Now that I have wrapped up all the interviews with all the M-Network members other than myself, I decided to expand the series a little and include all the friends of the M-Network who participate in our group projects and forums. Up this week is Madison from My Dollar Plan. Thanks for participating Madison!
So Madison, when did you start My Dollar Plan and why?
Because of my background, many of my friends and family ask me financial questions. I love to help, but I found I was consistently answering the same questions. I thought it would be great if I had a place to store all the answers. Last fall, I was home on maternity leave and had some free time while the baby was napping so I launched My Dollar Plan.
How much time do you spend each week on your site?
About 20 hours, now that I’ve returned to work. It’s mostly after the kids go to sleep so I need to be efficient so I can get to bed at a reasonable time!
For other people contemplating starting their own personal finance sites, what are a few tips you could offer them?
One of the things I learned was that running a personal finance site is actually less about personal finance and more about writing, networking, paperwork, site maintenance, etc. It’s fun, but it wasn’t exactly what I expected. I now have less time to devote to my own finances.
However, it’s worth it. The emails and comments that I get from readers confirm that my information is helpful.
For someone just starting out, try to write articles for 2 weeks before you launch your site. See if you still enjoy it. Get to know the other writers!
What are the most essential habits that you’ve formed to achieve your financial goals?
Planning and setting goals. Many of our financial successes have been the result of great plans. In fact My Dollar Plan is named after one of cornerstones of our finances. Our Dollar Plan is our roadmap to financial freedom. We are 5 years into our 14 year plan. .
What achievement are you most proud of in the last 12 months?
Ignoring our finances to be with my kids. Our second son was born in the fall. Typically people only take 12 weeks off, but I knew I wanted longer. I stayed home for 5 months and am working part-time until he’s one. Sure, we took a huge financial hit to our cash-flow because it was unpaid, but it was worth every single day.
What would you consider the single most important thing people can do for their finances?
Start early. By far the key to our success his that I learned financial responsibility at a very young age from my parents and opened my retirement accounts while I was still in high school. Now in my late 20s, we’ve secured a nice sized nest egg that grows without much effort on our part.
I was lucky that my parents were financially savvy. There are so many people that don’t get that education at home. It’s why I’m a big supporter of financial education for youth.
If you had to pick three of your own posts to call your “favorites”, which would they be?
Thanks Madison! And be sure to look for the next interview next week!