Interview of How I save Money blogger: On a journey to repay debt
Our second Interview with How I Save Money is a full time working lady and knows how to manage her budgets very well. The blogger has managed to pay off large credit card debts through her college days. She is working hard to pay off her remaining credit card debts and car debt. Her only advise to people is that they should pay all the bill on time without giving any excuse. To gain some more advices from her read the excerpt below.
Jason: From where did you get the idea of blogging?
LA: I actually found out about blogging when I was searching for contact lenses. Totally unrelated I know but that was my start. I saw that this girl was getting tons of traffic just writing about her daily life and I spoke to a friend of mine and he told me he had a blog too. I decided to start writing one then, we picked a topic, he helped me set it up and I was on my way.
Jason: There are so many topics on which you can blog. But why Personal Finance?
LA: I am not into makeup or shopping or technical issues so I cannot write about those. I grew up without much money so I always had to look for a way to save money. This seemed to be the easiest thing to talk about since I could really talk about things I have personally tried and I could sound like I know what I am talking about.
Jason: What do you do in real life and how’d you get started?
LA: I am a teacher in real life and work with students who have behavior problems. My degree is in business and I was in a job that was not really suited for me. A friend of mine told me about Special Education and I decided to change careers.
Jason: What advice you would like to give to the people in this economic recession?
LA: Pay your bills on time, there is no excuse for having to deal with late fees. Use online banking like ING (I have referrals if your readers need any) and save money on bank fees. Pay the minimum on all credit cards and then throw extra money on your debt snowball.
Jason: You are working on a very tight budget, how do you manage your college as well as your budget?
LA: I have my cash flow set up now so that I don't have to worry about money. I place restrictions on how much money I can spend in each category, track what I spend and bring my lunch to work.
Jason: What are the three biggest finance mistakes you have ever made?
LA: Running up my credit cards while in college. Not opening an online savings account earlier. Not having a budget.
Jason: Where do you see yourself in 10 years down the lane?
LA: I see myself with all my debt fully paid off (except for maybe a mortgage) and with a nice amount in retirement. I envision having the freedom to spend as I please with a bigger budget but having that safety for my family. I also see the blog as being a go to place for a large audience that is looking for real tips and not just a guru spouting generalities.
Jason: How do you feel after paying off your debt?
LA: Every time I get a debt paid off I feel relieved. I am one step closer to not owing anyone and to being able to build up my retirement money.
Jason: Do you think blogging has changed your life in some way or the other?
LA: Blogging has made me more aware of the fact that I was really not as good with managing my money as I thought I was. It has introduced me to some GREAT people online and opened my eyes up to some new technology that I was not aware of before.
Jason: Please advice our readers how to pay off the debt?
LA: For me the first step in paying off debt is to know how much you actually owe. List ALL of your obligations from credit cards to cable. Use your free ING account to pay bills and earn interest on the money while you pay those bills. The next step is to track your spending. You can use Quicken online or Mint (those are the free ones I use) to track what you spend for a month. You might be surprised at where your money goes. After you track for a month, then you can set up a budget based on the amount you spend. As time goes by you can tweak this to spend less in some areas and more in others. Once you have your budget set up you can allocate money for paying off debt in an aggressive manner, using a debt snowball.
Jason: What’s a major personal finance issue that is on your mind now?
LA: Right now my biggest concern is getting rid of my debt so I can really bolster my savings and plan for retirement.
Jason: How do feel by becoming a part of world’s largest debt consolidation community now?
LA: Hmmmm...I have been consolidating my debt already using another provider so I will have to pass on this question.