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. Ana Lara

    If I win I would use the Ipad for my college or save it for Christmas!!

  2. I would put the money towards paying off student loans. Financial responsibility at its best πŸ™‚

  3. PC

    I would save it or use it to add to my capital.

  4. Joyce Broome

    reading your emails really help me

  5. nachiketa

    will get a new watch πŸ˜€

  6. If I were lucky enough to win this money I would pay a bill off that I have.

  7. Stefanie McMullen

    If I were to win, I would definitely put the money to good use! We need to pay down a credit card some because of some unexpected, expensive car work that needed to be done. I also have baby number 4 on the way so it’s quite possible that it would go to some much needed baby items!

    Thanks for the great tips and great contest!

  8. Vera Kusuma

    Thank you for the giveaway.I have just started with blogging and will learn more..

  9. Vera Kusuma

    Thank you for the giveaway. I have just started Blogging and will learn more

  10. Beanybopp

    If I won the money, I would put it back for our son’s booster seat πŸ™‚

  11. Use the money for wedding supplies for my child’s wedding.

  12. Victor C

    Ipad would be very handy! Ha!

  13. I pad or cash anything would help me expand my freelancing

  14. Cheryl

    We don’t buy anything on credit.

  15. Elizabeth K

    Really like your Blog and Happy Anniversary!!! I would use the prize money for xmas gifts

  16. Katie G

    Another great year for MSOC!! LOVE reading your new posts and applying what I learn to my life. My financial tip would be to stand your ground when family and friends are pressuring you to spend money, when you are trying to achieve your goals (ie – paying off student loans). It’s hard (and sometimes you give in), but in the end it is soo worth it! Cheap outings are always a compromise. πŸ™‚

  17. john lamano

    i will save it and invest it.

  18. M.Clark

    If I won, I would put the cash towards the purchase of a new laptop.

  19. Rayshawn Shallow

    I will buy some groceries

  20. Christina

    If I won I would use the money to splurge on something I really want and haven’t been able to buy.

  21. samantha s

    If I won the cash, I would use it to pay off some debt.

  22. Evelyn Chuter

    I would begin but paying off some of my bill.

  23. Sandy

    I would use the money towards bills. I’m not great with tips but I always try to not use my credit card unless I have the money right there and then to pay it off. It prevents getting into trouble. I know sometimes if you have to you have to but it’s something I at least try to do.

  24. Abdulkader

    first congrats to you guys for the 2nd anniversary. Get Paid What You’re Worth and Spend Less Than You Earn. Contribute to a Retirement Plan. Have a Savings Plan.Invest!.Maximize Your Employment Benefits.Review Your Insurance Coverages.Update Your Will. Keep Good Records.this are some of my financial tips.hope u like it. & awesome giveaway.

  25. Gianna

    Happy anniversary! Great giveaway! Thank you!

  26. I will invest the money in a business idea I have in my mind. If I win an iPad I will use it to further develop my business idea πŸ™‚

  27. Kimberly Camille Tiu

    I would splurge on clothes or buy a new camera

  28. Karen M.

    the cash will be going to my son’s college fund.

  29. Kelly Maxwell

    I would love to win this for my daughter, who just had my first grandson!!

  30. JC

    I would use the ipad for college and the money to help pay rent.

  31. sherry butcher

    If I won I’d get the laptop computer I’m trying to save for but the home keeps needing repairs so I’m not getting the money together.

  32. Peggy Hopkins

    This tip is something that I wish had been taught to me: Don’t buy things, or stuff. I was told all my life that you need this, or you need that when in actuality, I didn’t, and still don’t need any of it. Yeah, it was used once or twice, but it’s all been sitting around for years wasting away. I’m preparing to move to a much smaller residence and my mind is blow away by how much money I spent on stuff and how much it’s actually worth now. I’ve thought often over the last couple of months, if I had invested the 10’s of thousands of dollars I spend on all this stuff I could live comfortably the rest of my life without needing to work, but I didn’t and I can’t change it now, so the only option I have is to give it away, or thow it away and make sure that I never make those mistakes again.

  33. cecille

    I would love the ipad but the money I would spend to build my own house.

  34. lola

    my financial tip would be when i am not sure about buying something, i wont buy it, I go home and if next day i still want it, i will go and pick it up.

    I save quite a lot of money!


  35. Cara Daymude

    Congrats on your 2 year anniversary of your blog πŸ™‚ If I win I’d Take all cash & save it towards a car or my teeth or maybe even my tax fund i wanna start so I can have $ saved to enter Bigger sweeps I can’t afford the taxes on.

  36. Amber D

    I would give the Ipad to my fiance, his broke last year!

  37. Jane

    I will save up the money for emergency situations.

