This is the twenty -third in a series of personal finance blogger interviews with fellow personal finance bloggers. Today’s guest is Elle from Couple Money.
Who is Elle?
Elle: I’m Elle – happy wife, mom, and blogger behind Couple Money and now a podcast.
Why did you start your blog?
Elle: I actually had another blog before and I loved the interaction. Unfortunately since it was about college and finances, I had written myself into a corner so to speak. I sold it and started Couple Money.
I guess the short answer is I wanted to have a place where couples can not only exchange money tips, but also have talk about the realities of working together. I believe that building up your marriage and net worth can go hand in hand. It takes work and compromise, but it’s well worth it.
What are your favorite Blogs?
Elle: It varies. Some favorites I’ve had are no longer maintained by the original owner. As far as personal finance blog, I’ve been keeping up with yours, Better Conversations on Money and Marriage, and Our Freaking Budget.
When did you first become financially literate?
Elle: While I heard the basics of finances for years, I would say things ‘clicked’ when my husband and I were engaged. We sat down and talked about our finances and it was an eye opener.
I had some credit card debt, a car loan, and student loans that would take years to pay off. He, on the other hand, had a small student loan that he had just paid off.
Awkward for me, but it also motivated me to pay off my credit cards before the wedding (and led me to write about it on my old blog).
What was the last item you regretted purchasing?
Elle: The first one that comes to mind is my old Jetta – mainly due to the size of the loan I took out. Considering I was a working college student, I should’ve passed on getting a car loan. When the dealer said I needed a co-signer, I really should’ve said no. But I was dumb and I still signed the papers.
It was another reason I felt so good when the loan was paid off early – my mother was off the hook.
If you died today, would your family be okay from a financial stand point?
Elle: Yes and that gives me some peace of mind. After our daughter arrived years ago, my husband and I sat down to update our will, adjust our insurance, and choose guardians for our baby.
I wouldn’t say it was a fun conversation, but a necessary one.
What are you teaching (or will you teach) your kids about money?
Elle: Since our little girl is three, we try to focus on the idea of having choices. When we go grocery shopping, she can pick out one item to buy. Sometimes she wants several things, but we tell her she can only have one.
Some days are harder, but she’s starting to understand that we won’t budge and she will pick one item.
What’s your dream job?
Elle: Hmm..that’s kind of tough. I do like what I’m doing (online content manager) because I get to work on different projects throughout the year and work from home.
If I could change things, I would like to streamline work so I could travel more and volunteer on projects for longer periods.
How is podcasting different from blogging? (write in question)
Elle: For one thing, while the topics are the same as my main site, how I approach and write for the podcast is a completely different animal.
Getting a podcast outline ready means I have to focus on what’s most important and to break things down into manageable chunks. The episodes are designed to be listened to during a commute so I shoot for 20-25 minutes.
My goal for every show is for listeners to take away one or two things to use to help their finances.
Writing for a blog gives me a venue to dig deeper and have one longer post cover several questions. I can also go back and update posts as new information becomes available and link to other resources that can help them.
Elle Martinez helps families at Couple Money achieve financial freedom by sharing tips for reducing debt, increase income, and building net worth.