Welcome to another installment of IonTuition’s Q&A series with personal finance bloggers. Today we have Afford Anything‘s blogger Paula Pant sharing her personal finance tips with us.

Paula quit her 9 to 5 job in 2008 to travel the world for a few years, and she hasn’t looked back since. She started out as a freelance writer, but her investments now create enough passive income for her to live off of. Blogging about financial independence is now her main focus.

Let’s see what advice Paula has to offer!

 What’s the best piece of financial advice you ever received?

I wouldn’t say I received one single best piece of financial advice, but the ones that stand out are: save for retirement as early as you can and focus on earning more over cutting back. For most people, earning more is going to move the needle more than frugality, especially for those with a low income.

What’s your advice for those who already have student loans?

Don’t focus solely on that one line-item. Instead, take a holistic approach to your finances. Create a budget (any type that you can stick to) and prioritize. Yes, your students loans may be a big chunk of your budget, but don’t get so stuck on them that you ignore everything else.

If you could go back in time and give your 18-year-old self a piece of financial advice, what would it be?

One of the more valuable things I realized later on was that I didn’t want to trade my time for money. Regardless of if you have a 9 to 5 or if you’re a freelancer, you’re still using time (a very valuable asset) to earn money. That’s why I turned my attention to real estate investing to create passive income that would free me from those constraints.

 Any other financial tips for our readers? 

Don’t forget to have fun. While you may have a lot on your plate with managing your student loans and other savings goals, you’re still young. Take advantage of it while you can. Just make sure your spending reflects your values (you might want to get clear on those first).


Read more from Paula Pant on the blog, like her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.