I thought I’d take a minute to answer a few “common” questions about my “no credit needed” goal.
NCN, where did the idea for “No Credit Needed” come from?
A little over two years ago, I was searching the Internet for information about weight loss, and I found several ‘weight-loss’ blogs. At the same time, I was becoming more and more interested in the idea of getting out of debt. So, I thought that it would be cool to combine ‘personal finance’ with ‘blogging’. As I did a little more research, I found three or four other ‘pf bloggers’ (people who blogged about their personal finances) but I had no idea that the community would grow as rapidly as it has. The first pf blogs that I read were NevBlog.com and I also stumbled across PFblog.com. The ‘original idea’ for No Credit Needed was that it would be a type of online journal, where I could simply share my story. After only a short time, it became much more than that, and No Credit Needed is now a major part of my life.
Yeah, but what about the “No Credit Needed” part?
As soon as I started toying with the idea of creating a site, I knew that I wanted a ‘catchy’ title. I thought about various titles involving ‘debt’ or ‘borrowing’, but I was struck by the idea of having an online “nickname” that would also remind people of the blog title. So, I began to think about the word ‘credit’ and the title “No Credit Needed” just popped into my head. It summarized my goal (never to borrow money), it sounded ‘catchy’ enough that folks could remember it, and ‘NCN’ sounded like a good “nickname”. (In fact, when I write emails in the “real world”, I have to be careful not to put NCN in the signature!)
Sure, but what about the “No Credit” part? Why DON’T you borrow money?
Simply put, I don’t borrow money because I don’t like the idea of paying interest, to anyone, in any amount, for any reason. Also, if something were to happen to me, I don’t want my wife to have to deal with credit payments. Finally, I find that I overspend when I use plastic, so I choose NOT to use credit cards.
But, can’t you use a credit card and then pay it off at the end of the month?
Sure, I could, but I choose not to do so. Why? Again, I know, from 15 years of life experience, that I overspend whenever I use a credit card. So, rather than worry myself with a credit card bill, I just pay cash or use a debit card.
So, do you actually think that you can go the rest of your life without borrowing money?
Yes / No / Maybe
The following things will have to fall into place if I’m going to achieve my goal:
- I will need to stay with my current employer (who provides my housing).
- My wife and I will have to continue to drive reliable, used automobiles.
- I will have to stay on a budget.
- I will have to stay relatively healthy.
- My wife will need to continue to work.
Even if all of these things work out, it will be difficult to go through life without borrowing money. I know for a fact that I will never (borrowing some terrible, unforeseen family tragedy) borrow money to buy a car, buy furniture, or purchase goods / services. I MIGHT, depending on how much money I have saved when I leave my current job, be ‘forced’ to take out a mortgage. But, I plan to be where I’m at for the next 20 years (or longer), so I’m not really, really worried about that possibility.
Do you look ‘down’ on people who borrow money or use credit cards?
No way! Seriously, most of my favorite personal finance bloggers, and most of my ‘real life’ pals borrow money and use credit cards. In fact, many of them manage to make hundreds of dollars using credit cards for bonuses. So, the answer is, NO, I do not look ‘down’ on people who borrow money. However, I must state the obvious. MOST people do NOT use credit cards wisely. In fact, most people, in my opinion, would be much, much better off if they got rid of their credit cards altogether. Let’s put it this way: I’ve received thousands of email over the past 2 years, and only a handful of them have praised the merits of credit cards. Most are from people who are in debt, scared, worried, and afraid. I think of credit cards like a pet rattlesnake. Sure, you can keep him as a pet, but he’s still a rattlesnake.
Does it bother you to know that your friends or family members can read about your finances?
Not really. I was a little weirded-out at first, especially after I was interviewed for television, but, the fact is, my salary is public, my wife’s salary is public, due to the nature of our jobs, so it’s not that big of a deal. However, what is a little funny, is that if you read that I’m saving 60% of my salary, you might tend to think, “This dude’s got piles of cash…”. But, the reality is, when you dedicate so much of your income to retirement and education savings, you end up with LESS ‘money’ in your pocket. To put it simply, we live on a BUDGET, and our disposable income for 2007 will be LESS than it has been in any of the previous 10 years of our marriage. I’m actually “broke” most of the time. And, quite frankly, I like it that way. The more money that I can allocate for specific goals, the less money I have available to waste.
Do you actually enjoy blogging?
Yes. I really, really enjoy blogging, but I’m not all that fond of worrying about ‘blogging’ itself. Very, very few of my readers care about my page rank (Google’s system for categorizing web sites) or SEO (search engine optimization). In fact, I just like to get on the computer and talk about my life and my ideas about finance.
Do you read all of the blogs in your blogroll?
Yes! I read everyone of them, everyday. Why? I enjoy reading about other people and I like to keep up with my bloggin pals.
Finally, will you link to my site/blog?
If you write about personal finance, you’ve been around for more than 3 months, and you write at least once every week, I’ll be glad to to take a look at your site. If I like what I see, I’ll be glad to add you to the ‘roll. (A link-back would be cool…)
Any other questions? Feel free to leave a comment and ask away! NCN