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The Little Dollar – Know Your Blogger Series

Know Your Blogger Series

The Little Dollar

Come learn about the blog, The Little Dollar – a blog all about making money simple and understandable.
Each week at Personal Finance Blogs, we publish interviews from amazing bloggers from the personal finance space. This week, we are featuring the blog, The Little Dollar.
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 The Little Dollar, learn about the author, and learn personal finance tips from The Little Dollar to help you improve your financial situation.
A big thanks for The Little Dollar for this interview! Now, we will turn it over to the author for this interview.

Tell us about The Little Dollar

About a year ago, in May 2019 I started up The Little Dollar, a blog I thought would be about my journey from broke to financially independent, however after researching, I found it best to help others reach their goals, and showcase my journey. By providing finance tips, advice and resources to help others achieve their financial goals.
I came up with The Little Dollar as a catchy name to showcase my beginner journey, as when I started I only had a $1000 emergency fund, some debt and a 600 credit score. I was no expert. (I still am nowhere close, but we all journey together). The full mission of The Little Dollar is to make money simple and understandable.

What makes you and your blog unique?

The most unique thing about The Little Dollar is the perspective which you will find articles written from, I was never rich, never above poverty line. I was homeless for a while actually.
The articles are written from a person who has learned how Personal Finance works when you make $10 an hour in one of top 5 expensive cities in America.
The Little Dollar offers readers a chance to understand how the concepts of money work on a simple and easy level. There is no need for fancy and crazy formulas or obnoxious strategies to reach higher. Simple easy math is integrated into the ideas of budgeting, savings and investing to make money topics more available.
Another great unique feature from The Little Dollar is the against the grain attitude towards wealth building. Many personal finance gurus will claim that you aren’t gaining wealth because you buy too much avocados and coffee. I disagree here.
The simple math suggests that if its not easy to save $1000 this month, no help from saving $4 on coffee is really going to move the needle. A more realistic approach will be needed.

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

All you need to be good with your personal finances is just to pay attention to your spending, budget and know what you value.
If you value cutting out everything that is seen as luxury until you reached a certain point with your finances, then that’s good. If you enjoy little treats along your journey while still being informed about and taking action towards, your financial future, that’s good too.
I do not believe that life is all about building wealth then just “being free”.
Life is meant to be enjoyed in the ways we see it. I think the best way to be ‘good with your personal finances’ is to not be stressed out by your financial situation.

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

My main habit is tracking my net worth. I post mine on the blog monthly, but I will usually hop in every week just to see how things have moved.
I also have become obsessed with my budget, I tend to follow more of a pay yourself first budget lately, 20-30% goes to savings or investing, then the rest covers bills, If I have anything left after bills, then it goes into investing again.
I also budget in fun money, I don’t mind spending $60 on a video game if it gets me to decompress a bit from the day. Most of the work I do in a day is my job mixed with side thoughts about my finances. I give myself room to slip so its not so stressful on me.

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

If you are not on my about me page, you’re missing out.
You can also check out one of my favorite posts I have done, My latest Net Worth Report for June 2020 – where I almost reached $5,000 in net worth! It was surreal for me to be quite honest.
Finally, one of my greatest pride and joys on my blog is my Net Worth Series. Tracking my Net Worth has guided me to think more intentionally about my finances and I only hope that that post does the exact same for its readers.

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

Short term, budgeting. Mid term, increasing income. Long term, invest in yourself.
This may be cliche or cheesy, but budgeting and curbing spending habits will help not only in the now, but in the long run as well. If you have trained your mind to not be so impulsive with spending. You can save a few dollars at Target, and when you make extra money, you can save that too.
Increasing your income is also key. And will help long term too. Nobody has ever become rich from a part time job and saving that money. Growth is key. So growing your income seems only fitting.

What are your favorite personal blogs and bloggers you have been inspired by?

My first ever blogger that I noticed was J Money from Budgets are Sexy. I remember the first thing I said to my girlfriend. That his blog looked super outdated and I was confused on why anybody would read it. Then a week later I spent more time reading his blog than I did Facebook. J does it well. Fun fact, I shed a tear on this one. Thank you J!
Grant from Millennial Money is a top blogger of mine as well. He seems to be kinda headstrong in his approach whenever I read his content, although I am sure he isn’t as heavily vocal as I imagine him to be, the authority that I read his content in seems to draw deep respect from me. Thank you for your work Grant.

What are your favorite personal finance books?

