As the year is drawing to a close I have decided to wind up this interview series, this will be the last in this format. I have been fortunate enough to have a number of fantastic guests and would like to thank them all for sharing their time and providing some great answers to my list of questions.
My final guest is Paula from Afford Anything. Paula is another new blogger that is producing some very impressive content and has a really well designed blog so you should definitely go and visits it. I really love the way Paula views budgets and she explains it really well. Paula also has some amazing parents, who I think we could all learn something from, check out Paula’s responses below and see what you think.
Why do you blog and how long have you been doing it?
Ooh, you’re starting with a tough question.
On a professional level, I blog because — as a professional journalist — Afford Anything helps me build my reputation, which leads to more writing assignments. I’ve been fortunate to start writing for About.com, which is owned by the New York Times, and the Motley Fool Blog Network, a venerable investing website, thanks to the recognition I’ve earned through Afford Anything.
On a personal level, I love interacting with readers. I feel like I’ve made dozens of authentic connections with people who share similar interests as I do — living their dreams, taking risks, trying new adventures.
I’ve only been doing it for 10 months. Can you believe it? My one-year blogging anniversary is in March.
Do you believe in budgets?
Of course! I have a different definition of “budget” than most people — to me, “setting a budgeting” means you’re setting priorities. You’re ruthlessly cutting things that don’t matter so you can spend lavishly on things that matter most.
“Reviewing your budget” doesn’t just mean that you’re crunching numbers, it means you’re seeing how well your actions align with your values.
Who is your hero?
My parents. They immigrated to the U.S. with absolutely zero — no money, no friends, no family. Their first winter in America — in Pittsburgh — they couldn’t afford a jacket. They subsisted mostly on rice. They were in their late 30’s and had to pay for things most people at that age never think about — like driving lessons. They’d never driven a car before.
But as the years passed by and they started earning more, they resisted the pull of lifestyle inflation. They never ate at restaurants or took vacations.
By the time they retired, they announced that — after decades of savings — they are able to donate $150,000 to a charity for orphans in our native country. They taught me a lot about ruthlessly prioritizing your expenses and spending only on what’s most important.
What are some of your favorite wealth resources?
If you’re interested in real estate investing, I absolutely recommend From 0 to 130 Properties in 3.5 Years by Steve McKnight. His book changed my life.
Just beware: all the tax information in that book relates to Australia, so ignore that part unless you’re Down Under.
What is the worst financial mistake you have ever made?
Going into a career that’s famous for paying poorly — journalism — and trying to be a traditional employee who climbs the rickety ladder. What a slow and frustrating path to wealth. My life changed when I realized I could be a journalist AND an entrepreneur at the same time. Anyone can be entrepreneurial in any vocation or any industry.
What is the best lifestyle decision you have ever made?
Traveling to 27 countries, averaging 1 month per country. Seeing that many places — and really devoting the time to sink my teeth into each country — changes your perspective dramatically.
What is the best piece of advice ever given to you?
Think big. You’ll never frugal your way to wealth.
Something that people that currently read your blog may not know about you?
I used to be the Queen of Frugal. I stacked coupons with clearance sales, I haggled over $2 dollars, I filled out online surveys for rewards points. It was a gigantic waste of time.
Once I switched gears — and started concentrating on growing wealth, rather than pinching pennies — I really grew my income.
It didn’t happen immediately. I think that’s why frugality appeals to people – it provides immediate gratification. You can save $1 now rather than earn $10 later.
An article written by someone else that you think everyone should read?
While you’re at Control Your Cash, also check out Opportunity: It’s Starting You in the Face. Another brilliant post.
An article written by you that you would like everyone to read?
Here are my two favorites:
Stop Crying That There Are No Jobs. Create One. – This details how you can create wealth in any industry, even traditionally low-paying ones.
Quit Your Job, Travel, and Live Remarkably. – This is all about trading the mundane for the exceptional.
Image by Str1ke