok.'"

The high point came back in January, when a TikTok on the stimulus payments was viewed over 500 thousand times. "I'd get like a notification that someone commented, I would comment right back," said Hayes. "And then somebody else would comment. And then three other people would comment. And I'm like, I don't know how people do this on a regular basis. But it was really exciting and just a fun experience."

Not every video goes viral. But for Hayes, that's ok. He's enjoying the process. "It's definitely an engaged community, where I feel like I'm making a difference, and where they're able to go ask questions," said Hayes.

His latest project? A one thousand dollars saving challenge.

"The more people we can get on TikTok, the more people we can get to the challenge, the more people we can help save money,'" said Hayes. "And everybody wins."

 

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