debt debs

Personal Debt Wrangler – Had my money head in the sand – but no more!


66 Comments

Business Travel with Baby – Travels with my Aunt

business-travel-with-babyPhroogal Blog recently wrote about tips for business travel with family members which reminded me of the time I did business travel with my baby.  Now this was over 20 years ago, and thought by some to be a risky and potentially career limiting move.  Let me explain.

I was a new Mom having given birth to my daughter a little over a year earlier and having become a second Mom to my three step kids one year before that.   I was asked to go on a one week business trip to meet to plan transition of work for a plant my company was closing in Florida.  Great stuff!  Who wouldn’t want to go to Florida for a week, right?  Um… that would be me.

The Need for Business Travel with Baby

I was still breastfeeding my daughter and to be gone for such a long time would have potentially ended that and or at a minimum been quite inconvenient and stressful.  Sure I could have pumped and dumped, but who’s to say she would have been still interested when I came home or that it would have been enough to keep my milk supply up?  Traveling alone on business can always have the potential of being kind of lonely, and suddenly being away from my family and especially my baby was not a prospect I was looking forward to.

As I prepared to tell my boss, that I would not be able to make the trip including the reasons why, my child care provider commiserated with me but then proposed an idea which was worth a try.  She asked if my aunt who was recently retired would be available to travel with me so that I could bring my daughter.  My aunt would babysit during the day while I worked.

Naturally, I did not want to be out of pocket any costs for such an arrangement, so I proposed the idea to my boss, a single and childless woman, wondering what her reaction would be and could she possibly understand.  All I was looking for was the cost of the airfare for my aunt and some meals.  All other costs (car rental, accommodations) would be the same if I was traveling alone, and of course my baby was young enough to travel for free.  She took the proposal to her boss, also childless and I was thinking I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall listening to that conversation.

The answer came back from him “It’s such a bizarre request, it must be the right thing to do”.  Ha!   And it definitely was, the right thing to do.  I was so thankful and motivated because I didn’t have to choose between my career or my family.  I worked very hard not only on that trip but thereafter.  Okay, I’m always a hard worker, but what I mean is that little extra cost born by the company paid back so much ‘dividends’ to them because they had a satisfied and motivated employee who really did appreciate that both personal and company needs could be met.  I’ve always been a strong believer, after that experience, that sometimes you need to look at the situation and see how to assess ‘the rules’ and make them work.  The most important aspect of a good employer – employee relationship is loyalty.  When that can be retained through a win-win situation, the company usually ends up with the bigger win at the end of the day.

The hotel had a kitchenette and a pool, so they had all the makings of a grand time when I was at work.  I was so happy to see my little boo boo at the end of a busy day, and knowing she was being well cared for by my aunt.  I was really blessed to have her support, so I could relax about what they were doing and focus on the task at hand during the office hours.  We made the most of the situation and although I didn’t know it at the time, she ended up being my first and last baby.  She continued to nurse to beyond two years and consequently there were no regrets or laments from this Mama.

Have you ever gone on business travel with a family member?  What type of accommodations were made on behalf of your family?  Have you ever considered business travel with baby?

Part of Friday Jet Fuel #4


48 Comments

Shutdown – Gone Fishing

Shutdown-Gone-FishingTaking a much needed break this weekend.

Has anyone worked for a company that has summer shutdown periods?

I used to and it was kind of nice because nothing moved while everyone was off.

That’s kind of what I feel like I need right now.  My blog reader has 129 unread posts, my email box though clean at the beginning of the week is starting to show signs of bloat, and my To Do list is, well. still there.

So freeze frame while I’m gone, m’kay?  Don’t go away but put your feet up and have a cold one while you’re at it.  Hey maybe we need a blog shutdown period!  I’ll start the movement.  ha ha

Before I go, I would like to thank the following for nominating me (again) for a Liebster:

Islands of Investing  – I think Jason asked mostly the same questions I had before so I’m gonna link it here – Liebster Award  HEE

Even Steven – I answered Steven’s questions on his post in the comments. ;-)

shutdown-gone-fishingThanks also to the following fellow bloggers who rounded up my posts – somebody had to before they ran away ;-) :

Our Big Fat Wallet

Young Adult Money

Fit is the New Poor

Million Dollar Ninja

Here’s some beers to enjoy while you go visiting.

Oh, ya you can go see the shopping I did this week.  It’s not what you’re thinking.

Sorry, rushing out the door.  The Irishman’s ready to honk the horn!

Great weekend all!

Gone Fishin':  flickr – Egan Snow
Beers:  flickr – Wagner T. Cassimiro “Aranha”

 


52 Comments

Preferred Shares – Time to Spend Some Money

preferred-shares-cash

flickr: ROBERT HUFFSTUTTER

I have $21,029.46 in cash in my retirement investment portfolio just sitting there. I don’t earn any interest on it either. At prevailing interest rates it would be small, but maybe $17/month. The bad news is that it’s been sitting there for over a year, I think.

My broker has been waiting for some good opportunities to buy something. Surely there has been something to buy within this time frame? I have bugged him about it but then I get busy and do nothing to follow-up. Sometimes he emails me with some options and then I sit on the email thinking I need to study it more and then I ultimately do nothing. You can start lashing me with a wet noodle now.  I know I deserve it.

Last time I emailed him was May 29 and he gave me some options preferred shares, exchange traded fund yada yada yada yawn.  I did nothing.  Why does this stuff not interest me and why do I do nothing?

It’s seems like unless I have all my hands and feet on the topic, I feign interest.  I’ve been talking about moving to a self-managed portfolio and I mean that, but it also means a lot of work to get educated and start tracking before I make the leap.

This is the first step in the direction.

preferred-shares-trainI know it will take time, but with your encouragement, I’m hoping it will not take as much time as I am fearing.  Baby steps… get some momentum and let the train gather speed as it pulls away from the station.

It’s really no different than debt repayment, but in the opposite direction.  It’s my money!  It’s my money as opposed to someone else’s which is how I see my debt.

Preferred Shares for Sale

OK, let’s start.  So he (without my prompting I might add), emailed me this week and suggested to buy two preferred shares as follows:

  1. Enbridge Preferred shares series D (ENB.D).  It is currently trading at $24.64 and a current dividend yield of 4.06%.  In 2018, Enbridge will decide to either wind up the preferred shares and pay back $25 to the shareholders, or extend the preferred and give 2.37% above what a 5 year Gov’t of Canada Bond is paying at that time.  He says the yield and quality are good and the fact that it trades daily on the TSX means it can be sold easily, when I want to.
  2. Brookfield Asset Management Series B preferred shares, (BAM.FB), is also a rate reset preferred, trading at $25.09, a current dividend yield of 4.19%, a reset date of March 31, 2019, and a reset spread of 263 bps over the five year Government of Canada bond yield.  It is rated Pfd 2Low.

Looking at my portfolio now I see I already have ENBRIDGE common stock and Brookfield Renewable Energy.

preferred-shares

I know you can’t see my whole portfolio in the picture above so you can’t see how I’m diversified.

I can’t figure out the markets still going gang busters with everything going on in the world.

But in the interest of not sitting on my hands, yet again, I told him to go ahead.

Any comments on these two stocks?  Are your investments in index funds or do you have more individual dividend paying stocks in your portfolio?  Do you have any recommendations on excel files for tracking your investments?

Part of Friday Jet Fuel #3

money-barracuda


63 Comments

Money Lessons in Marine Life

I don’t know what was going on this week but I can’t believe the number of videos I saw that were oceanic in nature.  Did you see them?  I do love some big blue ocean,  so it made me want to look them up so I could watch again (I originally saw them on the TV news).

