Jet Setter Interview – Athena of According to Athena

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Jet Setter Interview - Athena 1

Hello there, this is your pilot speaking! (Why yes, I am calling myself a pilot.)

Today, our Jet Setter Interview is with Athena, of According to Athena fame.

This series covers Passengers on the Jet Setter Manifest, so we can all learn more about money from the experiences of others.

Drop me a line to be featured in an upcoming Jet Setter Interview, we would love to have you on board.


Welcome on board! Who are you?

My name is Athena and I am awesome. I enjoy singing off key while drinking coffee. I’m a non-profit professional by day, Criminologist by night and I blog currently over at According To Athena. I’m also a staff writer for Phroogal and I am currently the social extraordinaire for the Plutus Awards. I’m planning the Plutus Awards happy hour and I also coordinate our social media.

Jet Setter Interview - Athena

Money is for buying stuff, what was the last purchase you made?

Groceries! I had it in my head that I wanted to make homemade gluten free chicken noodle soup but without the chicken. I ended up eating cold cereal instead. :O

Why did you buy that stuff, in particular?

Frys. I am so boring. Can I redeem myself later?

We like airplanes around here.  When was the last time you were on an airplane and where were you going?

The last time I was on an airplane was going to and from Orlando two weeks ago for my non-profit’s national conference. I won a national award based on my program and integrating dog therapy to teach youth with barriers emotional intelligence!

What is your current financial goal and how did it come to be your goal?

My current financial goal is to replace my emergency fund and grow it to a much larger one in the next year. I had an emergency root canal a few days ago and I wiped myself clean even after having health insurance! Even though I thought I was saving adequately, I realize how vulnerable I am as a young single woman financially.  I also decided to get my own apartment this year and live by myself for the very first time. While it may cost additional living expenses up towards $300-400 a month, I think it will be very beneficial to me personally and help me heal from my past. :)

Who is your favourite person in Top Gun?Athena Top Gun

Ice Man! It was Maverick until he tried to make out with my boyfriend during a Top Gun puppet show.


Many people harbour some sort of fear of flying.  What do you find the most overwhelming or scary about money?

I get really overwhelmed when I start thinking about retirement. I’m behind but I’m not really educated in this part of finance and I don’t even know where to begin!

If I was super-rich and gave you $50,000 with no strings attached, tomorrow, what would you do with it?  (I’m pretty benevolent.)

OMG! Well, I sound super corny but I would would do the following.

  • Fund a $10,000 emergency fund.
  • Invest $20,000
  • Put $5,00 aside for additional dental work needed (retainer, veneers on two teeth and anything else I may need)
  • Donate $5,000 to the Phoenix Library
  • Take $5,000 and go to Hawaii with my boyfriend for Christmas.
  • Spend $4,000 on whatever I wanted for my new apartment.
  • Spend $1,000 on a purse, sunglasses and a watch. A girl’s gottta have some fun, right?

Lots of things “cost peanuts,” what is a small expenditure that you just can’t live without?

I’m a coffee junkie so I can’t live without Starbucks. I know about the latte factor but there is nothing like having a hot venti White Mocha with whip on those days where you just need one!

How long have you been the pilot of your own money? Did you have a job as a teenager? Did you have a lightbulb moment at a certain point in time and take control of your finances?

I’ve been working consistently since I was 17. My lightbulb moment was when I was 23 and had to come up with a $1,000 in tuition out of pocket because of a student loan disbursement delay. My partner at the time had money he could lend me but refused since I was poor with money and not very dedicated. I was so angry at him for years but it was probably the best thing he ever did for me.

I have lightbulb moments all the time though, honestly. In life, things will never stop happening to you and you will never stop learning from them, which is a good thing if you allow it. Never stop growing and learning what works for you because you are a work in progress!  What worked great last year might not be so great today.

Pretend you have a sky-writing airplane (that can write as many words as you want.) What is the main money message that you want the world to hear?



Thanks for joining us today, Athena!

You can read more of Athena’s writing at She’s also on twitter @accordingathena, and is a pretty active twitter-er.  You should follow her.

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About Anne

Anne dreams of financial independence and is working her way towards it, whilst still enjoying life. She has a penchant for gift giving, which got her started with her first blog, Unique Gifter. She also loves money (who doesn't?) and needed an outlet to discuss it. Her likes? Seafood, figure skating, road cycling and skater shoes.


  1. Athena is awesome! She keeps it real and I dig it. Love the skywriting, LOL! A message to all of us…
    Melanie @ My Alternate Life recently posted…My Pre-House Purchase ChecklistMy Profile

  2. Love this girl! New head shots look fab by the way!
    Janine recently posted…Comment on Investing in Real Estate without actually buying a property by femmefrugalityMy Profile

  3. I love light bulb moments! Funny thing is that we’ve probably thought about that issue before but it doesn’t really light us up until experienced in a certain moment. I had a big one once while shopping for shoes. Weird, I know. Great interview!
    Brian @ Luke1428 recently posted…How to Pass the CPA Exam On the First TryMy Profile

  4. I’m a big fan of Athena! I can’t exactly remember how or when we “met”, but she’s helped me out a lot with resume writing and boy issues over the past year and a half. :)
    Amanda recently posted…Another $225 Spent at the VetMy Profile

  5. Hi Athena! I thought I knew plenty about you already, but I’m still surprised to hear that Maverick tried to make out with your boyfriend during a Top Gun puppet show… Sounds like he’s still dangerous.
    Mario recently posted…Want to boost creativity? Disconnect from devices and head outside -scienceMy Profile

  6. “My name is Athena and I am awesome. I enjoy singing off key while drinking coffee”. Too funny! Nice to learn more about you and your non-profit work. And I’m with you all the way on Starbucks – I enjoy their drinks too much.
    Kassandra @ More Than Just Money recently posted…Financial Fire Drill – Are You Ready?My Profile

  7. Awe bummer about the root canal! I had that happen a few years ago. It sucks to have your e-fund wiped out. Congrats on the awards at your conference though! Awesome-sounds like a great program!
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted…How The Tough Get GoingMy Profile

  8. Great to get to know you Athena! I like how you’ve allocated your $50K, but a $1000 for a bag, purse and sunglasses? Ouchie Mama! j/k It’s your imaginary money, you spend it how you see fit.

    Love the interview series Anne!
    debt debs recently posted…I Just Paid Off my Cash Advance Credit CardMy Profile

  9. LOL, I think your sky-writing banner is awesome and should be yelled from roof-tops. I could have used that in that past :)
    Alicia recently posted…Quirks I Learned From My ParentsMy Profile

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