My Little Miss Sunshine (Award)

A special shout out to both Kristin at Brokepedia and J at Hey It’s Just Money for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Much love and appreciation to both of you. Like the Versatile Blogger Award I wrote about a few posts ago, this award is passed along the blogging community to throw spotlight on other blogs. I’m more than happy to partake!

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flickr photo – Tommy Clark

A Little Bit About the Bloggers Who Nominated Me
When making my nerdy rounds reading personal finance blogs, Kristin’s Brokepedia is one of the first ones I go to. She also writes what seems like 10 posts a day at Lifehacker. I’m pretty amazed at the sheer content that she produces daily! Kristin is a fellow budget nerd and superfan of frugality, so please check out her site for simple ways to stretch out your dollar. She talks about making the most of your money and putting it towards the things you love – in her case traveling and eating. As a fellow Ramen lover, Vic challenges you to the Orochon spicy ramen challenge!

Liquid Fire
Liquid Fire. Image Credit – Facebook

In Hey it’s Just Money, J talks about her quest towards worrying less about money. She writes about how money is a lot more personal than simply earning a paycheck to pay the bills. “Money isn’t just money – it’s my airfare ticket, it’s my next degree, it’s my future house, it’s my emergency fund.” This quote in her blog really resonated with me because she writes about working towards all the real life goals that money can help provide, not just growing your net worth. Please check out her blog!

The Rules

As a recipient of a Sunshine Blogger Award, this what I gotta do:

• Thank the person(s) who nominated me
• Answer their questions
• Nominate other bloggers for this award
• Write the same number of questions for the bloggers I’ve nominated
• Notify the bloggers I’ve nominated

Kristin @ Brokepedia’s Questions

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to save cash?

I once rented a video game at Blockbuster Video (remember them?) for 5 months, sort of for free. Back when Netflix used to be a mail only Blockbuster had a competing service. I subscribed to Blockbuster because you could get movies quicker by returning the mailed DVDs to the store in exchange for a new movie. I was a huge movie buff back in the day before I realized that 90% of Oscar nominated flicks are actually kinda boring.

One of the perks of the service was at the time they gave me two free in store rentals a month, which I would use to rent video games. You could rent a game for a week, and Blockbuster had a week grace period before they actually charged you a late fee. So what I did was rented a game (Twilight Princess for the Wii) for two weeks, and kept on re-renting with my free rental coupons. I did that until I completed the game five months later. By then, the Blockbuster employees knew me by name and referred to me as “Zelda Guy”.

So while it wasn’t technically free since I paid the monthly subscription for the DVD rental service, it did save me $50 from having to buy the game outright. Not my proudest moment, but hey, Vic was cheap before he became a father.

What do you love most about blogging?

I love having an outlet to express some of my thoughts on fatherhood and personal finance. I’m generally a pretty quiet guy, so this is another way for some of my close friends and family to get to know me. Through this blog, I’m proud that I’ve been able to make the discussion of finances a little less taboo to those around me. It’s a great feeling when I get a comment on my post or someone personally tells me that they enjoy my blog. I am encouraged to to keep writing because of the feedback of others.

What’s the hardest part of maintaining your own blog?

Writing! I don’t feel like I’m a natural writer so it takes me forever to write a post. I’m also never satisfied with what I end up writing. But I figure if I’m just going to tinker with my post all day, I’ll never put out anything new! Also, having a toddler makes writing blog posts a tad bit difficult!

Anyone got any tips on how to stick to a better writing schedule?

What’s your favorite book?

I’m a huge book nerd who bought a Kindle when it was like $300 (and Vic wasn’t so cheap) who read What to Expect When You’re Expecting as soon as my wife got pregnant. She got somewhat annoyed when I would tell her what’s happening to her body and give her suggestions on exercises she could do when she felt discomfort. I know that really isn’t answering your question Kristin, but some people find this anecdote funny 🙂

Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover was my gateway drug into the seedy world of personal finance. I know Dave gets a bad rap among some in the personal finance community who thinks he’s an angry old man who can get too preachy at times, but you can’t deny his methods works. While most of his advice is pretty simple (spend less than you earn, budget, invest, don’t buy things you can’t afford, etc.), he motivated me to have bigger dreams when it came to our financial goals. We’re ingrained as a society to think debt as a normal part of life. While there may be times where going into debt is necessary (such as a mortgage), The Total Money Makeover has inspired me to do everything I can to avoid debt. I’ll probably never have a car loan again, I won’t pay any interest on my credit cards, and I’m doing everything I can to ensure Addie doesn’t have to pull out a loan for college.

What’s the best money advice you’ve ever received?

Ramit Sethi, author of I Will Teach You to be Rich says, “Cut back mercilessly on things you don’t care about but spend extravagantly on things you love.”

I think a common misconception with being financially savvy is that you can’t do anything fun with your money. You have to save all your money and not treat yourself to Starbucks or the latest iPhone. That’s not the case at all. If those things are important to you – by all means buy it. Being financially savvy is all about spending your money on things that you value most, while cutting everything else that you don’t care about.

J @ Hey It’s Just Money’s Questions

What is the story behind your blog?

I love being able to share my journey about balancing family and finances from the perspective of a new father. I’m also not spectacularly rich so I think a lot of the stuff I write about are things most people can relate to. Personal finance is often seen as a boring topic, but I find it fascinating. I love the feeling of being in control of our money so that my family can live a more fulfilling life.

I hope in my little corner of the blogosphere I can inspire a few people pay attention to their finances just a little bit more.

