Some would say I’ve taken the path less traveled; I’ve strayed away from the 9-to-5 corporate cubicle and carved my own career path. The experiences I’ve encountered down this windy, unknown trail have helped define who I am and how I view personal financial choices. A year ago, I decided to begin blogging about my journey to purchase a house and become financially savvy. My reasons for sharing my journey are many, but the incentive to do so was driven through inspiration found among other similar blogs, such as Get Rich Slowly.
Twelve years ago I was unhappily working in a cubicle. I wasn’t sure how I ended up there; it wasn’t at all what I had planned for myself having just finished college with a degree in Anthropology. Yet, there I was griping about office politics to my soon-to-be husband. My husband (a true entrepreneur) had a seemingly wonderful and refreshing idea: to open a hot dog/drink stand on a busy corner not far from our house.
Using credit cards as our initial investment, we purchased an adorable green cart with a red and white umbrella and stocked our pantry with items we would sell for breakfast and lunch. I quit my day job and was soon standing on a corner at 6am selling coffee, donuts and and the occasional hot dog. A few weeks into our street-vending endeavor we realized it wasn’t profitable and we closed up shop.
Back to the daily grind I went; all the while my husband worked on what became a successful small graphic design business. A few 9-to-5 jobs later, and I fell into teaching. Luckily, I loved sharing my knowledge with students and the flexible work schedule and time-off accommodated the graphic design business my husband was building.
As the quasi-CFO / accountant for the business, I had all the tools I needed to help create a solid personal financial plan. Yet, I wasn’t utilizing them to their full potential. Something was missing.
Little House in the Valley: Phase One
Functioning as the accountant for our graphic design business, I knew how much money we had coming in and going out. However, I couldn’t find a way to save any money or pay down our debt. I knew I could do better, but I just didn’t know where to begin. I began scouring the Internet for information and came across a few personal finance blogs that held some of the information I was missing.
I mapped out a budget based on the Quickbooks data I had been compiling over the years and started planning how to pay off our debt. During this time, the real estate market was also tanking. My husband and I decided that it might be a good time to purchase a house, given that prices were plummeting back down to affordable levels in Southern California.
Having the insatiable urge to share any knowledge I gain, I felt compelled to begin blogging about my experiences: how I paid down our credit card debt, increased my credit score by almost 200 points, my continued debt repayment plan, and how I’m saving for a house and retirement. That was the beginning of Little House in the Valley.
Through some initial networking, I found FinancialSamurai.com. Financial Samurai and I started blogging at about the same time and I quickly became an avid reader of his highly amusing and inspiring posts. By the time he introduced the Yakezie challenge, I jumped on board realizing a terrific opportunity was emerging. Through selfless promotion of each others personal finance blogs, a diverse and inspiring group of bloggers formed the Yakezie. Sam’s vision has materialized into a stand-alone identity due to everyone’s involvement and enthusiasm and Sam’s hard work. I feel incredibly honored to be a part of such an amazing network of people.
The future is a flexible and ever-changing path. My current personal finance goals are on-going: pay down debt, save for a house, plan my retirement. My goals for my blog are to continue to create interesting content, grow my readership, and successfully monetize the work I’ve put into Little House in the Valley. I’m excited to begin contributing to Yakezie.com; it’s opened up new opportunities that I plan on developing in the future.
This post is part of the Yakezie Member Post Series. See all member posts here.