Oct 04 2012

5 years of blogging …what now?

This blog turned 5 years old last week. I’ve been trying to put some thoughts to words, and I’m falling short.

In some ways, I don’t have much left to say. I’ve talked about ways to save money and be ultra-frugal if you wanna, how to save money on pretty much everything, how we paid off our credit cards and car, how we saved money when we bought our house and then refinanced our mortgage, how we’re preparing for retirement, having babies without breaking the bank, saving for college…what left is there for me to talk about?

As far as my own story goes, I feel like we’re fortunate to be in a position where we’re going to put our finances on cruise control.

We have been blessed beyond what we deserve. WAY beyond.

Our expenses-to-income ratio has always been reasonable, and lately it has improved even more. We have more breathing room and we’re able to hit our goals.

We have no major purchases or goals on the horizon. It’s just:

  • load up retirement investments
  • load up college savings
  • save for future big-ticket items (a next vehicle, years down the road hopefully; a big house repair, etc)
  • live our lives.
The whole point of hurrying to pay off our credit card and car, and throwing together savings, and getting our investments automated was so that we can get on with our lives.
In January 2009, I spelled out why we wanted to be debt-free. I led the post with a quote from Forrest Gump:

“Lieutenant Dan got me invested in some kind of fruit company. So then I got a call from him, saying we don’t have to worry about money no more. And I said, that’s good! One less thing”. – Forrest Gump

The goal was to get ourselves in a situation where we didn’t have to “worry” about money (although we never really worried, we just went after the issue) but also, we want to be at a place where we don’t have to think about money all the time. Automating the process. Taking thinking out of the equation.

There’s still some topics I’d like to discuss on this blog, along the lines of living in this stage. I really would like your feedback on this, and how to approach it.

On one hand, I do think there’s a void, a lack of discussion on the “what now?” stage that I’m talking about. JD Roth noticed it when he became debt-free. He noted he felt lost for a few weeks — he had been putting his focus toward debt repayment for so long, and once he achieved that goal, he wondered: now what?
On the other hand, I know some of you, and several of my real-life friends are truly struggling right now and I do not want to be insensitive to that. At all.
I’m not ending this blog right now. I would like to continue writing when I have the inspiration. Blogging has been a hobby of mine and I’ve appreciated the friendships it has generated, the creative outlet, and yes the revenue. Ever since I stopped taking this blogging stuff so seriously and adopted a slower posting schedule, I’ve felt better about it.
Thank you for reading and commenting and emailing me over the years. I enjoy hearing from you and celebrating your success. (Speaking of, at some point mid-2013, Courtney is expecting to pay off her final student loan. How about that?! Looking forward to that update.)
I’ll end with this:
It’s only money. When there’s not enough, it can be a source of stress and sacrifice. When there’s plenty, there’s breathing room but also the potential for increased consumerism. At any stage, we can turn money into an idol.
Reminds me of that song by Kansas, “Dust in the Wind”:
“Now, don’t hang on/ Nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky/ It slips away / and all your money won’t another minute buy/ Dust in the wind”
It’s only money, honey. Best to get it under control, rather than have money control us.

 



5 Responses to “5 years of blogging …what now?”

  1. I would love to hear more stories like Courtney’s. We have been debt free before, and are striving to be again. Sometimes just hearing how others are “in the trenches” with you can help me stay inspired to keep on digging out! Thanks for your blog!!

  2. Congrats on 5 years!

  3. I’d love to feature more stories such as Courtney’s. Cheryl if you’d want to do a guest post, have at it!

    Likewise for anyone else reading this who’d like to share some of their story.

    My “advertising” tab says no guest posts, but that just applies to advertisers trying to sneak in sponsored content. Pfft to that. YES to real actual guest posts.

  4. I would love to get to the point of not having to think about money much. I think that when I finally get my last kid through braces I can relax (#2 starts next month, all 4 need them), but then I realize there are still cars to replace a kid starting college in 4 short years, with 3 other kids to follow and I realize that we will likely be struggling financially for at minimum 10 more years. My youngest graduates from high school in 10 years. Except then I will have 3 in college at the same time, so I guess I need 15 more years. And then weddings to pay for, and I guess it never ends.

    One of our problems is my dh is on a very fixed income with it actually being cut most years (he is a teacher, I can tell you what he will make in 10 years and it is about the same as what he is making now). I think that is why we are struggling so much. Expense rise and the income either stays the same or goes down. Every year I work more and more, but we really want me home so I avoid getting a job outside the home (I work from home PT). So my income is also limited to some extent. I just long for the day when I don’t have to worry about money anymore, but I don’t see it ever happening.

  5. You’ve been a real inspiration to many! Most people expect young adults, especially those with young children, to struggle with debt. We also feel funny admitting to friends that, due to being very careful with our money, paying down debt, ect. we’re in a very good place. My husband hasn’t had a raise in 3 years and I lost my job a year ago, but we are so very blessed to be not struggling.

    It’s almost “not cool” to be smart with your money at our age, which is unfortunate. Keep up the great work and can’t wait to read your next post when you’re feeling inspired!

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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