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How Did This Little Blog Make Me a Millionaire?

How Did This Little Blog Make Me a Millionaire?

Are you on the path to Financial Independence or FIRE? Do you feel the desire to save a large percentage of your income or stop yourself from wasteful spending? Have you read other personal finance blogs and listened intently for money-saving tips in podcasts? Are you excited to start on your adventure but not quite sure where to start?

When I started writing this blog, I didn’t know anything about financial independence or the quest for early retirement. In fact, in 2005, this blog had little to nothing to do with money. It began as an online journal, where I wrote about my life in general. The story of who I was, the medical crisis I was undergoing, what I did day-to-day, and not a whole lot more.

Then one day, I noticed a general theme arising from my posts. So many of them focused on the topic of personal finance. A few months after starting this blog, I changed the name to One Frugal Girl and dove into exploring my relationship with money.

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The more I wrote about money, the more I thought about it. It’s like buying a new car. Let’s say you buy a white SUV. You’ve never noticed white cars on the road before, but the minute you drive off the lot, you will see white SUVs everywhere.

The same thing happened with money. As soon as I started writing about personal finance, I couldn’t spend a day not thinking about it. It’s amazing how often we earn, spend, save, and interact with money each day.

After starting this blog, I began to have more conversations with my spouse, friends, and family members about all sorts of financial matters. I write anonymously for a number of reasons (so very few people know I own this site), but I did confide in a few friends. An investigative coworker also discovered my identity.

Before starting this blog, I didn’t track all of my expenses. I wasn’t mindful of the way I spent. While I always paid off my credit card, I still bought crap I didn’t need. I didn’t consider whether purchases brought me joy, and I certainly didn’t have a long term financial plan.

After starting this blog, everything changed. Every time I reached for my wallet, received a bank statement, deposited a check, paid a bill, or stepped inside a store, I stopped and gave pause.

The simple act of writing brought a deep awareness to my actions. Every time I stood in line or checked my bank accounts, I thought, “I’ll write about this.”

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I chose the name One Frugal Girl, and by golly, my actions mimicked the persona of a young, frugal woman. From that point forward, I acted carefully, consciously, and consistently with my money.

As time went on, I became hyperaware of our wealth. I can tell you without batting an eye how much we pay for our mortgage each month. I can rattle off our top ten expenses and provide a detailed depiction of our overall net worth.

I’ve reflected on financial decisions that go all the way back to my childhood. I know which financial decisions succeeded and those situations in which I could have done better. Over the years, this blog has refocused my attention on personal finance time and time again.

You don’t need to write a personal finance blog to become a financial success, but I wholeheartedly believe that this blog helped my husband and I reach our goals.

As I mentioned before, I didn’t start this blog with a grand plan to save a million dollars. I simply sat down and starting writing about my relationship with money. I explored my early memories involving money; the lessons I learned from my parents and grandmother.

In 2006 I viewed this blog as an online journal. It was a place where I could dump out my thoughts about income and expenses. I wrote because I enjoy writing. I just wanted a place to tell my story.

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But this lonely, tiny little blog connected me to a big, wide world full of other people. Along the way, I found other men and women who wanted to save, buck the system, live as minimalists, and not work for decades.

While the world was shouting at me to buy more, live in bigger spaces, or take extravagant vacations, this blog helped me find others who wanted to save more and dampen the noise of needless spending. I fell in love with personal finance blogs like Get Rich Slowly, Little Miss Moneybags, Newlyweds on a Budget, and Budgets are Sexy.

As my readership grew (back in the day before I took a blogging hiatus), I felt accountable to those who left comments. I wanted my story to be truthful and real. So I practiced what I preached. I searched for ways to earn more, spend less, and find happiness along the way.

I could never have imagined the impact this blog would have on my finances. Sometimes I wonder, did I become a millionaire by writing One Frugal Girl? Certainly not through ad revenue or sponsored posts. Yet writing and thinking about personal finance has most definitely impacted my net worth.

My husband and I would have found financial success with or without this blog, but perhaps we wouldn’t have reached FI in such a timely manner. In reading, researching, and writing about the topic, I have met amazing people, learned so much, and improved my relationship with money.

When I sat down to write that first post, I never could have imagined all that I would gain from this tiny, little blog. I am so happy I decided to tell my story starting way back in 2006. Thanks to the power of focus and compounding, my husband and I have reached financial independence!

Sonia

Tuesday 9th of July 2019

Well said. I feel the same about my blog, it has become a place to focus my thoughts and has allowed me to be visible and connect more with like minded people. Just because of that, more people should start blogging :-)

One Frugal Girl

Tuesday 9th of July 2019

I wholeheartedly agree! A journal is another great way to document your thoughts, but blogging is more valuable since it brings other voices into the chorus.

Rita Stewart

Friday 28th of June 2019

Thank you for this intimate share. Or at least I find it intimate as I can relate. I’ve been experiencing a transition in the content of my blog. Wondering if I should simply start from scratch or let it continue to evolve as I myself continue to evolve.

The work put in is meaningful and in some ways masterful as it’s a part of my authentic self as shared with others. So with that and reading how you accepted the change as it occurred with your content. I’m inclined to do the same, just let the content continue to flow forth as life continues to evolve. With the intent to continue to write with authenticity.

One Frugal Girl

Tuesday 2nd of July 2019

I agree. Let the content flow with authenticity. I blog to tell my story. It's still more of an online journal than a soapbox for me.

Angela @ Tread Lightly Retire Early

Wednesday 26th of June 2019

Not sure how I missed this post, but I love it! The only part I don’t love is that you can’t tag Newlyweds on A Budget because she isn’t blogging any more :( I’ve definitely seen this play out in my last two years of blogging as well though.

One Frugal Girl

Thursday 27th of June 2019

Isn't it crazy how much you start thinking about money once you start writing about it? I mean intuitively it makes perfect sense, but it's still hard for me to believe how much of an impact it's made on my life and my decisions. I'm so glad you are seeing the effects too!

Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life

Saturday 4th of May 2019

I absolutely believe that the act of blogging, and interacting with the good people in the blogging world, was integral to my learning how to be successful with money during that same timespan as well! There are so many resources that could become overwhelming but over the years, I learned to distill the raw information into useful actions that directly translated into promotions, raises, forays into investing, learning to be diligent about saving and controlling lifestyle inflation. In my own social and familial circles, I would never have learned half the things I know now.

OFG

Monday 6th of May 2019

It's so true! I think the personal ties and connections in the blogging community make it feel so much more achievable than articles in the newspaper or even books. Finding fellow bloggers and commenters with similar goals makes you think "if they can do it I can do it too." I gathered the information that would help me personally and left the other stuff behind. It sounds like your experience has been similar. Plus I've met amazing people along the way!