I am a different person since I started blogging here in February 2010. It’s been more than 6 years and the personal AND financial journey in that time has been significant. Has the basics of personal finance changed much? Nope. But I don’t feel the same about them.
Main Life Changes in 6 Years
27 year old Crystal was in year 5 of a dead end cubicle position for a super conservative company and it was obviously a bad fit for me. 33 year old Crystal has been self-employed since July 2011 and works online and as a professional pet sitter.
27 year old Crystal had very few friends. The ones I had ended up drifting away as their lives moved on. 33 year old Crystal has a solid group of close friends. We all really met and started hanging out in 2011 and 2012, and it has stayed awesome.
27 year old Crystal was a dog person who happily owned two dogs. 33 year old Crystal has become a cat and dog person who actually only owns a cat. Sadly, Miss Doxie and Mr. Pug passed away in 2014. I am finally able to even think about adopting another dog again…but he/she would have to love cats since Miss Vicky is a queen here.
Honestly, 2011 was my really amazing, life-changing year. Blogging, self-employment, and maturity all sort of started hitting me at the same time. It’s been a fulfilling journey that I hope keeps going for a while!
Main Writing Changes in 6 Years
27 year old Crystal thought that every miniscule budget change was blog worthy. 33 year old Crystal actually stopped keeping up with a budget on paper a few years ago. We fully fund two Roth IRA’s, a SEP IRA, and put aside money for target-specific savings accounts. Then we live on the rest.
27 year old Crystal thought that finding a great deal on anything was blog worthy. Now I write more about personal stuff than money – my friends and family, volunteer stuff, our vacations, and pet sitting seem to be most of it.
27 year old Crystal thought a 250 word blog post was pretty much key. 33 year old Crystal has realized a post should be as short or as long as needed to get all the ideas out of her head, lol.
Finding the New Normal…Every Day
Money is still on my mind, but I feel like its purpose to me has changed. I wanted more in 2006 because I wanted to retire at age 52. Then I wanted more in 2011 so I could go self-employed and retire by age 50-60.
Now I am torn. Some days, I want to earn just enough to keep the lifestyle we have (saving for our future and living now) by working as few hours as possible since I value my time with friends and family more than anything. This would still put retirement off for another 20 or so years. Other days, I think about throwing myself back into 100+ hour work weeks to attempt to be financially independent in 7-10 years.
The great thing about blogging (and life in general) is that flexibility pays off. My journey changes significantly all the time and you boogers get to hear about nearly every step. Fascinating, right? What do you think may happen in the next 6 years?
PS: If you’d like to start your own site, I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (cheap and 24/7 support). Those are affiliate links, but they offer a solid way to start blogging cheaply. In the beginning, low overhead is key. Or if blogging isn’t your schtick, check out any of my other money making posts!
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!