September Was A Month of Wins and Challenges – A Monthly Report

Wow, I can’t believe September just came and went so quickly. I’m somewhat ready for October lol. Other than it’s Halloween and a full month of horror movies playing on TV, it has always been my favorite month of the year. Sadly, it’s no longer Christmas. I realized that as I got older my money depletes. I am now the one giving presents, and no longer receiving them. Sigh.

Anyway, let’s get into how my September went and what my goals are for October.

Before I continue, I’d like to share that links below may contain my affiliate links. What it means is that I could receive a small commission if you click on a link to the product or service that I use myself and recommend to you.

CURRENT DEBT

I wanted to change how I formatted these type of posts. I actually thought of just stopping these type of posts altogether but as I continue to read and be inspired by everyone else’s monthly reports, I decided to give it a second shot. Who knows, maybe it’ll be good for me as I continue to track my progress each month.

You can read my old reports. I cringe at how it was written lol.

One thing that I had learned about my debt is that with my 401(k) loan I don’t have to worry about it anymore. I forgot that it’s money that is being paid back to myself and not technically debt. I’ve been told this by a life insurance agent. I just had to ask since they were asking us personal questions about our financial situation.

This made me feel better knowing that my only debt is my mortgage. I am still worrying about preschool tuition. So far my son is on the waiting list for two schools and tuition ranges from $550 to $810 per month. Because I’m racing against time I found another school that currently has openings. The school tuition is $955 per month and I need to make sure I can pay about $20,000 worth of tuition until he starts public Kindergarten. It’s going to be a long wait but I’m happy that I was able to start saving so that I’ll be at least 6 months ahead of tuition payments if he were to start in January.

MY DAILY ROUTINE

My daily schedule is always different which is why I have a hard time making time for my blog. You can see below what my schedule is like every day It’s so sad but it can’t be helped. I no longer live with my parents and this schedule have become so adult like lol.

Monday/Tuesday/Friday

5:30 am    Wake Up, Drive to work (morning traffic sucks)

7:30 am    Start work

4 pm         Work Ends, pick up son, run errands if needed (afternoon traffic sucks)

6:30 pm    Get Home, Make breakfast and lunch for next day

10:30 pm  Dishes clean, everyone bathed, time to sleep

Wednesday/Thursday

4:30 am     Wake up, drop off son to Sister (morning traffic sucks)

7:30 am     Start work

4 pm         Work ends, pick up son, run errands if needed (afternoon traffic sucks)

6:30 pm    Get Home, Make breakfast and lunch for next day

10:30 pm   Dishes clean, everyone bathed, time to sleep

Weekends

Grocery shopping, housekeeping, laundry

Of course, the times varies each day but this is my typical schedule for the week. If I’m lucky, I can get to bed at 10:30 pm but when things don’t go as planned then I end up sleeping around 11:30 pm. I’m in zombie mode by the time I get up for work in the morning.

I have to admit that having my daily to-do list is super helpful. It is my constant reminder of what needs to get done within the day. I guess you could say it was one of my best impulse purchase lol.

Take a look at my lists for each week of September. Any highlights you see was not completed within the day. That item gets added to the next day and I try to complete it then.

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BLOG STATS

Let’s take a look at my blog traffic. I hate to admit this, but I’m finding that getting traffic to my blog is really hard. I’m still trying to understand Google Analytics as the stats can be confusing compared with Jetpack. It’s never the same.

Looking at my Jetpack stats, the majority of my blog traffic is coming from Instagram.

jetpack referrers

Jetpack also shows that I had 821 views. I think that was pretty cool. I also think it was because I was posting 3 times a week. Here is what traffic looks like since May and at least I’m seeing a slow growth. I still have a lot to work on but it’s a positive improvement.

Here are my top 5 blog posts:

My schedule for new posts

My schedule for new posts had been so random. Whenever I was able to complete a draft I would post it. I realized it was not the right way to build my blog and I knew I had to take it more seriously. I made it a habit to write every day and spend an hour each Friday to write possible blog topics with points of discussion. It had worked well for me and I was happy with my new routine.

I was able to do 11 new blog posts this month! That is a huge win for me! Here is what I wrote for the month of September.

