As I was getting together my last roundup post, I came across Frugal Portland’s Why I write here — the Frugal Portland way. I was inspired to write out my blogging philosophy as well.
The Start of BFS
I started Budgeting in the Fun Stuff (now widely known as BFS) because I was enamored with personal finance blogs. Seriously, I had an addiction. I didn’t even know they existed until the last part of 2009, but by the time I started BFS in February 2010, I was hooked.
I was reading more than 50 sites a week and checking back in to all of them to see if my comments were replied to in any way. And my comments kept getting longer and longer like the posts themselves.
I started thinking of starting a blog of my own when people like FMF (blogger) and MikeS (commenter) over at Free Money Finance suggested that my voice was special.
Then I was pushed over the edge by commenters at Get Rich Slowly that were picking on a self-made millionaire for outsourcing chores and lawn care. I hate bullies. And I seriously can’t get behind telling people that they shouldn’t use extra money to outsource things that they don’t enjoy.
That actually pushed me into starting a blog about the fun parts of life. I never carried credit card debt and didn’t have any big story to motivate people into saving, but I am a stubborn redhead with a ton of opinions and I figured I could at least write for myself.
I had no idea what BFS would become.
Readers and Money
In a year, readers like you were literally pouring in just to watch the progress. Your comments keep me going in case you didn’t know. I could have 1,000,000 readers, but a comment-less post is sort of worthless to me. It means that I didn’t inspire anyone enough to take a couple of minutes to add their two cents. I want everybody’s two cents. I love that. I read every single comment and try to reply to them all as well (either in the comment section or in a direct email). I also love the interaction between commenters in the comment section because it means my blog is an actual hang-out and not just a bunch of posts thrown together.
With the blog growing and my first money coming in, I realized that my addiction wasn’t fading like it does with most hobbies. I was more fired up than ever. It then dawned on me that I finally found something I enjoyed enough to pursue as a full-time career. But I didn’t really know how to make that leap or keep growing enough for it to be realistic.
The Start of My Career
Kay Lynn asked for my help negotiating a deal in March 2011. Then Dr. Dean at The Millionaire Nurse and Andy at Tight Fisted Miser heard about it and signed up with me too. Within a month, I had 10 clients, then I quit in July 2011 when I had about 40 clients overall. By November 2011, I had 100+. That meant that in early 2012, Mr. BFS joined me at home to help since my brain was about to fry with my 100 hour work weeks. It’s now early 2013 and we have more than 325 clients. It’s just freaking amazing. There is no other way to describe the journey thus far.
Ups and Downs
There have been haters and Google slaps. I’ve had happy dance moments and mini-breakdowns. I have those days where I am walking on sunshine and days that I want to reach through the screen and strangle a few people. But overall, my life is better than I ever could have expected.
The funniest part is that this is coming from someone that never was too excited about the idea of entrepreneurship and just wanted a little stable income for 30-40 years while she saved for retirement. I really never, ever thought in February 2010 that the online world would ever be my career. I didn’t even know that I had a skill like negotiating that others would happily pay for.
Please, when you look at my story, don’t immediately think that I just got lucky. Luck was a little part of it, but absolutely everyone can do something they love and at least make some money with it. I am not crazy special in a way that no one else is…I just found my thing and am holding on as tight as I can.
It does take a little luck to find that perfect thing for you, but then it’s just a matter of effort and time to grow it into a job. Lots of effort and lots of time, but you won’t mind because it kicks butt. Nothing feels like a waste when you are having fun with it. Please, please, please, take my story for exactly what it is – proof that anyone, even a girl that was too lazy to leave a crap job in 6 years, can grow something and call it their own just by reaching out to others and finding a niche.
The BFS Way
Overall, the financial BFS Way is to pay your bills, save for your future, and budget in the fun stuff along the way. But the reason you probably started reading – BFS is my way of trying to connect, make friends, and develop a place to hang out. This is my journal, my life stories, and some of my humor (I leave the dirtiest stuff out, lol). You are my friends, my accountability partners, and the observers of my life. You are the reason I love BFS and I can never thank you enough. The true philosophy of BFS is that life is what you make of it and who you surround yourself with. So thank you for making my life better just by reading, commenting, and sharing here too.
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 $80,000-$100,000 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!). I even have all of my favorite tools on a resource page - I hope they help you too. Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!