Interview with Andrew @ Family Money Plan

Over the next few weeks I will be interviewing a series of personal finance bloggers.  I hope you find each of their unique stories as insightful and revealing as I did. Most importantly, I hope we can all learn from their experiences with money.

This week I have had the pleasure of interviewing Andrew @ Family Money Plan.
Andrew shares great money jokes and insightful content and believes in the importance of earning passive income. He shares his progress regularly with his readers. Check out his blog site at Family Money Plan and follow him on Twitter or Pinterest.


  1. Tell us about your ‘money story’. Has this story changed how you manage your money today and how?  I’ll be honest I have rewritten this answer half a dozen times. Partly because when I read my story it feels like there is this internal conflict that never stops. Here it goes…I’ve always managed my money with intention. I think you need to give your money a purpose otherwise you will not be able to get ahead financial.It probably started with my first allowance. I was fortunate enough to have a dad who made me save half of my allowance from day one. This turned me into a saver without really thinking about it.Learning to save from the start, and to eagerly await things, was a big thing for me earlier on. It made me hungry for things in a good way. It taught me to delay gratification and to plan and think of new ways to create money. We didn’t have a lot of extra money growing up and I think that helped my motivation and desires.My motivation comes from wanting new things, new experiences and freedom. That’s what fuels me, to improve and to strive for bigger and better things.Anyway, I grew up wanting to have it all while always trying to be appreciative of what I have and at the same time.  It’s a tricky balance.Those are a part of my money story. Now when I look at it …. Oddly enough, I would say my money story is set in scarcity and is heading towards abundance. I’ve always had a scarcity mindset when it has come to money. I think a lot of savers feel that way.It was when I realized that I could change (almost) anything in my life that didn’t suit me. While I love what a scarcity mindset has helped me accomplished. I think abundance would be better for me down the stretch. So now I’m focusing more on abundance. It’s a lot harder than I thought it would be, but I’m up for the challenge.
  2. If you could give 3 personal finance tips to anyone, what would those be?  1- Start saving at least 20% of you money. 10% is not enough in my opinion. It’s a good start but when you think saving 10% means you have to save 9 yeas to make up 1-year worth of expenses. It’s simply not enough.2 – Learn about investing and multiple streams of income. You should be aware of different methods of making money that don’t solely involve trading your money for time. I have a free eBook coming out on the topic if you want to learn more about passive income. (Which BTW it’s not actually passive, but that’s for another time). You can just sign up for my newsletter and I’ll send it when it’s done.3 – Watch out for lifestyle/expense creep and expense leaks. There are a lot of nasty little habits we create for ourselves as we make our way through life. When you are aware of that and keep an eye on your expenses you are better informed to act on that information.
  3. What is the smartest thing you did with money and why?   Let’s see…Once I bet on a horse and it won. That felt like I was pretty smart, but then the next horse lost so….yyyyeah… Just kidding.Truth be told, I find most of my smart money moves are countered by several dumb money moves.One that stands out is from when I was younger. There was this turning point that happened on the day of my high school grad. I actually missed the first part because of it. I had landed my dream job of working in a music store. It was a second-hand store and I figured out that I could buy and sell used instruments at a profit. I would go to the pawnshops and find guitars and other musical instruments (this was before eBay and Craigslist were normal…. Because you know apparently I’m old). Then I would buy them and resell them at their market value.The first one I found was a home run. It was a Garth Brooks signature guitar. I bought it for $250 and ended up selling it for $695 (which was about 2 weeks worth of salary). It taught me that deals were out there if you would get creative and do the work. I was so proud of my find that I made it a side business for a few years. I was able to use that money to go and backpack around Europe for 6 months. It was pretty cool! I mean what a great way to exit high school!This was a smart money move because it was the first time I didn’t trade my time for money, and I was doing something I loved. It was a huge for me at the time. It has opened doors for me.  There have been smarter money moves, but I was able to more than double my money in a very short time. It showed me that there is a lot of ways to make money besides just trading hours for dollars.
  4. What is the dumbest thing you did with money and why?
