Interview: How dumb mistakes motivated Len into managing money and start blogging
Little People Wealth by Heidi is a blog based on frugal living and money saving tips to help you learn how to save money on purchases and everyday living costs. The blog also has articles based on making money, managing your money better, and tutorials on frugal living. Right from her childhood, Heidi has learned how to live frugally and save more money which you can later use for various purposes like paying down debts, making big purchases or getting over emergencies.
Let's take a look at what Heidi has to say about her experiences with blogging and managing finance better.
Sarah : From where did you get the idea of blogging?
Heidi : Blogging was originally a way to hold myself accountable. After I received a few emails from readers asking questions and thanking me for the information I had posted already I learned that I really liked the feeling that came with helping people. From there, I grew my blog into what it is today.
Sarah : We just noticed the title on your blog is, “Spend Small to Live Large”. How can you say that one can live largely by spending small?
Heidi : Too many frugal sites and lifestyles focus on how you can save money on everything without explaining why. I believe being "cheap" is just as unhealthy as people who go deep into debt without any means to pull out. I go on vacations, always tip at least 20%, give to charities, and I am usually the first to offer to pay for a lunch or dinner group.
It's all about priorities. You need to figure out what your priorities are and then align your financial goals around them. If you save money on the things that are not in your priority list and on the things that are easy to save on then you will have more money for your priorities. It could mean early retirement or it could mean name brand shoes - that's up to you. The goal is to learn how to save money while purchasing the items and living the life you want not to refuse to spend a dime while life passes you by.
Sarah : What do you do in real life and how’d you get started?
Heidi : My life is actually in transition right now. I have a biology/chemistry undergrad degree and two years of masters work towards microbiology under my belt. I taught at a Junior college for two years then I worked in a chemistry lab and finally an ecotoxicology lab for five years. Two weeks ago I decided to stop working outside the home and focus on my blog. It is taking a lot of my time and I have two small children. It made more sense to work from home. I think everybody should strive to get a college degree. It opened many doors for me and it is there for me to use in the future.
Sarah : Do you think blogging has changed your life in some way or the other?
Heidi : Absolutely! Since it is now my full time job it has completely transformed my life and allowed me to stay home with my children.
Sarah : Where do you see yourself in 5 years down the lane?
Heidi : Hopefully I am still teaching others how to save money so they can live the life they want! I have thought about teaching a few community classes on the subject so I may do that. I'd love to get more into teaching investing and finance along with how to save in your everyday life.
Sarah : What are the three biggest financial mistakes you have ever made in your life?
Heidi : My biggest financial mistake is renting rather than buying when I went to grad school. Houses in the area were really cheap so I had enough saved up to purchase a small house outright, but instead I rented. Landlords in the area were by every definition, slum lords. I even ended up having to take one to court ( I did win my safety deposit back and he had to pay my court fees, but it was a pain ). I could have sold the house for much more than I bought it had I done that since it was in the middle of the housing bubble. I was only twenty at the time and had no idea that I would be in the area that long or that it would be such a nuisance to have to rent. Other than that, honestly I'm pretty boring in the financial mistakes department.
I started working when I was eleven (babysitting). Being the oldest of nine (at the time) meant that people actually seeked me out to babysit. I saved almost all of the money I made. I bought mostly name brand clothing, but I would find sales to do that and since that was a priority for me I do not regret it (and value comes into play here as well). I am definitely not one who thinks you need somebody who has made mistakes to teach you.
Sarah : There are many Money and Finance related Blogs in the world, Why do you think I should Read Yours?
Heidi : I think you should read many different money and finance blogs. They all offer a different perspective and you can take pieces that work for you from each. What makes my blog different than most the other money and finance blogs is that it covers both sides of the coin. By that I mean increasing your income and decreasing your expenses. To live below your means you need to do both. My blog has tutorials for Ebay, mystery shopping, blogging for income, and ways to earn income online. It also has tutorials for CVS, Couponing, and Walgreens to help save you money.
Later this year there are going to be a series on different ways to invest your money right along side my ever popular Budget Christmas Challenge. I answer all my readers financial questions, whether they are about investing in a 410K, IRA, or 529 or if they are about where to find the highest value coupons.
Sarah : So can you tell our readers about some of your Famous Followers?
Heidi : I don't know of any famous followers unless you count other bloggers. I've had news reporters and book authors contact me about my blog, but as far as regular followers I do not know of any famous ones.
Sarah : Please advice our readers how to pay off their debts from your past experiences?
Heidi : Paying off debts is partially emotional and you need to know yourself to really decide how to handle it. The best way to do it is to break it down by interest rate and pay the highest rate first. This makes the most sense financially and the latest research shows that this group is most likely to actually get rid of their debt. Figure out what you can save each month and apply the extra to the debt with the highest interest rate. After that one is paid off use the extra plus the monthly amount from the paid off debt to pay down the next highest interest rate. Continue doing this until all the debts are gone.
If you need a mental boost to continue then you can pay the lowest debt first. This allows you to cross a debt out and creates a quicker win. It will cost you more in the long run, but there is a lot to say about that mental boost for paying a debt off! I have both mortgage and student loan debt. My extra goes toward my higher interest and higher debt mortgage. I pay my credit card debt off each month, but if I ever got behind then the extra would go toward that first.
Sarah : Lastly, how do feel by becoming a part of world’s largest debt consolidation community now?
Heidi : I love it! I love helping people become financially free and this is yet another step in that direction.