Isn't that exciting?
All future posts will be at:
(Mostly because I cannot seem to get this site to let me make links anymore! So frustrating!)
This blog is moving to it's own domain!
Isn't that exciting?
All future posts will be at:
(Mostly because I cannot seem to get this site to let me make links anymore! So frustrating!)
Is there something you have been thinking about doing, but just haven’t quite been willing to take the leap of faith and just do it? Come on, be honest! You know, that one thing you haven’t had the nerve to even tell anyone else you are thinking about doing. Maybe there are lots of things like that for you.
For me it was taking my blogging more seriously and to the next level. I had been quietly reading up on it and researching what it would involve, even making lists just in case, someday, I got up the nerve to act on the idea. Don’t get me wrong, I have a perfectly good blog site already and I have been making a concerted effort to post to it more regularly and more often. Checking the dates on the side bar will prove that while I have had this particular blog, (which is not my first or even my second blog) for a long while, I have been somewhat less than committed to posting to it regularly. Lately I have been adding one or two posts a week to it. At one point, it occurred to me that I could easily add Amazon affiliate links to my blog because I often mention specific products and most of the time those can be found readily on Amazon.
So it started with me giving myself a stern talking to. Are you gonna do this for fun or are you going to try to earn an income, no matter how small, from what you spend time and effort on? I figured it couldn’t hurt, so I did a bit of research of being an Amazon affiliate and it turns out it isn’t all that difficult. The most frustrating thing about it all is that once I made the decision and tried to add the links to my current blog, I realized that the links were not working. Not the affiliate links, not any of my links. I tried several different times over the course of a couple of weeks and they didn’t work. I tried two different computers and they still didn’t work. It wasn’t that I didn’t know how to make the links, because I have done it many times over the past couple of years.
Just when I was making some progress on making my blog what I hoped it would be and starting small with just a couple of affiliate links, something goes wrong! It figures! Just my luck. I then considered the fact that my free blog site might not allow such links, but by then I was seriously considering the whole, get a domain name and do this for real thing. So, one night I was doing more research about how to start a Word Press blog and whether I wanted WordPress.com or WordPress.org and somehow I ended up on a site where I could see if the domain name I wanted was available. So I searched for the one I wanted and it didn’t look like I could have exactly what I hoped for. Perhaps I could switch some of the words around without too much trouble? Yes, there were a few options available so it was just a matter of deciding which domain name I thought would be most closely matched to what I have been using. So I decided to think about it some more and do more research to find out exactly what all of this might cost me. In case you don’t already know this about me, I don’t spend money lightly, at l;east not on things like this, not on, gasp, myself.
A few weeks pass, the year ends and another begins, and all of January passes and still I haven’t figured out just what domain name to settle on. I would be settling too, which is part of the reason I couldn’t get myself to act on the substitute name options I was tossing around. None of them seemed right. I just couldn’t work up any enthusiasm for any of them. It was like the dream was spoiled somehow. I figured I would just put the affiliate thing on the back burner and keep posting to my blog. I could always update the posts if the link thing suddenly started working again.
Then, over the weekend, I watched a webinar. Nothing new there, I am always finding interesting free webinars to watch, but this one got me excited about the whole thing again. I even taught myself to use a free online graphics creation tool in a day and was actually enjoying myself again. I created a Facebook banner, not because I needed one or even wanted one, but because it was possible. I created a business card for myself as a Freelance Writer. What? Me? Well, why not? I’m just creating graphics here, no harm in that right? Fifteen or twenty graphic creations later I was thinking about starting a Facebook author page just so I had somewhere to park my banner. I even went so far as to go to VistaPrint and see what business cards would cost and if what I had created would even work. Meh, something was a tad off, I would try again later and see if it worked better without the border. I had so much fun hanging out at home all day on Sunday and playing at graphic design. I knew I was no good, but it was fun, so it didn’t matter. I kept going and kind of figured out what I was doing eventually. Ah ha! I’m NOT too old to learn new tricks!
