MoneyNing is one of the largest (and in our opinion, best) personal finance blogs that covers a plethora of topics, from living frugally to investing wisely. So we’re really humbled to have the site’s founder, David Ning, as our guest in this week’s personal finance Q&A.
Take a look at what David has to say about smart wealth building.
On your blog, you’ve said that taking action is the biggest block to a solid financial foundation. Why is taking action so hard? How do we fix it?
We all tend to stick to our routines because life is busy and it’s difficult to crave out resources to think of and make changes. One of the ways to get started is to start small and increase the intensity later. If saving is your goal, then start putting away a tiny bit at first. It’s much easier to ramp up savings later than to start saving all together.
You mention that “the little things matter” when it comes to finance. Can you give us some examples – or maybe a story about someone you know – that can help us appreciate this concept?
I’ll briefly tell you my story. I was frugal all my life, saving everywhere I can. In fact, my family sometimes worry that I save too much and will turn into Mr Cheap. But if I was never frugal, I would have never had the guts to leave the corporate world to give self employment a shot because my expenses would prevent me from making the leap. Fast forward a few short years and our family’s circumstances have changed drastically. I’m making more money now than I was working that day job, and I get to do it in the comforts of my home. Many people still tell me being frugal doesn’t matter because you can always make more. If they only knew!
You share some great advice about investing, specifically – it’s good to track your progress. How often do you like to track, and what’s your process for knowing what’s working and what needs tweaked?
Technology allows us to have the numbers tracked continuously these days, so that’s the easy part. The hard part is to know when to make changes. But as you read more and more financial literature, you tend to learn how to pick out the solid advice versus the fluff because you build up that financial know-how yourself.
Let’s say you’re at a dinner party, and the host mentions you have a personal finance blog. Another guest, that you don’t know much about, asks you for the best piece of advice you’ve heard when it comes to money. What do you tell them?
The obvious answer is to live below your means, but at the end of the day, living now or better later is a personal choice. Do you want to live it up now and possibly have to downgrade your lifestyle later? Or do you want to save more and enjoy an ever increasing standard of living as you save and invest for the future? The choice is yours, but don’t ever lie to yourself that no one has ever told you so.