They lead me to other fantastic sea videos which I loved so much,  I wanted to share.  So not to worry folks, if you missed seeing great marine life videos this week, or want to see them again, plus more, I’ve got you covered.

Besides, Discovery Channel is starting their advertising campaign leading up to Shark Week which starts August 10 so this will rev you up for that.  Don’t get Discovery because you canceled cable to save money?  Well then, you’re in for a treat.

But since this is a personal finance blog, I need to keep things relevant and that was not hard to do.   First watch the video, and then I will tell you what this video is saying to you in personal finance terms.

So we are gonna have a whale of a time and there’s even a special photo taken by moi that I am proud to share amongst this fabulous collection of videosl

Double Breach

Did you see that?  She took your eyes off prize just for a short bit and then missed the opportunity to see the complete double breach jump.  Um ya…., that’s like if you finally put your money where your mouth is and bought Apple (Disclosure:  Short AAPL ha ha) in March this year at $75 even though it was lower than $60 for a bit in April and June of last year.

AAPL-Shark-Week-money

Source: www.nasdaq.com Apple Inc. Stock Chart

On the positive side, she’s got it on video and with a selfie to boot!    That’s gotta be worth some money!!  [Personal note:  we took the same boat tour in September 2011 but didn’t see one whale]

Not Checking Your Money

Did you see that at 39 seconds?  Maybe it’s hard to see the whales, I dunno.  Apparently the pilot didn’t see it but only avoided the landing because of the antics of onlookers on shore.  I would have thought that in an area where whales are quite common, you would be checking for these carefully as you land.  What does this remind you of?  How about not checking your bank balance before you use your debit card so that you don’t go into overdraft?

Money Trickery

This was reported as a ruse put on my The Discovery Channel to raise excitement of their upcoming shark week.  Was it brilliant or slimey?  Slimey as in when you do your homework to check out all the prices on a new TV, decide to buy from one place and find out the salesperson neglected to tell you that the wall bracket costs extra.   Ya?  But then you bought the TV anyways, right?  I mean it is SHARK WEEK after all.

Big Problem

You’ve got a whale of a financial problem, it’s ugly and “you’re in the bottom of the ocean alone”.   (You feel like) you’ve got no one to help you, no one you can talk to, but if you can figure it out and pull it off what a story it will be.  Anyone else feel like that?  No one?  Just me?

Well truth be told, I used to feel this way.  Now that I’ve started blogging I feel like I have people to talk to.  Lots of people.  Thank you.

Money Constraints

Does your budget and frugal living sometimes make you feel like you’re on the periphery and not having fun?  It’s like you are looking at everyone playing, like the pelicans, but not able to partake.

Don’t let your frugal living put you on the bench.  There’s lots that you can do that doesn’t cost money.  I, for one, am just thrilled by all these on line videos I can watch  for entertainment purposes.  It’s not the money you can’t spend, it’s the money you choose to save that’s important.

Financial Wins

Witnessing something unexpected is like winning a prize or getting a bonus that you didn’t expect.  You can’t believe you are witnessing this.  You’re in the right place and the right time and it feels so good.

Celebrate small financial wins in a joyous manner.  They will happen, and probably when you least expect it.

Leap into Investing

You have a lot of built up anticipation before you finally make your first investment in equities.  You think it’s going to be good but it’s also kind of scary.  The suspense is quite real.  Hang on for the ride, but don’t get freaked out by all the ups and downs.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

I have a confession.  I’m afraid of big fish.  And by big fish I don’t mean any big fish, I mean humongous groupers.  Aren’t they the ugliest looking things?  Well after watching that video and now that I know they are an endangered species, I feel kind of sorry for them and now I think they are kind of cute.  It’s a bit like feeling sorry for the Joneses.  I mean, they don’t realize their money is going to be extinct if they keep on spending the way they are.

Mr. Pay Day Loan

Barracuda-money

Mr. Pay Day loan is courtesy of moi, although The Irishman will say he took the photo but I do think he is mistaken.  He was found off the shores of Cozumel while we were scuba diving.  Great place to scuba dive.  Mr. Pay Day Loan found some unsuspecting divers borrowers to lend money to and I caught it on camera.

Barracuda looking at food

Barracuda-debtdebs.com-moneyDid you see that?  Just in case you missed it I’m gonna show you again, fully illustrated.

So there you have it, all your money concerns illustrated by oceanic situations.  Have you ever heard the expression “You can’t fight the ocean“?  Well that’s true, I totally agree with that.  But as far as personal finance difficulties go, you can fight ‘em tooth and nail fin.

*Note:  The first three videos are the ones I saw on the news this week that spurred this post.

Linked to Friday Jet Fuel #2

 

Shoeaholic No More
This post was featured on Rockstar Finance
 rockstarfinance


65 Comments

The Lemonade Stand Book Review and Giveaway

I was tickled pink (as in pink lemonade!) to review Shannon Ryan’s new children’s book “The Lemonade Stand”.  I am a new grandmother of an eight month old who has been reading bed time story books since he was only 2 months.  I now have a new appreciation for the power of the written and illustrated word for children of all ages.

The Lemonade Stand – by Shannon Ryan

the-lemonade-standThe Lemonade Stand shares the desires of our children to meet their own needs for play, their insatiable capacity to love and the want to help others.  It shows a way to fulfill those dreams in a practical and totally achievable manner.

Shannon incorporates her own girls, Lauren and Taylor, in the story, along with her little godson’s, who have not quite achieved the wisdom of their money savvy friends.   Ryan and Christopher have big eyes full of want as they see things on the toy shelf while shopping with their mother.

The boys do not have enough money in their pockets and their savvy Mom is not willing to indulge their every whim.  Lauren understands their disappointment and provides some hope that they can do some things to improve the situation all on their own.

Without, giving away the plot, although you may have some predictions ;-) , the two boys learn all about entrepreneurship, marketing, raw materials and associated costs and finally profit margins.  There’s a little math thrown in there too, for good measure!

What I liked about the book was the demonstration of self-sufficiency but also the wise allocation of the profits made against wants, future needs and charity.  Children can identify themselves easily in these characters, and in doing so realize they too have the capacity to do whatever it takes to make their dreams come true.

As a mom of four grown children, I second guess my past behaviours and what I have taught my kids growing up about money.  I probably could have done better, knowing what I know now, even though they’ve all turned out pretty good in matters relating to money and otherwise.

Shannon gave me permission to share ‘The Lemonade Stand” with my daughter, a new Mom who is also very frugal.  She liked the book too and in her words “it teaches some important life lessons such as learning the value of money, how to share, how to work as a team with others and how to save money for something you really want.”  All of these are things they hope to teach their son as he gets older.

Personally, I will be happy to read this book to my grandson, and given that he’s already standing at eight months, I think he will be opening his own lemonade stand anytime soon.  ;-)

The-Lemonade-Stand-Shannon-Ryan

Collage of Illustrations from The Lemonade Stand by Shannon Ryan – Illustrated by Aaron Kizer

The Lemonade stand is skillfully illustrated by a very talented Aaron Kizer.

How to buy The Lemonade Stand Book

If you are interested in purchasing this book for your children, nieces or nephews or grandchildren you can use the following coupon code (TOUR3114) to get $3 off the book at The Heavy Purse Store.

