Subscriber Swap Saturday: Wide Open Wallet

by Kevin on December 20, 2008

This is the fourth edition of Subscriber Swap Saturday. I highly encourage all of my readers to subscribe to Wide Open Wallet for one week and see if you like what you find! Read more about Subscriber Swap Saturday at the link above.

Wide Open Wallet is a 31 year old stay at home mother of two.  Her goal is to provide an honest look at family finances.  She believes that money doesn’t have to be taboo — we would all be better off if we could talk about it and just generally support and learn from one another. Be sure to grab a subscription to her RSS feed for this week. She and I sat down recently to interview each other. You can find her interview of me on her blog. My questions for her are below.

Q: How did you and your husband make the decision for you to be a stay at home Mom? Obviously that would affect your finances, but how great of a change was required?

A: Honestly, we never really sat down and decided, it just kinda happened.  We both wanted me to be able to stay home but really didn’t think we could manage it. My son was born in at the beginning of February and we got our tax return right about that time too.  We stuck the whole thing (we get a lot back) in the bank just in case, with a new baby and all we just wanted to have it.

Anyways, my job gave me six months maternity leave, with the first 8 weeks paid.  I was planning to take the 8 weeks but that was it, but when the time came there was no way I was leaving my baby.  So I decided to take another month, and then another, and then another.  We used our tax return to supplement our income and my husband worked as much OT as he could get.  Finally, it was time to either go back or quit.  So I quit.  We’ve just been going with that plan ever since.  We are coming up on three years.

It has had a huge effect on our finances.  For one thing we used to be able to take our tax return and do whatever we wanted with it.  Now it all pretty much goes to bills.  My husband works more and still… all the money goes to bills.  Which is not fun.  Especially when you figure we live a lot more frugally than we used to.  But it’s totally worth it.

Q: What author/blogger/guru has made the biggest impact on you and your family finances?

A: I can’t say one particular person has made more of an impact than another.  I used to read finance books, now I read a bunch of blogs, in the end they all kinda blur together.  I take what works for me, neat ideas, useful tips, thought provoking blurbs, etc. and try to apply it to my life in little ways.

But if I was forced to pick someone I would have to say Suze Orman.  She was the first person I heard talking about personal finance.  I didn’t know people did that for a job until I saw her.  I knew immediately that is what I wanted to “be when I grew up”.

Q: What are your long term plans for Wide Open Wallet?

A: Oh gosh.  I love writing it so I doubt it’s going away any time soon.  In a perfect world it would provide me with a solid income.   I would love to be well known in the blogsphere.  But I don’t really write with either of those goals in mind.  I just write for my readers.  Honestly, when someone emails me or comments and says that I helped them, or that they really enjoyed a post that makes so happy.  It’s the most satisfying “job” I’ve ever had.

Q: What’s the best financial move you’ve made this year?

A: I’ve gotten a lot more frugal over the past year, that’s for sure.

I also took our stimulus check and opened a separate account for vacations.  Having it in a separate account made sure it didn’t get spent on bills.  Since it was sitting right there we were forced to make sacrifices in other places to pay bills.  Which allowed us a weekend at the Grand Canyon and we are going to Disneyland next month.  I don’t think we would have gone on vacation if I had just put the money in the regular account and said “We’ll go if we can afford it.”

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Thanks for taking time out of your stay-at-home-Mom duties to chat with me, Mrs. Wallet. Hey readers — subscribe to her blog, check it out, and see what you think after a week. I think you’ll dig it. You can read Wide Open Wallet’s interview of me here.

Want to be interviewed? Check out the Subscriber Swap Saturday page.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Bruce December 20, 2008 at 12:25 pm

Subscriber Swap Saturday – Very cool idea. I like it

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