Monday Motivation: Here Comes the Sunshine

Monday Motivation Sunshine BloggerI’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:

  1. I have to thank the person who nominated me,
  2. Answer the questions they’ve asked,
  3. Nominate other bloggers for this award,
  4. Write the same number of questions they’ve asked, and
  5. 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:

Here are five questions for you lovely ladies:

  1. What’s one lesson–financial or otherwise–that you’re glad you had to learn?
  2. What drives you?
  3. What inspires you to blog?
  4. What’s one habit or routine that you value?
  5. 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.


Monday Motivation: Here Comes the Sunshine

12 thoughts on “Monday Motivation: Here Comes the Sunshine

  1. Congrats on the nomination! How lovely to have such influential women in your life like your mom and grandmother who could pass down both their knowledge and penny-finding fortune 🙂 I’m sure your blog will get nominated for many an award and I look forward to reading more about your purposeful-life journey!

  2. Penny this was absolutely wonderful, oh my goodness! From the -amazing- Taylor Swift reference on, this just totally made my day (and my air conditioner is broken during a heat advisory, so that’s saying something!)

    YES to moms being the best financial influence! My mom also instilled the saving early thing, and I’m so grateful to have had a mom who taught me about money. I also adore that your grandmother was the inspiration for the blog, that’s the best answer I could have possibly imagined for that question.

    I’m so so glad you had fun with it. Happy Monday!

    1. Des, I was so proud of my Tswizzle reference…until I Googled it. Then I just felt really old. That was 2009.

      Thanks again for the nomination. This was crazy fun, and it was a great excuse to check out more of your blog. Seriously love it!

  3. Wow…$3 an hour. Although that’s an incredibly low amount of money, I think it’s amazing how much working for such low wages makes you appreciate higher wages! I know I’ll feel grateful for any job I’ll have after having incredibly low-paying part-time jobs during school!

    1. Right? To be fair, that was over 10 years ago. But I knew it was pretty cheap and kind of bogus back then. Still, I wanted experience babysitting, so I knew I had to start somewhere. I think part-time jobs definitely make you more appreciative of what you land later in life.

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