Personal Finance 
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PFBlogger Spotlight: David of My Two Dollars

Before my wedding in February, I had sent out a bunch of interview requests and questions to some personal finance bloggers I didn’t know too well and then prompted forget I had done so (I blame it on the hustle and bustle of the wedding!). David, of My Two Dollars, was one of them and thankfully he asked about it the other day or this would forever have been lost in my GMail archives!

David’s background is certainly quite eclectic and he single handedly brings a pretty diverse perspective on a lot of things. I don’t want to give too much of it away but the guy has a degree in Criminology and Sociology and has never used either in a job (oh and don’t move across the country for a girl, unless you know her really well :) ).

Oh, and it’s his birthday today, so send him your well wishes!

jim: Hi David, could you tell us a little about yourself?
David: I was born in Boston, MA and moved to California 13 years ago when I finished college. Although I don’t work in the field that my major was in, I spent my first 12 years in California working in the movie and television industry, and just last year left the corporate job to strike out on my own building websites, writing, and doing video editing.
jim: Do you have any crazy or funny stories from your twelve years in the movie and television industry?
David: One that stands out in my mind was when I was working at Paramount Pictures, and I went to use the restroom in my building. As I am at the urinal, who walks up to the one next to me but Tom Cruise. You get very used to seeing celebrities every day at work, but never would I have expected to run into Tom Cruise in the bathroom. Very surreal – and before anyone asks, no, I didn’t look.
jim: What motivated you to begin blogging and how long have you been doing it?
David: I started blogging in 2006, strangely enough, because I was bored at my job and needed something to do. I figured it would be a nice hobby to pass some time in the office, and it was then that I started my first site about the environment, The Good Human. That site is still doing really well now, and in November of 2006 I started My Two Dollars.
jim: Can you tell us a little about your other site, The Good Human?
David: I started The Good Human at first just to diary my thoughts and motivations for becoming a “better human.” There are so many ways that we can all contribute to our existence here on Earth, and I found over time that one of mine was talking about environmentalism and sustainability issues with people. I wanted The Good Human to be a place where people could learn about these types of things without being made to feel guilty or like they were not doing enough.
jim: How did you come up with the name for your blog?
David: I wanted something catchy, and it was called about 5 or 6 different names before this one stuck. My Two Dollars came from watching a rerun of Better Off Dead, that movie with John Cusack where that kid chased after him for his two dollars.
jim: What do you think makes your perspective unique?
David: I think I have a unique perspective because I did not start off life after college as a financially responsible person. I spent like I was made of money, I used my credit cards to impress people (girlfriends, mainly), and lived the high life on around $35K a year. But a few years ago something clicked that I was getting older and was digging myself further into debt that I was not going to be able to get out of. So I stopped spending, learned about finances, starting saving, paid off my credit card debt and came up with priorities that to me saved me from financial ruin.
jim: What’s something no one else in the blogging world knows about you?
David: I have a degree in Criminology and Sociology that I have never used for any job. Also, I moved to California following a girlfriend. And guys, don’t ever do that, seriously, unless you have been together for a very long time.
jim: What are your favorite personal finance books?
David: Lately I have been enjoying The Automatic Millionaire, Your Money Or Your Life, The 4 Hour Workweek, and The World Is Flat.
jim: Which of your posts do you think all your readers should read?
David: I think a few that best represent what kind of writing I do would be Making The Financial Sacrifice To Get What You Want, Why You Should Stop Paying For Storage And Just Get Organized, Sometimes The Simple Things Can Save The Most Money, and The Start Digging Out Of Credit Card Debt Challenge.
jim: What financial “mistake” that you’ve done has bothered you the most?
David: Spending money like it was growing in my backyard. By the time I was 29 years old, I had racked up over $30,000 in CC debt…and had absolutely nothing to show for it.
jim: How about your best decision?
David: To stop leasing cars and to start buying them. I used to lease expensive cars until I realized I was paying over $500 a month to rent a car that I could not even sell at the end of the lease!
jim: What is your favorite personal finance blog and why?
David: That’s a tough one – before I had a personal finance site, I started off reading Five Cent Nickel, Get Rich Slowly and of course, your site – and since I still read all three I would have to say they must still be favorites of mine. There has been such an explosion of PF blogs in the past year, and so many of them disappear after a short time. It’s nice to see the familiar faces are still around, as I hope to be in a few years as well!
jim: What do you hope to accomplish this year?
David: My wife and I would really like to have children, so we will be starting to try this year. And now that I have gotten a clean bill of health from the doctor after a cancer scare, we will be moving forward with our dream of moving to New Mexico, buying some land, and building a house.
jim: I didn’t know about your cancer scare, I’m glad things worked out.
Did it change your perspective on anything (life, money, etc) that you
think would be helpful for others?
David: Going through 6 months of the possibility of having cancer was quite frightening – it opened my eyes even wider to what is really important in life. My wife, my lifestyle, what I do in my spare time and how I expend my energy is way more important to me now than amassing huge amounts of wealth or the finest cars or anything like that. I was on that road before, but after thinking you are going to die relatively soon, the important things come to the front and you realize how useless and unimportant “stuff” and wealth is. Now we just want enough to be happy and to be able to do the things we love – we have no need for getting rich. Thankfully, the symptoms I was having are related to something else that I can live with for a very long time, so we were quite relieved.
jim: That’s great… I’m curious also about New Mexico, why there?
David: We decided to move to New Mexico because we spent a while there last year…and have not stopped talking about it since. We absolutely fell in love with the area; the clean air, the lower cost of living, the wonderful people and the views that go on forever. My wife and I are avid hikers and campers, and this area suits our lifestyle much better than Los Angeles.
jim: And, lastly, if your blog ended today, how would you like people to remember it?
David: As a blog that gave sound advice on lifestyle choices and an encouraging voice to those who are looking for said advice. I am by no means a financial planner, but I have my head on straight and hope I have offered valuable information that will be around for a while. And if only one person got something out of it, I can be happy with what I did.

