Shaving down your Expenses for Beginners

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Hello Everyone!

March seems to be the month of Budget posts from me (maybe it’s the thoughts of a tax returns). For those of you who don’t know I’m always up for helping friends start budgeting and I have to say my number one frustration that people have is their expenses. The first time they ever track how much of their money is going towards things like eating out or even just their groceries is frustrating. Especially when you look at them and say you are spending 25-40% of your income on food. Btw food is the true weakness of my generation! Plus buying “experiences” like traveling, concerts, and other events. I digress, in this post I just wanted to give you the way I help all of them (and myself) cut expenses down to achieve financial goals.

Know your Expenses

It is just about impossible to do anything until you track your expenses. Think of you and your family as a business. You know how much you bring in, but why don’t you know how much is going out? I am always recommending Everydollar because it works for me, but I don’t care how you track them so long as you do it. There is about a billion and one pinterest pins on the topic and I’m certainly not reinventing the wheel on this one. As long as you track everything from the four quarters you scraped up for that $1 coffee to the hundreds you spend on bills. I also don’t want you to just say what you spent, I want you to say where you spent it and what on. This is the quickest way for you to see places where you are A) most likely to splurge and B) the easiest way for you to turn down impulse buying. Once you have a month’s worth of expenses counted up it will be the easiest way to see where you can reduce. If you are looking to cut expenses immediately do this in combination with the rules down below.

Cut Down to the Basics:

Any financial/budget blogger will tell you to cut down and negotiate on your consistent bills. Basically call your insurance representative and talk about the plan you have. Talk to your phone company to see if there is a better plan for your needs. Shop around for the best deals for you and don’t be afraid to ask your current company to match them to keep your business. Cut the cable and go to netflix, hulu, or Amazon video. The goal here is not to get rid of all the things you need or use consistently that bring you joy. It is to bring those costs down and have you living within your means. A true barebones budget would say you don’t need cable or a phone, but personally I think if you are living a life that isn’t fulfilling while achieving your financial goals then it isn’t worth it. Balance is key, but a strict budget will help you appreciate both the splurges you do allow yourself and the fact that you are working towards a better life. The next tip will be for any of your purchases after you pay your consistent bills (fixed expenses).

Ask yourself these 3 questions on EVERY purchase:

Is this a true necessity for me to survive? Think gas to get to work, groceries, and other variable expenses that are important.

  1. Does this item/service bring me true joy? If you are thinking that “when I lose 5lbs this shirt will be so cute” or “if it just was tailored here it would be perfect!” then that means you don’t love it there and then. Skip and wait for the perfect piece to come to you.
  2. Is it worth the hours I worked for it? This is my favorite one. Translates you salary to an hourly rate and think about how much money you actually get after tax per hour. If you bring home $8 after tax per hour is that $40+ 1 hour lunch really worth the 5 hours you worked for it? You will quickly realize that everytime you are spending $60+ on a purchase you are spending an entire day’s work (at $8 an hour) and all of a sudden a lot of things just are not worth that price.  

If you get through all these questions and you still want to make the purchase and it is in your budget then go for it. If it is not in the budget step away for a moment if it isn’t an emergency. Most the time you can save for the item you want and the anticipation will make you even happier with that item or it will turn out to be something you really didn’t want. Plus if you like to shop online a lot of times they will send a discount to your email in hopes of securing your purchase.

These three tips are how I start everyone who is looking to get on the budget train. Regardless of whether they want to save more, invest, pay off debt, etc. This is the best way to start. If you can track your expense and put them in percentages you will quickly realize that you are spending way more than you want on different things in life. When you find yourself making the realizations, you will find the best way for you to cut back in your life. Asking these questions were things that just put my feelings about money into a checklist for my purchases. I rarely have the buyers regret that I use to have after going to the mall. Cutting your expense doesn’t mean giving up everything you enjoy doing, it means realizing exactly how much work you are putting in to afford that latte every morning or that trip you want to take. You will come to appreciate the things you are spending your money on because you know exactly how hard you worked for it and you will likely find yourself saving money.

So what is the one thing you are going to cut back on today?

 

~ Naomi

5 Sustainable Ways to Save Money

5 sustainable ways to save moneyHi Everyone!

I can’t imagine a day I don’t talk about how sustainability and budgeting can go hand and hand together. This post is focusing on 5 things you can do today to waste less and save more!

