One of the many podcasts I listen to is So Money by Farnoosh Torabi. In the beginning, she used to ask her guests the same questions over and over again. I actually liked this format because even though the questions were the same, the guests’ answers were always different. There were some similarities in philosophies and perceptions on money, but people’s histories were different.
These days, though, Farnoosh has gone to straight interviewing her guests on her thirty-minute podcast. The questions are all different for each individual guest.
As a throwback, I thought I’d do a post on how I would answer her questions if she happened to be interviewing me. Insert smiley face. 😁
F: What is your financial philosophy? If you have kind of a mantra that helps guide your thinking and decisions making, when it comes to money, what is it?
Gratitude is my superpower. I am grateful for the money that is coming in and that we have. It keeps us relatively secure against the uncertainties of the world, but at the same time it is not always the answer to everything. Being grateful keeps me aware that we might not always have it, so I am a careful steward of the money we have now. It can help or hinder, but I choose to always do something positive with it.
F: What was one outstanding memory you have from your childhood? Something that helped shaped or influenced the way you think about money today?
One of the things I remember the most was my father taking out a loan to buy a $3,000 laptop. This was back in the late 1990s when laptops used to cost that much. I remember that my mom was angry about it and didn’t like it.
Back then, I think that was when I learned that I can get something I wanted if I can take out a loan. This is probably what influenced me to take out student loans after I graduated high school. I didn’t even think about getting full scholarships to fund my entire degree, or any other alternative to loans. Of course, I thought that with the grades I had already earned, I should be able to get some kind of money. I got a little bit of money from some scholarships and I thought that was enough. I didn’t even consider working part-time while studying to pay off my tuition. I would just rely on loans to cover the rest of what I needed.
What stuck with me was that it was easy to get the money. I can always ask for a loan. However, I didn’t realize that the aftermath, that being saddled with debt, was painful. Paying off the loan was difficult. I didn’t learn that until after I had graduated college and needed to pay back my student loans. Now, I am very averse to debt and I just don’t even want to consider it at all.
F: What has been your biggest financial failure?
My biggest financial failure was not investing early enough. I wish I had learned about investing and compound interest when I was younger so that I would have started saving just a little bit at a time and not touched that money. I really wish I had known about 401Ks and Roth accounts back then. Even though I was working and earning money, I never learned how to save properly. I saved whatever I didn’t spend, but only because I was planning on using that money someday. After all, money earned had to be spent.
F: What is your So Money Moment?
Paying off my student loans. Can you imagine the weight that is lifted off you when you get rid of $60,000 of debt? It was glorious. It was worth the stress of working overtime nonstop for a few years. I did it all in five years. I credit my husband for being so supportive about it all. I also got help from my brother when he provided the last push I needed to get through the toughest part. I still have the last disbursement letter from the loan service. Maybe I should have it framed.
F: What’s one financial habit or So Money ritual that you do that really helps you keep your money where it needs to be?
Every week, I withdraw ¥10,000 from my bank account. That is all the money I will use for the week. Whatever I don’t spend, I save it and use it for later–just in case something comes up that I didn’t account for. It’s very old school but it keeps me aware of the money I have sitting in the bank account–that’s money that I haven’t touched. At the same time, whatever cash I have in my hand, is it. I am limited to that amount and cannot get anything more once I use it all up. I like the limitations and the possibility of it all.
The Round-Robin, Quick Fire Questions: Just say whatever first pops into your mind.
“If I won the lottery tomorrow, say $100 million bucks, I would… “
Pay off the mortgage on my mom’s and sister’s houses.
“The one thing that I spend on that makes my life easier or better is?”
Travel. I need to take at least one trip a year to somewhere I’d never been before. I love experiences and I still want to see the rest of the world.
“My biggest guilty pleasure that I spend a lot on, probably too much is?”
Books. I have way too many at home, but I just can’t give them up.
“One thing I wished I’d known about money growing up is?”
Investing is not just for rich people.
“When I donate money I like to give to _________ because… “
Environmental, international aid and poverty causes. I used to donate small amounts regularly to Rainforest Alliance, The International Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, and OxFam. I haven’t done so in a while, but I want to do it again.
“Lastly, I’m So money because… “
I control my own financial destiny.