Better know a Blogger: Sarah @ Smile & Conquer

Sarah smile and conquer investing dividends

Over the next couple of weeks, I will be featuring some of my favorite bloggers and try to shed some light on their personal lives, investing philosophies and more.

I hope everyone enjoyed the previous interviews, and if you missed them you can view them on my Blogroll page HERE

Welcome to Volume 7 of “Better Know A Blogger”!

Meet Sarah,  I haven’t been following Sarah’s blog for as long as some of the others, however after reading her responses, and following her on twitter, I’ve started visiting her site a lot more frequently.  As I was scrolling through her interview answers I felt like we had a very similar outlook on life..that is until it got to her favorite sports team 🙂

I’ve broken down my questions into 4 sections:

  • Personal Info
  • Financial Info
  • Deep Thoughts
  • Lightning Round

Without further ado…I’d like to introduce you to Sarah!.

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Name:  Sarah

Age:  32

Where do you live: Edmonton,AB

Tell me something awesome about your city:  People like to talk bad about Edmonton, but I love it. Yes, the winters are cold and snowy, but our summers are fantastic. We also get a ton of sunshine and have the largest expanse of urban parkland in North America (take that central park!)

What do you do for a living:  I do work in finance, but I keep my actual job on the DL.

Are you married: No, but I’m common-law. My boyfriend and I have been together for over twelve years

Do you have any Kids? No kids but two dogs and two cats.


Twitter: @smileandconquer

Why do you blog:  After I graduated from university I wasn’t in a bad spot financially, but I knew next to nothing about saving and investing. When I took a job in finance, I was bombarded with all this valuable information that was entirely new for me. I was looking for a creative project that would be different from my day job but also incorporate what I was learning…and blogging turned out to be that thing

In your opinion – what is the best thing you’ve ever published: My POST I wrote that spoke to me the most is ‘You Don’t Need To Love Math To Love Finance’. I am not a math person. It was always my worst subject in school and I know I’m not the only one. I think the impression is that math has a lot to do with finance so if you’re bad at one you’re bad at the other. That’s not the case at all!


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 Why do you invest/What is your ultimate financial goal: I don’t have a lofty goal of retiring by 40 or anything like that, but I do want to have enough money set aside to retire one day comfortably. My goal is to be able to live the life I want right now and also when I’m retired. In my opinion, investing is the best way to ensure you hit your financial goals; whatever they might be. There is only so much money you can save and investing will give you that extra boost of returns that is so essential. 
When did you start investing: It wasn’t until I graduated university and began my career. My first employer had an RRSP matching plan that they strongly encouraged I sign up for, and they walked me through the investment options. That was the first time I was taught the benefits of RRSP’s and what type of investments were out there.
How long until you will be financially free (won’t NEED to work)I don’t actually have a date. A personal finance blogger without a date; who am I?! I enjoy working and have more job security than many so I don’t have a lot of urgency to get there ASAP. I stick to my budget and save every month, but at this point, there are things that come before retirement and financial independence.
What will you do in retirement:  I like to think I’ll be doing many of the same things I do now but just with a few more hours to do them. I can see myself continuing some sort of online business that will hopefully bring in a bit of extra money, but I’d also want more freedom to travel.
What % of your salary do you invest/save each year: Right now I’m at about 35 percent but some of that goes to shorter-term investments. We are hoping to either buy or build a new home in the next few years, so there have been additional savings redirected towards that and our existing mortgage.
Do you invest in funds or individual stocks & why: I do but only for fun. Honestly, I’m not that interested in investing so I like to keep things simple and hands-off. Once in awhile I’ll get tempted by a stock and throw a little towards it, but it’s not my focus. It must go back to my not liking math so much!
If I gave you $10,000 right now to invest in 1 stock – what would you pick & why: Screw stocks, I’m going shopping! Kidding, but because I would likely put the money towards the new house fund, my answer will be boring. I would want something not too risky, and a nice dividend would be great so let’s go with CIBC. I can pretty much guarantee my answer will be the most boring one you get!

