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Hey Regulars, What Have You Been Up To?!

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The blogging community as a whole used to a hub of chatter, gossip, life updates, and online friendships.  It’s still alive and kicking, but it seems a lot quieter now than it was in 2009-2011.  How are all of you doing?  I know life is amazingly busy for a lot of us, but specifically, what’s been going on?  I miss chatting regularly with all of you!

My Summarized Life Update

Crystal and Mr. BFS Lovey Dovey
Okay, so it’s mushy, but I love it.

To help catch anyone up on my end, I started Budgeting in the Fun Stuff (BFS) when I was 27 years old in February 2010.  I’m now 31, still married to the same Mr. BFS, we now both work from home but still have our own side hustles too (reffing and pet sitting respectively), and we still live right outside of Houston, TX.  Our income has fluctuated from $5000 a month all the way up to $23,000 a month and back to $6000 just while you’ve known me.  We have lost two grandparents since I started blogging, but I’ve also gained a brother-in-law to be and I have a niece or nephew on the way.  We recently lost our two dogs that I wrote about a lot too, but I started a pet sitting business earlier this year to help fill in that pet blank and because I seem to prefer money over free time.


We’ve also moved into a larger home in 2012 that we truly enjoy.  My main personal finance view point is still that it is very possible to live within your means while still enjoying life in the way you want the most.  I write a lot about how to have fun on a budget or how to save for expensive fun while also planning for your golden years.  My favorite saying is “You can have anything but you just can’t have everything”.  Life is about prioritization.  My husband and I are having to prioritize more now than ever since we do own two homes now (our last one is now our rental property), and there are a lot of expenses that are no longer flexible.

Our Rent House - Now All Ours
*Doing the happy dance, doing the happy dance!*

I’d label myself as a realistic optimist in general, although I have bad days too.  My long-time readers seem to think that I am a pure ball of energy and are the most supportive commenters ever.  I rarely show my bad days here since I’d like at least all of y’all to only see the best side of me.  Yay for writing! Speaking of which, I have published two eBooks (both in the left sidebar), “How I Make Money Blogging” and “Managing Your Monthly Nut”.  The blogging one is definitely the most popular, and I do not mind at all.  I definitely enjoyed writing that one more and that probably showed up in my work.

A Hot, Colored, Mess
And here we are after the festivities at a 5k color run! From left to right – Ivy, Isabelle, me, and Anne

My life centers around the people in it.  My husband and I are extremely thankful for our local support network and spend as much time with our closest friends as possible.  I write about our cheap fun like board gaming potlucks as well as our splurges like our annual summer vacations.  Honestly, you may have noticed that I write about pretty much everything.

Now You

So, what have you been up to recently?  How has life been treating you?  How would you describe yourself when it comes to your financial and life-in-general mindsets?

FYI:  I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 per year.  I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $70,000-$90,000 through blogging, professional pet sitting, hubby's reffing, and our rental home.  If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you, PLUS a free custom header banner from me!).  Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!
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16 thoughts on “Hey Regulars, What Have You Been Up To?!

  1. I just accepted a new job offer, so we’re moving – to Pittsburgh, PA. We’re in a bit of a holding pattern as we see how new expenses and incomes shake out. We’re really looking forward to a smaller mortgage (estimated $1k/mth less!), but having about the same incomes as we do now.

  2. Life is good! We have been staying very busy and our student loan debt is now gone! We are currently building up a massive emergency fund while enjoying the Florida beaches this summer.

  3. I’ve noticed that the blogsphere has changed a lot in the the last few years. As you know, I used to blog at ‘The Single Saver’ but now rarely post there. It became too commercialized and about writing what the advertisers wanted. It got to where it wasn’t fun. I now blog about my life at ‘My house, My Rules!’. I have no schedule and no expectations and just write when I feel like I have something worthwhile to say. I am having fun blogging again… and that is why I started to begin with.

    As for me, in the last few years I have grown my rental business. I now have 6 units and would like to add another 2-6 more in the next decade. If I do that I will likely go into property management full time and quit the day job. I am also in the process of adopting – the home study is done so now I just wait for the perfect match. That could happen tomorrow, or it could happen in 3 years. I have no debt, but now I am planning for the three months I will be taking off from the day job when I do the adoption – it will be unpaid so I am taking the time now to get creative with my money management so I can save a little extra to cover expenses during that time. Strange as it may sound to some, this aspect of planning is fun for me. I currently have 4 cats and 3 dogs and a large garden (my main hobby!), plus the day job and my rental business and occasional blogging so I have no trouble staying busy. LOL!

