[Today we have our second interview from another wonderful Queens of the Kingdom. If you are interested in being featured as a queen, please use the form on that page!

Lily from The Frugal Gene, who we met through comments on J Money’s blog has been one of our favorite bloggers throughout the “starting” a new blog process. We’ve learned more about her as she’s posted new pieces of her story puzzle, from being poor in her childhood to saving crazy amounts of money since! Without further ado, we welcome you Lily!]

Warm Up Questions:

What has been one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned in your life?

Haha, that’s actually covered fully in my most favorite post of all time… I still stand by it. They’re very good lessons to learn and they’re positive in nature. Last week when I re-read it on the bus, my husband and I both started crying at the last paragraph haha.

From Chris ->  That’s one of our favorite of yours also! Life isn’t perfect, and that is OK as we are happy from the imperfections 🙂

What does being a queen of your financial kingdom mean to you?

Queen is a bit too much for me to live up to. To be debt free and financially secure is what most people should aim for until they get there and then they can upgrade to early retirement, charity, legacy etc.

I’ve always been pretty good with money. I never thought I was going to grow up and be rich or anything – but I definitely knew I wasn’t going to continue being broke once I got out of school. I was debt free and had about $22,000 saved by the time I was 23 on an average salary job.

From Chris -> Internal motivation makes a huge difference in the personal finance race!


What are your biggest motivations for blogging?

Diary, legacy, community, boredom, internet notoriety and chump change. That is organized in an order of importance by the way.

The Frugal Gene isn’t going to be technical or professional, unfortunately. It’s a public journal and thought diary.

It’s not a guide to life. It’s an introduction to just MY life.

Tell us a few of the challenges you’ve overcome as a new blogger (or biggest lesson)?

Finding my blog voice! If you go back to my old posts when I had ZERO clue what I was doing…ugh, it’s cringe-worthy! My writing, tone, the execution was so bad. I should probably delete those posts.

Tech issues is another big one for me. My husband helped me in the past with the tech stuff but work has been killing him lately so I’ve been handling it on my own. I figure it out eventually but it takes me longer to do so, which is frustrating and unfortunate.

With the different characters on your blog (like Soapy), which ones do you feel taught you the most about your philosophy on life (and why)?

I love Soapy. She is totally different than me, which is refreshing. I’m an open-minded person on almost everything and I appreciate the perspective she brings to my life. She’s sooo smart, just not when it comes to money, but she’s smart when it comes to living life.

I think Cyn (el Salvadorean best friend whose father is a lifelong criminal) taught me a lot about happiness and Soapy finished me off from there with a dose of confidence.

They both taught me to be happy with myself…that’s not something that comes naturally.

From Chris -> So true! It’s tough as we grow older because we change, we realize some friends aren’t what we thought, meet new friends that help change our perspectives, and grow ourselves through the process

What advice do you have for any other bloggers in the personal finance community?

This is going to sound corny but you have to BE you.

You can’t be anyone else because that person is already taken. You have to find your voice. It helps to come with an interesting story. I wish I remembered more bits from my life but at the time it seemed better to do a memory dump.

What is your favorite part of being a blogger?

I really, really like the accomplished feeling of when I hit publish. I like reading blogger comments.

I don’t comment back enough on other blogs because I’m limited on time, but seriously, it makes the entire blogging thing so fun to know someone cared enough to leave a comment.

Super Saver Questions:

What Does Super Saver mean to you?

Anyone that can save a majority of their income by going to the extremes like house hacking and living car-free is a super saver.

That’s just a specific example but there are other people that don’t save as much but I call super savers. I guess it’s determined by someone’s determination. It helps if you’re naturally frugal in nature.

When you and your husband began saving, did it take any convincing to do so? (you’ve mentioned being poor, while he came from suburbia, so were the different perspectives challenging?)

Not really, we’re both frugal. But there was one big difference:

I really enjoy food and eating out. We disagreed on that because he’s not a foodie. I wish I had an easy resolution but we still disagree on eating out sometimes.

What were some of the biggest challenges you had and how did you solve them when first becoming super savers (the first two years of the journey)

It was the dining out budget. He has no taste buds or creativity when it comes to food. I appreciate all food from all cultures and love to eat. My food hobby is expensive.

Even though he would go along with it, I can see his hesitancy to drop $10 on a waffle cone. Remember I said a marriage should be a partnership? Yeah…I totally get his point. Eating out is expensive and of my caliber, if I had free reign, I could easily drop $500 on dining out a month by myself.

Because I don’t have a foodie partner in crime, it was also SUPER boring to sit there and eat alone so eventually I just lost interest. We resolved it by combining my interest in food with date night. He enjoys me company and conversation…I like to stuff my face. Win, win.

But seriously, he’s so anti-good food and anti-flavor I could cry.

From Chris -> My girlfriend is the same!! It is nice to know your husband and I both know the struggle 😛 jk! lol! I love eating out once she gets me to.

For others just starting out, what would your biggest recommendation be to transforming into a saver vs a spender?

Start collecting all the reasons for frugality in your abundance.

I have soooooooooooo many reasons to be frugal. My life goals, money goals, career goals align with finances. If you want to get serious, put your life in perspective and put in on the saving line. You have to save until it starts to sting.

Life Questions:

What are two or three things you’ve become the most grateful today?

My husband, the sweetest, most noble, kind, responsible, intelligent, dorky soulmate a girl could ask for.

Anddddddd….I never knew I had this but sometimes I write something at 3 AM and I read back on it later and go, “That’s…not bad. Did I write that? OK!”

Any advice for other couples to become so in tuned with each other from a money perspective?

Get on the same page by any means necessary or that page is going to turn into divorce papers.

If you had a Wikipedia page in 15 years, what accomplishments on the page would be most important to you?

Oooh, my own Wiki! Haha, this is a very loaded question. I don’t think I can answer that to anyone without revealing too much of my master plan. Sorry 😉

From Chris -> No worries – all of us in the PF community are looking forward to learning more about it as you accomplish them!

What advice would you give to others on becoming financially stable?

Ummm. You don’t have a choice.

It’s either sink or swim. If you’re keeping afloat and you think you’re doing OK, you’re not. Life kicks, once it kicks and you’re down… it’s hard to get back up. I’ve seen it before. You better be swimming because you don’t have another option.

There you have it folks – we are really honored to be in the Kingdom with such a great queen! I’m looking forward to reading more of your diary and seeing your journey through the process!