I invite you to check out both My Two Dollars and The Good Human, both are excellent blogs and I’m not just saying that (just look how interesting his life has been, how could his blogs not be fun to read???).


 Personal Finance 
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PFBlogger Spotlight: Frugal Trader of Million Dollar Journey

When I started blogging I knew of very few personal finance bloggers outside of the United States. Now there are plenty whether it’s plonkee over in the UK or our interview victim participant today, Frugal Trader of Million Dollar Journey. He hails from the great white north, yep, that’s Canada, and he gives us great insight into the great sport we call a “personal finance obsession.” So, I invite you to enjoy my brief chat with FT today.

jim: Hi Frugal Trader, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Frugal Trader: I always find this to be the toughest interview question. :)

Here it goes. I am a married Canadian who was born, raised and currently resides in Eastern Canada. I graduated from University almost 5 years ago with an Engineering degree along with a side degree in personal finance obsession.

From a personal finance perspective, I started saving at a very young age (like 7) and started dabbling in mutual funds while in high school (I was 16).

From there, I continued saving throughout University (with a part time job) and graduated with around $10k in my bank account. Sounds pretty good right? Well, it was pretty good, but unfortunately my fiance at the time (now wife), had a lot of student loan debt along with a brand new car loan. So combined, upon graduation we had a negative net worth.

Today, almost 5 years later, we have dug ourselves out of the hole, have a net worth of over $270k and a goal of a $1 million in net worth by the age of 35.

