Subscriber Swap Saturday: Green Panda Treehouse

by Kevin on May 30, 2009

This is the twenty-fifth 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 Green Panda Treehouse. I highly encourage all of my readers to subscribe to her 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. Her questions for me are up at her blog.

Laura is a twenty-something woman working to improve her finances and reduce debt. She writes about personal finance for college students and grads at Green Panda Treehouse.  You can subscribe to her blog via RSS or e-mail. 

Q: Why green panda, and why a treehouse? You say your target audience is college students and recent graduates. Is the panda thing some new college-scene thing that an old 20-something like me is unaware of?

A: I started blogging in 2006 and one of my first themes had a bamboo design, so the panda idea came from that. My favorite color is green. Tree houses are a place where people get together and chat, so I thought it fit the idea of what I wanted my blog to be. My personal finance blog grew out of my personal blog, which had the non-financial title. I started writing about my personal finances in July 2007 and stuck with it.

While I do make some money on the side, you can pretty much tell by the site name it wasn’t planned.

Q: When did you graduate and how are you staying relevant to those always changing college students?

A: I finished school in December 2007. It’s amazing how fast time flies and now I’m out of new graduate status!  I have friends and family who are still in college and let me know if there is a topic of interest with them.

Even though I’m not a college student now, a lot of the same topics I worried and thought about are still on college students’ minds. People are looking for ways to maximize their financial aid (grants not loans), budget while going to school and working part time, and how to get save on their bills.

Q: How do you and your husband handle finances?

A: We use a combination of joint and individual accounts. The joint checking is our main account and a big chunk of our paychecks is directed towards it. Our joint savings consists of our emergency fund and house down payment.

Our individual accounts are for splurges such as lunches out, gifts, and gadgets. In case of an emergency, we can access each other’s account. All of our accounts have no maintenance fees.

Q: What’s been the best part of blogging for you?

A: I reading and learning from other people’s blogs, not only for the topics covered but also their writing style. For example, I’m not a software engineer, but I love Jeff Atwood’s Coding Horror blog. I use Google Reader and Twitter to see what other bloggers are writing about in personal finance.

I think the best way to grow as a blogger to be willing to learn from others.

Q: …and the worst?

A: I’m horrible with batch writing. I would love to be able to write one long day for the upcoming week, but I can’t seem to work that out. I’m happy when I’m one day ahead. My goal in 2009 is to have some ’emergency’ posts ready in case of work load or unexpected circumstances.

Q: If you could go back in time and change one financially related decision you made, what it be and how would you change it?

A: I wish I automated deposits to my savings account a lot sooner. For years, I saved what was left over, which many times wasn’t anything. If I would have transfered money to my savings accounts, I think that would’ve saved me from some stressful situations where I put emergencies on my credit card.

* * * *

Thanks, Laura, for the interview! Don’t worry, I’m terrible with batch writing, too. I’m lucky to have the next day’s post ready by the end of the day.

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


Laura May 30, 2009 at 11:21 am

Thanks for having me on Subscriber Swap!

hustler May 30, 2009 at 1:50 pm

Automated savings is something that’s really helped me. Like you, I would only save what was left over. Now, my savings go directly to my savings and I don’t like to touch that account unless it’s a true emergency. Fast food used to eat up what little money I had left over, and now there’s no way I would take money out of savings just to go to McDonalds!

Steve in Denmark May 31, 2009 at 7:44 am

I’m interested in the part where this lady – and a lot of other people over that side of the Pond – says she is saving for a down-payment on a house.

I did too, when I bought my first place back in 1984. I’m now in Denmark and when we bought this one a couple of years ago, I put a quarter of the price into this house as down-payment.

If you ask me, one of the main reasons the UK house market was and still is, in such a state, is that people didn’t seem save any money for a % down-payment on their first house. I think it should be compulsory. Like here in Denmark, when you buy a car, it is compulsory to have a deposit/down-payment of 20%. I’m not sure if it is for buying a house – I wasn’t too good with the language then and anyway, I put in 1/4 with my own money, so that was ok!

That’s my 5 Kroner’s worth anyway, tak skal du have. I’m off to try and keep the Crows off the Blue Tits’ fat balls…

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