2 years of Blogging and Writing my Financial Story

I started this blog about money almost 2 years ago today, my plan was to share the beauty seen in the mountains even though that day I was living in a financial shack of debt.  I was excited and ready to share my story about my financial journey to the top of the mountain with the world.  I decided I was going to pay money for a domain name and hosting so I could tell the whole internet about my finances, when you type that and then read it out loud back to yourself there is a chance you will think I’m a lunatic.  I think the whole thing cost me a little over $100, which when you have thousands of dollars in personal debt can either feel like a “drop in the bucket” or “the straw that broke the camels back”.  Lucky for me it was just a drop in the bucket at the time and I started my very own personal finance blog.

Damn right I still have the same logo! Thanks Vanessa, she's awesome so if you need a cool logo let me know!

Damn right I still have the same logo! Thanks Vanessa, she’s awesome so if you need a cool logo let me know!



My first post was April 12, 2014 where I took the time to define Even Steven, not the no talent a**-clown Shia Lebouf and the hit-TV show Even Stevens*, check it out should take you 37 seconds to read or take a read from the first paragraph and the last it sums up pretty well.

The first:

The definition of even-steven from dictionary.com has two separate definitions.

Having no balance of debt on either side: even in the setting of accounts.

Have an equal chance or score; tied.

This is summing up my financial priorities, it’s absolutely amazing.  It’s the basis for being debt free, financially independent and creating wealth.  The definition almost writes this post.  My goal is to have no balance of debt on either side.  I’m going to loosen up this definition and say either side is personal debt and mortgage debt.  My financial goal is to be financially independent and if my debt has no balance then watch out coffee shops, beaches, parks, and get ready for this guy (I’m clearly pointing to myself).

And the last:

Even Steven Money will focus on a few main areas:

Becoming Debt Free and getting to Even Steven

Investing, real estate, and creating wealth

Entrepreneurship, Earning more income, side hustles

Obtaining Financial Independence and Retire Early(FIRE)

Let’s get to Even Steven together, change your life, change your future, because NOW is the time!

I will let you be the judge but I think I have stuck to my focus over the last 2 years.  If anything I think it’s kind of scary how accurate the focus has been.  Which makes me want to shake up a bottle of champagne and run through a slip and slide!  You run, you slide, you hit the ramp, and take a dive……I have been messing up that theme song for years. What I haven’t been messing up over the last 2 years is my finances……..that’s a Stacking Benjamin’s transition if I have ever heard one.


So this happened! Please ignore the below average coloring skills, do not ignore the goal was October 2018!!!!!


Financially speaking, 2015 was the greatest year of my life.  I enjoyed my highest salary of all time, paid off my student loans with lightning like speed, and even unexpectedly paid off all of my personal debt, (which I wrote about on Bigger Pockets, can you guess who I am?) making the final payment to my parents.  2015 was an amazing year, I’m not sure what could have gone better financially during last year.  I bring all of this up not to brag, at least I hope that’s not what I’m doing.  Instead I bring this up because Even Steven Money has been a huge part of my financial motivation over the last 2 years.  I don’t bring in millions of views each month, but I do enjoy the accountability the blog has brought me and the relationships online and in person since I started writing about money and my story.  I really think I can say this blog and the people who stop here to show their support have helped me be part of something bigger than page views, click through rates, and affiliate links, which I almost know nothing about:)  The blog has become my little piece of very own real estate that I share a piece of my life with.

Early in 2016 I have chosen to slow down a little, I actually made the official statement that 2016 would be my year of freedom.  Over the last 2 years I have taken so much of my actual dollars and cents and applied it to credit card payments, student loans, and my parent loan.  I think part of me just wants a break from handing this over to the evil empires of the world and instead enjoy the travels of life both near and far.  I missed out on an occasional event and decided I would not attend to apply extra to my student loans, instead this year I am taking that extra and applying it to my life.  It very well mean that less blog posts will happen, but if it’s something I have learned while blogging it’s to keep going every single day, keep reading if you think that doesn’t make any sense.  This might not mean a blog post, but many times it is reading a great article (I should comment and share more to show the love), thinking of our financial future, checking Personal Capital and our investments, or meeting up with someone who reads the blog.**

The Year of Freedom allows me to go catch a Cubs game on a Thursday, CUBS WIN, CUBS WIN!