The Lemonade Stand – iPad Mini Giveaway

July 14-31, 2014

Sponsored by The Heavy Purse

As part of the book launch, The Heavy Purse is offering an iPad Mini giveaway raffle

Co-hosted by Are Ya Gonna Eat That, Broke Millennial, Budget and The Beach, Budget Blonde, Budgeting for More, Busy Mom Budgets, Cash Cow Couple, Cents and Sensibility, Club Thrifty, Color Me Frugal, Debt Debs, Debt Roundup, Disease Called Debt, Eat Laugh Purr, Enemy of Debt, Eyes on the Dollar, Femme Frugality, Financially Blonde, Frugal Rules, Living Richly Cheaply, Luke 1428, Making Sense of Cents, Money Saving Dude, Monster Piggy Bank, Not Now Mom’s Busy, Reach Financial Independence, Shoeaholic No More, Stacking Benjamins, Tackling Our Debt, The Broke and Beautiful Life, The Finance Girl, The Frugal Farmer, The Random Path, Thrifty Dad, VeegMama and Young Adult Money. Join Lauren and Taylor in their continuing money adventures in The Lemonade Stand by Shannon Ryan, CFP®.

Shannon is a Mom on a mission to help busy parents teach their children simple, value-based principles that guide their money decisions and support their long-term financial well-being. “Everyone handles money. Unfortunately, not everyone does it with confidence. Money has long been a taboo topic in many homes, which makes it even harder for parents to know where to start or what to teach. So I created a series of children books to help parents ease into these important conversations. Financial literacy is one of the most loving gifts you can give your children, and I encourage everyone to make money conversations a priority in your home.”

We’re Giving Away an iPad Mini to One Lucky Reader!

Help us celebrate the release of The Lemonade Stand and join Shannon in her mission to increase financial literacy in both children and adults.

The giveaway runs from July 14-31, 2014 and is open worldwide.*

* A winner located outside of the United States will receive a cash equivalent prize via PayPal. a Rafflecopter giveaway


64 Comments

Debt Update and MVP Blog Award

I’m a week late in giving my monthly debt progression update.  Something else was going on last Saturday.  Oh yeah, I was finalizing my migration to self-hosted wordpress and doing a live blog.   Such is life.

I was also planning on getting this post done last night, so I could get on with a bunch of chores I need to do around here today.  But alas, I fell into bed at around 9 p.m., unable to keep my eyes open.   There was not even a drop of wine consumed last night, so I can’t blame that and I can assure you that there was none consumed in the making of this post – maybe a cup of java (or three), but I mean, what are lazy Saturday mornings for?

Debt Decrease

I’m a little disappointed in my debt decrease from last month.  Not that we didn’t pay our debt as planned, but it was because our credit card took a jump due to car repairs.  Anyone else out there hate those blasted car repairs?

debt-impacted-by-car-repairsI mean we budget them and all, but it’s hard to forecast (for me), the timing.  In addition, I think we budget too low an amount because it always seems to come in higher.   Like so far this year we’ve spent $1,742 on car repairs for two vehicles, but I think most of it was on the truck and I have budgeted only $120 / month for vehicle maintenance.  Actually, I just checked and I had one transaction misclassified in MINT for a oil change on my car for $71.30 and the picture at the left was taken before I fixed it.  This month we spent $1,150.03 for front and rear brakes on the truck.  {big} ugh

debt-paydown-debtdebs Ya, so like we’re $1,000 in the hole and that translates directly into our debt numbers I’m going to show you next.

I only started this graph last month so the actuals and forecast are tracking exactly from Dec to Jun.  It’s hard to tell, but there is a slight difference between the forecasted debt and the actual debt.  That is why I added the data values onto the graph.

Look for more variability going forward (or not!) and if there is some I’d prefer it to be on the upside instead of the downside as shown, thank you very much!

You see, we should always be tracking to our debt repayment or better unless (a) The Irishman’s income is way lower than our minimum target or (b) we have unforeseen expenses like car repairs > budgeted.  If his income is better, then hopefully we can apply even more to debt repayment.  At least that’s the current philosophy.  OK, my philosophy.  OK, now don’t get all philosophical on me now.

Detailed Debt Figures

Ahem… on to the detailed figures.  Our debt decrease was only $3,200 since last month which is better than our abysmal Jan and Feb, but not as good as last three months.  If I add back the extra $1K+ for car repairs, we’re still only at $4,350, which annualized would be $52K, and short of our annual goal of $60K, which we have managed to achieve the first two years.  Year to date, The Irishman’s income is only $1,100 lower than last year, so I’m not quite sure what the explanation is for the lower debt repayment and it’s making me a little nervous.  Anyhoo, I’ll need to stew about  look into this a bit more.

I know these debt repayments are large compared to what some of you reading this may pay in a month, but I just want to say it’s all relative.  Anyone want to trade an opening debt position of $394K with me?  Anyone?  I don’t know why I feel the need to justify this every time I put these figures out here.  Clearly I need help, or more money, or both.

Debt-Debs-Debt- Details

Click to enlarge

I’ve added a little metric which I think is quite titillating (see how sad my life has become?), which is the % decrease in debt from our opening position in March 2012 as compared to the % of time that has passed until our debt freedom date – May 18, 2018.  May 2018 is what my avalanche/snowball debt calculators are telling me, and I revise these every few months to see if we are on track.  So far so good (crossing fingers and toes).  So I picked May 18 since it is year 2018 as an arbitrary debt freedom date.  Time (and money!) will tell if we can achieve this date or not.  To be perfectly candid, my stretch target is Dec 2017, but at this juncture that is looking really stretched!  So you can see that we are 36.5% paid off but we should be at 37%.  Missed it by that much!  Quoting Don Adams from GET SMART!    Time for a video.

Who reading is old enough to remember Get Smart? I couldn’t find one with him quoting that line, but the cone of silence has always been a favourite and is used in my everyday dialogue quite often so I thought it appropriate.

Anyways, compared to earlier months this year, we are doing pretty good for that metric. Last month was the best where we were only off by 0.4%.

Emergency Fund

Emergency-fundNeedless to say, I have not been able to put any additional towards our Emergency / Tax fund since last month.  That’s the other bad news.  However, on the positive side, I was able to pay our second installment of property taxes of $2,812.42 last month without taking anything out of this fund which is reserved for emergencies and property taxes.  I normally try to contribute $500/month to it.   So technically I’m $2,300 ahead in trying to get my E-fund up to a new target recently set due to the slow earnings months experienced in Q1.

Is there any metric or piece of info that I’m not telling showing that you want to know to complete the picture?

CNA Finance MVP Award

Debt Debs - Personal Finance MVP!
Before I go and get on with my chores, I must tell you that I’m tickled pick to be awarded the CNA Finance MVP of the Week award  by votes from readers over at CNA Finance Blog.  Josh has a series where he posts every Friday called “Why Bloggers Fail” and he explores different topics on this subject each week.  Based on feedback received, he awards a blog each week and yours truly was selected this week.  I am really humbled by all the nice things he had to say but especially thrilled that he captured the essence of what I do here perfectly.  I guess my communication skills aren’t so bad after all!  heh heh.  I really appreciate all the readers who voted for me as well.  Truly.

Thanks to the following blogs:

Carnival of Financial Camaraderie over at Counting My Pennies for  featuring one of my posts:  Couples Money Conversations You Want to Avoid.

Young Adult Money for Weekly Hits Roundup and Personal Finance Tips – Moving Blog from WordPress.com to Self-Hosted WordPress.org

Have an amazing weekend folks.  That’s a wrap.  debt debs, over and out.

