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 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.
Here’s a sign-up code for those of you who might be new to SwagBucks, for anyone that hasn’t signed up but wants to be part of the giveaway: MAKINGSENSE70 — will give anyone who signs up 70 SB instantly when they redeem this code upon registration. Make sure when you sign up, you click on the text “I have a sign up code” (it can be small and hard to see, but definitely look for it) to put in the code. It’s live now through Aug 31st. This $50 gift card giveaway is ONLY available to Making Sense of Cents readers who click on my referral link as that’s how the lovely people at SwagBucks are tracking the entries. Thanks SwagBucks!
It was also My Money Design’s 2 year Blogiversary the other day as well, so give MMD some love!
Interesting blog you have here, everything is. . . economically pleasing 😀
Miss Angie says
I already entered over at Olive and Ivy, but I’d totally use it for school since I’m going back!
Congratulations on your two year anniversary! I loved reading your first post just now too. I think your story is really inspirational and I will be voting for you in the Plutus Awards. 🙂
Interesting blog, it’s economically pleasing to read 😀
Kelly R. says
My top blogging tip is always to be truthful.
I’d use the money to buy clothes and shoes.
My e-mail: blackasphodel(at)yahoo(dot)com
Congratulations on making it to the two year mark! You’ve come such a long way and continue to be an inspiration to so many, including me. I would give the iPad mini to my mom so that we could facetime each other! She got a little spoiled playing with my iPad before she moved.
Cindy B says
I’d love to win so I’d have a tablet for traveling…the cash would come in handy for our upcoming trip to China!
If I won, I would use the mini ipad to read all the wonderful ebooks I have stored on my laptop.
With the cash, I would store it away for my husband’s and I 5th anniversary. We are taking a family road trip to Texas and I couldn’t be more excited for it 🙂
If I won — I would use the money to buy groceries (it’s been a tough month!).
If I win, I’ll use the money to pay bills.
Elise @ Sunday Charm says
My financial tip is to pay everything with cash. We use the envelope system and it helps us control our spending SO WELL. Almost too well (haha!).
Really like saving money. It is like a hobby now. With the new digital hydro meters we have on our home we can see our usage daily. It is amazing how much money we saved hanging our clothes on the line during the summer.
Congrats on 2 years! What a long way you’ve come, baby! Thanks so much for mentioning me in your post the other day!! Nice giveaway, too. If I won, I’d throw the $ towards the wedding. I’d be awfully tempted to just take the mini, though…
steve weber says
first of all.. congrats on 2 years!!!
second.. I would probably use the money towards Christmas presents.
If I won the cash I would put it towards my credit cards!
If I win I would put the money towards my tuition
carol ann says
A bit desperate here. Jobless. -_-
More power, blogger!
Congrats on 2 years! I love reading your blog and have been cheering you on as you paid off your school debt. Totally inspiring.
My #1 financial tip is to use cash as much as possible.
I would like to give the ipad to my daughter if I won. She really wants one and congratulations on your two years.
Jessica Snow says
First I would like to say Congratulation’s on your anniversary! That is so awesome. You do a great job. =)
My advice is never open more then one credit card and make sure to pay your bills in full. You never know when you’re going to lose a job and then you’re in trouble.
Thanks for the giveaway! =)
Congratulations on the 2 year anniversary =)
Kostas @ Finance Blog Zone says
What a way to celebrate, eh? Congrats to your two years in business, hopefully you will get the cherry on the top during the Plutus Awards!
The Warrior says
Congrats on the blogging anniversary. I one day hope to be as successful of a blogger as yourself.
Anastasia b says
I would use the iPad for work or the cash for bills
Jessica Fortner says
Happy anniversary and I wish you many more years of success!
chris z says
If I won the ipad mini i would really like how to use it to become more efficient
I would put the money in the bank for the home we’re trying to purchase. I’ve been saving every last penny for a long time and the extra money would certainly help! Congrats on your anniversary!
Sandi Tymchuk says
I learned a lot from the book, “Your Money or Your Life,” basically aligning spending with one’s values and priorities.
Your story is so inspiring! My husband and I are aggressively paying off student loans and preparing for our first baby. A lot at once, but we are making progress! Your tips are so helpful and encouraging!
If I won any of the prizes I would make a little trip 🙂
I would use prize to celebrate my husband’s 50th in October!
Congrats on your two year anniversary!!!! 🙂
Congrats on the blog anniversary! If I won the money, I’d probably put it towards an iPad 🙂
Jo-Ann Brightman says
I would use the money towards Christmas gifts
If I win the prize will be going to my daughter
Tiffany Drew says
Happy Blogoversary!!! If I won, I’d share the iPad with my family, especially my son who has been asking for one for years. Thank you!
