Personal Finance Interview with Kira Botkin of PennyFoolish

The Minterview

Name: Kira Botkin
Age: 23 1/3
Networth Range: Just above $0
Profession: Clinical research
Websites: Penny Foolish,

Current Financial Strategy: Save like a banshee and figure out what to do with the money later.

Best Financial Tip: Use separate bank accounts for bills and spending, so that you won’t have close calls (or bounces).

Worst Financial Move Ever:

Spending more than I made in college, mostly on restaurant food and entertainment, despite making actually very good money, I racked up a credit card bill that I am still paying off.

Financially, I need help with:

With my small business, I am going to be paying a lot of taxes, so I need to find ways to reduce my tax liability, and one way I want to try and do that is to use retirement savings to reduce my income.

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

NetWorthIQ. I like to see how everything stacks up.

What are the problems in your personal finance tools?

I would like to be able to track my individual accounts over time instead of having them lumped together.

How would your ideal personal finance tool work?

It would analyze trends in my saving patterns and suggest things that I could do. For instance, I didn’t know about the SEP-IRA for months after I started my business… it could suggest it to someone who is entering side income.

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

I want to try to get more mileage out of my money.. for instance not just saving it but getting a tax break, or finding ways to spend less on items I have to buy anyway.

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

Waaay too much. That is definitely my weak point. I usually pay for my boyfriend and occasionally friends, and we spend $300-600 a month on eating out. Since I separate money out for bills and saving before I spend anything though I feel OK about spending that which I have set aside for frivolous spending.

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

I don’t think about it a lot sometimes. I’d prefer to just have information available so I can check in on it when I feel the need.

What is in my wallet?

Kira’s wallet (and purse) and their numberous contents can be found at her blog, Penny Foolish!


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