Today is the 53rd 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, I break new ground! For the first time ever, I have a 10 Questions participant who:
- is from beautiful Cape Town!
- spoke at a TEDx conference!
I just watched the TEDx talk and it gave me chills. Really, watch it. Also, this (from the talk):
“…whatever blows your hair back…”
Tell us about your blog
Tell me about your blog and why it’s great.
Mostly Mindful is all about living a mindful life, we cover topics like minimalism, being vegan, and reducing your carbon footprint. It’s also a platform for me to poke fun at our urban hippie (mis)adventures. I try not to be too serious, because it’s not in my nature and because there’s enough of that on the web as it is.
Tell me how you’re going to change the world with your blog (dream big or don’t dream at all!).
Sporty and I are on a mission to declutter the world. It’s our belief that the majority of our problems stem from the need to be excessive.
Once you strip away the extraneous and superfluous you have a much clearer view of what’s important. And you very quickly realise it isn’t the stuff you’ve owned, but rather the experiences you’ve had.
What goals do you have for your blog, short and long term?
For our readers the goal is to help them live the lives they would be happy to live. By offering fun, bite size chunks of easy-going, do what you can advice, our hope is that they’ll see how living a downsized life filled with experiences is of way more value than owning a bunch of stuff.
For us, the goal is to monetize Mostly Mindful to a point where we no longer need to have days jobs.
What post are you most proud of and why?
It’s not a post I’m most proud of, although it does feature in a few of them. Hands down my proudest moment is speaking at TEDx Cape Town in 2013. It was a huge amount of fun and it showed me how brave I can be when something means a lot to me (public speaking used to terrify me). But most importantly, it’s been a driving force in helping us get our message out into the world.
Do you enjoy writing?
I do. I procrastinate a lot though, but when I set my mind to it I do enjoy the process. It’s especially gratifying if I can get Sporty to laugh out loud while reading something I’ve written. That’s my benchmark for a good piece of content. If she doesn’t laugh I’ll invariably have another go at it. That said, I’m also not one of those people who live to write or can’t not write. I absolutely cannot write, I’ll happily go to the movies instead of sitting in front of my laptop.
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?
Sporty and I have made a lot of financial mistakes along the way. We’ve fixed things now, but given our late start we may have to work another 10-15 years at least before we can consider retiring. Unless of course I write the next 50 Shades of Gray, then maybe we can relook at things.
If blogging isn’t your full time gig, what is?
I’m a marketing consultant with TopLine Comms. They’re a London-based inbound marketing agency and recently opened an office in Cape Town, which is how I came to work for them. I guess it’s a teensy bit ironic for a minimalist to be working in marketing, but these guys have the coolest office dog ever, so how could I not? I haven’t actually met Devon yet, but you never know, there might be a business trip to HQ in the offing at some point. #HoldingThumbs
When you are 90 and look back on your life, what do you hope you have accomplished?
I’d like to know I’ve lived a good life, one filled with adventures and experiences that great memories are made of. I guess mostly I’d want to know that I’ve made a difference, even if that means someone decided to eat a plant-based diet or stopped buying just for buying sake. Sporty also dreams of one day starting a sanctuary for abused animals, so it’d be nice to know we achieved that goal too.
Money, money, money
What is the best money management or investment tool you have come across?
They’re both people. Ian our financial advisor literally saved us from imminent financial disaster. Following his astute advice,we’ve paid off $95 000 in debt, have solid retirement investments and a rapidly growing nest egg. I’m also married to a German who thinks number crunching on Excel is fun (I know, right!?), so we have a budget that would make most accountants weep with envy.
How do you handle people with different views on money, ie spendy people?
So long as they don’t try and get all ‘spendy’ with our money then my attitude is live and let live. If they ask for advice I’ll happily offer it, but I know from being in that place myself that you can lead a horse to the bank, but you can’t force it to save.
Did you grow up with money? How did your money situation growing up influence you?
We were middle-class, not rich but certainly not wanting for anything. My Dad was smart about money, he never got into debt and paid off his mortage as soon as he was able to. There was something of a lack mentality growing up though, my parents used to say all the usual stuff about money not growing on trees. They indulged us kids plenty, but I think this scarcity belief rubbed off. Only now in my late forties am I getting my head around the idea that it’s okay to not buy the very cheapest [whatever].
Did your parents teach you about money as a kid? How so?
I can’t remember my parents teaching me about money, but I do recall a piece of advice my grandmother gave me when I got my first job. She said I should divide my money into three: save a third, use a third for living expenses and spend a third.
What this boiled down to essentially was a ridiculously simple philosophy: don’t live beyond your means. She knew what she was talking about too, as this was someone who survived on a meagre government pension yet always had imported treats in the house. If only I’d listened to her.
What is your favorite style of beer – and what is your favorite beer in that style?
Sporty and I used to enjoy local craft beer like Jack Black, but we’ve been tee total since the beginning of the year. We get tippled too easily nowadays (I joke that I can’t even walk down the wine aisle at Woolworths without slurring) and the hangovers are brutal in spite of drinking hardly anything, so we figured why waste the money.
We notice a lot of frugal people are into board games – what is your favorite?
I’m going to ask Sporty to weigh in here. I’m not into board games at all, but she loves them. I keep threatening to to learn to like them, but never seem to get around to it.
Sporty: I was into board games long before becoming frugal. My favorite board games is “all of them”! No, seriously, I love Backgammon and Cluedo. Ang, the only way to learn to like them is to play.
What is the best thing you’ve read lately.
I love travel stories, specifically ones about thru-hiking because that’s on my bucket list. Grandma Gatewood’s Walk by Ben Montgomery was a goodie, as was The Great Divide by Stephen Pern. I also really enjoyed Crossing Europe on a Bike Name Reggie by Andrew P. Sykes. Sporty is a sucker for Jeffery Archer, if a book has his name on the cover she’ll read it. Me not so much, though I did devour his prison series.
What do you do for exercise?
Sporty and I run, cycle, and go to gym. Living in Cape Town means we have access to some amazing hikes, so we do that as often as possible too.
What about books? (Ang’s question)
When people find out we live a minimalist lifestyle they immediately ask how we managed to part with our books. The question is invariably posed with a rather worried expression on their face. The short answer is that a Kindle trumps real books any day of the week, the long answer I covered in a blog post, aptly titled: What about books?
Have you ever found yourself in a yoga position you thought you might not get out of again? (Sporty’s question)
Too often to mention. In those instances, I stay in the pose for longer than I should, pretending to be all ‘Ohm Shante’ like know what I am doing.
- Angela G. Horn Social Media Strumpet, Minimalist Lifestyle Blogger & Occasional Public Speaker
- I believe the less you own, the more you have. Watch my TEDx Cape Town talk to find out more.
Thanks so much Angela! In case you haven’t watched it yet, here’s that TEDx talk:
Find Angela at Mostly Mindful and on Twitter.
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