It has officially been one year today since Frugal Confessions stepped out on the scene at the Houston Chronicle. Spawned from when I was laid off in the summer of 2008 from a marketing research job in Florida and needed to cut my costs, Frugal Confessions and living in frugal decadence has now morphed into a fulltime way of life for me. And I love it.
My Personal Favorites
I think it is best to try frugal ideas out on myself before offering them as suggestions to other people. Because of this, I have had the pleasure of spending many hours doing random things, such as sitting through timeshare sale meetings, taking part in market research studies, completing online surveys at home, and living by seemingly bizarre rules like “cupboard-eating only week” or “no-spend weekends”. Out of these experiences often come my favorite articles, such as the ones below.
- Selling a Timeshare to the Wall
- Amish Finances
- Botched Electricity Experiment
- How Not To Save for a Downpayment
- The Automatic Poorhouse
- The 7 Deadly Purchase Sins
Successes since Starting to Blog at the Chronicle
When first starting a blog, it feels like your words—the ones you have carefully crafted and presented in an entertaining manner—get lost in an intangible void. There are no commenters, most likely because there are no readers, and you begin to wonder (after the third month or so, I would say) if you are just wasting your time. But then out of the blue someone responds, and another person responds to that person’s comment, and you suddenly have struck up a dialogue.
I am happy to share my successes with my readers from this past year, one of which is to have readers who leave their comments, thoughts, and opinions, and who do not leave me wandering ‘is anyone out there’?
- While I had originally intended this series to be a column and not a blog, by blogging at the Houston Chronicle, I have had four of my articles published in the Star Section of the Houston Chronicle Paper
- Being promoted to a Featured Blogger
- The launch of my personal blog that attracts a more global audience, Frugal Confessions
- A staff writer position at the MyDollarPlan blog
- Winning several Blog Carnivals for some of the articles mentioned above
Finally, I would like to think that there is a learning curve to blogging about personal finance. One of the reasons why I held off for so long on starting my Frugal Confessions blog is because I knew that I did not have the answers to everything. What if readers asked me questions I could not answer? What if people did not think I had anything of value to say? Still, I was born with a frugal mindset, and so I decided to take the leap and put myself out there. Fortunately, I have found that it is okay to be building onto my knowledge of frugality and personal finance along the way with my readers, and to just answer “I do not know” when the occasion arises. Here are some other things that I have learned this past year.
- Life happens, and almost all of it is fodder for personal finance articles: since creating Frugal Confessions, I have moved to Texas from Florida, started a new job, gotten engaged, bought a home and planned a wedding
- Some people can be cruel in their comments when they are typing from home
- My time is my most valuable asset
I hope that you have enjoyed this past year with me, and that the next year to come will be even better!
Thank you all for your comments and encouragement—I read them all. I would love to hear your comments on this blog, such as things you have learned, articles that you wish I would write, etc.