You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”
What’s the hole in your pocket? (think about it before you answer – it’s actually a really deep question). Before I get into that – let me frame the question and maybe expand your horizon a little (hope this works. . .). I think the same answer applies to someone trying to escape poverty, trapped in alcoholism, or even weighed down by a life of a sin (more on that later). Stick with me – some of my ideas probably seem unrelated and random. . .
Why do you read this blog? Before you answer that strangely awkward and mildly inappropriate break of internet protocol – let me answer who (the intended audience) this blog is for. The demographic answer is 20 and 30 somethings starting their careers; anyone just beginning their personal financial journey. The more authentic and transparent answer is anyone on their personal financial journey who is willing to learn and willing to change.
“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”
― Leo Tolstoy
Personal finance is 20% education (learning how) and 80% discipline (following what you already know).
In this blog I try to address both – mostly by using myself as an example (the good, the bad, the ugly). Let me back up and tell you about myself and the purpose of this blog (to set the landscape). I am a Christ follower (He is risen!), this affects every aspect of my life, including my personal financial journey. I truly believe that many will continue to struggle with their finances until they get their priorities in line with the Bible (I know it worked for me). Many people try to fill the God sized hole in their heart with other things: money, alcohol, drugs, etc. – these things are but a poor substitute (temporary high) for a real relationship with the God of the universe! The God that created the earth, the stars, the galaxy, even you and me. John 3:16. I recommend the book “the case for Christ” by Lee Strobel – I also really enjoyed the movie based on the book. I’m a pretty big fan of Dave Ramsey and his quest to help people become debt-free. I agree with that goal. I have attended his financial peace university and highly recommend that to anyone who has not been (it costs $100, but it’s worth it!)
I like sports (Go Heels! Go Panthers! Go Braves!), visiting the NC mountains, spending time with friends and family, listening to music, watching TV, and reading books. My day job is in accounting. I love to discuss current events, personal finance, politics, business, technology, generational differences and religion. Feel free to send me ideas about topics you want me to write about. Please contact me directly at email@example.com
Now that you know a little bit about me, let me describe this blog’s purpose. . .
Financial decisions are all around us – they happen almost every day. I created this blog to share my experiences in hope that you might learn from my success as well as my failure. . . Life is hard – do your research and learn from your mistakes – better yet – learn from others’ mistakes and avoid those money pitfalls. Helping others, through personal finance education, is a passion for me. I am intrigued by how people approach financial decisions – some of these decisions turn out well; and some, well, not so much. . . I’m convinced that most financial mistakes can be avoided. Having said that – we are all human and prone to making poor financial decisions. Let’s take a journey together and find ways to think smarter about our daily decisions and how they impact our personal finances. I don’t claim to have all the answers but hope this blog will help educate folks about some money strategies and insights as we try to think smarter together. (from my first post in June 2017)
I want to challenge the way you think about your finances (agreement is not required). This blog also gives me the opportunity to work on 3 of my biggest character flaws: chronic procrastination, a tendency to give up too easily, as well as avoiding difficult tasks. I promised myself that I would blog for at least a year. I started last June and have over 50 posts under my belt so far. I have been tempted to quit numerous times; who cares about this silly blog anyhow? – and who am I to give financial advice? (honestly, who throws a shoe?) It’s actually been many much more difficult than I anticipated to come up with fresh, interesting, relevant, helpful posts each week. . . But alas, I shall press on!
Now that you know who I am and the purpose of this blog. Please tell me if I have remained true to who I am and the original purpose of this blog? Better yet, please tell me why you read my posts? I know it’s helped keep me accountable for my own financial decisions – maybe that’s goal. . . Please comment below or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Be skeptical – ask questions, use critical thinking. I quote the Bible not because I want you to be impressed – I want you to read the Bible for yourself and apply the truth to your own life. If you have never read it, may I humbly suggest you start with Proverbs. You can probably live without Jesus, but can you die without him? Just sayin’
So how are you doing financially? What’s the hole in your pocket? Please read one of my previous posts to help evaluate your financial situation. Because regardless of where you are on your financial journey it’s important to ask – on a regular basis – How am I doing?
I’ll do a post next week about how I’m doing as a quarterly check-up.
Be inspired to change (pick one thing, just one thing, and promise yourself that you will improve – this week!) – watch the video below – if this doesn’t inspire you, you might want to check your pulse. . .
Bonus section – for those of you who are interested in starting your own blog
A couple of you have expressed interest in writing your own blog and I am here to encourage you to go for it!
Blog definition from the Oxford English dictionary (not to be confused with an article)
A regularly updated website or web page, typically run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.
Before you decide if you can monetize a blog, you first have to write something interesting – something people want to read. Content is king! I read “blogging for dummies” before I started. Be a content creator, not just a consumer of information.
This blog itself is different. . . Blogs generally fall into 2 categories, private and commercial. Private blogs are for close friends and family and are not open to the public; a way to share family photos, memories, etc. with loved ones. Most other blogs are written for the purpose of making money; not that there is anything wrong with that . . .
The personal finance blogs that I follow are designed to be a part-time, or even a full-time, occupation for their writer(s) (e.g., http://www.makingsenseofcents.com.) The way they make their blog a money-maker is through advertising revenue, product endorsements and commissions from purchases (web traffic on their site). I know it’s a little complicated, but these folks get paid to give you advice. The reason I tell you that – is my blog is neither private nor commercial. It’s open to the public (not private) but isn’t a commercial blog either; actually, I pay extra to remove ads from my blog – so my hobby actually costs me money. . . I don’t recommend this particular strategy as a sound way to increase your net worth (insert sarcasm).
I used wordpress.com to help setup my blog. Please reach out to me personally and I would be happy to share what worked for me. If you are more of a DIY person, then wordpress.org might the way to go – it’s free!