I was poking around a few blogs last night looking for great articles for Rockstar Finance, and I came across this cool one by Adam Hagerman.
He was in a “thinky” mode about life and money, and decided to ask himself 11 questions regarding his finances for a little more clarity (or, to better help his blog readers find clarity). As someone who loves answering questions myself, I thought I’d snatch ’em up and share them with you too. It’s always good to stop and make sure we’re on the right path, right?
So, here is an interview with myself and my money ;) not to be confused with an interview I did on myself at the very beginning of this blog 5 years ago when I thought I was pretty clever… I hope you’ll answer these questions next.
- Is My Money Being Spent on the Things That Truly Matter to Me? Yes, mostly. Not things that are all that sexy (electricity, shelter, insurance, etc), but definitely on *needs*. With some little splurges here and there too like Starbucks or eating out to keep me sane. (Oh, and also on some investing/saving too, but not as much as I’d like these days…)
- What Was The Last Item I Regretted Purchasing? Hmm… the last item I REALLY regretted buying – which I couldn’t return (an important distinction) – was our house. I’ve made some dumb purchases here and there in between these 6 years, but that was the only one to this day that’s really holding back our finances. While things have certainly gotten better (ie. we’re not *as* underwater as we used to be), and my blog and career came out of it all (woo!), it’s the only thing that really pisses me off in my past. But I’ve slowly been accepting it and moving on – even though I know it sounds like I’m still bitter here, haha…
- What’s Holding Me Back From Taking Action? Adam talks about “fear of financial freedom” in his answer, so I guess that’s what’s meant by “taking action” here. And for that the only thing standing in my way really is having *more* time to work on stuff. Along with being better about what exactly I’m spending my time on. Hustling 60 hours/week on something important/bigger for the future is better than hustling 60 hours on maintenance – which I can get caught up into since it’s so much easier. So I personally need to be working on *smarter* use of my time over here.
- How Would My Budget Look Without Debt Payments? Oh man, if I can figure out a way to kill those 2 mortgages of ours we’d be H-E-A-V-E-N. That would be $2,200 every dang month to be invested or saved somewhere (our payments are really $1,900’ish, but we pay a few hundred more ea. month to speed up the process), I can’t even imagine… And really, you can’t separate that debt out with consumer debt since at the end of the day it’s still all DEBT!!! Which is decidedly NOT sexy.
- Am I Listening to the Right People? I hope so :) I listen to all of you in the comments, as well as other great personal finance bloggers! I get a lot more out of that than reading “real” websites or books. It’s all about the personal experience for me.
- How Can I Improve My Financial Literacy? Continue reading and learning! Best thing I’ve done since starting this blog… I was horrible at it before (I’d literally read a book once every 8 years – no joke), and now I’m constantly reading article after article. Still not so good on the book front, but hey – baby steps ;)
- What’s My True Hourly Wage? Probably $15/hour, haha… I dunno, maybe higher, but lately it seems pretty low ‘cuz I’m working more than I used to but making less ;) Luckily I love being a blogger though.
- What Can I Do to Increase My Income? Find more/better side hustles. And take more risks to do so instead of keeping in the comfy territory no matter how nice that feels!
- If I Died Today, Would My Family Be OK? Yes. Well, at least financially :) My life insurance of $350k would kick in giving my family enough to pay for funeral stuff and pay down our mortgages if they want/etc. And on top of that we’d still have our $450kish in net worth too which def. helps… Now our income would go 100% away (unless my wife figures out how to keep my blog around for a cple year!! Haha… which is on my list to teach her ;)), but the money would last for quite a while until it ran out. This is a very important question to ask yourself though. The last thing you want to do is leave your family in financial ruin as well as emotionally a mess! Get some life insurance ASAP if you have a family and don’t have any (we both have term life insurance which we found to be the best route)
- Am I Setting a Good Example For My Children? I really hope so! Having a blog on money helps for future reference, haha, but hopefully I can instill smart financial cents in our little guy (soon to be plural) through real-life action too. I can’t WAIT for him to be able to understand and talk about money! But first, we need him to TALK in general, haha…
- Where Do I Want to Be One Year From Now Financially? EXCELLENT question. Shorter goals are much easier to think about, and achieve, than longer ones generally. So, for us, I’d like to be over the $500k Net Worth mark 12 months from now, as well as a 10% bump in business income AND a 2nd salary finally from the wifey ;) As it’s been a solid 4+ years since we’ve had one while she was getting her doctorate… I forget what it’s like to be a dual income household!
Some really good questions up there to ask yourself. Especially #3, #9, and #11. You’ve got to have goals and know what’s holding you back, and you’ve also gotta protect your family in the unlikeliness of us passing on. Having literally attended a funeral over the weekend (and with everyone else dying lately, God bless you Paul Walker and Mandela!), none of us have immunity. Neither from financial disaster either, as I shared yesterday.
How would YOU answer these questions? Any get you to pause and re-consider stuff? Answer them as soon as you’re done reading this, even if just to yourself. Should only take a few minutes until the next shiny object on the internet catches your attention ;) Or, your boss.
Have a great day over there, everyone. And thanks again for the prompting, Adam!
Photo by giumaiolini