When I started this site, I was newly married, living in Florida, and had $18,000 worth of debt.
- My wife and I paid off the debt,
- we got divorced (which threw me back into debt),
- I paid that off in 6 months and then paid off the house in another 12 (I was motivated…ie. angry ;)),
- and then got re-married, had a child, and we now own several properties debt free.
Whew! Needless to say, a TON has transpired over those 7 years! I obviously wish some of it hadn’t, but there’s no reverse button in life so there’s really nothing to do but keep looking forward, right? I’m always dreaming, constantly improving, and doing my best to lift everyone up with me along the way.
7 Year Blogiversary! A Walk Down Memory Lane!
What about the site? How has that changed? Surely it’s had a few face-lifts over the years.
Yup, it definitely has. Let’s take a walk down memory lane…
2010 – the first few months…
Lol. This always makes me laugh. I officially started my site on August 28, 2010, and this is the best design I could come up with at the time…
It looks bad now, but honestly, it wasn’t all that terrible back then. The original plan then was to write 1/2 of my posts on my life experiences, and then the other 1/2 on helpful topics that people might often ask about – stuff like paying your house off early, selling your car, investing in a 401k…things like that. And, quite honestly, things haven’t changed a whole lot since then. I still write about my life and what I’m learning along the way, and I write posts in response to peoples’ questions, but I’ve also added a ton of helpful free tools that drive even more traffic to this website.
2011 – the attempted spruce-up…
Ha, this one’s a laugher as well. My ex designed it, and to be honest, the subject matter is actually dead-on. We traveled from Michigan to Florida (as designated by the map), I’m always happy (and occasionally give the very white-guy thumbs-up), and she had a shopping problem! Lol.
This header lasted about a year, and my traffic continued to take off. But then I decided to get a little too sophisticated….
2013 – It’s time to look like a business…
And here I am. Mr. Sophisticated with my straight-forward money header and my straight-laced graphics. It wasn’t terrible, but you know what? Money is boring enough without trying to bring sophistication into the mix. This header lasted for far too long (acchhhmmmmm, 4+ years).
I finally ditched it when I started having fun with life again. Now it’s a winding road through hill country to signify that life and finances are a journey! You’re not going to be perfect, we all make mistakes, but you just have to keep driving forward and do your best to stay on the road!
My site today is all about having fun and learning along the way. I’m not as crazed about money anymore since Liz and I make plenty to support our lifestyle, which honestly makes this whole thing that much more enjoyable. If you have a question about your finances, I’ll stop and answer it every time. I love my readers. You’re truly what makes this site great and I’ll do anything to keep you learning and growing right there along with me!
The Most Popular Posts in the Past 7 Years…
You know, it’s funny. I could spend 5 hours on a single post and it gets no attention whatsoever. Then, a week later I write something in 20 minutes off the top of my head and it suddenly gets picked up by a handful of major sites and gets tens of thousands of views. I don’t think I’ll ever figure it out… so I just keep writing great stuff and market it as best I can.
Based on the number of comments left on each post, here’s my Top 10 articles starting from Day 1 to today:
- How the Debt Snowball Really Works (127 comments)
- Should You Pay Off the Mortgage ASAP? (97 comments)
- Pay Off Your Debt Fast: A Personal Story (85 comments)
- 9 Things the Rich Do That the Poor Do Not (84 comments)
- Paying Off Our House in Less Than 4 Years (81 comments)
- Day Job or Full-Time Blogger? I Need Your Opinions (78 comments)
- Divorced and Back in Debt (74 comments)
- How Much Should You Spend on That? (74 comments)
- How I Paid Off My $54,500 Mortgage in Less Than 1 Year (73 comments)
- Our Recent Washer and Dryer Debate. We Need Your Opinion! (72 comments)
It’s crazy how many “popular” posts are just a result of me reaching out to the readers for their advice. There are so many people that want to give a voice to a financial issue, and I LOVE IT! I really need to reach out to you all more often.
Take your time and read through some of these posts. They really do a pretty good job of characterizing what this blog is all about. Life and finances.
Blogiversary Giveaway! Enter to Win $230 in Prizes!!
Alright, I’ve been holding out on the best part of this post – the PRIZES!!
Here’s the prizes that I’ve got for you – what you could potentially win from this blogiversary giveaway:
- GRAND PRIZE: Financial Peace University – worth $130
- This is a 9-week Dave Ramsey course that walks you though how to get out of debt and become wealthy. It’s what started my journey way back when and I’m still so grateful for the person that gifted it to me. This could just change your life.
- SECOND PRIZE: A Personal Finance Review by ME! – worth $50
- Win this and I’ll personally go over your latest transactions and help you understand where you’re overspending and how you can improve your finances!
- THIRD PRIZE: A Walmart Gift Card – worth $25
- FOURTH PRIZE: The Total Money Makeover, by Dave Ramsey – worth $25
How to Earn the Prizes:
Dang, those are some pretty nice prizes, right??
So how can you win these glorious products and services? It’s pretty simple really. Earn as many points as possible and let me know about them!
- Become a new subscriber to this site (it’s free – click here to get started) – 5 points
- Follow me on Pinterest (click here) – 5 points
- Like my Facebook Page (click here) – 2 points
- Like my Twitter Page (click here) – 2 points
- Share this post via Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest (5 points for each!)
- Tell me all that you did to earn points AND tell me what you’d like to see more of on my site in the future (3 points).
And that’s it! That’s a possible 32 points!
This giveaway will end on October 28th, 2017. I’ll read all the comments, tally up the points, and then I’ll choose the winners soon after with a random number generator tool! I can’t wait to see all the entries and announce the winners!
Again, be sure to comment about all the ways you earned points, AND tell me what you’d like to see on the site coming up.
It’s time to enter for the prizes! Be sure to tell me how you earned your points in the comments below!!
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.