This post is the 101st post at Married (with Debt).
Many blogs never make it to 100 posts, and when I started it in late 2011, I wasn’t sure where it would take me, or if I would make it this far. So I feel like I should use this as an opportunity to reflect on where we’ve been, take a peek at where we are going, and thank you all for your help in getting there.
One of the main reasons I started Married (with Debt) was to give myself a place to share our success, basically an ear to listen and hopefully some folks to listen to. Once you are on the road to debt freedom, it gets a bit lonely after your friends and family have heard all the details (if you even share with them).
I think this is one of the reason that personal finance blogs create such strong communities. Financial success is almost seen as taboo, and if you talk about it too much you might be perceived as bragging or rubbing it in. It is true that there aren’t many people who aren’t on “our path” that want to hear about people making big changes to better their lives.
They also form strong communities because some people aren’t comfortable talking about their finances with people they know. It’s just easier to share with people you will probably never meet.
So we have become a part of a larger personal finance community, and even created a new one here, I feel.
My Value Proposition
There’s a lot of talk in the blogging industry about establishing your “value proposition,” which is basically a mission statement that tells people what sets you apart, and why they should care about what you think. While there is a certain element of competition and comparison in this, I want to reflect on what I think makes this site different.
No Lectures – Though my financial life thus far is based around what I call the 10 Rules, I’ve always been clear that I’m not trying to tell you it’s “my way or the highway.” I share what works and what hasn’t worked for our family, try to tell you why I think it could work for you, then let you decide.
No Judgment – Dave Ramsey likes to call people stupid, but you won’t find any of that here. This is a place to move forward, not dwell too much in the past. You already know that you made mistakes, that’s why you are looking for a way out. Most of us have made the same mistakes, and I’d be the last one to call you dumb for doing something I did. If smart people didn’t do dumb things, life wouldn’t be so much fun.
It’s About You – You may notice that although I refer to Our Story and how we got in and out of debt, I try to keep the focus on the reader. That means I only do one monthly update on our debt payoff progress, and I’ve never done a weekly spending report. I want to focus on YOU. In the coming months there will be even more resources that I am building to give one-on-one help to those who need it.
Fresh Content with Substance – Another thing you won’t find here are super-short posts that were obviously written last night. I make it a priority to be ahead of the game with my writing because I like to explore new ideas rather than rehash tired topics. I also make sure to spend quite a bit of time thinking them out before I even start typing. This is also why I don’t post every day. If I spend time on something I’m proud of, I don’t want it to be “on to the next thing” right away. Let’s take time to discuss it.
Rule Breaking and Mindset Changing – I don’t want to simply tell you how to get out of debt, I want you to feel the “why” behind getting out of debt. If you are married, I want you to know that doesn’t mean you are now a wage robot built to serve your children’s future. We talk about wage slavery and money myths, whether parents should pay for college, and question the conventional wisdom that says debt is inevitable and you must work 40 years until the government says you are old enough to retire.
Again I want to thank my readers, subscribers, and commenters. I love to write, but not many people love it so much that they can sustain it with no audience. I value every pageview, every comment, and every share on Twitter, Facebook, Google +, etc.
I want to close by saying that nothing humbles me more than when I get an email from a reader experiencing tough times, asking for help. I personally respond to every email, and I take a lot of time to make sure my advice is solid and tailored to your individual situation.
That is why I am doing this.
If you are a reader and have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.