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!

 

first-birthday-309189_1280

 

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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64 thoughts on “Stretch A Dime Turns One!”

    1. Thank you, FinanceSuperhero! Once again, thank you for your contribution to Stretch A Dime. I enjoy reading your blog and love the post on goal setting.

      –Michael

    1. Hi Michelle,

      Welcome to Stretch A Dime!

      Thank you, yes indeed. You have an awesome blog and I love reading your posts.

      –Michael

  1. Congratulations, Michael. You’ve had so many accomplishments in just a year! I wasn’t aware of the podcast episode on The Money Champ — Mr Groovy and I will be listening.

    1. Welcome back, Mrs. Groovy! Thank you!

      Hope you enjoy the podcast, would love to hear your feedback after you listen to it.

      –Michael

  2. I love reading these type of posts! Congrats on reaching the 1 year mark. Mine is coming up soon and I’m looking forward to putting a post together. I totally agree that blogging brings clarity and that the blogger community is awesome.
    Besides that, you’ve done amazing. Keep it up!

    1. Hi Graham,

      Welcome to Stretch A Dime! Thank you very much for your compliment, it means a lot.

      Really glad to hear that you like this post – it took some courage to come out of my shell and put it all out there, especially the income side of it.

      Hope to see you more here.

      –Michael

    1. Hi Piggybanknomics,

      Welcome to Stretch A Dime!

      Thank you, I am glad you found this post useful.

      Hope to see you more here.

      –Michael

  3. Hi Michael,

    Congratulations on reaching the one-year milestone. Well done. 🙂

    You’ve worked really hard. I can tell from the number of articles you’ve written. And from the way you’ve maintained your blog.

    It was a pleasure connecting with you and sharing some knowledge. That’s what we’re here for – to help and support each other. Thank you so much for mentioning me in this article. I am honoured.

    You can only go from strength to strength from now on, Michael, as long as you keep on doing what you’re doing.

    All the best for your blogging journey ahead. 🙂

    June

    1. Hi June,

      Thank you very much! Once again, thanks a bunch for coaching me and empowering me with resources to write blog posts effectively.

      I am always going to have questions for you :). There is something new to learn everyday.

      –Michael

  4. Happy, happy Blogiversary, Michael! Congratulations on beating the blogging odds and building a great site. Blogging is so much more work than many people realize but, like you stated, it is such a rewarding, learning experience, making it very worthwhile. Here’s to another great year!

    1. Hi Amanda,

      Thank you! I see a few folks have used “Blogiversary” – never heard before, but it is cool, now added to my vocabulary :).

      Yes, you bet! I had no idea what I was getting myself into. It has been a fun ride though, enjoyed every bit of it. The best part of blogging has been connecting with awesome people. The second nicest thing is you learn so much for others.

      Thank you again for your wishes.

      –Michael

  5. Congratulations, Michael! Happy Anniversary! Happy Birthday! I’m so proud of you and your work. Your blog facilitated our connection. I feel so honored to call you my friend. 😊

    1. Hi Rita,

      Thank you! You were one of the first to write a guest post for me. I ‘m so glad to have connected with you. I really appreciate your willingness to help.

      Hope to see you more here.

      –Michal

  6. Congratulations on your first year Michael! Thanks for the shout out and the guest post. We have to have that skype or call one of these weeks. Great job turning a profit in your first year. All the best in the year ahead!

    1. Hi Andrew,

      Thank you! Yes, our phone call is way overdue.

      I will text you and try to get something set up for us to chat.

      Hope to see you more here.

      –Michael

  7. Happy blogiversary, Michael! It’s been a pleasure to follow your first year as a new blogger and see how much you’ve developed and grown. It’s been great connecting with you and feeling that we’ve both learned from one another and that’s a real benefit. Keep up the great work and wishing you even more success in the future.

    1. Hi Gary,

      Thank you very much! It has been awesome connecting with you.

      Really enjoy our productive conversations and it has been great connecting with you. Once again, I appreciate all your help!

      –Michael

    1. Hi Paula,

      Welcome to Stretch A Dime!

      Thank you, I am so glad you like my blog. Let me know if you have any questions I can help you with.

      Hope to see you more here.

      –Michael

    1. Hi Lauri,

      Welcome to Stretch A Dime! Thank you very much.

      It is nice to have connected with you through the PF community.

      Hope to see you more here.

      –Michael

  8. Congrats Michael!

    I know in the beginning phase it’s hard to keep going when there’s no one around to read/listen what you wrote. But those of who do seem to stick with it seem to keep on getting more successful!

    1. Hi Adam,

      Welcome to Stretch A Dime! Thank you!

      Yes, that is true. Connecting with fellow PF bloggers is the best thing to do when one starts out. Given that I had “zero” knowledge when I started, this is something I learned a little late. I wish I had learned this sooner rather than later.

      How long have been blogging?

      Hope to see more of you here.

      –Michael

    1. Hi Lydia,

      Welcome to Stretch A Dime!

      Thank you very much. Hope to see you more here. Feel free to give me a holler if you have any personal finance questions.

      –Michael

    1. Welcome back, Finance Solver! Thank you!

      I read about your financial success in Brian’s interview – $40K net worth at age 21, that is truly amazing. Keep up the good work.

      –Michael

    1. Hi Kelley,

      Thank you! You wrote a fantastic post with very useful tips showing the fastest way to pay off debt.

      I am planning to refer to it in one of my upcoming posts.

      Have a great weekend!

      –Michael

  9. Congratulations on your anniversary! I have been blogging for nearly 7 years now and couldn’t agree more with you – about the benefits as well as the challenges. For me it’s been well worth the effort, and I’m glad to see that it has been for you as well. May you enjoy many more anniversaries!

    1. Welcome back, Marquita!

      Thank you very much. I am so glad to have connected with you.

      It is awesome to hear that you have been blogging for 7 years – I ‘m sure I am going to have questions for you and will be reaching out to you.

      –Michael

  10. That is quite a year one, Michael! Congrats on all the positive things that have happened as a result of this blog. Although we just found each other not that long ago, I’m excited for all the years to come. Keep doing great things!

    1. Hi Femme,

      Welcome to Stretch A Dime!

      Thank you very much. It is nice to have connected with you and thank you for me the opportunity to write a guest post for you.

      Hope to see you more here.

      –Michael

    1. Hi Jonathan,

      Welcome to Stretch A Dime! Thank you, I appreciate it.

      I have benefited a lot reading your blog.

      –Michael

    1. Hi Tristan,

      Welcome to Stretch A Dime!

      Thank you, I appreciate it. I felt like quitting many times, but I kept going. It took longer for me to get connected to the PF blogging community. That is one of the big lessons learned for me.

      Hope to see you more here.

      –Michael

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