jim: What’s it like being a Canadian pf blogger in a pfblogosphere dominated by US blogs? Do you find that a lot of the topics overlap (that’s what I would suspect)?
FT: To answer your question, in my opinion US and Canadian personal finance are similar in some ways, but very different in others. The similarities are with portfolio asset allocation, stock strategies and budgeting/frugality. The major differences are with taxation, retirement, and government benefits.
jim: What’s something no one else in the blogging world knows about you?
FT: Hmm.. I have disclosed a little bit about myself already in the post “5 things you didn’t know about me“, but another thing would be that at the age of 28, I’m just starting to learn how to play the guitar.
jim: How did you come up with the name for your blog?
FT: When I was thinking about setting up a website, I had a bunch of domain names in mind. However, the name Million Dollar Journey really suited me best as my financial story is literally that.. my million dollar journey.
jim: What motivated you to begin blogging and how long have you been doing it?
FT: Million Dollar Journey was my first (and only) blog with it’s first post on December 6, 2006. What motivated me to start the site? I was at a time in my life where I wanted to get really organized with my finances to reach my goals. I then thought what better idea than to announce my goals to the whole Internet world to help keep me accountable. It’s easy to set a goal for yourself, but I have a tendency to stop pursuing goals if no one else knows about it. The blog really helps keep me on my toes with regards to my finances.
jim: What do you think makes your perspective unique?
FT: I’m not sure that my perspective is unique. My perspective on building wealth is spend less than you earn, and look for ways to make more money. Simple.

Perhaps what attracts people to my blog is that I started young with good money habits and I have a legitimate shot of being worth $1 million in 7 years.

jim: What are your favorite personal finance books?
FT: I have them listed on MDJ. They are:

  • The Wealthy Barber – for saving and personal finance strategies.
  • Stop Working: Here’s How You Can – for early retirement and dividend investing strategies (the author retired @ age 34).
  • Why Swim with the Sharks – for early retirement
  • The Smith Manoeuvre – A method to convert a Canadian non-tax deductible mortgage into a tax deductible investment loan.
  • One Up on Wall Street – for learning how to stock pick.

I would say that the book that has influenced my financial life the most is ” The Wealthy Barber”. I read this book back in high school and it’s what really got me interested in personal finance.

jim: Which of your posts do you think all your readers should read?
FT: MDJ has a bunch of popular articles listed on the right sidebar. But as to articles that are popular to non-geographic specific readers, they would have to be:

The articles below are Canadian Specific:

jim: What financial “mistake” that you’ve done has bothered you the most?
FT: I’ve written about financial mistakes before. The biggest one that I’ve written about was investing in Nortel when I didn’t know a lot about the market. The result was basically losing all of my $3,000 “investment”. On the spending front, the biggest regret is probably getting such a large car loan upon graduation. In our defense though, we still drive that car and will continue doing so until it falls apart.
jim: How about your best decision?
FT: I’m not sure if there is any one good financial decisions that I’ve made thus far, it’s more of a combination of a few. One would include buying a 2 apt home upon graduation, living in one and renting out the other. Others would be living below our means, making sure to max out our retirement accounts, starting non retirement portfolios in addition to investing in rental real estate (not including our primary residence). The most significant would probably be the rental property as it was purchased at a discount.
jim: What is your favorite personal finance blog and why?
FT: This is probably the toughest question out of the batch! I read a LOT of blogs and don’t have a particular favorite as each has their own unique point of view. As a group though, I read Canadian pf blogs the most, as they relate to my life the most.
jim: What do you hope to accomplish this year?
FT: This year will be a big one for us as we will be moving into our new house along with a new baby on the way. Financially speaking, even with the income setbacks of maternity leave, we hope to grow our net worth by 25% along with increasing our charitable contributions.

In terms of the blog, I hope to keep going strong with the daily posts and hopefully double my readership.

jim: And, lastly, if your blog ended today, how would you like people to remember it?
FT: I would hope for MDJ to be remembered as a site that provided useful information in improving our personal finance lives.

We hope you enjoyed our little discussion with Frugal Trader and Million Dollar Journey. While MDJ is based out of Canada, I think that many topics in personal finance are geographically independent and so MDJ is certainly a site worth putting in your reader.


