I actually reached this milestone on Tuesday and didn't even realize it. I'm very excited that my blog is a year old but I admit it's not where I hoped to be by now. I have no one to blame but me since I haven't promoted it as much as I should. I am happy with the direction it's going. At first I did start this blog to do paid posting, but I realized how I much I disliked it. I didn't have as much control over the content with certain companies, and it didn't seem worth the effort. While I still hope to make a little money on here, mostly to pay the rent of my blog, I am mostly blogging to share what I'm doing and hoping I can share ways to help others save money. I didn't know a lot of things when I was a young adult and wasted quite a bit of money. I also racked up a good chunk of credit card debt. I was very fortunate to have married a wonderful man that came from a frugal family. I learned many things from them, and we were able to dig ourselves out of a financial hole. We also have a healthy savings and emergency fund.
Along our adventure I came across some awesome books. The first one, my thrift bible, is The Tightwad Gazette. I have learned so much by reading this great book. It's where I first learned about the snowball method. Her example illustrated a couple saving for a down payment to buy a house. Instead I decided to use it to pay off our debts. I started with the smallest ones first and worked my up. I had never heard of Dave Ramsey at this point. I probably didn't do it in the exact way he outlines in his book The Total Money Makeover, but I was pretty close. He is right in the sense that mastering money while paying off debts is more about emotion than about math and logic. If I had used my credit card logically, then I wouldn't have been in a mess. I also recommend reading his book since it's a good starting point for getting out of debt. The big key point is you have to stop using credit while digging out of the mess. Otherwise you will never win. Once we stopped using them and cut them all up, then we did dig out of the hole. That is the best feeling in the world to not have any debt! I sleep so much better at night and I don't cringe every time the phone rings.
Yes cutting out the bigger items like cable, phone plans, getting better rates on your insurance, eating out and such will make a dent in your monthly budget. Doing many of the little things will add up to bigger savings as well. If you can master your grocery bill, then you can save hundreds per month. The bigger the family the bigger the savings. I don't buy nearly as much food for my family of 3 as someone will with a family of 4 or 5 and more. I'm constantly trying to cut down my bill and still eat healthy. That's one reason I started a garden so I can make more items from scratch like tomato sauce and it's healthier. I am using more of an organic approach and not spraying my plants. I am also composting my kitchen scraps along with yard waste like leaves. I just wanted to share a little bit more about me and my reasons for doing the blog. I really hope that all my tips are helping others to save money. I said in a previous post that most frugal tips are good for your pocketbook and the environment. Thanks for reading and I hope to continue writing for another year!