What’s your story (your elevator pitch, if you will)?
I’m just a regular schlub who woke up one day, 30 days away from being married to a beautiful woman. I had no financial plan, no concept of real budgeting, and was scared out of my mind thinking about how I could provide for my family and manage our finances. My soon-to-be-brother-in-law (too-many-dashes) dropped a Dave Ramsey audio CD in my lap and told me to give it a listen. The smiling bald guy on the cover haunted my dreams until I finally decided to pop it in my car CD player and see what this snake-oil-salesman had to offer.
Needless to say, that lit a fire under me. I decided to track my spending and realized I was a financial moron. I created some goals, stopped throwing $600 a month at mall food and got on a flippin’ sweet budget! Been riding the budget wave ever since.
What made you decide to start a blog?
I couldn’t shut up about budgeting and personal finance, so instead of talking to everyone I knew about it, I decided to start and blog and talk at the internet. It’s been a fun ride since then :)
What’s your next project?
Wait, I’m supposed to have a plan or something? CRAP! Uhhh…well, probably going to start doing video on my blog. Yea, that’s it! Also, I am in the midst of writing a budget rap song, but it’s taking forever. Now that it’s out in the open, I have to finish it. Hoping to have it done in time for #FinCon13.
What part of the country do you live in? What do you like about it?
I live in the Northwest, near the Seattle area. You might know about this place, as I’m about 3.5 hours north of you :) I love almost EVERYTHING about this part of the country. No big bugs, no tornadoes and crazy weather, mild temperature, fast internet, great food all around, and (most people won’t believe me), AMAZING SUMMERS! Also, most of my family is here, and that’s a good thing ;)
Oh! I don’t think I knew you were so close!
What’s the best thing about blogging?
People. When I blog, if it jives with even just one person, I LOVE IT! The fact that I get to help REAL PEOPLE with REAL MONEY QUESTIONS, help get them on a budget, change their financial future, and have fun while doing it is the best thing in the world. If I could just do this 12 hours a day, I totally would. I am energized by it!
What’s the hardest thing about blogging?
There aren’t 36 hours in a day. Honestly, I just stack too many things on my plate at once, and then life happens, and I can’t hit the deadlines I set for myself. Sometimes it’s delaying on a guest post, or interview (btw, sorry this one took so long), or creating a budget for someone. If I could get another 12 hours a day to manage the blog, I’d be set!
Do you blog full time? If not, what do you do during the work day?
I blog in my spare time. It’s a hobby/business :) During the day, I put on my techie hat and play “AV Systems Engineer”. I get to review new electronics all day and help design and implement them into corporate conference rooms. Fancy new TV’s, projectors, speakers, amps, touch panel controllers, you name it! it’s a pretty sweet gig, I have to admit.
Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
You know, I would say extrovert. I didn’t used to be, but over time I forced myself to strike up conversations and learn to talk with just about anyone. I can talk nerd, techie (not Trekkie), professional, sophisticated, hip hop, and even redneck! I love talking with just about anyone :)
Coffee or tea? What do you put in it?
Neither! Unfortunately, I’m a soda man, and am drastically trying to cut back. I do enjoy hot chocolate with Irish cream, though :) (why do I keep putting smileys?)
Are you planning on attending FinCon13? Why or why not?
Unofficially, yes. I’m in the market for a cheap ticket (why pay full price, right?!), and since my PTO at work was in question, I didn’t jump on it when things were on sale. I want to meet everyone in person who I have met digitally, put a name/voice/personality to the faces, and just have a financially nerdy good ol’ time! Also, I’d love to speak there, but I may be a bit late on that one. I’ll probably do enough talking off the stage for like 5 of us, so I’m still pumped :) ← there is is again…
What would you have as your last meal? Rules of this game: you’re not sick, and you have a super stomach which will allow you to eat more calories than normal.
Half-pound grass-fed organic bacon burger with arugala, garden fresh tomatoes, avacado and pork belly. 22 ounce Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar and some shoestring fries. Wow….I’m starving now…
Also, a thick cut porterhouse steak and bottle of 2006 Italian Pinot Noir. ‘06 was a good year :)
Can we get food together at FinCon? We have the same stomach.
Name one thing in real life that drives you crazy.
Smoking. Everything about it.
Name one thing on the internet that drives you crazy.
Instagram. Everything about it.
What’s the best (or “best”) pickup line you’ve ever heard or said?
Me: “So, what do you do?” (trying to sound all suave and adult-like because I just graduated high school)
Wife: “I’m in high school…. (with a “wtf did you just ask me?” face on)
Not the best, but… can’t argue with results!
How did you propose to your wife?
I had the ring hand crafted at a custom jewelry shop a few months before engagement. So, on my birthday (which happens to be December 31st), I’m pretty sure she was expecting me to pop the question (no, she didn’t know about the ring). Midnight rolls around and she’s smiling, looking me in the eyes, while everyone on TV in the background is getting proposed to. I gave her a kiss, smiled back, and said “I need some food”, and walked off. Needless to say, she got a “headache” and didn’t really want to talk to anyone the rest of the night.
The next day, her family and I headed up to the mountains to do some inner-tubing in the snow. I brought the ring and zipped it into my snow suit. Little did my wife know that her entire family was in on this. We found a remote location overlooking a frozen lake, and were sledding down onto the lake on a hillside. Her brother and I scoped out the ideal location out on a peninsula on the lake. I told her I had to show her something, and had her close her eyes as we walked out. With the sparkling snowy mountains in the background, a beautiful sunset, and 40MPH winds, she opened her eyes, I sunk down on one knee (literally sunk to my chest in snow), pulled out the ring and asked her to marry me. She screamed, said yes, and then her family ran up to us with the video camera and all. They recorded the entire thing, my wife didn’t know a thing.
She told me later how mad she was the night before, but it was well worth it to wait just one day :)
What a romantic gesture! Way to make her wait (and not too long, either) and surprise her!
What are some of your favorite books? Just the ones that come to mind, they don’t have to be the very best books of all time.
Books? I read blogs. FrugalPortland.com, iHeartBudgets.net, ClubThrifty.com, BudgetsAreSexy.com, StackingBenjamins.com. There’s too many to list!
Hey, look, you linked to me! Thanks, pal. Good reading, all of those.
Same with movies. What are some of your favorites?
You know, I love Dumb and Dumberer. No, not the Jim Carrey original. I love the Prequel. The writing was genius, every bit was quotable and funny, and I get ridiculed ENDLESSLY for telling people I like this movie. And now it’s on the internet. Forever.
HA! I love your honesty, Jake. I mean, you could have said Citizen Kane, but you went with the truth.
Who would play you in the movie version of your life?
Whoever the guy is that plays Phil Dunfey on “Modern Family”. As far as look goes, I don’t think there are actors good-looking enough right now, so I would probably have to play myself… (insert sarcasm face here)
Have you ever been in a fight? Did you throw the first punch?
Little known fact: I am legally a lethal weapon. I have a Black Belt in Japanese style Karate after 6.5 years of study. Best part about that is that I’ve never had to use it. I had some kids throw pine cones at me once, and that was annoying. But I have never been in a fight, which I am proud of. If anything, I’d use my karate to get away, because beating someone down doesn’t interest me. Also, I have a small frame and would most likely get pummeled if I stayed :)
Fascinating! I’ve never known a lethal weapon before.
Do you have now, or have you ever had, a tattoo? If so, details, please!
Where’s your next vacation?
Hawaii. Bringing 6 people, all on points. I love me some credit card churning.
Please share a joke.
Wall street executive personal finance blogger.