Blog Berry Juice is a triannual post where my squirtle and I treat one of my newer pokémon out to the Shuckle Shack to drink some berry juice and discuss the progress of The Grown-Up Pkmn Trainer. This post’s guest, Ribombee.
First, let’s check out the blog’s stat summary. It has an average of 55 unique visitors a day, with an average of 150 visitors each weekend in April. The most popular posts continue to be the monthly financial reviews, although 4 Financial Weekly Events was the most read in April.
The blog’s social media following seems to continue to grow. Instagram, the place to view all the blog’s art in one spot and learn about their backstories, has 62 followers. Twitter, the place to hear about post updates, read U-turn Tuesday posts and see Shadow Sneak Peeks, has 71 followers. Facebook, the place that announces when posts go live, has 35 follows. The subscription e-mails, which I send out right after a post goes live before any social media, has stabilized at 15 subscribers.
Since the beginning of 2018, I feel as though my life has been probably the busiest it has been since grad school in 2012. My evenings have become filled with activism, community meetings, project planning, design work and catching up with friends. Near the end of March, I tried to pull back some, but then April continued strong. I enjoy it and am starting to juggle everything better with my blog. This business has defogged some blogging issues that I have been struggling with. Today, I want to address my struggles with missing postdates, relatining to topics, and daydreaming about other ways to grow the blog.
As I have been growing up I have noticed that my weekly schedule seems very busy. Mondays I catch up with Monica, Wednesdays I have date night with my husband, and Fridays I watch the Nimbasa City Strikers. Every week, I have the same routine scatterbugged with meetings and social gathering here and there.
My personal finances also have a weekly routine that lock-on to four different weekly events. Each week I schedule payments, check my checking account, purchase date night’s dinner and buy groceries.
I know 2018 has just begun, but tax season is coming. Before I know it, an IRS Spearow will be a-rattata-ta-tapping at my window, trying to collect my 2017 taxes. Businesses have until the end of January to get us the tax documents that we need from them. February, I usually gather my receipts together to determine if an itemized deduction will help or if I should just take the standard deduction. March, I file my taxes before the slush rush to get taxes in before the April 17th deadline.
These tend to be the three months I focus on my taxes and my tax record keeping habits. In 2017, I did a horrible job tracking the information I will need to complete my 2017 taxes this year, and even worse sorting my receipts, checks and other paperwork from 2016. Hoping to turn over a new bayleef, I plan on starting a 2018 Tax Notebook. In this three-ringed binder, I plan on tracking all of my general receipts, business-related receipts, large purchases, medical expenses, paychecks, and my future tax documents. I dream that once 2018 closes, I will instantly have everything ready for the tax spearow and I will store it easily for the following 3-7 years.
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.
This Blog Berry Juice marks the end of the second tertile of 2017. This is my opportunity to xatu about the progress of The Grown-Up Pkmn Trainer.
It has an average of over 35 unique visitors a day, with an average of over 300 unique views every weekend. The most popular posts are still the monthly financial reviews and net worth updates. At the time of posting, there are 52 people following on Instagram, 56 people following on Twitter, 36 people following on Facebook, and 13 people subscribed to the weekly emails.
Recently my husband and I threw a big party and invited a number of friends and family. Our wedding was such a fun celebration of our love and commitment to one another. Since we are both theatrical designers and have designed, planned, prepared and opened numerous large shows, we thought planning a wedding couldn’t be much different. For the most part, it wasn’t. The biggest differences were that the wedding happens just once, we were the actors who never got to see the show and the stress affected me differently than show stress usually does. The stress levels were the same, but my moody emotions made it more draining than usual. I needed extra recovery time to relax, slakoth and do nothing. The wedding planning and recovery time steamrolled everything I hoped to accomplish with this blog four months ago.
With that in mind, I look in the past and toward the next four months, and it looks busy. There are a bunch of events, a honeymoon and the release of Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. It still appears less stressful than wedding planning, and I want to keep it that way. This is my plan for what moves to continue making with my blog for the next four months, with a few small, additional things.
This week I ended my third decade of moving around the sun. I am now 30 years old, and my biggest concern about turning 30 is whether I need to change my age in the Rockstar Finance Blogdex. There’s a huge debate in my head if it will smokescreen my potential future audience from finding me, but that’s a discussion for later. (Although, if you have an opinion, please voice it in the comments below or on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. ;))
I wanted to start a new tradition to celebrate the beginning of my new year and I came up with the Amulet Coin Money Challenge!