My Pennies, My Thoughts
This post is part of Financially Savvy Saturdays
To join in the blog party, click on the picture above
Follow instructions on host blog
Tweet hashtag #FinSavSat


41 Comments

Blogger Awards and Carnivals – Why I blog?

liebster-button-blogger-awardsThe Cottage Retreatist nominated me for a Liebster award which is very kind of her.  As far as blogger awards go, this is a for new and small blogs (less than 200 followers).  Here is more information about The Liebster Award from The Wording Well.

There are some questions I need to answer and then I pick 5 nominations as well.

The questions

1)   Why did you start your blog?

I decided to blog as we are over two years into a very long debt repayment journey and I was starting to suffer from a bit of debt fatigue.  I wanted to increase my motivation but also help others who need to take the steps that we did.  I want to show that there is life during debt repayment and a frugal living.  So I thought what better way to combine both goals into one by working through my blog.

Originally, I was thinking of asking my pastor if I could offer financial tips to any members in our church community who needed some assistance.  But the more I thought about it, I wondered if it would be too difficult because people wouldn’t want to come forward, my pastor may not want to be in the middle of it or what if there were legal implications.  I’m still thinking of this as a possibility down the road or maybe when I retire.  I really do want to help people, so at this point I am still learning even more financial strategies and getting experience at it, so it’s all good.

2) What is your favourite blog post so far and why?

I have a few favs but I guess my best fav is Mother’s Money Moments.  It kinda sums up my life and what makes me tick and was filled with emotion.

3)  What is your perfect Sunday?

A sunny day at my Dad’s cottage when I have Monday off and don’t have to go to work until Tuesday!  Swimming, playing scrabble, a little sudoku, maybe a walk, some reading… oh and a nap.  Laughing and chatting about life with family and neighbours.  Eating leftovers for dinner, cheap and not much fuss or cleanup.

4)  What is your favourite quote?

My favourite quote is my own.  It is my twist on “You have to eat a pound of dirt before you die”.  Well in Canada, we are on the metric system so I say, “You have to eat .6 kg of dirt before you die”.

5)  Describe yourself in 3 words.

Determined, genuine and lazy.

Now I’ll be honest with you, I’ve got some additional bonus questions here because I didn’t read the instructions well and started answering the same questions that Cottage Retreatist had, before I realized I can make my own questions up for my nominees.  So since I had already answered these three ones that CR had, I will let you see them as well.  No point crying over spilled milk!

a)  How long ago did you start your blog?

I started mid March, 2014, so I’ve been blogging for four months.  I started in WordPress.com and actually just migrated over to self-hosted wordpress.org last week.  Well that was a big job.  You can read all about it on two posts I did, especially if you are looking for some tips and tricks.

  • Moving Blog from WordPress.com to Self-Hosted WordPress.org – This addresses the migration process and some of the lessons learned from mistakes I made or things I had to figure out, all called out in the form of gotchas!

  • Migrate WordPress.com to Self Hosted – The Live Version – After settling things in there were still some things I was not happy with or that remained outstanding and so I reached out through Twitter to get some blogging buddy assistance and it worked very well!  I blogged live about what I was doing to address the issues over the space of a couple of days (Sat to Mon) until all open items completed and I could take my construction man picture off that post!

b)  What is your favourite thing to blog about?

Personal experiences and tying them back to personal finance, career, stress management and mental health.  I think it helps to add credence to what you are writing about if you can walk the talk and give examples and analogies.  I just love reading blogs that have personal stories in them too, so I want my blog to be that way as well.  Oh, and I also like funny.  Sometimes I’m just in a strange mood and I can put some wacko stuff on these pages, and other times I’m more serious or philosophical.  I guess if I someone was to describe my blog as one of variety, I would be very pleased with that.

c) Do your family and friends know you blog?

I think I blogged for at least a month and no one knew.  Then I confided in my husband.  Next my sister.  Then a close friend.  Then my children and just this past weekend to my Dad!  And not one of them reads my blog!  At first I didn’t want them reading it, then I did, and sometimes again I don’t.  I try to keep things respectful, but if I’m going to be sincere and open about the ups and downs of our journey, I can’t hold everything back or paint only a rosy picture all the time.  Sometimes a girl’s gotta rant.  I want people who read to feel comfortable in confiding that things are not always smooth sailing for them either.  This is what personal finance camaraderie is all about.  Don’t sweat the small stuff, but if you do, please share.  ;-)

My nominations

It was easy to come up with this list.  I had too many to choose from so I’m going to give you a bit of variety here in these nominated blogs:

  • John @ The Hill of Beans – I found John’s blog when I was reading a minimalism blog and I found things there that inspired me.  It’s very peaceful and comforting at his blog.  I suggest this is a good one to read if you are stressed or right before you go to bed.
  • Jason @ Islands of Investing – Jason’s blog is also very comforting (hey do I sense a trend, here?) even though he writes on investments!  Can you imagine that?  I like to read investment blogs too, because I’m preparing to manage my our investment portfolios by myself and I need all the help I can get.
  • Asset Grinder is quite the character and is another investment blog I follow.   He really does his homework and has lots of insight to give on investments. He helps his MIL and buddies out with their retirement and debt strategies.  Nothing like giving back!
  • Hypocritical Accountant is a very new blogger who has just gone back to work after maternity leave.  She’s trying to find her groove balancing work and family, and boy, I know how that can be!
  • Kayla @ Shoeaholic No More is last but certainly not least.  She’s got debt repayment, decluttering, house and car maintenance, pet care, cross-fit, part-time job, blogging, and a whole lot of busy going on!  I hope to gain some of her energy vicariously through reading her blog.  ;-)

liebster-pretty-blogger-awardsFor my nominees  – the new questions!

  1. Why did you start your blog?
  2. What is your favourite blog post so far and why?
  3. What part of the day do you like best and why?
  4. What is your favourite quote?
  5. Describe yourself in 3 words.

No worries if you don’t want to participate, but if you do, it’s great to spread the camaraderie.  You can add the Liebster image to your blog – pick a button of your choosing (I’ve included the feminine and masculine versions of the button here) by downloading and adding to your post and in your sidebar if you wish.  Prepare you own 5 questions (you can reuse or modify above) and let your own 5 nominees know.  Link back here in your post as well, to let me know who you have selected so I can go and read.  Oh, I almost forgot…have fun!

liebster3-blogger-awards

blogger-awardsMore Blogger Awards

Speaking of blogger awards, last week I was put up against some great competition at the CNA Finance MVP Awards and Josh felt sorry for me and kindly decided to put my name in the hat again because he didn’t realize I was a relatively new blogger.  So now I’m up against some other steep competition in the new blogger category – Shoeaholic No More and Practical Cents.  I read and love both of these blogs, so it’s kind of bittersweet to be in this competition with them.  But, I don’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth, so if you voted for me last week and still want to again, please email CNAFinanceHelp@gmail.com or leave a comment at post linked above.  Good luck gals!

blogger-carnival

Image courtesy of Nathan Greenwood / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Blogger Carnivals

Here’s some blogger carnivals my posts have been featured in this week.  Thanks to the hosts for including me!

Financial Carnival for Young Adults @ Millennial Cents – Debt Debs Super Duper Advice

Lifestyle Carnival @ My Life I Guess – Top Ten Reasons You Need to Manage Your Finances

Yakezie Carnival @ Smart Budgeting – Canada Day – Be Mindful and Be Brave!

Looking forward to getting back to personal finance posts next.  Enough of this blogging stuff for a bit!


