Two Cup House // Financial Literacy Chronicles, No. 35

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woman reading book on bed leggings coffee

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Please welcome Claudia from Two Cup House as our guest for today’s Financial Literacy Chronicles interview here on Enwealthen.

Please tell me a little bit about yourself and your blog.

My name is Claudia and I’m a personal finance enthusiast seeking financial independence.  Our blog, TwoCupHouse.com, is about our journey out of debt and into financial independence.

The starting point of all achievement is DESIRE

We started out our personal finance journey in 2015 with over $204,000 in debt, which mushroomed into $240,000.  Today, we are 100% debt free, thanks to downsizing, cutting our spending, and side hustling.

Can you share your most impactful money memory from your childhood?

I remember that my parents struggled to manage their money and pay their bills, so payday was always a big deal for good and not-so-good reasons.  Payday meant that the kitchen would be full again, but it meant that some bills might not be paid.

As a kid, it was stressful and scary to watch.

What I learned from childhood was that money and work go hand in hand — if you need more, you have to work more.  Consequently, I’ve had multiple jobs and multiple side hustles at various points in adulthood largely due to fear and a lack of skill with managing money.

We all receive financial advice from people in our lives.  What’s the most interesting or useful financial advice you’ve received from your community?

I have Human Resources to thank for this!

I found my first full-time job not long after graduating from college.  Every new employee had to attend an orientation program and one of the sessions of the program was about the 403(b) plan that was available.  When I heard that my employer would give me “free money” in the form of matching contributions, I contributed what I needed in order to qualify for all the free money.

Great advice!

Since that moment in the orientation when I first learned about retirement accounts, I contributed to employer plans when they were available to me.

Today, I’m self-employed, so no company match, but I continue to contribute via a SEP-IRA.

I have several personal finance books I regularly give to friends and family.  What are your 3 favorite fundamental personal finance books you often gift to others?

While it might not be a personal finance book, The 4-Hour Workweek, was pivotal in challenging assumptions I had about working to make a living.  We’ve applied many of the principles in the book as we work toward creating a location-independent life.

I don’t know if we’ve been living under a rock, but I had never heard of Rich Dad Poor Dad or Cashflow Quadrant until we started listening to the Bigger Pockets podcast.  Outside of investing in our tax-deferred accounts, we had nothing invested.

Reading these books led to major life changes, including the creation of our first business.

What financial literacy education did you receive in school?  If you had a magic wand, what would you change to improve that?

I don’t recall receiving any kind of education in personal finance, so I would say I was financially illiterate until 2015.  It would have been great to learn the basics of budgeting and investing using some real-world examples.

Money issues impact so many areas of our lives that I think a course in personal finance might be applicable through graduation!  Budgeting basics would be great no matter what age.  And as high school students approach graduation, more in-depth education would be ideal so that students are aware of the financial products that will be available and whether or not they are wise choices.

There are so many blogs on the internet, what are 3 of your favorite blogs that instill financial literacy, either by word or action?

Debt Free Guys is one of the first personal finance blogs we stumbled across.  We had $16,000 in credit card debt we needed to pay off ASAP and we found John and David’s tips to be incredibly helpful.

1500 Days was the first financial independence blog we discovered.  We didn’t know what financial independence was, but after reading Mr. 1500’s take on it, we were inspired to take massive action to make it happen in our own lives.

Debt Discipline is all about financial literacy.  Brian works hard, offline and online, to promote financial literacy, which I appreciate.  His blog posts were incredibly helpful in getting out of debt.

money and work go hand in hand — if you need more, you have to work more

I like to keep inspirational quotes around the house to remind me of what’s important.  Do you have a favorite money quote you use to inspire your financial life?

For us, this quote encompasses our financial journey.

“The starting point of all achievement is DESIRE.” — Napoleon Hill

We didn’t start learning about personal finance until we had a burning desire to do something different.  It was only after we realized what we wanted to do that we learned how to manage our money to help us get there.

Thanks for contributing to the Financial Literacy Chronicles here on Enwealthen, Claudia!

Claudia is a digital marketer and personal finance blogger at TwoCupHouse.com. Between downsizing our home and side hustling in digital marketing & SEO, Garrett and Claudia paid off 100% of our debt in just two years!  Follow us Facebook and Twitter as we pursue financial independence.

Readers, please share your thoughts on Claudia’s experiences, any additional questions you have, and suggestions for who else you’d like to see interviewed in the comments below.  And please do spread the financial literacy and share this with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.  Thanks!

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