Over the course of the next 8 Wednesdays, I am going to posting interviews with the other members of the M-Network so you can get to know them a little bit better. If you don’t already read these sites, you really should check them out! To be fair I am going in alphabetical order by site name, and next up is Gibble from Gather Little By Little.
So Gibble, when did you start Gather Little By Little and why?
I started Gather Little by Little on July 1st of 2007. A few months earlier, I stumbled on a few personal finance blogs in an effort to learn more about personal finance and get my own finances under control. As I started learning and talking to people about what I was learning, I realized that this information was something people could really benefit from and I could offer a perspective on. I started a blogger personal blog, and found that most of what I was writing was about personal finance.
I decided I wanted to start a blog focused on personal finance, but from a Christian perspective. Since I’m Christian, all of what I do is influenced by my faith. I struggled for a few weeks trying to come up with a name. While reading my Bible one evening, I came across Proverbs 13:11 and knew I had found the right name.
How much time do you spend each week on your site?
Well, according to my wife, far too much! Seriously though it depends, but I would say on average 2 hours a day, so 10 hours a week or so. An article generally takes me about an hour or so to write. The remainder of the time is spent reading other blogs, tweaking my theme, working with advertisers, etc. etc. I recently completely re-vamped my sites theme, and I spent a large part of a few weekends working on that. That’s the exception though.
Blogging takes far more time than I thought, but I enjoy it. Blogging really is a lot of work and writing the articles is just one portion of it.
For other people contemplating starting their own personal finance sites, what are a few tips you could offer them?
Find your niche. There are literally thousands of personal finance blogs out there and new one’s being added daily. To be successful, you really need to find a niche that isn’t occupied by someone else. Mine is personal finance with a Christian perspective.
Once you find your niche, choose a name that’s easy to remember and fits your niche. Keep the domain name as short as possible. Honestly, mine is a little too long.
Don’t over think it, once you have a niche and a name, just start writing. You’ll find soon enough what you enjoy writing about. I’ve heard a number of bloggers say “you will find your voice”, but I believe your voice finds you, it just takes a little time.
What are the most essential habits that you’ve formed to achieve your financial goals?
Budget, budget, and budget some more. Creating a monthly budget and tracking it daily has been the key to us controlling our money, instead of our money controlling us. My wife and I do our budget together and then meet to review it weekly. Just setting ourselves limits and staying accountable to each other has made a huge difference.
We also cut our expenses by selling a new truck and camper we were making payments on. This really helped with “living on less than we earn”.
What achievement are you most proud of in the last 12 months?
Paying off 4 credit cards, and paying on average $800.00/month against our debt. It’s an amazing feeling slowly watching our debt go away after having it pretty much rule our finances for so long.
What would you consider the single most important thing people can do for their finances?
If they are struggling with credit cards and/or “living” on them, cut them all up. Credit cards and my irresponsible use of them has wrecked havoc on our finances, and we’re paying the price now.
If you don’t have credit card debt, live on less than you earn and save/invest everything you can.
If you had to pick three of your own posts to call your “favorites”, which would they be?
How to Get Your Finances Under Control, One Small Step at a Time – This will always be my favorite article and series as it was the first real article I wrote for Gather Little by Little.
Keeping it real: Confessions of a personal finance blogger – This is my favorite as it made me really realize how great my readers are and how wonderful the members of the personal finance blog community truly are.
Could be good, could be bad – This is an article I recently published, but one I am very proud of and means a great deal to me
And be sure to look for the interview next week with I’ve Paid For This Twice Already”¦!