debt debs

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


71 Comments

Frugal FinCon Fiesta Update & Blogger Awards

debt-debsdebs’ devotions #2

Well I may have been a little to ambitious in my Six Month Blogiversary post (you know, the one with a poem disguised as rap song), when I launched my WEEKLY edition of Debs Devotions.  For a personal finance (PF) blogger who only publishes twice a week, that may have been a little lofty to call it WEEKLY.  I haven’t decided yet if I’ll do it biweekly, every three weeks (that would be strange but definitely in the realm of possibility), or monthly – sue me.

So since it feels like a long time and I have a lot of updates, lemme start.

Frugal FinCon Fiesta (FFF)

Well that was really fun and exceeded my expectations.  A bunch of us PF bloggers who were fairly new and focusing on our debt journey joined in a blog party to entertain each other while all our blogmates were boozing it up networking and learning at FinCon 2014.  Well I could say that a libation or five were enjoyed while we virtually partied on blogs and google hangouts but I’ll stick with what goes on in the internet, stays on the internet – ain’t that the truth?!  :-D

I’d like to thank the following Fantastic Frugal FinCon Fiesta-ers for participating with their Ask Me Anything posts: Femme Frugality, pftwins, The Daily Whisk, Cottage Retreatist, Frankly Frugal Finance, Two Kids and a Budget, Downstairs and in Debt, Frugalwoods, Shoeaholic No More, Indebted and in Debt, Debt Discipline, Millennial on a Budget, Busted Budget, Nearly Retired, Messy Money, The Single Dollar, House of Tre, The Spunky Banker, The Intentional Penny, Sunburnt Saver.

I really enjoyed reading all of your Q&A’s and answers and getting to know the person behind the PF blog more.  The sense of community is quite welcome.  It’s like you can talk to other PF bloggers about your deep dark secrets about your financial history and mistakes but you feel less comfortable talking to your friends and family about this topic which can be sensitive.  I want to break that mold and am doing this in a gradual manner starting with family and friends.  I need to be careful to protect my anonymity (for career purposes) and have no link between my blog and career which makes things quite tricky, since I’m basically just a blabbermouth at heart!

I will say that the support from PF bloggers is awesome, when you are on a debt journey, because you meet people with common goals.  You may not have others with the same issues in your circle of friends (they may but you just don’t know about it) and that’s why it feels lonely.    If you do know someone in person, then that’s a bonus way to get support.  Maybe you do know someone, but they are not treating their finances with respect and that frustrates you, so you really don’t have as much common ground as you should.

So as a PF blogger, I’d have to say it was well worth the $2.28 I paid to inLinkz for a monthly subscription to their linky tool. I put that cost in my Entertainment budget line, because at this point that’s what this blog is – purely for my entertainment!  :-)  I’m still trying to reach the broader community of people struggling with debt.  I have a few tricks up my sleeve, but more on that when I get a chance to start to implement them.

In the meantime, I’ve made $20.58 on Google Adsense revenue in three months and a big fat $0.oo on affiliate advertising.  Not sure what I’m doing wrong here, but when I figure it out, I’ll be sure to write a post on it.  I noticed that there’s a lot of generic posts on this topic but no specific posts on the how tos and I find navigating this area a little complex.

Thanks so much to No More Waffles, Budget Blonde, Freedom 35, Money Propeller for promoting our FFF!  Really appreciate it blogging buddies!

Also thanks to Young Adult Money for including my Reasons I’m Happy I’m Not Going to FinCon in his weekly roundup.   The plan is to definitely go to FinCon next year.  I don’t know where it is yet, but where there’s a will there’s a way, and I’ve got the WILL.

Versatile Blogger and Liebster Awards

I’ve been graciously nominated by other fellow bloggers (that rock!) for the above awards.

Autumn @ Barefoot Budgeter , Hayley @ A Disease Called Debt , Kassandra @ More Than Just Money and Tre @ House of Tre for the Versatile Blogger Award and Dan @ Our Big Fat Wallet for the Liebster Award.

versatile-blogger-award-trophyVersatile Blogger Award

The rules are different so I’ll take each one in turn.  For the Versatile Blogger Award:

  •  Tell 7 things about yourself (this is easy, even though I blabbed a lot about myself in Q&A at FFF and in this blog, I’m such an open book I can still think of more)
  • Nominate 15 bloggers (whoa, this is going to be hard because most of my blogging buddies have already been nominated, plus 15 is a big number (!), let me try!)

So here’s my list of 7, some frivolous and some deep:

  1. I love broccoli and zucchini.
  2. I was sexually molested as a child.  I may write about this some day but hard to tie into personal finance.
  3. A movie that  left a big impression on me was Sophie’s choice with Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline.  How could a mother choose between her two children in that awful situation?
  4. I hate making a salad.  Washing lettuce sucks.
  5. I had a cyst removed from my right eye as a kid, which left a scar.   I got what I think is a deep rooted pimple on my left eyebrow the other day but I wondered if it was another cyst.  I think it’s a pimple because it hurts when I touch it.
  6. I played touch football one summer.  I wasn’t that good.
  7. I used to love playing Lexulous (on line form of scrabble), but then I started blogging and have no time for this anymore.

