What it Means to Us…..What You Mean to Us….

It’s been barely four weeks since we started blogging. Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana. Our big step into the unknown. An opportunity to share plans, write our story, capture our thoughts and slowly and surely bare a little of our soul.

We often wonder what goes into the decision for others to start blogging. The conversation in our house started along the lines of something like this. Mrs. PIE was the “egger on”.

Mrs. PIE: “You should start a blog; it would be a fun and educational thing to do!”

Mr. PIE: “Maybe when I have a lot more spare time. Like, in early retirement.”

Mrs. PIE: “Go on, do it now. You could write about the road to financial independence or our goals or both. It will be as easy as tweeting.”

Mr. PIE: “What’s that?”

Mrs. PIE: “Er……”

You get the picture. Mr. PIE has never tweeted, never owned a Facebook account and only just mastered the concept of a shared photo-stream on the family phones. A bit of a dufus really when it comes to all things social media related. What could he possibly want or need from a blog?

  • Is it to give back to the online community that we gain so much insight from?
  • Is it to build confidence?
  • To learn new things?
  • To side hustle and make a bit of additional income?
  • Do we want to enhance our writing skills?
  • Are we looking for validation of our plans?
  • Feedback and critique on goals?
  • Or just a venture into the unknown…..to chart and log the course for the next island on our journey?

Other than the money item, all of the above in some form or another come into play for us.

But what has been the most surprising to us in the last month is the expression of what we are doing, what we are thinking and, now and again, how we are feeling. We have been amazed by the power of connection, the relevance of our little corner of the blogosphere and the remarkable fact that we have readers who take the time from their precious lives to read and let us know what is on their mind. Wow! Who knew?

Connection is a beautiful thing. Whether that is the journey of a young couple in Australia mapping out their investment strategies and looking to start a family (Dividends Down Under). To the younger generation of bloggers out there who are a lot smarter than we ever were at such a young age (Practical Saver, The Millennial Budget, Fervent Finance and many more). To the sage, wise advice of early retirees who fought the good fight in the corporate world and realized that much more fun, adventure and well-earned time awaits them in the next phase of their lives (e.g. Mr. FIRE Station). And to those blogs that got it all started for us. Yes, Mr. and Mrs. SSC and ONL (Slowly Sipping Coffee, Our Next Life), you are really to blame!

At times we have been overwhelmed by the sheer power of posts at other blogs – often a mirror of what one of us may be going through. The insightful comment that makes us pause and think. To take action and alter our tactics, or just think a little bit harder. The “Ah Ha!” moment. Or the writing that says, “I am not the only one thinking exactly like that” or “My word, that is super smart.” Sometimes all of these things through reading a single post. Yep, that powerful!

Four weeks have gone by and in the interim we have put “out there” a little bit of factual (ideally useful) content, hopefully some thoughtful perspective and a sneak-peek into the minds of two people who never ever thought they would be doing this. The permanent record of our posts does not always capture the temporal aspect of our feelings and thoughts. Sometimes it does – it makes us think really hard before posting our reflection on Ten Things. How can we capture a life of experiences through just Ten Things? Or fully understand the Cognitive Distortions that get in the way of life. How can we boil down into a single post our worries about The Kids? Of course we can’t. We’d be rather foolish to think we could.

But contained in posts like that are the facts, the truth, the acknowledgement of mistakes, distracting thoughts that occupy our minds, some of our concerns and the little wins here and there that grow into a picture of overall larger success. With investments, we slowly and surely build wealth towards supporting whatever life goals we may have. We chart that growth (or portfolio stagnation or inevitable drops) through the common software tools. In the organized chaos to understand our investments, our portfolio allocation or our Personal Capital, we forget to take the time and reflect on the Human Capital. Others have described Personal Wealth as, well, personal.

Blogging allows us to put a little bit of our personal world, dare I say personalities, on the map. These posts may sit around on the interwebs for a long time, may even be a permanent record. Our respective journeys are not set in stone, they are constantly evolving, the course may change and the final destination may alter. Like these journeys, the people that we are and will become is shaped also. Capturing some of this stuff through blogging is our little way to acknowledge change in our person, in our lives. The fun and adventure that awaits us as we chart our different course and navigate the change, both now and ahead, is what really excites us.

What got you started with blogging? What reservations, if any, did you have? What do you seek to accomplish with your blog?


  1. I started blogging for many reasons: personal accountability, the ability to connect with other like-minded folks, and an escape from the usual tasks of daily life. I think my major reservation was thinking that no one would want to read it! Fortunately, I have found a supportive WordPress community even though I’ve only been posting for about two weeks; that really helps keep me motivated!

    1. Ah, the readership. Also worried us for a while. But we jumped in like you and haven’t looked back. The community is very supportive and words of encouragement, sometimes from surprising places, help make it a fun experience.

