Interview with the Ladies of Queercents

It’s no secret from my previous posts, I love the blog Queercents. I thought it would be great to interview two of the founders and contributors here, Nina Smith and Dawn.

Happy reading….and I encourage you to subscribe to the Queercents conversation.

What was your inspiration to start Queercents?
Nina: I had been blogging for about a year with Sitting Pretty and was looking for a way to reach out more specifically to the LGBT community. The traditional queer finance sites such as GFN.com and the money channel at PlanetOut and other sites were missing the more “personal” blogging format.

Dawn: I saw it as an opportunity to gives the glbt community something that was personally theirs. A comfort zone if you will.

How did you first get interested in finances?
Nina: I wanted a plan to get out of the rat race. I was always striving for a pay raise, a year-end bonus or wishing that my commission accelerator kicked in by the second quarter. But no matter how much money I made in my job, it never seemed to be “enough” money. I read the book “Rich Dad Poor Dad” and it changed my perspective on money. It taught me to buy assets with my disposable income. I put an end to the $3,000 vacations (liability), no more $600/month car-lease payment (liability), and I got a lot more conservative with the affordable luxuries (saying no to the $3 lattes… liability). Instead, I saved my money and started buying assets. Specifically, houses.

Dawn: Ever since I learned to count with money and realizing more more got me more things, it has been been a sword fight of medieval proportions to both have what you “need” and save money as well.

How did the collaboration between the 3 of you (Nina, Dawn, Caitlin) come about?
Nina: We found each other online. The personal finance blogosphere is actually a fairly small group. We were avid readers of each other’s blog and the gaydar kicked in. I finally just asked if they wanted to collaborate on a queer specific site and they both thought it was a good idea. Funny thing is, we have never met in person. That’s the power of the Internet.

Dawn: Nina put out the Gay signal in the sky that she had a few ideas and was looking for other people and I jumped at the chance to include that area of my life in a site. And I like reading Nina’s site, so I figured she was a decent person. I wasn’t disappointed.

What is your long-term vision for Queercents – what do you most want to have happen as the impact of your work?
Nina: I’m not sure how this effort will play out, but I’m hoping that Queercents will be the springboard to my next career. My desire is to be able to write full time on the topic of finances. Additionally, I believe that Queercents inspires people… especially those that need a little encouragement with their money skills. It makes me feel good that we’re helping people.

Dawn: I just want it to be around for a long time, providing tips, experience and a place for people to voice they opions on financial matters. Personally, I don’t have any ambitions beyond wanting the site to do well. I’m still trying to decide what I want to be when I grow up.

What is the #1 piece of advice you would give any woman wanting to be financially successful?
Nina: Learn to be self-sufficient and live within your means.
Dawn: Find an attitude of happiness beyond the money. So that no matter if you have a million or zero, you have confidence in yourself and place in life. To me that is a financial success.

Finances can be overwhelming. What’s a simple way for a woman to get started cleaning up debt, etc?
Nina: Stick to a budget; pay off your debt and make owning a home your #1 goal.

Dawn: First, sit down and figure out how much you owe and what your minimum payments are
Second, Find places to cut back on monthly expenses (cable, phone, subscriptions, habits)
Third, sell items that are cluttering your space to help pay down the debt
Fourth, Go to the library and check out books for inspiration or since you are reading this, continue searching online. There are no easy fixes, it took a while to pile up the debt and it will take a while to get rid of it.

You have a series on Money & Mates. Based on your experience, what are a few simple ways a couple can all participate in managing finances?
Nina: I wrote a post about this recently called Team Effort about how to get both people of a partnership interested and involved in the finances. According to the experts quoted in the post, they say, “It’s vital that both parties participate, even if one doesn’t feel qualified, entitled, or interested. People in a relationship may have very different long-term goals, and even if the goals are aligned, they may have very different ideas about how to get there. Failure to include both viewpoints can lead to big problems in a relationship as well as a bad financial plan.” Bottom line, couples need to talk about money matters.

Dawn: Communication, even if you have seperate accounts, talk about where all the money is going so their are no secrets
Always, Always discuss the big buys with your partner, If you don’t know if something should be discussed with them or not, then you propably should.

What brings you the most joy personally or professionally?
Nina: On a personally level, sharing my life with my partner, Jeanine brings inspiration and companionship to my day-to-day. I consider my life work to be writing and this brings me an immense amount of joy. My real work is selling software and this provides me with a good living. No complaints there. The combination offers a nice balance for me professionally.

Dawn: I find so much Joy and providing my experience to others and also getting others experiences so that I can learn as well.

Nina Smith, QueercentsNina Smith is the co-founder of Queercents, a personal finance blog that offers a distinctly queer perspective on money for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community. Nina shares her views on how to achieve financial independence through saving and investing. Nina, a seasoned real estate investor, has been featured on Logo from MTV Networks and is a contributing personal finance writer for the Blade, a regional LGBT magazine. Nina resides in Newport Beach, CA and may be reached at [email protected].

Dawn, QueercentsDawn is a Co-founder of Queercents a financial blog for the GLBT community, where Dawn shares her personal experiences with frugal living, debt and opinons on the world of money. Dawn’s day job is working in the telecommunications industry because she loves living in a cubicle. When she isn’t working she goes to movies with her partner and plays on the computer. Dawn resides in Englewood, CO and can be reached at [email protected]

Queercents… we’re here, we’re queer, and we’re not going shopping without coupons.

tags:
lesbian , lesbian business owners,LGBT ,GLBT ,success, finances,

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