I bought my first house at age twenty-two. When I bought my second house at the ripe old age of twenty-seven I didn’t tell a soul other than my parents and my in-laws. I didn’t tell my brother, my friends or my co-workers. I didn’t want to sound like I was bragging and most importantly I had plenty of friends who were struggling to pay their rent and grocery bills. I wrote about my purchases on this blog, starting in 2006, but in the real world I remained quiet about my financial victories.
I was twenty-eight when I began to write here, which is a long cry from the year 2018 where I now sit and type this in my early forties. These days the Internet is full of boastful stories and social media is ripe with so called “friends” sharing their success stories.
In 2006 most bloggers didn’t start a blog to make money. Blogs were simply online journals that allowed us to connect with others who had similar ideas. Get Rich Slowly was the first personal finance blog I started to read and like most readers I connected to J.D. Roth because his stories were so “personal.” When J.D. sold Get Rich Slowly I stopped reading it.
Many of the new writers lacked soul in their posts. They wrote about the dollars and cents of saving, investing and earning, but they failed to highlight the human insight and psychology of money. The Internet is such a powerful bridge for bringing people together, but as we all know it can also disconnect us from the real world.
When I was a kid we only had one phone in the house. So when I wanted to talk to a friend I picked up the phone, waited for it to stop ringing, listened for the “hello” on the other end, asked my friend’s mom if my friend was at home and then finally started talking. If that is, they were actually home. When I graduated from college I would call my friends and chat with them on their cell phones. Now we send quiet text messages that can be ignored and misinterpreted.
When I was a kid I never would have dreamed about earning a living while sitting in my pajamas staring at a computer screen, yet I spent many days of my twelve year career doing just that. Waking up and writing software from the time I woke until the time I went to sleep nearly a full day later.
In this day and age we can earn money in ways that simply didn’t exist a few short decades ago. The invention of online advertising makes everyone believe they can type words into a computer and earn a healthy living and as a result there is a lot of dribble on the Internet. There was dribble before advertising but I suppose it’s authors had purer intentions.
I recently signed up for a newsletter on a personal finance blog that promised I would earn gobs of money from blogging. Every day I received an email with a link inside. That link sent me on a wild goose chase of pages that ultimately landed on an affiliate link for some product I could buy that might actually teach me how to earn money. I thought the first day or two might be a fluke, but nearly two weeks later I was still receiving emails with links that led to nothing more than affiliate links. Ugh.
Sure there was a lot of dribble before the invention of advertising, but back then it was just an every day Jane and Joe sharing his or her thoughts with the world. I felt like I knew the writers of many of those early PF blogs. Like I could meet them at one of J. Money’s happy hours, (which by the way I never made it to), and start chatting immediately about their kids, their lives, their careers and their savings.
A few years ago I stopped blogging. I began to accept sponsored posts and wrote book reviews but otherwise I stayed silent. To be honest I was out of ideas to write about. Readers stopped leaving comments and many of my favorite bloggers left the blogging landscape for similar reasons.
I attribute part of my financial success to writing this blog. I didn’t earn much money from it, but thinking and writing about the dollars and cents kept me focused on the prize of earning and saving. I started this blog as One Frugal Girl and ended it as One Millionaire.
The landscape of blogging has changed a lot in the last decade. These days I have to search a whole lot harder for quality content, but there are a lot of new faces coming on to the personal finance scene and a couple of older personalities are returning.
This blog felt like a book without a final chapter. When I started this blog I was searching for financial freedom. Just over a decade later I can say according to most people’s definitions, (not my own), I’ve already reached it.