  2. Hey Mr PIE,

    Firstly, thanks for the shout-out/mention, we really appreciate it 🙂

    I think it’s a wonderful thing getting an insight into people’s lives through a blog, you get a great feel for who they are as a person, the journey they’re on and what’s important to them. We are all living our own lives. Seen as money goes through to all aspects of our lives, we are sharing a lot of info with the world.

    The inspiration for our blog (this will be a post for us at some point too) was DividendMantra and TheSimpleDollar. They have both turned the owners from normal jobs, to working from home and much richer and better opportunities. I also liked DividendMantra (and all the investment blogs out there) sharing how you can build income with a modest income. I love reading and talking finance. So the blog seemed a nice thing to do. Eventually we’d like the blog, or the blog to give an opportunity to a home job, to allow us to work from home – to spend as much time as we can together. I want to share our story whilst also creating opportunity for us.

    At the moment the only downsides is so much time committed to it. Working full time, reading all the amazing blogs & commenting, writing our own posts takes a lot of time 🙂 It will all be worth it though, it’s worth it now – just for the support and sharing of our journey.


    1. I am sure your inspiration and “nudge” to get it all going will pay dividends.Ooh, very bad pun….
      The work now, albeit hard and time consuming, can only help you build the things your family desires. And that flexibility to be able to do it from home sounds awesome. I often wonder how I would handle a work exclusively from home situation.
      Like you, we have been amazed by the quality of writing out there and different styles of storytelling. Just great.

  3. Ours started at one of our Friday off Starbucks dates. We were discussing the whole FIRE concept and what we wanted out of it and I said, “we should start a blog!” To which Mrs. SSC said, “that could be good, I don’t read a lot about people with kids.”
    We brainstormed names and came up with slowly sipping coffee because that’s what we like to do but rarely get to do, slowly sip coffee. Too much rush rush rush in the life we’ve made for ourselves. So early on we realized we don’t want to retire but we want a lifestyle change, most recently we’ve realized whether it’s fully funded or mostly funded it’s happening around 2018 tops! At least on my end, lol.
    The funniest thing was Mrs. SSC being concerned about me keeping up with it for longer than a few months, but I lobe writing I love being accountable and like you, holy crap I’ve been surprised by how much my take in things seems to resonate with people. It’s pretty awesome!
    Thanks for the inclusion and glad we have been inspiring! It’s a great substitute for a therapist too I’ve found, even more savings, lol. Besides who needs a “financial therapist” when you’ve got the great folks out here in the blogosphere? ?

    1. Oh the dark irony of a conversation on a funded lifestyle change starting out at Starbucks. Was it over a frugal tall Pike Place or a rather pricey venti triple shot latte???
      Like Mrs. SSC, it was Mrs. PIE who recognized the smaller number of blogs focusing on the FIRE/kids combo. Lots of young bloggers, lots of long career early retirees (with kids at or nearly finishing college) but few occupying that middle ground where so many of us sit.

      We have found spots in the week where we have mental blanks regarding content but that is only temporary. Something inevitably happens on the drive to work or we hear something on the radio and, boom, there is another post idea.

      As for financial therapy, yes, you can’t beat the free resources literally at our fingertips.

      Thanks again for getting us of our rear ends and into the blog world. It’s a lot of fun so far!

      Mr and Mrs PIE.

      1. I only get actual coffee, typically just a blonde or a similar light roast, and I couldn’t tell you what Mrs. SSC gets except that I probably couldn’t order it correctly, lol. Yeah the every other friday off, we would go and sit and catch up and watch traffic and discuss stuff and Starbucks is the closest bikeable destination. 🙂 The irony is not lost on me though. I’ve gotten a lot more out of blogging than I thought I would have and it’s reminded me of how much I like writing. Like you mentioned, there aren’t too many writers block moments because there seems to always be something that pops up to write about.

  4. Thanks for the post and comments already, it’s great hearing other people’s stories. Ours started in the car coming home from work.

    I said to my wife I have another one of my hair-brain ideas but hear me out…she ended up going along with it and thought blogging was a good idea.

    It’s been a lot if work but great being of this community and to help others.

    The Green Swan

    1. When you finish with the corporate world and drive home on that last commute, it will be fun to reflect on where it all started. Music turned up, windows rolled down. Your very own car-pool karaoke celebration. ??

  5. I enjoyed reading about everyone else’s story and figured I had something to add (whether that is true or not, not sure yet)

    I stayed anonymous as most of my reservations surround friends ( mostly work friends) knowing our financial situation.

    At the bare minimum I wanted to beat the fear of trying something new. Anything else is a bonus

  6. We all have a voice and glad you mustered up the courage to try something very new. Anonymity is a big one for many in the blogosphere. Mrs. PIE only recently disclosed our plans to her family. We have not said anything to a single person regarding the blog. It will be a long time before we do that, probably not even until some time after FIRE….

  7. Blogging was a way to hold myself accountable and talk about something I am extremely passionate about. I also would like to give back a little since Mad Fientist, Jim Collins, Mr. MM, and others got me started. What it also lead to is being part of a great community of like-minded, smart, and kind people with loads of wisdom to share. Welcome! 🙂

    1. The strong community thread is for sure a big piece. And the accountability aspect is honestly something I hadn’t considered. But on thinking more it is very real.

