PF Blogger Showdown #10: MB Hunter vs. PT Money! The battle of the abbreviations :) We got John from Mighty Bargain Hunter in one corner, and Phil from Prime Time Money in the other – a close battle today!
I’ve been fortunate to know these guys for a while now (even met John in “real life” – very sincere guy!) and I’m incredibly proud to be in the niche with them. What makes blogging awesome are all the varying perspectives we bring – and these two certainly have their own style. Enjoy!
|John “MB Hunter”
Mighty Bargain Hunter
|Phil “PT” Taylor
|How long have you been blogging for?
|I’ve been blogging since May 2005. I had a few articles up on the site before that, but that was before I discovered the wonders of WordPress. Those first couple dozen article pages were hand-coded HTML.
|Since you were in high school, J Money. :) Seriously though, I’ve been blogging about personal finance at PT Money since early 2007. I also dabbled with a personal blog on blogger back in 2002 (pre-Google), but it wasn’t much to speak of. So, I’ve got a bit of old school cred. ;)
|Got any other projects/sites going on?
|So glad you asked! My newest addition is Cash Commons for all kinds of money questions and answers. The Carnival of Debt Reduction has been going on for over four years. Then there’s my on-again, off-again attempt at a weight loss blog, Deflabbify. No Credit Needed and I are egging each other on to shed pounds.
|Does my 11 month old daughter count? She’s keeping me pretty busy these days. I barely have time for PT Money. I do occasionally start up a side project, but nothing too serious.Oh, I did just start up a new blog carnival. It’s called the International Personal Finance Carnival. Check it out.
|What are the first 3 sites you check in the morning?
|These three are the first tabs that come up when I start Firefox: Bible Gateway, my new baby Cash Commons because it needs care and feeding, and Google News. There are others, but you only asked for three. ;)
|Gmail, various forums, and Drudge Report (I’m a sucker for the political)
|Are you a fan of using Credit Cards?
|Absolutely, as long as the balance is paid in full, on time, each month. There’s almost no downside to using credit cards for convenience only: free use of the issuer’s money for a few weeks, purchase protection, fraud protection, convenience, and even discounts on purchases in the form of cash-back rewards.
|Hmm. A fan? Not necessarily. But I have to use one for my job (expensive overseas travel), so I make the most of having one. I always pay it off each month, and I get as many rewards points as I can. I cashed out a nice $250 cash reward check at the end of 2009.
|What’s better – money in the bank, or a fulfilling job?
|Well, one’s the chicken and the other’s the egg.
A fulfilling job is probably more important, but how do you arrive there? Do something you love, and hope the money will follow? Or do something that you don’t necessarily love but something that pays well, and build enough money in the bank to pursue the lower-paying but fulfilling job?
|Money in the bank. You can find fulfillment on the side. It doesn’t have to come at the sake of providing a solid foundation for yourself and those you are responsible for.
|Have you ever tried a payday loan or cash4gold scheme?
|Nope, neither. Pawn shops will usually give you more money for gold than cash-for-gold places, which doesn’t say an awful lot. And payday loan places are basically pawn shops , minus all of the cool stuff.
|There may have been one time shortly after college where I did a payday loan. I knew it was stupid. But I was a poor money manager and I was desperate. Never done any cash4gold stuff. I know you must think I walk around with bling on all the time, but the truth is I don’t wear or own any kind of jewelry beyond the wedding ring. That just took me down a few notches in your eyes, didn’t it J. Money? Sorry.
|What’s the best deal you’ve ever gotten?
|A stack (a couple of feet high) of old car repair manuals someone brought to the Salvation Army. It was “dime book” day so I paid about $5 for the whole stack. I sold one manual out of that lot for $35. I’ve made a couple hundred dollars off of those manuals, and still have some left.
|When we built our first home back in 2007 I got it in my head that I wasn’t going to pay the builder price to have wood floors installed. I found a nice price at a major hardware chain, slapped on a nice 25% off coupon, and installed the floors myself. They look great and I spent maybe a fourth of the cost of the builder flooring.
|What about the worst?
|One of our vans we got used for $3,700, drove for only a few months, and ended up having someone pay us $80 to tow it away because it had hidden transmission problems. Estimate to “possibly” fix the problems: $2,500. Forget it.
|That’s a tough one. I’d say our “all-inclusive” trip to the Dominican Republic last year. The package deal was supposed to make things easier and more affordable, but we really got what we paid for: a not very unique or comfortable stay.
|On a scale from 1-10, how awesome are budgets?
|At least a seven, because I’m starting to see the repercussions of budgeting by The Force. It’s awfully nice to have historical spending data, and we just don’t have that. But, thankfully, it’s the beginning of a new year.
|I’d say an 8. I like budgets. They’re good in the short term to help create a focus on your finances and to help you learn to spend more consciously. We should look to move on past budgeting though, and create systems that pay us first. These days, I try to focus on taking care of the big things first: retirement and short-term savings. Then, I’m free to spend the rest how I please. No restrictions.
|Do you have an all-time favorite book/blog?
|“Winning Scratch-Off Lottery Strategies” by J. Money. It’s a quick read. But seriously, no, there are so many books and blogs that I’ve gotten something out of, I couldn’t start to pick favorites.
|Financially speaking I’d have to give props to David Bach’s Automatic Millionaire. He got me fired up about saving more money for retirement. And he appealed to the geek in me by challenging me to have it done automatically. He got me truly saving more and I haven’t looked back.
|*BONUS* What’s sexier – Big breasts or a Big financial brain? ;)
|You don’t really want me to ruin the family atmosphere of this site by answering that question, do you?
|You dog!! I’ll leave that one for you to answer. My wife reads your blog.
|Time to crown your winner! Will it be the almighty bargain hunter? Or the pimp-with-no-bling Money man? It’s all in your hands my friends. Vote for the one you like the most, the one you read more, or the one you felt had better answers. There’s not right or wrong here (or winner vs. loser, really), just another fun way to spread the financial love :) Thanks John & Phil!—————
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