Tag Archives: blogging

What Happened to Her Every Cent Counts?

Hello World! I’m back. I wasn’t actually gone to begin with – but I had a minor fiasco with my hosting provider that was partially my fault but turned into a bigger train wreck of a situation than it needed to be.

Last month I realized my credit card was lost/misplaced/stolen, so I called Amex to report it missing. At the same time, I noticed a very weird charge on my account for $372 — given my credit card had been missing and I didn’t recognize the merchant, I thought the card had been stolen and said I did not make the charge. Continue reading

Who Reads this Blog?

On May 29, 2007, I wrote my first entry on HerEveryCentCounts — I titled it “Diversification?” I had about $27k in networth (before the recession of 2008, when it went down significantly) and my income was $35,000 a year (which, incredibly, is less than I make in three months today.)

It was in 2007 when I opened my first retirement account – a Roth IRA and a mid-cap Vanguard fund. My job didn’t offer a 401k, so I was limited to $5000 a year in retirement investment. I knew nothing about investing and finance – I just read another 20-something women’s blog about her investing a small inheritance, and suddenly felt inspired to sort out my future. I was spending 50% of my income on a studio apartment that cost $905 a month (the same apartment now costs over $1600 – that’s how much rent has gone up here in the last 9 years.) I was 23 years old.

Admittedly, this blog has gone months without any content, followed by weeks where I’ll post three or more times a week. I never intended this to be a regular publication — I started writing because I wanted to hold myself accountable for my future. And, since I didn’t have a lot of money for financial advice, I figured some folks out there on the internet would tell me if I was completely messing it up.

Nearly nine years since starting this blog, it seems to get some fairly regular visitors. I don’t get a lot of comments — and I’m not sure if that’s because my comment system is broken or if what I write isn’t the ideal content to start a¬†conversation. By far, my most popular posts are the ones I wrote about getting a DUI. That was the lowest point of my life, but financially probably the most interesting from a blogging perspective. I still get tons of traffic to my DUI posts, which rank very highly on random search terms like “dui depression” and “how to get your life back after a DUI.”

What’s been most rewarding, though, has been the number of people who have commented or emailed me about their DUI stories. There are lots of intelligent and otherwise law-abiding people who made a mistake and are struggling with deep depression after getting arrested for driving under the influence. Many tell me that my story has made them be able to get through the darkest time in their lives. Although I didn’t expect that to be the result of my blogging about my DUI (which was now four¬†years ago), and I get my fair share of hate mail from people who were injured in drunk driving accidents or knew someone who was hurt in one, I do feel good when I receive comments from strangers letting me know how I’ve helped them. Helping people is the only thing in this world the makes me feel happy, so this has been a strange positive side effect of dealing with my own mistakes.

The rest of this blog is typically me just cycling through the same series of complaints, so I’m not sure how entertaining it is, or how many people out there are repeat readers. I’m sure there are plenty of anonymous readers who occasionally find their way back here. I’m curious, if you read this blog, how long have you been reading it? How did you find me? Do any posts from the past nine years stand out in your mind? Would you like me to write about anything else?

If you read this blog, please leave a comment here – and if you’re having trouble leaving a comment, email me at hereverycentcounts@gmail.com. Looking forward to hearing from you and learning more about my readers!

 

 

The Personal Finance Blogger Network

Some of you may remember an old blog that I kept on a separate URL – The Personal Finance Reader. Basically, I had trouble keeping up with all the great personal finance blogger content out there and started a site that had a running public RSS feed of my favorite blogs. Then Google Reader (which was powering the site) shut down, and so did the site.

I figured out how to launch a similar public feed on this blog. Woohoo. You can check it out at the link in my menu called Finance Network. I’ve included many of the top personal finance bloggers, and it displays the last two posts each blogger has written within the last year. If you’re a personal finance blogger and I missed you from the list, please let me know in a comment or email me at hereverycentcounts@gmail.com

Personal Finance Advice? Do I Have Any To Give?

My latest blogging kick has me obsessed with frequent updates to this blog. But sometimes I wonder what I should be writing about. It’s too easy for me to complain about money — not having enough, having enough but not knowing what to do with it, not having enough and not knowing what to do with it — but who wants to read a monologue of complaints? My financial life isn’t filled with massive drama, debt… I don’t have a mortgage, or a husband, or kids… and I try not to shop. So what should I write about?

