No Debt Plan is about getting and staying out of debt with a plan. Kevin, the author, is passionate about budgeting, saving for the future, and using goals to reach financial freedom. You can subscribe to his blog by RSS or email.
This interview is part of a feature he’s developed called Subscriber Swap Saturday. The basic idea is to get the subscribers of one blog to subscribe to the other blog for at least a week, just to try it out. After a week if you don’t find that blogger’s content enticing, drop it. The hope is that over time you will find several writers that you weren’t familiar with who provide meaningful content to you. You can read more about Subscriber Swap Saturday at his get out of debt blog, as well as his interview with me. Here are my questions to Kevin:
YMR: Did you have any formal personal finance training in high school or college?
Kevin: I took a corporate finance course as part of my management degree. In the class the professor touched on some of the basics. Everything else has come from my own reading (magazines and online primarily). We may have touched on the basics — like balancing a checkbook — in high school, but that was about it.
YMR: Do you think we need to be teaching personal finance to our younger generations?
Kevin: Anything would be an improvement in my eyes. Let’s show them how deadly — and useful — credit cards can be. Let’s show them how a 30-year mortgage really works and how you shouldn’t buy a house unless you really, really plan to stay in it for a while. How investing early means you don’t necessarily have to invest as much. I could go on and on for days, but those are some highlights.
YMR: What was the best advice that your family gave you about money?
Kevin: Save 10% of everything you make and spend less than you earn. I don’t remember any significant “sit down talks” about money, but these stick out to me. In fact I think 10% isn’t even close to what we all need to be saving, but it’s a start in the right direction.
YMR: What has your family or friends taught you about what NOT to do with your money (i.e. what made you say, “now that was a dumb financial move”)?
Kevin: Hmm… interesting question. My parents, unfortunately, don’t have nearly enough saved for retirement. However they get the luxury of social security, something I feel our generation will likely do without. I try to spread the financial gospel as far as I can, and I can’t think of any major financial problems friends have made. We made the “mistake” of buying a house we love then realizing we probably weren’t going to live in this city for 5-7 years to make our money back, but we’re not underwater or anything like that.
YMR: How would you describe your site to my readers in five words or less?
Kevin: Debt to wealth through planning.
YMR: Do you ever think that there will be too many financial blogs on the internet? Why or why not?
Kevin: Ehhhh… yes and no. A lot of what you read is the same old stuff being rehashed — don’t use credit cards, save money, etc. It’s tough to remain interesting to a large audience. But I think those that can differentiate themselves or settle into a solid niche will enjoy success. I hope you and I are among them!
YMR: What has been your favorite post to write and why?
Kevin: I’m somewhat proud of my No Debt Plan (the actual plan behind the blog). Other than that I can’t think of one post that really just makes me go wow, I did a great job there. Not sure if that means all my posts are merely okay, or if everything I write is Pulitzer-worthy… 😉