Blog Berry Juice is a triannual post where my squirtle and I treat one of my newer pokémon out to some berry juice at Shuckle Shack and discuss the progress of The Grown-Up Trainer. This post's guest, Oranguru.
First, let’s start the final Blog Berry Juice of 2017 by checking out the blog’s stat summary. It has an average of 50 unique visitors a day, with an average of 140 visitors each weekend in December. The most popular posts continue to be the monthly financial reviews.
The blog's social media following continues to grow. Instagram, a great place to see all of the blog art in one spot, has 56 followers. Twitter, the best place to hear about truant posts, U-Turn Tuesday and see Shadow Sneak Peeks, has 58 followers. Facebook, a place that mentions when new posts go live, has 35 follows. The weekly e-mails, which I always send out immediately after a post goes live, are up to 15 subscribers.
It has been an interesting four months. A sweet kiss from getting married in August caused some confusion longer than anticipated. My schedule was thrown off by going to Drag Con NYC in September and continued into our honeymoon in October. I struggled, even more, trying to find my own tempo in November. Finally, in December I skill swapped some inner focus and got back on track. During the whirlwind of these last four months, I fell far behind reading other blogs and even missed appearing on Mrs. Picky Pincher’s list of Favorite Money Bloggers, Part 4.
When I visit with my parents, whether in real life, Skype or on the phone, I always feel like I need to give them assurance that I am doing work that I love and am surviving just fine. Having been with my parents in Montana for Christmas, for 2017’s final Blog Berry Juice I want to discuss the 6 answers I give my parents about my blog.
It was a clear Christmas Eve Eve night at my parents’ house in Montana. I stepped outside to look at the stars. I could hear the clock begin chiming in the cold silence as I stood there, admiring the universe. I had been stressing about my current state of debt and needed a minute to remember what a small part of the universe my debt really was. I was concerned about my debt from the last 12 years, the new debt we started our marriage with and the possible debt that could result from starting our family. The ninth and final chime of the hour rang and was followed by a most peculiar sound, the sound of chains. I looked down and saw a delmise with a note attached to its handle.
Ace Trainer Tojo, there’s no need to fear.
If you are patient three ghosts will appear.
They’ll show you some stories, parts of your life.
We know that it’s debt that fills you with strife.
When I looked up from the note, delmise had disappeared. I went inside to show my husband. “What does this mean?” I asked. He read the note and passed it to my sister. “Sounds like you’re going to be busy tonight,” he said. “We’ll just be hanging out, so join us when you’re done,” declared my sister. “Have fun.”
After watching them play a round of cards, I moved to the couch and stared out the window at the mountains anticipating what tonight would bring. What would happen? What would I see? Would there be snacks? I would soon find out.
June 2017 started off like every other month. By the first Monday, I knew something was off because my rent check yet to clear. This was unusual and my fiancé, at the time, called the landlord’s office. They told him to not worry and check again on Friday. On Wednesday, we received an e-mail notifying us our rent was late. However, I saw earlier that morning that my rent check cleared. After some odor sleuthing, we discovered our rent checks were stolen out of the mail and deposited.
The following two months were powdered with fraud claims paperwork, collecting documents and signatures, taking time off work to deal with it all and a wailmer of waiting. The landlord’s office understood what happened and was very helpful, but we still owed them June’s rent. We borrowed it from our wedding account and returned it once we got our money back from the bank at the end of July. This annoying adventure became known as "June’s sludge wave" because of all the financial sludge that needed to be cleaned up after it hit. It was a muked up mess. I did some soul searching and exploration while cleaning, which eventually led me to restructure my financial pokémon team.
In Part I, I look at the damage the sludge wave caused and what I realized about how my team strategy.
Welcome to December! The first post of December means that it’s time for November’s Review and Net Worth Update.
For those who are new to The Grown-Up Pkmn Trainer, each month I write a financial review to xatu my net worth by writing down my thoughts on the previous and following months. I share these summaries so everyone can gain insight into my personal finances and my thoughts behind them.
I started tracking my net worth to measure my progress, inspired by Budgets Are Sexy, which has helped me keep a keen eye on my personal finances. I have been tracking my net worth since January 2015 and writing monthly financial reviews for myself since 2016. I recommend both because they have been such helpful tools to watch my personal finances stat changes.