Momentum Series Interview – Savebly: Live A Happier, Freer Life
This marks feature #48 in the Momentum Series – an interview series to share the stories of bloggers from across the personal finance community.
The goal is to showcase their story, the wins, the losses and the actionable advice that others can take value from and insights about their blogging journey. Whether that be conquering debt, maximizing career earnings, the road to financial independence or other strategies for financial and blogging success.
This week I’m excited to welcome Michael from the personal finance blog Savebly to the Momentum Series! On his blog Michel shares tips, strategies and personal experiences to help readers live a happier, freer life by taking control of their money.
In this interview, Michael shares his financial journey, top money resources, thoughts on money vs. happiness, blogging experiences and much more.
If you want to connect with Michael from Savebly:
Ladies and gentlemen, please enjoy this Momentum Series Interview – Savebly: Live A Happier, Freer Life.
My name is Michael Outar, I am the founder and author of Savebly, which is a personal finance blog that teaches people how they can live a freer life by taking control of their money and buying back their time. I have a passion for helping people achieve their goals and dreams, through Savebly I have the platform to do this.
My website is Savebly.com.
I graduated from LIU Post in 2016 with a Bachelors degree in Information Management and Technology. I actually graduated with a 3.7 GPA and achieved Magna Cum Laude honors. I was a great student but I soon realized college didn’t prepare me that well for the “real world”.
After graduating from college I got a job as a Technical Support Analyst for an insurance company in New York City. I currently still hold this position full time while working on my blog in my free time.
Has taking control of your money and mastering your personal finances always been your mindset as an adult? Can you share the coles notes version of your financial journey?
Before I started my personal finance journey I was not great with money but I won’t say that I was bad either. I was pretty much your average joe following the old routine of getting a job to make money just to spend your money and hopefully retire at 65. Eventually, I started to educate myself on the ins and outs of personal finance and I got hooked.
My personal finance journey started in 2017 at 22 years old and while it has just been two years I have done a lot for my financial future.
I was able to pay off $24,000 in student loan debt before my 24th birthday. I now have a fully funded emergency fund, I continuously contribute to my 403b plan, and I also have a few taxable accounts to further invest my money.
What strategies and tactics have you implemented in your life to best set you up for financial success?
One of the best strategies and tactics I have implemented in my life to best set me up for financial success is to constantly educate myself. I do feel like I am off to a great start in my personal finance journey but there is always room for growth and improvement.
So, the first thing you should do is educate yourself on all things personal finance. This will do two things, first, you will begin to make smarter decisions that will set you up for financial success. Second, you will shift your mindset from spending on things for momentary pleasure and making money doing things to hate to focusing on things that only bring you complete happiness and fulfillment. This is why there are personal finance bloggers such as Scott and myself out there, we want to educate people to make their financial journey a bit easier.
The next strategy and tactic I use for financial success is to implement what I have learned in my life. When I think about this I remember a great quote from Napoleon Hill:
“Knowledge is only potential power. It becomes power only when, and if, it is organized into definite plans of action, and directed to a definite end.” – Napoleon Hill
So, as I started to learn about numerous money saving tips, setting up an emergency fund, setting a budget, etc. I started to implement and I recommend you to the same. Practice makes progress.
Educate and implement, it’s that simple.
Have you made any major financial mistakes? If so, what was the outcome and what did you learn from these mistakes?
Thankfully I never made any major financial mistakes that were hard to recover from but I made my fair share of financial mistakes in my past. I would say that the biggest mistake was not tracking my spending like I said I was never really bad with money but there were times where I was spending money like a mad man!
Things like going out a lot and purchasing expensive items as a status symbol (so stupid of me) really put a dent in my finances.
What are some of the most influential resources that have shaped your money mindset or financial situation?
This book will always hold a special place in my heart because it was the first personal finance book I ever read. It’s funny because when I began reading this book I actually didn’t like it at all and this was due to the fact that I was closed minded. I wanted to make money fast and this book details the get rich slow millionaire that I never even thought existed at the time. This book was a big mindset shift for me and it is the book that really jump-started my personal finance journey.
I’m sure this book is on every personal finance bloggers must-read list because it’s just that good! If I had to choose only one personal finance book to read this will be the one. Vicki Robins digs deep into what is wrong with the current financial system and gives clear strategies to follow to overcome your financial struggles.
Think and Grow Rich is more classified as a business book, it describes what it takes to live a successful life no matter what your goals and ambitions are. This book is such a great read and it might be a bit tough to read but trust me, it’s worth it!
I actually don’t listen to personal finance podcasts at all. I am more of a reader than a listener when it comes to my personal finance information. However, I can say that I have listened to the Afford Anything Podcast by Paula Pant a few times and it is amazing!
There are so many bloggers out there that have helped me through my personal finance journey and inspired me to even start my own blog to share my story. While there are too many to list here, the most influential blogs for me are the veterans in the industry: Mr. Money Mustache and Get Rich Slowly.
Apps or Services
Mint is currently my favorite finance app. It gives a great overview of your financial health and where you can make improvements.
Is there an area or area(s) of your own personal finances that you’re still looking to better master and improve?
Investing for sure. While I have my index funds working for me, I would like to get more involved. I know investing can be like playing with fire but I would like to become more educated on the matter.
If you could send a memo to every 18-22 year old in North America about better managing their finances and understanding money but it could only be 3 sentences long, what would that memo be?
Focus on using money to build a life of fulfillment and happiness, whatever that might be for you. Realize that you are in a country (whether the U.S or Canada) where there are many opportunities available, don’t waste it. Lastly, understand that money is just a tool and you are the master, use it wisely.
The age old question, can money buy you happiness? What are your thoughts on this?
I actually wrote a post on this topic which you can find here. The short answer is, to an extent. I know everyone is looking for a yes or no answer but it’s not that simple.
For example, if you have someone struggling to pay rent and could barely afford food to eat, would they be happier with more money? Yes, of course, they would! But, would Jeff Bezos be happier with more money? Most likely not right? This is due to the fact that money can make you happier but it cannot buy you “true happiness”.
I define true happiness as a sense of purpose in life, where you reach the point of fulfillment.
Money can be used to buy back your time so you can focus on finding and carrying out your purpose in life but money cannot directly buy happiness.
What does financial freedom mean to you? How does that relationship of money and happiness play into that?
To me, financial freedom means doing what you want when you want and not being constricted due to financial limitations.
There is a very simple personal finance formula to attain financial freedom and find true happiness.
Use your money and make it work for you through passive investments so you can free up your time to focus on what truly makes you happy.
When did you first start blogging? Was there a specific launching off point or what influenced you to go down that path?
I started blogging in February 2018, yes I’m a newbie but I feel like I made big strides in my first year of blogging. There was no big launch or anything like that, I really just started Savebly to connect with like-minded people and help everyday people to construct a healthy financial lifestyle.
Is there a mission statement or underlying purpose to what you intend to accomplish with Savebly?
The mission of Savebly is to:
Show you that by making simple financial changes you can live a freer life. A life that is full of choices, not one restricted due to financial limitations. Freedom for everybody, whether it is to be free from debt, free from the job you hate, etc… is why Savebly exists.
Any final pieces of advice or recommendations?
Never stop learning and growing! Simply, educate and implement. There are many opportunities out there, don’t be afraid of change.
Any special shoutouts?
Firstly, I would like to thank Scott for this opportunity. I am grateful and honored to be able to share my story with Making Momentum readers. Second, I would like to thank my readers because they keep me going on my blogging journey.
Lastly, I would like to thank all those in the blogging community who I continue to learn from and collaborate with.