I remembered a link to a how to start a blog video from someone I trusted not to lead me astray and started watching it. She has you jump right in with getting a domain name first thing. Oh. We are back to that hurdle again are we? Well, let me see what the options are again I guess. Maybe I could get the name I want in something other than .com and I just didn’t know it. I could live with that right? So I followed the steps and couldn’t believe my eyes when the exact domain name .com that I had been wanting all along was available! It was like that still small voice was whispering in my ear. “Come on, do it! Commit already! Put your money where your mouth is, you KNOW you want to!” Yeah, that voice. Should I do it? What was the worst that could happen? I could pay for the domain name and never use it, that would be a waste of money. So don’t waste the money. What? That’s not what I meant! I meant buy the domain name and actually use it, of course! Well, I guess I could do that.
So, I took a chance on me for a change and decided to commit to my goal, not someday, but now. If I didn’t act, someone else could snatch up my perfect domain name choice, it had to be a sign that I was meant to do it right? So I click the button, and my frugal self talked me into committing for 36 months, because it is so much cheaper per month that way. I was feeling so proud of myself after I made the commitment!
I went and did another possibly crazy thing. Yep, you guessed it! I reworked the business card design and ordered 500 of them. It was easier to do that, probably because there was much less cost involved. So I am officially committed to this blogging thing for the next three years and I will soon have a box of freelance writer business cards that will become clutter on a shelf if I don’t get busy and put myself out there a little more.
So have you ever taken a chance on yourself? What did you do? How did it work out for you? If you take a minute to let me know in the comments, you will be helping me not feel quite so alone in my adventures.
Please visit this site with a new look and new home at:
Many years ago, hubby and I found ourselves faced with the annual car insurance bill. There was, of course, the option to pay the entire amount all at once. That didn’t seem like a great option because the checking account didn’t have that much money in it at the time, if ever.
The other option was to break it down into smaller payments but they, of course, tacked on a fee for the privilege of stretching the payments out. We decided there was another option. We could pull the money out of savings, just this once, and pay the entire bill. This was the option we ended up choosing, but with one condition. Hubby and I decided that we didn’t want to rely on savings to pay for car insurance every time it came up or miss out on the savings ($200-300) we could take advantage of by paying the full bill, so we came up with a plan. We calculated the full bill with the savings and divided it by eleven months. We went into the bank and asked if we could set up a sub account and on a particular day each month have the figure we had calculated as our monthly payment transferred from our checking account into our new car insurance savings account. The bank told us we could and that the special savings would even earn a higher percentage of interest if we were willing to have it only allow one withdraw per month without penalty. Since we were planning to leave it there for the next year until our car insurance was due again, we agreed and set it up. Our bank charges us nothing to do all of this, so it was a great plan. You may be wondering why we divided by eleven instead of twelve months. Well, we figured it might go up before the next bill and we wanted to make sure the money was already in place to pay the full bill when it arrive in the mail. The twelfth payment would insure there was a little extra to leave behind also so we could start the next yearly cycle on a positive note.
This was awesome we didn’t miss the money in the checking account because it was transferred out and we never missed a payment or forgot to transfer the money because it was already automatic. We did this a couple of years and would periodically increase the amount we pout into our car insurance account each month to help offset any car repairs. This made car repairs much less of a drain on our budget too because we had some money save to help pay for them already.
Eventually, this system was expanded. We discussed the fact that all of the appliances in our house were getting older and would likely need to be replaced at about the same time, so we tallied up all the costs to replace the stove, refrigerator, washer, dryer, dishwasher, etc. Then we figured we could have to replace all of them over the next seven to ten years, so we divided the huge total by seventy-two months and decided to begin to pay ourselves first into the newly created Household account. We also figured what we normally spend on gift giving for birthdays and Christmas each year and started a Gifts account. We set another one up in a second checking account we had but weren’t really using anymore and called it our Charity Checking account where we would write checks for fund-raisers and church offerings and such.
