Expert Interview with Sarah of When Life Gives You Lemons, Add Vodka About Eliminating Debt

Financial goalsWhen we asked Sarah of When Live Gives You Lemons, Add Vodka about saving money, she said that a positive attitude is worth its weight in gold.

Sarah is committed to saving money, increasing wealth, and being debt-free. She's also committed to helping others achieve those goals. That's why she offers dozens of tips on her website.

She encourages everyone - no matter what their financial goals may be - to start achieving those goals as soon as possible. It doesn't matter if the goal is small or large; setting the goal is a step in the right direction.

Sarah especially wants to reach out to those in her own demographic, Generation Y, to let these individuals know that there is a way to live better without incurring piles of debt. By sharing this financially-savvy information, Sarah hopes she can further empower her own generation to live a life of financial fitness.

Read on to learn more:


When Life Gives You Lemons, Add Vodka provides advice about saving money, being debt-free, and increasing wealth. Please talk about how and why you started this site.

I started my blog in 2010 when I was struggling to get through college. I was working full-time, taking four or five courses, and paying for my education from semester to semester. I had no money, so money interested me. Over time, my finances have evolved and my blog has evolved, too.


You talk a lot about the power of being positive and goal-oriented in your blog. How does that translate to better success financially?

I love this quote from Alice in Wonderland, and I think it narrates nicely why being goal-oriented translates to better success financially (and in general):

"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"

"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.

"I don't much care where--" said Alice.

"Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat.

Goals are important simply because without knowing what our target is, how do we know how to get there? They don't have to be goals like doing "no-spend days," but goals keep you on track. It helps to know that you are working toward something, even if that something changes.


What are some of the biggest tips you can offer that can help people take a small step into the world of financial freedom? What about taking a big step into that same world?

My biggest tip is to just start something. Whether that's a savings account and setting up an automatic savings plan to have money transferred into it every month or week, or opening up an investment account and picking up a book about investing, you need to start somewhere.

Starting small and making small improvements over time will get you much further than not starting anything at all because you don't think you know enough or have enough money to reach your end goal.


What are some of the most common issues with increasing wealth that you come across from your readers?

There are two issues that I see over and over again with my readers when it comes to increasing wealth, and that is that they don't think that they have enough time or knowledge.

The time piece is a cop-out. It gives people an excuse to not make more money. Those excuses subconsciously feed self-doubt and fear of failing.

The idea that you have to know everything about a subject before starting is also an avoidance tactic. You don't have to know everything there is to know about investing before you invest your money. You just have to know the basics. You can learn along the way. Same with starting a side business. You don't have to know everything - you just have to know something.


While many people struggle with debt, there are those who already live debt-free. How do these individuals take things to the next step in their lives and make more money?

There are so many options out there, and many people end up just working in their day jobs and never exploring the opportunities to do more. Earning more is a huge piece of the money puzzle. My biggest tip would be to explore starting a business (online, since it requires very little capital up front) doing what you want to do. Passion projects often turn into something more.


In what ways can people use the tips from When Life Gives You Lemons and apply them to their own lives so that they can make more money?

Instead of reading great advice and then moving on with your life, I think there is huge value in practicing tips, tricks, and "hacks" right away, and actually doing some of it. Not necessarily just on blog, but with books, other blogs, podcasts and videos - there is some great material out there and some very helpful guides, and if it was used and applied right when it's consumed, the world would be a better place.


You talk about Generation Y in your blog; what financial challenges do you think this generation faces that others do not? How can they address those hurdles? How can When Life Gives You Lemons help them achieve the level of financial success that they seek?

I think millennials face not only financial challenges but also opportunities. Home ownership is far more difficult for millennials to realize than it was for our parents, as housing in most of North America is moving away from being an investment. However, unlike our parents, we have the internet, which provides a huge opportunity to make more money, and in the ways that we want to make it. We have access to unlimited knowledge, and that's an opportunity unique to the past couple of decades.


You mention that you work full-time and have other forms of income. What kind of advice can you lend to readers who are interested in supplementing their incomes either with passion projects or some other kind of work?

My biggest piece of advice would be to just start on something. Don't fool yourself into actually thinking that you need to do a ton of research or earn another degree to start making extra money and doing what you want to do. I address this on my new website, because I have come up against so many people asking me about making extra money and leaning more toward doing work that they love, but then very few of them actually take the steps to get there.


You say that you don't believe in consumer debt. Have you always been that way, or was there a trigger in your life to make start thinking this way?

I don't support the consumer debt industry and if I want something bad enough, I will save up for it. I don't think I've ever liked debt (who does?), but I had a very short and dramatic period in my late teens when I had a credit card (with thankfully a very low spending limit) and wasted a couple hundred dollars on interest. That scared me away from consumer debt luckily early in my adult life.

For more tips on saving money, follow Sarah on Twitter.