A SavvyInterview – Shenae

This week’s interview is with Shenae.  I met Shenae through her husband, SavvyTaz, the man behind the Living Frugally series. I wanted to sit her down for a SavvyInterview as I A SavvyInterviewthought it would be interesting to get the views of a fellow blogger on the road to fiscal fitness.  I highly encourage readers to check out Shenae’s blog, Life More Than Food, the minute this interview concludes.

What was the catalyst that started you on the road to fiscal fitness? How old were you at the time?

The catalyst for my fiscal fitness would be the way I was raised. My father was a great example of monetary responsibility and obligation. He tried to instill in his children the importance of paying your bills on time if not paying ahead and in being debt free. I did not grow up with a lot of extras and toys, which as a kid I hated. But as I grew older I understood that my father was being fiscally fit in paying off a loan as fast as possible and going for the generic toy or food item instead of the name brand. At about 12 years old I started taking odd babysitting jobs, when payment was made I would take my money to the general store so that I could purchase household items in order to have what I needed when I became old enough to move out. Each Christmas, rather than asking for dolls and toys, I was asking for cookware, mixers and other larger items that my babysitting jobs could not afford.

What do you believe are some of the essential behaviors individuals should adopt in order to become, or remain, fiscally fit?

I believe some of the essential behaviors that an individual should adopt in order to be fiscally fit are first set your goals.  If you don’t have a direction you will just wander back and forth. It is important to set short-term and longer term goals to help drive you and reward you. Second, get your priorities in the right order and learn to decipher between wants and needs. Third, educate yourself not only on where you are spending your money but also on how you can spend it more wisely. Learn how you can invest and the best way to save. Fourth, create your budget not only for your month to month goals but for your long-term goals as well. And finally, organization.  This in my opinion is what truly keeps people on the right track. Not being organized and not knowing where your money is at can cause you to get off track.

Tell us about your blog? What was your motivation for starting it and how does it play into supporting your desire to be fiscally fit?

My blog is about my journey to health. I started my blog to talk about my struggles and success with eating healthier, exercising and what I am learning through the process. I believeLife More Than Food that people put so much pressure on themselves to do things perfectly and forget that we all make mistakes. Even those who seem like they are perfect and have it all together also struggle. I just wanted an outlet to be real about my journey. When you are doing all you can be physically healthy it positively impacts being fiscally fit. If you are eating right and exercising you are getting sick less, staying away from your doctor more and taking less medication.

With regards to planning and managing your portfolio, is that something you do on your own, through a financial adviser, or a combination of the two?

ShenaeMy husband and I do our own financial planning and organization. One financial subject my father did not touch on growing up is in the area of investing. So this is an area I do not have a lot of knowledge about and have not taken the time to learn more about.

What do you believe is the most difficult obstacle for individuals to overcome in their pursuit of financial freedom?

I think the most difficult obstacle for individuals to overcome in their pursuit of financial freedom differs from person to person; we all have our challenges and weaknesses. I know for me one of the largest obstacles is the desire to purchase or spend right now. I struggle with regularly adding money to saving; and I have a bad habit of once all the bills are paid, money burns a hole in my pocket.

My thanks to Shenae for taking the time to sit down for another great SavvyInterview.

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Blogger-in-Chief here at RetirementSavvy and author of Sin City Greed, Cream City Hustle and RENDEZVOUS WITH RETIREMENT: A Guide to Getting Fiscally Fit.


  1. I do want to say that being married to a financially minded person makes a huge difference in whether we reach our financial goals or not. I can honestly say my wife is on the same page I am and we help each other resist temptation over and over. A financially minded spouse is essential!

    • Agreed. Your actions have to work in concert to support your mutually agreed upon goals. Like you, I am fortunate in that my wife and I agree on where we want to be in 2026 – the year we will both be retired – and the actions required (and avoided) to get us there.

  2. Great job James! I dig the SavvyInterview.

    • Thanks for the great feedback, Joel. They are being very well received. I believe that is because readers like to get a sense of how other, ‘regular’ people, approach personal finance/retirement planning.

  3. Another great interview. I can tell you that Shenae’s organization skills make reaching our financial goals much easier than if things were left unorganized. It’s good to know where to find spreadsheets, the budget, financial books etc. Organization does keep us on track as she explained.

    • I really like the way the interviews are working out. I’m thankful to the friends that suggested it. No doubt that designing a financial plan, and achieving its goals, is made significantly easier when a couple are both contributing and pulling in the same direction.

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