Reflecting back on one year of blogging

This week marks the one-year anniversary of Cash Fasting. In one whole year, I’ve paid off the last of my student debt, opened investing accounts outside of retirement, and started my journey towards FIRE. Those are some big moves! Blog-wise, I’ve written 85 posts and tens of thousands of words. Today, I’m looking back at everything that’s happened on this blog in the past year, and what I’ve accomplished so far.

My top three posts, to-date:

The secret to saving money is to trick yourself into being poor
This is still a small blog. In the past few months, I’ve seen a lot more traction on social media, and it seems like each post I put out does better than the last. Part of the credit for this post’s performance also goes to My Strategic Dollar, who included it in a weekly roundup. Clearly, sharing is caring when it comes to blogging. ☺️

How I paid off $35K of student debt in 3 years
No surprise that this is a top post. I hit this milestone back in June, and the post continues to perform well because 1) it’s a debt payoff story, 2) it’s currently pinned to my twitter profile, 3) it’s a go-to link for when I do guest posts.

Living on less: You don’t need as much as you think
This is a much older post but is still within the top three because of some retweets at the beginning of the year from bloggers with huuuuuge social followings. It also spent a few months as my pinned tweet on Twitter and is my best-performing Pinterest pin to-date (not that that means much, as I still don’t know what I’m doing on Pinterest).

Cash Fasting Challenges:

I’ve done five challenges so far; there are more to come! I’m actually in the middle of one right now, which you can expect to read at the end of September. There are also some guest challenges in the works, which I’m excited to share! Although the idea for Cash Fasting came from these challenges, most of my writing has been spent covering a wide variety of topics.

What are some the best things that have happened as a result of this blog?

I’ve met a lot of wonderful, like-minded bloggers with a passion similar to mine. At the same time, I’ve developed closer relationships with some friends who feel more comfortable talking to me about personal finance matters than they might have in the past. Being part of a community has made me much happier; I no longer feel like I’m being pushy when I want to talk about money.

Personal finance aside, the sheer fact that I’ve been able to keep up a project for this long is exciting. Writing is something that I’ve never felt comfortable with but always enjoyed doing. Forcing myself to write posts has had a great effect on my writing confidence. I know not every post is a winner, but chasing perfection can be more harmful than helpful. Better to put my thoughts out there and receive feedback. Shoutout to all my commenters out there who push to me to write better content!

I’ve developed a better awareness of my spending. This was the most important goal when I started this endeavor. Don’t get me wrong, I still spend plenty of money where it doesn’t need to go, but I’m also saving more aggressively. As Ian keeps reminding me, it’s important that I enjoy my lifestyle now as well as in the future, when I reach FIRE.

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Overall, this has been a fun year. There have been plenty of ups and downs on this journey, but the satisfaction of actually working towards my long-term goals and seeing some results has kept me going even when other areas of my life go haywire.

Looking forward, there’s still so much I want to accomplish. I’m on track to meet most, if not all, of my 2017 goals. Blog-wise, it’s time for me to start ramping things up more. I’m working on ways to add more value to this personal finance space. Whether that means downloadable PDFs, more detailed breakdowns, or other kinds of recommendations, I’m not sure yet. (Still figuring all this out.) Eventually, I’d also like to monetize better. I’m not looking to retire off of this blog, but I’d love to get to the point where the blog can cover its own running costs. Right now, $4.22 (my earnings to-date) can only get me one month of web hosting, haha.

Thanks for supporting me by reading the blog! Every pageview is still exciting to me. As long as people keep reading, I’ll keep writing. ☺️

Comments

  1. Congrats, Jane! I thought your blog and mine were the same age! My favorite post of yours so far is the one where you negotiated a massive salary increase. So baller. Let’s do an NYC meetup soon!

    1. Author

      Thanks, Luxe. That’s definitely one of my favorite posts too, especially as it was so personal to me. Looking forward to an NYC meetup!

  2. Nice work on a year of sticking with it! The struggle to not have a “perfect” post is a big issue for me too – trying to spend too much time perfecting things instead of just writing. I’m enjoying your writing, so I think you’ve found a good balance.

  3. Yay congrats! Yours was one of the first PF blogs I stumbled upon, and you welcomed me into the PF community so warmly when I first started. Excited to see you reach this milestone and can’t wait to see what another year has in store!

  4. Congratulations on your first year and all the other things you accomplished with your life (debt pay off, investing outside of retirement accounts)! Onwards and upwards to your second year of blogging! 🙂

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