Where to Go From Here

This site has been silent for a while now. I’ve only written 5 posts in 2017, and 3 of those posts were recaps of 2016.

It would be easy to say that I’ve lost my motivation to write. After all, I haven’t managed to make writing a priority for some time. But honestly, I think about what I could be writing about on an almost daily basis. I miss writing.

I just don’t feel like Growing Her Worth fits me anymore.

When I started this blog back in February of 2013, I wanted to talk about an area that wasn’t much talked about in the blogosphere: Finances for single women. Buying a home, career planning, vacations, saving for retirement, making decisions about having children; It’s a whole different situation when you’re doing those things single. Especially as a single woman.

Sure, I was dating when I started this blog. But I didn’t see that relationship as going anywhere. I was still making plans as if I might be single for a long time. Possibly forever.

As life would have it, 2013 ended up being a year of changes for me. The idea of turning 35 hit me pretty hard, and I decided it was time to get serious about my life, and where I was heading. I decided that continuing in school to earn my Masters in Accounting didn’t match up with my long-term life plans, so I stopped taking classes. I started getting really serious about making better financial decisions. And I decided to end the relationship that wasn’t headed anywhere.

Ending the relationship is actually what saved it. We were both forced to think about what was important to us, and what we really wanted out of life. Not what our families wanted, or what we were supposed to want. We learned to communicate, and how to work together on building a life that would make both of us happy.

For the last 3 and a half years, I’ve been building a life with the man I love. It’s been a slow process, and we’ve had a lot of hurdles to overcome. Through all of the changes, I tried to continue documenting my financial journey on this blog.

As our lives became more intertwined, my financial journey has become our financial journey. I tried to include that process in the blog as well. There were so many things I wanted to write about along the way. But the more I explained, the more I felt the need to explain. And sometimes, it felt a little like crossing the line between what was my story to tell, and what was someone else’s.

I still crave having a place to talk about my journey. To talk about our journey. The desire to move forward leaves me with conflicted feelings about this blog. First off, Growing Her Worth no longer fits. But it’s more than just the name: This blog has my history. And I can’t help but feel like that history, that concentration on me, and having to explain the process of becoming we, somehow still emphasizes the yours and mine aspect of our financial situation.

Although I’ve been silent on this blog for many months, I still continue to be very active with my personal finances. I still track our net worth every month. But now, it’s our net worth. I don’t focus on where I was versus where we are. For me, that has helped tremendously in coming to peace with our current financial situation: The debt, the savings, the retirement accounts. When the focus became ours, it alleviated the blame, the feelings of ownership, and some of the guilt over past mistakes. We’ve been able to move forward, and think about the future. We can stop focusing on how we got where we are, and start focusing on how we’re improving.

So, what does that mean for this blog?

I’m still not sure. I considered abandoning this blog completely, and starting something new. But there is still a following on this blog, small as it may be. Even after months of silence, people are still checking the blog daily. I don’t want to let that go.

I considered scrubbing the blog free of all past posts, and starting over. But what about the name? And did I want to focus solely on personal finance? And what about all of my past writing? I actually find myself looking back on past posts all the time. It’s an amazing reference of where I’ve been over the last 4 years, and I find it so fascinating to read back and feel what I was going through when I was in a very different place in my life.

Honestly, I’m still not 100% sure what to do. I think I may do a hybrid approach: Building a new blog and slowly combining the two, while scrubbing this blog of some of the past posts I no longer feel comfortable having out in the world.

I’m also unsure of how to refer to us in the online world. Cindy and Bryan are not our real names. I’m okay with continuing to be Cindy, as it is a name that I relate to. But Bryan is definitely not a Bryan. He isn’t Mr. Cindy yet either. Mr. Cindy doesn’t really have the right ring to it anyways. Until I feel comfortable with where this blog is headed, I’m not comfortable losing the anonymity. Who are we in the online world?

I’ve been chewing over these questions for months, but my best option may be opening things up to all of you. What types of changes do you feel are appropriate for this blog? What would you like to see here? Should I point everyone to a new blog, and eventually abandon this one? Move forward on two platforms?

As I figure all of this out, I’d like to get back to blogging. Maybe figure things out as I go along? Trial and error? But I’d definitely like all of your input.

What does the future hold for Growing Her Worth?

Comments

  1. I was wondering where you were 🙂 I got married in the fall and this is something I’ve been struggling with as well. I’m not comfortable talking about his finances. We didn’t fully combine our finances, so that leaves me room to talk about mine and our household spending. I’m not interested in discussing our month-by-month spending though – that’s between us. I haven’t fully come to a conclusion yet. I will say though that having a partner to discuss this stuff with is far more valuable than having a blog. Good luck with your process!

    1. I definitely understand where you’re coming from.

      In theory (since I haven’t done it yet), I’m comfortable talking about our finances as a whole, including monthly spending (in general terms). But I want it to be focused 100% on the our part, not the his and mine that became ours. Which makes it hard, since this blog has been focused entirely on my journey up to this point. So, if you know where I was, it looks like I’m taking a big step back going from me to we. The overall picture is that I’m not; While I didn’t have any debt, and a small cash reserve, he was bringing a fully-funded pension to the table. We’re both bringing financial value, just in very different terms. Together, our financial picture is much better than either was apart.

      It’s a process, but I’m definitely hopeful about figuring out a way to be comfortable moving forward with this (or another) blog.

      Congratulations on your wedding last Fall!

  2. Hi, Cindy. I was one of those that used to check in on your blog every day. I thought you had given up on it and had stopped looking, so was pleasantly surprised – when I decided to give it a check – with this post. I think you write very well and it’s this combined with your honesty and openness that brings me back, even though I’m a lot further along the FI journey.

    As to your dilemma, obviously it’s going to be different as a couple. What does Bryan think about putting his financial and some other life out there on the internet? Albeit anonymously. If he’s okay with this I think your hybrid approach is a good one. Start another blog under a more appropriate name and write a few posts in it so people going over to it have something to read there and feel like it’s a going concern. Then maybe several more posts at Growing Her Worth, with links in them to your new blog. I think your right in wanting to retain your audience, you’ve spent a lot of time and effort building it. The new blog could be really good and contain the strengths that you as a couple have.

    1. Thank you Geoff! It really means a lot to me that people are interested in what I have to say, and enjoy coming to this blog.

      Bryan and I have talked on and off about this blog for years. He doesn’t really understand what a blog is, nor does he have much interest in knowing.

      When I really started considering changing the blog, we sat down and discussed what exactly a blog was, and what exactly I was wanting to do. I explained that it was anonymous, but that there was always a possibility that someone would figure out who I was, especially if the blog ever gained a following. We talked about the type of information I wanted to share.

      Right now, he’s okay with it. I think this is an ongoing conversation though, especially as the blog changes and (maybe. hopefully) grows. It’s funny though, I’m worried about oversharing online, whereas he tends to over share in real life. So I stressed how important it was NOT to tell anyone we know about the blog.

      I’m hoping the new blog can be more about “our” life, without giving too much away. We’ll see where the future takes us!

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