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Weekly Round-Up and Goals Update #5

freelance writingI scour the internet for amazing articles each week to increase my personal finance education and also to increase my inspiration for writing new, thought-provoking articles for you, the reader! Some blog posts are just too perfect to one-up, so I figured I should just share them with you! Take a look at the top three articles I read last week.

Top 3 Articles of the Week

Hope you enjoy them! Oh, and be sure to keep reading below to see the progress that I’m making on my goals so far this year. Month one is officially over, so how am I doing on my goals so far?

Managing a Complicated Net Worth: How Messy Is Your Money? – by Financial Samurai – I never really thought about it, but my net worth is pretty simple thus far. I own my house outright, which is the majority of my net worth right now, I have a 401k through my work, I own my car, and I have a bank account. That’s pretty much it. I had no idea that the wealthy had so many different accounts that made up their net worth! I guess it makes sense to diversify. Pretty soon, I’ll get into real estate and some other ventures, but I imagine that I’ll keep my wealth pretty basic. Seems less stressful that way. What do you think?

Striving For Early Retirement May Silently Kill You – by Untemplater – There is some truth to this. Some people work so hard to retire that they end up putting in 70+ hours per week! It’s a pretty terrible life before retirement, even if you are able to retire super early. By the way, I have some thoughts about extremely early retirement that I’ll be posting tomorrow. Be sure to come back and have a read! It should be pretty eye opening.

Should You Downsize Your Home to Rightsize Your Life? – by Money Reasons – I recently heard that the average home size was 2,600 square feet?!? Really? That’s crazy! If that is truly the average, then I would say ABSOLUTELY downsize your house. Who needs 5 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms for 4 people? It’s a little excessive and makes life WAY more costly than it should be.

Books I’m Reading This Week

I picked up a few books this week, and I have been reading all of them vigorously. AND, I was actually able to find one of them as an audiobook on YouTube, which allows me to make progress on my “reading” at work.

20150201 - the legacy journey book coverThe Power of Habit – by Charles Duhigg – Joshua wrote an article in response to this book last week and it was really intriguing, so I borrowed a copy from a friend and have been diving into it for the last couple of days. It’s amazing how powerful a habit can really be, and how easy it is to form one (whether you want to or not). With this book, I feel like I can really improve this site and its effectiveness. Watch out! 😉

The Legacy Journey – by Dave Ramsey – Since my final debt payment, I have been scouring websites and books for what I should do with my money now that I can’t just mindlessly put it toward my debt. If you haven’t figured it out already, I am a big fan of Dave Ramsey, and I am really liking this book so far. Beyond my regular expenses and tithing, Dave states that I should set aside my money into three different areas: 1) Extra Giving, 2) Having Fun, and 3) Investing. This is just the simple guidance I was looking for and I can’t wait to see what else I can soak up from this book.

The ABCs of Real Estate Investing – by Ken McElroy – One of my goals in 2015 is to buy a property with cash and rent it out for a hefty monthly income. To do this well, I really need to do my homework now. This book is definitely helping me out by teaching me that I need a reliable team (real estate agents, a lawyer, a mentor, etc.), I need to scout out a booming rental market, and I need to find a deal on the property (in terms of renting it out, not buying as a resident). There is more that I need to learn, but I’m not done reading yet either. Can’t wait!

My Goal Progress After Week #5

My goals are to, by the end of the year:

This week wasn’t as productive as I was hoping. My website went down a couple times (which took time to fix), I had quite a few emails to tend to, and I had a few random after work activities as well. All in all though, I still wrote some kick-butt articles and was able to increase some of my stats. Let’s take a quick look.

Visitor Numbers

My visitor numbers per month rose from 8,891 last week to 9,406 this week, so I’m feeling pretty good about that! If I can get this number up to 10,000 next week I would be ecstatic!

20150131 - monthly visitors


Monthly subscribers continue to bounce around. If I remember right, I had one or two people unsubscribe this past week (why, I have no idea…), but I had five new subscribers during that same time-frame, so the subscriber number is definitely still going up. I think I’m going to have to run a promotion soon to give this number a jump-start though. I’m sick of seeing this number stay stagnant, even though I know Feedburner isn’t all that accurate from week to week.

20150131 - subscribers

Facebook Friends

I really didn’t focus on increasing my Facebook friends this past week and it shows. My numbers only went up by one (to 566) in this department. Still a win though. I’ll take it.

20150131 - Facebook friends count

Twitter Followers

I have been having a blast with Twitter lately. Not only is it a great way to get more eyeballs on my site, but it’s a very powerful tool to reach out to those that I would otherwise never come into contact with! This past week alone, I have had responses from both Dave Ramsey and Charles Duhigg (the author of The Power of Habit). Check it out!

20150131 - response from Dave Ramsey, The Legacy Journey

20150131 - response from Charles Duhigg, the power of habit

Isn’t that awesome?! I was pretty stoked on both accounts since I didn’t expect either. Maybe I should try my luck at tweeting Obama next! 😉

Anyway, let’s check out the numbers. I was able to add another 22 Twitter followers since last week, which brings my total up to 1,872. Again, not too shabby.

20150131 - Twitter followers

One Month Down – How Am I Doing?

I realize this post is getting long, but after a solid month of work it’s important to see if my efforts are putting me on track for my yearly goals. Assuming my growth will be linear for each measure, where would I stand after another 11 months?

Visitors – I increased my monthly visitors from 7,915 to 9,406, a gain of 1,491 visitors. If I could consistently gain this amount each month, my monthly visitors will be 25,807, which would crush my goal of 15,000! Hope this actually happens!

Subscribers – So far, this subscriber number has simply been inaccurate, so I’m going to ignore this calculation for now.

Facebook Friends – I increased my friends from 534 to 566 in one month, and increase of 32 friends. Extrapolated over the rest of the year, this consistent increase would provide me with 918 friends by years end. This would be shy of my 1,000 friend goal, so I should probably pay more attention to this number in the near future. Any ideas on how I could gain more Facebook Friends?

Twitter Followers – I have increased my Twitter follower numbers from 1,176 to 1,872 – an increase of 96 this month. If I kept this up for 11 months, my Follower numbers will total 2,232 by the end of the year. Ugh, this is still WAY less than my goal of 3,000! I guess I have to pay attention to this number as well!

Looks like there is definitely work to be done, but all of the increases are encouraging! I hope you’re having fun as I take you along in this journey of mine!

How have you been liking the site lately? Have you been noticing the positive changes? I hope so!



My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.

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