As a member of the personal finance community, I’m amazed at how many people are a part of it. Unfortunately that often means that I can’t always keep up with everyone. It’s a shame because there are some wonderful bloggers with their stories and advice on handling finances responsibly and with fun.
To counteract that and get the word out on other bloggers, I’ve started the Sunday Blogger series. It’s my hope that you’ll discover some new voices in the series.
I’m grateful that Mrs. PoP from Planting Our Pennies is a part of the series this week.
Why did you start Planting Our Pennies?
Ever since we got married a few years ago, Mr. PoP and I have been really involved in projects where we worked together. Even though we worked separate jobs, we would come home and either be fixing up our own house or renovating our duplex or searching for more foreclosed properties to try and buy. But this spring we were basically done. And it was weird. We were on vacation together and talked about how we missed working with each other regularly. Mr. PoP had gotten involved in reading financial blogs, and said, “Look, I think we could really contribute something if we made a PF blog.” That was it! Then we just had to pick a name!
How long have you been involved with finance and blogging?
We’ve been big trackers of our own finances for years now – I actually started using Mint in the beta version in 2007! But we didn’t really start getting into the blogging aspect of it too heavily until about 6 months ago when Mr. PoP had his flash of inspiration while we were on vacation. =) The very first post on Planting Our Pennies went up at the end of May, so the site is about 4.5 months old now.
How do you handle your own finances? What systems do you employ with budgets, investing, and career?
I (Mrs. PoP) am the numbers one in the relationship, so I run most of the day to day budgeting – though really mint is doing most of the heavy lifting when it comes to staying on track and keeping the categories straight.
As for investments and career, we don’t really have “systems”. We just try and get the best value out of our money wherever we’re putting it. In our real estate investments we like to buy properties that need work so we can add “sweat equity” right off the bat, and in our mutual funds, we try and keep them in low expense funds like Vanguard so we get to keep most of the returns each year.
What’s the biggest financial mistake you’ve ever made? What did you learn from it?
The biggest mistake? Oh jeez…. We sold AAPL stock at $200 – it would have been worth more than triple that today. =) I’ve held on to cars longer than I should have because I named them and grew to feel like they were a part of my identity. Those weren’t really game changers, though.
I think one of the biggest mistakes was letting my finances get tied to my parents’ finances when I was headed off to college at 18. I learned that just because someone’s older than you doesn’t mean they have all the answers – and that I need to stand up for myself and make sure someone is looking out for my interests instead of just their own. That was a pretty painful lesson to learn, but it was one that I needed to learn in finances as well as in other areas of my life.
What are your goals this year and beyond with Planting Our Pennies?
Mostly our goals with Planting Our Pennies are pretty simple. We’d like to keep sharing what we know and the lessons we continue to learn about trying to grow our wealth as a young couple, and hopefully continue sparking conversations elsewhere along those lines.
From a more financial perspective, we want Planting Our Pennies to help keep us accountable to our own financial goals (which is one of the reasons we post monthly income and net worth statements). The blog has kept us really focused on our debt paydown goal through the summer and we paid off $19K on our HELOC this summer. All told – the goal is to pay off about $100K total in non-mortgage debt by August 2014. Ahead of schedule so far!
Thanks again to Mrs. PoP for being a part of the Sunday Blogger series! Check her out on her site and also on Twitter. If you’re interesting in being interviewed as part of the Sunday Blogger series, please email me.