    So that’s my life in a brief nutshell. Thanks for this post, Crystal. I can’t wait to hear what everyone else has been up to.

  4. @Mom of 3, ooh, congrats on the new adventure! Hope you love it!

    @Lance, remember sunscreen! 😉

    @Denise, I’m so glad you continued blogging even if it meant starting a new site. 😀 Wowza on the rental empire! Mr. BFS and I should have gone that route I think, but now it’s going to be a little harder since our fixed expenses are about double what they were. Oh well, we all choose our paths. Good luck with the match!!! Based on the times I actually talked to you, you’d make a great mom. 🙂 And I wish I lived in your area since you obviously need a pet sitter once in a while. 😉 Thanks for chiming in!!!

  5. Hi friend! We’re like grandparents in this blogging world 🙂 I’ve noticed a lot of changes too, but the one I hate the most is the deletion of blogrolls which made it easy to read other great blogs 🙁 And partially the reason I launched so we can easily find others!

    It’s def. gotten more commercialized too, but of course hard to complain about that since we’re all trying to take advantage of it 🙂 I could do without reading sponsored posts 24/7 though!

    Excited hang again at FINCON… always the best place to be to catch up and chill with other like-minded bloggers… And this time in New Orleans no less!

  6. @J Money, I agree – I kept my blog roll out of stubbornness until I realized I rarely updated it. Now I mention new blogs whenever I do roundups. 🙂 I don’t mind sponsored posts unless that’s all a site becomes…then it’s just a sad death. And yeah, I’m looking forward to Fincon too!

  7. Ive stuck with my favorites but I used to keep up with sooo many. Now its hard to find new blogs that I connect with. Ive always liked yours as I felt you kept things real. Ive been on livejournal for 10 years and tried to start my own blog but didn’t like it. I couldn’t get comfortable with putting so much of me out there. In real life I hate when people stare at me and I felt a bit like I was on stage with blogging. I could never be an actor haha

  8. I think I’ve been around since 2011? Crazy how time flies.

    Though, I don’t comment very often, I do read your posts when they hit my e-box! 🙂

    Keep on rockin’, Crystal!

  9. I’m still blogging… just in another niche. Health and wellness is my focus now and I’m going to be participating in my first color run next month.

    I’ve lost 47 pounds in the past two years and have a goal to lose 30 more. I love reading your blog and keeping up with you. Hopefully, we can see each other IRL some time in the future!

  10. Interesting post. I do not qualify as a regular but I used to blog under Aloysa. Sold my sites in 2013, left the PF blogosphere and now I am back as Matilda. Life settled a bit, changed my direction and hopefully will be back blogging about a lot of things. Again. Blogging is addictive and I do miss it. It also evolves and changes. Constantly. I think this is what’s happening.

  11. @Mrs. Money, it is nice to catch up!

    @Amanda, yeah, blogging isn’t for those who don’t want the spotlight (yay for being an attention monger, lol). Thanks for reading along and chiming in here!!!

    @David, congrats on 3-4 years too!

    @Kay Lynn, wow, congrats on losing the weight and keeping it off! Hopefully I’ll see you at Fincon!

    @Matilda, welcome back! Hope your family stuff worked itself out.

  12. Even though I’ve been blogging on-and-off for a couple of years, I feel like I’m still developing my personal finance beliefs. I agree with you, though – you can have anything, just not everything – and that’s okay! Save on things you don’t really care about and splurge on what matters! Those things will be different for everyone. For me, I don’t care too much about shoes/clothes as I once did, so I’ve cut that spending down (not completely) and I’ve splurged more on dates with The BF, relaxation time for myself, and future me (aka retirement fundz).

  13. Your husband’s saying is terrific! I have to say that the PF blogosphere has definitely changed, though I feel like I can still blog about whatever I want. Yet, I think that’s because I never became very big to begin with, so no one told me what I HAD to publish (thank goodness). As for personal life, I’m STILL in a credential program – working on my second one – but landed a job as a middle school teacher over a year ago and love it.

  14. I was *just* thinking of all the people who were commenting/blogging as few as 3 years ago who aren’t around anymore, forget going back to when I started .. six? eight? years ago.
    We have a lot going on now between ramped up jobs and adding a dog to the household and the next six months are going to be even more booked with travel and life changes I can’t share just yet 🙂 Probably explains why the blog stays a hobby and never grew into a business.

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