One Year Later.

A little over a year ago, Dad is Cheap was born.

I wrote on my very first post that the blog would be my way to express my random thoughts on fatherhood and finance. It has become one of the most rewarding things I’ve done. As I’ve stated countless of times, I used to suck at money. Becoming a father made me do a complete 180 and I just wanted to share my journey. We spend most of our waking lives earning money to take care of our families, yet many of us don’t really take the time to manage our finances. I was that way for a long damn time.

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I started this blog to show people that personal finance stuff doesn’t have to be like pulling teeth. It’s not even that hard. If I can inspire a few people to pay a little more attention to their money, then that’s pretty awesome.

When my friend Ernie from Purple Sweatpants comments that I’ve changed his life, it can’t get much better than that. 🙂

Chronicling my journey on this blog has also helped keep me accountable. When my wife and others read about my plans and goals for our family, I sure as hell better do my best to follow through. For example, when I wrote how I intended to buy an old used car on Craigslist but turned around and  bought a newer (but still used) car at a dealership, I had to explain why. Blogging about my layoff last year also helped keep me sane while I looked for a better job closer to home.

Here are a few things I’ve learned in the past year of blogging:

1. It’s a Lot Harder Than I Thought it Was

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This might surprise some of you that follow the blog, but I STILL don’t think I’m a natural writer. I’m just a guy who got super into personal finance after having a daughter made me realize that I probably should pay attention to my money a little better. Blogging isn’t just simply just thinking about something awesome and typing it and voila – Rockstar Finance and affiliate links!

It’s a lot of work, yo!

Between the writing, editing, and adding pics, it can be a time consuming adventure! (Which is why this post is like two weeks late ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ) Since I’m not raking in the dough writing (yet :)), the blog is usually one of the first things to get pushed aside in favor of more important things like family time and the neverending task of folding laundry. Most of my other hobbies like video games and TV/movies have gone away in favor of blogging. Try as I might, consistency is pretty hard when you don’t have much time to yourself.

2. I’m a Better Writer Than I Give Myself Credit For
As I look on some of my earlier posts I’ve noticed that blogging has helped me become a better writer. I cringe on some of my earlier posts. I think the turning point for this blog was when I wrote about how My Starter Home is My Forever Home. That was my first post that was featured on Rockstar Finance.

I’ve since had posts featured on such sites as Debt Roundup, YNAB’s blog, Rockstar Finance again, and even The Globe and Mail. But I was truly honored when I had the opportunity to write a post for Budgets are Sexy. I never thought my writing was good before I started blogging, but apparently it’s not as bad as I think it is 🙂

3. Other Blogs Have Inspired Me to Get Better with Money.

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Over the past year I’ve learned more about money by reading more blogs. The personal finance community is an amazing group of people that I am proud to be apart of. It’s been awesome connecting with fellow bloggers who geek out about this finance stuff as much as I do. A few interesting reads recently from other bloggers:

A special shout to Michael at The Honeymoon Guy who helped me travel hack my way to three free roundtrip tickets to Hawaii. No. That is not a typo. To be detailed in a future post 🙂

4. It’s a Humbling Experience

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When you first start a blog, everything is awesome. I didn’t really know many people who blogged so having that one thing that no one else did was pretty cool. I started getting fascinated with personal finance shortly before the blog and would talk about it to anyone who would listen. I had all these ideas about saving money, I was going to write all these posts, and everyone would rave about it.

I learned quickly that it isn’t so easy to build your readership (or write regularly). I thought I’d tell a few friends, they’d tell their friends and that I’d be off and running like my friend Kristin Wong at Brokepedia. It’s definitely not THAT EASY.

It’s always weird bringing up the fact that I blog to people. I learned to only briefly mention that I blog when I talk to people and only geek out about it if they ask more. While the people that read my blog complimented me on it, it was a humbling experience when you realize that some of your close family and friends don’t read the blog. I can kind of tell when some friends asks Why I Got a New Car, What My Favorite Budget app is, or didn’t know I was Laid Off Last Year.

You know what? It’s all good.

I didn’t write my blog for them. I can’t worry about everyone who doesn’t read the blog (Because ya know, that’s like a kajillion people). I write it for my wife and best friend Tippy who read every post. For my friend Haydee whom I force to proofread some of my posts. I also write for myself.

But most of all, I write this for Addie because one day I hope that she reads some of my posts and realize how much she’s inspired me to become a better person.

5. I Can’t Quit.
If I quit this blog it will be one of the many things that I’ve done over the years that I’ve dropped like a bad habit because I couldn’t follow through on it. I quit my first job at KFC after one day, quit the guitar after a week, and had one karate lesson and never went back. This blog has been one of the only things outside of work I’ve ever done that I’ve stuck with.

While I’ve built a respectable following, I want to build it up even more, write more, and possibly monetize this in the future. I may never get this blog to be as consistent as I’d like, but I’ll definitely be updating and posting when I can because I want to show my daughter that her dad is not a quitter.

Here’s to more years of blogging.

Thank you for reading.

-Vic, April 2016

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41 thoughts on “One Year Later.

  1. Awesome post! Honest and fun to read.

    #5 really hits home for me. Its like i’ve flipped a switch and now want to participate in things that im passionate about – and not quit – even when the going gets tough. Thanks for the work you put into this – its worth it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Quitting this blog has definitely crossed my mind dozens of times as I wonder to myself if the effort is worth it. I’m glad there are people out there such as yourself that enjoy my random thoughts! Thanks for reading Anthony!

