Twitter Tuesday Profile: @WInformatics
Los Angeles may be one of the most expensive cities in the US, but our next Twitter Tuesday Profile is proving you can still live on a budget there. Suba, aka @WInformatics, is a computer analyst by day and a blogger at WealthInformatics.com by night. She lives with her husband in LA.
OODC: How did you get started blogging and tweeting?
@WInformatics: I was always an avid reader of financial news/books. When I wanted to start saving for my goals, I read more and stumbled upon personal finance blogs. A lot of them talked about generally cutting costs or extreme frugality. Stereotyping that I shouldn’t be drinking Starbucks coffee etc. I wanted a balance, if my Starbucks latte gives me so much pleasure and that is my only vice, I would be miserable if I give that up. I felt I don’t want to give up something that makes me happy, esp. as we were spending a lot on things that really didn’t give us any satisfaction. I wanted to cut that expenses and channel the money into our savings. And there are a lot of ways for savings without practicing extreme frugality. I felt I could share that information. People can choose which areas they want to trim expenses, so I decided to simply provide all the information I could find or know on how to cut expenses without sacrificing the quality of life. Wealth Informatics seemed to be an appropriate name for my blog that strives to provide – financial freedom through information. (Informatics means using data to establish information which in turn leads to generation of knowledge. )
OODC: After working for three years at a well-paying job you still only had $1000 in savings– what prompted your wake up call?
@WInformatics:I wanted to own my home. After working for 3 yrs, I am ashamed to say this now, but I didn’t realize I had saved very little. I never bothered to check where my money was going. My finances were totally out of control. Luckily I didn’t get into any debt. I stopped spending when money ran out. But when I got married and moved in with my husband, we looked at our finances together to see how much we can afford for our home. It turned out to be $0. We had no down payment, not disciplined enough to save any. Ever since, house down payment has been out #1 goal.
OODC: How do you stay focused on your financial goals?
@WInformatics:After we started to see things based on goals and time lines, it became easy. Now we work on a sort of reverse budgeting. We automate everything. We have 5-6 goals ranging from short term emergency fund to long term retirement. First the money goes into retirement account, then charitable giving. After that all our goals get funded directly out of paycheck. Once the budgeted amount hits our checking account. So by the end of the month the checking account only has the buffer amount we budgeted as left over. This way, if we splurge on something, we HAVE to transfer the money from my goal based savings. And we know exactly which goal we are taking the money from, so we know that goal will be delayed by “x” amount of days/month. This forces us to prioritize – buying a couch now will delay our Hawaii vacation by 3 months, are we ok with that? If yes we buy, otherwise we don’t. Automating everything is one of the best decisions we ever made. We also split the goals into monthly goals and review them at the end of each month.
Thanks again to @WInformatics for being part of this week’s Twitter Tuesday Profile. Want to be considered for an upcoming profile? Just tweet me!