If you haven’t read Rich Dad, Poor Dad, what are you doing with your life. The weirdest thing is that my girlfriend’s dad mentioned the book to me, I read it and went to tell him, and he said he has yet to read it fully. I was blown away to be honest – that book changed my view of money.
Another good finance book I absolutely love is ‘I Will Teach you to be Rich’ from Ramit Sethi. One of the great personal finance minds that agrees with me that coffee is not a financial sin. He also has a beautiful approach to how to build wealth.

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

My absolute favorite is Crypto. I actually plan on starting a crypto blog on Medium shortly, however I do enjoy my REITs as well.
I really enjoy my Crypto investments as they are the ones I love to learn about. On a political spectrum I find myself to be very detached from the same old same old system that we have. I enjoy the innovative and community nature that crypto offers. I may also love crypto because I am a millennial but who knows if that’s really a good reason, haha.
I also enjoy REITs, the dividends they offer are top notch in my opinion and they are great to get involved in real estate without buying an actual property. I also want to give a fair shoutout to Precious metals as well. Silver is all I have at the moment but I do care for the weight that it carries in its reputation.

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

One of my absolute favorite questions! I love thinking about and talking about these situations.
First- $250K goes to a high yield savings account that is FDIC insured and will now serve as my emergency fund.
Second- $750K goes to a giving pledge. This will be money I just give away, to random homeless people I see on the street to a friend to my mother. Just because I got extra money doesn’t make me better than anybody.
Third- $2 Million will fund a few real estate investments that will bring in some passive cashflow. This includes the purchase of the property, any remodels or upgrades to that property and administrative costs for a property manager, site manager and accounting fees.
Fourth- $990K will go Into various investments in the markets, This will be Crypto, Gold/Silver, and any stocks and REITs I am currently buying.
Finally- $10K will be spending cash for maybe a fancy steak dinner, a few suits and some new tech products. While I know 10K will not go far with these splurge purchases, 0.2% of a windfall spent on random items I like that are shiny might be fair enough.
This of course is considering that the $5 million is post tax windfall money.

What’s a non-money related interest you have and what do you love about it?

I’m very into 1600’s Golden Age Piracy and Ships. I am in complete awe of how a group of people became so entangled in community – they treated their ship as a company, they even had bean counters (Accounting!!) and took shares of the loot they stole.
I enjoy playing games that center around Piracy, watching movies and shows about it and studying the actual history. While a lot of my enjoyment is centered around a romanticized persona of the life. The viewpoint of them being criminals seems odd to me. They were placed in a system of servitude or death. The lifestyles of the times were different than our modern times. I find it all fascinating and enjoy learning more.

How You Can Contact The Little Dollar for More Information

You can learn more about The Little Dollar at https://www.thelittledollar.com/, like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/thelittledollar, and follow them on Twitter at @littledollar.

Thank you for reading this interview, and thank you, The Little Dollar, 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.

It’s Not Your 9 to 5
Come read about the great personal finance blog, Have Your Dollars Make Sense.
Have Your Dollars Make Sense
Come read about the great personal finance blog, Have Your Dollars Make Sense.
Join the Personal Finance Blogs Newsletter
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June 25th Features

 

 

 

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June 24th Features

 

 

 

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June 23rd Features

 

 

 

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A Dime Saved – Know Your Blogger Series

Know Your Blogger Series

A Dime Saved

Come read about A Dime Saved – a blog about helping low-income earners improve with their finances.
Each week at Personal Finance Blogs, we publish interviews from amazing bloggers from the personal finance space. This week, we are featuring the blog, A Dime Saved.
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 A Dime Saved, learn about the author, and learn personal finance tips from A Dime Saved to help you improve your financial situation.
A big thanks for A Dime Saved for this interview! Now, we will turn it over to the author for this interview.

Tell Us About A Dime Saved

I have always been “into” personal finance but I really got inspired to start my blog after I was in a period of extended unemployment. That experience really changed the way I viewed our relationship with money and the importance of accessible personal finance education. When I was unemployed, I found that a lot of the information and content that I was looking for wasn’t readily available. I didn’t feel that anybody was talking to me and who understood my situations and circumstances. So I decided to write it myself!
My views and blog have evolved over the past three years but the main principles have remained the same.

What makes you and your blog unique?

I speak specifically to low-income people who are not looking to get rich or retire early. I am not trying to preach anything- I am just sharing my experiences and ideas and hope that someone out there can relate to my content. My blog isn’t about working towards a goal, necessarily. It is for people who aren’t “obsessed” with personal finance or making money- but just want to have their finances in order so they can live the life they want to live.

