Money Masters: The Dollar Stretcher

This week’s Money Master is Gary of The Dollar Stretcher. What we love about The Dollar Stretcher is the immense wealth of information on this site. The best summary of this information is that it truly helps you stretch your dollar. There are reviews on products and services, keys to hiring the best, not necessarily the cheapest, contractor, and how to optimize you freezer space.

One of the more recent posts we like is Tax Consequences of Selling Your Home in Your 50s and 60s. More and more research suggests that the less debt and expenses a person or couple has going into retirement the more successful their retirement will be. It’s a relatively newer trend for near-retirees or retirees to buy newer and larger homes. This has caused some to become house-poor in their 60s, which leaves little room for expenses such as healthcare.

Seasonally, there’s a series of posts about spring cleaning for less green. We particularly loves Natural Spring Cleaning the Frugal Way.

1. What’s your story?

Editing The Dollar Stretcher.com is my third career. I was a financial planner and purchasing manager before starting the site and newsletters in 1996. So my work life has always been about getting value for a dollar. Given my background in business (BS in Management from Missouri State University) and my work experience, I have a working knowledge of most financial questions. As an active DIYer (I’ve added on a full bedroom with bath by myself), I also have an understanding of many ways to save money around the home.

But the most important thing is the site is not just about what I know about frugal living. From the very start I felt that our readers knew time and money-saving things that I didn’t know. So we’ve always encouraged readers to share. Each week we feature a question from a reader that we call “Can You Help This Reader?” We’ll collect the responses and then publish the best ones. It’s fascinating what you can learn when experts and experienced people contribute!

2. What’s your point of view, as a personal finance blogger?

To the extent that I have a point of view, it’s that most people don’t manage their money. They let money manage them. But my view isn’t really that important. Our goal at The Dollar Stretcher.com is to give people the information and tools to take control of their financial lives. Sometimes that means learning new skills. Usually it means taking action. That’s why most articles include something we call “take the next step” that gives readers something to do to take advantage of what they’ve read.

3. In one sentence, what’s one piece of sage advice from your personal finance background that you’d like to share with our readers?

Can’t do it in one sentence, but I’ll limit it to a paragraph. It’s essential to learn the value of compound interest. Being just a little bit in debt is much worse than having a few dollars saved. Compound interest will cause the debt to grow. The longer you wait to pay it back the bigger the debt will be. But if you save just a little each month it will grow and double over time without any further effort on your part. If you’re willing to save just a little bit of each paycheck you can retire as a millionaire!

Check out The Dollar Stretcher, sign up for their RSS feed or their newsletter. You’ll be glad you did.

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