This past year of blogging has been a challenging experience in writing, finance and work-life balance. If I had to sum it all up in one post, here’s what I’d say.
Becoming a Better Writer
For the most part, blogging has turned out like I expected – hard work and fun. The best part is that I get to write about money, which I’d like to do for a living one day. So one of my goals here is to become a better writer.
Inspirations for this blog are great writers like Mr. Money Mustache and Mr. Tako Escapes who paint pictures of their lives through finance. As I soon found out, this is no easy task since a blogger not only needs to write about something interesting, he has to write about it on a consistent basis. Otherwise the blog loses its life and energy.
So I came up with a couple ways to push myself. First, every time I had a new idea for a post, I’d jot it down into the Notes app of my smartphone. This way I could pull an idea from my list whenever I sat down to blog. Eventually I was at the point where I always had at least five ideas on the back burner.
Second, I let the blog guide my life. I knew that in order to write about interesting topics I had to try new things. And so I experimented with Craigslist, Amazon, biking to work and other things that I had never done before I started this blog.
As an added bonus, the blog has kept me accountable for personal goals that I’ve posted and motivated me to improve various aspects of my life. For instance, tracking my progress here has helped increase my net worth by about $100k. So you could say that writing about finance has both (1) greatly improved my finances and (2) made me a better writer.
Learning More About Finance
The other obvious benefit to this blog was my increased knowledge in finance. Contrary to what I thought, a finance writer does not have to be good at finance. He becomes good by writing about finance.
Don’t get me wrong, I had considered myself knowledgeable to begin with. But the more I blogged, the more I found myself researching and studying. In fact, blogging has humbled me by showing just how much more there is to learn and write about. For example, this past year I learned the advantages of index funds over individual stocks. I also learned the benefits of taking on debt. The ironic part was that I learned more practical knowledge by blogging than I had learned as a undergraduate finance major. And the best part? It was all free.
Achieving Work-Life Balance
The final lesson that I picked up from blogging was how to achieve work-life balance. Who would’ve thought that when you voluntarily take on more work (especially work that you love), you become more efficient at all aspects of life? That means less time wasted watching TV or playing video games and more valuable time spent learning, exercising, traveling and enjoying life with friends and family.
For instance, before I started blogging, my typical day went something like this:
- Wake up at 8:30 a.m. and shower.
- Take the subway for ten minutes to work.
- Work from 10 a.m. until anywhere between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. Eat fast food for meals.
- Come home and play video games or watch Netflix.
- Sleep at 12 a.m.
Now, my day looks like this:
- Wake up at 7:30 a.m. and shower.
- Bike for an hour to work.
- Work from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Eat healthy packed salads for meals.
- Bike home and work out.
- Blog for an hour or two (when I have time).
- Work a bit more.
- Sleep at 11 p.m.
Not only am I working and sleeping just as much as before, I’m blogging, exercising and doing all sorts of healthy activities that I’d never tried.
What’s Next for the Blog
For the next year, I’d like to continue reaping the benefits of everything that I’ve done so far. But I’d also like to try more side hustles through platforms like airbnb, DogVacay, UberEATS and Amazon FBA. Of course, these ideas are still tentative and require a bit more research. So if you have any relevant experience, please do share in the comments.
All in all, starting this blog has been one of the best decisions of my life. And for that reason, I’m proud to say that I’ve renewed my domain* for another two years. Mixed Money Arts is here to stay!
*If you’d like to join me in blogging, Bluehost provides reliable web hosting for an inexpensive price. And just so you know, you’ll be helping out the blog if you sign up through my link, so thanks in advance!