Momentum Series Interview – Saving Joyfully: Save More & Live Better On A Budget
This marks feature #40 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 very excited to welcome Andrea from Saving Joyfully to the Momentum Series. Andrea is one of the most supportive and engaging members of the personal finance community. On her blog she shares first-hand experience, tips, stories and resources to help everyday people save more money and live a better, more joyful life.
In today’s interview, Andrea shares her financial journey, experiences with debt, thoughts on how to live more joyfully, starting Saving Joyfully and more.
If you want to connect with Andrea:
Ladies and gentlemen please enjoy this Momentum Series Interview – Saving Joyfully: Save More & Live Better On A Budget.
Hello everyone I am Andrea Joy and I run Saving Joyfully. Saving Joyfully is a website designed to help you save more money and live a more joyful life on a budget.
I grew up in a one income family where both of my parents struggled with money management. Sadly I learned a lot of bad things about handling money just by observing my parents. I graduated in 2013 with a degree in business management and I currently work full time in medical billing for a local healthcare company where I have been employed with for the last 15 years.
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?
When I was young I did not receive a good education and I did not learn a lot about managing my finances. I did not learn how to properly manage my finances until I learned it the hard way.
I decided to attend college despite the poor education I received growing up. The fact that I qualified for no financial help was not going to deter me from an education I wanted. Sadly I ended up paying for much of my early college years on credit cards because I did not qualify for student loans since my parent’s income was still considered.
After years in college and many hard lessons learned on managing my personal finances, I am now getting my finances on the right track.
What strategies and tactics have you implemented in your to life to best set you up for financial success?
I have stopped using credit cards as I originally had been and have begun a long road of paying off debt and working towards my goal of financial freedom. It has not been easy, in fact I have experienced many challenges along the way.
One of those major challenges came in the form of two pacemaker surgeries in my early twenties, leaving me with a lot of medical debt. My heart problem was first discovered at this time and the surgery left me off work for over a month. This was because my job at the time as a nursing assistant required frequent lifting which I was unable to do.
Have you made any major financial mistakes? If so, what was the outcome and what did you learn from these mistakes?
Using credit cards early on in my college years to fund my education. I quickly realized why this was such a bad idea and how easily one can become dependent on credit cards.
I have learned a lot over the years about managing my own debt. I have also learned various ways to stretch my budget over the years, which is what I love to share most on my website.
Is there an area or area(s) of your own personal finances that you’re still looking to better master and improve?
I am honestly still in the process of paying down my debt and working to achieve financial freedom. I blog at Saving Joyfully sharing tips and ideas of things that have helped or currently help, me with my goal of saving money and paying down debt. I share from my own experiences how I live and what works for me.
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?
Be careful with credit. If you do not have the money for it in cash today you should really think long and hard about using credit. Every time you acquire more debt you are costing your future self far more than you can imagine. The cost to your future self is not only financial but also potential peace of mind and happiness.
What are some of the most influential resources that have shaped your money mindset or financial situation?
- Couponing To Disney: I followed this blog for years giving advice on ways to stretch your budget and save for the things you love, like a yearly trip to Disney for the family.
Apps or Services
- Ibotta this app has made me well over $600 in just the last few years just by taking pictures of my receipts after a trip to the grocery store. I never forget to scan and it takes so little time but really can add up.
What role have your finances played in helping you live life more joyfully?
Finally learning how to budget and manage my finances has really helped me to discover joy in life. Being in debt tends to steal your joy and leave you making tough decisions that do not always leave you happy.
Learning to not let your money control you is so important to discovering joy in your life.
If you could give the readers one or two actionable tips to live more joyfully – in any aspect of their lives – what would that be?
Be grateful for what you already have and focus on your blessings. The more grateful we are the less likely we are the easier it is to live a more joyful life and stay on track with your finances.
What have the savings challenges and no spend challenges you’ve done taught you about living joyfully?
The no spend challenge taught me that living a minimalist lifestyle and eliminating unnecessary spending is both possible and important. It helps me to realign my priorities and stay on track with my budget.
Every year in January I start a savings challenge called the 52 week money challenge. This was not created by me in fact you can find it all over Pinterest. I love this challenge though because all it takes is setting aside a little money every week throughout the year and by the end of the year you have $1378. Not bad when week one starts by saving just $1.
When did you first start blogging? Was there a specific launching off point or what influenced you to go down that path?
February 8 2018 was the day I started Saving Joyfully. I had always wanted to start a blog to help others who may be struggling with debt and saving money.
Is there a mission statement or underlying purpose to what you intend to accomplish with Saving Joyfully?
My goal with Saving Joyfully is to be able to help others learn to save more money, make more money and live a more joyful life on a budget. I do this by sharing what has worked for me in the past and what I discover along the way.
I love to challenge both myself and others with things like my no spend challenge to help us both learn through valuable personal experiences what will work for us.
Do you have any specific goals with your blogs over the next 12 months? What tactics are you planning to leverage to accomplish these?
My main goal is to be able to discover more awesome money saving tips and ideas to share with my readers. I would love to be able to do this through discovery on my own and also through other bloggers and writers that are willing to share their wisdom with my readers.
I love supporting other bloggers and sharing their advice and wisdom. As bloggers I believe we each have great things to offer, and that we learn far more when we learn through multiple people’s experiences.
If you could recommend 3 of your blog posts for Making Momentum readers to check out, what would those be?
- Online Survey Sites That Really Pay
- Best Legitimate Mystery Shopper Websites
- What I Wish I Knew As A College Student