2 Year Blogiversary

Hey everyone! This week marks two years of blogging for me. I first started blogging two years ago on August 10, 2011. You can find that post here (it’s weird for me to read that post!). When I first started my blog, I’m not going to lie, I was a complete mess. I probably did…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: May 24, 2023

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase via my links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. See my disclosure for more info.

2 Year Blogiversary and iPad+Cash GiveawayHey everyone! This week marks two years of blogging for me. I first started blogging two years ago on August 10, 2011. You can find that post here (it’s weird for me to read that post!).

When I first started my blog, I’m not going to lie, I was a complete mess. I probably did everything on a “bad blogger” list and then some more.

I quickly became addicted, and have made tons of awesome friends. The list could go on and on about how many bloggers I love.  There are so many bloggers that I would love to list right now, but I tried that and the list had well over 50 blogs and just looked crazy.


Oh, how life has changed.

In the past 2 years, my life has changed drastically. Back in August of 2011, I was working full-time in the same job I have now, I was a full-time Finance MBA student, and we didn’t have much money. I had tons of student loan debt also.

Neither W nor I had any side jobs, and our income was much lower than what it is now. Housing in our budget was somewhere around 30% of our take home pay, whereas now it is much, much lower than that. Food was also a budget killer for us…

We spent lots of money on things that we did not need. We were not saving. We ate out every single day, and most of the time multiples times each day. We did not have a budget.

More personal: the passing of my father and the many family issues I was going through were tearing me apart. I had to start raising my sister and I was not ready. Everything, even 3 years later after he passed, was still reminding me of my father and I would break down everywhere I went.

And that’s when I started to blog. It was a great outlet for me, and still is. Things are getting better, and are great in the financial area. In my personal life, W and I have been together for over 7 years, and we couldn’t be better.

My sister is like my child now (oh hey Lexy!) and it has been awesome watching her grow into an awesome young lady. I have begun talking to my dad’s side of the family, even though it is difficult as I am sure that I am a sad reminder.

We never thought that our lives would be like the way they are today. We have also come to realize that we can’t let money dictate our lives, and that we need to enjoy the little things. I also plan on pursuing what I love instead of stability, which brings great risks but also much more excitement and happiness.

I never thought that my student loans would be gone, and especially not so soon. << STILL shocks me.

Blogging and personal finance blogging drastically changed my life, and for the better. I definitely recommend that others should start their own blog as well.


I’m no longer anonymous.

For almost my entire blogging journey, I was anonymous. Not entirely anonymous though. But, as of a couple of months ago, the cat is out of the bag. W told a couple of people and then EVERYONE started to have questions, so now I am no longer anonymous.

It has been different, and it is still a little scary since I feel like I have no privacy now.  Oh well though, I am fine with being a more open person.


You are all awesome.

Without all of you awesome bloggers and readers, I don’t know where I would be. I receive numerous emails everyday, that range widely in topics. Many of you have emailed me about family issues, such as losing a parent(s) and your life changing dramatically. I really appreciate these emails and it helps make me stronger. Some of you email me with questions, such as about student loans or fixing your budget. I love all the emails that I receive.

I love receiving emails, comments, tweets and so on. Who doesn’t? I love getting feedback from you all. I love publishing Reader Question posts. I love talking about whatever I want to on my blog. I love it all!

I want to thank all of you for reading. I hope that you continue to enjoy what I write for years and years to come.

Miscellaneous – Diversified Finances and $50 SwagBucks Giveaway

Also, I published a new post on What Not To Do When Leaving Your Job and I provided some real life examples of how some people are crazy when they quit. Check it out and tell me your craziest story! Diversified Finances has been going great, and I’m really glad that I started a second blog for myself to detail my switch to pursuing my passion.

Lastly, before we get to the big giveaway, SwagBucks during the month of August is offering any referral of mine (old or new) that earns at least 50 Swag Bucks in total from any combination of Shop, Search, Watch, Play Answer or Discover (all the different ways to earn SBs) to be automatically entered into a drawing for a $50 gift card from the SwagBucks’ Rewards Store.

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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. Sarah Cool

    if i won id buy some early xmas gifts!!!

  2. Sherry Compton

    Don’t just put it on the card because you’ll “have the money later.” Really think about it you have to have it now, and only buy what you can afford now.

  3. Paula V

    I would use the money toward upgrading my cell to smart phone. I would LOVE to win the iPad.

  4. richelle bowers

    if I won the ipad I would give it to my hubby for xmas…if I won the cash I would save it for xmas shopping

  5. Bluish

    It`ll be the perfect gift for my brother`s birthday. I guess we`ll share it (but first, I have to win). ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Victoria C

    If I won, I would give the ipad to my husband

  7. Seven

    I’d save for a car, or for dental payments.

