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Subscriber Swap Saturday: No Debt Plan

in People & Products

My Interview with Kevin of No Debt Plan!

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 new 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.

So Kevin, when you started No Debt Plan, what were your initial goals and how have they changed?

To be honest, and this is terrible, I didn’t have much of a goal. I wanted to challenge myself to blog on a regular basis. I also wanted to share my personal finance knowledge as it really is my hobby and passion. I figured if I could help one person that would be great.”

At what point during your blog’s career did you realize that you could be onto something big?

“You know I think it was about the time I hit 400 or 500 subscribers. I’m still not sure I’m onto something “big” just yet — still working on that one — but I remember being surprised that hundreds of people were getting my updates. And I think it’s really, really cool.

Also when I started earning a side income of a few hundred dollars per month kind of got me really interested that I could be onto something.”

When you dream of the future for No Debt Plan, what do you see?

“I would absolutely love to write full time. I’d love to do conferences much like Dave Ramsey. I’m considering becoming a Certified Financial Planner and making “this” a job. Of course as a CFP I would mostly do work in person, but I’d love to be a full-time blogger.”

What was the the “turning point” in your personal financial journey?

“It’s really tough to tell… sometimes I feel like I don’t have that compelling of a story. I’ve never been $100,000 in debt. My parents started teaching me about money early, and I never got into credit card trouble in college that I late had to dig out of. If I had to pick one moment I would say it would be during one of my corporate finance classes in college. The professor must have had a heart for trying to keep college students out of money problems and went over some significant personal finance tips. He showed us how much money you would have at retirement if you saved a certain amount per year, explained how compound interest worked (positively and negatively), things like that.”

Alright…  list the 3 most important short, quick “financial principles,” as you see them!

  1. Spend less than you earn
  2. Live on a budget (to make sure you are doing #1)
  3. Don’t burn any bridges. Not 100% personal finance related, but burning a bridge when you leave an employer can have a profound affect on you later in your career. (And that will cost you money.)

Tell us one sort of financial stance you take, which may go against “standard” personal financial advice.

“Credit cards are not evil. I’m a big believer that a credit card is a piece of plastic, an inanimate object. Credit cards don’t hold a gun to your head and force you to spend irresponsibly. That’s a spending problem — not a credit card problem. Some argue that you spend more with a credit card. Well if you are on a budget that kind of eliminates that problem. (Once you are out of money in a budget category — gasp — you stop spending!)”

Never to buck a personal finance trend…  Joint or separate finances?

Joint. Some folks can make separate finances work.

My personal belief is that when you stand on that altar before God and everyone, you combine lives permanently. And not just a portion of your lives. Everything. My debt is your debt, your money is my money, my problems are your problems. I think the whole “you haven’t paid your half of the rent” is just… insane. Joint finances, at the very least, force you to work together. There are ways to provide for free spending (we give ourselves individual allowances each month) so that you don’t feel trapped by the budget.”

Lastly, give us your top 3 hobbies or interest that have nothing to do with personal finance!

  1. University of Tennessee sports, specifically football
  2. PC Gaming (Left 4 Dead currently)
  3. I have a 1978 BMW 320 that I plan to restore… someday. It runs and is in really good body condition, but there are some mechanical issues that… ahem… need work.

A special thanks go out to Kevin for contacting me to swap interviews.  I’ve been a long-time subscriber of No Debt Plan, way before I started blogging myself.  Do me a personal favor and join the other 800+ who subscribe to his blog.  Give him a test run for one week…  I know you’ll be hooked for good!  While you are over there, be sure to check out his questions for me!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

MB April 25, 2009 at 10:05 AM

Nice interview. I particularly like the the last question, but maybe that is because I went to UT. Go Vols! But seriously…totally agree on the joint finances thing and the credit card thing. Our credit card works to our advantage in helping us reach our goals of getting to Australia every year with reward miles. I would hardly call that evil!

MB’s last blog post..Recipe Roundup: Easy Quiche + Others

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Baker April 25, 2009 at 10:20 AM

Yeah, Kevin was awesome. I really enjoyed conversing with him. I’m a huge fan of combined finances, but not a huge credit card guy. I won’t break out the full explanation (I’ve done that before and will certainly do it again in posts), but overall it’s just not an industry that I want to support or participate in, in any form!

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Jacob Duchaine April 25, 2009 at 12:25 PM

I can’t wait until I have 400-500 subscribers. I bet that makes writing each post a little more stressful though. To know that after you press send, several hundred people are going to read over what you’ve written, and any mistakes you made will be seen by most of them. I don’t know, just seems like it would make me think twice before hitting the publish button.

Spending less than you earn is good advice too. I look forward to being able to do that starting this summer.

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Baker April 25, 2009 at 12:30 PM

I agree! Having that many people whom enjoy your work enjoy to subscribe would be a big thrill. Also that added pressure might be a good thing… especially for my writing! ;-)

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