46 Comments

Migrate WordPress.com to Self Hosted – The Live Version

HELP-migrate-wordpress.com-to-self-hostedLive Blogging of what I have learned to Migrate WordPress.com to Self Hosted WordPress.org

This is an impromptu LIVE post, even though I do normally post Saturdays, but this week I did my Sat post early (like on Thursday night) because I was just dying to tell y’all about my experience moving from WordPress.com hosted site WordPress.org self-hosted.

I have a new issue that I think is worth blogging about, because I need your support to help me figure this out. Plus I think since I have this question, this may be helpful to others facing the same issue as well.

My permalink settings are now set at this.  I didn’t choose it because I had heard that it is important to have your post titles as close to the site title as possible.  I think my hosting company did this when they imported the site to correct all the errors.

wordpress-permalinks-migrate-wordpress.com-to-self-hosted

So for example, this post has url of:

http://debtdebs.com/2014/07/05/migration-to-self-hosted-follow-up

But I want it to have:

http://debtdebs.com/migration-to-self-hosted-follow-up

I want to change my links to have no date at all in them.  How do I do this without breaking the links to other sites?

I’ve been tweeting with some blog friends about this and they are giving me some tips!  Thanks @debtfreeoneday (Hayley) @Ugifter (Anne) @MoreThanJusMony (Kassandra) @indebtedmom (Kirsten)@FinDiffraction (Alicia) sent me this link which I’m researching because she said there is a plug-in for redirecting (Thanks!):

http://wordpress.org/plugins/quick-pagepost-redirect-plugin/

I am researching this now.  This is going to be a live post, where I make updates as I go about troubleshooting this problem.  When I am completely done, I will write POST COMPLETE or some obvious thing at the bottom.

I really appreciate my blogger friends who kindly offer suggestions and support on this.  If you have done this before or know someone who has, can you kindly point them in my direction?

I’ve also reached out to Justin @ BigScoots to see what they recommend.

@bigcajunman (Alan) sent me this http://urbangiraffe.com/plugins/redirection/ which I’m just researching as well.  Thank you!

@indebtedmom (Kirsten) sent me this http://www.rickbeckman.org/how-to-update-your-wordpress-permalinks-without-causing-link-rot/ Thanks!  [Note:  This actually is similar to what Yoast says below but the code is a little different and I don’t know why.  Here is the code he says but this article is from 2008. ]

RedirectMatch permanent ^/[0-9]{4}/[0-9]{2}/[0-9]{2}/([a-z0-9\-/]+) http://example.com/$1

@femmefrugality suggested another blogger who might be able to give advice @modestmoney (Jeremy)

UPDATE:  2:04 p.m. EST July 5

OK I found this and although it is over 2 years old it seemed like the best way to go.  How to Change WordPress Permalinks, brought to you by Yoast.

According to the code generator linked in the above post, it says I should do the following:

Create Redirects

Use this tool to generate redirects from your old permalink structure to the /%postname%/ permalink structure.

Your Redirects

Add the following redirect to the the top of your .htaccess file:

RedirectMatch 301 ^/([0-9]{4})/([0-9]{2})/([0-9]{2})/(.*)$ http://debtdebs.com/$4

So first I had to find the .htaccess file.  I found it in my cPanel > File Directory under public_html but I needed to “SHOW HIDDEN FILES”.
public_html

Note:  Some hosts may not let you modify the file so you may have to request them to do it.  I was able to modify but what I wasn’t clear about was where to put the code.  True enough, @YOAST said to put it directly at the top but since I didn’t really understand it, it didn’t seem logical.  Comments were closed on that post above, so while I was still googling and Youtubeing for my answer, I sent a Tweet to @YOAST (Joost de Valk).  Here’s what the code generator looks like from Yoast, BTW:

YOAST-permalink-code-generatorDidn’t hear back from him yet ;-) ha ha but in the meantime @SenseofCents (Michelle) responded to my tweet for help and she linked in @nutsandbolts (Andrea).  Andrea confirmed that was the best way to go (not use plug-in) that I do literally put that one line of code at the top of the .htaccess file AND that I should change my Settings>Permalinks setting to the desired setting first.  Here’s what the .htaccess file looked like after my update.  (Don’t forget to “Save Changes”!)

how-to-modify.htaccess-file-redirect

I did it and it all worked perfectly and was so overjoyed I tweeted:

Let me know if you see any issues with broken links. I’m not taking my construction guy down yet because I want to update you on Gotcha #8 from my last post so here is a placeholder for it.
 

Thanks again to Alicia, Anne, Hayley, Kassandra, Kirsten, Alan, FF, Michelle and Andrea!  You guys ROCK!

Gotcha#8 UPDATE – how to switch my Jetpack to my old WordPress.com account and then get my previous WordPress.com subscribers over here.  OPEN

Here are the open tickets I have on this point:

WordPress.com  http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/migration-of-followers-jetpack-blues?replies=3#post-1930285

wordpress.org http://wordpress.org/support/topic/activated-jetpack-with-wrong-username-on-self-hosted-site?replies=1#post-5754664

I have one with Jetpack also but they do not have a forum, so it’s just through email that I get a response.  I raised the ticket here.  http://jetpack.me/support/

OK, I got a little impatient and disconnected my Jetpack and reconnected.  It now seems to have brought my stats together but on two different views.  Is this normal?  Anyone?

migrate-wordpress.com-to-self-hosted

So continuing with my impatience, I managed to get my Jetpack connected okay with my old blog, but when I hit the migrate button on wordpress, nothing happens.  I do not get the confirmation pop-up as shown in this write-up.  http://jetpack.me/support/subscription-migration-tool/

migrating-followers-to-wordpress.org-migrate-wordpress.com-to-self-hosted

UPDATE:  1:39 p.m. EST July 7

Subscribers were migrated over manually as of 11:50 a.m. EST today, thanks to Rachel at WordPress.com.  Waving  “Hi, guys!  Did ya miss me?” ;-)

I’m taking the construction guys sign down now.   Whew, that feels good.  This LIVE blog post has now ENDED!

New Item – MALWARE

Hey, this is relevant to this post.  Eric from No Nonsense Landlord had commented and I hadn’t had time to visit him lately, with all that was going on over here so I went to his site and he had a shout out to me.   Not only that but he alerted to a problem he had when his blog was only a month old.  So I went to check out his post on malware and have installed Wordfence and it is scanning now.   Oh good.  No problems found.  Thanks, Eric!

On this topic, I was looking at my stats this morning and I saw the following referrer:

cdn.viglink.com/api/click?key=a7e…..

I clicked on it.  (Maybe I shouldn’t have) finding nothing I went about googling it to try to find out more.  Didn’t find anything I could readily understand so need to research some more.

Does anyone know what that is?  Sometimes I just feel so technically inept with this stuff.  Get one thing addressed and another pops up!

I think I saw cdn.viglink on another blog .  I need to investigate but I think it has something to do with advertising management, so hopefully not malware related.  :-)

like-post


38 Comments

Moving Blog from WordPress.com to Self-Hosted WordPress.org

self-hosted-wordpressWell, in the grand scheme of things, moving my blog to self-hosted did not go too bad.

What I’d like to do is share with you my gotchas and lessons learned on what’s important.  Although I had done some investigation and reading before hand, there is a lot of information available but not one document that puts everything together in a linear but brief fashion.  I think this is important because some of my gotchas could have been avoided if I understood the end picture better.

Now I need to qualify that my gotchas actually had nothing to do with my hosting site.  My worst problems were caused by WordPress.com two-step authentication process and and issue I was having with accessing my blog’s gmail account.  I will go into these in more detail below, but as a result of these issues, I made decisions that I would later come to regret and if I knew the impact up front, I would have not done the actions I did.

