I love these days because we get to hear from awesome people like Mrs. Adventure Rich! After you read the 5th episode of the BoaS Question Series you need to head over to her site Adventure Rich and read more about their adventures.
1. Who are you and why are you here?
Hi BoaS readers! Mrs. Adventure Rich here… a 20-something woman married to a 30-something guy. We have a son who will turn 3 this summer and an assortment of animals in our household (2 rabbits, 8 chickens and 1 goldfish to be exact!). My goal is to write about living a rich and adventurous life each and every day!
2. Did your parents talk about money? What did they include you in?
My parents did discuss some money matters, but not all of them. As small business owners, I grew up watching my parents pour over business accounting and personal finances, working to make ends meet in tougher times and adjusting our family spending accordingly. While I was not included in the nitty-gritty business or family finance conversations, my parents taught me the importance of working hard, saving wisely and giving generously starting at an early age. Their lessons set me up to dive into personal finance once I started managing my own money.
3. Did that help/hurt you in the long run?
My parents’ financial lessons were incredibly helpful in the long run. But even more influential was the example they provided. My parents are incredibly hard working and I watched my dad be a kind and fair, but strong leader and role model to his employees. On top of helping manage the small business, my mom endlessly gave of herself to help our church, community and her parents as they aged. Their example helped me to form habits and a work ethic that have served me well in many areas of life.
4. When did you start taking personal finance seriously? What was the trigger?
I graduated from college and immediately started a career at a large company. In the rush of starting this new life, I was eager to learn how to “adult”. I started paying my bills and putting a little extra towards my student loans because it seemed like a good idea. Then, following a conversation generally about personal finance, a coworker recommended a few books to me. One was “The Millionaire Next Door”. This book opened my eyes to the reality that what looked like money may not always be what it seems. And those who look like they live a modest lifestyle, may actually be wise investors and millionaires. I had not realized that any type of wealth could be possible before reading the book, so it sparked my interest to learn about personal finance and start trying to make wise choices. From there, I stumbled on the personal finance blog world and found example after example of people living their life while working towards incredible financial goals. And at that moment, another personal finance geek was born 😉
5. What is the most important part of personal finance to instill in kids?
Ohh, that’s hard. There are so many lessons I’d like to say here… but I think one of the bigger lessons for me is to start to think about the use of money and make sure it aligns with what is truly improving your life, doing good for others, making you happy, or providing some sense of satisfaction. It is so easy to spend money without thinking about the impact. But if a child starts to recognize early in life that by spending on ice cream now, they are limiting their spending or saving options later (say, for a bike, a trip to the zoo, or to help the local humane society), they might also start to build a habit of being mindful of their money and its impact on their life.
6. What’s your favorite thing to cook at home?
Oooh, that’s a tough one. I’m a sucker for chicken grilled up with BBQ sauce, but I also really like experimenting with “bowls” (some combination of quinoa/rice, beans, veggies and meat with different sauces) or different kinds of salads. Oh, and my husband grills up a mean steak and tops it off with a dollop of goat cheese. Pair that with a Pinot Noir and some grilled veggies and you have a meal to die for!
7. What’s your biggest financial regret?
I could peg many silly or unfortunate decisions in my life as money regrets, but I think overall, I just wish I had realized why I spend money at times earlier. Generally, I’m not a big shopper, but there were times I think I used money as a way to feel in control or have a sense of satisfaction when I was struggling in other areas of my life. It isn’t a devastating mistake or anything, but it has been a hard habit to break and one I battle with from time to time.
8. What is your favorite thing you do to save money?
Automate. I try to leave as little up to me and my memory or my whims as possible. My paycheck gets diverted into my Dependent Care FSA, HSA, 401K and Savings Accounts before the final portion lands in my Checking for bills, incidentals and entertainment/fun money. This helps us track our goals without “feeling the pain” of making contributions to our saving and investing accounts.
9. Overall, how would you say your perspective of money has changed?
At different times in my life, I have seen money as a source of stress, a necessary evil, a good, and probably everything in between. While I still have stressful money days or days I’m excited by an unexpected bonus, I am trying to maintain a healthier overall money mindset. I work to see money as an excellent tool, one capable of helping my husband and I reach our goals… knowing that the money itself will not bring happiness.
10. What short term or long term goals are you most excited about? Why?
My husband and I bought our dream home situated on 10 acres in 2016. I know it will be a huge comfort when we own the deed outright, so we are working to pay that off. We aren’t paying it off super-fast, but seeing the balance drop a bit each month is exciting and encouraging.
11. What do you want to retire to?
Great question and one we (my husband and I!) are still trying to figure out! I have a range of ideas from being a running coach to working for a local non-profit that promotes outdoor activities and a healthy community. My husband and I also have ideas for businesses or real estate investments (possibly DIY fixer-uppers, etc). I doubt we will ever really “retire”, but we may shift from “careers” to passion-project jobs if our finances allow someday.
12. Any parting wisdom?
Money can be a big, scary, stressful topic. But it can also be a highly effective tool when utilized properly. Even if you don’t feel confident with your money overall, try to start making the small changes (maybe a 1% or 2% increase to your 401K or starting an emergency fund with $10/week) that will help you build confidence and stability for the future. These small moves were my personal baby steps towards financial stability and helped me to gain a sense of ownership over my money and my future.
P.s. This isn’t limited to people with personal finance sites.