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Personal Finance Interview with Chanpory Rith of LifeClever.com ;-)

Name: Chanpory Rith
Age: 26
Net-worth Range: Just above $0
Profession: Interaction Designer
Websites: LifeClever.com

Current Financial Strategy:

For a brief period, I tried tracking all of my expenses on my trusty Sidekick phone. Any transaction, even as little as a candy bar purchase, went into my phone. I thought this would give me an idea of what I should budget and cut back, but it just ended up being tedious. I’d always forget one or two transactions.

Instead of creating a super detailed budget, I now use the 60% solution by MSN Money’s Richard Jenkins. My income breaks down like this:

  • 60% Committed regular expenses: rent, utilities, food, taxes, gym membership.
  • 10% Retirement: 401(k), IRA.
  • 10% Long-term savings: Stocks, future vacations, major furniture purchases.
  • 10% Irregular expenses: Repairs, Unexpected medical expenses,
  • 10% Fun money: Anything I want.

Best Financial Tip:

Most utilities and credit card companies will allow you to adjust what day of the month your bills are due. If you get paid twice a month, adjust the due dates of your bills so that they don’t fall on the same half of the month.

The goal is have every paycheck break down the same way each time. It’s just easier to remember. You also avoid a situation where most of one paycheck goes to bills, leaving you little for other expenses during that half of the month.

Worst Financial Move Ever:

Getting too many credit cards.

Financially, I need help with:

  • Resisting the urge to buy gadgets and designer furniture.
  • Learning how to cook
  • Retirement planning
  • Investing

What personal finance tools do you currently use to track and manage your money?

I use Google Spreadsheets to calculate my income and expenses using the 60% solution.

What are the problems in your personal finance tools?

Google Spreadsheets isn’t directly connected to my online banking information. So it’s difficult to see if I’ve truly made my budget goals.

How would your ideal personal finance tool work?

Although I hate manually recording every purchase, I could see how seeing itemized transactions would be useful. Ideally, this would be done automatically through some clever analysis of debit/credit card and bank statements.

What more do you want to know about your personal finances?

A clearer idea of how much money I’m wasting on interest for student loans and credit card interests. Calculating that stuff is such a pain.

How much do you think you currently spend on eating out?

Too much! I barely cook, so I’d estimate about 400-500 bucks a month.

How often do you want to know about your personal finances?

Every couple of days. I check my online banking account about that much.

What is in my wallet?

State ID, Debit Card, Sandwich card for the deli near my work. That’s it!