Over the course of the next 8 Wednesdays, I am 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 PaidTwice from I’ve Paid For This Twice Already….
So PaidTwice, when did you start your site and why?
I spent about 4 years very ineffectively getting out of debt. The debt wasn’t getting worse but it wasn’t really getting much better either. After my second child was born and we decided to buy a house (which originally was a “someday when we are out of debt we can buy a house” thing) I realized that “someday” needed to become “today” much faster than it was. I started reading and participating in a debt support forum, committed myself to trying so hard to get out of debt it would actually hurt a little (or a lot) and discovered the world of personal finance blogging through No Credit Needed’s blog. I decided to start my own blog to keep myself accountable in this debt reduction journey, and here we are. It has become so much more than that though.
How much time do you spend each week on your site?
A… lot? I would say i spend several hours each day writing content, reading other blogs (which relates to mine as well since blogging is a community effort) and a little bit of time tweaking the back end of the blog. So I’ll say 20 hours a week. If you asked my spouse he’d probably say 50. 😉
For other people contemplating starting their own personal finance sites, what are a few tips you could offer them?
Do it! This has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done and certainly the most entrepreneurial. But actual tips – define who it is you want to reach and what you want to say, and define the reason you’ve started blogging. Don’t just do it for money. The money can be slow for a long time, and blogging just for money is an easy way to get very frustrated. You have to love your topic so you have interest in keeping it up. Blogging is fun and you don’t want it to feel like an obligation.
What are the most essential habits that you’ve formed to achieve your financial goals?
Little things matter. Keeping track of our spending and income to the penny has *really* assisted me in finding money to pay down our debt with. I spent a lot of time just “approximating” how much money we had and never breaking out of my comfort zone and throwing much extra at the debt (no wonder it wasn’t really going anywhere). Now I keep track and I know when I can send an extra $20 or $30 and it really adds up!
What achievement are you most proud of in the last 12 months?
Really, the blog is the biggest thing I’ve accomplished in the past 12 months. I started it having no idea what it could become, and as I realized the potential it had, I have really poured my heart and soul into it, and it is thriving and growing and really reaching people. I want everyone who feels trapped by their debt to realize that they can too break free of it. It isn’t easy and it is not quick but it does work. I feel like my blog inspires others who are in the same situation I was just 8 short months ago to be able to look at themselves and say – I can do this too.
What would you consider the single most important thing people can do for their finances?
Pay attention to them! I’m not talking about not doing autopays or things like that, I mean understand your overall financial picture, understand what comes in and what goes out and what gets saved and invested, and take an active role in guiding that. Have goals and dreams and work for them to happen instead of letting life happen to you. Take charge!
If you had to pick three of your own posts to call your “favorites”, which would they be?
Hmm… that is really tough. I am my own harshest critic. But, I’ll go with these:
Developing A Snowflaking Mentality – This is one of my snowflaking posts and really goes into why the little things matter, and how to get your brain to notice the little things. Snowflaking is taking small amounts of money over and over and throwing it at your debt (or into your savings or investments). I’m working hard right now on starting the snowflake revolution and inspiring everyone to make the little things count.
There’s No Shame In Not Being Able To Afford It – this is a post I wrote in the middle of the night one night when I was feeling a little trapped and angry and unmotivated, and it has turned into my most popular post ever. It just goes to show you that sometimes, telling your story with your truth is really all you need to do.
Surveys For Fun and Pocket Change – really because this illustrates my small things make a difference mentality. Online surveys seem like a silly way to try and make money (and they’re not going to pay the rent!) but just spending a few minutes a day while I’m waiting for my son’s bus to arrive or other “empty” time like that, I make a few dollars more every month to throw at the debt.
Thanks PaidTwice! And be sure to look for the interview next week with Moolanomy!