Today is the 41st edition of our periodic guest post series called 10 Questions. 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 of them. Let us know if you would like to be featured in a future edition of 10 Questions.
Today’s post comes to us from Brian over at Debt Discipline. Brian has a pretty great story. One day, he woke up and realized that $109,000 (!) in debt wasn’t a healthy way to live. In a little over 4 years, he paid it all off. Nice work Brian!
Now, Brian’s finances are headed in a much healthier direction. His net worth now sits at over $300,000. Onward and upward!
Tell us about your blog
Tell me about your blog and why it’s great.
Debt Discipline was started over two and half years ago while my family and I was climbing our way out of $109k worth of debt. I started it as a way to stay connected to the personal finance community and use it as a form of accountability. I think Debt Discipline is great because it’s sharing our story, our point of view on how we are handling our money.
Tell me how you’re going to change the world with your blog (dream big or don’t dream at all!).
My hope is that we have helped someone else out there on the interwebs by sharing our story. That someone can or has related to something I have shared and it’s helped them in whatever they are facing.
What goals do you have for your blog, short and long term?
I want to continue to share good content, grow my audience, and retire on my ad sense income. Ha.
What post are you most proud of and why?
I recently wrote an open letter to my children that I’m proud of. Being a good dad is important to me, and I want the best for my children. I’m hoping they will learn from my mistakes. I’m also proud or our Debt Free post and the one-year anniversary of that post. It’s still the sense of accomplishment and the change it means for our family going forward.
Do you enjoy writing?
I do. I struggle sometimes to come up with topics to write about, but once I do I can usually knock out an article pretty easily. I’ve been writing since high school and college. I have written five full-length screenplays and for a time had a literary agent. I’m hoping to get back to writing screenplays in the future. It’s been awhile since I have written one and I have much more life experience now compared to when I wrote the first five.
Tell us about you
1500 Days is about early retirement. Do you have early retirement dreams? At what age do you think you will retire?
I certainly don’t want to work until I’m 65. We got our financial act together late, and we want to help our three teenage children fund college, so once we do that we will increase saving rates with the aim to retire ASAP. We live in the Northeast, but my wife is from the West Coast. A return for her would be great and we are just beginning to discuss those type of things.
If blogging isn’t your full time gig, what is?
Blogging is not my full time gig, it just feels like it sometimes. I’m an IT Project Manager. I’ve also worked in IT operations. I really enjoy technology, and streaming media. It’s always changing, so it never gets boring and there is always something new to learn.
When you are 90 and look back on your life, what do you hope you have accomplished?
A happy life with my wife and that our three children are happy and health.
Money, money, money
What is the best money management or investment tool you have come across?
Excel. No matter what app or software I use I always end up going back to a spreadsheet crunching the numbers myself. I started using personal capital last year and have stuck with it so far and it’s the longest ever that I’ve used any software to keep track of my money. So we might just have a keeper.
How do you handle people with different views on money, ie spendy people?
I try to avoid them. If I do end up discussing money with anyone I always talk about the success we have had getting out of debt to see if they will take the bait and ask “How” if they do I know I might have an interested party who’s looking to learn. Most of the time people just complain about money and then continue to make bad decisions with it, and don’t want help.
Did you grow up with money? How did your money situation growing up influence you?
No. We were your average middle class family. I’m the youngest of five, but we never went without. My parents did a good job of providing. My dad worked side jobs before side hustling was a thing to make extra money.
Did your parents teach you about money as a kid? How so?
They gave me the basics about banking and handling a checkbook, but not much else. I don’t think they ever had a handle on it themselves. Actually I know for a fact they did not. When my dad passed away a few years ago I had to help my mom with things and got her credit cards cleaned up. She’s on a good path now.
What is your favorite style of beer – and what is your favorite beer in that style?
I’m almost afraid to write this on your blog. I don’t drink beer or coffee. I don’t like the taste.
We notice a lot of frugal people are into board games – what is your favorite?
Risk. I’m a world domination type of guy.
What is the best thing you’ve read lately.
I have not read any books in the last several months. I have a stack waiting to be read. I read personal finance blogs every day and I’m still amazed at the great content that is produced each and every day.
What do you do for exercise?
I go for walks. I usually take our dog Mushu and listen to podcasts too. Good way to clear my head too.
Any big plans for 2016?
I’ve booked my first paid speaking gig for March. I’m hoping that sharing our debt story and tips about getting out of debt will help others. Who knows maybe it will lead to other speaking gigs too.
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