The Year of Freedom allows me to go catch a Cubs game on a Thursday, CUBS WIN, CUBS WIN!


I have not decided to live a life of luxury and overspend with credit card purchases, although I certainly owe a blog post or two about the “money fight” that occurred with this topic recently.  All of our financial goals are heading in the right direction.  We are still on pace to pay off one of our rental properties in 2016, we have made a significant increase to our 401K and H.S.A. contribution (think about your favorite Saved by the Bell hangout), we have added additional taxable investments to our portfolio earlier this year.  In 2014 and 2015 the blog was heavily about debt repayment and a sprinkle of a glimpse into my financial independence future, expect 2016 to be about our investment plans and a picture that is closer to resembling our life in our planned FI Day Goal of May 2020.

So while 2016 has started out a little slower than in the past with each blog post, I believe you will see more glimpses into my life both financially and personally and that will take some time to develop.  I can’t promise you a better blog, but I can promise you real stories about me and the steps taken on the right path and possibly a step into the mud along the way.  I’m not sure if this has been just me rambling on about my blog and how much I enjoy sharing with everyone over the past 2 years, but I figured why change now and hope you will all stop here from time to time see much of the same.  Thank you again for stopping by over the past 2 years, I hope you will continue to do the same in the future.


Our dog Angel wanted to say thank you as well, don’t mind the glowing eyes of inferno, she probably just wants a walk.


*It should be known I have actually never seen the TV show Even Stevens and in fact, I like watching Shia LaBeouf and appreciate the level of crazy he shares with the world.  Here’s a couple fun examples to burn some time.  Just Do It and 29 Crazy Antics, enjoy and thanks Mindy.

** I’m a real person I prefer not to share my face on the interwebs, I do enjoy meeting up with people who share the same passion about personal finance and money that I do.

30 Responses to “2 years of Blogging and Writing my Financial Story

  • Congrats man! You’ve built an empire in your own little corner and inspired so many of us! You’ve done excellent crushing your debt and we look forward to seeing how you work toward FI!
    Maggie @ Northern Expenditure recently posted…The 4-Year PotentialMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      6 months ago

      Thanks Maggie, very nice of you to say. I’m ready for the long road ahead in reaching FI:)

  • Congrats on the unexpected and wonderful progress!

    How much of your fulfilling FI life is already in place? I’d like to see how others approach putting the pieces together. Right now I’ve got work to do on that, defining what I really want to add into my life, and negotiating with my change-averse wife.
    Sabbaticalia recently posted…2016Q1 passive incomeMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      6 months ago

      Thanks Sabbaticalia. My FI life how much is already in place, that’s an interesting question. Right now I feel like I’m at about 40% with 4 years to go. The plan is to have rental real estate cover 100% of our expenses in FI and all other accounts will be seen as backups of sorts. So while the 401Ks and HSA’s are being built up, they will most likely be left alone until 59.5 plus. Cash savings and individual investments will be used and built as time goes on, but currently they are at 10% of what I plan. The next 2 years will have a couple big financial milestones that should be quite interesting along the way. Thanks for checking Even Steven Money out!

  • Congrats on 2 years! Here’s to many more to come! Love how your life has changed so much in 2 years.
    Tawcan recently posted…How we increased our net worth by 250% in 5 yearsMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      6 months ago

      Thanks Tawcan. Yeah it’s borderline insane how much of a 180 occured…….but that 250% number looks pretty similar:)

  • Congrats on hitting the 2 year mark! Glad to hear you are out enjoying your year of freedom. Looking forward to following along on your journey to FI!