      Like

  2. FYI – I don’t read them because I’m forced to. I find that your blogs are always entertaining and pretty insightful too! Here’s to many more years of sharing how we can make more money and get free stuff! Happy one year brother from another mother! 🙂 ::hugs::

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can’t believe you’ve only been at this for a year! It’s been fantastic getting to know you through your blog. I can relate to all your points, especially your comment that blogging has made you more accountable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha – it sometimes doesn’t feel like a year since I’ve had so many mini hiatuses throughout the year! I hope to one day be a little more consistent 🙂 I try to write about things that force me to reassess my spending habits on a daily basis. For instance I’ve been wanting an Apple Watch for awhile, but I know it’s completely unnecessary and wouldn’t really add that much value to my life. So I hope I don’t get suckered into getting one! (unless I find a great deal haha)

      Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey Vic,

    Huge congrats on your first year! I really enjoy following along with your journey because I truly identify with you as a father. I feel as though I, myself, could have written this very post. When I started four months ago, I had never delved into the PF blogosphere beyond MMM, Rockstar Finance, and the other big-dogs. It isn’t easy to find the time to be consistent but, like you said, I’m doing it for my son, as well…also hoping that one day he will read this stuff as a supplement to the teaching I plan to instill within him as he grows. Our kids, alone, are motivation to keep going.

    P.S. – I’ve seriously quit the guitar like three or four times in my life. I owned a couple during my teenage years that I have since sold but, sadly enough, when I was still making poor financial decision about 6-8 months ago, I BOUGHT ANOTHER ONE! 😐 I still own it but haven’t found much time to devote to it with any consistency. To borrow your awesome character –> ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ lol!

    Thanks for sharing, man; keep up the awesome work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Knowing how I was growing up, I don’t expect my daughter to read the words from her nerdy dad 🙂 What I do hope is that she knows how much I’m trying to better myself for her.

      Consistency is hard! I don’t know how people do it on a regular basis!

      Sometimes I make poor financial decisions because I think that purchasing the product would inspire me to change. I’ve bought tons of self help books for this very reason.

      I stole that character from Brokepedia’s Kristin Wong. She uses it all the time. I don’t know any other emojis besides that and the 🙂

      I’ve enjoyed reading your blog too! One day we will have coffee and talk all about money and retiring early 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You are probably right about our kids not wanting to read our stuff. Hopefully they think it’s “cool” or whatever the trendy word is at the time..but I’m not gonna hold my breath! lol

        I have these grand visions of being the dad who all our son’s friends actually enjoy being around and learning from. I’m sure that’s a big fat pipe dream but I’m gonna keep it going in my head for as long as I can! 🙂

        I’m really glad to hear that you’ve been enjoying my stuff. Like you, I never thought of myself as a writer but I honestly friggin’ love it. The nurse and scientific-reasoning part of me makes me an extremely “left-brain” person so the creativity and artistic nature of blogging gives my right-brain some incredible exercise.

        Meeting up one of these days sounds awesome; my wife and I talk all the time about places we would like to travel in the next few years and San Francisco comes up a lot. While I realize that’s not exactly in your backyard, hopefully we can work something out when the time comes.

        Before taking our son to his first baseball game in Denver last summer, we bought these cool (read, nerdy..lol) passport books to get stamped at all the stadiums..so maybe a Giants game will be in order. 🙂

        Depending on when that trip takes place, we’ll be truly seasoned pros at this PF stuff with plenty to discuss so I’ll be looking forward to that. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Yay, congrats on your blogiversary!! I love the photo of Addie at the ATM; that’s hilarious. And man, you have had a lot of cool features! Looking forward to hearing more about your journey (and these Hawaii travel hacks!). 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Happy one year! From an old hand at this, though not a big hand, it’s pretty awesome to look back and realize DANG, I’ve been doing this one thing for XY years now! And sometimes I wonder why I’m still writing it because you’re right, it’s hard work and definitely hard to make/find time when you’ve got a growing little one running around to care for. But they’re such great motivation to continue.

    Glad I found you and looking forward to many more years!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Congrats on your first year Vic. You’re absolutely right, it’s hard but it’s so worthwhile. Keep it going! Looking forward to the next post already. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Happy blogiversary, Vic! Congratulations on your first year! Addie is lucky to have all your wise words waiting for when she’s old enough to understand them. I wish my dad was cheap when I was growing up. :/

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks for keeping it up. Understand when you are working and have kids it is hard to fit in anything ‘extra’. Like you I’m motivated to give my family a financially secure future but it is nice to get some external support for like minded people through blogging too.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I just stumbled on this blog. Your writings are great. I started blogging for the sake of writing and to get my finances in the right direction. You are much much better than I am. Congratulations on your success. I am planning to read all of your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading!

      I tried looking at your link and it didn’t look like it was setup. I look forward to reading!

      Blogging has been great. I look forward to continuing to share my journey! 🙂

      Like

  11. I totally feel you on the friends and family issue. I opted to tell 0% of my family I am blogging. Partly because I worry about extra criticism, but mostly because I would be discouraged if they didn’t consistently read (which I knew they wouldn’t!) I wrote a piece about growing up poor, and I know it would have been really painful for my mom to read, or worst if her friends read it. Knowing that they can’t find it, helps me write more honest and vulnerable stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

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