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PFBlogger Spotlight: Amy Clark, MomAdvice.com

Posted By Jim On 06/07/2006 @ 5:01 pm In Personal Finance | 1 Comment

Stay At Home Moms might be familiar with my next interviewee, it’s none other than Amy Clark, the founder of MomAdvice.com [3] – a site that “is geared towards women that are looking for ways to stay organized, stay sane, and stay within their budget.” I hope you will join me in taking a few moments to learn more about Amy.

jim: Hi Amy, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Amy: I am a 28 year old mother of two children. I have a four year old son & a five month old daughter. I became a stay-at-home mother three years ago and am planning to stay home with my children until they begin school. I worked during the first year of my son’s life, because my husband was unemployed for almost a year, and I now have a true appreciation of the working mom and how enjoyable (and challenging!) it can be to be home with your children.

jim: When and what prompted you to start blogging?
Amy: I originally started my blog (in January 2005) as a creative way to share stories about my children. The unfortunate thing was that it just became way too personal for me and I wanted to maintain some sense of privacy for myself & my family. I decided to take my blog in a different direction and write about the thing I enjoy talking most about- how I stay home and how to adjust to living on one income. The transition to this topic was a natural one and I am enthusiastic about writing and sharing these tips with others.
jim: What makes your particular perspective unique?
Amy: I think my perspective is unique because I have had lots of money, have had no money, have been in debt, have lived on one income, and have survived it all and learned from each of the financial mistakes I have made. I have also taken great pride in the things I have done right with my finances and I am humbled by all that we have done (right and wrong) to get to this place now.
jim: Do you have any favorite personal finance books?
Amy: The Complete Tightwad Gazette [4]- hands down! I refer to this book as the Frugal Bible because I go to it repeatedly when I start to feel myself slipping and losing control of our finances. No matter how many times I read it, I take something away from it. It helps me want to be more creative with the resources that we have, instead of running out and buying things that I could find laying around our house. I recommend this book to anyone who is trying to be financially savvy because it is full of great information.
jim: Do you have any posts you think every visitor should read?
Amy: For this time of year, Frugal Graduation Gifts [5] is a great read. Saving on Groceries [6] and Easy Ways to Save Your Family Money [7] are great to read all year long.
jim: What financial “mistake” bothers you the most?
Amy: Definitely the fact that I borrowed a lot of money to attend college, and then didn’t end up finishing. It is a sickening feeling to get that bill each month and know that I never even finished school and would not want to pursue this field even if I could. I think at that age, few young people realize how long it is going to take to pay these loans off and how difficult of a time it might be to get a job so that you can have money to pay your debt down. It is an unfortunate mistake and one that I have a lot of regrets about.
jim: How about your best financial decision to date?
Amy: I think staying home has really been beneficial for our family because I have time to find the best deals, to continually seek ways to save money, and keep track of bills and our finances. When I was working, if the cable bill went up, I just paid it…I didn’t think anything of it. Now the customer service people probably recognize my voice and cringe because I will make sure that we are being charged appropriately. I make the time during my day to make sure that I am monitoring the things in our finances that we actually do have control of. It can be very time consuming, but has been financially rewarding for our family.
jim: What advice would you give women who are career driven and have considered putting their careers on hold to raise children?
Amy: I would encourage these women to really explore why they are working. If they are working because they enjoy what they do and find it difficult to leave their field, it is important to come to terms with if you could really be happy in the role as a stay-at-home mother. If you are going to be miserable and not enjoy the time that you have with your children, then working is probably a better place for you. If it is because you are financially driven and are worried about the loss of income, I would encourage them to really sit down and tally up all of the things that you have to pay for in order for you to work. A work wardrobe, gas to get to and from work, lunches, company events- just to name a few. It may be in your best financial interest to stay home. The important thing is to do what you love- whether it be working or being home. No one can tell you what is best for you and no one should look down on you…whatever choice you make for your family.
jim: What do you think are the biggest challenges for SAHM’s? How would you overcome them?
Amy: I think the biggest challenge is the boredom factor. I think when we are bored, we find a way to fill this void. This can be financially destructive if you find yourself going to the mall everyday to try and pass the time. You need to find ways to fill your time that are positive for you and your family. Joining a mother’s group and making connections with people like myself, was my saving grace for my finances. We attend playgroups and events that do not cost money and pack our lunch when we go. Surrounding yourself with people who are in a similar situation can add such a positive outlook on how you view your situation. Once you start finding new ways to spend your time, you will be missing your days of boredom and you will look at being home (and the joys of it) in a whole new light!
jim: What is your favorite personal finance blog and why?
Amy: Like Merchant Ships [8] is my favorite because it is full of great information and I love her pictures. It is a very homey blog and she is very inspiring. She gives lots of new and creative ways to use things that you already have in your home.
jim: If your blog ended today, how would you like people to remember it?
Amy: I would want them to remember that I actually do what I share. I don’t just talk about things that I think others should do…I live them. I have financially struggled- I have been overdrawn on my accounts, I have had credit card debt, I have been stupid with money…and unfortunately these things might happen again. My blog helps to hold me accountable though and it forces me to do what I talk about instead of living a life of debt. I want people to remember that I want that for them too and that is why I try and write each day to share ways they can become financially free.

Much thanks to Amy for taking the time to answer these questions, please visit MomAdvice.com [3] if you have a free moment, it’s a gorgeous site with tons of information.


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URLs in this post:

[1] Tweet: http://twitter.com/share

[2] Email: mailto:?subject=http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/pfblogger-spotlight-amy-clark-momadvicecom.html

[3] MomAdvice.com: http://www.momadvice.com

[4] The Complete Tightwad Gazette: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0375752250/ref=nosim/easeoftravel-20

[5] Frugal Graduation Gifts: http://www.momadvice.com/blog/2006/05/frugal-graduation-gifts.htm

[6] Saving on Groceries: http://www.momadvice.com/blog/2006/05/saving-on-groceries.htm

[7] Easy Ways to Save Your Family Money: http://www.momadvice.com/blog/2006/05/thursday-thirteen-easy-ways-to-save.htm

[8] Like Merchant Ships: http://likemerchantships.blogspot.com

Thank you for reading!