On February 24th, 2018, I started a new blog. No need to check my first post here, though, because that date doesn’t match up. I initially started a blog where I intended to talk about green technology. That is still a strong interest of mine, and I still talk about it here and there. But I wanted to have a blog that would appeal to the masses a little more.
So I wondered: what is something I care about that everyone cares about? I then thought about my student loans and how I was deep in student loan debt. And I knew I was not alone.
Alas, this blog was born. A blog where I would talk about personal finance for millennials.
A New Blog About Personal Finance
In case you didn’t check my first post here, I published it on March 14, 2018. Yeah, I changed directions pretty fast. It’s probably good that I did rather than working on a blog for two years and then deciding to do something else. I spent very little on that blog compared to how much I’ve already spent on this one.
Oh, and by the way, I think I had it in my head that I started my first blog in December of 2017. In fact, I’m pretty sure I told a bunch of people that. I have no idea why – maybe because it was still uncharacteristically cold here in March of this year. Either way, if you were confused, hopefully that is cleared up now. Hopefully.
My First Travel Hacking Card
Around the first time I started my first blog, I also opened the first credit card that I would specifically use for travel hacking. The oldest transaction I could find is 2/23/18, which sounds about right.
That card is the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
I successfully earned the signup bonus, which netted me 50,000 Ultimate Rewards (UR) points. Chase cards are some of the most popular cards out there for travel hacking – in part because UR points are so dang valuable.
The plan is to use those points (and some other points I’ve accumulated) toward a trip to Europe in the near future. Keep an eye out if that piques your interest because I plan to do that (and write about it) in 2019!
My First Guest Post
I’ll be honest – I haven’t written that many guests posts. One of my goals for 2019 is to collaborate with my blogger friends more.
While I’m told that from an SEO perspective that guest posts might not help that much, I still think it’s a great way to get your name out there and to get a little bit more exposure than you otherwise would.
That said, I’d like to thank Lauren of Bustin Out Beauty for being the first one to feature a guest post of mine. Thanks, Lauren!
My First Major Feature
Sometimes it feels like progress on the blog is very slow. I’m sure all you bloggers out there know exactly what I mean. But despite that, in my first year blogging, I also got my first major feature! On July 9th, 2018, I had my first feature on Rockstar Finance. The post that was featured was this one.
I also got to meet Amanda at FinCon this year, which brings me to my next first…
My First FinCon
I said this was the year of firsts, and that’s because it absolutely was. Add to those firsts the very first time I attended FinCon.
When I first started my blog, I almost immediately became active on Twitter.
I’m so glad I did because I ended up meeting a lot of people at FinCon who I already knew from Twitter which made it SO much easier. To name a few – Emilie, Lisa, Laura, Erik, Deanna, Dr. Nikki, and so many more.
All in all, it was a really awesome experience.
Read my full post about FinCon 18 here.
My First Trip to Portland
A visited my sister in November 2018 in Portland, and it was a great time!
I was only there for a few days, but we did many of the typical Portland things, like going to Voodoo Donuts and Powell’s.
Oh and by the way, the goats are just a couple of blocks away from my sister’s apartment. In other words, in the middle of a residential area. Because, ya know, Portland.
We did other fun things, like we went to a Blazer’s game, walked around Mt. Tabor Park, and went to the Chinese garden.
We did a few other cool things, like we went to a retro-themed arcade. We also went to an escape room and to Rimsky-Korsakoffee – a coffeehouse that is weird and quirky, but I kind of loved it. Again, it’s Portland, so pretty standard.
All in all, it was a great trip and I’d like to make it back someday!
My First (Hybrid) Electric Vehicle
I just had to mention this because it was something I wanted to do for such a long time.
Right around the time of starting this blog, I leased a Chevy Volt.
And trust me – I know leasing is, financially, not the best move. Especially since before getting the Volt, I was driving a 2010 Mazda 3 that I had paid off back in 2014.
Honestly, of all the financial decisions I made in 2018, this is probably the least frugal one of them all.
But that’s because it wasn’t about the money. I drive this thing exclusively on electricity nearly 100% of the time. Reducing my emissions was just that important to me.
Plans for 2019
I must admit that I don’t have a whole lot of concrete plans for 2019. I tend to “play it by ear” and this is something I definitely need to improve.
That said, now that I’ve made it over the six-month hump, I am confident in saying I fully intend to keep this blog going!
One thing I will say is that traffic has mostly stayed the same, but it does look like my search engine presence is improving slightly. That said, I want to continue to improve that and see if I can get my first month with 5,000 views. It’s a lofty goal for me, but I think with enough hard work, I can get there.
Other than that, I would also like to secure my first long-term freelance writing contract. I guess that will be another first if it happens!
What are your plans for 2019? Goals? Maybe something you’d like to accomplish financially? Let me know.