In the past few weeks I’ve highlighted many of the largest money saving tips that have helped us reach our goal of more than doubling our savings rate for 2016. I’ve discussed everything from cutting our grocery and restaurant bills in half, to sharing my girlfriend’s perspective on what it means to be on the same page financially. Today’s post will focus on the NUMBER ONE factor that has earned us an extra $13,291 this year: blogging.
As Ben Franklin put it, “A penny saved is a penny earned.” I couldn’t agree more.
If our income is already marked for a future purchase, then is it really OUR income?
Let that sink in for a minute.
Our income becomes someone else’s income as soon as it is in our hands. This scary thought is the reason I’m pursuing financial independence. I need my income to go towards buying my freedom.
This pursuit of financial freedom is part of the reason I decided to launch Distilled Dollar earlier this year.
This post will explain how I managed to earn an EXTRA $13,291 in such a short amount of time. I will share with you the same strategy you can use to keep more of YOUR earnings before the end of this year.
Before I do that, I need to establish some credibility:
In a recent study performed by psychology professor Dr. Gail Matthews, people who publicly declare a goal and are held accountable once a week by a partner, are more than twice as likely to achieve their goals compared to someone who keeps their goal to themselves.
At the beginning of this year, I publicly stated my girlfriend and I are seeking to more than double our 2015 savings rate from from 23% to over 50%.
I used to make this same goal EVERY year, as far back as 2013. That’s THREE years where I didn’t live up to my expectations.
When 2016 was approaching, nothing had changed.
Failure wasn’t due to a lack of awareness on how I could do it. Each time I reviewed my budget I found multiple areas where I could improve. Despite having the knowledge, I failed to execute.
Fast forward to today and we’ve already saved more in the first 6 months of 2016 than in nearly all of 2015.
If you don’t think the power of public goals is real then you’re fooling yourself.
Four decades of research by professor Edwin Locke, confirms that, “so long as a person is committed to the goal, has the requisite ability to attain it, and does not have conflicting goals, there is a positive, linear relationship between goal difficulty and task performance.”
This blog has inspired us to stick with our goals through thick and thin, and I want to give credit where credit is due. I can’t tell you how many nights we felt lazy and compelled to get take out. Instead, we remembered that this blog is holding us publicly accountable now. So, we rolled up our sleeves to cook dinner.
You don’t need to start blogging to achieve similar results. You only need to make a goal specific and then tell someone about it.
Blogging was an easy answer for me because it allowed me to share specific details in a public setting while maintaining a veil of anonymity. People are able to, and do, critique my approach. Differing ideas and perspectives actually help us to course correct or take advantage of something we weren’t aware of before.
If you’re interested in starting a blog to create a side business, that’s great, but do it for the right reasons and because you truly want to achieve or say something.
I’m encouraging you to make a blog because you can immediately benefit from the power of making your goals public.
Creating a blog has never been easier and you can set up a new site in under 15 minutes using BlueHost.
If you don’t plan on becoming a blogger, then think of your site as an online diary that you can use to stay accountable as you publicly list your goals.
Before I had more than a dozen visitors, I can vividly remember thinking that this site was already paying off because I was much more diligent, confident, and happy with my pursuit of financial independence.
Of course, my bank account is happier as well.
By definition, I’m creating my vision while expressing my beliefs and disciplines. The moment I write something down is the moment it begins to take shape.
If you’re serious about pursuing financial independence or just saving more money in general, then I highly encourage you to tell a close friend about your goals. If you’re uncomfortable with telling someone your goal, then consider creating a blog.
I hesitated to publicly declare my goals for a long time because I was afraid of failure.
On top of failure, building a website and creating this blog has been entirely outside my comfort zone. I’m a CPA who works with tax laws and numbers all day. That’s my comfort zone. Not writing poems about personal finance.
Anyone who has read to this point knows that all the available information about personal finance is out there. The first and last step to achieving it, is taking action.
Have you been on the fence about sharing your financial goals? Have you seen a similar uptick in success when you share your goals publicly? What have been the benefits to you after starting a blog?