This is the thirtieth in a series of personal finance blogger interviews with fellow personal finance bloggers. Today’s guest are Jenna and Brooke from PF Twins.
*Update Jenna and Brook are not actively blogging.
Who are the PF Twins?
We are Jenna and Brooke, two twenty-something twins who talk about how to manage money to create the life you want over at the blog PF Twins.
Jenna: I live in a small town in the Northeast and I’m married my college sweetheart (7 years together). My husband and I are working towards creating a life of freedom – both financial freedom and doing what we love with our time. We are working on growing our incomes with a business and a full-time job so we can save aggressively.
Brooke: I live in the DC metro area. I’m newly married to my college sweetheart as of this past June. My husband and I are in just under $180,000 of debt between student loans, car loans and our mortgage. The majority—$120,000 —is from my graduate school student loans. While Jenna works on her business, I am working on cutting expenses, increasing income and paying off this debt as fast as I can.
Why did you start your blog?
Jenna & Brooke: We started our blog because both of us have learned so much from the personal finance blog community. We want to continue on our own journeys while cheering on others. We hope others find our story of two twins with totally different financial journeys interesting and useful.
Also, how many people find digging into financial spreadsheets fun? A small proportion of the population. We’d like to meet more of you weirdoes so we can feel less weird.
What are your favorite Blogs?
Jenna & Brooke: The first personal finance blog Jenna read regularly was the I Will Teach You To Be Rich blog. Right now, Brooke’s long-standing favorite is The Simple Dollar and a more recent discovery is Six Figures Under.
When did you first become financially literate?
We both have been financially aware since we were little. We had an allowance and debit cards when we were 12. Our family is an open book and we love to talk (surprised we love to blog?), so we had financial discussions at the dinner table while we were growing up.
Jenna: I’d say I really started optimizing my finances about a year after college. I realized that I didn’t love my job, that I was spending my money on dumb things, and that it was going to take forever to not have to work a 9-5. I’ve since become self-employed so I am much happier about my daily routine, but it wouldn’t have been possible without 1) savings and 2) reading on blogs about alternatives to a traditional job.
Brooke: While I was aware the fundamentals of personal finances since childhood, I started optimizing our finances during my first semester of graduate school. My now husband (then boyfriend) and I had combined our finances. We didn’t have enough money to pay for everything on auto pilot for our new combined life with a higher cost of living, expensive graduate school, and one income. We had to become financially literate to make it through the rest of graduate school.
What was the last item you regretted purchasing?
Jenna: For me, it’s that $120 per month gym membership. I went once and then forgot to cancel for 3 months… ouch.
Brooke: Hmm, how about the $120 tow charge and the $50 parking ticket I got in October? Plus the $4 for parking in spot that got me towed… I happened to park there on a Thursday for a spot that was valid 24/7 except for Thursday afternoons!
If you died today, would your family be okay from a financial standpoint?
Jenna: We would be OK but not great. We have some savings, but we don’t currently have life insurance. However, it’s not enough savings to be able to take a significant time off of work. We’ve considered life insurance but we haven’t pulled the trigger because we’re young, we don’t have a mortgage, and we don’t have kids.
Brooke: If I died, my husband would be OK but not great as well. Our biggest loans are federal student loans. K could get those waived if I passed away, as they are only in my name. I have minimal life insurance through my job that would cover my burial expenses, our car debts and our mortgage. However, it would not replace lost income, and K would have to go back to work sooner than he would like.
What are you teaching (or will you teach) your kids about money?
Jenna & Brooke: We hope we can teach them to respect money and use it wisely. We want our future kids to take responsibility for their own financial future.
What’s your dream job?
Brooke: I am currently in my dream career path with a great job for where I am in my career. I am so grateful I made a fast transition from graduate school as well. My job isn’t perfect, but it is pretty darn good for right now. My wild dream is to run a foundation or to start a charity and to be able to do that for a living. I’d love to move beyond debt to building wealth to then building a legacy and making an impact on the world.
Jenna: I am currently loving my career as a freelance writer. Growing a business is really, really fun. I’m probably in the honeymoon phase, so ask me in a year. 🙂
Jenna and Brooke are two twenty-something twins that talk about money at the PF Twins blog. They chat about tackling debt, saving money, building wealth, and creating the life you want now.