So, Money Life Wax. The first two make sense, but Wax? How did the name come about and how does it stand out from other personal finance blogs?
The whole “Wax” thing . . . My first website and blog was called Money, Life and The Whole Ball of Wax. Essentially, everything involving money and life. However, it was too long but I liked the “Wax” part because of the symbolism behind it. For readers, it means whatever they want it to mean - it is moldable. MLW also stands out amongst many other blogs out there just because of the unique name!
Why did you feel that student loans were the most important obstacle to overcome financially?
Early on, my girlfriend (now wife) and I knew her student loans were going to be hefty as she finished her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Honestly, even thought she had multiple six figures of debt, we didn’t really know how serious it was.
Once we were engaged and started making minimum payments in 2015, we realized that monthly payments didn’t even cover the monthly interest. So while many might save or invest, we just decided to streamline everything for a few years to just get rid of the student loans.
Our thought process was in 3-4 years we can pay them off and then we would have tons of options.
What advice do you have for someone whose fiancé has significant student loan debt?
Go to pre-marriage counseling. Money is a huge factor in a relationship — either good or bad. Prior to getting married, everything needs to be laid out on the table, including finances. If one partner has significant student loan debt, it can be an area of friction in a marriage if you are not on the same page. So going into a marriage, both parties should have a solid financial game plan they both agree to.
How did you decide on your “8 Sacrifices” to pay off your debt?
In our article about the “8 Sacrifices,” we made to payoff student loan debt, but we didn’t do it all at once. We slowly started chipping away at things — gym membership, cable, car payments — and it started to compound.
The more debt we paid off and the closer we got to paying off our student loans, the more we got competitive with ourselves. Saying no to trips, weddings, and parties became easier as we made more of a dent in our debt. Our mindset to stay focused was: the more we sacrificed in one area, the more we will get back down the road once we are debt free.
How has your life changed since starting MLW? Do you live your life differently because of it?
Since starting my blog I have seen a few life changes. One, I get up earlier and I stay up later. I spend my early mornings and late nights either reading, exercising, or writing. Running a personal finance blog means you will sacrifice some time somewhere to fully operate it. Two, having a personal finance blog holds you accountable. My wife and I don’t intend buying a brand new car when we are debt free even if we could — that would go against everything we stand for.
Also, we make sure we stay on our budget. But we are also honest and transparent, so that when we don’t (follow the budget), we show others that we are all human!
Where do you see the blog going in the upcoming years?
In the coming years I see Money Life Wax expanding to encompass the “Life” part as readership grows. As far as financial resources, I really want to implement more guides and accountability systems that help people with their finances!
What is the most interesting thing you’ve learned about financial management since starting MLW?
The most interesting thing I have learned about financial management since starting my blog is two things: Most people just don’t get money. They view debt as just part of life and they live in this sort of rat race society that makes it hard to truly get ahead. Change is inevitable, so why not be the change in your finances — your future self will be glad you did! Comparison will hold you back financially if you can’t get over it.
Let's hear your favorite quotes about financial management!
“Remember, people are not thinking about you as much as you think they are, so just do you when it comes to money because opinions don’t pay the bills.”
“Budget, track, adjust. Make sure you are always adjusting and making sure every dollar has a name. Once you master the basics, then you can start to implement investing and saving strategies that compound your efforts.”