I noticed a growing trend on the interwebs lately, interview series, and instead of ignoring it I realized it actually is really cool. You get to see people’s responses to questions they wouldn’t normally be talking about on their site. It only seemed fair for me to do my questions before issuing out a challenge to anyone else so today I’m going to answer a few questions of my own.
1. Who are you and why are you here?
Well…I run this site so you know I am Mr. BoaS and I am a software developer. I spend all my non-work time with my wife, Ms. Blue Ribbon, and our two kids, Mini Donut and Babe.
2. Did your parents talk about money? What did they include you in?
No they didn’t. My dad only ever lightly mentioned not ever carrying a balance on a credit card and then telling me when he wrote the last check to the bank before they paid off their mortgage. My parents did, however, instill in me their frugal habits when I was little. My dad would find toys on the side of the road, fix them up, and give them to us kids. They also were keen on fixing something (if not jerry-rigging it to work).
3. Did that help/hurt you in the long run?
I would say it hurt me in the long term but I at least found my footing early enough that it isn’t going to be damaging. My parents, dad especially, always wanted me to make my own mistakes (better or worse). When it comes to finances I feel like they should have tried to teach me better habits so I didn’t have to learn from all the mistakes I’ve had.
4. When did you start taking personal finance seriously? What was the trigger?
This one many of you probably already know. When Mini Donut was born I decided enough was enough. We were going to get out of debt and right the ship (no icebergs are taking us down!)
5. What is the most important part of personal finance to instill in kids?
Finding a balance. You can’t just be frugal with everything or only grow your income or grow your savings rate. Each needs to have a healthy balance to it. I am frugal with somethings but spend more on other items. To me spending money on a solid computer or TV will save you in the long run than buying multiple junky cheap ones that keep breaking. Growing your income isn’t going to do you any good if you just spend the extra. Keeping lifestyle inflation in check is critical.
6. What’s your favorite thing to cook at home?
7. What’s your biggest financial regret?
Oh there are so many where do I start? I regret not firing my “financial advisor” sooner. I regret taking out a HELOC loan to pay for our solar panels (but don’t regret having solar panels).
My biggest regret is buying Ms. Blue Ribbon’s car brand new off the lot. A mistake we will only ever make once. Our second car we purchased used.
8. What is your favorite thing you do to save money?
Target Red Debit Card all the way! 5% off every trip which is on top of our cartwheel and other coupons. I would never get a Target credit card since they have the same exact benefits. The debit card just draws directly from a checking account instead of having to manage another credit card.
9. Overall, how would you say your perspective of money has changed?
We were just normal people before 2015. Loans, barely saving, spending more a month than bringing in. Now we are debt free (except mortgage but that sucker is going down too), have a solid emergency fund and are targeting financial independence by the time we are in our 40s.
One thing is for sure we control our money, it doesn’t control us.
10. What short term or long term goals are you most excited about? Why?
I’m most excited about starting our brokerage account. It is the last major investment bucket we have left to start and will be the last step for ramping up to FI.
A long-term goal I’m really excited about is one that Ms. Blue Ribbon came up with. We plan to take at least one vacation every year. Whether that is big or small or with the kids or not, doesn’t matter. The point is we are making sure to keep fun in our lives.
11. What do you want to retire to?
Another thing I’ve mentioned before is the fact that I want to job jump once I reach FIRE. I love the idea of having the freedom to up and quit a job to go work in a completely different industry. One year I may work at Qdoba and the next to be doing something in construction.
12. Any parting wisdom?
“You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”
-A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
Becoming debt free, financially independent, or retiring early isn’t something you get to by sitting around. You have to leave normal and find the people out there that are breaking out of the norm.
P.s. This isn’t limited to people with personal finance sites. I want anyone to join in.