Interview Series: It Pays Dividends

This is the fifty-second in a series of interviews with fellow personal finance bloggers. Today’s guest is Thias from It Pays Dividends.

It Pays Dividends concentrates on the different things that can provide you with benefits throughout your life including topics such as personal finance, habits, productivity, and accomplishing goals.

Who is Thias?
Thias: I am a 29-year-old husband and father to a 10 month old daughter. We live in the heart of Packers country here in Northeast Wisconsin. Professionally I am a CPA and work as a controller for a paper pulp manufacturer.

Why did you start your blog?
Thias: Over the last several years, I have become more and more interesting in personal finance and learning how to grow our net worth. During this time of learning, I started to realize that many of the ideas and habits related to growing our finances and as people are similar to dividend payments. If you work to implement an idea or habit now, you are setting yourself up to continually earn rewards from them in the future.

What are your favorite Blogs?
Thias: There are so many great blogs and podcasts in the personal finance space but some of my favorites would be Stacking Benjamins, Retire29, Our Next Life, Budgets Are Sexy, 1500 Days, and ThinkSaveRetire.

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When did you first become financially literate?
Thias: While I am still figuring things out, I would have to say that I first started becoming financially literate a couple of summers ago when I started listening to personal finance podcasts. I had always been decent with money but it wasn’t until I discovered podcasts, followed by the personal finance blogging community, that I finally started to develop a plan for our money.

What was the last item you regretted purchasing?
Thias: I really don’t regret a lot of things that I purchase but one thing that will always stick with me was when I tried to deck out my car in high school with subwoofers. I drove a Ford Taurus…no one should ever put subwoofers in a Ford Taurus. I endured a couple of years of terrible sound before ripping them out and selling them for pennies on the dollar.

If you died today, would your family be okay from a financial stand point?
Thias: I think that overall, my family would do pretty well. We are currently light on life insurance but hope to have that resolved soon. We have fallen into the classic trap of one spouse handling the finances but I am working to explain the different aspects of our financial life to my wife more and more and working to get her more involved in the process.

What are you teaching (or will you teach) your kids about money?
Thias: My daughter is still less than a year old so we are still figuring out how we want to approach teaching her about money. I do want to make sure that I teach her to save part of every dollar that she receives and that there are more ways to save than a savings account. I grew up with no knowledge of investing or what people did with their money and want to make sure she isn’t in that spot when she gets older.

What’s your dream job?
Thias: My dream job would be to do something where I am able to help make a difference in people’s lives and get to do it because I want to, not because I have to. I would love the opportunity to work from home and spend more daytime hours with my wife and daughter.

What does financial independence mean to you? (write in question)
Thias: Financial independence doesn’t necessarily mean quitting my job or retiring early. It means having flexibility and options to do what we want in life. We no longer need to work just so we can buy something we don’t need. We have the opportunity to work if the job is meaningful to us. We have the flexibility to take extended time off and explore the country or world. Sometimes the idea of financial independence (or retiring early) can be seen as a negative by people outside of the personal finance space but FI isn’t about being lazy or not wanting to work…It is about being able to live OUR life, not someone else’s.

17 thoughts on “Interview Series: It Pays Dividends”

  1. Thanks for being part of the interview series Thias! Can you even fit subwoofers in a Ford Taurus? I agree with you on FI all about having flexibility.

  2. Brian- thanks for sharing these great interviews. And Thias, great responses! Thanks for admitting that you’re still figuring stuff out. So is everyone else, but many aren’t willing to admit it when they have a blog of their own.

  3. I think we’re all still figuring stuff out. If we weren’t blogs would all be strictly how-to and that’d get boring in a hurry.

    I like that you don’t regret much of anything that you purchase. I could probably think of a few things around here.

    1. Ha, totally agree. I’m sure we all have the same bias of reading mostly the blogs of people who are in the same ballpark as we are, maybe just a bit ahead of us: the people who talk about problems similar to ours, and have a potential solution to let us make the next step.

      I’m less interested in blogs from people who are already FI for example, because they blog about concerns that are not mine yet

    2. I agree Abigail!

      I try not to regret too many things in the past because if you bog yourself down with it all, you can miss some of the great things in the present! Always trying to move forward and be better.

  4. Terrific interview! Love the image of the souped up Taurus — that’s so Wisconsin! I feel like my friends in high school put monster speakers in much worse cars — a Dodge minivan comes to mind. 🙂 Thanks for the nice shoutout, too, Thias!

  5. Great interview Thias and Brian. I did not realize so many CPA’s blogged. Everyone has a story and we all approach debt differently.

    I enjoy reading how other bloggers approach money matters.

  6. I was already a big fan of Thias as a fellow CPA and personal finance blogger. I especially liked your definition of financial independence. Enjoyed the interview!

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