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|Mind Meld: Geek Girl Diva|
|Personal Finance - Mind Meld|
|Written by Dave Hilton|
As Geeks, we tend to spend our money (& time) differently than most people. The Debt Black Hole "Mind Meld" is a special interview series designed to find out more about how Geek actors, authors, journalists, business owners, scientists, bloggers, podcasters & others make, spend & manage their money and fund their Geek lifestyle.
In this FIRST "Mind Meld", we have the honor of getting to know someone who has been lovingly embraced by the Geek community- both Online & Offline: Geek Girl Diva!
Geek Girl Diva's Tweets - @geekgirldiva - are LEGENDARY (& hilarious)! She shares her views of Geek Culture & life on geekgirldiva.com and is a contributor at Nerd Approved, too. And did I mention, she works in Marketing for one of the greatest Geek Collectible companies on the planet (at least I think it is)- QMx (aka- Quantum Mechanix)!
Do you consider yourself a Geek or a Nerd (or perhaps something else all together)? Why?
I'd say more geek than nerd. I geek out about things. I feel like I'd have to be smarter and a bit more hardcore devoted to earn "nerd" status.
At what point in your life did you realize you were a Geek/Nerd? Did you immediately accept it or did you resist your true nature at first?
I knew I was "different" in my teens. It took me reading my first Anne McCaffrey book to start the interest. I started to find others like me much later. Mid 20's. And it's not till I found Twitter that I realized I was one of many and felt accepted by others. Before that, I was pretty reconciled to having a few people who got me and that was it.
Are you obsessed with any specific Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Adventure shows/movies/genres? When/How were you introduced to them?
Doctor Who, Firefly as far as shows. Sci fi shows in general. I love most [sci fi] fantasy movies. I was a Star Wars nut early in life. I'm a wide ranging geek. I like a lot of things and if it has a dragon in it, I'm pretty much sold.
Do you have a Geek Collection (e.g. Action Figures, Comics, Props, Autographs, Art, etc.) and, if so, what is in it? How long have you been collecting?
I started with a Han in Carbonite I got from a friend in my teens. I have Star Wars ticket stubs and my Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom program from opening night. I also have toooooo many now to count. Art prints, figures, statues. No room!
What is the pièce de résistance of your Geek Collection? What's the story behind it? Was it a gift or did you buy it yourself? How long have you had it? What's it worth?
I have 2 Cowboy Bebop mini busts. One of Spike and [one] of Faye. I got them when I was working for a collectible's company. Bought them myself. I have no idea what they're worth but considering I plan to be buried with them ;-)
Is there something you would LOVE to add to your Geek Collection? What is it & how much would it cost?
The QMx Serenity Big Damn Replica. Want. but 2500 is a bit steep for me.
Is there anything in your Geek Collection you regret buying? How much did it cost & why do you regret the purchase? What's the story behind it?
I don't regret my purchases, mainly because I don't buy what I can't afford. If it turns out that I change my mind, I can usually find someone who will give it love and -- in a way -- I get to give a gift and make someone happy, which makes me happy.
How much do you usually spend on Geek toys/gadgets/stuff every year? Do you set a budget for these things or just wait until something catches your eye?
I wait till something catches my eye. I'd say maybe 1000.00 a year right now, but if we had to include electronics, I'd have to raise that budget. I just know I can't [spend] much right now. And I don't have the space for new things until I move.
Do you regularly attend Conventions? If so, which ones? What is your favorite Con memory? If you don't attend, why not?
SDCC is my main con. I've been going for the last 6 years. And my [fav] con memory is likely seeing the Bear McCreary Orchestra at the House of Blues a few years back. It was, in a word, transcendental. The cast was there and the music was amazing and I had the most amazing time.
Do you dress up or participate in Cosplay activities? What costumes do you have? How much did they cost? Where did you get them? What is your favorite? How long does it take you to get ready?
I don't. It takes a commitment that I just don't have. Cosplay is work!
How do you make money? Do you consider it a “Geeky Job” or a “Normal Job”? Is it something you've always wanted to do, an opportunity that presented itself or was it out of necessity? Did you have to have specific training/education for it?
I work at Quantum Mechanix. Geeky place. Doing interactive marketing. Geeky job.
As for training. Life experience. I feel like it's the sort of thing you just do and you dive in and hope. The job came to me when I wasn't looking, but I knew I had to be here, so I jumped at it.
Do you rely primarily on one source of income or multiple streams of income to fund your Geek lifestyle? What are those sources of income?
I have my job and my husband has his. We both have our geek needs, so we pay bills and play toys. It works for us.
Who was in charge of finances when you were growing up? Was talking about money a taboo subject in your household?
My mom was, and then my dad was when I lived with him. Talking about money wasn't taboo, but I wasn't really trained in how to handle it. Not until my dad got a hold of me at 16. Still, I had a lot of bad habits for a long time. My credit score can tell you that. ;-)
Was there someone in your life who taught you about managing money/personal finance? What is the one piece of financial advice (whether you adopted it or not) you remember most?
My husband has been the most amazing influence. He doesn't buy on credit. If he can't [afford] it, or save for it, he doesn't buy it. I won't lie, I'm not always that good, but he's taught me the value of not putting things on a credit card.
Are you a “saver” or a “spender” most of the time? Do you have A LOT of debt, only a little debt or are you debt-free? Is your debt from Student Loans, Mortgage, Car Loans, Credit Cards or something else?
Some credit card debt. It used to be much worse, But now I get worried if there's even a little.
Are you actively saving for retirement/emergencies/future projects? How are you accomplishing this (savings accounts, 401(k), IRA's, emergency funds, etc.) ?
I try to save. Right now it's hard. Due to the cost of living. I have a 401k, but haven't been able to make additions. I know I have to find a fix for that. It's on my to-do- list.
What can you never seem to resist buying when you see it?
If it's cobalt blue, I'm in trouble.
What do you wish you didn't have to pay for ever week/month/year?
Cable. I know there are other options, but I like the ease of access. Still, ugh.
What is the biggest financial mistake you've ever made? What did you learn from that mistake?
I got myself amazingly in debt in my 30's, and I gambled. I was in Vegas at the time. I learned that I spent money and gambled because I was desperately lonely and I needed some sort of mental escape. I buy when I need a quick fix and I gamble to not think.
It was a hard time in my life, and it was a hard lesson, but I made it back.
What is the last book you read (or are currently reading)? Do you recommend other Geeks read it?
I'm reading Coffin Dancer by Jeffrey Deaver. If you like criminal forensics, it's good stuff.
A HUGE THANKS to Geek Girl Diva for allowing me to interview her for the first installment of the Debt Black Hole "Mind Meld" series!
If you're a Geek actor, author, journalist, business owner, scientist, blogger, podcaster or have friends/family/colleagues/acquaintances who you think should participate in a Debt Black Hole "Mind Meld", please contact me on Twitter (@debtblackhole) or email me! I'm scheduling new interviews now!!!
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