About Kat from Cash for Kat

Kat Rucker
This is me, enjoying my life in Phnom Penh, Cambodia!

Hello! My name is Kat and this is my blog.

From 5 years old, I’ve always had an interest in owning my own business thanks to my dad.

I would work in my family’s ice cream shop and do everything you wouldn’t expect from a kid. I worked the cash register, I counted the till at the end of the night, and I went to the bank to deposit checks my dad helped me fill out.

But my business learning didn’t end there…

From a young age, my dad talked to me about stocks. When I was 6, I had a mock stock portfolio that I filled with any 6 year old’s favorite companies. 

You know, little brands such as Nike and Barnes and Noble (back when books stores were still a thing). Basically, any product I saw in the house I thought was a good purchase. Which actually isn’t too far off from my investment strategy today!

I ran my life like a business before I even knew that was what I was doing.

By the time I was 12, my dad trusted me to run small snack bars at for the local high school by myself. I was even in charge of a few of our high school employees! I would save my weekly tips, birthday money, and Christmas money.

When I was 13, he convinced me to invest that money in a gumball machine business. That was my first real taste of entrepreneurship and (semi) passive income.

And let me tell you, it’s been a wild ride! I graduated high school a week after my 16th birthday by taking the CHSPE. I convinced my dad to let me take it by making a business report that showed how staying in high school was not creating enough of an ROI.

I started city college at 17. I wanted to go to a 2-year first to save money, but I wanted to go to the best possible one I could. It just so happens that the best city college was located in the scenic Santa Barbara, CA!

My unusual strategies got me into UC Berkeley.

I wanted to go the best possible university I could. So I worked on my athletic ability and made sure I got above a 3.0 in my honors classes at city college. 

At the end of my second year, I got athletic scholarship offers to several different universities. None of them were to the kinds of schools that would provide me the academic challenge I craved.

Two years into college and I had nowhere I wanted to go to finish my degree. I had turned down offers. People told me I was crazy. I thought I was crazy. Maybe I was a bit crazy!

I had to do something. So I decided to move to the town of the university I wanted to attend. I guess I was manifesting the life I wanted to live, even though I had no idea what that meant.

I moved to Berkeley to compete unattached in Track and Field for a year to improve my athletic marks and while doing a third year of city college online… 

I registered for my own meets. I traveled by myself. I worked part-time, I did classes full-time online, and I trained. Every minute of every day was scheduled. My life was dictated by my future instead of my present.

I improved my high jump marks and impressed the coaching staff with my dedication. Against all odds, I was accepted into UCBerkeley in 2015.

I learned to take risks.

I realized that everything I was successful in, it was because I took the path less traveled. No matter how many people told me I was doing the wrong thing, I followed my dreams.

It was hard. I cried (a lot). I felt, and sometimes still feel, like a failure. And I use that to push me to be the best me that I can.

But after college, I was lost….

My whole life I was focused on school and track…. then it was suddenly over.

I wanted to do what society conditions you to want: a successful career.

I worked for two years at tech startups in San Francisco doing sales. After all, I’ve been selling ice cream since I was 5. Talk about natural career progression!

I booked meetings with fortune 500 CEOs by cold calling and emailing. I’ve generated over 2 million in sales pipeline.

But the funny thing about sales is… it’s never enough. There is always a new quota that is unrealistic. There is always a new workflow handed down from leadership. There are always things you could have done better.

And you never feel good enough for more than a few months. Because you can’t always be on top. And there is always a bad quarter.

I started to question myself.

If I was too afraid to invest in my dreams, why would anyone else?

I felt held back. After working in start-ups, I realized that your career is only dictated in part by your effort and value.

Your career progress is mostly dictated by: the company’s needs, who you know, and office politics. 

But if you work for yourself…. your career is dictated by you.

I quit my job in sales at 23 to travel the world, walking away from a $74,000+ income.

I knew my dream was to help others take control of their finances and to work for myself. 

I had saved up money for two years after college and it was time for me to practice what I wanted to preach.

In a way, I learned to quit!

Quit doing things that don’t make me happy or serve my 5+ year plan.

Everyone says you need to be dedicated to things. I think “things” is too vague. I think you should be dedicated to your life.

After all, you are the one that has to experience it every day. Why force yourself to do something for 2+ years because the world says you have to?

Travel opened up a world of opportunity for me.

I traveled to almost 15 countries in 2019. I started my business at 24. I met my husband while in Malaysia. I lived in Cambodia for 3 years. I worked at HEINEKEN Cambodia!

In 2023, I moved to Singapore with Omar (the hubby) and can’t wait to see what new adventures await.

I thought I was moving to Vietnam to teach English. To switch my visa to a long-term one, I had to do a 3-day visa trip to re-enter on the correct visa type. In Malaysia, I met my husband who was living there but was about to move to Cambodia. We stayed in touch and he visited me in Vietnam about a month later. We fell in love and I dislike long distances so took the chance and moved. It worked well for me 🙂

I hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about me! If you want to read more of my story, I keep a tag of all the posts about me under the Kat’s Story tag.