Once upon a time we used our tax refund to pay for family vacations. That worked fairly well and quite honestly when the kids were young was the only chance we had of affording to go on a vacation of any kind. Hubby realized that we couldn’t ever go on vacation until we had gotten our tax refund for the year, so he suggested that we decrease the amount of money we had taken out of our checks so we would get much smaller tax refunds each year. Then, we would begin paying the money weren’t having withheld into our new vacation savings account. Each Friday when hubby got paid, we would have the bank transfer fifty dollars into our vacation savings account where the money could be building up and available for the occasional weekend getaway.
This system really works, it all happens automatically so you really don’t miss it but there is money slowly building up in all of these special accounts. The holidays can come and we don’t panic about how we will pay for it, we just stay within the budget we have saved. When we need to replace or repair a household appliance the money is already there, so the stress level is much lower.
I highly recommend trying this for yourself. Start small. Check with your bank to see if they are willing to help you with this. It is basically the envelope system in action without all of the cash stashed in envelopes and lying around the house.
Ways I have been fearless this week:
This week, on Monday, I felt sick while at work. It became increasingly evident, as the morning went on, that I was coming down with the flu or something like it. After a bout or two of the dry heaves, the inevitable happened and my breakfast left me. I cleaned up the stall because I didn’t quite get there in time to fix my aim well on the target. I went back to work feeling ever so slightly better than I had just minutes before, but still not feeling well.
Mom taught us growing up that we may as well go to school because we would feel just as bad at home, and at least we wouldn’t be getting behind in our school work. So, as might be expected, I carried that mentality into adulthood. I didn’t bother stopping for lunch, because it wasn’t exactly offered and I didn’t think I could eat the somewhat spicy soup that had sounded so good that morning when I packed my lunch. I was doing good to take small sips of my iced tea at this point.
After soldiering on for a few more hours, I finally got up the nerve to mention something to my boss. I asked her if there was anything else that just HAD to get done today. She asked why and I told her I REALLY did not feel well. She asked what was wrong and I casually mentioned that I was feeling marginally better after throwing up earlier, but still not well. She figured out fairly quickly after that just what had to be done before I could go home for the day.
It took a lot for me to say anything at all, but I was fearless and decided to put myself and my health first for a change. I hadn’t left work early or called off work because I was sick in years. I went home and slept the rest of the day away in my recliner. The next day I felt a little better but still had an awful headache and my entire body was achy. I got up and went through my morning routine as well as I could trying to decide if I could make it through a day of work or not. When it came time to go downstairs and eat breakfast and pack my lunch, I managed to make it into the kitchen but couldn’t think of a single thing that sounded edible for breakfast or lunch. I decided then to go back to my recliner and rest until my first alarm to remind me it was almost time to leave for work went off. I dozed off, which honestly surprised me since I had done almost nothing but sleep since I had come home the afternoon before. When the alarm went off, I had two choices. I could either call the boss and tell her I wasn’t coming into work today or I could rush around trying to eat something and keep it down and pack a lunch all in the next ten minutes so I could make it to work on time. I thought about my word of the year, fearless, and made the call. When I got off the phone, I put it down on the table, took a sip of water and proceeded to sleep the rest of the day away again. I was feeling much better that evening and was able to eat some toast and applesauce. These always come to mind because they are half of the famed BRAT diet that all mothers learn about when they have sick kids who are “off their feed”. We don’t always have bananas and rice as handy as the other two.
The next day I got up feeling mostly back to my old self and confident that taking the day before off work and asking to go home early were absolutely the right things for me to do. I think I might really be able to embrace this being fearless thing. That first day back to work was kind of rough, but by the next day I was back to my old self again, only maybe better for all that extra sleep I got earlier in the week.
Lesson learned: Don’t be afraid to speak up and make your health a priority.