1. Who are you and why are you here?
My name is Joe. During the day, I’m an accountant and at night I use my accounting and finance knowledge to blog over at Average Joe Finance.
Outside of finance and blogging, my wife and I love to travel. We recently got back from a trip to Australia and New Zealand. I really enjoy how experiencing different locations and cultures can really change your perspective and open you up to new ideas.
2. Did your parents talk about money? What did they include you in?
Not really much that I can remember. They definitely instilled upon me the value of saving and using credit responsibility, but it was more through learning by example.
3. Did that help/hurt you in the long run?
I don’t think it really did either in the long run. From a young age, I started getting interested in investing and finance. I also like to learn new things, so I really took on a lot of the research myself.
4. When did you start taking personal finance seriously? What was the trigger?
Like I said, I was pretty young – probably 12 or 13. Looking back, I don’t remember a specific trigger, but I do remember asking my parents to buy some stock for me for my birthday. I liked math and figuring out how businesses work interested me, so the combination lead to my interest in personal finance.
5. What is the most important part of personal finance to instill in kids?
To view your money as an asset used to grow wealth instead of something used to buy stuff. Too often I feel like most people don’t take budgeting and saving seriously enough and think if they have some money left over at the end of the month they must be ok. But if you want to really build long-term wealth and have a comfortable retirement it’s important to not think like a consumer. Teaching kids to think like investors would go a long way to improving their financial future.
6. What’s your favorite thing to cook at home?
Right now, I’m really into making Greek yogurt. It started as a way to save some money on groceries, but it turns out it’s pretty easy to make. Plus, it’s cool to see how the milk transforms in yogurt.
7. What’s your biggest financial regret?
My biggest regrets usually are around bad investment decisions. Not selling soon enough or not buying at the right time really used to bother me. I started to realize that dwelling on the past really wasn’t doing me any good, so I’m trying to let those sorts of regrets go. It’s still a work in progress.
8. What is your favorite thing you do to save money?
Probably setting up an automatic transfer to my savings account each payday. It’s not my favorite in that it’s fun to do, I just love how simple and effective it is.
9. Overall, how would you say your perspective of money has changed?
Going back to number 5, I would say switching my mindset about money. After reading The Snowball, a biography on Warren Buffett, I’ve started to look for ways in which I can use money to earn more instead of ways to spend it.
10. What short term or long term goals are you most excited about? Why?
Trying to learn Japanese. My wife and I are thinking about going to Japan next year to climb Mt. Fuji so I thought it would be fun to learn some basic Japanese. I just started a few weeks ago, so if anyone has any tips like me know on Twitter.
11. What do you want to retire to?
Honestly, I really haven’t thought that far ahead. I’m not someone who is trying to retire in their 30s or 40s, so right now I’m just focused on staying the course.
12. Any parting wisdom?
Anyone can learn to manage their finances. Don’t think you need a lot of money before you can invest, or that you need a formal education to understand personal finance. Just take your time and try to learn a little bit more each day and before you know it you’ll have mastered your finances.
P.s. This isn’t limited to people with personal finance sites.