  8. Blogging has challenged me to continue learning about personal finance and reconsidering my own approaches. I also hope to offer a somewhat unique perspective. I think it’s great that you’ve taken the plunge. Thanks for sharing your reflections on it.

    1. We like your unique perspective. We kinda thought we would be a run of the mill blog but feedback tells us we have our own identity so that’s good. Taking the plunge was easier than we thought and now we are up and running, we wonder what we worried about.

  9. Great post, and thanks for including us in your blog-roll now!!!

    1: Accountability and commitment, as many have already pointed out. This is particularly important for us “almost there” retirees because it’s so easy to fall off the wagon and succumb to the pressures of consumerism.
    2: Another thought: If you ask people who teach for a living they will acknowledge that teaching gives you a greater command of the subject matter than just knowing it. I would think something similar is at play when blogging. When you write down your thoughts and rationale for what you are doing you want to convince not just yourself but others. It makes you feel more confident about your goals and methods if you put them out there for others to view and challenge.
    3: there will never be one single truth in the early retirement community. Just because we are nonconformist vis-a-via the regular retirement community doesn’t mean that within our community we have much of a consensus. We can’t all be MMM-clones. Some want to be homeowners/landlords, some are adamant renters. There has to be a whole spectrum of different ideas, experiences, methods and all of us should contribute to that marketplace of ideas. It’s a bit like a personal finance GNU project.

    1. On point # 2, doing your own research is s very good point. If I can use the analogy of submitting a scientific article for publication ( which we are well versed in), you better have your data figures correct, hypotheses well tested and conclusions solid. Otherwise the referees ( blogging community) will let you know for sure!!

  10. I started blogging for personal reasons, to keep a record of what I did (successes and mistakes) to get to financial freedom. I wanted this for my family to have when I’m gone. However, to your point, one of the best things about blogging is the community. There are some jerks out there, but overall, I couldn’t ask for a more supportive bunch of people.

    1. That’s an interesting point. I hadn’t thought of our blog as a permanent record for the future. Of course, once on the Internet, always on the Internet, but interesting to think of our kids reading it in years to come

  11. Interaction with the community was my main reason to start blogging. After that came accountability. Ot better said, think things through before acting. By writing some ideas and plans down in a (draft) post, I am obliged to consider a lot of angles before making the move.

    1. That’s very true. We find that if we want to be able to articulate our thoughts it makes us much more thorough in our research

  12. I am happy to share “blame” for getting you started! 🙂 So glad you guys have joined the blog fun — look forward to following along on your continued journey!

    1. Thanks ONL! You wouldn’t believe the number of times we read your blog and were talking about the very same issues ourselves. It continues to happen! Great to be part of the community

  13. I started blogging to become more intimately involved with my investments. I have been a dividend growth investor since 2007 but largely bought and held stocks without looking at my passive income returns nor growth more closely. Since I started tracking my passive income in 2014 with my blog I feel very connected to all my holdings and have a clearer picture of where I am headed. Initially I had doubts about sharing my personal info in such a public manner but I have come to accept that all privacy is essentially dead and that I was not alone in sharing intimate financial details about my life as many financial blogs exist that showcase everything from income, expenses, investments and debt. I’m glad I started my blog. I get a lot of encouragement from others out there.

    1. Good to hear from you. Our blogs really do make us more accountable. It’s funny, we could make all this stuff up and no one would be any the wiser, but getting an accurate picture for ourselves is a big motivation

  14. Blogging gave me a chance to connect with other like minded individuals and learn new things from others. It’s keeps us accountable as we work towards our goal of becoming financially independent, and it allows me to have a platform where I can write about our progress. I almost didn’t do this because I know I’m not the best writer, or photographer for that matter, but I realized early on that it’s not about perfection. It’s really about the connection! – Mrs. FE

    1. I feel very much the same way bum not a writer by any means (mr. PIE has found a hidden talent!)I have to remind myself that it doesn’t have to be perfect!

  15. Good stuff! I love reading about others motivations and drives.

    I can’t quite remember why we initially wanted to stay a blog…Even though we haven’t been at it long, it took an embarrassingly long time to get going.

    Right now it comes down to (in list format as I’m an incurable engineer 😉 (1) Rabid curiosity – taking time to answer questions I’ve had for ages, (2) Community – connecting with like-minded folks, sharing ideas, (3) Love of writing – finding the right words to communicate and make concepts click

    1. Glad you enjoyed the post! We like lists also being research scientists. Always another experiment to line up, a new hypothesis to prove/disprove. That initial inertia to get going is common in think. But when I look back, hard to imagine why it worried us to start blogging. Although it is hard work at times being disciplined about regular posting.

  16. I started blogging in April because I am in an incredibly high amount of debt (mainly educational) and I wanted to publicly hold myself accountable for fixing it and moving away from my toxic roommates. I found community, which was unexpected.

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