My Pretty Pennies – Best of the Best Blogger Series

In our 53rd edition of our award-winning Best of the Best Blogger series, we had the pleasure to speak with Ginna Neel from My Pretty Pennies.

Ginna started her blogging journey back in March 2009 to document her travails with some pretty serious student loan debt. Joining a community of personal finance bloggers gave her the fellowship and the platform that she was looking for to dig her way out of debt, but more importantly, an opportunity to share not only her debting experience but also her views and opinions on a variety of topics, equally as important to her, including her faith and her family.

She has crystallized her financial philosophy into a nice tidy summary:

“You don’t have to be rich to have a rich life. Spend money on things that matter. Experiences over stuff.”

We had the opportunity to sit down with Ginna and talked about a variety of things including the value of a college education, the power of money, and the secret to a perfect Warrior 3 yoga pose.

Student loan debt is a real hot-button issue right now. Based on your own personal experience with student loans, is there anything you would change about your college experience? Was the degree you earned worth the price you had to pay?

Yes, I definitely think my degree was worth the price I had to pay. One thing I did to offset some of the costs was take extra credit hours so I could graduate in 3.5 years. It may not seem like a lot at the time, but omitting a semester cut a lot off my student loans in the long run.

What’s are 2-3 of the most important things that you learned about digging out of debt?

It takes a lot of patience. A lot. If you ever hear you can get rid of debt easily, it’s probably a scam. It is a hard, long process and one that takes a lot of perseverance. But I also learned that setting little goals help you keep going. Those little achievements keep you going and eventually you’ll realize you just have a couple more payments and you’re done!

As a yoga practitioner yourself, how might you be able to utilize what you’ve learned and use in your yoga practice and translate that into practical personal financial advice?

Just like yoga, personal finance takes a lot of balance. Learning when to spend and when to save. It also takes a lot of practice. You can’t launch into Warrior 3 perfectly on your first try, just how you can’t have the perfect budget the first month you try.

Who are a few of your favorite personal finance bloggers?

I have a lot, but my favorites include Budgets are Sexy, Newlyweds on a Budget, Punch Debt in the Face, and Well-Heeled.

What’s your stance on credit cards? Useful? Or the root of all evil?

For me, [I find them] useful. I use my credit card for everything and have probably gotten about $300 worth of perks through points. But I know it’s really easy to abuse credit cards, so I think that’s a personal decision everyone has to make, depending on their personality and tendency to over-spend with credit cards.

What are you most grateful for about your blogging experience with My Pretty Pennies?

I am so grateful for the readers! I’ve met some of the most authentic, encouraging people through blogging.

My thanks to Ginna for taking the time with us to share just a bit of her life experience. Thanks again Ginna!