This week for our Gettin' Nosy interview, I'm chatting with Courtney from Redefining Athlete.  

BTW-- want to catch up on old posts in this series?

 

Courtney is a crazy impressive runner... she recently (okay, in 2009. still pretty recent) started running and now is a (multiple time) MARATHONER and IRONMAN?! No big deal, right?! She and her husband are also really big into traveling and I love how she talks on the blog how they get such awesome deals on their trips... like this recap of their trip to Portland; she explains how they got two free nights at a hotel and also talks about their highlights of the trip, and the things they didn't enjoy as much ;) I would definitely recommend following her blog if you're into working out or traveling-- she is just so motivational!

 

 

1. I LOVE learning tips & tricks that can help me to save more money. What is the best financial tip you’ve ever heard?

The Seven Cures for a Lean Purse! I rolled my eyes when someone recommended that I read 'The Richest Man in Babylon', but despite being from 1926, everything still rings true to today. And bonus, you can read it for free online.

 

2. What is your proudest financial moment?

When I first graduated college, it took a couple of horribly mismanaged "big girl" paychecks to realize that I truly had no actual concept of money. I had always been a good saver and knew not to buy lattes every day, but actually creating a budget when you have living expenses and putting it into action is tough!

That's when I first got into personal finance blogs and read a lot of Suze Orman. It took a few months of tweaking my budget to actually get it to work and to do that I had a spending notebook where I wrote down EVERY CENT that I spent. Figuring out where all my money was going and how much I needed to survive was my "AHA!" moment.

I don't use the spending notebook regularly anymore, but every once in a while I come home to a half dozen Amazon boxes on my front step and I go back to tracking for a few weeks/months to get back on track.

 

3. Prioritizing your spending so that you spend money on things that truly make you happy is something that I think is SO important. What are some things that make you ridiculously happy and you feel zero guilt spending money on?

Paying extra for guacamole at Chipotle. {comment from Ashley: HAHAHAHA I like this}

Okay, but really.. Ashley talks a lot about the idea of Experiences > Things and I absolutely agree. Travel is really important to my husband and I and we've made it a priority the last couple years. I joke that my most valuable possession is my vacation balance at work!

However, we don't just throw money at travel. We spend a LOT of time researching deals and taking advantage of earned reward points to make big trips affordable. When we do spend money, I feel no guilt because I know we've done the legwork to make sure it is the best deal.

 

4. On the flip side, what things do you try NOT to spend money on?

This year, I set a goal to NOT eat out 300 days this year. I've made changes like bringing food with to the airport, and packing a lunch to bring to work every day. I really enjoy good food and trying new restaurants, so this goal wasn't to cut that. It was to make going out to eat more of a treat again and to stop spending money at places like Subway (that aren't even that much better than eating a sandwich at home anyway).

 

5. I’m big on setting financial goals. I think it’s hard to progress in our financial life if we aren’t really sure what we’re working towards. What are your current financial goals?

Maintain my emergency fund (6 months of living expenses)

Save up enough spending money for my Australia trip in November!

Retirement. Retirement. Retirement. I try to max out my Roth IRA every year.

Put off getting a new car until 2017. Spending the money NOW to stay on top of the maintenance on my 11 year old car to hopefully prevent bigger issues (...frantically knocks on wood).

 

 

Thanks so much for letting me interview you, Courtney! Now I'm off to read The Richest Man in Babylon :) You guys should all go check out her blog ASAP!

 

 

Did you set any financial goals this year, like Courtney's NOT eating out for 300 days?