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Eat Sleep Breathe FI – Know Your Blogger Series

Know Your Blogger Series

Eat Sleep Breathe FI

Come read about Eat Sleep Breathe FI, and see how you can reach financial independence.
Each week at Personal Finance Blogs, we publish interviews from amazing bloggers from the personal finance space. This week, we are featuring the blog, Eat Sleep Breathe FI.
During these weekly features, we are hoping to provide a way for you to interact and learn more about different blogs in the personal finance space.
Below, you can read more about the story behind Eat Sleep Breathe FI, learn about the author, and learn personal finance tips from Eat Sleep Breathe FI to help you improve your financial situation.
A big thanks for Eat Sleep Breathe FI for this interview! Now, we will turn it over to the author for this interview.

Tell us about Eat Sleep Breathe FI

Eat Sleep Breathe FI officially launched on January 1, 2019. I decided to start a blog because that’s what all FI-seekers eventually do, right? Ha!
While there is some truth to that, the real reason why I started my blog is to share my FI knowledge with others.
I want to share my FI knowledge because I want more people to discover FI and improve their lives. I truly believe that FI can change our world for the better.
A FI lifestyle can help all of us to live happier, healthier, more financially-stable lives. (Plus—FI choices tend to also be good for humankind and the planet.)

What makes you and your blog unique?

What’s unique about my blog and story is:
  • I live in Canada (there aren’t enough Canadian FI blogs).
  • I live in a high-cost-of-living city (Vancouver, BC).
  • I’m not single or childless (I’m married with two kids).
  • We’ve lived on a single income for nearly 15 years.
  • We’re pretty normal, but will reach FI in our 40s just by optimizing our money a little more than the average family.
While each of these things are not necessarily unique, in combination, I’m able to connect with a certain population of readers with similar interests and goals.

What are your three articles people should read to get to know you and your message better on your site?

What does “being good with your personal finances” mean to you?

I believe that “being good with your personal finances” simply means spending less than you earn, and wisely investing the difference.

What are some habits you practice to keep your personal finances in order?

Some habits I practice to keep our finances in order are:
  • Using YNAB to track our spending.
  • Regularly communicating with our financial planner.
  • Continuing to learn new ways to save money and invest.

For someone looking to improve their financial situation, what’s your best advice?

My advice for someone looking to improve their financial situation is just get started! It can be daunting to think about all the things that need to be done—so don’t do that. Start small and focus on one thing you can do right now.
This will build your confidence and motivation and keep you going. When you look back in a year, five years, ten years, you’ll be amazed at what you’ve accomplished. All you need to do is get started, then just keep taking the next step.

In your opinion, what’s better? Focusing on increasing your income, or focusing on decreasing your expenses?

I’ll give a cop-out answer here and say BOTH! You really need to address both sides of this equation to be the most successful with your money. But as far as which order to work on them, I generally suggest tackling your expenses first.
That’s because anyone can do that at any time. There’s no barrier to entry when finding ways to reduce expenses—we can start with the tiniest things, like turning off lights we’re not using.
Increasing income usually takes a lot more time and effort to accomplish. But it can give you a lot more bang for your buck, so it’s definitely something everyone should work on and revisit often.

What is your favorite investment class and why? (stocks, private business, bonds, real estate, crypto, precious metals, etc.)

I keep things simple and invest 100% in index stocks (no bonds). I used to DIY our investments with Vanguard and iShares index ETFs. Nowadays, my financial planner has an investment manager handling our investments, and he invests in individual stocks using an index fund-like approach.
I would love to invest in real estate, but haven’t been able to make the numbers work. I could achieve better returns by investing in a lower-cost area, but I’m not confident enough to be a long-distance landlord.

Do you have any financial mistakes you’d like to share, and how have you grown from these mistakes to improve your personal finances?

My biggest mistake is not learning how to invest sooner. I ignored our investments for close to 15 years, thinking it was just too hard and boring to understand. We’d be so much farther ahead if I’d taken the reins from the start.
Since then, I’ve become fully involved with our investments and have even taught my in-laws how to handle their investments (which helped them gain the confidence to finally retire)! I’ve also shared resources and knowledge with anyone who will listen—both in real life and through my blog.
Teaching others helps me to solidify and deepen my knowledge. This has given me greater confidence to pursue more advanced strategies, such as leveraged investing. In turn, our net worth has grown far faster than it would have with more basic strategies.

If you received a $5,000,000 windfall tomorrow, what would you do with the money?

Wow, that would be amazing. My dream would be to put $2,000,000 of that into a donor-advised fund to support causes I’m passionate about. The other $3,000,000 would be more than enough for us to live on, in complete luxury, forever.
But the funny thing is, we likely wouldn’t change our lives all that much! I’m not that into material possessions, so more travel and eating out is what we’d spend the bulk of the excess on. (But I’m sure my husband could think of a few toys he’d happily splurge on!)

Why do you believe learning about money and caring about personal finance is important?

This is something I’m very passionate about. I feel that everyone needs to learn and care about their money because, well, it’s your money or your life. You want to trade as little of your life as possible to earn and grow your money.
The best way to do that is to get educated and smart about your money. That’s how you’ll find ways to make your money work harder for you, so that eventually, your money will do all the work and you can stop (if you so choose).
Speaking to why you need to care about your money: no one else will care about your money like you do. You’re the best person to manage and grow it, so learn how! Once you get started and see success, it’ll be easier and easier to keep the ball rolling.

How You Can Contact Eat Sleep Breathe FI for More Information

You can learn more about Eat Sleep Breathe FI at https://www.eatsleepbreathefi.com/, like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/eatsleepbreathefi, and follow them on Twitter at @esb_fi.

Thank you for reading this interview, and thank you, Eat Sleep Breathe FI, for providing us with some great personal finance tips!

About the Know Your Blogger Series

Each week, Personal Finance Blogs features a personal finance blogger for you to learn more about who is behind the different blogs in the personal finance space.

These interviews also provide different viewpoints and tips for improving your financial situation. Check out a couple other recent interviews below, or see them all of the past blogger features here.

Have Your Dollars Make Sense
Come read about the great personal finance blog, Have Your Dollars Make Sense.
Financial Freedom Countdown
Come read about the great personal finance blog, Financial Freedom Countdown.
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