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

Being good with personal finances means having a system set up that works for you. It means making proactive decisions about money instead of constantly reacting to what life throws at you.

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

I live on a strict budget and use mostly cash. I think that having a budget is the biggest and most important part of personal finance. It is the cornerstone of all personal finance. Creating and sticking to a budget is the most important thing you can do. I am strict about my budget, no matter what.
I also automate all my savings. I very rarely spend time actually dealing with my finances. Everything is automated and set up to work with minimal intervention.

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

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

The most important thing to do to improve your financial situation is to take control of your finances. Create a budget and stick to it. A good budget has a savings portion and includes saving for emergencies. The first step would be to save at least $1,000. If you can set this goal and complete it, it will completely change the way you view your finances.

What’s an area of your life which has benefited from improving your personal finances? Have there been any areas of your life which have suffered?

I think the biggest change happened when my husband and I created a budget. We had, like many, many couples always had squabbles about money. The constant questioning and second-guessing were taking a toll. Once we had a budget in place, there was no reason to argue anymore. There was no need to constantly be discussing money or purchases. It gave us each the freedom to spend money the way we wanted to. Neither of us feels the need to control the other’s purchases as the budget tells us where our money goes. Creating a budget has been one of the best things that we did for our marriage.
I do find myself sometimes more reluctant to spend money on things that I may have spent on in the past because I am more aware of the future value of our money. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing, I am still deciding ;). On the one hand I sometimes deprive myself of things that may make my life easier because I am so motivated to save as much as I can. On the other hand, I am saving a lot!

In your opinion, what’s better? Renting a place or buying a house to live?

There is no better! There are so many factors that go into deciding what works for each person with their specific circumstances. Not everyone has the same goals, the same circumstances, have the same amount of money, or live in the same places.
That is the difficult thing about personal finance. There are no easy answers. I can’t tell you exactly what to do and I can’t give you a specific answer. I can only give you some core rules and ideas that you have to apply to your specific circumstances. It’s the old cliché that personal finance is personal. That is a cliché because it is true! There are very few hard and fast rules about things like this.
That being said, I have always personally dreamed of owning a home and I think that for most people it’s a dream that they will also make sense financially and emotionally. If that is your dream, then go for it! Not every decision has to be about where it makes the most sense financially.

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

Both! I am a strong believer that every single bit helps. So even if you can only cut down on things and save a dime, it’s still better than not saving a dime! Both increasing your income and decreasing your expenses can only be taken so far. There is a ceiling that you will eventually hit and there will come a time when you cannot cut a single thing. The best thing to do would be to work on both. Since increasing your income takes time, patience, and a bit of luck, you should start with decreasing your expenses and then work towards increasing your income as much as you can without sacrificing what you don’t want to sacrifice (self-care, family, morals, etc.). If you have already decreased your expenses and then your income increases your money will stretch even further! You can always add back the expenses that you cut. Increasing your income is very rarely a quick fix while decreasing your expenses is.

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

The biggest mistake that I made was not taking control of my finances as soon as I was “on my own”. I assumed that as long as I could pay my bills every month then I would be fine. However, this didn’t really let me save money for emergencies or the future. I also assumed that since I was paying my bills I didn’t really need a written budget. It seemed a bit superfluous. I cannot stress enough the difference having a real, written budget makes to your finances. There is only so much that you can accomplish by winging it.
There are things in life that I want and the only way to get them is to save money and be purposeful about my money. I would suggest to every single young person out there: make a WRITTEN budget and start saving.

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

I don’t think that amassing money is important. I have no plans to retire early or become a millionaire. What I do want is to be able to have the freedom to do what I want and create a life where I can provide for my children, give to charity, and not have to make decisions based on a lack of money.
Whether we like it or not, in the society where we live, money controls almost every single aspect of our lives. Money dictates a lot of the choices that we make in life. Having money or not “not-having” money gives you the freedom to lead the life you want. That is what I want for myself and for the people who read my blog. To not be constrained by lack of money and to be able to make the decisions that are best for you- not based on what you can afford.

How You Can Contact A Dime Saved for More Information

You can learn more about A Dime Saved at https://adimesaved.com/, like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DimeSaved, and follow them on Twitter at @adimesaved.

Thank you for reading this interview, and thank you, A Dime Saved, 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.

It’s Not Your 9 to 5
Come read about the great personal finance blog, Have Your Dollars Make Sense.
Have Your Dollars Make Sense
Come read about the great personal finance blog, Have Your Dollars Make Sense.

June 22nd Features

 

 

 

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June 19th Features

 

 

 

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