  8. Anna

    I would use the ipad or money for college

  9. Yajaira

    If I win this would help a lot don’t have anything

  10. SANDY



  11. jennifer m

    if i won i’d save it for christmas!

  12. Jeannie

    I would use the money to buy groceries.

  13. Jeane c

    Put the money in our “vacation piggy bank” ..when we have enough for a vacation..then and only then, do we take one. Pay it forward.

  14. Carl L Smith Jr

    congrats! Great job!
    And I would use the ipad mini for my business, it would be so very useful! If I won the second or third place prizes, I would put that towards my wife’s anniversary gift I have been saving for!

  15. desiree

    im helping my aunt pay off my grandmas funeral…

  16. Pala bacha

    Hey Congratulations…. I didn’t be able to tweet or foloow on twitter as i have no account there but i have done on Fb….
    I’ll be luckiest one if you allot me iPad ๐Ÿ™‚
    I hope for the best .Thanks for this opportunity

    Take care !

  17. Kimberly K.

    I would keep the mini iPad if I won it, because I would love to have one.

  18. Vanessa Rose Palacio

    What I would do with the prize if I won is to save for my baby’s future. <3

  19. Great to see the progress over this time, and congratulations on the anniversary! The repayment of the student loan is a great achievement. Let’s see what you can achieve over the next year…! Good luck.

  20. Thank you so much for the chance to enter this giveaway. It would sure get me a head start on Christmas if I won.

  21. I would pay a bill. Congrats on your anniversary.

  22. Ginny

    Happy 2 years! As much as I want to spend the money on myself splurging on a pair of shoes, I’d probably use the money to pay off my uni fees. Thanks for the great giveaway xx

  23. Rachael L

    Id love to win, to have something amazing to record my babys milestones!

  24. Joan L

    Would save the money for my son’s future ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. DanielM

    if 2nd or 3rd use the $ towards the bills, they’re piling up again

  26. Lynda Thomas

    If I won the iPad I would give it to my husband for Christmas. ๐Ÿ™‚ If I won the money I would use it to pay off some debt. thanks for the chance!


    if i won the IPAD, I would give it to my niece coz he loves playing in the ipad, i f i won the money, i would buy lots of food!

  28. Nadia

    My best advice is cut up the credit cards and pay in cash.

  29. Deanna Keller

    My number one financial tip is Couponing! I even have my hubby cutting them. We save thousands yearly! Happy anniversary! Great giveaway!

  30. margaret peg m

    i enter quite a few contests but never seem to win anything, however, i enjoy finding new blogs that are intelligent and fun, too. kudo’s on your 2nd anniversary!

  31. Christina Strapp

    Making a budget is what works best for my family. We do okay as long as we stick to our budget ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Michael Lambert

    The money would help out with some bills.

  33. Howell W.

    Don’t try to live above your means.

    A lot of people are pressured into buying the latest car so they can keep up appearances. While this may have its place in certain applications, I don’t feel it is a good use of resources. Common sense dictates you should not spend money you don’t have,but with the number of credit cards and payment plans available, it’s no wonder debt is so rampant.

    Don’t succumb to peer pressure into spending money you don’t have; live modestly, frugally, and sensibly, and Benjamin Franklin will smile from beyond the grave.

  34. Raquel

    I’d love the mini iPad!!! If I won the money I’d still buy an iPad ๐Ÿ˜€

  35. Jessica D

    I’m not sure if I would keep the iPad or gift it away. As for the cash, I would use it for groceries and Christmas gifts

  36. Georgia Beckman

    I would love to win the iPad. I started a small, home based business two years ago & have no electronic devices to take with me “on the go”. So when I’m away from home overnight, it is almost impossible to catch up when I get back to a computer. If I win the cash, it will go towards an iPad.

  37. Elisabeth

    Two years! Wohoooo! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve been reading your blog for the last 6 months and am always astonished at your monthly income reports, they never cease to motivate me!

    If I won the iPad I would definitely gift it to my Dad, who has been wanting one for a very long time. If I won the money I would be putting it toward our London trip next year!

  38. Anita L

    If I won, I would use the cash to help us out while hubby is laid off. Thank you for this opportunity ๐Ÿ™‚

  39. natali alvarez (nany de paz )

    if I win the ‘ipad’ the would use for school.

    if I win cash would pay the hospital bill.
    I advise you to use your money on things you really need. ๐Ÿ™‚
    thanks for the oportunity.

    les aconsejo que usen su dinero en cosas que en verdad necesiten.
    si yo gano el “ipad” la usaria para la escuela.

    si yo gano dinero en efectivo pagaria el recibo del hospital.

  40. rene chartier

    Congratulations on your anniversary. Thank you for the contest.

  41. Stacey Roberson

    Financial tip: Save money for a rainy day. You never know what tomorrow will bring.

  42. KateV

    Would really love the iPad… so many uses for it.

  43. I would save the money towards my sons’ college fund. Thanks for the opportunity!