Expert Interview with Derek Chamberlain on Investing for Mint

Derek Chamberlain founded MoneyAhoy because he wanted to do better at investing, and the blog gave focus to his passion for finance. Derek was kind enough to talk with us about how to invest, and how important it is to think ahead.

One of your more interesting blog posts was how you saved 50 cents and it ultimately cost you $500! How'd that happen, and how can we learn from your experience?

I saved 50 cents by not inflating my spare tire. As you can guess, things didn't end well. It's important to not take shortcuts when it comes to safety and emergency type of items.

What are some common misconceptions about personal finance you see?

The biggest misconception that I see is that it is difficult to get started a create a budget. It really could not be simpler if you put your mind to it.

What's the one thing new stock investors should know before buying?

Understand your risk tolerance. Don't get into investments that have more inherent risk than you can bear.

What are some good ways to make a little more money on the side?

Utilize those side skills. For me, I enjoy tutoring and working on my blog. Look for something that you are good at and people are willing to pay for. Almost everyone has at least one marketable skill.

What's your process for tweaking your budget? What will be a cost that gets cut? What will get a little more funding?

I am a big fan of creating a personal Pareto of all of your finances. Then, work to attack the biggest costs first and work your way down from there. Focus on where you'll get the biggest bang for your buck.

What are some rising trends in personal finance we should know about?

The biggest trend I see is people downsizing, reducing expenses so that they can gain financial independence early (30s or 40s). If debt is kept under control and one lives below their means, it can be pretty straightforward to hit financial independence before the age of 40.

For the latest from Derek, follow him on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and LinkedIn.