Updates + A New Challenge

May 17, 2012

This post is going to be a little different than anything else I’ve written before. I feel as though I haven’t been able to connect with everyone online as much as I usually do, so I just wanted to give you all a few general updates and also tell you about a new challenge I want to have to take on!

Going Public
First, I don’t know if it’s been noticeable or not, but I feel like my writing has changed slightly since going public. What is it about being a writer that makes you want to hide your words from people you know in real life!? I think about a lot of the things I write before writing them now, knowing that everyone in my life is potentially reading. (It’s not you guys – it’s me!) Anyway, if you’ve noticed a change in my writing style at all, please let me know. And if this is all in my head, you can also tell me I’m crazy…

Now, a few of you have been asking how my fundraising is going and, as you can see in the status bar beside this post, it’s been amazing! I look at that number everyday and can’t believe I’m lucky enough to have so many people believe in me. I still have a long way to go, but your constant tweets, messages, emails, phone calls and texts are what keep me motivated on days when I’m feeling overwhelmed. I like to think that I’ll be dreaming up big ways to thank you for your continued support, when I’m at the Bold Academy!

Oh, that reminds me. Do you remember when I was nominated for the West Coast Social Media Award’s Best Personal Blog? And when I thought I was losing and almost gave up? Well, it turns out that all of your votes landed me a spot in the Finalists! The decision is now in the hands of the judges and I wouldn’t even be up for consideration if you weren’t for all of your votes and online shares. Can I thank you again for being such a great support team? Ok, thank you!

My First No Spend Challenge
Yes, you read that right. I’m about to start my first ever no spend challenge. If you haven’t heard of them before, no spend challenges are to personal finance bloggers what cleanses are to junk food junkies. It doesn’t mean you can’t buy anything but you are restricted to necessities. Rent, bills, groceries and gas are ok. Books, clothes and take-out are not.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know challenges like this don’t usually work for me. I don’t mind putting a limit on my entertainment budget but telling myself I can’t spend any money somehow makes me blow any normal budget through the roof. So, naturally I’m a little nervous.

But I’m more nervous about the possibility of missing out on some of my regular pay, which is what has prompted this challenge. Due to new changes at work, there’s a chance I’ll lose some pay in the coming months. It would just be temporary, not permanent, but I need to save every penny I can… just in case! And if I don’t end up losing any pay, my Emergency Fund will get beefed up a bit! No harm there. (And holy crow, am I happy my credit card is paid off right now!)

Before deciding to do this, I made a few plans for this weekend that I’m not willing to break. But then it’s game on! Starting this Sunday, you can expect to see Weekly Spending Reports up again, which always help keep me on track (mostly because I have to stay accountable to all of you!).

And… I think that’s it! Now it’s your turn. 

Tell me something good that happened to you recently. :)

  • Jordann @ My Alternate Life May 17, 2012 at 5:06 am

    Is it bad that I can’t think of anything particularly good that has happened to me lately? Glad to hear you are doing so awesome though! :)

    • Cait May 17, 2012 at 8:10 am

      Are you kidding me? You’re planning your wedding! Anything good happen with that recently? :)

      • Jordann @ My Alternate Life May 18, 2012 at 3:44 am

        Oh yes I forgot! My Dad offered to donate $1000 to the cost of the wedding, which takes more of the burden off of me. Which is great! Next stop: Dress shopping. :)

  • myjampackedlife May 17, 2012 at 5:50 am

    I understand your feelings. My blog is teenie tiny compared to yours but I recently found out a few people in my small town are followers and it has kind of given me writers block.
    Something good that happened to me lately is being mentioned in a weekly roundup last week, and reading other peoples comments about the blog was so exciting and encouraging.
    I really hope you win the blog award.

    • Cait May 17, 2012 at 8:10 am

      That’s very exciting! And thanks for your support :)

  • Budget & the Beach May 17, 2012 at 6:18 am

    I know what you mean about going public. I actually started this particular blog to focus only on personal finance because I was was way too uncomfortable doing it on my normal blog which is public. Good luck with your no-spend challenge.

    Two good things I’m going is staying within my budget in May (which makes me feel a lot less stress), and I rented out my garage which will take off 150 off my rent!

