Kelly Whalen is the founder of The ¢entsible Life, a blog that inspires readers to take charge of their finances and make their money work for them. She sat down with LearnVest to answer twelve Proust Questionnaire-inspired questions about her financial experiences, her website, and her thoughts for the rest of us!
1. Best financial advice you ever got?
The best personal finance I've heard (and I repeat it often) is to slash expenses you don't care about so you can focus on what you love. I follow that rule every day. I love a good latte, so I make an effort to give up other things in order to afford the small things I love.
2. If you could change one thing about your finances what would it be?
I wish I had been more knowledgeable and focused on finances in my twenties.
3. Biggest financial mistake you made?
I can think of many mistakes, but I can honestly say every mistake I’ve made (and will make in the future) has taught me so much. Without those mistakes I wouldn’t be where I am today.
4. Biggest financial mistakes other people make?
Listening to other people’s advice. What works for one person, doesn’t always make sense for another. Your financial situation, goals, and means aren’t the same as your neighbors.
5. What is your greatest extravagance?
My family. Having a family is expensive, as is living on one income. I wouldn’t trade it for a million dollars though.
6. What is your most treasured possession?
I’m not very attached to possessions, but I think I would cry if I lost or broke my iPhone.
7. What is your motto when it comes to money?My motto is: Money doesn’t equal happiness. It’s a good reminder to appreciate the non-monetary treasures in life, and not get carried away trying to earn and pay off debt so much that I miss out on life.
8. What is your greatest financial fear?
My biggest fear is that we’ll never get out of debt. I feel like we’re playing catch up.
9. Who is your financial role model?
I don’t think I have one role model. I have many. I admire my husband and father who both work hard to provide for their families. I admire my mom, who taught me how to spot a bargain, and how to work hard. I admire Adam Baker, from Man vs. Debt for his ability to travel across the world with his family and eschew the typical lifestyle. I love reading Ramit Sethi’s advice (I Will Teach You to Be Rich) for his amazing knowledge on the psychology of money, and his audience.
10. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
My idea of perfect happiness is to have a balanced life where I can be home with my kids, spend time off doing fun things with my family, spend one on one time with my husband, and work hard on projects I love.
11. What should people know about your site?
My site is a blend of personal finance and family life. I talk a lot about places I go, products I use, and of course being a mom.
12. What do you like best about LearnVest?
There is advice on so many topics, but it’s very concise. I like being able to search the site for something specific and finding a lot of different articles.