So here’s a bunch of points I want to make which are following a sequential process and thought process about how I went about the migration.  I will summarize at the bottom the actual technical steps for easy reference, since some of the points below are not really actions but more decisions, I made.

Hosting Partner Choice

Big-ScootsI decided on BigScoots (non-affiliate link) after doing some research into the following hosting companies:  Blue Host, Host Gator, Dream Host, Liquid Web, Host Papa, Green Geeks, Go Daddy and Web Hosting Canada.  I wanted to get a Canadian firm, in all honesty, but I was unable to find one WordPress blogger who used a Canadian company host.  I also wanted inexpensive but not cheap.  Blogging takes enough time, without having it sucked away by technical issues and outages.

I also wanted a host company who was quite familiar with the WordPress application.  Upon a recommendation of another blogger, I decided on Big Scoots who are big but not too big and fairly inexpensive $24.95 USD for initial year.  Domain is additional (I think $10.95 USD), but my domain is paid up for another eight months, so even though it was tempting to sign with them now for convenience, my budget brain would not allow me to.  Hopefully I won’t regret this decision later when I need to renew my domain registration in early March.

Migration Support from Hosting Partner

self-hosted-wordpressA big shout out to Justin at Big Scoots who did some of the heavy lifting.  As soon as my account was opened he contacted me with a ticket, via email, offering support.  He was actually offering to do most of the migration, which I had not expected at all.   I specifically had decided not to pay WordPress.com $129 CAD to do it not only because of the cost but because I wanted to learn from the experience and so opted to do as much as I could on my own.  My feeling was that it would be helpful for me to support the blog if I did this work myself.

I opted to follow the steps in this article from WPBeginner How to Properly Move Your Blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org to conduct the migration.   (Note:  You will notice in this document that WordPress.org offers to do the migration for free but I think they work with Blue Host, though I’m not sure if they only exclusively with Blue Host.)

Minor Point #1

The cPanel is the control panel that gives you access to your files and all other programs that you can use to manage your site.  Think of it like the backbone or middleware and then WordPress is the application layer on top of this.  Of course, I had never seen a cPanel before, because in WordPress.com this is all behind the scenes, all I could see was the WordPress application layer.

One thing I noticed as soon as I started snooping around cPanel, was that my home directory was set up as Home Directory /home/debtdeb instead of debtdebs with an ‘s’.  I was concerned it may have later repercussions so pointed it out to Justin in the ticket.  He said it was automatically named and shouldn’t be an issue but would change it none-the-less, which he did so expediently.  I had a little trouble logging into the cPanel after that (said login was invalid), which I thought might be related.  After a refresh, I was able to login.

Gotcha #1

There is nothing in this article about how to put your site in maintenance mode.  Justin @ BigScoots wanted me to install a plug-in to accomplish this.  But, one of the main drivers for moving away from WordPress.com is that you cannot use plug-ins, so that option wouldn’t work.

Deborah,You will want to put the site into maintenance mode, you can use a plugin like:

self-hosted-wordpresshttps://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-maintenance-mode/

This way they will hit a splash page that says its under maintenance and will not allow them to post, etc.

Regards,

– Justin

I did some research in WordPress.com Forums and found a suggestion to make a custom home page temporarily which I did.  The steps on how to do this are here -> Front Page.  I grabbed an under construction picture and posted it on the landing page.

I think that worked pretty well except that after I had exported my blog, E.M. @ Journey to Saving managed to sneak a comment in on my old site that would forever be lost in cyberspace except that I have captured it here :-) :

E.M.-Journey-to-Saving

Minor Point #2

So anyways, I did manage to export my blog to .xml file and added the software through the cPanel option (BigScoots uses Softaculous -there is a link in the WP Beginner article linked above that gives more info on all the different Apps Installers used for WP). I also increased the import size levels temporarily to allow the blog import.  They are set at 2 MB, so usually you need to increase, although my blog at 4 months old with lots of pictures was only 3.7MB.  These were the instructions I got from Justin on how to do this:

You can increase the import size by doing the following inside cPanel:Click on “Select PHP version”
Select a version other than native, default is 5.3.
cPanel-increase-import-size-limitClick “Set as current”
Click “Show PHP Settings”
Click the gray setting next to the following options:
“post_max_size”
and
“upload_max_filesize”

You need to change both of these to increase the file size limit.

So for some reason when I went in the default was 5.4 not 5.3 (notice now it is showing 5.5).  I don’t know why these are or the importance.  I opted for staying with 5.4 which Justin said was fine  Notice instead of saying “Show PHP Settings” it says “Switch to PHP Settings” which I figured out.  I changed the two settings which were at 2MB to 16 MB each (not shown).

Gotcha #2

Security-lockOriginally, Justin wanted to get into my WordPress.com site but I had trouble in figuring out how to do this because I had 2-step authentication turned on which although for security reasons is probably quite good, it is a PITA to work under.  I especially had a lot of problems with it (see  Gotcha #7  for consequences below), and have since turned it off on my WordPress.com site due to these difficulties.

Basically, once you put your password in, it asks for an authentication code and there is a button that you can click which sends the code to your phone, which you then enter.  But for some reason, and I’m not the only one, because I saw some Forum posts on WordPress.com on this topic, it gets into a loop where it keeps asking for your password and then authentication code and goes no where.  Eventually it locks you out for 30 minutes.  I had that happen to me twice.

Gotcha #3

DNS-propagationI was keeping the same blog name (domain name still to be hosted by WordPress.com) and just changing hosts.  Therefore I needed to update the name servers in my WordPress.com account from the WP.com name servers to the ones provided by BigScoots.  It wasn’t clear to me at what step that change should be made.  I didn’t know if doing it too early would cause me to not be able to get into my old blog.

It only briefly touches on the topic near the end of the WP Beginner article above.  Justin said it didn’t matter if it was done before or after.  Sometimes it takes a little while (up to 48 hours) for the new DNS to replicate around the world, and this includes your own ability to access your new blog (Gotcha #5).  Therefore, from what I know now, I would recommend changing them sooner than later.    Justin gave me a link to an article explaining more on DNS: http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2011/05/25/introduction-to-dns-explaining-the-dreaded-dns-delay/.

Whenever I tried to access my new blog using debtdebs.com/wp-admin, it would take me back to my old WordPress.com site and application.

Gotcha #4

So since, I could not get into my WordPress application software on my new site to do the import, Justin did it for me.  I was able to attach my exported .xml file to the ticket.  He also had to load my YOKO theme and I sent him a link on where he could obtain that.   He downloaded the .zip of the actual theme and extracted it into the themes folder on the server.

He said there were some failures which took him maybe 30 minutes to correct, but I can’t give you any more details than that.  In the end, he never needed to access my old WordPress.com site.

Gotcha #5

Even once he was done, I could not get into my WordPress.org software because of the name server DNS changes not fully replicated.  Justin suggested to force the DNS to change by flushing what is cached on your computer.

cachedIf you open up command prompt type the following:

ipconfig /flushdns

and hit enter

then type

ping debtdebs.com
and hit enter

You should see the new IP address replying back, being 123.456.78.999

This worked, but then stopped working because “Your ISP’s DNS servers are going back and forth, if you want to force the IP address you do so by forcing your computer to see the correct IP using your computers HOSTS file.”  Here’s the instructions, Justin gave me:

http://helpdeskgeek.com/windows-7/windows-7-hosts-file/

Once inside your hosts file, add this line to the bottom and save.

