100 Posts and 2 Years of Writing
Celebrating Your Financial Success
- Several readers have opened Roth IRAs and are contributing the maximum amount (currently $5,500 if under age 50) each year.
- One reader paid off $17k of student loans in 12 months (several years ahead of the minimum monthly payment schedule, saving thousands of dollars in interest).
- 401(k) investment options were reviewed and adjusted to be more diversified and to invest in lower cost funds.
- A couple of readers fell down the Mr. Money Mustache rabbit hole, have learned a lot about personal finance for themselves, and are pursuing early retirement.
- Another reader paid off all of their personal debt about one year from when they first responded to one of my posts.
- In another case of significant debt, a reader paid off $15k in credit card debt in six months and made some significant life changes (including a move) to continue to pay off debt.
- Many readers played along with my Financial Tic-Tac-Toe board and purged several items, learning how easy it could be to get rid of 30 items in a week.
- Readers have reported saying NO to expenses they can’t afford (or don’t want to), feeling like they have permission to do so.
- Others have increased their 401(k) contribution percentage, even by 1%.
- Many are talking and thinking more about their finances, using these emails as a little nudge in that direction, and are simply more AWARE, which has helped them make small yet significant changes. Some apps have proved to be helpful in this regard.
In the words of Lao Tzu, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Small steps add up to big changes. Keep making incremental progress and celebrate your personal wins!
The Benefits of Having a Blog
In addition to your successes, I’d like to share some of the personal benefits I have experience as a result of this project:
- It’s become another way to keep in touch/communicate with friends and family
- It allows me to practice my writing skills
- It also helps me think through how to clearly explain financial planning concepts and articulate my own thoughts
- I learned how to start a basic blog through BlogSpot
- I learned how to use MailChimp
- I’ve also learned how to use WordPress after getting significant help on the website redesign, launched in March 2017
- It’s helped me to (mostly) overcome some fear – that feeling in my stomach that would come before I hit send to hundreds of people (a quote from Seth Godin helped, about not letting the need for perfection or the worry over a few grammatical errors and/or typos keep you from hitting publish)
- In a world of fleeting social media posts and 24/7 new cycles, this site has become a creative outlet and more permanent and meaningful body of work – and that feels valuable to me, as a creator (and don’t forget, we’re all creators!)
- It’s become a way for me to provide value and help to others
- It’s also helped me improve my own finances – because when you think and write about personal finance each week, you start to double down on your own advice
I’ve written about 60,000 words across these 100 posts. According to Google, about 55,000 words equates to a 200 page book. This reiterates the point that by taking small action steps consistently, you can see big results. And I love that I have one place that captures this body of work – and includes books I’ve read and other content and ideas I felt were worth sharing. It’s become a great creative outlet and a helpful resource for me to refer back to and to refer others to.
If you are interested in writing, sharing, and creating I recommend starting a blog.
If you’ll indulge me – and for those who are interested – I’d like to share some of the backstory for Let Luc Finance.
In September 2015 (the 14th – 17th, to be exact), I attended the first-ever XY Planning Network conference in Charlotte, NC. Their goal is to bring real financial planning to Generation X and Y folks for whom the traditional model often does not fit. While I was serving the more traditional client base at my paid job, I was also interested in learning more about how I could connect to friends who wanted some financial guidance.
The closing keynote speaker at the conference was Carl Richards, and one of his recommendations was to build an email list (using a free tool like MailChimp) and just start writing and publishing. I had never heard of MailChimp or started a blog or website but was inspired and excited by the idea – and encouraged to learn this didn’t need to cost a lot of money or require advanced computer programming skills. I had a few key conversations after his presentation and spent the flight home brainstorming ideas for posts. I think I had 30+ ideas by the end of my flight, so I felt I would not quickly run out of content. I also felt that I needed to do it now, while the idea was hot, or I might talk myself out of it.
I spent the next two and a half weeks using my free time to set up the technology – learning how to start a blog, getting it to look “good enough,” opening a MailChimp account, etc. – and on Monday, October 5th the inaugural Let Luc Finance post was published. Some of you may remember that very first email and post. Thank you for letting me take a chance on this project with you!
(As an aside, and because I’m crazy and keep track of things like this, I spent about 30 hours on the project over 19 days to get things set up.)
I started with a commitment to publish at least every Monday, blocked off those evenings to write, and didn’t miss a week until I intentionally did so to really unwind for a vacation in May of 2016. I continued writing most weeks for the first year. I have published somewhat more sporadically but still usually send emails on Mondays and have published 2-4 posts per month in my second year of writing (compared to 5-7 in my first year). I plan to continue writing and will have more to share about what’s to come in future posts.
Thanks for your support. I’m thrilled for your financial progress and success, and I’m grateful that you’ve joined me on this ride.
And of course, let me remind you: Life‘s too short to take too seriously. So go on, Let Luc.
See you in Year 3!