Personal Finance 

PFB Spotlight – Financially Savvy Atheist

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Much as we do, blogs also evolve. Today I present Frank the Financially Savvy Atheist which started at first as a blog about atheism and soon integrated his personal finances in. Frank is like a foil to Ray of The Millionaire’s Blog (interviewed 12/14/05) with regard to their treatment of religion and finances but I think that it’s interesting that now there are at least two personal finance bloggers who prominently display their religion on their blogs.

Frank’s most significant characteristic isn’t unique in the real world but a rarity in the personal finance blogger world: how many 22 year olds own their own home, have two kids, and author a blog? (I don’t know any). Enjoy!

jim: Could you tell us a little about yourself?
Frank: I currently reside in NH. I work in the finance industry. I’m married with two sons who bring new meaning to “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

jim: Do you think having two children at such a relatively early age has affected your financial decisions?
Frank: Having two young children has definitely affected our (me and my wife’s) financial decisions . A few examples: both my wife and I had hundreds of thousands of dollars of insurance at the tender age of 20. I’m probably the youngest one in my company that currently has the long-term disability. We also bought our first home right out of college which was a very big financial move for us. We did make mistakes but we’ve learned a tremendous amount.
jim: What sort of mistakes did you make?
Frank: Our main mistake was trusting our realtor too much. That included going with the home inspector she recommended. He turned out to be OK, but his reports weren’t that great. We were afraid to ask for concessions for fixing the house after the inspection for a lot of little things that we figured we’d have time to do later. We did get some big concessions, but there were some other things we could have asked for and would have most likely received.
jim: When and why did you start a blog?
Frank: I started my blog in Oct ’05 initially to deal solely with atheism, especially my (at the time) somewhat recent de-conversion from theism. I have since expanded it to include personal finance.
jim: Has being atheist affected your financial decisions ? Any thoughts on the concept of tithing?
Frank: Being an atheist has taught me to try to make rational decisions, and with our personal finances that’s what I try to do. That being said, I don’t think tithing is an irrational thing to do. We are all free to support whichever organizations we care about and churches certainly need financial support from its members.
jim: Is there anything that makes your perspective unique?
Frank: My unique perspective from other personal finance blogs is this: I’m a 22-year old college graduate, married with two children (2.5 yrs and 1), just starting my first job and learning to manage my finances with my wife. Oh, and I’m also an atheist 🙂
jim: What’s your favorite personal finance book and why?
Frank: My favorite financial book is The Millionaire Next Door, it was one of the first personal finance books I read and it was really influential.
jim: Which of your posts do you think are must reads?
Frank: Right now I don’t have that many personal finance posts, but one of my best ones is the one where I explain why lotteries are a bad “investment.” It was my first post in the carnival of personal finance, and it generated some good comments.
jim: What financial “mistake” bothers you the most?
Frank: When my wife and I bought our house we took on a lot of no interest no payment credit card debt to furnish our home. At first we thought we were making a smart move, but now that we have to pay it back we found it somewhat crippling. On the plus side, we haven’t paid any interest on the CC debt.
jim: What was your best financial decision to date?
Frank: One small victory was cutting our cable bill by $20/month because I told them we were canceling. I saw it in a post on another pf blog and I tried it out.
jim: What is your favorite personal finance blog and why?
Frank: I have so many! All blogs on my blogroll, but my fav[orite] is 2million. He was one of the first that I read and reading his got me started.
jim: What kind of car do you drive?
Frank: We drive two used cars. Our family vehicle is a minivan and I drive a 95 Toyota Camry. We bought the Camry a few months ago, paid cash. We [bought] it from a private seller and got it for under the KBB value. Been happy with our purchase so far… we plan to drive our cars for 5-7 years. For us, we’d rather have safer used cards than older cars. Having two kids really changes things.
jim: Why should someone read your blog?
Frank: I hope that people find my blog informative, useful, and practical. That’s what I like about all these other pf blogs. People are hesitant to talk about money with each other but add in the anonyminity of the Internet and people bare their souls, so to speak. This has proved immensely valuable as I was able to save money on my cable bill, earned a $25 gift card, and discover sites like mypoints and e-rewards. I hope to add to that with my excel tables and witty commentary.
jim: How have you tried to tie your atheism with personal finance?
Frank: I haven’t explicitly tried to tie my atheism in with personal finance…yet. I think as my blog develops that I’ll have more opportunities to do so.
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2 Responses to “PFB Spotlight – Financially Savvy Atheist”

  1. Thanks for the spotlight Jim. I appreciate it 🙂

  2. jim says:

    No problem Frank, thanks for offering up all the time it took to answer the questions.

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