I missed one scheduled posting due to having family down for two weeks during the last week of September going into the first week of October. It threw off my schedule and I wasn’t able to do my daily writing which puts me way behind schedule. I am now playing catch up.

MARKETING STRATEGY

I am still working on this area. I’m don’t have too much free time so I try to be active in bursts of 10 mins every day throughout the day on social media. I would love to read more blogs but my attention span becomes the attention span of a toddler. Or it could be my toddler distracting me each time asking me to play with him? How can I say no to his cute little face?

Here is what I try to do on a daily basis regarding my marketing strategy.

Commenting on other blogs: I try to read at least 5 blogs per day (mostly during my lunch break) and I leave a comment. I also retweet it if I remember.

Responding back to comments: I want to network with others so I will definitely take the time to respond back to comments. This could be a comment that was left on my blog or a comment that was left elsewhere.

Staying active on Twitter, IG: Again, this is where I try to spend 10 mins each time on either platform throughout the day. I am mainly on Instagram, so that’s where you’ll mostly find me.

Deactivated my FB page: I had a page for my blog but when people I know started popping up in my Suggested People feed and my Mommy Finance started popping up in their feeds, I quickly deactivated anything that would connect the two together. I already had 3 people I know find my IG page and I didn’t want more people to find out lol. When I’m ready I’ll share my blog with everyone. For now, I just want to be anonymous to my family and friends.

Follow Fridays: I have done this twice so far and it seems to be positive with everyone on Instagram. I want to be able to give a shout out to the amazing people I connect with online and share their journeys with my followers. I think it’s pretty amazing to see what others are doing in the debt-free community.

Here are the folks that I have shared: @fatherwithcents@ampoire_debtfree_journey, @genymoney, @mystupiddebt, @budgetedbrunette, @theshinydollar, @frompenniestopounds

SOCIAL MEDIA STATS

Twitter: 262 Following

I’m actually amazed I even have people following me. When I first started my Twitter account I was rarely active in it.

Instagram: 873 Followers

Whoa. Thank you to all those that follow me! I honestly didn’t think I would have that many followers when I got started on this platform.

CHALLENGES I FACE

Not enough time: We can all agree that time is always against us. This is my main struggle and this is why I have to have my to-do list with me. Without my list, I can be easily forgetful.

Too many distractions: Family parties, events, and work are distractions in a sense that it takes away from my free time to work on my blog. I even try to work on my blog during my breaks at work or when I’m in too early but when people see that I’m at my desk, it causes interruptions which will make me lose my train of thought.

Torn between family and me time: I am constantly at battle with this one. My free time is always with my family. If I’m not busy cooking or cleaning, then it’s free time to work on my blog. But sometimes that free time is also with my son. It’s hard to choose and I definitely don’t want to ignore my little one if he wants to play with me. I always choose to spend time with my son instead of having my attention stuck to my laptop.

Torn between getting sleep and losing sleep: So in relation to my problem above, I have to ask myself if I want any sleep that I can get or none at all. As hard as I try, even if we try to go to bed early, I still wake up throughout the night. I never get a good night’s sleep anymore. My son sleeps with us….I take that back. My son will climb into our bed sometime in the night if he doesn’t want to sleep in his own bed. Since he was a little infant, we were all in the same room but never in the same bed. Now that we have our own home and he has his own room, he’s obviously still attached to sleeping in the same room as us. But he also got spoiled into sleeping in our bed as well. That means, getting kicked in the face and chest throughout the night because he’s dreaming of doing acrobatic stunts in his sleep.

Work problems: September has been such a good month for me that I wish it could last. But in the past few weeks, it got worse. Another employee is causing drama in a sense that it is affecting me because I’m caught in the middle. I am trying to stay neutral as much as possible but because of it, it’s causing me to lose my concentration both at work and also at home. It’s starting to affect my blog as well because I lose that concentration. My free time at work is now spent worrying about my future in the department all because of one employee. SMH.

MONEY SPENT ON THE BLOG

Here is a list of everything that I had invested into creating my blog and to keep it running.

