Since yesterday was the one year anniversary of my first post on this blog (in its initial incarnation, anyway), I’ve decided to take a few days this week to post about things that have happened over the past year.
Reading other PF blogs and writing my own has been a very educational experience. Even though my net worth might not reflect all I’ve learned, thanks to the recent fun in the stock market, but I feel much more confident about my money management than I did a year ago.
I’m using a budget, with great success. I’ve got a nice little cushion in my day to day account. I’m planning ahead for expenses, so I’m not so worried about the months when the insurance bill shows up. As part of this, I’m also tracking my expenses and seeing some surprising trends that I didn’t realize existed. I’m already making plans for next year’s budget so that I can continue to improve my money management.
Thanks in part to the budget, I’m saving a lot more than I was. My savings account has grown by leaps and bounds. Okay, so they’re small leaps and bounds, but it’s growing.
I have also opened a number of sub accounts in ING Direct to help me reach my savings goals. That was something that I learned entirely from the PF blogosphere, and it has been a big help. Along those lines, I’ve put money from some of those accounts into various CD ladders. Might as well make my money work for me as much as it can, right?
I have experimented with a number of different budgeting resources, from my old standby, Microsoft Money, to online programs like Mint, and ended up finding YNAB and realizing that I’m an old school spreadsheet girl at heart. I have also learned that budgeting is not a one size fits all sort of thing, so it’s great that there are so many options out there. You just have to be patient and experiment until you find one that you like.
I moved my blog from a free site to my own host, and have even earned money by blogging! Okay, so it’s not much, and the blog is almost, but not quite paying for itself, but it sure felt like a milestone. I’ve also been able to give a bit more to charity thanks to the blog income (again, not much, but every penny helps).
Perhaps most importantly, I have met a number of amazing people online, through other blogs and comments here. I’ve learned so much from all of you, and I hope you’ve gotten something out of this blog as I stumble through the world of personal finance. It’s nice to know that we’re not all going it alone out there.