    • EvenStevenMoney
      6 months ago

      Thanks Thias, hope the wonderful state of WI is treating you right. The FI journey is real and I can’t wait to share more!

  • Congrats on reaching the 2 year milestone!
    You have definitely made huge financial steps in the last 2 years and this is definitely something to be proud of.
    Keep going and keep us posted on your journey to FI, you and I are set to reach it at about the same time. Looking forward to having a FI-buddy!
    TheMoneyMine recently posted…Ask the readers: When life gets busy, how do you protect your time?My Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      6 months ago

      Thanks MM! I feel like Paul Bunyan over here with the big financial steps. I like having an accountability partner for our FI journey……..but if it’s a competition, hope I win LOL

  • Congratz with 2 years of blogging! and even more for beating your debt free deadline!

    The journey to FI now can start. I am sure you will find ways to make achieve that faster than planned.

    I do like the fact that you now decide to have some extra money not on debt but on living now, enjoying life. I do think the here and now is equally important as the there and then

    • EvenStevenMoney
      6 months ago

      Thanks Ambertree! Yeah I think the official FI journey begins today, I won’t argue with you on that or at least if it did I was carrying around a backpack of bricks of debt weighing me down. I look forward to the live now journey as well, even if it’s just a slight detour from the norm:)

  • Congrats on the two years of blogging and how far you’ve come with your finances! Glad you added in the disclaimer at the end, I loved Even Stevens when I was growing up. Plus who doesn’t love a little motivation? Just do it!
    Debt Hater recently posted…Student Loan Progress – April 2016My Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      6 months ago

      Thanks Debt Hater! No hate fore Even Stevens, especially since I still haven’t watched it;)

  • Congrats and I look forward to hearing about your continued success!

    • EvenStevenMoney
      6 months ago

      Thanks Beth, I’m hoping, wishing, and planning for just that!

  • Congrats on two years and thank you for the personal challenge ESM on paying off my personal loan. You challenged me to have it paid off by my birthday (August) and it will paid off within six weeks. Woo hoo. Look forward to reading more, except if you ever right about the Vikings vs. Bears.

    • EvenStevenMoney
      6 months ago

      Thanks Jason for the Congrats. Paying off the personal loan, I’m glad the challenge worked! Don’t worry I loathe both teams, I’m a Packers and Eagles fan easy to dislike those teams:)

      • Well, then we really will have a war. The Packers are the Vikings arch enemies. Dang cheese heads. Cheers on your financial success.

  • nice post!
    thanks sharing with us. keep your blog update.

  • Congrats man…!! thanks for sharing your happiness here with us

    Ajay Kumar K
    ajay kumar kalva recently posted…Uninstall Tool 3.4.5 Build 5432 + x64 + PortableMy Profile

  • Congratulations on hitting the two-year mark! And even bigger congrats on all you’ve achieved in your life and finances. Look forward to following along with your continued journey and especially the more personal stuff. You know I understand the anonymity thing in a big way, but we’d all love to know more about you! 🙂
    Our Next Life recently posted…Crafting a Life That Keeps the Stoke HighMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      6 months ago

      Thanks ONL! Yeah it’s been great so far and I share more and more about who I am and some of the daily fun items in my life. On my way to FI and feeling pretty good about it:)

  • Really great to read your financial story and it’s very much motivational to me. I really appreciate your all the steps to full fill up all the good things yet and for future. Thanks mate for sharing everything with us:)

    • EvenStevenMoney
      6 months ago

      Thanks Marco, always appreciate kind words being sent my way!

  • Steven, congrats on all your personal and professional success here! I agree that starting a blog at the point you were at was a great investment!

    • EvenStevenMoney
      5 months ago

      I feel like my ROI is about as high as mathematically possible! Thanks Mike!!

  • I’m always so glad to see that people are succeeding in the way they want. I also like that other bloggers are discrete about their birth names. Too easy for bad things to happen when folks know so many details about your business.
    ZJ Thorne recently posted…It’s Not Work If You Don’t Pay MeMy Profile

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