For this week’s Let’s Talk Money interview I am very happy to introduce you to Ashley. Ashley is the author of the well known PF blog Money Talks which just celebrated its first anniversary on March 24, 2012.
Ashley began learning about money when she was six years old. Her father explained to her how people make money by purchasing properties and then renting them out. She was fascinated and knew that one day she too would become a landlord.
Let’s take a look at what else Ashley has to say about money...
Please provide a brief introduction about yourself and your personal finance blog including when you created your blog. If comfortable, please share if you are married and how many children you have.
Hi, thanks for the opportunity to be featured on your site. I’ve been married for 7 years and we have two kids, ages 10 and 6. I started Money Talks Coaching just about a year ago on 3-24-2011.
I wanted to offer help out there to those who are struggling with money due to lack of education or motivation. I’ve always loved personal finance and I know I was put on this earth to help people with their money.
How was money handled in your family when you were growing up, and how did that affect you?
You know, I actually just wrote an article about this. We had good times and we had bad times in my family. But the bad times didn’t affect me negatively. I was always confident that the bad was temporary.
Maybe it was lack of understanding as a kid or something my parents did to shield me but even when we almost lost our house due to my stepdad being laid off I always had the attitude of “eh, we’ll be fine!”
Since writing the article a few weeks ago I talked to my mom about our finances while I was growing up and learned that my step dad was terrible with money and wouldn’t pay the bills he was responsible for and my mom would have to make it up. I also found out there was a lot of credit card debt when I was a kid that I didn’t know about. My parents definitely kept me in the dark.
If you want to read more about this topic you can head over to my recent article. There are also questions for you to consider if you want to explore this subject in your own life. You always learn something!
What is your view point regarding money? Money is meant to be saved? Money is meant to be spent?
For me personally, I like to save my money. I really dislike spending money. I know others feel differently and I respect that. I used to think there was only one “right” way to handle your money but clearly that’s not true. Both spending and saving are part of a healthy financial plan.
Do you own or rent your current living accommodations? Why?
We own our home. It was important for me to own for two reasons. One, the payment is fixed. The longer you live in a home the cheaper it becomes due to inflation. While our mortgage payment was slightly higher than rent when we moved in, now 7 years later it’s several hundred dollars a month cheaper than we would pay in rent. Two, someday it will be paid off. I don’t want to have a mortgage payment or rent in retirement so it’s important for me to have it paid off by then.
If you had a friend or a co-worker that was in debt come to you for financial advice on how to get out of debt, what are the first 3 steps you would suggest for them to work on?
Easy one. I love the Dave Ramsey baby steps for this.
1. Baby Emergency fund of $1,000.
2. Debt snowball. I think the method of the debt snowball is great as far as attacking one debt at a time and then rolling that payment to the next debt. The order that you pay off the debts is less important to me. I think you should pay off whichever one is bothering you the most.
3. Fully funded Emergency fund. Getting 3-6 months of bills into savings is an important step to making sure your journey out of debt is a permanent one.
If someone is struggling with building the baby emergency fund then they should start with tracking their spending and then move on to making a budget. One of my favorite articles that I've written was about the financial process in a nutshell. It breaks down the entire financial planning process into 4 steps.
If you suddenly won, inherited, or received $100,000 as a gift and you were already debt free, what would you do with it?
I’d buy a rental property. My goal is to own 4 paid off rental properties by the time I retire. I have one so far (not paid off!). You can read about that adventure here.
When it comes to money what stresses you out? For example, not enough money, no fun money, too much debt, no retirement money, have so much money I don’t know what to do with it all.
Income stresses me out the most. I want to make more money!!! I worry that I’ll never make a "good" income. I feel like my income is a direct relation to my personal worth, which I know logically is not true at all but I can’t seem to break that connection emotionally. My income is something that I think about every single day.
Ashley, I know you have a very busy schedule and I would like to thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview with me. You've had a very successful first year with your blog and I wish you many more!
Please drop by Ashley's blog and say hello.