Freedom Is Groovy // Financial Literacy Chronicles, No. 9

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stack of books on tabletop with desk lamp and window

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Please welcome Mr. Groovy from Freedom Is Groovy as our guest for today’s Financial Literacy Chronicles.  This is Day 9 of 30 in the Financial Literacy Month interview series here on Enwealthen.

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

In 2006 Mrs. Groovy and I got fed up with New York. It was too cold, too crowded, and too expensive.

With the ridiculous profit we made on our condo sale we relocated to low-cost North Carolina and bought a house for cash. We’ve been debt free ever since.

We buy things we don’t need, with money we don’t have, To impress people we don’t like.

In 2015 we achieved financial independence and decided to blog about our experience. We both retired from our 9 to 5 jobs this past October.

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

Mrs. Groovy remembers how her father worked six days a week to put food on the table. But he still took the family of four out to dinner once a week.

It was nothing fancy, just a local diner. But he always thought it was important to treat yourself.

She also remembers him being a very good tipper, which coincidentally, is one of the things she admires about me.

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?

For me it was to never buy a new car.

I had a friend growing up who told me that not buying a new car was the best financial move one could make. I didn’t believe him until I got older. Fortunately I realized that throwing thousands of dollars at something that depreciates rapidly is not a good move when you’re trying to build wealth.

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?

The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey, Smart Couples Finish Rich by David Bach, and the One-Page Financial Plan by Carl Richards are books we often give to others.

These are great foundational books and are especially great for newly married couples.

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

Neither of us had any financial education in school.

None.

We both attended college at a time when the credit card companies were hawking credit cards to students the way doctors give out lollipops to children.

We’d love to see high schools and colleges give mandatory financial literacy classes. If a young person can control his ego and spend less than he earns he’ll have a bright financial future.

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

The Retirement Manifesto – We share a lot of the same values and money philosophies as Fritz at Retirement Manifesto. His avuncular style is a great way to teach the fundamentals of personal finance. He also does a great job of weaving his personal experiences (i.e. his cold water swimming) into his financial advice.

Montana Money Adventures – Ms. Montana from Montana Money Adventures is truly inspirational. This woman rocks. She’s very generous. She’s married with five kids and yet she and her husband were able to save enough money to take a year off. We love her site because it helps us see what’s truly important in life, and it’s rarely material things.

Two Cup House – And finally, we both really get a kick out of Two Cup House. Claudia and Garrett are the masters of what I (Mr. Groovy) like to call a Big Hairy Debt Annihilation. They downsized from their 1500 SF house to a 500 SF house and knocked off $185K from their total debt. And as of now, they are completely debt free.

Never Buy A New Car

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?

“We buy things we don’t need, with money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t like.” – Dave Ramsey

If you could change one thing to get children started on the right foot financially, what would it be?

My Junior IRA concept is an idea that is dear to me. I devised it so that children can start saving for retirement.

No sense waiting until you’re eighteen!

Thanks for contributing to Financial Literacy Month here on Enwealthen, Mr. Groovy!

Mr. Groovy is a proponent of freedom, financial independence, and leading a groovy lifestyle. In 2006 he and Mrs. Groovy left high-cost New York for low-cost North Carolina. This move dramatically lowered their living expenses and allowed them to achieve financial independence in less than ten years. The couple now blogs to teach others how to liberate themselves from the yoke of their pointless jobs.  You can find them at Freedom Is Groovy, as well as on Twitter and Pinterest.

Readers, please share your thoughts on Mr. Groovy’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 share this with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.  Thanks!

8 COMMENTS

    • “Shop smart, shop S-Mart”… 😉

      I won’t spill the beans and say who the few exceptions are, but it’s a shockingly low number of people who received any financial education in our school systems, and most of those were college / business school.

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