Twitter Tuesday Profile: @MattAboutMoney
Today’s Twitter Tuesday Profile is Matt Bell, a published author, blogger at MattAboutMoney.com, tweeter at @MattAboutMoney and financial pro. He lives just outside of Chicago with his wife of 11 years, Jude and three young children. Today he’s nice enough to take time out of his busy schedule to share some financial wisdom with us.
OODC: How did you get started blogging and tweeting?
@MattAboutMoney: When I first started writing and speaking full-time I had two eNewsletters that I wrote. But I finally switched to a blog in November of 2009. Instead of pushing content out there, I wanted to create more of a dialogue with readers, so having a blog has been really helpful. I started using Twitter shortly after that.
OODC:Your book “Money, Purpose, Joy” talks about wanting “more” and how we can never have enough when we play that game. How do we steer clear of wanting more during the holiday season?
@MattAboutMoney: “More” is not an inherently bad thing. It depends on what you want more of. I did a national survey a couple of years ago just after the holidays and I asked people what they wish they had done more or less of during the holidays. Among the most common answers, people wished they had spent more time with friends and family, more time reflecting on the religious/spiritual significance of the holiday, and they wished they had given more money to charity. On the “less” side, people wished they had spent less money on gifts, less time shopping for gifts in stores, and less money on themselves while holiday shopping.
It’s hard to avoid getting swept up in all the over-spending and over-scheduling that takes place this time of year, but if you can flash forward in your mind to January and try to imagine what you might regret about the holidays, that can help you spend your money and time in ways that will make the holidays more meaningful.
OODC:How do you sum up your philosophy about money?
@MattAboutMoney: As for my philosophy, I get fired up about helping people arrange their use of money around the things that make life worth living. For the most part, that’s about using money in a way that enables us to build great relationships with the people in our lives and it’s about using money in a way that enables us to make a difference with our lives. Here’s an example. I believe in the use of a budget, but using a budget is not an end goal. It’s a means to something much greater. For example, in marriage, a budget fosters teamwork and transparency. If you’re working as a team with your spouse toward the accomplishment of goals you’ve chosen together, and if you both know the full story of what’s going on in your household financially, those are some things that’ll help you have a great relationship. So, I like to encourage people to think about what’s most important and then learn to use some tools that help them use money in a way that expresses their highest priorities.
OODC:OODC:Can you tell us about a financial challenge you’ve had to overcome?
@MattAboutMoney: I once had $20,000 of credit card debt. That was a challenge! And to make it worse, two years earlier I had received an inheritance of $60,000 from an uncle. I used the money to create my dream job, a newsletter about great golf vacation destinations. It became this great excuse to go play Pebble Beach and some of the other really amazing golf courses in the world. But I didn’t know much about marketing and I sure wasn’t keeping track of the money. I also got acclimated to an increasingly expensive lifestyle. So when the actual money ran out, I just kept on spending on credit cards. Waking up to the reality of the financial mess I created led to a harsh transition. I went from living the life — mid 20s, enjoying life in Chicago, living my dream — to living in my parents’ basement in the small town where I grew up for 6 months. That was a really humbling time that ultimately profoundly changed my life. One of the key changes is that I developed a passion to learn all I could about money. It’s a subject I’ve been studying ever since. It took me four and a half years to pay off all the debt. So, whenever I teach about getting out of debt, it’s not theory for me. It’s something I’ve lived.
OODC: Who are some of your favorite money tweeters?
@MattAboutMoney: There are lots of great personal finance people out there on Twitter. Among the many that I enjoy: @ChristianPF, @MoneyMatters, @WinWithMoney, @LizWeston, and @RedeemingRiches.
Thanks again to @MattAboutMoney for being part of this week’s Twitter Tuesday Profile. Want to be considered for an upcoming profile? Jut tweet me!