123.456.78.999 debtdebs.com www.debtdebs.com

This worked well.  I was able to get in to my WordPress application and see what needed to be fixed, which is really par for the course, but I will summarize them on Gotcha #6.

Gotcha #6

The following things needed to be added / changed once I got into my new WordPress application:

  • Blog picture in header
  • Some widgets were missing and needed to be re-added:  Social Media icons and Status Bars (I needed to go back into my old site to copy the code for the html widgets), Recent comments (I eventually removed becaused the version available doesn’t have pictures with it) , Top Posts and Pages, Disclaimer, Buttons (Top Blogs, Yakezie)
  • Twitter and Facebook plugins (These couldn’t be added until I installed JetPack – see Gotcha #7)
  • Time Zone in General Settings (I didn’t notice this until I got Akismet plugin working)

Gotcha #7

Remember when I said that I was having trouble getting into my old blog due to the two-step authentication process?  Well, when I went to get an Akismet API I couldn’t get into my old site.  I was anxious about leaving my new blog without spam filter on, so I created a new email address and registered for an Akismet API through that account and email ID.  It worked fine.

So since I had this new email, I also installed Jetpack referring to my new WordPress account and email which was a mistake.  When I went to execute one of my last steps to migrate my existing WordPress.com subscribers over to my new blog (see Gotcha #8), I found out that you need Jetpack to be registered with your old WordPress account to be able to do this.  I have a ticket into Jetpack to find out if I should deactivate and redo, or if they can change something for me.  I don’t want to screw anything up further, so I am proceeding cautiously.  I’ve also left a ticket with WordPress.com Forum and the WordPress.org Forum and at the Jetpack Support site (though theres no public forum of my request, I just received and email back stating my request, but no response as yet.

Auntie-SPAMIn addition, once I realized this, I also realized that I probably shouldn’t have done the same thing for my Akismet registration either.  I launched a ticket for Akismet and they have advised:

You can login to https://akismet.com/account with your old credentials and select a subscription there.  Once you’ve done that, click the ‘disconnect this account’ link on the Akismet settings page, then reconnect.

This has worked fine, and actually all my previous spam history is now merged with my new spam history, so we’ve got all the WHAM BAM thank you SPAM together, MAAM.  (Awww… that calls for a picture of Auntie SPAM again).

Gotcha #8

Followers-SubscribersHere are the relevant links for Transferring Follower and Subscribers which I haven’t been able to do yet until I hear back from Jetpack.

Subscription Migration Tool.  Technically, this may not be a gotcha, but it just feels like it is because I’m delayed.  Hopefully once I have JetPack sorted out it will go smoothly.

I have around 50 WordPress.com followers and would hate to lose them.  :cry:

I’ve already turned on most of Jetpack’s settings.  I’ve come to learn that Jetpack is the standard stuff that is in WordPress.com native.  The only settings I have not activated are:

  • Jetpack Comments
  • Jetpack Single Sign On
  • VideoPress

I have installed commentluv (so happy to have that feature) so I wasn’t sure if I would need the first two.  If you think I should enable, please leave a comment, luv ;-)  (they facilitate WordPress.com blogs and Twitter / Facebook commenters).

Gotcha #9

jugglerOh ya, the other thing that wasted my time was my gmail accounts.  This has absolutely nothing to do with the migration itself, but since it slowed me down, I’m calling it out.

So I have my main personal gmail account and two other personal gmail accounts that I use for playing lexulous, on-line forums etc.  Then I have my blog gmail address which is debtdotdebsatgmaildotcom.  So, you know in gmail how you can have them all kinda linked and switched from one to the other?  Ya, well I use that …. a lot.  So I mentioned in Gotcha #7 about creating a new gmail for my new blog.  Well I don’t know if 5 is too many or because I was working in just one browser, but everytime I tried to log into my old blog email it would open one of my personal gmail accounts.  I could not get into my old blog email and I needed to see if WordPress.com was sending me emails about my password recovery for my site etc.  It was so frustrating.  Eventually, I opened a chrome browser, so I had Firefox, Chrome and Internet explorer browsers open and trying to do all kinds of stuff with the three.  I felt like a juggler.

I don’t know about you but with Google+ now and all the gmails I just get lost some days.

Gotcha #10

But the pièce de résistance that I was able to fix on my own, was this little baby that I mentioned in my previous posting on Two Key Blogging Tips to Help Your Brand and Exposure.   I was so freaked out about it because I thought I was not going to be able to get my beloved fraggle to show in my little browser tab.

How crazy is that, ay?  Well I was broken hearted when found out that the YOKO theme (which I love and am not nearly tired of yet since I’ve only been blogging four months) did not have a spot for me to load a favicon in the theme.

Thanks to this youtube video, How to Install a Favicon to Your Website, I was able to code the fix directly in css and I am such a SMARTY PANTS so PUMPED!
browser-tab-with-favicon

  1. Create a favicon.ico file here http://www.favicon.cc/
  2. Load favicon.ico file into my directory folder “images” at self-hosted site
  3. Insert this css code using editor in the header section under title part:

<link rel=”shortcut icon” href=”http://debtdebs.com/wp-admin/images/favicon.ico” type=”image/x-icon” />

replacing your site information and hierarchy (may be a little different), of course.

I’ve left a note on the Elmastudio Theme Forum (creators of YOKO).  Now isn’t YOKO such a great theme for this site because it’s so much like YOLO?  ;-)

The Recipe

So although it seems like a lot of points above, it really went well.   I just like to have an exact recipe with everything the right order and everything clearly named and easy to find.
many-tasks-of-blog-migration

  1. Procure a domain hosting service and verify you can access their site.
  2. Put your existing site on maintenance mode using tips in Gotcha #1.
  3. Turn off 2 step authentication in WordPress.com if you have it activated.  You will need you printed codes to do this. (Gotcha #2)
  4. Change your name servers in your old WordPress.com site (assuming you are keeping your domain with your old host). Store>My Domains> Edit Domains>Name Servers (Gotcha #3).
  5. Export your blog to .xml (Tools>Export).
  6. Log into your hosting platform and create the WordPress application from the cPanel.
  7. Access your new application via yourblogname/wp-admin.  If it is taking you to your old site, wait a while or follow steps in Gotcha #5
  8. Import your blog from the .xml file.  You probably have to install your theme as well in the WP-Content>Themes folder.
  9. Correct any errors/failures with the assistance of your hosting company. (Gotcha #4)
  10. Adjust widgets / settings. (Gotcha #6)
  11. Install plugins (e.g. Akismet, Jetpack, Commentluv) and activate settings on Jetpack features desired. (Gotcha #7)
  12. Migrate your WordPress.com subscribers.  (Ref Gotcha #8)
  13. Set your WordPress.com site to private and / or Redirect visitors to your new site by procuring Site Redirect ($13 Cdn)

I have not done Step 13 yet.   I haven’t figured out if I need to do it because my link addresses are the same since my blog name didn’t change.  Here’s what they say about it in the WordPress.com Store:

Do you want to move away from WordPress.com to your own self-hosted WordPress installation without losing SEO ranking and breaking links? Have you recently changed your blog address and need to move traffic to the new address? This upgrade redirects your wordpress.com blog to your new blog by performing permanent (301) redirects for all of your content.

If anyone can help a homegirl out and tell me if I should do this for a year I would greatly appreciate it.

Any tips and tricks I have forgotten?  Does this make you more confident to move your blog, or less confident?

like-postCREDITS – we’ve got credits!

