I very recently had the pleasure of being nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by my friends over at Save Money Dammit! As they say in Romania, multumesc! As part of their own nomination for the award, they answered five questions. You can check out their great responses here.
Below are their questions for me, followed by my responses:
What inspired you to start a personal finance blog?
During the course of my journey to achieving fiscal fitness, I often spoke to family and friends about the topics of budgeting, saving, investing, and preparing for retirement. However, it seemed as though I often felt like I forgot a key point or did not give better context to something that I may have mentioned.
My first book, RENDEZVOUS WITH RETIREMENT: A Guide to Getting Fiscally Fit, started as a way to give family and friends a means of verifying the things we may have discussed; and captures some of the finer points which I may have missed during the course of our conversation. The blog was started as a way to support the personal finance and retirement planning concepts and actions I first discussed in the book; and engage with others who share a passion for personal finance and knowledge.
If you were given $10,000 tomorrow, how would you spend, save or invest it?
Two weeks ago, the wife and I spent the weekend with another couple and they mentioned that some other friends had recently returned from hiking Machu Picchu in Peru and described it as one of the most incredible experiences of their lives. Over the course of the weekend, the four of us decided to visit and hike in 2017. A $10,000 gift would go toward that vacation as it just made its way onto our calendar.
What’s your budget’s “Achilles Heel” or what’s your luxury item you’ll pay for, no matter the cost?
Mini-vacations. The wife and I don’t necessarily take a lot of vacations, perhaps two or three a year, and we usually don’t stay more than four or five days – a long weekend – when we do hit the road. However, we pull no punches when we travel. I’m not a fan of going on vacation but being overly aware of every nickel I spend. We typically stay at higher end hotels or resorts, plan multiple activities (e.g. wine tasting, a professional ball game, and a show – with great seats – when visiting someplace like Las Vegas or New York) and eat at great restaurants.
Are you more of a spender or a saver?
When I was younger, I was definitely a spender. Once I hit rock bottom financially, about 2000, I got financially savvy and became a saver. I have been fortunate in a number of ways over the last 15 years. I built a solid financial foundation which provided some relief from the burden of debt and barely getting by. Also, I met my current wife who was completely dialed in to the retirement plan I had established and has been a perfect partner in a number of ways. We are fortunate now that our salaries – and my pension from serving 21 years in the Army – allow us to maintain an adequate emergency fund, maximize contributions to retirement plans and live pretty comfortably. We don’t really have to choose between spending or saving. A solid plan developed, and followed, over a number of years has provided us the opportunity to do both.
Lastly, what’s been your favorite movie of 2015?
Selma. Even though it came out in 2014, we just watched it this year. Great movie. I’ve really become a fan of David Oyelowo, the actor who played Dr. King. I’ll throw a couple of honorable mentions in there. First, science fiction is probably my favorite genre. The best I have seen this year is the sci-fi thriller, Ex Machina. When we met, my wife hated horror movies, now she loves them … as long as I don’t have any business trips planned within a couple weeks of watching one. We just saw the best horror flick of the year a couple of days ago. If you like horror, check out It Follows, you won’t be disappointed.
My understanding is that there are five rules associated with the award:
1) Thank the person who nominated you. See below. Check
2) Answer the questions from the person who has nominated you. See above. Check
3) Nominate some other bloggers for this award. See below. Check
4) Write the same amount of questions for the bloggers you have nominated. See below. Check
5) Notify the bloggers you have nominated. Done via Twitter. Check
1) What do you hope to accomplish by running your personal finance blog?
2) How do you define wealth?
3) What is the best financial advice you have ever received?
4) The worst?
5) What is your favorite money quote?