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?
About the Writer
Megan is a 30-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the articles are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”