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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.
Hank Coleman from Money Q & A was kind enough to answer my questions this week.
Money Q & A Interview
Why did you start Money Q&A?
I started the blog because I wanted to answer people’s questions about money, investing, retirement, debt, or anything personal finance related. I know that tons of people had questions and wanted or needed help with their finances in plain English. I’ve always loved reading and writing about money topics. It was my major in college, and helping people through the blog has even driven me to start studying to become a Certified Financial Planner.
I’ve been blogging for about three years now off and on with different websites and blogs. I’ve spent the past year and a half primarily focusing on writing for other people and their blogs instead of for my own site. But, recently I’ve plunged back into writing on my own personal finance blog, Money Q&A, full force.
Favorite Posts On Money Q&A
I love answering any and all money questions from the blog’s readers. I often get a wide range of different questions or topics which is great.
- Should You Put Your Emergency Fund In Mutual Funds?
- How Do You Start Saving If You Live Paycheck To Paycheck?
- My Next Home Is Going To Be A Hotel And Save $925 Per Month This blog post is one of my favorites because it is a little off the wall. I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of living in a hotel, and I started to add up all the cost savings with it. It was quite eye opening.
- I Refinanced My Car Loan, Dropped 1%, And Still Pay $4 More A Month! I love this one because it kind of goes against what you would typically think, refinance to save money. But, there are reasons that I loved refinancing my car even though I had to pay more every month for the privilege.
How do you handle your own finances? Do you have a formal budget or a more informal system?
I know that it sounds totally weird, but my wife and I use our American Express charge card as a way to budget. It is a crazy informal system, but it works for us. We have all of our main expenses such as our mortgage, car payments, insurance, investments, etc. taken out of our checking account automatically every month. But, for the variable costs of our budget such as gas, food, entertainment, we have a set amount that we can spend, and we buy all of these things with our American Express to earn rewards points. And, almost every day or every other day, my wife checks the AmEx balance to see how much more we can spend for this month on those other items in our budget. Once we hit our monthly limit, it is rice and beans or Raman noodles for the rest of the month. It’s not a budgeting system for everyone, but it definitely works for us.
What’s your biggest financial mistake?
I’ve definitely made a few, and I always think that they are particularly embarrassing since I have a formal education in finance. But, the worst mistake that I ever made was taking out a loan from my 401k. I paid it back over three years, but I still kick myself over how much future interest that I lost by not having that money growing in my account. I also graduated college with a lot of credit card debt like many people. It took years for me to clean up that mess. I also bought whole life insurance one time. It took over twelve months of me paying over $100 per month in premiums for only $100,000 in coverage before I came to my senses and cancelled the policy. I guess that the most important thing is to recognize the mistakes as early as possible before they become completely devastating.
What are my goals for Money Q&A over the next year?
I want to continue to grow the site of course, and I want to help as many people as possible and answer as many questions as I can. So, if anyone has any questions, definitely send them my way.
Joining the Sunday Blogger Series
If you’re interesting in being interviewed as part of the Sunday Blogger series, I have a few requirements.
- You’ve been blogging for 3 months.
- You’ve publish genuine content. I want to connect to genuine bloggers, not linking to a spam site. I review all the sites before sending out interview questions to make sure you've been a regularly creating content.
- You’re willingly to promote other bloggers in the series. I don’t expect you to tweet ever interview, but I would like interviewees to spread the word on their favorite bloggers. By the way, I don’t want others to just promote the posts, please share posts from your favorite interviews. They are some wonderful bloggers out there.