Today is the 24th edition of our periodic guest post series called 10 Questions and a Pizza Place. (The 1500′s are pizza fanatics.) We have a list of 17 questions we pose to fellow financial bloggers, and they are free to pick and choose 10 or answer all 17. Let us know if you would like to be featured in a future edition of 10 Questions.
Today we feature Michelle from Fit is the New Poor. Michelle is on a quest to pay off a mountain of debt and ‘afford all of the shoes’. I can completely relate to the debt because just a mere decade ago, I had a pile of college loans about the same size as Michelle’s tormenting my finances. It sucks. It really sucks. However, it’s pretty neat and inspirational to see Michelle chip away at that evil mountain.
Because I can be happy with 2 pairs of shoes, I cannot relate to her other goal. But again, I’m a guy and I’m sure Michelle doesn’t share my obsession for remote controlled vehicles of all types and mobile operating systems. To each, his or her own!
However, Michelle and I do agree that:
- Chicago and its food (oh Portillo’s and Pequod’s, I miss you both immensely) are both pretty awesome
- Wes Anderson is making some of the finest films around
- Paris is spectacular
- Ikea is it’s own circle of Hell
Take it Michelle!
Oh wait, one more thing. I LOVE cookies (I eat boxes of those coconut Girl Scout things, you know, the ones in a purple box, in a single sitting). As soon as I get back from our vacation in San Diego, I’m going to whip up the recipe that Michelle has included below.
I’m not financially savvy at all. That’s really not a good selling point, but I am like most people my age. I have no idea how retirement plans work, and I have little experience in investing. I think that me going through the process of becoming an “adult” with my money could give courage (or at least a good “what not to do”) to others my age.
What would you do if you inherited $1,000,000 (after taxes) today?
I’d start by paying off all of my student loans and credit card debt. That still leaves me with enough money to buy my mom a new car, invest in some property, and put the rest in to various investment fields (with the help of someone so much better at this stuff than me).
What is the best financial move you have made?
To be honest, it’s not buying a house. Many of my friends my age have bought houses recently, and I have seen many regret it. After a year, many of them put their houses back on the market because they wanted to move or they couldn’t afford the mortgage. I’m glad I didn’t fall in to the get married, buy a home, and have babies routine.
What is your favorite place to vacation?
My favorite place in the world is Paris. I’ve been there twice now, and I’m already talking about going back. I am a big city person, but I also love vintage charm and open air feelings. Paris checks all of my boxes.
What is your fondest memory?
My first niece being born is engraved in my mind. I was 15 at the time, and I had just gotten my driver’s permit. My dad wanted to take me out on a practice drive out on the back country roads. About half way through my first drive, my dad got a call from my brother letting us know that my niece was on her way. My dad grabbed the steering wheel and wildly veered me off the road. Without telling me what was going on, he got out of the car and made me switch. However, I had no idea how to put the car in park, so the car just rolled a bit and almost hit me. We got to the hospital with about 10 minutes to spare before Madison was born.
What are your biggest goals in life?
Professionally, I want to be a writer. I’d love to publish a book one day. If I could write about anything, it would be a Lincoln biography, but that market is pretty saturated. Outside of my professional life, I want to afford a lifestyle that allows me to travel and see the world. I want to continue discovering.
If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
I would probably yell at myself about some of my fashion choices… but really, I would tell myself to be brave, to stand up for myself, and to not be afraid of what anyone thinks. Younger self has potential and the power to be awesome.
What is your favorite movie?
Ooo! This is a tough one. I am a big fan of Wes Anderson movies. I cry every time I watch the end of Life Aquatic, and I can quote almost any line from Rushmore.
What advice would you give a 24 year old self just out of college?
Considering I’m just 26, I would tell myself to start concentrating on an exit strategy. At 24, I had just started a job that I thought was awesome because it paid me to do nothing. But that shine will wear off fast, and I will spend two years picking up the pieces.
What is your favorite recipe?
I’m Italian. My zia Pina used to make these amazing cookies around the holidays. When she passed, I was distraught until my aunt dug up the recipe and gave it to me as a wedding shower gift. Here is the famous Pina cookie recipe!:
- Flour, 5 cups
- Butter, softened, 3/4 cup
- Baking soda, 1/2 tb
- Eggs, at room temp., 4
- Lemon extract, 1 tsp (or more for flavor)
- Sugar, 1 1/2 cups
- Milk, 1/2 cup
- Vanilla frosting of your choice
- Sprinkles (optional)
1. Mix flour and sugar in a large bowl and cut softened butter. Mix until it makes crumbs.
2. Beat eggs and mix in milk. Add lemon extract. Slowly pour in to dry mix while blending until it makes a sticky dough.
3. Refrigerate the dough for one hour.
4. Drop dough in larger pieces on to greased cookie sheet, bake at 325 degrees for 13-15 minutes. Watch the cookies carefully because they burn easily. The cookies are done when the bottoms are a golden brown.
5. Frost lightly and add sprinkles.
Thank you for your contribution Michelle! Be sure to check her out at Fit is the New Poor, on Twitter and on facebook. And Michelle, next time we’re in Chicago, we’ll meet you at Pequod’s. Thick crust is required. Do not think of suggesting any other style!