What is the event/experience that changed your life forever?

When my father got a brain aneurysm about 11 years ago as I was just graduating college. As I mentioned in my previous post, I grew up spoiled. While I didn’t know what I wanted to do in my career, I always believed in the back of my mind I would be fine as my parents would be my safety net until I established myself.

This incident changed that as I had to grow up pretty quickly. I hustled to find that first job out of college (Executive Assistant for a Real Estate Agent) and worked my way to become financially independent from my parents. My life and career would have been completely different if this did not happen to my father.

Fortunately, my dad survived and is still alive to this day. I am thankful that he got to see both of his sons grow up, get married, and have kids.

If someone gave you $10,000 to spend on whatever you want, what will you spend it on?

Super boring answer – but I’ll probably put most of it away in investments (retirement, college fund, Lending Club, Betterment), some in general savings, and use some to take my family out on vacation. While an additional $10k would be nice, I don’t really think it would really move the needle that much as my family is very blessed. Now, if you said $100,000, I’d have a completely different answer 🙂

What do you think of Australia? (Not everything here can kill you, I can tell you that now. It’s not that scary.)

I never thought that it was a dangerous place! Besides the Sydney Opera House and Hugh Jackman (what would life be without Wolverine?), I honestly haven’t given much thought to Australia. From what I’ve seen in pictures and film, it does look like a lovely place. I do one day want to visit!

If you had one thing to say to the world, what would it be?
I’ll use the tagline of the blog that nominated me – “Hey, it’s just money!”

There are much more important things in life to me than money. Ensuring my family will always be taken care of is my top priority. Money is simply a tool to help achieve some of our goals.

I may never be a millionaire, but I sure as hell can budget like no one’s business to ensure Addie’s college fund has a lot of money by the time she graduates high school. When that time comes and her tuition bill comes, I’ll think, “hey, it’s just money.”

Who am I kidding? Dad will always be cheap and that bill is gonna hurt! At least we’ll be prepared for it, so I don’t have to worry about it so much 🙂

Vic’s Nominees:

Vic’s Questions:

  • What inspired you to start your own blog?
  • What is your ultimate dream job?
  • What is your financial philosophy?
  • Excluding significant others and immediate family, who is one person who has made a huge impact in your life?
  • What advice would you tell yourself if you could go back in time 10, 15 years?

Thanks again to Kristin & J for the nomination! This was fun!

Photo Aug 23, 1 41 17 PM
My Little Miss Sunshine.
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11 thoughts on “My Little Miss Sunshine (Award)

  1. Vic thank you so much for the nomination! I’m really looking forward to tackling these questions – although figuring out a good answer for who’s influenced me with money besides my mom is going to be tough! I’ll have the answers up as a Friday post this week and I’ll send you the link 🙂

    Also, having been to Australia, the perception about everything being able to kill you isn’t entirely unfounded! No joke, I once called residence security to come kill a spider the size of my head while I hid in the bathroom. Could it have killed me? Well, the guy seemed totally unphased by it and said it couldn’t… but still. It was a REALLY big spider. (I was there for a semester of school, which should help explain the residence thing!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re very welcome! I really like your blog! I figure most people would mention their parents or significant other so I wanted to see a different answer 🙂

      Spider the size of your head? Doesn’t sound fun at all! Well, I’ve been to Cambodia and the Philippines and they have some crazy bugs over there too.

      How was your Australian experience?

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      1. Big spiders are common, I won’t lie. We always ID spiders as soon as we see one because, yeah, some of them can kill you. But house spiders are harmless 😛

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t get over how adorable your daughter is.

    Lol Zelda Guy. That’s awesome. Not a bad nickname. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your answers, Vic. Glad to hear your dad recovered; I also enjoyed reading your post about him a while back.
    Also, for what it’s worth, I think your writing is great. Very relatable and you have a clear voice that I can hear in my head, so…keep it up! And thank you for the kind words. I always look forward to your comments at both Lifehacker and Brokepedia!

    I might not survive that Orochon challenge though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kristin!

      You’re a Jedi master when it comes to writing so I take that as a huge compliment coming from you!

      I don’t think I’d survive that challenge too! But hey, sometimes you gotta do something crazy once in awhile. Think about it! 😉 I think my wife would hate me for trying that as I’d probably curl up in a fetal position for the rest of the day complaining like a baby. My wife and I go to Little Tokyo every few months and love ramen. Torrance also has a lot of good Japanese restaurants – it’s a little closer to where we live.

      Like

  3. Awesome answers, Vic! Thanks for answering my questions, I know you’ve been busy lately. I’m a shy and introverted person too, and blogging is a great way for me to connect with others.

    I enjoy reading your blog! And I think you’re being too hard on yourself, you write well! I hope you continue writing about personal finance, fatherhood and family as your posts are really inspiring. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congrats on the award! Loved reading your answers!

    I haven’t read Ramit’s book but I agree 100% with that advice – it’s great! My wife and I are big supporters of budgeting. When asked “why?” our response is simple: We want to do more of the stuff we like to do and less of the stuff we don’t like to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Luke!

      It’s crazy how people just don’t budget! It’s just about being mindful of your money. I think most people just get too fixated on the details of budgeting so they get bored or quit. If you look at the bigger picture (retirement, vacations, college, etc.) I think that makes all the difference. I only recently started budgeting in the last few years so I can relate.

      You should read Ramit’s book! It’s probably the most entertaining personal finance book I’ve read. Some of those books can be kinda dry 🙂

      Like

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