Wow. I can’t believe I have been talking about money for one whole year! And I don’t feel old but excited. This year was tough, but a good tough. But it has been great! This blog has put me on the right track, and in no small part thanks to some great readers and supporters.
What I Got Done This Year
Paid Off Debt: I have paid off $9,167 in consumer debt and paid one account in full. Current debt total as of June 1? $31,442
Tracked My Spending: I fought tooth and nail for months not to track every dollar spent. I finally did it in January and have been keeping it up ever since! It’s been one more way to keep me accountable and on track.
Started Saving: I now do automatic savings contributions and at least 10% of all side income goes to savings.
Changed the Way I think About Aspirational Products: I used to be an aspirational marketer’s dream. I want to live a lifestyle and marketers are very good at convincing us we can have it if we just buy this bag or those shoes. But I’ve become more savvy here and here.
How My Blog Did This Year
I am still learning to be a better writer. I like the main idea of all of my posts, but they all still need to go through the washer a few more times and I’d like to take more time editing and refining my ideas into more professional posts. Just having a blog is so exciting at first, but now I am ready to take it to the next level. I should probably just follow my own advice. I have yet to break $100 in Adsense, and while I think I can make money with the blog, I haven’t had the time to focus on it. We will see what happens. I’m not too worried about it. My main goal is to become a more clear, concise writer and help anyone reading my blog get motivated to get out of debt and figure out money in their way.
Top 5 Referring Sites
According to Google Analytics, the following sites were the top referring sites to American Debt Project in the past year:
- So Over Debt: Andrea is awesome and a hilarious writer. I almost think she might have missed a calling as a stand-up comedian. Love this chick!!
- Wisebread: Thanks to the Wisebread team for the shoutouts and the support. Their private forums have also helped me a lot.
- Debt Free by Thirty: Not as active lately, but an awesome blogger and person. I hope she gets back into it.
- Step Away From the Mall: Also another witty, insightful blog. Nick is another good buddy!
- Add Vodka: How cool is it that some of my most favorite blogs are also my top referrers?
Top 10 Commenters
If not for commenters, this blog would have died a sad, lonely death about 5 months in. But I kept going and people eventually started reading. I love the comments and am going to work even harder to provide more interesting content and stuff that will help us manage money better and not get suckered into buying crap or overpaying.
I want to give a HUGE thanks to my top 10 commenters but I’d also like to shout out to everyone who’s ever left a comment. You make me feel warm and fuzzy. Thank you.
- Aloysa at My Broken Coin: You’re NUMBER ONE!!!
- Jeremy at Modest Money
- Cult of Money
- Daisy of Add Vodka
- John at Married with Debt
- Nick at Step Away From the Mall
- Maria of Money Principle
- Erin of Dog Ate My Wallet
- Dr. Dean from Millionaire Nurse
Goals for Year 2
I REALLY want to be 100% debt free by 30 (which happens next year), but I will be very happy with paying off my credit cards at $22K. Besides that personal goal, I want to discuss and understand real issues that hold us back. Interesting stuff I’ve been reading about like community choice aggregation, education, labor, timely book reviews and more. I HATE to be someone who can’t see past my own situation or who uses anecdotal evidence to justify misguided beliefs. There’s a lot to learn still and a lot to try. I also hope to try out some cool new things and report back on them here. Example you say? Well, I think my birthday gift to myself is going to be trying a flotation tank. Trippy!
So, before I get to the best part of this post, I’d like to say, Thank you America. I love living in this country. I love your enthusiasm and our guaranteed freedoms. Sure, we have lots of problems. Household debt in this country (including mortgages) is equal to 87% of GDP. And there are other social and economic issues and people’s rights get violated and our drug policy is whack. But no country has addressed every issue and I am glad to live in a country where I can say stuff like “our drug policy is whack” and no one is coming to my house later tonight to threaten me or do worse. I love America (and I love all people of this earth) and I want to do what I can to make it better, keep it interesting and make sure every person has the ability to live a life of dignity and respect.
Allow Me to Distribute Over $110 in Prizes!!!
I have so much money to give away. But only thanks to the following peeps:
American Debt Project (Oh that’s me!): $25 via PayPal
Budgeting in the Fun Stuff: $25 via PayPal
The Debt Myth: $20 via PayPal
My Broken Coin: $10 via PayPal
So Over Debt: $10 via PayPal
Money is the Root: $10 via PayPal
Modest Money: $10 via PayPal
Copy of Total Money Makeover from Money QandA
The Rafflecopter giveaway is below and will run till June 11, 2012. Good Luck!!!