I started this blog for the sole purpose of being able to help people make more informed decisions about their finances.
It's been a wonderful journey with over 1,100 blog posts published and over 4 million people (closing in on 5 million) visiting this site.
Amazing for a guy who once knew nothing about blogging or how to start a website, huh?
I love running this blog. It's hard for me to consider doing anything different.
As this blog has evolved, so has the maintenance of keeping the blog going. If you run a blog, you get it. If you don't, let's just say that there are hours and hours AND HOURS of work going on behind the scenes to keep this blog running.
Writing new content is just a fraction of all the time I spend managing this site. Wanting to put out more great content and help more people, I knew I had to bring on help. That help is Kevin Mulligan.
Kevin has been working behind the scenes with me on this blog for over a year. I just asked Kevin to become an official contributor and editor of this site. His duties will include providing content, managing the editorial calendar, and correcting all my typos. Pray for Kevin. He's about to have A LOT on his hands.
What about my role? My goal is bringing on Kevin officially is so that I'll have more time to do what I do best: put out solid content. I want more time to write, do videos, create courses, start a podcast and more. So much more! Don't worry. I'm not going anywhere. 🙂
To kick off Kevin's new role, I thought it would be good to give him a formal introduction. Here's a quick Q&A with my new official contributor. Welcome Kevin…..
1. What made you interested in writing about personal finance?
I was learning a lot of basic but critical information from places like Money Magazine that I wanted to share the information with others. Blogging was at the intersection of my interests in personal finance and technology. I wanted to learn how to run a website using WordPress and figured writing about something I was passionate about would work well.
2. What is the best financial decision you've made? What's the worst?
I mean this seriously: I married an amazing woman with a good head on her shoulders that agrees with my financial strategy. When we were dating in college I set her up on an Excel spreadsheet budget so we could each afford to drive the 5 hours round trip to visit every other weekend. She didn't balk at that, and I knew she was a winner.
The top two things people argue about are money and sex. By marrying someone that agreed on our finances from the get go we eliminated 50% of the things people argue about a lot. That isn't to say we don't disagree on some financial things, but a vast majority of the time we are on the same page. That makes life so much easier.
Contrast this to couples that get married and haven't discussed money. She works hard, and he spends all the money. He wants to eat in to save money while she hates cooking and wants to eat out. It makes life so much more difficult when you can't agree on how to spend the money you earn.
The worst decision I've made was buying a house at the absolute peak of the housing bubble. We didn't have the foresight to see that we wouldn't live in the same area for 10+ years, nor the ability to see the housing crash that was to quickly come. We definitely put our wants over our needs, put 5% down, got an 80% first mortgage and a 15% second mortgage for the remaining amount.
We did some things right with that house. We paid off the 2nd mortgage within 2 or so years and we would have ended up okay in the long run if we had decided to live in the same area for a long time. Unfortunately we relocated back to east Tennessee a little more than 3 years after we purchased our first home, and it took 6 months to sell right as the housing bubble was crashing. (Our losses? Oh, just all of our equity so about $40,000…)
We were smart to sell when we did, all things considered. The week after we accepted the contract another 5 or 6 houses went up for sale on our street for less than we had accepted the contract for. We felt like we dodged a bullet.
3. What book has inspired you most?
That's a tough one. From a financial perspective it would have to be my corporate finance textbook from college. Not because of the book, but because the professor had it on his heart to teach the class about compound interest. Those lessons combined with my parents getting me a subscription to Money Magazine really got me started in understanding how many can work for or against you.
Other good reads are The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham (if you ever thought you were smart enough to pick stocks, try reading this 2″ thick book!) and Wild at Heart.
4. What excites you most about being a contributor to Good Financial Cents?
The opportunity to contribute to one of the top personal finance blogs, to work with and learn from a great community, and to continue to share my knowledge of personal finance is one that I couldn't miss. I want to help people pick from the dizzying array of options for brokerage accounts, savings accounts, and so forth.
Above all I want readers to walk away from everything I write with at least one “ah ha!” moment; something they can take action on to improve their finances. Getting a lot of knowledge but not taking action won't improve your financial situation. I want to inspire readers to act rather than to passively absorb what we share.
Glad to have you on board Kevin!