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?