Images courtesy of / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Stuart Miles / man carrying boxes, coloured blocks, jigsaw fan
cooldesign / men with boxes
David Castillo Dominici
/ construction
sheelamohan
/ time and lock
renjith krishnan / Make Money Online. Internet Cable With Dollars
rajcreationzs / computer networks
Grant Cochrane
/ cartoon dog juggler
Master isolated images / like

 

The Anna Belle Blog
This post is part of Financially Savvy Saturdays
To join in the blog party, click on the picture above
Follow instructions on host blog
Tweet hashtag #FinSavSat
sciatica-x-ray


35 Comments

B-A-C-K-S (Break50.com, Anti-spam, CNAFinance MVP, Kisses & Kudos, Self-hosted)

Hi folks

I had a good Canada Day weekend, after a rough start, which is why I’ve entitled this post BACKS!  The Irishman tried to change the front brakes on the truck himself.  We had paid $754.76 parts and labour, earlier in the week to have the rear brakes done.  He decided to do the front himself because they are less complicated and he figured he could save the labour charge.  Parts alone were $395.27!  Yikes!  It’s been an expensive week.

sciatica-x-ray-self-hostedAnyhoo, he struggled to get the rotor off because there was rust and corrosion and then couldn’t get the brakes on because they gave him the wrong brakes!!  They gave him rear brakes!   So he rushed to take them back and get the right parts before we needed to babysit and then he didn’t have the right receipt.  So he dropped me off at my grandson’s, so my daughter could leave to go to a wedding and ran back home to find the receipt and get back to the dealership before the parts department closed.

He ended up having to finish the job on Sunday morning and it was a lot of work.  Consequently he is complaining that his back is sore which isn’t good since he had back surgery 7 years ago.   This is his x-ray before his surgery where they put two titanium rods in his back.  I have another photo post surgery of the incision but it’s too gross to show you.

I told him to go to physiotherapy.  I hope he listens and I don’t have to nag him.  Every time he complains about it I’m going to hold up a sign with PHYSIO on it.

Short post (sure you say! ;-) ) today, with various updates on some topics.  So I’ll get started real quick, continuing with the BACK theme.

Break50B – Break50.com Interview

Speaking of brakes (breaks), I was very pleased to be interviewed at Sov’s site, Break50.com,  The Personal Debt Wrangler – an interview with Debt Debs.   Discussions of net worth and Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich (which I’m currently reading) over there.  Worth checking out as there’s information I have never yet disclosed on this blog.  A big thanks to Sov, for his hospitality.

Canada-anti-spam-legislation

flickr: janet galore

A – Anti-Spam Legislation

Canada launched new anti-spam legislation on Canada Day, July 1, 2014.  In order to comply, I believe I have to get express permission from people in Canada who subscribe to my blog via email.  I also need to remind them how to opt of receiving emails, at any time.  Since this is a fairly new blog, I don’t have  a lot of email subscribers, 9 to be exact (most subscribe via WordPress reader or blog reader tools (Bloglovin’ or feedly).  In addition, I don’t know if my email subscribers are Canadian or not.

But in order to be compliant, I did managed to send out an email using Google Forms to get their express permission to continue to receive my blog posts via email.  Google Forms was actually pretty easy to use, although I made a boo-boo with my first email out and forgot to ask the subscribers to identify themselves.  I was getting confirmations back that they still wanted to subscribe to my blog, but I had no way to know which of the 9 subscribers was responding.  So I sent out a second email.  Since then I have received responses back from 3 subscribers with their email (Thank you! :-D ) and another 4 affirmations but with no email indicated.  But I’m suspecting that the four are from the first mail out, so theoretically I have only received 3 out of 9 responses and I should be unsubscribing the other 6 from my blog (Boo Hoo! :-( )

I wanted to do a blog post about how to use Google Forms to do this.   I may still, or I may update this post afterwards, but basically, here is the content of my Google Form:

Anti-Spam Consent

I would like to send a very sincere thanks to all of you who have subscribed to my blog debtdebs.com.

Canada is launching a new anti-spam legislation on July 1, 2014 and to comply with this I would like to obtain consent from you individually by confirming that you agree to continue to receive messages from me whenever I post a new blog entry at debtdebs.com.

You may unsubscribe to receiving these messages at any time by selecting Unsubscribe at the bottom of any email you receive from debt debs or by contact me at debtdebs@gmail.com.

If I do not receive a response from you, I will remove you from the mailing list.

I’m looking forward to continued sharing of my personal finance related stories with you.

Thank you and best regards,
Debs

For more information about Canada’s anti-spam legislation visit.

http://fightspam.gc.ca/eic/site/030.nsf/eng/home

* Required
Do you provide consent to continue receiving emails from debtdebs.com? *

By selecting

My email address is *

This is needed to match responses with responders

 

CNA-Finance-PF-MVP-Award-Vote-for-meC – CNA Finance Personal Finance MVP Award Nomination

As I mentioned last post, my blog has been nominated for the CNA Finance MVP Award.  I was quite tickled given the caliber of the other two nominees.  If you like what you are reading here, there is still time to vote until the end of the day Wednesday.  The votes will be counted Thursday morning.  You can vote by leaving a comment in the post or send an email to CNAFinanceHelp@gmail.com!  Thank you so much for all those who have voted so far!  It’s a long shot for me, but I really appreciate the sentiment, very truly.  :-)

self-hostedK – Kisses & Kudos

Since I’ve been away and not near the internet for a few days, I have a lot of catching up to do.  I see many have re-tweeted my post from Saturday and left some nice comments.  Thank you very much!  I’ll be around visiting blogs for the rest of the week.

S- Self-hosting (Moving Blog from WordPress.com to Self-hosted)

I’ve decided to move my blog from the awesome WordPress.com hosted site to a self-hosted site and that will be happening this week (all things going well, crossing fingers and toes!).  There’s a few reasons behind this, most pressing reasons listed first:

  1. I’ve been asked to participate in an event that will utilize Rafflecopter, and this plug-in cannot be deployed on WordPress.com hosted blogs.
  2. I found out when co-hosting a FinSavSat blog hop in May, that I couldn’t display the other blog posts that were participating in the usual nice format that shows the post and associated picture.  Instead I had to have this dumb little frog’s head, that readers would need to click on to see all other linked posts.  Since I would like to co-host that blog hop again and maybe others, I need to be able to install plug ins on my site.  Full stop.
  3. Initially I did not want to pay anything for my blog, since I felt I was being hypocritical, since our large outstanding debt was the primary catalyst for starting.  I finally got fed up with the annoying WordPress word in the blog url (debtdebs.wordpress.com) and bought my domain name for $26 after I realized I wanted to continue to devote my time and grow my blog.  Now that I realize how much work is involved and still want to continue, I need to set myself up for potentially monetizing my blog down the road.  My initial intention was to grow my readership first, and then decide.  Now I realize that delaying the move will only result in more work down the road.  So that, in addition to the above two factors makes me realize that I should do this now and not delay.  If I had known this before, I probably would have started out as self-hosted.

Happy-4th-July
I must admit, I’m a little nervous.  I’m not technically inept, and I like troubleshooting, but I would rather that things go smoothly because who needs the hassle?  I would rather devote my time to writing and reading other blogs.

So despite my good intentions above, if things seem a little quiet here and from me for the next few days, then you will know why.

Wishing all U.S. based readers and bloggers and very fine Independence Day!  Happy 4th of July!

Be back later.  :cool:

B – Do you ever do your own brake jobs?
A – Any Canadian bloggers done anything similar for the Anti-Spam legislation?
C – Can you vote for me?
K – What are your plans for Independence Day?

S –  Share any words of advice for moving from WordPress.com to self hosted?