5 Questions With Blogger Natalie Bacon
Have you ever read a blog and then feel as if you were kicked in the stomach—but in a good way? I’m talking about something that picks you up, turns you over, and then shakes the life out of you—something that opens your eyes, permanently alters your perspective. You know that feeling, right?
Then let me tell you about Natalie Bacon. I came across her blog while doing some research on financial planners in Ohio. I loved her financial story and simplicity, so I contacted her to do an interview for the MoneyStrands blog. And I'm so happy I did!
Natalie is a Certified Financial Planner by day and a blogger by night. But before all that, she was an attorney.
So, why does she inspire me?
To begin with, she's forged her own authentic path, which demands guts, commitment, strength, and perseverance. Natalie made $110,000 a year as a lawyer but she quit because she hated the job. Do you wonder how many people stick to a job they're not happy with just because it's the easy option?
A lot of people tell her that quitting was courageous, but for her it was the only option to pursue a happy life. And now she's pursuing a career as a financial planner, blogger, writer, and online entrepreneur.
Here's what Natalie answered to my 5 questions:
1. Who should be reading your site?
Any young woman who wants advice about her finances, career, life, or how to monetize their own blog should read it.
I know the feeling of trying to figure out your career in your twenties, while paying off student loan debt, and pursuing a personal life. On my blog, I chronicle my journey of becoming a lawyer, quitting my job and taking a 50% pay cut to become a financial planner, all while pursuing blogging on the side. I’ve paid of over $100k in student loan debt, and I passed the Certified Financial Planner examination.
So, I teach young women how to do more of that in all areas of their lives, with a specific focus on finances, career, personal development, and blogging.
2. What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned about yourself since you started blogging?
How naïve I was about how the world works. I had no idea about entrepreneurship, capitalism at its core, and what it means to be a business owner. I’m so thankful I learned all these things from blogging (and from listening to tons of podcasts!).
I also learned that anyone who is willing to put in consistent effort and be ruthlessly committed and persistent can create a successful business that allows them to achieve their financial goals and create more freedom. This is so empowering to me.
3. What decision did you make in the past that has had the biggest financial impact in your life?
My decision to go to a private university for undergrad and then to law school undoubtedly had the biggest financial impact on your life. I graduated with a whopping $206,000 of student loan debt.
Ironically, this has been the biggest blessing in disguise. If it weren’t for my debt, I wouldn’t have started my journey of learning about money, and I would’ve never started a blog. I owe my entrepreneurial passion to my student loan debt and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
As far as a positive financial decision that has impacted my life, the biggest would be choosing to never have a credit card. I am a spender at heart, so I don’t use one (and I never have). This has enabled me to stay out of consumer debt and focus on getting out of student loan debt.
4. What are some of your favorite money-saving strategies?
Then, after you’re debt free, max out your retirement savings. Only after you’re maxing out your retirement savings while being debt free do I think it’s a good idea to start investing on the side in a personal brokerage account.
The mistake I see the most from really smart millennials is that they want to invest right away in a non-retirement investment account because investing is sexy. But really, they’re drowning in student loan debt and they would be better off paying off their debt.
5. Which are some digital tools you just can’t live without?
- Gmail – how I communicate and organize everything.
- GCalendar – I’m committed to intentional living (i.e. personal development and life planning), so my calendar keeps me focused on my priorities and enables me to accomplish my goals.
- Evernote – An app where I take notes about any and everything (e.g.: books I’ve read, yearly goals, copywriting strategies, blogging tips, etc).
- Podcast app – I listen to podcasts daily (Your Move by Andy Stanley, Smart Passive Income, EntreLeadership, Knowledge For Men, The School Of Greatness, The Dave Ramsey Show, Bad With Money With Gaby Dunn).
- Chase app – for my online banking.
- The Skimm – to read summaries of the news.
- Venmo – to exchange money with friends and family.
- Social media apps – blogger life.
A final word
If you’re not following her, you should be. Natalie is the kind of woman who make things happen. She's in possession of the three most important character traits: authenticity, honesty, and simplicity.
Ah! And she just started a YouTube channel. Check her out and you’ll understand why she deserves to be in this category of my blog!