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In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance.  It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information.  It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck.  While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.

While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.

Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.

So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan.  I needed to budget.  I needed to know what I was spending my money on.  I needed to prepare for the future.

I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way.  I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.

Didn’t this site used to have a different name?

Yep!  From November 2007-July 2008, this site was hosted at Blogger and known as A Dollar a Day.  While I continue to recommend Blogger to anyone looking to start a blog, I decided that I wanted a bit more freedom in design, and once the site had earned enough money from advertising revenue, I moved to my own host and purchased a domain name.  Unfortunately, all forms of A Dollar a Day and its derivatives were taken, so I made the decision to rename the blog.  Confusing, yes, but easier than having an incredibly long URL that no one can ever remember anyway.

Why “A Dollar a Day?”

Well, when I first started the site, I started it with the idea that I would save $1 a day and see how much that added up to.  Yes, I know what you’re thinking.  It adds up to $365 (or $366 in 2008).  But that doesn’t factor in interest.  I thought it would be interesting to show just how easy the money adds up.  Maybe in 2009, I’ll try to save $2 a day.

What am I doing with the money I save?  No idea.  Letting the interest compound for now.

What’s with the ads?

Well, webspace isn’t free.

Ok, so it can be, but I wanted more freedom and wanted to move to my own domain.  The ads don’t quite cover the cost, but I hope that they will in the future, and for now, they do offset the cost.

However, I have also decided to give back.  Half of my blogging income is donated to charity.  For me, it is my way of saying thanks for all that I have gained from this experience.  I hope that at some point in the future, this blog earns enough that I can pay the bills for the site and then donate the rest, much more than 50% of the earnings, to charity.

How do you calculate your net worth?  And why don’t you give dollar amounts like other bloggers?

First and foremost, I don’t give numbers because I think there are things that need to stay private, and at this point in my life, I am not comfortable publicly announcing how much money I have or how much money I make.  Other bloggers are comfortable with it, and they should do what works best for them.  I will continue to only update with percentages. 

At this point, my net worth only includes account balances.  I have a spreadsheet listing all of my bank accounts, investment accounts, credit cards, cash, and a few other accounts (laundry card, metro card, any gift cards I’ve received).  I do not own a house, so that doesn’t factor in.  I do own a car, but as I have it paid off, I opted to not track it, nor do I track any personal possessions.  When I do finally purchase a home, I will have to rethink how I track net worth, as I will likely want to include the value of the house to offset the mortgage.  Right now, I’m less concerned with what I have as I am with what’s happening with what I have.  Are my accounts growing or shrinking?  Is the change due to the market or due to my savings (or lack thereof).  What should I do about this change?

Other questions?