Today is the 10th edition (with new questions) of our 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’s post features David and John from Debt Free Guys. D and J live in my neck of the woods and I had a chance to meet them at a recent party. For some reason, time got away and I hardly had a chance to talk to them. This is unfortunate because they have some really interesting stuff to say. Read on to see!
Also, I wrote up a little piece for their Money Masters series. Find it over here on Debt Free Guys.
Finally, I liked the question and answers the D and J added at the end. No way I’d give up the 10 points either!
Tell me about your blog and why it’s great.
D – I love the variety of our blog. We have so many topics that focus on how to really enjoy life and still get and live debt free. Plus, both of us enjoy sharing our personal experiences. We love our lives and want others to feel the same.
J – We enjoy writing and strive to have a combination of fun, funny and educational content. I like words, not a lot of words but the right words. I enjoy the writing process and putting our work out to the public.
Tell me how you’re going to change the world with your blog.
D – Our goal is to help people become Money Conscious. Being Money Conscious changed our lives and if we can help others be Money Conscious then the world will be a better place. Life should never be about working to have, but having a great life and working is a small piece of that. By being Money Conscious then work isn’t a chore, like it is for so many.
J – We understand that the topics of personal finance and economics bore most people, but they’re important topics. We hope that by injecting a little humor into these topics, we can help a mom or dad understand why a drought in California affects the cost of their meat in Virginia or how the trade deficit affects their manufacturing jobs. With just a basic understanding, people can make better financial decisions.
What post are you most proud of and why?
D – I think it’s the post Connecting the Financial Dots, where I encourage readers to ask a few questions that helped us and can help them see where they’re headed financially.
J – I’m most proud of The Real Reason for Income Inequality. I tried to do a historic analysis of why wages have been stagnant for the last two decades. I hoped to make people aware that there was a significant shift in business valuing employees to valuing shareholders and that fewer companies manage business than manage balance sheets these days. My hope wasn’t to depress people, but give them more information to make better decisions and to have better context at work.
Do you have early retirement dreams? At what age do you think you will retire?
D – Of course! Although I love my job and the people I work with, DebtFreeGuys.com and our books are the foundation of our path to working for ourselves rather than a company. My personal goal is before I turn 48, in four years with the help of our side hustle.
J – Yes! I don’t see retirement as sitting on a rocking chair on the front porch or playing golf, but working for ourselves as Debt Free Guys. David and I are in sync that we want to retire in four years, at which point I’ll be 45. We’ll achieve this by doing a combination of saving and investing now and increasing our Debt Free Guys income.
If blogging isn’t your full time gig, what is?
D – I work as a business systems analyst for a financial services/retirement plan provider.
J – I’m a financial services compliance analyst and manage the SEC required Code of Ethics for 11 broker/dealers.
When you are 90 and look back on your life, what do you hope you have accomplished?
D – I hope that our books and site have reached millions of people and helped them be more Money Conscious. I want to prevent or alleviate the pain and stress that we went through with our $51,000 in credit card debt.
J – I want two things. I want our audience to say, “You helped me” and our nieces to say, “You inspired me”.
What is the best money management or investment tool you have come across?
D – To be honest, I rarely search out these tools. I have a basic budget spreadsheet in Excel on which I track our spending for the pay period and our net worth. I like to keep it simple.
J – I love Barron’s. It’s well written and information dense. If I can get at least an hour or two a week to read most of my Barron’s, it’s a good week and I have the information I need to make better investment decisions.
How do you handle people with different views on money, ie spendy people?
D – I generally try not to judge or criticize. I was “spendy” once. I had over $17k in credit card debt on my own, so I certainly knew how to spend and still do. Mostly I drop hints about how we choose to spend our money on the things that really bring us happiness and how our 401(k) accounts are worth more than our cars and home. It is our biggest asset and I intend to keep it that way.
J – Similar to David, I try to lead by example and use our blog and books to get our message out to those who will listen. Our nieces have taken an interest in what we’re doing and I think they’re getting the message. That excites me.
Did your parents teach you about money as a kid? How so?
D – Mine never sat me down and taught me how money works. My dad would refer to his investments and retirement accounts and encouraged us to save, but that was about as far as it went.
J – Same as with David, we never had a sit down discussion. My father did talk about his investments and I remember him giving a lot of thought to bigger purchases. We never discussed the pros and cons of debt or how money works. My mother did teach me how to balance a check book, but at that time I hardly had any money to worry about it.
What is your favorite style of beer? And what is your favorite beer in that style?
D – Only recently have I begun to enjoy beer. I really like Belgian Quads and my favorite is Pere Jacques by Goose Island.
J – I’ve always been a big fan of beer. In college, we had great professors who exposed us to quality beer such as Corsendonk. That was a personal favorite in college. It was an eye-opener to learn that some beers have corks. I also benefited from a local bar in college that prided itself on having hundreds of beers from around the world.
I’m a fan of seasonal beers because I like variety. I also like to support Colorado beers. Avery’s Reverend is a favorite and we’ve been enjoying Elevation’s Apis IV lately. If I had to pick a favorite style, it would be stouts with Guinness as my go-to beer, but I’ve been enjoying Left Hand’s Nitro Stout, too.
Sorry, that should be a one or two word answer.
What is the best thing you’ve read lately?
D – For fun, The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand; for education, Buddhist Boot Camp by Timber Hawkeye. The Fountainhead is very well written and a fun read and Buddhist Boot Camp included great vignettes about how to improve your life.
J – For fun, I read Gone Girl before I saw that movie. It’s well written and a page turner. David and I read Buddhist Boot Camp together and both enjoyed it. We enjoy anything related to law of attraction, law of the universe and buddhism.
What do you do for exercise?
D – We both have been on and off training for half marathons for the past 5 years, each completing three. We also lift at the gym two to three days a week and more when we know we are headed to the beach.
J – David summed it up. We run, lift, do cardio and I try to get in yoga when I can. Occasionally, I’ll swim.
Our Turn: Similar to the infamous 100 Boxes Question, if you could, would you give up 10 IQ points for $1,000,000?
D – Since, on a good day, I feel like I am at about 11, giving up 90% in not an option.
J – No, I would not. There’s too much in life that I enjoy that requires thinking and comprehension and 10 points is rather significant.
Thanks again Debt Free Guys for your submission today! Don’t forget to check out the Money Masters piece I wrote for them as well. D and J, hope to meet up again before the summer is out! Not many things are better than chatting about finance, economics and money over a cold beer! To me anyway.
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