Today’s interview is with one of my favorite bloggers, Free From Broke. He is a frequent commenter and has been an active member of the Yakezie. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to get to know you better!
What was first personal finance memory?
Wow, that’s a tough one. I don’t know if I can recall my first personal finance memory but I do recall the feeling I got when I first started to earn money at a part-time job. It was very liberating knowing that what I bought with that money was truly mine and was earned through my hard work.
What is the most important personal finance lesson you have learned?
You have to keep learning! I could easily say “save more than you spend” or “don’t go into credit card debt” but really continuing to learn encompasses all of that. Personal finance doesn’t end. The more you seek the more you find and the better educated you are the more financially secure you will be.
What’s the most frustrating personal finance experience you’ve had?
Probably dealing with my credit card debt. Not that any particular company was a pain, it was just getting my head around what the credit card terms really meant and how it affected my balances. For instance, I tried to do the right thing and call up a credit card company to have my interest rate lowered. It worked but I didn’t realize I was still paying a higher interest rate on my older balances. The new Credit Card Act should help consumers not go through growing pains like that.
What is the worst purchase you’ve ever made?
You know, I wasn’t one who went out and bought a lot of big, expensive items. My debt grew little by little on things like music CD’s (remember those?). If I had to pick something it would be more of category – Music equipment. I spent a lot on various instruments and such at times when I really had no right spending the money. At least I still have the stuff so the purchases aren’t as bad now as they were back when I made them (to give you an example I spent about $1100 on a bass once).
If you could go back and tell your 20 year old self one thing, what would it be?
Haha, “Dude, there will be this company called Google, yeah silly name…save up and put everything into their IPO!”
There would be so much I could say really: Focus on school, put money aside for emergencies, enroll in your 401(k) as soon as you can, quit watching so much TV, put your all into your passions… But really, no regrets. I am where I am now and can only move forward.
What are your thoughts on negotiation?
Sometimes the best negotiation is just asking. Maybe the thing I saved the most on was my first car. I made sure to do my research and homework thoroughly and in the end I got a great price! A big part of negotiation can be done before-hand by knowing as much as possible about the product and its price.
What are your two favorite posts?
One of my favorites, and a popular one as well is 25 Traits of the Not So Well To Do. It basically lists out 25 reasons why people won’t accumulate wealth. The article seems to hit some people where it hurts as the article has over 100 comments.
Another favorite is How I Love Thee ING, Let Me Count The Ways. I’ve had an account with ING Direct going back to 2003. Seeing how my interest can actually add up and being able to save my money in their accounts really helped me see the importance of savings.
Thanks again for taking the time to answer a few questions!