sunshinebloggerawardMaintaining a blog takes work. More work than I realized. There’s scheduling, brainstorming, researching, coming up with catchy headlines, and so on. But it’s all worth it, and one thing that makes it worthwhile is connecting with other bloggers.

Since I’ve been writing about money over the past few years, I’ve met some helpful, hilarious, hugely talented people. I’ve been lucky to meet some of these people in person, and I’m excited to meet more of you at FinCon this year. (It’ll be my first!) In the spirit of connecting with awesome people, I’d like to send a big thank you to Gary at Super Savings Tips for nominating me for a Sunshine Blogger Award.

What’s a Sunshine Blogger Award?

It’s more of a movement than an official award. The Sunshine Blogger Award is a networking tool to get bloggers to connect, support, and get to know each other. Nothing wrong with that. There’s a lot of solid, useful content out there, and the personal finance blogging community, in particular, is pretty stellar.

Here’s what I have to do, as Gary points out in his post:

• Thank the person who nominated me
• Answer their questions
• Nominate other bloggers for this award
• Write the same number of questions for the bloggers I’ve nominated
• Notify the bloggers I’ve nominated

And with that, let’s get this thing going.

Questions I Have to Answer

If you could live anywhere on the planet, where would it be?

It’s hard not to love where I live now (Southern California). But I wouldn’t mind living in New York City. But whenever I tell someone this, they usually follow up with: but it’s so expensive! Or: it’s crowded. Or: it smells funny. I know this, people! And I still think NYC rules.

What was the most dangerous, or most exciting, thing you’ve ever done?

The most exciting and most dangerous thing I’ve done is probably go to Europe alone for two weeks in my 20s. I don’t know how my poor mom got through those two weeks.

What’s your favorite movie and why?

The Lonely Guy, mostly because of Charles Grodin:

Also There Will Be Blood because it’s great all around: story, cinematography, acting, music.

What is your greatest piece of advice on how to save money?

I’ve got a practical answer and an emotional answer. Practically, I’m a big fan of the envelope system, which is Dave Ramsey-speak for: pay using cash. Granted, I use a credit card for nearly all of my purchases because Mama Wong needs her travel rewards.

But when I review my budget and see that my spending in a particular area has gotten out of control, I implement the cash-only system. I’ve been overspending on restaurants recently, so I’ve been using cash for the past month, and it works like a charm. I didn’t even realize how mindless my spending had become until I switched to cash and found myself actually giving my purchases some thought. Shame on me and my sushi habit. Once it gets under control, though, I’ll go back to using my card for those sweet, sweet rewards.

Emotionally, you can’t go wrong with the old “pay yourself first” advice. Set up a savings goal, and save your money before you even have a chance to spend it.

What is your favorite meal to eat or to cook?

Ramen. Can’t get enough of it. The spicier, the better. With a soft boiled egg in it.

My Nominees

And here are my nominations:

• Vic at Dad is Cheap
• Kendal at Hassle Free Savings
• Brian at Done by Forty

My Questions

• What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to save cash?

• What do you love most about blogging?

• What’s the hardest part of maintaining your own blog?

• What’s your favorite book?

• What’s the best money advice you’ve ever received?

Thanks again to Gary for looping me into this. His blog is full of awesome money saving tips, so be sure to check it out here!

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Kristin writes and makes videos about money, the economy, travel, and more. You can find her stuff at Lifehacker, New York Magazine, the New York Times, and more. Learn more about her here.