“Start Early…Compound Interest Is a River, Let It Do the Work For You”
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Welcome to the next installment of our personal finance blogger interview series, where experts in the field share their knowledge of this important topic!
Personal Finance Blog Interview: Lazy Man and Money
1. Why did you start your blog? What’s special about it?
I started Lazy Man and Money in April, 2006. It was the same month as another money blog you might be familiar with, Get Rich Slowly. It’s special because it has 11 years of almost daily money thoughts. If you want to read about what it was like before and during The Great Recession, you can do that. Most of the personal finance blogs today have only known the market to go up.
I’ve also been told that my blog has inspired many others. For example, Trent from The Simple Dollar was a commenter on my blog before he started his own.
2. What’s one thing people can do to better understand their own finances?
Tracking your net worth every month has always worked for me. It gives you some accountability and you can see the progress. With the Excel spreadsheet I have developed over the years, I can look at how much liquid cash we have and how much cash flow we are getting from our real estate investments.
3. Do you prefer frugality or do you believe in focusing more on growing your income, in order to reach your financial goals?
Why not both? Frugality comes more natural to me. It’s how I was raised. I’d love to grow my income, but I’m more focused in spending time and caring for my kids and supporting my active duty wife’s career.
4. What’s your best advice when it comes to planning for retirement?
Start early…compound interest is a river, let it do the work for you. If you are older and that’s not possible, then I’d say it’s best to focus on setting up an automatic savings plan with a 401K and a Roth IRA. If you do both, you can be a millionaire in 20 years.
5. Is there any tool or trick which you’ve found especially useful for personal finance?
The more something costs, the more time I spend thinking about it. That’s my favorite trick! I often find that the thing isn’t that important. Other times, I find there’s a deal. And that makes my decision a bit easier.
6. What do you now know about personal finance which you wish you knew when you started out?
My mother subscribed to Kiplinger a long time ago, so I’ve been reading it since middle school. I enjoyed reading the business section of the newspaper at a young age. When I started my blog in 2006, I already had a solid personal finance foundation.
If I had to pick one thing, I’d say that things get more complicated when you have kids.
7. Do you participate in the miles & points hobby? And if so, how do you think it relates to personal finance?
Last year was the first year that we signed-up for credit cards to earn miles & points. I used to think it wasn’t worth the headache. But I changed my mind when we had numerous big expenses at one time, mostly related to condo assessments.
We cashed in a bunch of them to cover our flights to Disney World next month!
8. What would your readers be surprised to know about you?
After 12 years of blogging, I’m not sure if I have too many secrets left to share. I give 3 tiny ones:
- I’ve always been able to do a lotus sitting position, despite being one of the least flexible people on the planet. I don’t know why.
- I’ve been to Europe only once in my life (Sicily). There wasn’t much to do in the evenings at the hotel on a mountaintop, so my brother taught me how to juggle.
- I feel like I can teach almost any concept by referencing some portion of Teen Titans Go!
9. Any parting words?
Not really, you had some great questions and I think you covered quite a bi!
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on personal finance and telling us more about your blog!
If you’d like to be considered for our interview series, please send me a note!
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