This challenge originates from me thinking about how most of my personal finance related stress manifests from my inability to use my money the way I want to. Whenever I get a large sum of “extra” money, my debt, savings or investing usually extreme speed the paycheck before I can use it the way I want to. The Amulet Coin Money Challenge is a super training exercise that ignores speed and lets me think about what I want my priorities to be for my money.
As I begin my first triannual xatu of 2017, I thought it would be great to xatu about the progress of The Grown-Up Pkmn Trainer as well. It has an average of over 20 unique visitors a day, with over 90 unique views every weekend. The most popular posts are the monthly financial reviews and net worth updates. At the time of posting, there are 32 people following on Facebook, 32 people following on Twitter, 34 people following on Instagram, and 10 people subscribe to the weekly emails. As for the next four months keep an eye on social media for a new audience survey in May and a new section of the website going live during the summer.
Instead of giving a summary of last four months, I thought it might be more fun to share the 5 things that have surprised me about blogging.
1: I enjoy it but it also stresses me out
What does not surprise me is that I really enjoy working on this blog! I am developing a very distinct aesthetic by exploring new ways to use old tools and I am creating art on a regular basis. I enjoy finding my voice for this blog and the development process for most of the posts.
What does surprise me is how much the writing process stresses me out even though I enjoy it. I enjoy writing and editing each post. I enjoy the evolution of each post from the idea, into a hurricane of information that I defog into each post. My weekly life schedule changes like the stats of a moody glalie and disrupts my writing flow. This occasionally limits the amount of time to explore a topic and develop better content. These shortened timelines replace my pleasure with stress.
These last three weeks have been a petal dance of excitement which has left me tired when writing my posts. I want to create great content for my readers. If I enjoy making it, I feel my readers will enjoy reading it. Each of these last three posts has been posted later and later each week so they can meet my standards. I am not changing my Saturday deadlines but I am planning to catch up in May.
In Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, trainers were introduced to a resume feature that reminded the player of the last few things they did the last time they played the game. This feature evolved into the journal in Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum. What I loved about these features was how helpful they were if I picked up a game after not playing for a while. Gone were the days of being confused why my last save was on a mountain with one pokémon at level 60, three pokémon at level 16 and two of the same pokémon at level 1.
This feature did not last long, which disappointed me because I like records and notes. I mostly just like keeping open memory in my head for other information if I don’t need it there and there is someplace outside of my head almost as safe. It may play into the millennial stereotype, but I think it just makes sense. I currently use four different methods to store my personal finance information: my financial diary, my net worth spreadsheet, my student loan notebook and my bill books.
I always thought being a grown-up would be amazing! But now that I am one, I realize it’s hard. Growing up is universally hard for people of all ages. Every stage of life has their hardships. I hear every day how someone can’t lift that or eat this anymore. Children have to learn to walk, talk, use the big kid potty and eventually do homework.
What I find makes growing up so hard for me is the never-ending challenge to improve my life. Navigating a career, starting a family and keeping myself healthy are just a few of my everyday challenges. Personal finances are a big enough challenge for me, they get their own sentence, blog and section in my RSS reader.
I do not claim to be an expert with personal finances. If you have seen my net worth, you may have noticed there is a lot of regeneration to be done, and I am working on it. As with being an Ace Trainer, I know that in order to improve, I don’t need to be afraid of losing. I just need to learn from the winners and figure out what works for me.
When I was a Youngster, I started a savings account to help teach me about banks and personal finances. At the time I thought banks were an important part of everyday society, like Pokémon Centers.
For those of you who don’t know, pokémon centers play a major role in pokémon society and culture. They are a place where trainers bring their pokémon to restore their health, store excess pokémon, offer areas for trainers to connect and all for free. Every town or city, no matter the size, has at least one. Some are even located outside of towns on routes and near caves.
In my mind, banks were a lot like pokémon centers. They kept our money safe, made trades easier, helped our finances stay healthy, everybody used them and they were free!
Before heading to college I opened my first checking account. Over the following ten years, I slowly learned that banks are not pokémon centers. Yes, they both provide storage and make trading easier, but banks are actual businesses. They can only heal our finances so much for free and they all offer different services to do that.