Sometimes I think I should try to be like I Will Teach You to Be Rich or Living Off Dividends — but, what brilliant advice do I have to share? I’d love to be a resource for personal finance advice, but the best I can do is to tell my peers to “save money,” “invest in a Roth IRA early,” and “negotiate for higher pay when your living expenses are low.” That’s about all the personal finance advice I have for everyone. If this blog can be inspirational as an example (maybe my networth growth chart, in the left sidebar, will inspire someone?) then great.

Otherwise, I don’t want to turn this into a blog with posts like “The Top 10 Ways to Save On Taxes.” I don’t know the Top 10 Ways to save on taxes and honestly there’s a thousand other places where this information exists. I’ll write about it if I actually have saved using certain strategies, but I don’t want to write something just because I read it somewhere else, and need more link bait SEO content.

Instead, I’m just me. I do manage to run into the typical personal finance issues we all have to deal with (hey, my car engine started doing something really weird tonight, it might be time to retire my ’99 Toyota soon) but I’ve yet to get deep into the bigger personal finance issues of life. The second I start shopping for a condo or a house, this blog will probably get a lot more interesting.

For now, I really wish I could provide good advice on finances, career, etc. I get so giddy when someone who reads my blog e-mails me with a question and asks for my advice.

Today, a blogger I respect and read often asked for some advice on working in technology marketing & Silicon Valley. I’m thrilled to offer that kind of advice, especially by phone or Skype, because I do know a bit about how things work in this industry and have some wisdom to impart. That wisdom I’m hesitant to write on here since I’d like to maintain some level of anonymity around here.

Would you like more articles on personal finance advice here? Or am I doing ok just writing about my life as it relates to money…?

Joining the Yakezie Challenge

Proud Member of the Yakezie ChallengeI’ve seen “The Yakezie Challenge” around on a few of my favorite personal finance blogs, so I decided to check it out. Apparently, it’s a group of personal finance and lifestyle bloggers joined together to help each other break 200,000 in Alexa Rankings (I’m currently 1,686,423 so I have a long way to go!) But it’s not all about site rank.

The reason I decided to join the challenge is that it requires a dedication to blogging 2-4 times per week for next six months. While I went through a period of my life where I blogged a lot, I stopped writing for Her Every Cent Counts for a while. While only a few readers would frequently comment on my posts, I knew there were others who were repeat visitors who probably wondered what happened to me.

Incredibly enough, I started this blog in 2007. I really don’t have enough posts to show for it. Additionally, and most importantly, this blog is designed to keep my finances in check. When I blog about my spending… I’m less likely to splurge. I know I have you, my reader, to hold me accountable. So, with that, I’m committing to the Yakezie challenge. I’m doing well so far… this weekend I’ve written 7 posts that will show up over the coming days. I look forward to reading your comments on them… some are quite controversial.

In Happier News

I finally got paid after weeks of negotiating post negotiating my fees with the one company. I might not have made as much as I expected, but at the very least it pretty much directly covers the extra $500 I had to spend today on my dental care that I didn’t expect.

It was nice to see that paycheck in the mail today, especially since today I also got my first iPhone bill statement which is $134 (for about 1.5 months.)

So I have $1050 worth of checks in my purse that I need to cash. My current credit card balance is $1700 (yikes) so all my side income this month is going directly to jail and not passing go, I mean, to the credit card company.

I had some old invoices I had to send out so I’m expecting a backlog of paychecks including the two I just got…

$550: company A blogs for October
$500: company B blogs, press release, etc for November
$450: company C illustration and copyedits
$475: company A blogs for November
>=$100: company A blogs for Dec (I’ve written 4 so far at $25 / blog)
>=$120: company B blogs for Dec (two written so far)

So my “side job” income from October to December will be at least $2195 and if I can get my act together and write 16 more blog posts this month it may be $2595 or $863 a month. Not bad… if I could keep that up I will be able to hit my goal of $10k side income in 2010… but it’s unlikely I will make this much every month next year (and this year’s income doesn’t count.) I just had some really good months for my freelance business.

If only my freelance income could add up to enough where I could quit my job. I’d give anything to have a flexible schedule again… I just want to be able to work when I want and take classes when I want. I want to take a painting class and a few web programming / design courses at the community college but they’re only offered in the middle of the afternoon or all morning, which is not possible right now. If my company goes under the first thing I’m going to do is see about building my freelance career again and taking some classes.

