1 Year, 4 Things, 3533 Tweets

Blogging and writing about my journey has erased the stigma surrounding debt for me.

It is officially Mixed Up Money’s one year anniversary today! As a blog that started out as a way to hold myself accountable for my debt load, and to help me learn more about my struggles with saving and spending, things have accelerated pretty well. Normally I wouldn’t post a reflective blog about my journey thus far, but I think this experience has taught me more than most of my hobbies, and in less time. The personal finance community is a place of openness and honesty in what our failures and successes are.

What I love most about this niche group is the support from each and every follower who takes the time to comment, read, and share any of my posts. Each one of those interactions has made my experience with money worthwhile.

Here are some things I’ve learned in one year of blogging about personal finance:

Finding a mentor can change your entire perspective

And finding more than one is even better. I have gotten to meet some pretty amazing people through my journey so far, and I cannot wait to meet even more *cough* Des – August 7 *cough*. One of the most inspiring people I’ve met though, would have to be Bridget from Money After Graduation. Not only is she extremely funny, but talking to her for hours on end would probably be the easiest thing in the world. Thanks for looking out, and thank you for always inspiring with your words.

Talking about debt is the best cure

Many of the reasons I used to spend money were due to being selfish, young, and carefree. But I was also extremely afraid. Afraid to tell people that I was in debt, and afraid to talk about anything related to money. Instead of being honest and saying I couldn’t afford something, I would just slap it on another credit card and hope for the best. Blogging and writing about my journey has erased the stigma surrounding debt for me. I understand not everyone is comfortable discussing money, but I also know that for me, talking about it openly is what makes it easier to stay on track.

Saving money is the most powerful feeling in the world

Opening my bank accounts to that $0 owing and staring lovingly at my cushion of savings is what I think it must feel like to be rich. Being rich to me isn’t about having the most money, or making the most money (although it helps). Being rich is about how you use your money. I may not own a home, fancy car, or speedboat, but what I do own is worth so much more to me. And that is a debt-free lifestyle.

Nothing is hard when you’re passionate

People often ask me how I can manage all of the things that I have on my plate (wow, that sounded pretentious but I don’t even care to change it). The simple answer is passion. Yes, some days it becomes extremely overwhelming knowing that you have 15+ things on your to-do list and only 48 hours to do them, but if it were hard, I wouldn’t enjoy it. If it were hard, I would let the difficulty of the task outweigh my passion – and so far that hasn’t happened. It can be a tremendous feat to find something you love, and I am lucky enough to have found a few things. Working towards my new mantra is what has pushed me to who I am today.

“Nothing less”

Nothing less than your best. Nothing less than what you want. Nothing less than what you deserve.

So – thank you! Thank you to everyone who has helped me reach this level of success blogging so far. I am beyond excited to see what lies ahead in the next year, and to push myself to a new level of passion. Because if one thing is true, it’s that personal finance will never go out of style.

For those of you who don’t follow my daily life (which is super thrilling), feel free to join me on Twitter.

What are some of your keys to success in life, or your hobbies? Let me know in the comments!