Interview with Kelly Whalen of The Centsible Life

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I’m excited to bring you this exclusive interview with Kelly Whalen of Centsible Life. Kelly is a long time friend of mine, and I have always admired her centsible way of living. Sensible with budget in mind – but not depriving yourself of the joys of life (which money also can buy). She lives skimbaco lifestyle by making smart everyday choices that let her enjoy life, and helps other moms to get family finances in order, whether it’s to live debt free, or to save for the big family vacation. Kelly is an inspiration to us all to live life to the fullest.

Interview with Kelly Whalen of Centsible Life

Katja: I love that you believe you can have it all (so do I), and how you are giving practical tips how anyone can do it. How did you get started with The Centsible Life?

Kelly: I started the Centsible Life as a way to compile all I was learning in our journey to live a debt-free life. I was very active in forums on a personal finance site and someone suggested it. Once I started the blog I was hooked.

Katja: What are your three easiest tips how anyone can save money on their every day life?

Kelly: There are so many nuggets I learned along the way, but the top three would have to be:

1. Spend less than you earn: If you’re negative every month you won’t be able to ever get out of debt or save more.

2. Cut back on things you can live without: This is really a matter of what’s important to you. It’s called personal finance for a reason! For instance maybe you can live without TV but couldn’t give up your daily latte habit, so you choose to drop your cable which will support your daily caffeine fix. By doing this when we first started our journey we were able to shave $17,000 off our yearly expenses!

3. Be in charge of your money, don’t let it be in charge of you: Even if you’re in debt, you can’t let that rule your life. Yes, you need to be responsible, but you all need to reward yourself. For instance our family had the opportunity to go DisneyWorld with my son’s robotics team. Since we were already paying for a hotel room, and other expenses it made sense for us to go as a family. We were able to fund that trip completely with savings designated for that trip.

Katja: Saving money on everyday things makes it possible to splurge on others. What are some of the things you recommend spending the money on (instead of buying the cheapest) and what do you personally splurge on?

Kelly: I recommend spending or splurging more on things that you will use every day, or extremely frequently. For instance spending a bit more on a mattress that is comfortable makes sense since you spend hours a day sleeping.

Personally we mull over each purchase before we make them even if they are small. In the past I’ve spent more on a high-end vacuum I knew would work and last longer (our previous one lasted 5+ years), appliances (since we wash and cook for a family of 6), and I prefer quality clothing and food. Don’t get me wrong I still find ways to save on those pricey purchases {using our Best Time to Buy guide and following sales}, but I know I won’t have to replace them every two years.

Katja: What are your goals for 2012? Is there something new or exciting going for the Centsible Life in 2012?

Kelly: This year I’m focusing more than ever on the Centsible Life brand, and taking my side businesses (Just Centsible and Splash Creative Media) to a whole other level. I’m also spending a lot of time writing, but I can’t say more than that just yet. ;)

Katja: Can’t wait to hear more! Now, what does skimbaco lifestyle mean to you? How do you live life to the fullest in your everyday life?

Kelly: For me living a skimbaco life is living life in a way that’s meaningful and rich without having to spend money. I find joy and happiness in the small things in life (my husband’s smile, my kids’ laughter, a cup of perfect coffee) since those are what life is made from!

Katja: And that’s why we admire you so much – you see the beauty in small things! Thanks for the interview Kelly!

Connect with Kelly

Read Kelly’s family finance blog The Centsible Life. The Centsible Life will help you live the life of your dreams without breaking the piggy bank. It is a community and blog at the intersection of money and motherhood. The Centsible Life explores topics as varied as college savings and fashionable finds on a budget.

Find Kelly also on these social media sites:
Twitter: @centsiblelife
Facebook: facebook.com/thecentsiblelife
Pinterest: pinterest.com/kellywhalen

About Katja Presnal

Katja Presnal is an international lifestyle expert, originally from Finland. Katja shows how to live globally inspired life to the fullest. She has been featured in NY Times, Glamour, Redbook, Fodor's, Forbes and Woman's Day magazines among many other national and international publications and written for MTV3 and Lifetime TV networks. She is a board member of the Professional Travel Bloggers Association, award-winning social media strategist, and a well-known speaker in the social media conferences. Katja has lived in four different countries, and seven states in the USA, and married to a helicopter pilot. Their three children were all born in different countries within three years. When not working or jet-setting the world, Katja is at home cooking big family dinners.

Get Katja's first book Instagram as your Guide to the World - How, What and Who to Search and Follow on Instagram to Help You Travel the World for free, and follow Katja's travel account @skimbaco on Instagram.

Comments

  1. Love this interview and love Kelly!

  2. Great interview! I agree that finding joy in the simple things in life leads to a much fuller life. You don’t have to be rich to be happy! Being happy with what you have, makes you richer in life.

  3. Those are wonderful tips Kelly! I really believe spending less than you earn is the best one ever. I am shocked at how simple it is and yet how much I struggle with it. It was way way way too easy for me to get a credit card and I hate that!

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