Announcing the Carnival of Female Personal Finance Bloggers!

Inspired by all you fabulous ladies out there writing about personal finance every day, I decided to start a carnival of personal finance specifically for female bloggers.

I’ll be posting the first Carnival of Female Personal Finance Bloggers in November, please submit your best blog post from October for the first edition.

Also, if you’re interested in hosting future editions, please let me know. Would love to get at least 5 people lined up for next 5 months (doing this monthly for now, could be bi-weekly if I get enough interest.)

Freelance Side Jobs: Am I in Over My Head?

My basic personal finance rule is that if I’m going to splurge on something, I need to earn at least that amount in freelance income over the year. My base salary ($60k) pays for my rent, food, bills, and savings. Anything on top of that should be earned separately.

While I put 45-50 hours into my full time job each week, there’s always extra time when I’m sitting around thinking I could be earning more money.

Freelance writing work has always been a great side project for me that pays fairly well, but I need to be careful not to sign myself up for too many extra gigs. It’s easy to do that — as the potential to earn extra income and increase my pleasure spending per year is great.

I currently write for a blog and earn $25 / post; each post takes me about 30 minutes to write. I can write up to 20 posts or $500 worth per month. I’ve been on and off with it for the past year, but I’ve been trying to hit the 20 post limit each month now by writing in the early mornings before work.

Last week I replied to an ad online for a blogger and found out this blogging job was more like writing long feature articles than quick blogging. They take me a lot longer to write than the short ones for the other gig, and require more research, so I’m charging more for them. At first I thought it was just a few blog posts they wanted, or maybe a couple a week ongoing, but it turned out the CEO liked my writing and background and wanted to meet me and discuss an ongoing writing gig including some tech writing, article writing, and press releases. He knows I have a full-time job that is my priority during the day, but if I can do some extra side work on the weekends, then I’ll do it, and do it well.

It’s just that I don’t want to spend every waking moment of my life working. It’s not that bad because I enjoy researching technology news and writing about it, and I hated doing that full time, so it’s fun as a hobby almost to do it on the side. Yet I want to make sure that the quality of work I do meets my personal high standards. And that means my life becomes devoted to work.

On top of that, I’m taking these classes and just extremely busy. I like being busy, and I like making money, but where do I draw the line? How much free time do I really need each week? I’m so often bored on the weekends, I’d rather be earning extra income than being bored and probably going out and spending money.

If you earn freelance income on the side, where do you draw the line? How much extra work is too much?

Why "Her Every Cent Counts?"

Over the years, a few people have asked me why I named my blog “Her Every Cent Counts.” Many of them commented on how I, unlike many personal finance bloggers, have money to spare, and even admit to how I like to spend it – so then why does my every cent count?

When I originally started this blog, I was practically unemployed, fresh out of college, and terrified of money. I was scared to save it and I was scared to spend it. One of the most basic concepts I wanted to constantly remind myself is that every cent counts. That is, every dollar I spend today is a dollar I won’t have tomorrow.

Generally speaking, I still believe that, and still need to be reminded of it on a constant basis. I’m not rich now by any means. I make a solid middle class salary for someone my age and can afford a few splurges once or twice a year. I’m not literally counting my pennies, struggling to survive. Sorry if you thought that is what this blog is about based on the name.

This blog, instead, is a place to talk about developing a healthy relationship with spending. I grew up in a family where money was always an issue, my mom spent too much, my dad screamed at her because of it. I want to take control of my finances now, earn my own money. I never want to rely on someone else to pay for my life or lifestyle. It’s all up to me, and this blog exists to document my journey from college grad circa 2005 to wherever life leads me. All anonymously, of course. Because who can talk personal finance amongst friends?

Do you want to be included in The Personal Finance Reader?

If you haven’t seen, I added a link to my “Personal Finance Reader” up top (yup, up there, to your left right (i am so dyslexic)) a while back. This is basically an updated blogroll including my favorite personal finance blogs.

If you want to be included in the list (which will update with a link to your blog whenever you update your blog), leave a comment here or e-mail me at hereverycentcounts@yahoo.com

Want to keep up to date on the best of the personal finance blogosphere?

Bookmark:
http://personalfinancereader.blogspot.com/

***Please leave your blog address in your comment so I can add it.***