Category: Misc

Stretch A Dime Turns One!

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Stretch A Dime turns “One”  this month and I am so excited about it.

When I started Stretch A Dime, I had absolutely “zero” knowledge about blogging.

My friends ask me a lot of personal finance questions and I help them out with my thoughts and opinions. I am crazy about personal finance – that is my hobby on steroids.

I have always had a passion to write, and a craze for personal finance, so I thought, may be, I will start a PF blog – Stretch A Dime was born.

Honestly, I had no idea of what I was getting myself into.

One thing is for sure, Blogging is super fun if you like to write, but it ain’t easy!

According to NY Times, 95% of the bloggers give up! I ‘m so glad and thankful to be on the good side of the statistics.

Honesty, I have had several days when I felt like quitting – but I am so thankful that I kept going!

 

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Feeling “THANKFUL”

I had no idea I would be connecting with readers and fellow bloggers from around the world. Honestly, I was shocked and pleasantly surprised when I started receiving comments from a reader in Brussels, Belgium!

Can you believe that? I am humbled! 

Nor did I have a clue that I would be connecting with journalists, certified financial professionals, businesses, and  my fellow blogger brethren.

In fact, I have made some wonderful friends in the PF blogging community and chat with them on the phone every once in a while.

#1 First of all, I want to thank you Readers for keeping me going! I love your comments, questions, and honest feedback! Every comment and  feedback you leave is a pat on my back that keeps me going! THANK YOU!

#2 I would like to thank Marguerita Cheng (CFP), Kyle Davis (ChFC), Inga ChiraMichael Kay, Cary Carbonaro (CFP), Doug NordmanBenjamin Bingham (CFP)Kelley Long (CFP)Charissa Quade, Jennifer Harper (CFP), Christopher Girbes-Pierce (CFP)Gary WeinerFinance Superhero, and Andrew Daniels for your contribution to Stretch A Dime.

#3 Dan BowersJune Whittle and Gary Weiner – Thank you! You have been a constant source of inspiration and help. You have been there as often as I have reached out to you!

#4 Kyle Davis (ChFC) – thank you for co-authoring “High School Money Hacks”, it was a great pleasure working with you. Thank you for being a phone call away.

#5 Jennifer Harper (CFP) – thank you giving me the opportunity to work for you. I learned a lot from you.

#6 Anna Thurman and Jim Wang – you have been very helpful in offering your blogging expertise and giving me real good ideas to promote my blog when I started out as a rookie. Super nice of you to go the extra mile and help!

#7 Always save the best for the last, Sarah – my beloved, thank you for being my encouragement, and for proof reading my book!

 

Some fun “STATISTICS”

 

Top 5 Most Popular Posts (09/2015 – 08/2016)

 

How has blogging helped me?

#1 My Investments Have Done Well

Blogging has helped me by orders of magnitude when it comes to managing my finances.

Blogging has been a forcing function – to be honest and true to you, I need to do something first, before I actually write about it.

Here is just one example – when I was writing the series on asset allocation, I had to have my asset allocation in order. I am so happy I did it – I am very pleased with it and happy with the investment returns.

 

#2 Writing Has Brought Clarity

When you don’t know something, the best thing to do is to write about it. That might sound crazy and counter intuitive, but it’s true.

If you want to learn something new, whatever it might be, start a blog and write about it.

“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.” — Aristotle

If you are already a subject matter expert, start a blog and write about it. You would become even better at it.

Here is another thing that I found counter intuitive. I thought that, may be, after the first ten or fifteen blog posts, I would run out of ideas on what to write about.

The opposite is true. The more you write, the more ideas come to your mind on what to write about.

You can start your blog for $1 per month – $1/mo WordPress Hosting from GoDaddy! That is $12 for a whole year! That’s how I got started. If you need help getting started, I would be glad to help.

You will need to study, experiment, learn from your mistakes, learn from your fellow brethren taking the same journey – as you journal your learings, your brain goes from foggy clutter to crystal clear on the subject.

You will be blogging valuable lessons for others to benefit.

Several years back, I read an article on Betterment. I opened an account with Betterment and it has been one of the best investment decisions I have made. I wrote a review on Betterment based on my own experience and several of my friends and readers on Stretch A Dime have signed up.

Sometimes, I go back and read my own blog posts – I look up information every once in a while. It has been very handy!

I don’t claim to be a know it all.  What I do know is this – in the past twelve months, I had no idea I would learn so much about personal finance and blogging.

 

# 3 Connections

I have been able to connect with readers from around the world, fellow personal finance bloggers, certified financial professionals, journalists, and attorneys.

I am humbled!  It has been an enriching and a very fulfilling journey!

 

#4 The Tangibles

I see several personal finance bloggers publishing their income report on a monthly basis.

While I am not ready to do it just yet, here is how I have done this first year!

Income: $719.52 (breakdown shown below) 

  • Affiliate Income: $412.80 (through affiliate networks – FlexOffersShareASale)
  • Google Adsense: $22.58 (I have not used much of Google Adsense, just have a placeholder ad, hope to improvise this year. Have not crossed minimum threshold to receive payment yet)
  • Amazon Associate: $6.76 (Have not reached threshold to receive payment yet)
  • Passive Income: $178.00 (Google ScreenwiseTrends, now known as Cross Media Panel)
  • Walmart Savings Catcher: $33.75 (Read my Walmart Savings Catcher review)
  • Ibotta: $41.75 (Money Saving Cashback App – read my Ibotta review)
  • SavingStar: $17.23 (Money Saving Cashback App – read my SavingStar review)
  • Direct Advertisement on Site: $5.00
  • BookScouter: $1.65 (read my BookScouter review)

I wouldn’t have add any of these income streams had it not been for blogging!

Expenses: $12.18

  • GoDaddy WordPress Hosting – $12.18 (this was a promotional offer from GoDaddy for the first year). Overall, I have been very impressed with their support. I have called them a few times over the year, and they have been very helpful.
  • Yes, I spent $12.18 for one full year of WordPress hosting!

Net Income: $707.34

 

What keeps me going?

At the end of the day, what keeps me going? It is you the READER! THANK YOU for your readership and support!

 

As always, I would love to hear your feedback. What personal finance questions do you have? What would you like for me to write about? If you have enjoyed Stretch A Dime, leave a comment below and make it memorable for me.

 

 

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