Getting to Know the “Person” Behind the Personal Finance Blog

Another quiet week on the blog, I’m afraid, but a busy one in real life. On Monday, I finished piecing together my next blog. After I write all of the pages and move, it’ll be ready to launch… and I’m so excited to make it public! Also that day, my interview with the Toronto Star finally made it’s way into the paper (along with a picture of a Starbucks cup, go figure), so I picked up a couple copies for the fam.

While it was a short work week, it was still a busy one. It’s crazy to think I’m only in the office for 4.5 more weeks before moving and starting to work remotely… eek! Finally, for the last two days I’ve been suffering from the craziest spat of vertigo. Have any of you ever experienced it!? Simply sitting and feeling like the room is spinning around you is totally bizarre. I’m heading to the clinic this morning, to see if anything can be done to make it go away quickly, but I’ve been told not to get my hopes up.

Anyway, I’m sorry I haven’t updated the blog all week – there just hasn’t been much to say. But I thought I’d finish the week with a fun little questionnaire. Last week, Tonya filled it out on her blog, and she was prompted by a couple other girls who did it before her. So, since she so kindly referenced Blonde on a Budget as one of the blogs that inspired her to start writing, I thought I’d respond by answering the same questions for all of you.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

1) How did you come up with your blog name?

To be honest, I can’t remember. I could say that I was simply stating the obvious but I think I just thought it sounded catchy and, fortunately, no other bloggers were using the name already.

2) Which bloggers inspired you when you first started writing?

The first personal finance blog I ever came across ended up being anonymously written by a friend of mine from college (and from a program that only accepted 27 students each year – talk about a small world). I’ll never forget going through her blog and recognizing that the picture the author used was the same one my friend had on her Facebook profile. “Krystal, is this your blog!?” I had outed her. Aside from Krystal’s debt repayment story, the two bloggers who inspired me the most were Katie for her incredible commitment to staying frugal while paying down debt and Money Maus for her ability to save tens of thousands of dollars. Today, I am honoured to call these women my friends.

3) Why write about finance?

I hate answering a question with a question but… why not write about finance!? Debt repayment has been the #1 priority in my life since June 2011. Writing about this journey not only helped me stay accountable for my actions, it also gave me a support network and lit a passion inside of me that I never knew existed.

4a) What do you enjoy most about blogging?

I’ve been blogging in some form, for as long as I can remember. While some communicators are excellent speakers, I think writing is the best tool I have, when it comes to presenting myself and my ideas. I love brainstorming new blog post topics, writing, rewriting and moving all of my words around. That might sound painful to some people but writing and editing a post so it tells a story from beginning to end is totally satisfying. (Seriously, I will re-read posts 20x to make sure it feels “complete”.)

4b) What do you enjoy least about blogging?

I guess I shouldn’t say “nothing” but, to be honest, there isn’t any part of blogging that I don’t enjoy. Sure, I’ve lost hours of sleep to get posts up, or to reply to comments and emails, but writing is something I love to do. I guess the only part I don’t like is when I don’t know what to write about but I feel obligated to post something. I think I’m slowly starting to get over that though…

5) What’s the most helpful piece of advice you have learned from reading other PF blogs?

That’s a tough question to answer, because there is a lot of great advice out there. I’m going to go back to the three women who have inspired me most and say the biggest lessons I’ve learned are: do whatever it takes to pay off your debt, build up an Emergency Fund when you’re done, and aggressively save for your retirement after that.

6) In terms of finance, what is your main focus at the moment?

Obviously, paying off the remainder of my debt. (As of next week, I’ll be in the $4,000’s!)

7) If you could give your younger self financial advice, what would it be?

A credit card is not a second bank account. Plain and simple.

8) Who in your real life knows about your blog?

Everyone! I “came out” and told my family and friends about my blog in April 2012. Telling my parents (especially my dad) was absolutely terrifying… but writing anonymously was so freaking stressful! It’s incredible being able to share my life and my story with anyone I know who may want to read about it.

9) Does your real job have anything to do with finance or money?

Oh, it certainly does! The only reason I have my job is because my boss read Blonde on a Budget. Now I’m the managing editor of one (soon to be two) websites that help Canadians understand the home buying (and mortgage-getting) process in the simplest terms possible. (And you won’t believe how much the new site has to do with personal finance… will explain more, when it launches!)

10) What’s the first thing you would do if you won a million dollars?

Pay off my debt. Second, I’d pay off the last of my parents’ mortgage. Third, I’d put a little bit in two separate savings accounts for Baby Bro and Baby Sis. Finally, I’d pay for a house with cash. (Can you imagine!?)

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