Boy, what a month. I know so many people who don’t like November, but for my own, personal reasons, I do.
November also turned out to be a good month for the blog! Reaching milestones I didn’t think I would be able to so quick, and generally teaching me yet again that I am bad at setting goals and need to learn to set higher, bolder goals.
Finances were good too! Not great, but about as good as expected. Christmas is coming as many of us know, and I did buy one, large splurge which I don’t even have the decency to regret.
Can you say flabbergasted? As this modest, little blog grew from 131 views in October, the first full month, to 1 087 views in November, what! That is an increase of over 700 %! I have been following the numbers, of course. My initial November goal was very simply to have at least one view every single day, and while the weekends are lower on traffic, suffice to say that we blew right past that!
Along with that, I can share that in my little book of goals, I wanted to hit 20 followers this month. Back in October, that meant a measly increase of two. Frugasaurus did not just get 20 followers, we now have 32. Again, proof that my goal setting is lousy and not overly ambitious.
I am always anxious about setting goals about external things like views. Writing 3 blog post a week (preferably more, to get ahead), for example, is something only I can do. That goal is easy to set. Aiming for a set number of views on the other hand? That is in part external, even if I affect it through writing content people want to read and trying to share it on social media. Still, there is that uncertainty that involves other people that always makes me insecure.
On top of that, I just feel grateful and happy that other people want to read words I type on the internet. What a compliment. I have worked for a long time to try to aspire to an attitude of gratitude for most things, and this is no exception. I have found that cultivating gratitude is the best way to stop wanting things, something I aspire to as a frugal weirdo and environmental geek.
Inquiring bloggers always want to know, so here it is.
Our main driver for traffic this month has been reading and commenting on other people’s blogs. This has taken some practice on my part, as I am an avid blog reader, but not always an avid commentator. The second largest referrer has been the WordPress reader, with social media on a far third.
In summary, November was far better than I could have anticipated. We are still a far cry away from this hobby paying for itself, but hopefully, we’re on the right track. Ideally, my goal is for this blog to pay for itself within 6-12 months. After that, who knows? I’ll keep writing, that much is for sure.
This month, it has been clear that Christmas is coming. My baby brother asked for help to fund his class trip to the US, so his Christmas and early birthday present for 2018 has been cold, hard cash. I was also able to find something Mr. E. has wanted for a while, second hand but in great condition. I hope we will eventually transition to not exchanging presents, but we are not quite there yet.
Last, but not least, I went ahead and spent an exorbitant amount of money on new glasses. While there is a small sight adjustment in these compared to my old glasses, I have to admit that this is primarily a vain and self-indulgent splurge. Apart from two pairs of cheap-ass glasses which kept breaking, I’ve never quite found a model I really liked. To add to that, I have rather a large noggin’, making the selection available to me even smaller.
But back in June, I saw these simple, slightly Victorian, slightly steampunk, mostly discreet glasses online and thought “Yes, those are the glasses I have been looking for!”. With my last hundred British pounds from our two year stint in London, I went ahead and purchased them.
And then we had two months of financial lockdown and you know the rest. The glasses sat in my drawer, unusable. You see, back when I got hired in May, I had gone down to an optician in town to get a pair of prescription lab glasses, courtesy of work. I have been so happy with the quality of their lenses that I was confident I wanted them to do the work on my (hopefully) forever glasses. But I just couldn’t justify the cost. And I kept not justifying the cost.
I still can’t quite justify the cost. But these glasses make me happy. While my current glasses are absolutely functional, they were a purchase by necessity, and I never really liked them. Frugality is only spending on the things that add value to your life, y’all. And these glasses do.
So, that confession aside, the savings rate for November came to a final 52 %.
Not too bad. October was better at 59 %, but still not bad. As a couple who aspire towards financial independence mainly through side hustles, reducing our spending and living costs is one of the most important ways of achieving that goal sooner. The less we manage to live off, the less we have to hustle until we reach that point.
I don’t have much hope that December will see our savings rate past 60 %. I still have several donations to gift for the holidays and food costs usually go up when we travel south to family. We are also hosting New Years eve at home because we have the best view around! We have been looking forward to that for a long time.
With some dedication, I hope January and February will see us up in the savings rate of 60 %+. Our rent eats a fair chunk of our income, so there is only so much we can cut back.
Did you have a good November? Did you reach your goals? Are you good at setting goals? Let us know!