Welcome to our State of the Blog report for August 2017. This month, we talk about side hustles again, as well as what we’re doing about our family computer situation.
While I kicked off the month in high gear with my revamped look, I didn’t do much afterward on the design front after I got the initial bugs ironed out. “Revamp About Me” page still sits on the top of the to-do list, as does “Work on Blog Roll.” I suspect I may have more luck next month when Little Bit goes back to school.
I did, however, manage to post 6 new articles last month (seven if you count co-hosting Financially Savvy Saturday.) By the end of the month, though, I got a bit distracted. I had a 3-day Continuing Education class for my tax prep gig (Schedule Cs.) Little Bit sat nearby, asking to use my computer or for me to take her to the park. And so on.
So instead of writing something new, I updated (slightly) a timely article from last year on getting ready for all that extra fall holiday spending.
I feel good about having written so many articles this month, but I wish I’d been able to sustain it through to the end.
The Side Hustle Goes Boom
Last month in his comment, Brian from Debt Discipline pointed out that freelance writing was a strange choice for side hustling from someone who was struggling to write posts for her own blog.
He called it. While I got two posts submitted, I struggled to provide a good third. Then I read a couple of posts in the past couple of weeks that clarified why maybe this idea wasn’t such a great fit for me.
I read this post on side hustles from Mrs. Picky Pincher. In reading it, I realized that writing for someone else about money didn’t fit my needs right now. I love writing on my own blog because I can write whatever I want. After reading another post from Penny at Picks Up Pennies, I don’t have to worry about fitting someone else’s brand or even staying entirely on my brand.
Freelancing for others means staying on their brand, and sometimes a really great brand doesn’t fit. Mercedes makes terrific cars, but I like driving Hondas. So I emailed my client and let him know I did not want to continue.
I may revisit freelance writing sometime time in the future, particularly if I can write about a different topic. For now, I’ll stick to blogging and tax prep.
Other August Happenings
Luckily I ordered ISO-certified eclipse glasses at the beginning of the month. We got 5 for $10 and held a family eclipse party at our house. My sister-in-law brought the Eclipse donuts from Krispy Kreme. I’d never watched one before, and the whole family enjoyed the spectacle.
Thanks for your feedback on buying a computer for Little Bit. We’ve decided to go with a Windows laptop that we’ll keep in our family room. We scouted deals but didn’t find one we liked enough to go ahead and buy one. So far, Little Bit has $75 saved up from allowance, plus another $30 in gift cards.
I used Maarten’s instructions from the post comments to load Ubuntu on my old laptop. That should allow Jon and I to have a usable laptop away from home and Little Bit to have her own.
Jon cooked some of his hot peppers, and it made his chili tasty if hot. I harvested a bunch and (using gloves this time) bagged them up for the freezer. We harvested the last of the tomatoes, some carrots, and cucumbers, but didn’t plant anything else for fall. I’ll write one last garden article for the year in September.
The To-Do List
To recap, my goals for the year were to:
- Live Healthier
- Increase Financial Health
- Improve the Blog
- Do Good Things
- Get Rid of Excess Stuff
Exercise! We took great advantage of the pool and of the fact that Little Bit’s Daisy Troop had weekly hikes in the woods this month, and I managed 3 days of exercise a week. Plus, I added 2 days of a short strength training exercise into the mix.
Increase Financial Health
My writing side hustle may have faltered, but at least I got everything squared away for my seasonal job this winter. I need to do three more hours of continuing education on tax updates this month and have scheduled another class on amended returns.
Improve the Blog
In addition to writing a bit more, I signed up for 2 classes that I need to do: one on Pinterest, one on SEO.
Do Good Things
No new stuff. We kick off Sunday School this month, and I completed my first knitted project for a charity sale in December. I continue to mind the store at my daughter’s school once a week.
Get Rid of Excess Stuff
I cleaned out Little Bit’s closet this month. While we go through her clothes and shoes twice a year, this time I also attacked the top shelf of her closet. I had stored a bunch of baby blankets and other supplies she’s outgrown. Jon took them in for a donation.
Jon took a bunch of items from the garage and barn to the metal recycler. He got paid for it, too. I’m pushing him to do an article on it for you, but he hasn’t finished it yet.
Wrapping up August 2017
So in retrospect, August 2017 started out with a burst of productivity. While some important things got accomplished, by the end of the month that extra energy had petered out and I feel like we were back to our standard behaviors.
That’s not a terrible thing. We’re not in a bad place…our net worth grows, our spending seems under control, and we get to spend plenty of time doing the things we want to do. While I regret some wasted potential in August, I feel that we have plenty of good things in our lives going on as well. Maybe in September, I can keep those in the forefront instead of dwelling on what I didn’t do.
How did August 2017 work out for you?