After I started Frugal Asian Finance seven months ago, blogging has become an indispensable part of my life.
It has also had a huge impact (both good and bad) on my marriage.
During those months of building my site and constantly producing content, I have had the chance to pick Mr. FAF’s brain about various topics such as blogging, investment, and retirement.
Today I will share with you the five surprising facts about Mr. FAF that I only fully realized thanks to blogging.
1. Mr. FAF doesn’t like reading personal finance blogs.
Mr. FAF is a naturally frugal person.
He learned a lot of money saving tips from his mom and saw how hard his parents worked to make money.
Before I started my blog, Mr. FAF had never heard of the concept of personal finance and what it entails.
He has never read any personal finance blogs other than mine and had no interest in exploring them.
He also doesn’t read my blog on a regular basis.
The only time I saw him getting excited about reading my blog was when I interviewed him for a post which took me at least five hours to edit.
He kept asking me when it would be published and looked disappointed when I said I was still editing it.
The day when the post finally came out, I saw Mr. FAF become another version of me: constantly checking the stats and comments.
I told him it was one of my most popular posts of all time. He didn’t admit that it made him happy, but I could see a smile on his face that whole evening.
The only thing Mr. FAF enjoys reading is history books. He wants to be a historian one day.
2. Mr. FAF doesn’t like writing or editing.
English is not Mr. FAF’s first language, and neither is mine. He grew up speaking Chinese, and I’ve been speaking Vietnamese for most of my life.
I have long known that writing is not Mr. FAF’s cup of tea. But my belief has been reaffirmed after I started blogging. I know many bloggers (i.e. Lily, Mrs. Adventure Rich, The Luxe Strategist, Mr. Groovy) blog with their spouses and find it fascinating.
I have suggested Mr. FAF write a post for my blog, but he refused, saying he’s not interested in blogging. Sam at Financial Samurai has kindly suggested Mr. FAF become an editor for my blog, but I think it won’t happen any time soon or ever.
His dislike for writing is one reason why Mr. FAF doesn’t like doing research and becoming a professor after finishing his doctoral degree. He’d rather code and crunch numbers all day than writing one page of words.
3. Mr. FAF doesn’t know much about WordPress or website-related issues.
My first shock about Mr. FAF came when I asked him to fix a problem with my MailChimp newsletter which had taken up 10 hours of my time. I turned to Mr. FAF in desperation.
Mr. FAF did a search online, tried to implement some steps, and told me I needed some software which I didn’t have. I was in shock since I thought with a PhD degree in Computer Science, he would be able to tackle all computer-related issues like a breeze.
The fact that Mr. FAF admitted he didn’t know how to solve that MailChimp problem really bothered me that day. I started to wonder what he actually learned in his PhD program. I knew it was coding, but what was it exactly?
Thanks to Lily at The Frugal Gene, whose husband is also a software engineer, I learned that coding and maintaining website are two different things although they both seem to be related to computers.
Maybe Mr. FAF was right. He didn’t know how to solve my WordPress-related problems because it wasn’t his expertise.
4. Mr. FAF wants to be a millionaire and retire early.
The topic of either of us becoming a millionaire never came up before I started blogging. I learned about early retirement and financial freedom after joining the personal finance community.
It wasn’t and is not a burning desire in me yet, but I’m working towards it. I have also asked Mr. FAF if he wants to retire early, and he responded with “But I just started working.”
Mr. FAF was in grad school for six years and was longing to start a full-time job. I was counting down the days until he started working for almost four years. I wanted to support Mr. FAF, but I was also longing for a boost in our income.
Although Mr. FAF wants to climb up on the corporate ladder, he has also told me that he wants to be able to retire by 50 with $5 million. I believe the $5 million is just a number he came up with since we have no specific plan of how to get there.
After reaching financial freedom, Mr. FAF wants to be a historian and/or start a company that can have an impact in the world. I will also support him whatever he wants to become as long as we won’t be back to square one of having no savings or investment.
5. Mr. FAF supports me with my blog through action, not words.
Many of you have kindly pointed out that my monthly food expense reports are very detailed, and I intend for it to be that way. I want to keep track of all the food that we buy and all the receipts that we get.
When I was living alone and Mr. FAF was in a different city, it was an easy task since I kept all of the receipts and took pictures of everything I bought.
After Mr. FAF moved to DC, however, keeping track of the food we buy has been challenging for two reasons.
First, Mr. FAF and I use our own credit cards for purchases. It’s impossible for me know everything we bought just from looking at my credit card history and check what I bought.
Second, sometimes Mr. FAF buys random food items when I’m not with him, so it’s hard for me to keep track and take pictures. I have expressed my concerns with him and told him I want to have an accurate monthly expense report each month for my reader and for our own sake.
Mr. FAF heeded my concerns. Over the past two months, he always put his receipts in a separate kitchen cabinet for me without me having to ask him. If he buys groceries when I’m at home, he will give me the receipts directly.
If I have some troll comments or am not happy about certain aspects of blogging, he will be the one I’m venting to.
One time I felt really stressed out about how my traffic seemed to be stagnant in August. I told Mr. FAF about the downsides of blogging. He told me he would support me if blogging makes me happy. But if it doesn’t, then maybe it’s not worth it.
Mr. FAF doesn’t believe that I can make money blogging one day (and it’s true, I haven’t made one cent from my blog). He might not write any blog posts or is not good at troubleshooting technical issues. But he’s my confidante, with whom I share all of my happy and moments I experience with my blog.
In a perfect world, I would expect the following things from Mr. FAF:
— He would work hard at his job to bring home a good income and climb up the corporate ladder.
— When he comes home, he would work with me on my blog by writing blog posts, helping me edit my writing, and solving any technical issues that I have.
— He will continue to act as the master chef in the family, cooking delicious food for Baby FAF and me every day.
But life is not a dream, and the world is not so perfect. I can dream all day, but the fact of the matter is that neither Mr. FAF nor I are perfect.
We can only work together as a couple to foster our strengths and improve each other’s weaknesses. I will take what I can get and be happy with my husband for who he is, not who I want him to be.