I think I’ve known Cap of StopBuyingCrap.com  for probably as long as I’ve been blogging (he created his blog about a month after I started mine). In that time, I’ve enjoyed his style of writing and appreciate how closely this perspective mirrors my own (or how closely my perspective mirrors his, whatever). His blogging is as prolific as many of the other personal finance bloggers out there but when he does it’s always a fun read, especially his impromtu posts about when you “bought crap.”
And if you’re good with design, make the man a headline bar will you? Cheers and enjoy the brief chat I had with him.
|jim:||Could you tell us a little about yourself?|
|Cap:||I live in Orange County, California. (Think Disneyland.. or that county that’s next to Los Angeles County. There’s more to this place but who cares.) I’m currently a student at my local community college, after a snafu in an engineering program at the state university. Turns out I hated math and I’m terrible at it.|
|jim:||When and why did you start a blog?|
|Cap:||I think it was April of this year. The why is because I’m a wannabe poser. I had an account with ING Direct for awhile, and then a dim light bulb went on in my head. Hey, maybe there’s similar online savings account like it out there! So I did a search and it took me to MyMoneyBlog.com … from there I found similar blog like yours (Jim’s), Dawn’s … JLP , Flexo , Murray, Nev , Brian , etc. etc. I bookmarked what I could and it went on from there. Other reasons includes wanting to read more and write better.|
|jim:||Do you think it’s helped you write better?|
|Cap:||Hmm, maybe a little bit. I think it’ll probably take a lot more writing and a lot more time into it before I see any noticable results. I hope so though, because I can really use the improvement.|
|jim:||Yeah you could, so tell me about what Cap drives?|
|Cap:||I drive a 2001 Honda Civic coupe, manual transmission, because back then all the cool kids drive a stick shift (actually it’s just cheaper and more fuel efficient for me). Bought the car around May of 2001. At first I was saying something stupid like, “I’m going to wash my car everyday and drive it for 5 more years, then I’ll get a new ride.” Now I wash the car every 5 years, and plan to drive it till forever.|
|jim:||Is there anything that makes your perspective unique?|
|Cap:||Don’t think so. Just another stupid college kid with a blog.|
|jim:||What’s the biggest piece of crap you’ve bought?|
|Cap:||I’m really glad you asked that. As mentioned I drive a 01 Civic. So I bought this $100 modification for my car. In terms of dollar amounts, it’s not that big of a deal, but in the scale of crapness, it’s king. It’s basically a silver dash trim kit for the interior of the vehicle. If you search for it on eBay you’ll see it.
Basically it makes some of the dash component metalic silver (supposely looking better). Now when I first applied it onto the dash, it looked okay. After a few hot Southern California summer days, the trim kit started to “bubble up.” In short, the interior of my dash looked like a toad with a bunch of warts.
Everytime I drive someone around, they’ll ask me about the ugly dash. “What did you do to it?” – “Why does it look so ugly?” – “Cap, your dash has cancer.” – “You paid how much for this crap!?” For years, I got beef about it from everyone that sat in my car. It was my ultimate reminder of not buying crap.
|jim:||Which of your posts do you think are must reads?|
|Cap:||Ah… that’s another tough one. Don’t think I really have any “must read” material too. “Brand Conscious Buying ” is an okay one, I guess.|
|jim:||What financial “mistake” bothers you the most?|
|Cap:||Now here’s an easy one! I have a few good ones, but I’ll just mention an obvious one right now. It’s not financial mistake per se, but it definitely had financial consequences Screwing up at the state university was one of the stupidiest thing I can do. I had financial aid, grants, all the goodies to pay for tuition in full AND enough left over to cover my monthly apartment rent. I still hit myself occasionally these days. Had I just straighten up, I could have saved a lot of money and time. So yeah, stay in school kids.|
|jim:||What was your best financial decision to date?|
|Cap:||Hitting myself hard enough to realize that I gotta stop spending money that I didn’t have. When I was working at Bank of America, I got a credit card from them. I probably don’t need to elaborate further, but it’s the same old story of swiping-the-plastic-one-time-too-many. See, you would think working at a financial insitution will teach you better money sense. It doesn’t. The only reason I didn’t get screw over loyally is because I worked for the bank. My interest rate was prime + 1%. (It still is! They forgot they lay me off! Sssh, this is between me and you, Internet.)|
|jim:||What is your favorite personal finance blog and why?|
|Cap:||It’s yours Jim. Har har. No joke, you and all those listed above. I’m sure many others are also some of the first PF blogs, but that’s just info overload.|
|jim:||If your blog ended today, how would you like people to remember it?|
|Cap:||Actually, I would prefer that no one remembers a thing. In the future, a lot of these things will probably come back and bite me in the arse.|