 Personal Finance 
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PFBlogger Spotlight: Mighty Bargain Hunter

Welcome to another edition of PFBlogger Spotlight, a series in which I interview some personal finance bloggers so that we all get to learn a little more about them. This week, we have John from Mighty Bargain Hunter, a blog that is a member of the Money Blog Network and someone I had a chance to know better when I was a member. MBH and I have privately discussed everything from the government screwing us by re-taxing the Roth IRA to hoarding gold, but after today even you will have a greater insight into the mind behind the Mighty Mighty Bargain Hunter! :)

jim: Hi MBH, could you tell us a little about yourself?
MBH: I grew up and went to college in upstate New York and came to Virginia in 2000 to thaw. I’m in my mid 30s and have a wonderful wife of almost six years and an adorable three-year-old daughter.
jim: What’s something no one else in the blogging world knows about you?
MBH: If I told you, then it wouldn’t be known by no one anymore! ;) I’ve put enough out there in “tell us five things about yourself” memes that I have to think hard — or make something up. OK, here’s one: I love shopping for shoes. Just kidding. Really, here it is: I love to play Monopoly and I shoot to kill. (Figuratively. While playing Monopoly, that is. Not killing people in real life. That would be bad to say in a widely-read public forum such as Blueprint For Financial Prosperity.)
jim: What motivated you to begin blogging and how long have you been doing it?
MBH: A friend from work got me onto online rewards programs and estate auctions, and I really liked them. I started the website in 2004 as a smart-shopping, bargain-hunting, frugal-living newsletter. I sent out the newsletters and posted them to the website. The original articles are here. Basically, I saw what SavingAdvice.com and TheFrugalShopper.com were doing, and it looked like I had something to say and could contribute to the discussion.

Since I’m an introvert, this also seemed like a good way to start up a side income. In the site’s first incarnation, I spent about 25% of my time writing the articles and 75% of the time formatting the web pages — they were all hand-coded. This got tedious, and my posting slowed to a crawl for a while. After squeaking out one article per month or so for a while, I stumbled on blogs like pfblog.com, and commented on Free Money Finance’s posts and (probably) Five Cent Nickel’s posts there until they informed me that they had their own blogs.

In the spring of 2005 I started blogging because I could spend 95% of my time on the website writing content and about 5% formatting it. MUCH better. And a couple thousand people think I still have something worthwhile to say. Which is why I keep doing it. ;)
jim: What do you think makes your perspective unique?
MBH: I love getting good deals and deep discounts. I have an entrepreneurial streak. I’ve learned conventional wisdom regarding career, money management, and investing, and have had enough of it thrown into question that I’m a little contrarian in my thinking.
jim: What are your favorite personal finance books?
MBH: The Millionaire Next Door (Stanley and Danko) and Automatic Wealth by Michael Masterson.
jim: Which of your posts do you think all your readers should read?
MBH: Judging by comments, hands-down it’s “Missed Fortune 101: Horrible Advice!” with more than 200 comments. One that still makes the rounds on StumbleUpon is “Twenty-five ways I save money.” Another one I like is “Sixteen ways being disorganized costs you money.”
jim: What financial “mistake” that you’ve done has bothered you the most?
MBH: I had a tech stock that lost 99% of its value post-bubble. I got frightened listening to a colleague that it might go completely worthless, and sold it near its low. It went up 25-30 times its price in the following years, and had I listened to the actions of every single board member in the company (they were buying the company stock like there was no tomorrow) rather than my friend, I’d own my house free and clear now. Lesson: Don’t let someone scare you into selling at a loss, especially if they don’t have a stake in it and if you know they like stirring the pot. Think for yourself.
jim: How about your best decision?
MBH: Getting married to a Christian woman and having a daughter. Aside from a joy that you can’t put a price on, I see money much more as a tool than as an end in itself. I was socking away a lot more before I got married, but it has turned out to be much more rewarding to provide for a family and return part of what I earn to God’s Kingdom than to just protect myself, by myself.
jim: What is your favorite personal finance blog and why?
MBH: I don’t have a favorite. I like dozens of blogs for very different reasons.
jim: What do you hope to accomplish this year?
MBH: I have a post that outlines my goals for the year. The financial goals are to track my finances regularly and to get my online income to cover my mortgage payment again (I wasn’t wise enough to have diversified my online income when Google moved the text-link cheese).
jim: And, lastly, if your blog ended today, how would you like people to remember it?
MBH: I’d like it to be remembered as a blog that had something useful to say to someone, and as a blog that didn’t take itself too terribly seriously. Heck, how serious can the blog be if it has posts written in the style of Dr. Seuss?

