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Is your spouse a spender or a saver?
It’s hard for me to categorize my husband as one or the other, because when I think of a spender I think of someone who is somewhat out of control and buying anything and everything, charging up credit cards like mad. I think of a saver as a person who has a huge savings account with money they’ve saved over the years. Mr. A is not quite either of those, although he likes to collect loose change. I guess I would have to put him into the spender category though because I think he tends to want to spend extra money when he knows about it. But he is a conscious spender. Even for his business if he needs a new tool and can wait on buying it, he will watch the ads and try to get the best deal.
Do you prefer to work for someone or be self employed? Why?
I always used to think I would never want to be self-employed, because I like the idea of someone else paying my steady paycheck. I have known a lot of self-employed people who seemed to constantly struggle to make ends meet. But I have to admit the idea is becoming more and more appealing, and this is in part having seen that my husband is succeeding at having his own business. If I’m able to retire from my regular job, most likely we would set it up so that I would become a paid employee for the business since there are some good perks to setting up a family owned business that way.
Do you buy your own books or use the library? Why?
When my children were little and we lived in the big city, we went to the library weekly. We always had thirty books at any time checked out, keeping a running list so we wouldn’t lose track of any and have to pay fines. When we moved out to the country, I was able to keep a library card from the city because my sister has her land line phone in my name, so technically I can use her phone bill with her address on it to use the library. But it just became too much of a hassle to try to remember to take books with me and I ended up with so many fines. Our little country library out here is tiny and I tried a few times to get books I was looking for but lost interest. Now I participate in Paperback Swap Club, or buy my books from Amazon or Half.com. Oh, and I just heard on the news that the Digital Bookmobile is coming to the Greater Phoenix area which allows downloads of books to personal PCs, laptops or PDAs. I may have to renew that library card!
Prefer to rent or own your own home? Why?
Definitely prefer to own. I have had bad experiences with renting and heard of too many stories of people paying rent only to find the homeowner hadn’t been paying the mortgage. Although, unfortunately, with eminent domain, we have no longer have the guarantee of a “forever home”.
Do you consider a mortgage to be “okay” debt? Why or why not?
I don’t consider mortgage debt to be “okay” debt. I think any debt is debt. Although it might be a more worthy cause, it’s still debt and as long as we’re in debt we aren’t free. I know a lot of people who expect to have mortgage debt for the rest of their lives so they can use the interest as a tax deduction.
Would you ever lease an automobile on a long term contract?
I would NEVER lease an automobile. I have never done it, but I think it’s ridiculous. Actually, I think it’s similar to renting as opposed to owning a home. You’ll never own the place and you’ll be paying on it for the rest of your life.
Do you own pets? Do you feel they are a justifiable expense?
Yes, we do have pets. We justify having four dogs because their job is to alert us to strangers around our fenced property. One time the dogs were barking wildly and we looked out to discover about a dozen people with backpacks and water bottles were walking past. When they got to the end of our fence line they all crouched down, then left after a few minutes. About ten minutes later Border Patrol came walking along on foot, and another on a quad. We wondered how many times are the dogs barking when they deter people from coming into our yard. They also keep coyotes and other critters from coming into the yard after our goats and chickens. We also have four cats. One stays inside all the time, the others come and go as they please. They are great mousers and they also hunt the gophers in my garden. Too bad they don’t seem to catch Mr. Gopher who constantly harangues me in the garden. All of our pets are fixed so they aren’t adding to the population.
Would you ever consider living in a manufactured home?
Yes, we currently live in a manufactured home. I have been in some of the new “chicken wire and styrofoam” homes in the surrounding area, and I find my Cavco home to be of much better construction. But mine along with my 3.5 acres only cost us $53K and the newly built homes are over $125K for a quarter acre or less. There are really cheap ones manufactured homes out there, so if you consider buying one, you should definitely consider a brand that is known for quality construction.
Why did you start your blog?
I had been reading personal finance blogs, and thought since we didn’t have a huge mortgage, student loans and our credit card debt was under $12,000 that I couldn’t compete with the bloggers with giant amounts of debt. But then I found Mr. Debtbeater and poor guy, he was going deeper in debt every month! I thought, if he can blog, I can blog! I also thought having a personal finance blog would help with accountability. Actually that’s how I came up with my pen name, Mrs. Accountability. I have been having fun blogging every since and glad I took the plunge and got started.
Do you ever feel guilty when you buy things that you can probably live without?
I do. Almost everything, even when it’s something inexpensive, because there is that part of me that thinks we need to just buckle down, scrimp to the max and knock out our debt!!
Does your employer have a 401K that you contribute to?
No. Unfortunately, we don’t seem to have a retirement plan at my job at all. Although a couple of people have retired and they were “vested” and got a few thousand dollars. I think my report said I was vested for something like $28. Wow. Can’t retire on that.
Thanks for having me on your blog today, Brad. I think it is fantastic that you got out of debt in such a short time and it’s great that you are able to be a stay at home/work at home dad! My hubby did that for a few years and I know it really helped him to become closer to our children as a result. Thanks again!