This week’s Money Master is John Schmoll of Frugal Rules. John started out like us by acquiring way more debt than one person needed and was also in financial services. Today he is an entrepreneur who lives debt free with his wife. Learn more about John below.
Lastly, click here to be a Money Master. We’re always seeking new personal finance bloggers or industry experts to help our followers be debt free, have fun and be money conscious.
1. What’s your story?
I’ve been a small business owner for the past three years. My financial story isn’t all that unique from what others have experienced. I discovered credit cards when I went to college and racked up a bunch of debt. Combined with student loans, I graduated with a piece of paper and roughly $45,000 in debt – and that was nearly 20 years ago! After trying to avoid and ignore my debt for several years I was faced with the dilemma of either paying off the debt or declaring bankruptcy.
The sad fact was that I couldn’t even afford the fee to file for bankruptcy. It was the tough love of a roommate at the time who challenged me not to take the easy way out, rather work to pay off the debt. That was the turning point for me and, long story short, took about 6 years to pay off the debt. During that time I started working in the financial services industry and spoke with people on a daily basis who were like me and had no idea what they were doing with their money. Frugal Rules started as a way to help those looking for help see that they can turn things around and have the kind of life they want.
2. What’s your point of view, as a personal finance blogger?
My general point of view as a blogger is that people need to be aware of what their money is doing for them. Essentially, to not be passive with it. Either it’s going to control you or you will control it. It’s that simple. You can either choose to spend foolishly and be enslaved to debt/not know where your money is going, or you can choose to live purposely using money as a tool to accomplish the kind of life you want.
The other major thing I aim to work towards is making money not be a taboo topic in our society. I was raised in a family where money wasn’t discussed, and it showed. I know I’m not the only one who has had that experience. It doesn’t have to be that way. We should have open and honest dialogue about money. Through that, we’re able to become more financially literate – which should be the end goal.
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?
Start saving/investing now. It doesn’t matter how much it is, just start. Do that and everything else will work itself out.
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