 

  • Reuse your stuff – This sounds so freakin’ obvious, but do you really know all the ways you can reuse stuff? This is the number one tip because it applies to so many things. Freeze candles that are in jars melted down to the point that they are no longer safe to use. Pop those leftover pieces into another container with a fresh wic and you just got to use every penny of that candle. Buy a whole chicken and butcher it up yourself. Take all the scraps and make broth. Have a vacuum sealer? Re-seal potato chips and other bagged goods to stretch their shelf life. Dehydrate food that is going to go bad soon and have a really full pantry! Pinterest or youtube this stuff and you would be amazed at the ideas you will find!!!!
  • Transform your junk into money – This is about getting the most for your stuff… even after you have stopped using it. Sell your stuff second hand. That computer that you broke and wasn’t worth fixing? Sell it on a website, app, or yard sale and get some money back. The buyer will use the parts and scraps from it for their own benefit, but now it isn’t going to the landfill and you got money for what was sitting collecting dust. This applies to everything from books to art to clothes. Don’t be afraid to see what you can get rid of it, if you don’t enjoy it anymore.
  • DIY! – I love DIY stuff. Gardening, sewing, woodworking are all great skills that not only save you money, but could even be turned into an income if you sell your goods and services. I mention those three because they are excellent as well for sustainability. Learn to grow your own food, mend your clothes, and reuse scrap wood. That being said a word of caution? Make sure that what you’re saving is worth the cost. There is no point in DIYing every little thing when materials can cost you nearly as much as hiring someone AND you have to spend your own time doing it.
  • Turn off the TV, Light, Faucet – If you pay your own utilities you know how much they can cost (and even if you don’t be a bit considerate of the environmental impact of that hour long shower). So take the time to turn off the faucet when you’re brushing your teeth. In the shower conditioning your hair? Turn the water off while you wait for it to set. Unplug electronics or put them on a power cord that you can flip the switch and cut the energy suckers (Do you realize how much power a TV still uses when plugged in but not on??? P.S. the pun was intended). If you don’t like to turn things off, or are on them a lot… I’m looking at you mobile readers 😉 take a moment and see if your electronic device offers a power saving option and clear off any unnecessary apps, files, and background programs to save energy and extend battery life. The next time your phone doesn’t die, you’re welcome.
  • Switch to Automatic Debits/Online Statements – A lot of billing services are willing to give you a discount if you are willing to A) guarantee them their money (automatic debit = automatic income to them) and B) if you’re willing to save them money (aka mailing is expensive in comparison to emails!). Call or check online for your current services still sending you print information. See if they are willing to offer you a discount and save a tree while you’re at it!

 

There you have it 5 simple things that can have a lasting effect on your environmental footprint and wallet! Which one are you most excited to try?

~Naomi

 

Debt Update: March 2018

Debt Paid Last Month: $1034

Hello Everyone,

Today I thought I’d keep myself open and accountable. My husband and I owe more money than either of us really want to admit to others. It’s embarrassing the decisions we made that lead us to this point (most of them of my own fault). So this is a post of both determination and motivation. Rather than hide it from the world and try to ignore it, I want to put it in the limelight and prove everyone wrong about it taking a lifetime to pay off student loans and other debts.

So today is our first monthly review and goal for this month! February was a rough debt payoff month for us. We had an unexpected medical expense/debt come up and we decided that instead of delving into the emergency fund we would save that for a true emergency where we didn’t have the money and take from our other funds to pay it off. Unfortunately part of that had to come from our extra money to pay off debt.

Another decision that had our expenses a bit higher this month was to meet with a tax accountant and make the correct decisions for our businesses. First, we wanted to meet with an accountant for our personal taxes anyways. It just is less stressful and well worth the money spent to have it done right! Secondly, we knew that by starting Ogden Customs and reviving this blog as potential avenues of revenue we needed to talk about liabilities and incorporating. We decided to create our umbrella LLC Ogden Customs to go ahead and be able to properly monetize these blogs! Long term it was the smart move but it did cost us a hundred dollars to do properly.

That being said while we did have a few setbacks, overall we saw an increase in our income as well! Now that I was working the full month vs having a bit of a gap after graduating we saw a nice increase from my paychecks. Also Avery has been managing an hour or two overtime here and there which adds up quickly! I’m also on the hunt for a different job than waitressing and have high hopes.

