This is the 30th 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 Save. Spend. Splurge., who, after figuring out how much money she was paying daily in interest, paid off $60,000 in student debt in 18 months! WOW!
Tell me about your blog and why it’s great.
I am being pretty darn honest and candid being Anonymous.
I post my actual numbers for net worth and spending, and I am very opinionated and frank on almost every topic.
I like talking about money as it pertains to real life and how it affects us psychologically.
As taboo as it might be in the personal finance world, I talk about actually spending my money and enjoying it rather than saving every penny like some Scrooge, yet I don’t shy away from the more technical or “harder” subjects to tackle such as basic investing which I find is something sorely lacking in the personal finance blogosphere especially among women bloggers.
I enjoy exploring money issues and how it affects us psychologically, and I also ramble about other subjects like style (fashion) and matters of life (career, entrepreneurship, women’s issues).
“Save. Spend. Splurge.” Save. Spend. Splurge. is actually my sixth website/blog so I’ve been around the block so to speak.
I had started a blog on my debt repayment journey way back when I was getting out of $60,000 of debt (cleared that in 18 months!), and eventually ended up selling that personal finance blog and another offshoot one I created just about minimalism in 2012. I also had a style blog that was short-lived (way too much work).
After genuinely swearing off it forever (it was a lot of internal pressure and work as my blogs became more and more well-known), I realized I couldn’t really stay away from blogging very long and started this blog in March of 2013 which I plan on permanently keeping.
This blogging thing is addictive.
I currently have another site (less so a blog) where I sell the Budgetin
What is the worst financial mistake you made?
Not being frugal during college and understanding how to manage my money.
I had no clue what “frugal” even meant, and the word “budget” never entered my vocabulary.
It wasn’t so much that I was purposefully ignorant as I was clueless about money management in general.
I think if someone had taken the time to quickly tell me what a budget was and the benefits of tracking my expenses, I wouldn’t have been anywhere near that $60,000 in the hole when I graduated. I learn pretty quickly and I tend to follow good advice when given.
What would you do if you inherited $1,000,000 (after taxes) today?
1. Set aside about $225,000 to buy my half of a condo outright in cash if the price and market was right, otherwise continue renting.
2. Set aside another $100,000 for home-related issues (maintenance, unexpected fees, etc).
3. Invest the remaining half into index-tracking exchange-traded funds with the lowest management expense ratios (MERs) I can find across these 5 markets: U.S., Canada, Bonds, Europe/Australasia, and a bit into riskier Emerging Markets (Brazil)
4. Invest the other half into dividend-paying stocks to create a passive income stream portfolio, although I’d put them all on a Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRIP) until I wanted to actually take the funds out as income.
What kind of car do you drive?
I don’t. Yet.
I drove a Dodge Grand Caravan which has been my first and only car paid for outright with $1800 in cash, but donated it to charity in 2011.
I haven’t purchased a car since, but am likely going to have to for work sometime in the future, and I am looking at a Honda Pilot SUV because it is like a minivan (height, decent practical, design) but not as awkward as one.
Who inspires you?
She came from a very poor little village, starving, growing up in total poverty, and is made a far more successful leap from that to the life to the one she has now than I can ever hope achieve.
If she could survive the kind of horrific life she had and thrive, I have absolutely no reason to complain about mine.
What is the best financial move you have made?
I opened my student debt repayment numbers that totaled $60,000 and freaked out at how long it would take to clear those debts if I paid the minimum (10 years!).
Then I created a budgeting tool for myself (which I still use to this day), and started tracking my expenses and learned how to manage my money.
I cleared the entire balance of $60,000 of debt in 18 months, raised my net worth well into the black to almost $250,000 about three years later, and I haven’t looked back since.
What is your favorite place to vacation?
Depends on what kind of vacation I want and how much money I have to spend!
For shopping, it’d be London, England.
For shooting the breeze, it’d be Stockholm, Sweden because it was just so relaxing and calming being there.
For food and culture, Japan, starting with Toyko, and going to at least Kyoto, and Hokkaido.
What’s your favorite tip for saving money?
Keep your regular bank account on a false verge of bankruptcy and panic.
For me, when I see that I have money in my bank account, I tend to be a lot more free and relaxed with my spending, and when I don’t see the money, I tighten up.
How I do this is that since I consider anything I have in my retirement accounts and investing accounts to be inviolate, untouchable funds, I invest the majority of my money so that I don’t see it, and when my bank account dips below $10,000 (my emergency fund as a freelancer), I mentally kick into overdrive and start questioning everything I buy.
What is your favorite pizza place (I am a pizza nut)?
Nothing beats what my partner can make, and he has ruined me for life because I’ve turned into a pizza snob (among other things).
What is your fondest memory?
The day I met my partner and felt like he could be my equal in life and The One (and he is!).
What are your biggest goals in life?
For life and family?
Have at least one more child, if not two more, and to master a third language to be able to speak it fairly fluently the way I speak French.
Keep doing what I do. I don’t ever want to give it up, because it’s the perfect balance of work and play.
In 1-3 years: Reach $250,000 in net worth.
In 5 years: Have a condo fully paid for in cash if the market/price is right, otherwise keep renting.
In 10-15 years: Have a million saved in my retirement and investment accounts as liquid assets.
In 20 – 25 years: Be able to retire any time I want if I chose to stop working (unlikely).
If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be (don’t say ‘buy Microsoft,’ everyone says that)?
Don’t waste your time dating those losers.
You’re better off alone and single than with guys who are going nowhere with their life, not to mention the fact that you underestimate your own self worth.
There’s no need to feel guilty for being smart, ambitious, and hardworking — that’s their problem, not yours.
What is your favorite movie?
Two Days in Paris
What advice would you give to a 24 year old, just out of college?
1. No one should be more interested in your money than you
Mac. I used to be die-hard PC person but then I switched and never looked back. Now I hate using PCs with a passion.
What are your favorite personal finance websites?
They’re all li
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Invest in passive, boring index funds and you won’t waste any time or money trying to find the next hottest stock to make millions.
Dogs or cats?
Neither, I am allergic, but if forced, I will pick dogs.
If you have children, how do you raise them to be financially responsible and frugal?
I will be starting them off on basics like what money is, and gradually progressing into budgeting, expense tracking, investing and making choices about where to spend your money. They will also know up front that I am not a charity or a bank, and they will have to learn how to be independent early on for their own good.
What is the worst personal finance mistake you see people making?
Living in denial that they’re in debt and/or in financial trouble. It’s not going to go away, you might as well face the reality and get on with it before it spirals out of control. All it takes is a budget and tracking a few expenses to make you realize how much money you’re wasting each month on junk to change your life forever.
What product or service epitomizes consumerism?
Fast fashion, such as with stores like H&M, Dynamite, Zara, Forever 21 and others that make it so easy to keep up with fashion trends that change almost every month, for very little money. In the end, the consumer loses because the quality and fabrics of the garments are utter crap, and all those little amounts they’ve wasted on horrible clothing adds up to a lot of money very quickly.
What is your favorite recipe (looking at you Herb on Herbs!)? These two: Asian St
What was your favorite job (or worst job)?
Best job: Being a freelancer.
Worst job: Working in fast food, your entire body stinks of the place when you come back from a shift and you have to shower each and every time to get the oil and stench off.
Save. Spend. Splurge.
“Save and Spend your money where it matters.”
The Budgeting Tool
“What I used to get out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months.”
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