    • Cait May 17, 2012 at 7:49 pm

      Congrats on renting out your garage and staying within this month’s budget! Also, I’m loving your blog. Are you on Twitter? The personal finance community is on Twitter 24/7… would love to connect with you more there!

      • Budget & the Beach May 17, 2012 at 8:07 pm

        Thank you! I’m not yet but that was my next step. I’ll keep you posted!

  • fromshoppingtosaving May 17, 2012 at 7:56 am

    I know what you mean too.. once I told BF and my mom about my blog, I suddenly had to remember not to talk crap about them haha :P Well not just that, but I felt like I couldn’t really whine and complain a lot. I don’t think my writing style has changed but I can’t use my blog to rant about why my BF isn’t agreeing with me anymore. I guess I still can, but I have to tread carefully! I don’t want to hurt anyone in real life haha.

    You’re doing amazing though, and I don’t think your writing style has changed. I will support you with your challenge as I am on the same one too!

    • Cait May 17, 2012 at 8:53 pm

      It’s everything you said and more. I don’t want to accidentally mention someone and hurt their feelings. I don’t want to mention work (which I’ve never really talked about anyway). And I don’t know if I want everyone to know when I’m breaking down from stress, haha. And, yes! I was going to ask you how #Fworkout is going :)

  • Cassie May 17, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    I definitely know what you mean too. I link to my blog on Facebook, so anyone I’m friends with on there can see it on my main page. I do find myself watching my tongue when I’m writing, but at the same time blogging is my outlet. I call them like I see them. If people don’t like that, they don’t have to read it. If your writing has changed appreciably, I haven’t noticed. Last I checked I’m still reading ;)

    As for good things that have happened lately… I finally met my neighbour. My sister and niece are coming down to visit tonight so I get to see them tomorrow. The friends we said no about the vacation to aren’t mad at us (we thought they were). The jeans I’ve been waiting 6+ months for finally went on sale. Oh yeah, and I get paid tomorrow. Yay happy thoughts.

    • Cait May 17, 2012 at 8:53 pm

      So many happy thoughts! Sounds like you’re going to have a great weekend, Cassie :)

  • Pamela @ FabulousSavings.ca May 18, 2012 at 6:01 am

    Congrats on being chosen as a finalist – awesome news! And you’ve inspired me to do my own no-spend challenge for the next few weeks at least. Need to add some $$ to my vacation fund which coming up in July – yikes!

    • Cait May 20, 2012 at 9:20 pm

      Nice! Are you getting out of the city?

  • SWR May 18, 2012 at 7:26 am

    Glad things are going so well for you! I personally like doing no-spend challenges when I have something else going on that same timeframe that sucks up all of my attention and time so that I can’t think about the fact I’m not spending.

    As for good things…I finished my first year of grad school!! (Okay, that was a week ago, but I’m still going to be riding high on that for a bit longer!)

    • Cait May 20, 2012 at 9:21 pm

      That’s a good way for me to stay motivated, actually… being busy. I have a lot going on in the next few weeks and, if I stay focused on that, maybe I won’t even notice that I have no money to spend, haha. Congrats on finishing your first year of grad school!

  • carlybumstead May 18, 2012 at 8:34 am

    Sounds like lots of excitement, Cait. Good for you. Sidenote: I have to say, I have definitely noticed a change in your writing. And it’s a good thing. I find the content you are covering to be much more in-depth now. I think perhaps you are less specific about your personal life, but yet more relatable to your readers (if that makes any sense). I’ve really been loving your recent posts (especially over the last month or so). Keep it up! :D

    • Cait May 20, 2012 at 9:22 pm

      It does make sense. And thank you for saying so!

  • Travis Pizel (@DebtChronicles) May 20, 2012 at 7:56 am

    I’m really enjoying watching your progress in your fundraising, Cait…..I’m pulling for you to go to the Bold Academy. As for something good that’s happened to me lately….I was notified that I have been selected to be a speaker at #fincon12 – so excited!

    • Cait May 20, 2012 at 9:23 pm

      I heard! I really wish I was going to #FINCON12, even more so knowing that. Hope you’ll get someone to document your presentation, so I can at least see a snippet of it! Oh, and thanks for your support :)