I first read this #Tag post over at Girl Meets Debt, so I figured I’d play along
1) How did you come up with your blog name?
It was a play on words with what is essentially a really overused blog name (hence why an “e” got dropped from my URL, the proper spelling was already taken). It’s a blog written by someone who has slogged through the process of paying off a personally crushing amount of debt, ie. fought in the trenches (no disrespect to military personnel, your trenches are obviously much harder), and made it through to the other side. It’s also a reference to my financial breaking point. If you’ve been following me since I started blogging back in late 2010 (holy crap, has it really been that long?), you may have read my two part series about how I got myself into debt. If you haven’t, you can check out part 1 and part 2 here.
I just reread those posts. What an upheaval.
So, yeah, that trench coat. I didn’t wear it much when I was in debt (buyers remorse will do that to you), but I’m finally coming to terms with it and wearing it more often. You’ll probably notice the double reference to “trenches” in my blog header, where I’m wearing the trench coat and carrying a dirty shovel. Yes, that’s me, not a cartoon.
Long winded answer to a short question.
2) Which bloggers inspired you when you first started writing?
The original Fabulously Broke, who now goes by Mochi and Macarons, was a huge inspiration when I first started paying off my debt. Same with Louise at My Journey to Eliminate Debt, and Trent over at The Simple Dollar. But to be honest, the entire financial community is a huge source of inspiration. I didn’t even know it existed when I first started writing. I just wrote. The great part about being part of a community is that we’re all at different points in our journeys, and anytime someone gets down, there’s someone with a supporting story or piece of advice to help bring them back up.
3) Why write about finance?
I’m a money geek. I’ve been geeking out over personal finance since I was 17, living in Denmark, looking for something English to read on the internet. And yet I still ended up in debt. Who knew?
4a) What do you enjoy most about blogging?
Interaction with other people who have similar interests. I have a handful of friends who like to talk about money, but few want to talk about it to the extent I do. Except maybe my sister. We’re both money geeks.
4b) What do you enjoy least about blogging?
I want to say writers block, but the truth is that I usually have a handful of topics I could write about, I just don’t feel like it. I hate feeling like I’m letting my readers down if I don’t get a post out on time, and I hate trying to force it. My forced posts are so bloody dry. That’s probably my least favourite part. That and the push for “page rank”. I don’t care about my page rank. If people want to read my blog, they’ll read it. I feel fortunate that you’ve chosen to do so.
5) What’s the most helpful piece of advice you have learned from reading other PF blogs?
Ignore average. In fact, just ignore what other people are doing. Average will leave you stressed out, stretched thin, at least $20,000 in consumer debt, hating the guy who has what you don’t. If you’re moving forward towards bettering yourself financially (and otherwise) you’re doing just fine.
6) In terms of finance, what is your main focus at the moment?
Paying off my car. Less than $3000 left to go at the moment. That will then turn into saving as much as physically possible until I hit a point that I’m comfortable.
7) If you could give your younger self financial advice, what would it be?
WRITE. A. BUDGET. Then follow it. I think my grandfather said it best:
“If your out flow exceeds your income your upkeep will be your downfall”
8) Who in your “real-life” knows about your blog?
My mom, my boyfriend, a handful of friends, a couple coworkers, and you guys.
9) Does your real-life job have anything to do with finance or money?
Not even a little. I’d be fine with it if it did though.
10) What’s the first thing you would do if you won a million dollars?
Faint. Or possibly throw up. I don’t deal with emotional upheaval very well…
Obviously I’d pay off my debt (house and all), as well as top up my unused RRSP and TFSA contribution room. Then I’d take the remainder, round it to the nearest $20,000, and put that in the bank while I thought about it for a while. The money that was rounded off the total would then be blown. Hellooooo new wardrobe…
What? I can’t be 100% good all the time.
I’m well aware that at my age $1,000,000 isn’t going to look after me for the rest of my life, so I wouldn’t quit my job. You never know, I may enjoy working a whole lot more knowing I have a massive safety net to look after me
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