Hard to know if people have been nominated before or not unless they display a button on their blog or you do a search.  I’m going to pick ones that I don’t think have been nominated.  If you have or choose not to participate, no biggie.  Also, I’ve noticed sometimes people just link to the blog instead of a particular blog post.  I’ve linked to the latest blog post so that the recipient gets a ping back:

  1. Everybody Loves Your Money – I’ve just discovered recently that is an Australian blog, so thought that was worth pointing out.
  2. Debt Camel – very useful debt advice here from the UK.  I’m not sure if she will consider doing a Versatile Blogger type post, but I’m hoping she can put a debt worthy spin on the topic if she chooses to.
  3. Budget Loving Military Wife  – currently posted in UK and shares awesome travel, frugal living, offers and debt repayment posts.
  4. Islands of Investing – Jason’s also from Australia and I think he likes doing these sort of posts, because he’s not on Twitter.  Don’t ask me what the correlation is, but it’s just a gut feel.
  5. Frugal Fringe – I nominated Noonan for Best-Kept Secret Personal Finance Blog for the Plutus awards but he didn’t make it to the five finalists.  Noonan also doesn’t have twitter but even still I tweet his posts as he writes good stuff.
  6. Debt Discipline – okay I’m cheating here because Brian already did a Versatile Blogger post and I’m linking to it here.  I just wanted to include him because he was a finalist in the Best-Kept Secret Personal Finance Blog and now gets to put that special badge on his blog!  Also he was in an awesome podcast recently – see below.  Edited to add:  Brian’s family is now debt free
  7. Couple Money – Elle’s a pro and has been at this for a while.  She started podcasting this week.  Go check out Brian’s interview.  Elle will you do a post on 7 random facts about your pregnancy and parenting?
  8. Millennial on a Budget – is a noobie blogger whom I just discovered during FFF, trying to find balance and a “rich” life.  I say Amen to that!
  9. The Intentional Penny – is also a blogger I met through FFF.  She’s almost halfway through he $40K of debt and a really new blogger.  Go check her out and give her a warm welcome to the PF blogging community!
  10. Debt Free Guys – These guys have the Money Masters Series which is cool, but since I like to know a bit more about the personal side of bloggers, I’m hoping they will share, like 3.5 points each.
  11. Eat Laugh Purr  - when I searched for the word versatile on this blog, I got a lot of recipes, so #1 I don’t think she’s done VB award and #2 if you need some great recipes go here.
  12. Makin the Bacon - is a new-to-me site, so I’m just gonna have to check her out and you should too!
  13. Busy Mom Budgets - is a SAHM whose making her budget work for their family!  I’m new to her blog but I’m trying to stay on top of SAHM’s in case my daughter decides at some point to stay home too!  She’s due to go back from maternity leave in November.
  14. Retired Not Tired – is a retired grandmother who I like to check out and see what she’s up to.  She likes to do the meme type posts, so I’m hoping she will graciously accept in the Versatile Blogger Award and tell me 7 random things about retirement that I can look forward to.
  15. This spots for you! – If you’re a blogger I read or don’t read and have not been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award, please comment and this spot is yours for the first blogger who responds!

Liebster Award

liebster3For the Liebster Award, here are Dan’s questions:

(1) Why did you start blogging? Has it turned out to be what you expected?

I started blogging for stress relief about our personal finance situation and for entertainment.  It’s turned out to be a lot better than expected.  There are some drawbacks due to time commitment, but since it’s partially for entertainment and support I try to look at the overall picture.  I used to blog many years ago and my old blog is still there but it’s a bit of a mess (headers from previous free theme template are now taken down, probably a lot of broken links).  My husband used to complain that I spent too much time blogging so I quit.  I didn’t have a focus for that blog like I do for this on personal finance.  It was purely for entertainment and personal support.  The Irishman doesn’t complain about this blog though. ;-)

(2) What has been your favorite blog post you have written so far?

I already put in my FFF post my favourite blog post was the one about my two mother figures and how important there were in my life.  They are both now deceased, so I will pick my second favourite post which is the one about my Dad, who is still here, called Father’s Frugal Finances.  I seem to have a thing about phonetically worded things especially around the letter ‘F’.  One that generated a lot of  traffic because it was featured on Rockstar Finance  was also really fun to make.  That was a good one too.  I guess I need to start a favourite posts page.

(3) How did you decide on the name of your blog?

Well it’s so true that I have this thing about phonetics, so I guess it just came easily.  It was also important to me that I have a brand established, in case there were other Debs in the blogging world.  My name is Deborah, I go by Deb or Deborah and sometimes Debs which is a British pet name which my Mum sometimes referred to me as.  I’m actually in the process of trying to change my nickname from Deb to Debs because I like it that much and prefer to be unique.  It can be done because when I started working full-time I gradually got people calling me Deborah instead of Debbie, which was my childhood name and I wasn’t too fussed on it, so I wanted to leave it in the past.

(4) Sum up your life in 6 words or less.

I started with ~ Happy to live, laugh and love.

Then found that too boring (even if true) and came up with  ~ The world spins, so do I.

My final version which combines both sentiments ~ My world rocks and spins.

(5) Earliest money memory? (If you would like to share)

Why, yes, I would like to share, even if not a happy one.  I remember crying and being in a hospital or a clinic and I seem to feel like my parents were leaving me there.  I don’t know if it was for my cyst surgery (suspect not) or if it was when I was climbing at the grocery store and fell and bonked my head and developed a big bump.  From then on I was known as Debbie Down because I used to climb a lot and my parents continually were saying “Debbie, get down” which eventually became “Debbie, down!”

 

Oh dear, this post is entirely too long!  Sorry about that.  Maybe I need to go to posting more than twice per week.  According to PTMoney’s World of Personal Finance Bloggers, you have to blog at least three times a week to get put on the map.

I’d like to thank Anne at Money Propeller for this post which was invaluable for this post Ctrl + K and I are Good Friends. You should check it out for faster keyboarding skills.  There’s also one on excel.

Now that FinCon is over, now can I go have my nap? ;-)

 

 


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”

 


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!