Two years ago this month, I signed up with BlueHost and set this blog up. I probably had three posts scheduled for publishing before I hit the go live button. I wish I had written more content in the last two years – I swear, I even did content planning when I first started – but things don’t always go according to plan. With life and work’s almost consistent unexpected turns, I feel lucky that I still have the luxury of time to write here and keep this going.
There is no point on focusing on the would have’s and could have’s, though. Like a real person’s birthday, I’d like to make this a celebration post, especially since I missed it last year. If you’d like, let’s take a look back at some of the posts I’ve written (and what you’ve read) for the last two years and how my views/situation have/haven’t changed.
Looking Back – Year 1 (2015)
The Why. Unlike other personal finance bloggers, my why is beyond an amount or a date. I didn’t have a magic number in mind, I honestly wasn’t sure where to start, but I was certain that I wanted to eliminate finances in my list of worries. I want to improve my finances but more than that, I also wanted to improve my financial state of mind. My why still holds true to this present day.
The goals. I thought I did well in writing my first set of goals, except for this one: $100,000 – net worth, by the end of 2016. When I read this again, I literally laughed out loud! This goal would have been attainable if I included “get a higher paying job” or “take on a side hustle” or “win the lottery” in the mix, but I didn’t. Obviously, I didn’t know my finances that well back then. Things have changed since then. I definitely know the ins and outs of my finances (by heart) and this allows me to write better goals.
Better money habits. I made some changes in my everyday life to improve my finances and to boost my savings. These changes include increasing the amount of my automated deposits, shopping around for mobile plans and health insurance, and and cleaning my closet. I’ve stayed loyal to these money habits and probably picked up a few new ones along the way.
Expense tracking. This, hands down, is the best thing I ever did to my finances. I was able to see where my money really went, for the first time, and it was truly life changing. I still devote at least one hour a week to update my spreadsheets and I’m still as excited to do it as when I first started.
Looking Back – Year 2 (2016)
More realistic goals. I did realise, at this point, that the goal of having a net worth of $100,000 was laughable. I made only one goal in 2016 and that was to save more. Save more, I did.
The Financial Sanity Fund. Let’s admit it, this whole personal finance thing can be stressful sometimes. When we become too focused on achieving our goals, we chase numbers and lose sight of our why’s. It can drive us crazy if we let it. In order to restore balance between my pursuit of my financial goals and enjoying my life, I created an allocation for my savings. I liked the idea and others appreciated it, too. It helped me achieve my goal of saving more while having fun and helping others. I’d love to do this again, but we are currently prioritising our home-ownership goal. There isn’t much to allocate (sadly).
The personal finance snob. “I had to remind myself that it is called personal finance because it’s exactly that – personal.” In this community, we sometimes complain about how others judge us because we don’t conform with the norm. However, we don’t realise we sometimes do the same to them. We sometimes judge non-personal finance enthusiasts about their lifestyle choices, too. We do it at face value – without knowing their true financial story. I didn’t want to be that kind of person, so I had to stop and remind myself this.
The slump. Life was so hectic and my stress levels were on a high towards the end of 2016. I didn’t want to force myself to do something I didn’t feel like doing and that included writing. I also stepped away from the personal finance community during this time because it became too overwhelming for me. Thankfully, it was only a phase.
Looking (Back and) Forward – Year 3 (2017)
New year, new post. I finally felt the urge to write again after a long-ish break. It was nice to finally feel like writing again. Also, I saved 41% of my net pay in 2016!
Living on One Paycheck. I will be honest, I have always wanted to try living on one paycheck as soon as we moved in together. My partner was never really into this personal finance thing so we didn’t pursue it. I’m glad we’re finally moving into that direction and that my partner is slowly embracing my money geekiness. I did see him updating our cash flows/savings worksheet twice.
On top of trying to limit (or lower, when we can) spending, I am also looking forward to work on the following this year:
- invest more and get into the habit of investing regularly;
- read more books for self and professional development;
- write more and do some content planning if possible.
Maybe this year I can also start working with other people in terms of collaborating with content and/or guest posting. I often get requests to work with others but I’ve always politely declined because I consider this blog very personal. But if I see an opportunity that matches my values and what this blog stands for, I will most probably (finally) accept it.
And about keeping this blog going: I don’t monetise this blog. It will probably take a while before I entertain the idea. This blog hurts my wallet but I personally can’t justify monetising something that doesn’t really offer anything more than my ramblings. I also do not do affiliate links, at least not yet, because I no longer buy/pay for a lot of stuff. I don’t really have anything to recommend. Of course, if the time comes that I do any of these, I will let you know.
I can’t believe this blog lasted this long. I still find it surreal that I’ve made a lot of friends and had many interactions with like minded people through this tiny, virtual space. I’ve always had blogs but they were always personal and connecting with other people was never my intention behind creating them. But the personal finance community is different. It’s special. No one in this community is ever alone, and this is why no matter how many times I step away, I’ll always be coming back.
Let’s Hear Your Story
How long have you had your blog for? Do you still enjoy doing it? What has changed since you published your first post? What are your fondest memories of/from your blog?