Hi! Let Me Introduce Myself!
Hello to all of the readers here at Mainstream Mom! My name is Crystal Stemberger and I will hopefully be writing for you at least once a week from here on out. Some of you may already know me, I created and run Budgeting in the Fun Stuff (BFS), a personal finance blog about saving for the future, paying the bills, and budgeting in a ton of fun along the way.
My Beginning with Blogging
I have been a fan of budgets my whole life. I always enjoyed taking a hard look at my money and figuring out how to save it or spend it based on my overall priorities. I didn’t know there were thousands of people just like me until I discovered personal finance blogs in November 2009. I was hooked. I also started noticing that most of the bloggers I enjoyed reading talked about saving, saving, and saving some more, so I thought a blog about budgeting in the fun stuff of life could be something fresh. So I started BFS in February 2010 and built it into a blog that now receives more than 13,000 visitors a month.
Blogging also led me to accepting advertising and eventually I started offering my services to run the advertising for other bloggers too. That business grew so quickly that I quit my cubicle day job in July 2011. It’s scary to rely solely on yourself to provide a solid income every month, but self-employment has been the best decision of my life.
I was able to quickly build up a client list of more than 60 blogs and have been successful in marketing management. From February 2011 to the end of September 2011, I have been able to close more than $55,000 of deals and have been making more than I ever did in the cubicle. I used to receive a salary of $35,000 a year, which meant that I was only taking home about $2100 a month. Since I quit, I have made about $4000-$6500 every month AFTER taxes, insurance, and expenses.
My Personal Finances
I haven’t let this extra income go to my head yet though. My husband and I still operate on the same budget we had before. We have set expenses and savings goals. Once we cover all of those every month, we divide up any remaining extra between the Emergency Fund/Savings account (25%), the Extra Cash for Investments account (35%), the Vacation account (20%), and our two individual Fun Money accounts (10% each).
In short, I am a married, late 20s, self-employed personal finance geek that is hoping to be able to bring you some new information every week. If you ever have any questions or comments, please leave them on my posts or email me at budgetingfunstuff *at* gmail *dot* com. I hope to get to know all of you better as we go!