Today we’re injecting a little testosterone into the Thrifty and Nifty series with writer and teacher, Tim Knopp.
What’s your idea of a perfect day?
My perfect day would include a hike with my wife and daughter, some down time to read, write, and nap, and a big five-meat pizza to top it all off.
Do you like your own handwriting?
Most people have said it looks like “girl writing.” I like to think it’s because my teachers growing up were women and I have a keen eye for detail, not that I have a naturally feminine script.
What are you listening to these days?
My daughter’s cry, chimy bedtime music to keep my daughter from crying, and my wife talking about how much—or little—my daughter cried today. I’m a new parent, if you couldn’t guess, and my daughter has some lungs. Love her though.
Who or what inspires you?
I’m inspired by a good book, a unique or perfectly phrased line, and my wife’s commitment to our daughter because I see God’s hand in them all. Too cheesy? Then I’m also inspired by The Biggest Loser. Probably didn’t win any points back on that one, huh?
What is your money philosophy, and how does it affect your daily living?
I have a coworker who likes to say he’s nickel-and-diming his way to retirement. Recently, we had a yard sale. The money we made is going to pay down school debt instead of becoming another object taking up space in our home. We removed clutter from our lives, and the money we made compounds itself in the interest we saved on the loan.
What sacrifices have you made to create the life you live now? What benefits have come from making these sacrifices?
I like to think that at least once in my life I really trusted God and the adventure He put in my heart: It was when I moved away from everyone I ever knew in Ohio for a teaching job in North Carolina. It’s hard to call this a sacrifice, though, since what I gave up is outweighed by what I’ve gained: a job I love (mostly), friends who care for me dearly, and a family who grew recently. It’s not that I couldn’t have had these in Ohio, but the leap of faith allowed me to see His plan at work—and it’s a good one.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received, financial or otherwise?
I had a coach who used to preach “If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse.” I think this applies to your finances, health, occupation, or even just your daily walk. It keeps me from becoming stagnant.
Any money-saving tips you’d like to share?
Know your typical monthly expenses, plan for other semi-annual/annual expenses (insurance, etc.), and start an emergency fund. And credit cards are not a quick fix; they’re a long road to ruin. I’m not the Budget Maven, but I know that robbing Peter to pay Paul will eventually leave them both broke.
Tim Knopp is a superhero English teacher by day and writer of Christian fiction by night. When he’s not grading research papers in a cape or planning his next AP project on the peak of a medieval cathedral, he is patiently fishing words from the air for his first novel. His love of words and his love of The Word are driving forces for his work. His flash fiction story “’Til Forever” is featured on the Upstate Fellowship of Christian Writers’ website http://upstatefellowshipofchristianwriters.blogspot.com/.