Subscriber Swap Saturday: Moolanomy

by Kevin on May 23, 2009

This is the twenty-fourth edition of Subscriber Swap Saturday.

For the uninitiated, every Saturday I do an interview with another blogger. That blogger also interviews me and posts that interview on their website.We then tell our readers — hey, I think this guy is interesting, you should subscribe to his blog for a week.

This week I’m interviewing Moolanomy. I highly encourage all of my readers to subscribe to his blog and see if you like what you find! Read more about Subscriber Swap Saturday at the link above. I’ve been subscribed to his blog for quite some time and had a lot of great interaction behind the scenes. His questions for me are up at his blog.

Pinyo is the owner of Moolanomy Personal Finance. He writes on topics about investing and saving for retirement, getting out of debt, making the most of the money that you have, and much more. Please visit Pinyo at his blog or you can follow him on Twitter, @moolanomy.

Of course if you want to subscribe to Moolanomy just head over to his subscription page.

Question (No Debt Plan): ( For starters I’ve always thought your blog name was interesting. Does Moolanomy (the word) stand for anything? I’ve got a guess, but thought I’d let you answer first.

Answer (Moolanomy): First, thank you for inviting me to participate in the Subscriber Swab Saturday.

As far as the name Moolanomy goes, you can blame it on my lack of SEO experience; otherwise, the name might have been credit-card-debt-blog.com or something like that. Anyway, Moolanomy is a combination of the word “moola” which is slang for “money”, and the suffix “-nomy” which means “the systemized knowledge of”. So Moolanomy roughly translates to “Knowledge of Money”.

I think it’s pretty creative, but lack any SEO value whatsoever.

[No Debt Plan Note: That’s what I thought… although I was thinking -onomy meant “study of”, so “the study of money”. Close enough!]

Q: You mention on your about page that as of January 1, 2008 that your portfolio was $239,000 — at the ripe young age of 34! First congrats on that, but second: what’s it look like today after the financial crisis?

A: Hmm… I am afraid to look and I think I am 35 turning 36 this year…

Honestly, I have been so busy lately that I haven’t look at my net worth for a while. But to answer your question, I just did a quick survey and it looks like we are hovering at around $217,000. The amount did go down substantially at one point — e.g., to $160k to $170k level, but we are slowly recuperating.

I try not to look when the market goes south, so I won’t do anything stupid. I prefer to let my long-term strategy do the work. Therefore, I just kept contributing as I normally do and rebalancing whenever things get too far out of my asset allocation target.

I did freak out at one point and increased my fix-income holding to be more appropriate for my tolerance level — but it was minimal like 5% or something.

Q: What kind of a financial impact did having your first child have on you and your wife?

A: Overall, he’s a blessing. I don’t know how I lived without him for so long. As far as money goes, he motivated me to start blogging again — yes, while he’s still in the belly! I knew my wife was going to be out of work for a while and my income wasn’t enough to support our expenses. So I decided to blog for side income. I knew it was possible because I have done it in the past.

Restarting my career as a blogger turned out to be a good thing because my blog now gives me enough side income so that my wife doesn’t have to work if she doesn’t want to. Besides, I get to meet a lot of awesome people I wasn’t able to before in my previous niche. And best of all is the opportunity to interact with and help my readers.

In term of expenses, we have been very frugal with him. Actually, we are lucky to have an awesome nephew. He’s about 2 years older than my son, and has been very generous about giving us his lightly used stuff.

Q: You’re living in New York City. How did you get there, and is it as safe as they say it is?

A: I was born in NY, but I didn’t grow up here. I grew up in Thailand for a while and came back to NY again when I was 11. When you’re a kid, you don’t get to choose where you end up, so I got here because my dad chose for us. Personally, I think NYC is a good place to live. However, my wife and I would like to eventually move further out to somewhere less crowded and with a bigger yard.

As far as safety, NYC is not bad if you know where you’re going and watch out when you have to. This is no different than anywhere else on Earth. Personally, I do feel safe enough to walk around the neighborhood with my wife and the baby. So it’s really not as bad as what media portray New York to be. And the city is definitely a lot better now than it was 20-25 years ago.

Q: You’ve written about alternative income several times. How long have you been striving for this type of income online, and how successful would you say you’ve been?

A: I have been looking for ways to make alternative income since I was in college. I even predated the age of World Wide Web and had a BBS for a while. However, I didn’t have any success until I started my old web site in 2002. Even then, I didn’t make anything serious — more than what my bank gave me in interest for sure — but nothing serious. I think I finally got it right when I started Moolanomy.

As far as success level, I’m not doing to bad. Web income is about 25-30% of my total income right now. As I mentioned before, it’s enough to close the gap between my income and our expenses. We can fully save my wife’s income or let her stay home whenever she needs to. This is actually quite nice when you consider that the blog also help other people improve their finances. It’s a win-win situation.

Q: You and I have utilized Twitter quite a bit. Do you share things on @moolanomy that your regular blog readers don’t catch? In short, why should anyone follow you on Twitter?

A: Actually, I am just starting out with Twitter and still trying to learn how to best use the system. Right now, I use Twitter mainly to chat with other bloggers and help them out when I can. I also ask for some help occasionally. But many times, I am just there expressing random thoughts or responding to people in jest (I was the class joker, so I can’t help it).

So the short answer is this, you’ll definitely see me say things on @moolanomy that I don’t say on Moolanomy.com.

Q: We’re planning to visit New York City for a week in the summer of 2010. What would you recommend as the “you can’t miss this” places and events, and can we stay with you (just kidding)?

A: Feel free to stay at my house and save some hotel expenses — if you don’t mind staying with my entire extended family. For some reason, we always have a lot of guests at the house. I think my house have the kind of karma where it attracts all kind of interesting people to visit us. The last guest was a professional photographer and he took some really amazing photos of my son. Here’s the link if you’re interested: http://danvanitcha.com/galvin/

With respect of where to go, I am not a good tour guide. I guess you want to hit major sites like the World Trade Center, Statue of Liberty, the Empire State building, etc. I normally do a search and let my guests decide where they want to spend their time.

Q: You’ve got 2,500 RSS and e-mail subscribers. In your own words, why do you think these people keep coming back for more?

A: I’m happy I have 2,500 subscribers, but I have no idea who they are or why they follow my blog. Once in a while, I’ll get some a commenter on my blog and it turned out to be someone who has been following my work for months. It really makes me feel good when I learn this. So to all of you subscribers out there, please visit the site and leave a comment. It’s more fun and interesting when we interact!

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Thanks, Pinyo!

I’m telling you guys and gals — I really love his content and the design of Moolanomy. Definitely check it out, even if it is just for a week. I bet you’ll stick around longer than that.

Hey bloggers, are you interested in being interviewed for Subscriber Swap Saturday? Check out the schedule and get in touch with me!

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