Can you introduce yourself and tell us about TheFunnyrats Youtube Channel.
My name is Lane Fournerat. I have been creating short videos since 2002. I started dedicating my time to YouTube in 2009 when I started daily vlogging on YouTube. We have been vlogging for 2200+ days now. I have wanderlust, but I had to put our travels on hold while our family paid off $70,000 of debt. In 2015, we made the final payment, and we are now starting to travel more with our 2 kids. I have a true passion for sharing our family’s daily life and traveling as much as we can as a family. We believe that families should explore, learn and be together.
Who came up with the name TheFunnyrats?
In high school my friends used to call me Funnyrat because it is a play on my last name, Fournerat. I decided on that as a channel name because, 1: no one knows how to pronounce Fournerat, and 2: it is a very memorable name and easy to spell, which I believe is better for branding purposes.
Have your kids asked why their Dad walks around with a camera all the time?
No, they’ve just always been around a camera since they were born, so it’s just normal to them.
You’re a daily Vlogger! Emphasis on the word DAILY. How much discipline does it take to film, edit and upload videos everyday?
Daily means that you wake up and see how yesterday’s video is doing, you eat and get dressed and pick up the camera and start your day of vlogging (and don’t forget all of the pictures and social media posts to add into this). Also, you have to make sure that you have something interesting to put in your vlog for that day, so you need to plan your day ahead. Usually around 7-8pm I end the vlog, and right after we put our kids to bed, I sit down and edit the vlog for about 3 hours. then go to bed. Rinse, wash, repeat! It’s can be a grueling grind, but I do love the fact that I can be with my family and take them on adventures.
Can you tell us why you started making these videos?
My first short films that I made in college were because I wanted to be a filmmaker, but then I realized what was happening in the online space, so I jumped right in with the background that I had. I saw the community that was being built around video on YouTube and I knew that I wanted to be a part of it. I love being able to inspire others so that they can set goals and achieve them for whatever it is they want in life.
What are your tips for traveling with children?
One of the best tips that I can give you for traveling with children is to always have another activity prepared for them, especially when you’re in the car or on the plane to get to your destination. MagnaDoodles are amazing! Also make sure to plan for longer travel times because they will get hungry, need to use the bathroom, and will need to burn some energy. We used to be able to take long road trips and travel for 9-12 hours, but with 2 kids, we can only go about 4-5 hours before needing to stop and rest. Here is a video from our road trip to Nashville, which was the first road trip we took with our kids.
One of the ways you managed to pay off your debt was from the income generated from your You Tube Channel. Can you tell us how you generate this income.
There were a few income streams that we were able to generate to help pay off our debts. The first way was through the YouTube Adsense program where YouTube gives you a split of the income from the ads that are sold through Adwords and shown on your videos. Another income stream was from brand deals that we did with other companies for our YouTube channel. A third (and unexpected) income stream was from licensing deals that we received. Some companies just want to use a clip of one of our videos for their project and they will pay you for that right to use them.
For other people in a similar situation can you give them 3 personal finance rules that you followed for reducing you debt?
1. Stay on a Budget. Every month, sit down with your income and write out your expenses and give every dollar a job until you have no more dollars to allocate for that month.
2. Sacrifice. Do you really need to go to that restaurant tonight? Do you really need that new toy? You need to know the difference between a want and a need. Take care of your needs and put your wants aside until you pay off your debts.
3. Sell, sell, sell. Sell everything you have, and use that money to pay off debts. We have realized that we do not need more than half of that things that are in our house. in 2 1/2 years, we had 5-6 garage sales, and we made about $550-$1100 each sale. Here is a video from our best garage sale. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mey0dcKsdY
What are the tips you can share for filming and editing?
First of all, the more that you do of both filming and editing, the better you will get. Just start doing something so that you can have something to work with. When you’re filming, you should always try to go for a more interesting angle. Give your audience something that they haven’t seen before.
When it comes to editing, make sure that you give yourself enough time to get it done. Editing is one of those processes that takes a lot longer than you expect when you’re just beginning. Also, make your edits as tight as you can. I usually pass through my daily vlogs about 3-4 times before I click to compress it for upload. Cut out all of the fat that doesn’t contribute to the story.
How much closer are you to buying that Airstream?
The first step before we can get the Airstream is to save up 3-6 months of expenses as a rainy day fund. This seems to be difficult for us because we have a some extra expenses that we didn’t plan for, and since we are debt-free, the extra that were putting toward debt, we have been a little more lenient with it and not saving as much as we should be.
Do you have any travel plans for 2015?
We have a lot of travel plans for 2015. First we already took a road trip to Nashville, TN to be interviewed on the Dave Ramsey Show to talk about how we became debt free. That was a fun trip because it was our first time trying out AirBNB. Video
Just a few weeks ago my wife and I took a trip to Las Vegas. She had a work conference there and I was able to join her if I bought a plane ticket. That was a fun trip except for the day that I almost passed out and got sick. Video
We have also been traveling around our state quite a lot taking our kids to state parks, museums, and other attractions in the Acadiana area.
For the rest of 2015, in late June-early July we are going on a road trip to Oklahoma and Arkansas to visit family and friends. I am also hoping to make a few side trips to Oklahoma City, Kansas City and probably one of the springs in Arkansas on the way back down home to Louisiana.
After we get back from the road trip, I will be going to Vidcon in Anaheim and I’m looking at going to VloggerFair in Seattle and Playlist Live in the DC area.
If you look outside tell us what you can see.
Rain. It’s Spring/Summer in Louisiana and that means that it rains just about every day.
I love Jim Carrey movies, my all time favorite comedy is Dumb & Dumber. I’ve seen Ace Ventura: Pet Detective probably over 100 times.
Too many to mention. I like documentaries about food, i.e. SuperSize Me, Food Inc., Fed Up. My wife and I also enjoyed the Blue Planet series, and we are a sucker for survival type of shows.