Living A Better Life Interview – Dollar Financials
In our brand new interview series, we are interviewing various individuals from across the web. This interview series focuses on how they are living a better life. They can be living a better life by pursuing financial independence, minimalism, simplicity, and many more aspects. Are you interested in being interviewed? Continue reading!
Want to be interviewed?
If you want to be interviewed about how you are living a better life. Contact us at [email protected] and tell us why you’d be a great candidate!
Give us your best elevator speech!
My name is Joy, a thirty-something-year-old mother of two boys. My husband and I have paid off over $50,000 in debt in the last few years and we are now aiming for financial independence.
While I have behaved poorly with money in the past, I’m proud to say that I now have my finances under control. These days, I blog about personal finance at Dollar Financials and hope to use this medium to help others win with their money.
How are you living a better life than you were last year? 5 years ago? 10?
Approximately 1 year ago, we became totally free of all my consumer debt. We were able to pay off student and car loans and finally get the debt monkey off our backs.
5 years ago, I was in debt, looking for better employment and we had our first kid. 10 years ago, I was in college and trying to find my purpose in life.
A lot has happened over the last decade. I have experienced multiple ups and downs. Today, I can look back and be confident that I’m on the right path. Our only debt is our mortgage and we plan on paying it off early.
I believe that in the next decade or less, we will be able to look back and celebrate mortgage freedom!
What would you tell your younger self?
Pursue your dreams. I gave up too early on some of my dreams and now regret that I did not stay the course and persist until I achieved those goals.
Live within your means. I was not as frugal as I should have been in college. YOLO sounds like a great idea until the bank comes calling. I sort of realized that only after some damage had been done to my finances.
Invest now. While I have now been investing for a few years, I do often wish that I had started earlier and used compounding interest to grow my money over time.
What made you want to change the way you were living?
After college and struggling to find a job that paid well, the reality of my student loans started to sink in. I realized that I could have avoided taking on some of the loans and that I needed to pay it off quickly.
Later on, I went through a tough patch and accumulated some credit card debt as well. Watching my debt repayments get swallowed up by interest costs was sobering and served as a wake-up call.
Does financial independence play a role? If so, how?
After getting married, my spouse and I decided we were going to focus on paying off all our non-mortgage debt within three years. Initially, our reason for paying off debt was so we could have more breathing room in our budget for our kids and to live comfortably.
Over time and after paying off credit cards, car and student loans, we have now made financial independence our main goal.
Financial freedom for us would entail being able to do whatever we want to do with our time without having to worry about meeting our daily money needs. We hope to reach this milestone in 10 years to coincide with when we have paid off our mortgage loan.
What advice do you have for others in living a better life?
Live your life.
Over the years, I have decoupled myself from a number of relationships that were pulling me back from making progress with my life. We all want to be accepted by others and to be loved. However, acceptance should not trump you from being you.
Don’t wait to do in the future what you can do now.
Since picking up frugality as a way of life, we have tried to balance our needs for today versus plans for the future. Life happens. Your health or marriage may unexpectedly go south. Balance your priorities so you can enjoy today while planning for a comfortable tomorrow.
I find that I feel more fulfilled when I factor others into my life’s equation. I put myself first, however, it’s also important to reach out and help others along the way.
What books/podcasts/blogs have you consumed that lead you to this point?
What’s one area in your life you still struggle with?
Finding a balance between living now and planning for the future. In our world of finite resources, it’s sometimes challenging to achieve all we’d like to accomplish today when many of our plans center around our future goals.
We keep working on this and every day presents an opportunity for us to learn about truly living life.
If you had to give just 1 tip that you’ve learned along your journey, what would it be and why?
Take the first step to turn your life and finances around. Don’t delay action for another day!
You can start with acknowledging your debt and spending problem and go ahead to create your first budget. A first step may involve discussing money with your partner or seeking debt counselling.
It’s not only about money, and a first step in the right direction for you may be working on your health before things deteriorate further.
On my journey so far, I have come to understand the power of first steps and how they can liberate us from years of poor judgment and mismanagement.
Where can readers get in touch with you?
Readers can reach me at:
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