Catching Up With… Jim at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity
Jim, I’m 24. You’re in your 20’s. What is wrong with our generation’s financial health? From my own mistakes, to what I hear my peers discussing, where did we get so off track? Is our generation doomed to be in debt forever?
I’m 27, going on 28, and I don’t think it’s our generation. I think it’s the generation before us that has set us on this course. Consider the national debt; it isn’t a collection of twenty-somethings, it’s a collection of mostly forty, fifty, and sixty-somethings setting our national budgets. Then take a look at the mortgage crisis; sure there are plenty of twenty-somethings involved but it’s mostly people older than us. A twenty year-old isn’t going to be able to refinance himself into a bad decision. I think that the whole credit card debt issue, while bad, certainly doesn’t doom our generation quite as much as the fiscal irresponsibility of our government, led by our parent’s generation.
What inspired you to start Blueprint for Financial Prosperity, your finance blog?
I actually was trying to start a deals site, which is still alive but barely ticking, and then decided to start writing about money issues and personal finance to supplement it. As things went along I realized that writing about personal finance was more entertaining than searching for deals so I kept at it. Three years later, here we are.
What financial area are you most passionate about?
I’m afraid there isn’t any particular area I’m more interested in. I suppose whatever is most appropriate for where I am in my life is what I’m most passionate about.
What topic really makes your blood boil?
I don’t like it when people don’t take accountability for their actions and I don’t like it when people lament their own situations. If you’re in $20k of credit card debt, deal with it. Yes it sucks, yes it’s a lot of debt, but you weren’t complaining when you were spending the $20k to begin with and you need to stop complaining and fix the problem.
If you could pick one superhero to be…who would you be, and why?
Superman, if only for the ability to fly. I hate sitting in traffic, it’d be bada$$ to just fly around anywhere. Plus I could turn back time just by flying around the world (I suppose I’d also need his ability to not have to breathe in space).
You recently got married. Congrats! How have you and your wife handled your separate finances? What advice would you give engaged couples?
Thanks! We combined our finances even before we got married. I think engaged couples should talk and do what’s right for them; you can read magazines and blogs and everything for ideas but it comes down to how you two distinct individuals should handle it. There’s no right answer for everyone and to shoehorn someone into combined or separate would be a mistake. I think that applies for everything in a relationship, be it marriage or otherwise.
Peer to Peer lending. Good idea, bad idea, or just plain crazy idea?
As a borrower, great, as a lender, jury’s still out. I like it because it’s a more efficient marketplace. If a lender is willing to lend to someone for 6%, why force the borrower to go to a bank at 8%? We may find out that the default numbers are too rosy or something else but for now it’s a good idea overall, especially good for borrowers.
Who is going to win the NCCA tournament this year?
I went to a D3 school, Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh so I’m gonna say Pittsburgh, though I think UCLA or UNC’s got a better shot at it.
Jim’s fantastic finance blog is Blueprint for Financial Prosperity
Saturday, March 22nd, 2008 at 8:50 am