MMD @ My Money Design says
Congrats on Turning 2! And thank you so much for the mention in your big anniversary post! I had no idea that you and I started our blogs the same week. I must confess – you’d done an outstanding job! Your monthly income posts kill me because I know that I’ve got a long, long ways to go before I see those kinds of dollar signs trickle in. Here’s to making it to year 3 and beyond!
Tiffany Mann says
If I won the Ipad mini I would give it to my daughter who is entering high school to do homework on. The money would go towards paying off a bill.
Kitty Iecvan says
I would use the ipad or buy groceries with the money. Congrats!
Wow! Congratulations for the 2nd anniversary ^_^
I found brilliant posts and ideas on your blog and thumbs up for the awesomeness!
If I won this giveaway (btw a BIG THANK YOU for this fabulous contest) then I would use the money towards investing it in a business, where I would help others to make money online as a spare income or even full-time income. Also I wish to write some books as well on this same subject and other subjects too. 🙂
I have the support of my wonderful fiance♥ so I’m blessed.
I always look for coupons and use them whenever possible. I think one thing we all should do is think twice before you buy. Ask yourself “do I really need this now?” If not wait and don’t buy on impulse.
I would love love love to win! Great giveaway!
Finally, I would be able to explore that app-world….
Tom Bellamy says
I will buy Christmas presents if I win.
Anna A. says
I’d get some yummy treats for my loved ones. 🙂
Gabriel Rossi says
First: congratulations on your two years!
My tip: cuppons and wait for offers.
If I win, I’ll use the Ipad for reading some books =)
Zan C says
I would give the iPad to my husband and use the money toward a home remodel. My tip is to pay all debt off asap.
iPad would come great, my mp4 broke and my phone isn t doing very well hehe so that would be great to win 🙂 and money , i wpuld put it in bank in my savings for vacation for the next year 🙂
carla bonesteel says
My best tip is to teach your kids how to save and spend wisely when they are very young…I didn’t learn and I’m terrible with money!
Budget and save each month
My financial tip is simple but it works: take care of your credit card. Just use it after you have the money to pay the bill 😉
Daily Woman (Lacey) says
Congrats on 2 years.
If I won I would give the Ipad to my husband.
Congrats on your 2 years! I am a new follower of your blog and I love coming here and reading all of your great and very informative posts. If I won I would use the money to buy some new clothes because I have not bought myself anything in years. I make sure that my son has before anything else. Thank you for the awesome and so very generous giveaway!!!
pinky sade says
my financial tip is to treat your credit card like cash, as in use it for things you can pay! Debt sucks!
j gentry says
We are slowly but surely paying off a couple of credit cards. Best advice I can give is to just keep at it, you can do it!!!
I think my #1 tip is to always be true to yourself. Otherwise, you blog is going to flounder.
Congrats on the two years! I’ve only become a regular reader a month or so ago, but have read through many of your older posts. You’ve come such a long, long way from where you are in the beginning and it seems like there are only better things to come in the future. I’ve also voted for yours and your sisters blog for the award. Best of luck!
My way to save money is to coupon and buy things only on sale.
its great to see one discover the power of following your dreams and saving money
Happy 2 year blogiversary Michelle!! You are one of my favorite bloggers and I wish you continued success in all you do!!! 🙂
Kristine @the foley fam says
We are SO close to paying off our car! The moolah would go straight there and I wouldn’t even blink! Fingers crossed 🙂 THANKS for the awesome chance!
Sarah B says
I don’t buy anything, except for true emergencies like a car breakdown, with a credit card. If I can’t pay cash, then I need to wait.
I’d take the cash and make investments. Afterall I have learnt a lot from your blog. 🙂
Sarah L says
Use your TV to watch DVDs you get from the library. Kill the cable. Save yourself lots of money.
Thanks for the contest.
Eva @ Girl Counting Pennies says
Happy 2 Year Blogiversary Michelle!!! 🙂
If I were to win the ipad, I would be using it for my business! I currently use my ipod touch (which I only originally got for my music) but a larger screen would be sooo much easier – I could just update facebook, twitter, pinterest etc & receive facebook alerts & reply to emails & enquiries etc without having to log on & off the computer several times a day.
The Norwegian Girl says
Congratulations on the 2 years blogging anniversary!:-D and here´s to many more:-)
I know I haven´t been around in the blogosphere this summer, but I´m back now, and I´m really looking forward reading more on your great blog:-)
Jennifer Gorman says
Congrats on 2 yrs, you should be very proud! Its actually inspirational to read how much your life can change in such a short time. Recently divorced, I am building up the courage to make a move out of state to start fresh, and hearing stories like these makes me believe I can do anything if i put my mind to it.
Debbie Petch says
I put a small amount of money aside every week and do not touch it!
Wish I learned about money management sooner!
I would pay my electric bill then have an expensive dinner!
tequila grizzard says
Congrads on ur two year anviersary.