1. What's in your wallet right now?
Eighteen dollars (including a two dollar bill), $0.23 stamps, receipts, a blank check, ugly driver's license (ohmygod, the hair!), membership cards (zoo, library, video store, Costco, Sam's Club, AAA), Red Cross CPR card, health insurance card, Southwest Rapid Rewards, Sears, Barnes & Noble cards, car insurance card, little calendar from State Farm insurance, two bank ATM cards, Visa and American Express. Thank you. I have now cleaned it out as well as my purse.
2. What do you wish your parents taught you about money?
Something. Anything. They never talked about money. They earned a lot, spent it on quality products (as in "you get what you pay for") and gave a lot away.
3. What is your worst habit around finances?
I never balance my checkbook. It's just not worth my time. I actually trust the banks. Is that stupid or what??
4. What makes you happy?
Getting into that special writing zone and writing great cartoon gags. Doing the crossword puzzles with my husband, talking with friends.
5. Personal philosophy around money?
It takes money to make money. My husband and I took risks and invested in houses, stock market. Later it paid off. I spend money for promotion, computer, etc. to do better in my business, as well.
6. Where does money come from?
Working hard pays the bills, but big money comes from real estate.
7. What would you do with a million dollars?
Make a down payment on a cute little bungalow in California?
8. What is your most prized possession?
9. Who is your role model?
Charo? Gandhi? Mother Nature? No one, really.
10. What is your greatest achievement?
My career as a cartoonist.
11. What organizations do you support?
The Red Cross, The Jester and Pharley Phund (benefits ill and special needs children and literacy efforts), the ARC (helps developmentally disabled adults), Children's Organ Transplant Association, environmental charities.
12. What contributions to society do you want to make?
I made my contribution to society conducting 20 years of medical and scientific research. The funny thing is, no one ever asked for my advice on how to get into that field. But as a cartoonist I get daily e-mails asking how to get into the business, how to get syndicated, how to get published. I wouldn't say this is a great benefit to society, but I am helping individuals get into a fun, creative field. So, my contribution now is showing people that they too can bring humor into the world, stay home and work in their pajamas, lie on the couch and hang around wacky people.
13. If you could buy one thing right now what would it be?
A nice big dog. Mine died recently. She was the inspiration for several cartoons. As soon as we move into our new house we'll go to the pound and pick out one or two dogs.
14. Favorite activity that doesn't cost a dime?
Walking/hiking with my husband, doing something spontaneous like building a snowman.
15.How do you indulge yourself?
By eating gobs of chocolate, reading junky books in bed, going out to expensive restaurants.
Benita Epsteinís cartoons appear in hundreds of publications including The New Yorker, Readerís Digest, Wall St. Journal, Barronís and Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She was nominated three times for Best Magazine Cartoonist and once for Best Greeting Card Cartoonist. For more information visit: www.benitaepstein.com.
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