Hello Frugalwoods readers! If you’re new here, this is a great place to start. Thanks for the love Mr. and Mrs. FW!
Today is the 15th edition of our new periodic guest post series called 10 Questions. We have a list of 17 NEW 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. (If you have already answered the first set of 10 questions, please feel free to answer these new ones.)
Today we hear from Debtless in Texas. I was planning on posting Debtless’ answers a couple month ago, but then put him off when I was overcome by life. Earlier this week when I told him I finally had time to get to his post, I couldn’t find his answers. Neither could he. Thankfully, he was kind enough to redo them all. In any case, I’ll shut up now and get on with the show before I blow it a third time.
Tell me about your blog and why it’s great.
My little corner of the internet over at Debtless in Texas is great because I am able to explore personal finance from an everyday regular person’s perspective. It is my own personal finance blog dedicated to my journey towards eliminating debt, financial independence, and early retirement (hopefully). I am 100% honest with my posts and am able to provide my own spin on this whole personal finance thing.
Tell me how you’re going to change the world with your blog (dream big or don’t dream at all!).
I am going to change the world with my blog by inspiring people to stop paying for crap they don’t need with money they don’t have – all while throwing in a bit of humor.
What goals do you have for your blog, short and long term?
Short term, I would like to get back into writing. I took a break after having my first kid and I am finally in a place where I can contribute again. It also took this long to recover from the financial blow that is unpaid maternity leave. For the long term, I would like to see it grow into something that reaches a much wider audience.
What post are you most proud of and why?
I would have to say my Yearly Bonus, Gender Roles, and Why My Wife is a Badass post. I am super proud that my wife and I are in a position where we are able to jump each other in salary and provide motivation to earn more. While she was making more at the time, I am happy to report that I am the breadwinner again!
Do you enjoy writing?
So much so, I wrote these answers out twice (Mr. 1500 note: Thanks for you infinite patience.). I used to hate writing because I had one of those fluffy liberal arts majors that required A TON of writing and left graduates with limited job prospects. I think it has been long enough now where I can safely say that I genuinely enjoy it again. I wish I had more time to write, but working full time and having a new baby tends to steal the majority of it.
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?
My dream is to retire by 40. I will hit the 30 mark in a matter of months, but I think 10 years is a realistic goal if we are disciplined. Luckily, my wife and I both work in lucrative career fields and are able to save and invest a significant portion of our earnings.
If blogging isn’t your full time gig, what is?
I work in search engine optimization for my full time gig. I fell into it and got really good, really fast and am able to use these skills to pull in some decent side hustle income. I have had way too many full time gigs, I think the next one is going to be early retirement.
When you are 90 and look back on your life, what do you hope you have accomplished?
I hope to have had the opportunity to travel the world with my lovely wife and have a large, happy, and healthy family. Money is nice, but family is what life is really about – the rest is just noise.
Money, money, money
What is the best money management or investment tool you have come across?
Honestly, I get the most use out of my own personal Excel spreadsheet. I love Mint and Personal Capital, but I find myself doing the majority of my day to day money management in Excel. Oh, did I mention that I am an Excel nerd?
How do you handle people with different views on money, ie spendy people?
For me, it is to each his own. I think that people reach financial enlightenment at different points in their lives. While we can lead a horse to water and offer sound advice – we can’t make it drink. It clicked for me when I was awakened by a giddy wife yelling and waving a pregnancy test around at 5 am. It will click for others in different ways, but I think that we all have to recognize that we are all on the same journey and let other people get there in their own time.
Did you grow up with money? How did your money situation growing up influence you?
I did not grow up with money. My father was the only earner in the family and passed when I was 13, so our money situation influenced me greatly. I realized that I was on my own for college and had to grow up fast. I worked extremely hard and was able to compete for and win a full ride to college with an Army ROTC scholarship. I spent a decade of adulthood in uniform partly because of our money situation when I was younger. Looking back, it is kind of crazy how greatly it affected me.
Did your parents teach you about money as a kid? How so?
My parents did not teach me about money as a kid, which is why I didn’t get a handle on it until I was 28. This is a mistake that I will not be making with my son. He will get the benefit of my experience whether he likes it or not and financial literacy is one of the best gifts that we can give our kids.
What is your favorite style of beer – and what is your favorite beer in that style?
The free style! I love IPAs. I love stouts, porters, and saisons too, but my all-time favorite IPA is still Pure Hoppiness from Alpine Beer Company. It is hard to get it in Texas, but I have a few buddies who live in San Diego who hook it up whenever they make the trek out there. I had the opportunity to work for a high end, craft beer distributor and probably drank enough beer for 3 lifetimes. I enjoy most beer as long as it isn’t Bud, Miller, or Coors.
We notice a lot of frugal people are into board games – what is your favorite?
Settlers of Catan, without a doubt! We nerd out on board games and have other couples over to enjoy adult beverages while trying to build the longest road. We also enjoy Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, Guesstures, and card games like Pitch.
What is the best thing you’ve read lately?
I am ashamed to admit it, but I haven’t had time to ready anything for fun lately. I spend all day optimizing content and reading for work, but when you do that constantly reading for pleasure feels like a chore.
What do you do for exercise?
I exercise my liver with the 12 ounce IPA bicep curl, 8 ounce wine glass lift, and 1 ounce shot glass clean. I also have a home gym in my garage, so I am able to lift and do my prison workouts without having to pay a monthly fee or leave the house. Winning.
What is something interesting that you can tell us about yourself?
I have driven a golf cart, an ambulance, and a tank – professionally. I have seen where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers meet and know what 120+ degree heat and 100% humidity feels like.
Whoah, did you read that? Mr. Debtless has driven a tank in the cradle of civilization. And 120 degrees? Do tanks have air conditioning? Yikes.
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