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.
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 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.
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.**
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.
*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.