  38. Well I hope I win this for my daughter! She is going to be homeschooled and could really use this to learn on. Thanks!

  39. Craig W

    Savings Secret #1=before anything else, take 10% of any and all income and place in an interest bearing account and “forget about it!”

  40. Karla Sceviour

    If I won,I would put it towards our home renovations.

  41. Supersparklekitty

    I would like to win the IPAD mini for my husband.If I won the cash,I would save it for Christmas presents.

  42. ClΓ‘udia Martinho

    Congrats on the 2 Year Blogiversary!
    I would save most of the money for an emergency and buy a gift for my nephew.
    thank you πŸ™‚

  43. Mia Dentice Carey

    I would use the gift card for my son’s birthday or Christmas present(s).
    My number one tip is if you don’t have the money don’t buy it…if it’s something you REALLY need then pay it off ASAP!

  44. M.Clark

    If I won I would use the cash towards the purchase of a new laptop.

  45. Judy

    I would use the money to pay off my college loans!

  46. Holly Storm-Burge

    If I won, I would choose the cash and put it away for nursing school expenses. Thanks!!!!

  47. Monalisa

    Just stumbled on your blog, and am loving it. You just got a fan here.

  48. Arlene Whitfield

    If I won, I would get my kids some much need clothing for the next school year and some household items. Thanks so much for the chance!

  49. jeri boss

    i would use for christmas

  50. Nicole Sinnott

    I would use everyday for school n all.

  51. Stephanie S.

    I won the cash, I would use it for an emergency fund. If I won the ipad, I would use it for almost everything and share it with my son to help him learn.

  52. I would buy myself something new and decroate my bathroom.

  53. Kimberly Guerrero

    If I win I am going shopping for school and the iPad mini will just come very handy for school.

  54. Barendd

    saving for a new house

  55. Faye Mc

    Pay yourself first is my financial tip.

  56. bogdan mohora

    If I win , I will keep the mini ipad and the money for better times to spend on it.

  57. Nicole

    Best tip; track your spending on your own and fully understand where your money goes.

  58. Adriane

    I’d pay it on my credit card

  59. Joan

    Saving for baby’s baptism πŸ™‚

  60. Kathleen

    Congratulations on your Blog Anniversary! I just stumbled onto your blog and sadly to say, I’m not very savings savvy. I hope to spend some time on here and maybe learn a thing or two. If I win the iPad Mini, I will be thrilled! And if I win the $150, I will add $150 of my own to that and start a new savings plan to see how far and how much I can make with it, according to your blog’s advice. If I win the $100, well… just keepin’ it real! I’ll have a night out on the town. (I live in a VERY small town and it doesn’t take much! LOL)

  61. violette

    iΒ΄ll probably buy a gift to my best friend on birthday and buy some shoes cause rainy days are comming and i have just flipflops πŸ˜€

  62. Cut down on Starbucks to save money πŸ™‚

  63. Cynthia Sizemore

    if I win this prize I will buy my son some new jeans,have someone design my blog,and buy something for my grandbaby due in February.

  64. Congratulations on two years! I would put the money towards my wedding and mortgage πŸ™‚

  65. Brandi Price

    I would keep it for Christmas gifts!

  66. krsz

    I’ll probably save the money for college.

  67. MPaula

    Pay off credit cards in full every month OR cut up the card!

  68. MPaula

    Cannot subscribe to your feed. Tried twice.

  69. I have entered so many contests! My husband just started law school so this website and all of the blog I just followed are going to help tremendously! Looking forward to budgeting our way through the next 3 years of law school and me finishing my undergraduate.

  70. Wendy Lindsey

    If I won the iPad, I’d share it with my family. If the cash, I’d use it for Christmas! πŸ˜€
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  71. Donna Williams

    I would love to have an iPad to use in my classroom! Congratulations on your journey to discover your “voice” and the influence you are having on your readers. Never underestimate the power of what you are publishing.

  72. Precious Mae

    I am going to save it for Christmas, if ever I won. My one financial tip is that is you win something from a raffle and the prize seems big, don’t use it immediately. Let it rest for a while because we have the tendency to use it all. I hope it made sense.

  73. Tiffany Dover

    I would love to keep it for myself but can’t do that. I’d give it to my sister in law for college

  74. Noel

    My number one financial tip would be that if something is not a “need” then I shouldn’t really be buying it. If I really seem to “want” something then I look at how it will benefit not only me but as well as my family. πŸ™‚ This has helped me save a lot of money and not be too impulsive when buying things.

  75. Noel

    My number one financial tip would be that if something is not a “need” then I shouldn’t really be buying it. If I really seem to “want” something then I look at how it will benefit not only me but as well as my family. πŸ™‚ This has helped me save a lot of money and not be too impulsive when buying things.