We’ve decided to nominate one blogger per month as ReadyForZero’s Blogger of the Month. Because our Better Know a Blogger series was enjoyed by a lot of readers, we figured it would make sense to continue introducing you to some of our favorite bloggers and personal finance experts.
Our Blogger of the Month for November is David Ning, the creator of the popular personal finance blog MoneyNing.com. As someone who started blogging about personal finance in 2007, he is one of the earliest – and some would say wisest – bloggers out there. He also happens to be a really nice guy, and we persuaded him to take a few minutes to talk with us about his work and what advice he has for people paying off debt. Here’s our interview with him:
Your blog is often listed among the 10-15 most popular personal finance blogs in the world. Did you ever think it would gain such a wide audience when you first started writing?
Never mind when I first started writing, but I’m still amazed at how MoneyNing has grown through these few short years. It’s truly amazing what passion and hard work can lead to.
When did you first become interested in personal finance? Is it something you’ve always had an interest in, or was there a specific event or circumstance in your life that made you realize the importance of it?
I’ve always been a saver, and I have to thank my mother for instilling the importance of building a savings cushion because she would always tell us how it was like growing up in poverty. Interestingly though, she also reminded us that she was the happiest kid growing up even though they didn’t have any material possessions whatsoever.
Your mother sounds very wise! It’s great that she gave you the knowledge to not only manage money well but also to understand that money is not everything. As you know, many of our readers are working to pay off debt – what advice would you give them to help them succeed in reaching that goal?
She sure was! She also taught me that attitude will often dictate life’s outcome, which applies greatly here. I’ve written a post on 25 ways to pay off debt, but the most important piece of the puzzle is to find motivation to do so. Get fired up about your journey, and you’ll find your own ways to pay off any amount of debt.
That looks like a great post! You mention the importance of your mindset and attitude in pursuing this goal. Have you heard stories from your readers, friends, or family who changed their thinking and got out of debt as a result? Also, more broadly, what is it like to hear from your readers on a regular basis?
The best part about my blog is the interaction with my readers, and I hear from readers who are able to get out of debt all the time. In fact, practically everybody who successfully gets out of debt has to change his/her mindset towards owing people money. Otherwise, they pay off one debt and then swiftly get into another because taking out a loan to pay for a temptation is extremely convenient these days.
What would you recommend to people right at the moment they become debt free? How can you transition from a mindset of paying off debt to one of building wealth? Are there specific actions they should take at that time?
I would tell them to embrace the power of inertia. Chances are good that they are used to not having that cash needed to pay off their debts, so why not transfer the debt payments towards your savings/investment accounts and treat those like bills that come due? It’s perfectly okay to celebrate a little every time you hit a major milestone like paying off your debt, but making sure you have a consistent savings plan is also very important.
That’s really good advice! Okay, this will be the last question… Now that your site is very successful, what motivates you? And what are your goals for the future of personal finance blogging (for yourself and the community)?
I’m happy continuing to do the same thing I’ve been doing, which is to help people think more about their finances by drawing out what they already know through discussing personal financial topics. Like I mentioned, it’s the motivation within you that will help your finances the most, and I hope to reach more and more people so they can realize what it takes to build wealth and ultimately have a more comfortable lifestyle. My dream is actually a world where there wouldn’t be a need for financial bloggers, because financial knowhow will be so trivial and ingrained into society. In the mean time, I’ll be working hard to put MoneyNing out of existence.
Awesome! What a fantastic goal! I wish you all the best on it, and I hope you’ll keep us updated on your progress. Thank you again for taking the time to talk with me, David.