    Oh there are so many things to choose from… what to pick, what to pick. There was the time when I started a gym with a buddy of mine. Which had all the right things, it was a proven concept and everything.Then after a year we shut it down because we knew it wasn’t something we were passionate about so we let it go.But here’s the dumb thing, and it’s only something I’ve realized afterwards. If we had taken the money we had put in the gym and just invested it in an ETF that copied the market. We would have made 118% return on our money and saved our time and the countless headaches.With any new start up there is a ton of time spent on building and developing, so when you close up something its hard to see. I mean you go into business to make money, but if I had looked at the numbers from an investment standpoint I would have just put that amount into the market and had all that time to spare. I wouldn’t have learned as much, which I’m grateful for, but it was expensive learning.From a learning stand point starting something is the best way. But from an investment stand point it had potential but should have been left on the idea page.  It was a dumb use of money, but it made me wiser.Another dumb thing I did was start investing in stocks when the market was at it’s top in 2007. I actually bought my first stock at the top of the market. Which is, like… the one thing you aren’t supposed to do. I learned about options and stocks and got in on the highest day of the market. Again it’s hindsight, but it was dumb and cost me thousands of dollars.Like I said there’s a lot of dumb ones, these are just the first two that jumped out at me.
  5. If money was not an object, how would you spend your time?   I would build a business while my kids were at school. Take care of them when they are home. Make awesome food. Exercise everyday. I’m happiest when I have something to focus on like a project. So the majority of my time would be spent building a business. I love to help people and to create things and come up with ideas and test things out.If money wasn’t an object I would be doing more of what I love including travel and spending time with my family.
  6. What is your blog theme and why did you choose to start blogging?  My blog is still in it’s coming of age. I started it as we were paying off our mortgage. That wrapped up 6 years of budgeting and putting everything we could down on the principle. Now I’m more focused on building wealth. My belief is to pay off your debt first, then build wealth. You can do them both at the same time, most people do,  but I’m doing it this way.  That’s what is so great about personal finance. It’s the personal decisions that make all the difference.So to answer your question, I would say my theme is family focused financial freedom.  There are a lot of challenges that come up with building a better life full of freedom when you have a family to take care of and I look forward to sharing the learning and pitfalls that I will come across.
  7.  If you could recommend a book to someone, what would it be and why?   I actually have 3 books that I would recommend. Sorry, totally not sticking to the rules and trying to over-deliver. Two of them I have on audio book and I make a point of listening to them every year.They are: The Secrets of the Millionaire Mind- by Harv Eker, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and the Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. All are great road maps to a better life.
  8.  If you were given the opportunity to have a one-hour lunch with anyone in the world, whom would it be and why?  Oh now this is an awesome question. I’m going to make this a 2 part one.For living, I would say Warren Buffett because of the obvious reasons. Plus he likes cherry coke and burgers so you know I’m going to be enjoying the meal. (Which is the #1 reason why people pick Buffett right? The meal.)For someone dead I would pick Napoleon Hill. He carried an idea of personal development in a time where nothing like that existed. Was recruited by the richest man in the world at the time to work on this idea for free for 20 years. I could gain so much from that hour.
  9. If you could have a ‘do-over’ in any area of your life, what would that be and why?Oh that’s an easy one, I would start learning about stocks and taking action way earlier than when I started. It’s great to be started and in the game now, but starting earlier would be a huge thing for knowledge and profits.Really though, when I look at everything around the life I have created for myself and my family I feel blessed. There are a lot of things I wish I could have done differently but that would make me a different person than who I am today. Part of life is making the mistakes and appreciating them in hindsight. Sometimes the best thing comes from those mistakes.
  10. Is there anything else you would like to share with everyone?  If your readers are interested I have an eBook ready for them if they are interested when they sign up for my weekly newsletter. Along with that I also offer a few other goodies with being a part of the community. You can sign up for it here.

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5 replies

  1. Nice interview! I can totally relate to Andrew being a family man and taking care of his family! I hope to one day have a paid off house as well!


    • Thanks! You’ll get there buddy. From our chats it sounds like you have a plan in the works and that’s half the battle.


  2. Sharing a variety of stories from various lives helps people with money management issues identify more easily. Great concept!


  3. Great interview Andrew! It is interesting on your take about starting the gym. I like that you realized you are passionate about it quickly and shut it down instead of keeping it going just because of the sunk costs in it during hat first year. A lot can be taken away from getting out of something when you realize you either won’t be successful or that your heart isn’t in it.


    • Thanks Thias! I think if you can say “No” to things quicker the better off you will be. There’s no point in pushing forward with something that doesn’t make you happy or that you realize just isn’t working out.