Six Questions About Money: An Interview With Gary Foreman of TheDollarStretcher.com
Welcome to Six Questions! It is a new feature where we’ll ask different people from various walks of life the same six questions. I expect that each person will bring something unique to a standard set of questions. Today’s guest is Gary Foreman. I’ll let Gary introduce himself momentarily.
As you read through this Six Questions interview and all the previous interviews, I hope your thinking is sparked. That as you hear new and different perspectives you will be prodded to think about your own relationship to money. The views of our guest do not necessarily reflect the views of Pocket Your Dollars.com or its staff, but are a springboard for thought and respectful discussion.
If you’d like to be featured in a Six Questions column, email me to express interest.
Now to Gary…
Introduce yourself in 75 words or less
I’m a former financial planner and purchasing manager who started The Dollar Stretcher.com in 1996. For over 30 years my goal has been to help people live better on the money that they already have.
What money issue are you dealing with in your life right now
Nothing pressing. Yes, we have one kid in college and we’re not too far from retirement age, but the frugal lifestyle that we began in our twenties is paying off now. We don’t bounce from crisis to crisis. Finances simply aren’t a critical item for us.
One thing you learned about money while growing up that has stuck with you into adulthood
There are so many it’s hard to pick one. I was raised by very frugal parents. As an early teenager I resented much of it but over the years I’ve learned the value. I suppose the most important lesson is that saving a little bit today means you’ll have more tomorrow. The importance of compound interest, whether it’s earning you money or increasing the amount that you owe on your credit cards.
One thing you didn’t learn at home about money, but wish you had
My parents had a very realistic view of money, so there really isn’t anything important that I missed. Working in the area of personal finance all these years has refined what I learned growing up. But I can’t think of anything major that was overlooked.
Name your favorite money tool, resource or book?
Besides common sense, my favorite money tool is a grocery pricebook. It turns any shopper into a professional buyer. It’s especially good for families. People often save 15% buying the exact same groceries without clipping coupons. DollarStretcher.com has a section on pricebooks including a free pdf so you can create your own.
What’s one piece of money advice you wish every American would follow?
I wish everyone would learn to live within their income and save a little for the future. I know that’s very hard when you’re living paycheck to paycheck. But if there’s any way to sacrifice and cut a few dollars for savings, you’ll reap benefits later. The old statement that you reap what you sow is true. If you sow a few dollars in savings you’ll reap many more later. And the opposite is true, too. If you always spend a little more than you make, you’re sowing debt into your future. So it might be difficult to save a few dollars each month. But the effort will pay nicely if you do.
It’s PocketYourDollars again wondering if you can relate to Gary’s frugal upbringing and it’s impact on your financial well being.