The Caveman Money on BlogCatalog is a personal finance blogger who uses his anonymous internet handle “The Caveman” on the internet because he found that after blogging for about six years he started feeling a little uncomfortable discussing his own personal finances in detail. He also found that using his anonymity name allowed him a little more freedom when it came to sharing his own ideas and his blog while still giving him a great excuse to refer to his wife as “Mrs. Caveman,” which elicits an eye-roll every time she reads one of his articles.
So now I have to ask, how does a young man such as yourself in his twenties grow to know so much about personal finances?
Caveman: I suppose I don’t have a good answer to that question. Personal finance has always been a fascination of mine, ever since I first learned about the beauty of compound interest. The idea that I could make money simply by letting it sit somewhere has always amazed me. As a young kid, all you really know about money is that it is meant to be spent on toys. I figured out pretty early on that if I invested my money for a while, I could buy more toys later.
Angie: Are your parents the same way and are you their only son?
Caveman: Well, I am an only child, but my parents think very differently than I do when it comes to personal finances. That isn’t to say that they are bad with their finances because they are not, but they are definitely bigger consumers than I am. My father works in manufacturing and puts in 60+ hours in any given week, and he’s not afraid to spend a little bit of his hard-earned money when he wants. Overall, though, my folks are more responsible with their finances than probably 90% of people out there, so I can’t complain!
Angie: Why did you choose a career in corporate finance?
Caveman: As much as I love personal finance, most jobs in that field require a lot of cold-calling and a lot of sales ability. Selling things for other people is just not something I’m interested in, so I decided a career in corporate finance was right up my alley. Working in corporate finance allows me to gain valuable experience and perspectives, and I can spend my free time blogging about personal finances. It’s a great balance!
Angie: I read on your blog that you listen to Dave Ramsey’s teachings. When did you start listening to him? Before or after you started your financial analyst career?
Caveman: I started reading Dave Ramsey’s books when I was in college. At the time, I was working full-time in a call center while attending college and I had built up a good bit of debt after I bought my first home in 2006. I was still trying to make sense out of “being an adult,” and Ramsey’s teachings really helped guide me back toward a good path, financially.
Angie: I also read that even if you do agree with Ramseys teachings there are a few things you don’t agree with. Can you share those with us?
Caveman: Well, Ramsey is a great teacher for the average person. I think that once a person has a good hold of their financial situation, though, some of Ramsey’s teachings can seem a little too extreme. A great example is Ramsey’s view on credit cards. He advocates that you just never use them, but the reality is that responsible use of credit cards can yield to several hundred dollars in benefits each year. I’ve got about $350 sitting in my Capital One Rewards Cash right now from the last six months of spending, and I have never paid them a dime in interest.
Angie: Have you ever had someone challenge your advice? And if so, how did you resolve it?
Caveman: I always say that personal finance is not a science, but rather an art. People challenge my numbers and assumptions constantly, and I encourage that. If you’ve found a better path toward financial freedom than following the advice I’ve laid out, then I say blaze your own trail. Just be sure to share your knowledge with the world once you’ve been successful doing it your way. Remember: If you’re reading articles on my blog, then you’re probably already doing more than 95% of the United States is doing to help themselves. It’s all about doing your research and implementing a plan that works for you.
Angie: Have you ever gone a little crazy spending some serious money just for fun?
Caveman: All the time. I advocate a balance between paving your way toward financial freedom and enjoying life today. We want to be as stress-free and independent as we can be when we’re older, but not at the expense of suffering while we’re young. I go on a nice vacation every couple years. Most recently, I converted my empty basement into the ultimate “Man Cave.” I’ve got a 100-inch projection setup with a nice surround-sound system, a full stocked bar, a 7-seat wrap-around couch and my own separate recliner, and all sorts of signs and memorabilia hanging on the walls representing my favorite NFL team. I even built up a little bit of zero-interest debt to make this happen. It puts me in a little bit of a squeeze in terms of meeting my financial goals in 2014, but that just means I’ve got to work a little harder.
Angie: Your post on the APMEX silver bars was fun to read. I then noticed below that you mentioned to “TonyB” that your all time favorite company to invest in that also made you the most money was Disney. Is that really true? And If so, how much are you investing in it this year?
Caveman: Unfortunately, I had to liquidate all of my Disney stock when I bought my house a year ago. To give you an idea of what that has cost me, I sold the stock at $60 a year ago, and it is worth $80 today. They’ve also paid out some dividends over that timeframe as well. I love my new house, but a stock gaining over 30% in the last year would have been really nice. This year, I’m a little apprehensive on Disney because of their major run-up in 2013. I’d like to move a little bit of my Roth IRA funds into their stock, though – maybe 25%.
Angie: Do you have any major financial goals you’d like to share?
Caveman: Actually I do! Recently, I shared on my blog that my long-term goal is to have $1 million in net worth by my 40th birthday. That’s about 12 years from now, and I’ve got a long way to go. Loyal readers of my blog will get an opportunity to follow my progress via my monthly net worth reports!
Angie: Who do you most admire in todays world? And why?
Caveman: Honestly, I admire my father more than anyone. He has worked his tail off for the last 30 years to support me and my mom. While he is successful in his industry, he still puts more hours in an average week than I put in even during my busiest times at work. He has taught me a lot about work ethic and being thankful for what I’ve got. While we all want to do better and have more than our parents, he has set the bar pretty high and has given me a lot to aspire to. On my journey from child to independent adult, he has never shied away from telling me he’s proud of me, and he has also never stopped giving me advice and life lessons.
Angie: Those are really nice words, and thank you for sharing some good and constructive sound advice with all of us on BlogCatalog.