Go check out Mighty Bargain Hunter and tell him I sent you (then duck!). :)


 Personal Finance 
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PFBlogger Spotlight: Jeremy at GenXFinance

I’ve been a fan of Jeremy’s blog at GenXFinance for quite some time because I’m Generation X (or Y or whatever the heck I am), the exact target audience he’s trying to reach (and that he is). He’s an INTJ, loves long walks on the beach (*I made this up), and actually answers quite a bit of questions about himself on his About page (some of which are repeated below). With nearly 1700 1900 RSS subscribers (subscribe!) and an average of a thousand unique visitors a day, he can be considered among the more popular bloggers out there. He also has more experience in the professional personal finance realm than most bloggers, writes for About.com’s Financial Planning section and was really interested to talk to for this interview. We’ve swapped several emails back and forth on this and other topics and in general he responds pretty quickly and with a lot of information. If you ever have a question for the guy, don’t hesitate to ask him.

jim: Hi Jeremy, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Jeremy: As you probably know, my name is Jeremy. I’ve always been a bit of a technology junkie and I actually went to college expecting to become a programmer. In high school I taught myself some Pascal and C/C++ while dabbling in Assembly. Well, it only took one semester to realize I hated all of the advanced math courses required, so I did a complete 180 and went into landscape architecture. I always had a bit of an artistic side, and I thought I would enjoy designing golf courses, so I figured why not. I did get my degree in that, but I failed to realize how few jobs there were out there in the field, and the ones that were out there rarely paid more than $30,000 per year. So I did what any 22 year old would do, and I decided to completely change career paths again and began to pursue an MBA and finance everything with student loans. Long story short, I am still a few credits short of earning that degree, but stopped going to school because I had found my love of finance early on in that curriculum, and after a few job offers I haven’t looked back since.
I was a financial planner or advisor or whatever you want to call it for a few years, but the commission-only sales wasn’t for me. I had a very hard time being able to bring home a paycheck while trying to do what was best for the clients (i.e. not sticking them into 5% front-load funds, trying to push life insurance, etc.) What I wanted to do was to simply help people. Well, unfortunately you can’t make much of a living as a commissioned financial planner by educating lower to middle-income families who are just getting started. Thankfully I was able to get out of the sales aspect of financial planning and found a position with a company that strictly deals with retirement plans and pays salary. Now, I have no incentive to try and sell anyone anything, and I strictly provide an educational and service role where I can work with people to help them make better financial decisions. This type of role reflects the very thing I’m trying to accomplish with my blog and the financial planning site at About.com.


(Click to continue reading…)


 Personal Finance 
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PFBlogger Spotlight: Mrs. Micah, Finance for a Freelance Life

After a long long break, I’m bringing back the PFBlogger Spotlight series with an interview with Mrs. Micah of Mrs. Micah: Finance for a Freelance Life. Mrs. Micah is one of the younger personal finance bloggers out there (writing that just made me realize I’m on the backside of my 20s!), 22 and a recent college graduate and follows her personal finance life. It’s very much in the same way I started blogging, I was 23, a recent college graduate, and I too “discovered the personal finance blogging community who have been very supportive.” (though three years ago the community was much smaller than it is now) Anyway, via email I had a chance to ask her a few questions and she happy to oblige.

jim: Hi Mrs. Micah, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Mrs. Micah: Let’s see. I graduated last May (07) with a BA in English. Everyone says not to major in English, but I found it a very rewarding experience. It helped polish my writing and the major was so comparatively light that I was able to take a lot of other classes and get a well-rounded experience. I even took a personal finance class!

