Happy Blogiversary! Spills Spot Turns One
One year ago tomorrow, on January 28th 2016, I published my first personal finance blog post on Spills Spot.
It’s been an awesome first year. There are a lot of areas in which I’ve grown, and a lot of lessons I’ve learned along the way. Blogging takes a lot of effort, patience, and perseverance. I expected it to be a big project, but I don’t think I realized how much work it takes to write consistently and for a blog to grow. That being said, I don’t regret starting this journey one bit.
In total, including this one, I published 53 posts in my first year of blogging. While some bloggers are able to crank out 2-3 posts per week, I’m proud I was able to maintain consistency of at least one post per week. Hopefully in my second year I’m able to see that number grow a little more.
My vision and goals for Spills Spot have slowly changed over time. When I first started the blog, my thought was that it would be an effective way to improve various skills and could act as a portfolio for my future career path. It quickly turned into a huge passion to learn as much as possible about personal finance and then pass that knowledge on to other people.
Now the number one focus is that I want to inspire my generation to be more interested in personal finance and improve at managing their money. Money weaves it’s way into almost all areas of life. This can be extremely stressful, or can open up a lot of freedom and opportunities, depending on your financial situation. I wanted to break down financial topics in such a way that made them more accessible and easier to understand.
I’ve also met the very encouraging and supportive personal finance blogging community. It has been incredible to see how so many different bloggers interact with each other, become friends both online and in person, and are all pulling for each other to reach their goals. I’ve learned so much through other bloggers, and I hope to return the favor by sharing my perspective.
Any time someone shares a post or comments that they enjoyed it, I feel very humbled and gratified. If one person can learn something that helps them improve where they’re at financially, the hours of writing were worth it. I truly want to make a positive impact on my generation.
There’s a certain vulnerability found in writing, and also in other arts. With writing, music, painting, acting, etc. You’re sharing a part of your heart with people, and are often unsure how it’ll be received.
With everything I write, I put a lot of thought, time, and effort in. I find myself unable to hit “Publish” on a post until it’s crafted in just a certain way. Sometimes this means that I’ll go weeks without publishing something new, but I want everything that is posted to be my best effort. Even in the midst of the busiest weeks, my mind can’t stop buzzing with ideas of what I want to write about next.
I also blog because it sharpens me. It keeps my mind always thinking creatively and it’s a productive use of my available free time. It’s immensely satisfying to be producing something of my own.
Anyways, thank you all for following along with me throughout this first year at Spills Spot! I promise there is plenty more to come during 2017 and beyond. I’ve learned a lot this year and am continuing to grow. I’ve got a lot in store for this next year, including a site re-design in the near future, building up an email list, and potentially beginning to publish quality guest posts.
To conclude, here are some of the highlights from this first year of blogging. These include some of my favorite posts, and some that have been the most popular:
- “How We’ve Paid Off Over Half Our $27,000 of Student Loan Debt in 10 Months” – This post is an in depth look at the strategies we’ve implemented in our finances that have helped propel us to have been able to pay off about $15,000 of student loan debt over a 10 month period. We’ve now paid off about $19,000 in total over the last 12 months.
- “Money Lessons from Childhood & the Privilege of Having Present Parents” – My childhood and my parents have shaped me into the man I am today. This posts talks about some of the lessons I’ve learned from reflecting on my upbringing.
- “Finding Joy Through Generosity” – Generosity and helping other people is what I want my life to center around. In this post I talk about how accumulating money and possessions aren’t my priority, instead my goal is to build up wealth for other reasons.
- “The Quickest Way to Achieve Wealth” – This post talks about how important it is to avoid lifestyle inflation, and how this simple principle can be a catalyst for building wealth.
- “How I Utilize Mint for Our Monthly Budget” – I think this is probably my favorite post I’ve written this year, and I’ve had multiple friends find it useful for their own lives. I think it’s very helpful for anyone looking to start tracking their spending and giving Mint a try. In this post I share about our main monthly budget categories and how Mint has been life changing for our finances.
- “My Experience Working in Minor League Sports” – This post is an in depth look at my “side hustle” of working for a minor league baseball team, and gives you a little bit of a closer look at my story.
- “Discovering a New Passion + A Simple Savings Strategy” – In this post I detail how I discovered my passion for personal finance. I also discuss the savings strategy we use and how you can implement it for yourself.
- “Why I Won’t Pay My Child’s College Tuition” – One of my first posts I wrote, and also one of my most controversial ones. It details why I’m not planning to fully fund my future children’s college tuition, as a result of my own college experience. This was also my first post to be featured on The Financial Diet.
- “Don’t Be Insane, Challenge Everything” – In order for improvement to occur in our lives, we need to make the necessary changes. This post talks about how we need to analyze each line item of our budgets closely, so that we’re left with only what truly brings value to our lives.
- “5 Reasons Why I’m Thankful for My Student Loans” – In this post I put a positive spin on my student loans. During this past year, debt payoff has been our biggest financial focus. However, there were also important lessons that I’ve been able to learn from them.