I started this blog (for the first time) on October 1, 2010. I say “the first time” because I also deleted it once—in March 2011, when I was temporarily living in Toronto, wasting away the last few thousand dollars I had. But I started it up again in June 2011, shortly after coming home and realizing I was maxed out.
If we use the original date, I launched this blog 2,736 days ago. That’s:
- 7 years + 5 months + 28 days, or
- 390 weeks + 6 days, or
- 65,664 hours!
You get the idea. It’s been a long time! And since The Year of Less came out, I know there has been an influx of new readers stopping by to say hi or sign up for the newsletter. I haven’t done anything like this before, but I think I’m going to take an idea from Jillian and share some of the highlights from the last 2,736 days!
I’m going to attempt to put these in (semi-)chronological order, but I also want to have some fun with this! So you’ll find links to old posts, notes about what I was thinking during a few situations, and maybe even a song or two to listen to. I will also share some thoughts about “what’s next” at the end.
Highlights from the Last 2,736 Days
- started/restarted this blog (haven’t stopped since June 7, 2011)
- published a lot of weekly spending reports that looked like this, and a lot of monthly budget updates that looked like this
- got my first freelance writing job + first (unpaid) editorial assistant job (at LearnVest) in 2011 (wouldn’t have happened if I wasn’t writing about my own personal finances here)
- decided to stop writing anonymously and share my real first name with readers in 2011, so I could actually share some of these new articles I was writing elsewhere
- finally decided to tell my family and friends about this blog in 2012, for some of the same reasons (looking back, this post is so dramatic—but that’s how I was feeling)
- got a full-time job offer that I promptly said yes to and moved to Toronto three weeks later (behind the scenes: my heart had just been broken by my best friend of 14+ years, and there’s part of me that knows I was trying to run from my problems)
- thought about quitting drinking, quit for a few weeks, drank more, finally stopped
- decided Toronto wasn’t the place for me, moved to Vancouver (and worked remotely)
- paid off the last of my debt in May 2013 and wrote about how (I can still remember having the biggest grin on my face that day)
- thought I was going to delete my blog after that because I didn’t think anyone would want to keep reading (to everyone who told me not to, thank you!)
- signed on with my first literary agent (but we didn’t complete anything together)
- went on my first solo trip in July 2013 (age 28)! I spent 5 days in San Francisco where I met my friend Shannon (who I now visit in NYC regularly)
- got in a car accident in July 2013 that I would ultimately do years of physiotherapy for and still end up needing to get hip surgery (in February 2016)
- moved a gazillion times (real numbers) until I found a place in Port Moody, where I lived for 2 years
- went through a stage where I was obsessed with bringing financial literacy to schools (and forgot about this one, wow!)
- hosted my first meetups with readers in summer 2014!
- started and completed my first yearlong shopping ban (and travelled A LOT that year!)
- decided to do it for a second year (and completed that too)
- decluttered/got rid of around 80% of my belongings
- launched Mindful Budgeting (which has been a profitable side hustle for me)
- built up enough savings + freelance work that I quit my job in June 2015 and have been self-employed ever since (considering I was maxed out just 4 years before, I never thought that would happen)
- signed on with a new literary agent! and got a book deal! (didn’t think that would happen either!)
- moved back to Victoria for 2 years
- went on a solo road trip throughout the US for 7 weeks, where I basically just drove around, stopped in 18 states and visited some of the blogging friends I’ve made over the years!
- moved to Squamish! I have been here for a year now, and it’s the first place I’ve moved to where I haven’t wondered: where to next?
- lost our two family dogs nine days apart (and still miss them every single day)
- finally did some therapy and completed a year of slow living experiments, which I needed <3 (and now zen out with this song daily)
- published my first book :)
When I wrote my first post in October 2010, I was just a blonde who wanted to be on a budget and get my financial life on track. I wrote anonymously (as “LC”) because I didn’t want anyone in my real life to find this blog. All I wanted to do was track my spending and stay accountable throughout my debt repayment journey. That’s it!
It’s wild to look back and see how different my life was 2,736 days ago. If you had asked me then, I would have told you that my goals were to pay off my debt, continue working for the provincial government, save up a down payment, buy a place and continue to climb the “corporate” (public service) ladder.
We could curl up with tea and blankets, and talk about all the little things that made some of these big changes in my life possible. But honestly, I know that a lot of it comes back to three things: tracking my progress on something, asking myself how I’m feeling about it, and being willing to try doing things another way.
There were also a lot of big decisions + calculated risks that made some of it happen. Opportunities that surprised me and I felt “lucky” to get, but ones that required me to give up some stability and/or came up with no promise of a payoff. And don’t forget: it’s been a slow burn (think of a candle that lasts for 65,000+ hours).
I joined the personal finance community 2,736 days ago. In that time, I have:
- published more than 600 posts on this blog (and countless more via freelance work)
- worked for two financial startups for over 4 years total
- worked on Rockstar Finance for 3 years
- recorded 64 episodes of a podcast with one of my best blogging friends
- created a product that has helped people pay off $500,000+ of debt (that I know of)
- spoken at a handful of blogging conferences/financial literacy events
- attended 6 (of 7) FinCon’s in a row
- wrote/published my first book
I know it’s not “mindful” to always be thinking about what’s next, but that’s exactly what I’ve been doing this year. Because something happened in January that I can’t quite explain. I got that same feeling you experience when you start the last chapter of a great book. You know it’s going to be good, but you still don’t want it to end, so you try to savour every minute. Admittedly, I wasn’t savouring every task I had to cross off the list. But now, as things are settling down and I’m starting to prepare for my trip to the UK in May, the feeling is getting stronger. Like one book is about to end, and then I can walk over to my bookshelf and pick out the next one I want to start.
I know that’s an incredibly vague way to end this post, and I’m sorry for that! I also don’t want it to sound like this is the end of the blog, because it is absolutely not. I just know that I’m ready to make a shift. I feel like I’m finally settling into myself as a writer and creator. And something I’ve been reminding myself a lot lately is this:
So instead of this being a post about the last 2,736 days, maybe it’s about the first 2,736.
I’ll be back next week with more thoughts. :)