In my free time, I like to read and sew. I particularly like making quilts, whether for myself, for friends, or for charitable groups. I finally gave in to peer pressure and have started reading the Harry Potter series. Lots of fun and it’s great not to have to wait until the next one comes out.
jim: What motivated you to begin blogging and how long have you been doing it?
Mrs. Micah: I’ve had this blog for about 5 months now. Blogging itself—well, I’ve been doing that off an on for the last 6 years or more. I love to write and engage in conversations with others, which is what first attracted me to blogging itself. This is the first time I’ve blogged on something other than “life.”

I discovered personal finance blogging just after my honeymoon, when I was coming face to face with the realities of life on our own and with our debt load. While my husband’s loans are deferred because he’s still in school, that $100k+ will be coming due in the future. I began reading blogs and soon started blogging myself. It was a way to keep myself accountable and to converse with others in similar spots. Tricia at Blogging Away Debt was my initial inspiration.

The timing explains the “Mrs. Micah.” I was just married and quite twitterpated.
jim: When you got married, how did you two handle your finances?
Mrs. Micah: For the wedding? Our parents paid for it and I worked (with a lot of help from my mom and mom-in-law) to make it beautiful and frugal. I made the dress (no biggie, actually, I’m a seamstress), we had a lunch reception and no limo or videographer. I picked the most inexpensive but beautiful lilies I could for the boutonnières and carried Queen Anne’s Lace and Baby’s Breath in my bouquet. Micah provided emotional support when I’d become overwhelmed in planning.

If you mean right after we got married: I asked Micah if he was ok with me figuring out budgets, shopping lists, debt repayment, etc. I was just getting into personal finance blogging and had taken a personal finance class my last semester in college. We discuss spending trends and any big-ticket purchases to make sure we’re on track. And I tell him a lot of things I’m doing—I try to teach him the new things I’m learning. He says he likes to listen because I get so excited about it.
jim: What makes your particular perspective unique?
Mrs. Micah: Probably my age. I don’t know if I’m the youngest PF blogger out there, but I’m certainly one of them. I’ve also been told that my writing is very upbeat and optimistic.
jim: How about your favorite personal finance book?
Mrs. Micah: I think Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover made the biggest impression on me. I’m not a Ramseyite, but I think he does a nice job of setting out the basics. I like his idea of attacking debt, though I disagree with the order of his snowball (I’m a math-type and like the idea of highest interest first).

Jean Chatzky’s You Don’t Have to Be Rich was very encouraging, too. I don’t think we’ll ever be pulling in 6-figure incomes (which is ok), but it’s nice to know that the money management principles were doing really do have a payoff.

And the Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella makes me feel better about my debt. At least it’s “honest” debt gotten for an education, not for a new pair of shoes. The books also squash my any shopping desires I have. (Though sometimes I wish I could wear the debt, but I tell myself that its benefits will come in long-term financial rewards. Plus, I know Micah’s meant to be a professor.)
jim: Which of your posts do you think all your readers shouldn’t miss?
Mrs. Micah: Preparing Financially for a Career Change, Part 1, Preparing Financially for a Career Change, Part 2, Overcoming Impostor Syndrome for Financial Success, Best PF practices of the year! (and they should contribute if they’ve got ideas!), [and finally], not personal finance, but I think this one is very important: Another PSA: Newborn Hearing Screening.
jim: What’s the biggest financial “mistake” you’ve ever made? (or regret you have)
Mrs. Micah: My biggest regret is not take my finances as seriously earlier. I’ve always been a pretty cautious spender, but I’m sure I could have done better.
jim: What do you mean by “not taking your finances seriously?” What would you have done differently if you could go back in time and warn yourself?
Mrs. Micah: I’d like to tell myself when I was first working (14) that there was no rush to spend. Suddenly having a paycheck meant I could finally afford DVDs or books, but I bought a lot of little things I at first that I didn’t use.