What was your biggest financial fuck up: Lending an ex-boyfriend money? #alwaysthebreadwinner But seriously, I’ve been really lucky to have stayed out of trouble with money. I graduated university with a bit of debt but not nearly as much as many people. I may not have known a lot about finances, but I did have parents who set a good example and didn’t spend beyond their means. I knew credit card debt was bad and that taking significant risks with investments wasn’t worth it.

Not a fuck up, but my biggest regret would be not starting earlier. I worked through high school and university and lived at home, so my expenses were basically zero. If I had started setting aside small amounts of money back, then I’d be in a way better position now.

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Is there a God:  This was going so well, but now I feel like I need a drink! I think God exists for many people, but I’m not one of them. I didn’t grow up with religion, so it’s not something I’ve ever gravitated towards. The only times I’ve been in a church has been for weddings or funerals. And that one time my mom decided we should go to a Christmas Eve service but then made us leave ten minutes in because there were no seats.
When you die, what is 1 thing you hope people think of/remember you for:  I hope I’m remembered as someone who could always be counted on.
Do you vote? Who did you last vote for: Yes, I have voted in every election since my 18th birthday, and anyone who doesn’t sucks. Let’s just say that I have voted for the winner in all current levels of government.
What do you think the next big technological advance will be:  Teleportation? It won’t be, but that would be super awesome. I love to travel but could do without the long flights.
What is the single biggest threat to humanity:   Global warming. I guess nuclear war might come first depending on what happens with Trump, but I think global warming will get us eventually.

What are you most proud of & why: I am good at my job, and I take a lot of pride in that.

If you knew you only had 1 year to live – how would you spend it: I would pack up and travel to all the countries I’ve always dreamed of visiting and eat every delicacy I could stomach. I’d also want to save some time to soak up my family and friends.

What is one thing most people don’t do – but everybody SHOULD do to make the world a better place: Smile and say hi to each other on the street. Some cities are way better at this than others, but it always makes me happy when someone makes a small effort to be nice.

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Favorite Movie: Drive (drama) / Little Miss Sunshine (comedy)

Favorite TV Show: Sons of Anarchy (drama) / Catastrophe (comedy)

Favorite book: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

Best looking blogger you follow: Hmm…female PF bloggers definitely have this one in the bag (sorry guys ), but I’ll go with Bridget Casey from Money After Graduation

First Job: 
Receptionist at a physiotherapy clinic

Have you ever been firedNo


Which website do you spend the most time on: Twitter

Favorite Cocktail: Sangria

Favorite Beer: Because it’s summer I’m going with Alley Kat’s Main Squeeze; perfect patio beer.

Favorite Sports Team: Edmonton Oilers. Mark my words, we will be the next Canadian team to hoist the Stanley Cup. Sorry Winnipeg.*

*Editors Note* It was going so well up until now…I was starting to think you were cool

Have you ever been arrested: No,  I am a rule follower. I have cried my way out of a speeding ticket though.

Dogs or Cats: Dogs, hands down. I may own two cats, but dogs are better.

Sex or Beer: Both (is that breaking the rules?)

*Editors Note* Okay, you are cool again

Does your spouse/partner read your blog: Only if I make him proofread a post.

Best restaurant in your city: There’s a newish place called Bundok that does sharing plates, and it is FANTASTIC. Best gnocchi I’ve ever had in my life.

How often do you check your portfolio(be honest): Probably monthly. And that’s the truth. As I said above, investments aren’t really my thing, so I’m a-ok to let things ride.

How often do you check your website stats (be honest): More often than monthly! I don’t do the deep dive into Google analytics that often but I do look at the WordPress stats that pop-up in my dashboard every couple of days.


**Bonus question submitted by my wife (I asked her what ONE question I should ask):

What do you put on your hotdogI’m definitely team hamburger but if I have to have a hot dog then just ketchup and mustard. 


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If you’d like to be featured in an upcoming “Better know a blogger” piece, or have any specific questions you’d like to ask others in the community let me know!


4 Comments on “Better know a Blogger: Sarah @ Smile & Conquer

  1. haha nice Sarah!

    id love to see Edmonton win the cup. hey they owned the draft picks for how many years?

    the leafs will be one year older and hopefully get a solid dman. I think Toronto will get the cup soon enough!

    got my babsocks on!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: 3 Canadian Female Fintwits to Follow This International Women’s Day – Moneymaaster

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