Greetings, fellow Yakezies!! My name is Lisa and I am here from Cents To Save.  Being accepted as a member into this community is such an honor for me.  Sharing my member post with you is a bit overwhelming and exciting at the same time but here it goes!

I started blogging back in 2006.  At that time I was in school at UCF seeking to complete my BS degree in Vocational Education and Industry Training.  The degree was completely online so I spent a lot of time on my computer.  I first started reading personal finance and money saving blogs as a result of the debt I was incurring by returning back to school.  Reading about the successes and failures of others was the   motivation to correct the wayward financial ways of my budget.

I took baby steps entering into the blogosphere.  There would be several personal financial blogs that I would read and comment on a daily basis.  Imagine my surprise when the blog authors would visit my blog and comment back. That was and still is very exciting for me.  Knowing that someone actually takes time out of their busy day to comment really makes you appreciate them so much more.

The Evolution

Cents To Save has evolved and changed over time.   Early on, I was “ hooked” on the rush that extreme couponing gave me.  Sharing my stockpile of body wash and toothpaste with family members was always a proud moment.  But, there comes a time when you can really have too much toothpaste and the rush of extreme  couponing did eventually fade away.

Couponing and stockpiling did stimulate my interest in personal finance.  Within the mix of blogs I was reading, were the personal finance bloggers.  Topics such as retirement, IRA’s, and investing were becoming more interesting.  Truthfully, to this day I still don’t know a lot about investing, but there are several blogs that I can reference to and educate myself on what I need to know.

Seeking education about topics on investing and retirement is the primary reason I blog at Cents to Save.  My parents are both financially thrifty and stable.   Only recently did I discover how financially stable they are.  It may be generational for them, or it was the way they were raised, but my parents did not provide me with the financial skills needed to manage my money.

In fact, while growing up my dad would always reward my good grades or other accomplishments with a $20.00 bill. He would then say “This is all you get, if you spend over the $20.00 then you are on your own.  Well, to this day, I can take a twenty dollar bill shopping and spend $19.99 and NEVER a penny more.  At the time, I thought this skill would always benefit me.  Now, not so much.

Personal Finance Discipline & Accountability

With age comes wisdom.  Saving became more of a focus because of need versus actual financial education.   While immersing myself in the personal finance blogosphere I put into practice several of the things I learned.  Eliminate debt, this is still a work in progress.  Spend less than you earn, yes this makes perfect sense but I never really did it.  Instant gratification is something that I fight daily.  Sometimes I win the battle, and sometimes not.  Hence, the Stupid Credit Card Debt is still a part of my financial life.

A more important part of this blogging journey is the accountability.  I put my own failures and accomplishments out there and the feedback I receive is encouraging and sometimes chastening.   There are those who will come along side of your and boost you up in times of distress with words so kind that it almost makes you cry.  This is why I blog. The support received is all areas is phenomenal.

What Makes Cents To Save Unique

With so many PF blogs out there, what can Cents To Save offer that is different?  I track my personal and financial goals and the trials and tribulations that come up along the way.  Of course there is always a tiny bit of family drama that somehow finds it way in my blogging. My family ( and it’s drama) is a big part of my life and I include them in my blogging because they have made me the person I am today.

I am on the road to becoming free from credit card debt.  This year will be the year getting rid of the credit card debt.  Then it will be the mortgage.  We have a five year goal for that, but first the credit card. But even while becoming debt free is on my hit list, I have also learned to enjoy each and every day.    I have not lived my life financially sound, but with the knowledge and support from many of the Yakezie members we are on our way to financial stability.

Becoming an actual member of the Yakezie is truly an honor.  I pledge to support all members and challengers to the best of my ability.   If there is anything I can promote, help with, or please let me know.  All of you have been so kind over the years and I want to repay you  if I can.  Thank you again for allowing me to join this prestigious group of wonderful bloggers!