In my teen years, I did an excellent job saving up for a violin and a trip to Europe. I think in the former case, I would have reminded myself that I didn’t need to buy the most expensive violin I could afford (though my violin has a lovely sound!) and maybe spent a bit more time shopping around. I don’t think I have any regrets about the trip to Europe.
jim: What’s the best financial decision you’ve ever made?
Mrs. Micah: Paying off our credit card all at once. When I married Micah, he had a credit card debt of just under $1000 at 29.9% interest. I decided to use my savings to wipe that out.
jim: What is your favorite personal finance blog and why?
Mrs. Micah: Oh dear. That’s like asking me my favorite book. Probably Paid Twice. She’s got a very engaging, story-like style so you feel you’re going right along with her life. I read and comment there so much I feel like a fan girl.
jim: What do you hope to accomplish in the next year?
Mrs. Micah: I hope to bring my earnings from my jobs and my freelancing up to $2500/month after taxes by the end of the year. That will give us $500 or more (of my income alone) to throw at debt or put into savings. And we can use all of Micah’s for it. That would be very exciting.

I also hope to grow my blog and start reaching an even younger audience (college-aged).

And I have a semi-secret project I’m working on, we’ll see how that goes.
jim: If your blog ended today, how would you like people to remember it?
Mrs. Micah: I’d want people to remember the spirit of optimism and possibility.
jim: To what do you attribute your upbeat personality and optimism?
Mrs. Micah: Counterintuitively, I think part of it comes from my depression. Before the depression, I always had a lot of energy and was naturally, well, talkative is a nice way of putting it. In writing, I’m trying to reclaim some that energy, to encourage myself even as I encourage others. There are days when I feel like I can’t take it anymore, and sitting down, figuring out how to take some control over my life, and writing positively about it is very therapeutic. Personal finance is a great way to start feeling some control.
jim: Lastly, what’s something no one else in the blogging world knows about you?
Mrs. Micah: I sleep with a teddy bear named Dashell. If he’s not there, I have a really hard time falling asleep….
jim: Thanks so much for taking the time to answer all my questions, I hope you and Dashell and Mr. Micah have a great weekend :)
Mrs. Micah: Thanks, Jim, I’m sure we will. :)

Go check out Finance for a Freelance Life… right now!


 Personal Finance 
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PFBlogger Spotlight: Claire of TiredButHappy

Claire is the voice and mind behind TiredButHappy, a personal finance blog that’s been kicking since October 2005, and today we have the chance to get to know her a little bit better. Also, we get to learn a little bit about their online book club Book Cents (“A group of people who met through the Personal Finance blog community to discuss literature.”) which isn’t necessarily about money but often digresses there.

jim: Hi Claire, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Claire: I’m 29. I work in higher education in the Northeast. My partner and I have a 2-year-old son. We own our home, drive an old car, cook from scratch, and generally try to live simply. Aside from writing a blog, my major hobbies are gardening and reading. I used to write fiction and poetry, and I used to travel internationally, but don’t have time for much of that any more. I still travel a lot but it’s mostly to visit family nowadays. No more gallivanting around Southeast Asia for me.


(Click to continue reading…)


 Personal Finance 
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PFBlogger Spotlight: Amy Clark, MomAdvice.com

Stay At Home Moms might be familiar with my next interviewee, it’s none other than Amy Clark, the founder of MomAdvice.com – 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.


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 Personal Finance 
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PFB Spotlight: LAMoneyGuy

It’s been over a month since the last personal finance blogger spotlight but it’s back with a vengeance with a nice chat with LAMoneyGuy. While he’s only started his blog within the last four months, LAMoneyGuy has been one of the most active of the new personal finance bloggers and it’s been great to have him around. He’s always eager to start a conversation so if you comment on his blog, return sometime later because he will likely have responded, something you don’t see as much as you probably should when it comes to some blogs.

jim: Could you tell us a little about yourself?
LA MoneyGuy: I’m recently engaged, 32 year old and work in the wealth management field. I am studying to become a Certified Financial Planning certificant. My fiancée and I enjoy traveling, cooking, house hunting, and planning our wedding and lives together. I grew up in Torrance, California, a suburb of Los Angeles. My father was a very hard working, blue collar business owner, and my Mom was a stay at home mom. We weren’t poor, but we learned to enjoy playing sports, making friends and being part of the community more than having stuff. I hope to provide my eventual kids the type of upbringing that I enjoyed.


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