I’m forgoing my usual Monday Motivation lineup because I got nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award. How’s that for motivation? I feel just like Taylor Swift. You know, all adorable and cute right before Kanye interrupted her.
In all truthfulness, these past three weeks have been the craziest of rides. Less than a month ago, I was Googling search terms like “favicon,” “SEO,” “how to read
hieroglyphics HTML,” and “how to send a Tweet someone will read.” Now, I just had to Google “Sunshine Blogger Award” thanks to Des at Half Banked. Seriously, though, the blogosphere–especially the personal finance world–is incredible, in no small part due to insights of so many smart and savvy people like Des.
If you haven’t already stumbled across her gem of a blog,* hop on over to learn more about swapping out a Starbucks habit, tracking spending down the penny, and a sacred cow she killed. See. Now you have to click that last link. It’s worth it, I promise.
And here’s the scoop on the Sunshine Blogger Award nomination:
- I have to thank the person who nominated me,
- Answer the questions they’ve asked,
- Nominate other bloggers for this award,
- Write the same number of questions they’ve asked, and
- Let them know they’ve been nominated.
Without further ado, here are my answers to Des’s questions:
Biggest Influence – Which one single person has had the biggest influence on your finances?
As a blogger who discusses personal finance, I feel like I should give a standard answer like Dave Ramsey or Suze Orman. Or maybe even a bit of a wildcard response like Tim Ferriss; though I have yet to figure out how to combine my love of teaching with only four hours of work. But the person who had the biggest influence on my finances would definitely be my mom. Even when I started babysitting in middle school for $3.00** an hour, my mom always encouraged me to pay myself first. In fact, all through high school and college, I put at least half of each paycheck aside because of her teachings.
I was really fortunate in many ways growing up, especially given the fact that both of my parents talked to me about money, encouraged me to work while I went to school, and even let me make my own mistakes. Maybe one day if I ever fess up to my family and friends about this blog, my parents will smile when they see this. Come to think of it, if their text messaging skills are any indication, I could tell them about my blog and go undiscovered for at least a decade.
Blog Background – Why did you decide to start a blog?
I decided to start this blog when I realized I wanted to live my life more like my grandmother. She had an unstoppable work ethic and an equally insatiable zest for life. She lived each moment in such a purposeful way. For twenty seven years of my life, she modeled a fierce independence, a love of simple pleasures, an appreciation for all things homemade, a remarkable ability to find the good in everything, and the most uncanny knack to slow down enough to spot pennies almost everywhere we went. If nothing else, I seem to have inherited the penny-finding talent.
Spending – What’s one thing you will always be ok spending money on?
I will always be okay spending money on giving and travel. The older I get, the more I realize the biggest gift I can give myself is to do something for someone else. And you can’t put a price on experiences. Though airlines sure do like to try.
Budgeting – How do you track your budget – if you do? Any favourite tools?
I’m so old-fashioned. Even though I’ve probably only gone through two books of checks in my entire life, I balanced a checkbook until about a year and a half ago.*** I had this crazy coding system for recording debit card and credit card transactions in that little paper register. But I never had a late fee and always knew how much money I had in my accounts pretty much down to the cent. Now, I use two equally low-tech tools: a free spending tracker app and a Google Sheets.
Advice – What’s one piece of advice you would offer to absolutely anyone – financial or otherwise?
In her book Mindset, Carol Dweck recycled an old adage that goes something like “becoming is better than being.” Keep journeying, frugal friends. And stop to pick up pennies along the way.
The Next Sunshine Nominees
I would like to nominate these wonderful bloggers:
- Jessica at Acorns and Lemonade – She has the ability to write about seemingly anything, and her morning routine post is full of sunshine.
- Vickie’s Kitchen and Garden – She shares excellent tips and tricks about two of my favorite things — eating and gardening. And I learned I’m not the only person who uses the bundt pan trick when cutting corn off the cob.
- Liz at Rose Colored Water – She is an incredibly thoughtful blogger who recently posted about the start of her debt payoff journey.
Here are five questions for you lovely ladies:
- What’s one lesson–financial or otherwise–that you’re glad you had to learn?
- What drives you?
- What inspires you to blog?
- What’s one habit or routine that you value?
- Where do you imagine yourself next year?
Thanks again for such a cheerful start to the week, Half Banked. I hope you’ll visit all of these bloggers on their blogs and via social media. Certainly, that’s more than enough motivation for this Monday.
*That pun alone! The “u” she adds to the word favorite! Seriously, fellow Americans, let’s give that a go again, shall we?
**No joke. $3.00 paid in loose tollway change. And she’d round down. So if I worked 2.75 hours, that’d net me a whopping $6.
***You guessed it. My mother still balances a checkbook. Thankfully, I convinced her to forgo the check writing, though.