Bluehost: $95.40

Tailwind: $208.88 (I bought for Pinterest and Instagram)

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing: $197.00

Blog Traffic Transformation: $50 (Regular price $79)

PicMonkey: $47.88

MY OCTOBER GOALS

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I hope to complete my blog maintenance this month because I still cringe when I read my old posts. I knew I was still finding my voice at the time but they could use some work. Since I had also dedicated the month of September to getting added to Pinterest group boards, I will spend October improving my pins and being active in those group boards.

That’s it for this September Monthly Report. Until October, I’ll see you then!

How did your month of September look?

 

Helpful Resources that I’d Like to Share:

Below you’ll find my top resources for blogging, saving money & more!

Blog Resources: Here is a list of tools that I personally use for my own blog. See all the courses I took to improve how I blog and the list of plugins that help keep my blog running smoothly.

Save Money on Groceries: This has been such a struggle for me since day 1 and I always go over budget with grocery shopping on certain weeks. But as long as I stick with my plan, I have my shopping list, and I leave the boyfriend home then I’ll be fine.

$5 Meal Plan: This has been such a time saver for me! This relates to my resource above on grocery shopping. I struggled with meal prepping because I just don’t have the time to spend looking for recipes. I decided to try this out because I have seen popular bloggers mention it and curiosity got the best of me. The system sends me recipes and a shopping list weekly. The recipes are so easy to cook and it helps me save time.

Personal Capital: Do you know what your net worth is currently? Instead of logging into many accounts to track my net worth, I rely on one service. Personal Capital tracks your investments, expenses, and savings. The best thing about this? It’s free!

Free Printables: I went a bit crazy and created a bunch of my own printables that I use for myself to help keep me organized. I also find some amazing printables online that I’d like to share with you. You access everything if you sign up below. I’ll send you the password and the library is yours to enjoy!

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Melanie

Hi! Welcome to Mommy Finance. I'm a full-time working mom of one. Finance can drive anyone crazy and I try to keep it together. Join me as I write about budgeting, money and family.
Join Me On

Hi! Welcome to Mommy Finance. I’m a full-time working mom of one. Finance can drive anyone crazy and I try to keep it together. Join me as I write about budgeting, money and family.




Comments (8)

  1. A lot of stuff here! It’s crazy the amount of time and effort a blog takes, but your numbers are moving higher! Thats awesome!

    I feel like until we reach financial independence, life is always going to be a balancing act too…

    A lot of insightful info that helps me as a new blogger. Thank you!

    1. No kidding! It took me 2 days to write this post lol. I’m hoping October will bring better results. I am tackling Pinterest this month so lets see how that goes.

      Thank you for commenting!

  2. Nice!! Your page views increased a lot, almost doubled from the previous months. Keep it up!

    Baby with Cents does the same thing now!! We let him sleep in his crib around 7 in the evening, then he wakes up 3-4 hours later and wants to sleep in our bed. So we let him sleep with us but he kicks throughout the night which wakes us up sometimes in the middle of the night.

    1. Thanks! I’m still working on my page views. I know it still requires a lot of work.

      Kids are crazy acrobatics at night lol. I woke up sometime in the middle of the night to find my son sleeping sideways. His head was resting on the pillow I was hugging by my stomach and he was kicking the bf in his stomach lol. I don’t like when I wake up to find him sleeping in weird positions. It scares me. I accidentally knee him or something.

  3. Hi there.

    I started using Pinterest as well, and have reached out to various groups to get on their boards. I need to keep contacting them, and hopefully will make some headway soon. My Pinterest is @fulltimedollars if you want to follow me. I’ll follow you as well. Every bit helps as we build our blogs.

    1. Hi HP!

      I really like your page! I’ll add you on Pinterest. It’s been slow moving for me so far. I think the hardest part for me is setting some time aside to create better images and testing them this week. I spent all of last week studying popular bloggers that have big success with Pinterest and when I did comparisons, my page is so sad lol. I have a lot to improve on. Thanks for commenting!

    1. lol I do post and socialize on IG! Tailwind is a scheduler, they have one for Pinterest. Their IG is still in the beta testing but I like it because I don’t remember to post every day. It sends me a text a message when it’s time to post with a link for me to click on. I click on the link, it takes me to Tailwind, I copy my caption and upload my photo to IG. I paste my caption and hit send. It’s simple for me because I spend an hour or so during the weekend to create images and schedule it.

      I need to check out Blogshare! Thank you for sharing!

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