All of that being said here is what we are hoping for the next month:

We want to have the truck paid off before June when my loans kick in! So to be on task to do that we want to pay over a $1000 this month (which includes the normal payment).

So make sure to check back and see how we did in our post next month!

How is your debt payoff and financial goals coming for you?

~ Naomi

Cutting your Grocery bill in half… in less than 30 mins a week

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Hello Everyone,

One of my pet peeves in this world is when someone tells me that something that saves them money is “too much effort to be bothered with” yet two days later (or two hours) they are griping about not having enough cash to go out. Listen! I promise you that I can make about 50% of your grocery bill go away with some very basic steps. In January of 2018 our total grocery budget was $75. By the end of the month not only were we still within the budget (by pennies, but we were in) and our grand total of savings before cash back was $77. From the following tips we saved just over 50% on retail prices for our groceries. If you include the rebates we had it was around 60%.

A few notes/disclaimers before we start:

  • My budget for my husband and I ranges between $75-150 a month for all of our groceries that are edible. This includes alcohol. That being said it can be done for less, but this is what works for us. We also know that at full price our food would be literally double, if not more at around $200-300 a month.
  • I actually love cooking, so for me it isn’t a burden to meal plan. If you don’t cook at all then this might not help you very much (I don’t know, I don’t eat a lot of processed foods).
  • I’m not going to talk about the awesomeness of gardens because I understand that just won’t work for everyone. This is something just about anyone can do.

So let’s get started:

First, stick to 1-2 groceries stores. Do your research and pick the one with the best sales for food that you like. For me, that is a regional chain called Meijer. #Lovethem.

Anyways the 1st thing to do is sign up for their rewards program, unless you shop at Aldi you shouldn’t have a problem doing this. This doesn’t mean credit card, that’s a totally separate issue. Sign up for whatever coupon and ad system they have. Meijer even has an app for their program, Mperks, and I love it. This is the number one way to build savings and do so quickly. Now before you tell me that it is so much work to coupon and plan, let me tell you to calm thyself. You are not an extreme couponer. I am not an extreme couponer. We are literally doing this in less than 30 mins of planning per week, it will not kill you to clip a goddamn coupon.

The 2nd thing to do is to put in a search engine “Meijer (or your store) weekly ad and coupons.” I’m not kidding when I say the first result for me was a website that listed the sales ad for my area with a cross comparison of Mperks coupons. They do all the hard work for you. They tell you exactly how much something will cost after the sale and coupon are added together. You can say thank you now to the nice people who do this. This is where all the time is saved because you don’t have to think about what things will cost and if you are only limited to two per transaction or if this or that doubles or will work together. Simply scroll down that page you just found and go “ooooo I want tomatoes this week” or “I needed creamer anyways!” and then simply add it to your shopping list and make sure you have the coupon clipped or printed for your trip. I love that meijer is completely digital because I will sit on my phone at work on my break and have two tabs open just pulling my groceries together. 15-20mins later boom done.

The 3rd step is an extra bonus for a little extra work (and I mean very little in some cases). Use a rebate app like Ibotta! My referal code is here and you get $10 for signing up with it (yes I get some money as well if you sign up and actually use it). I recommend Ibotta because last month alone I got $50 back on my spending in all categories not just groceries. For me I simply pick which of the 100’s of stores they offer that I shop from (Meijer, Amazon, Family Fare, Joanns, Uber, etc.) and follow the instructions. 3 quick examples: Meijer, I have to click the rebates I want and take a photo of the receipt within 3-5 days of the purchase, Family Fare I have to pick the rebates before checkout because it automatically connects with my rewards there so I don’t have to do anything else. Amazon I simply have to shop on the Ibotta browser and they do the rest for me. No credit card information required.

So the next time you are even thinking about telling me that it is too much work to be worth the money, remember that you could be saving Hundreds of dollars per month for simply taking 30 minutes of prep work a week. Heck just throw on the TV while you’re doing it.

What could you do with all that extra money?

~Naomi

An Introduction to Zero Waste Benefits

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Hello everyone!

Today I wanted to talk about the Zero Waste movement. This isn’t a blog post about convincing you that you are some terrible human for using plastic products or for throwing something in the trash. This post was inspired by seeing one too many of those kind of comments and not wanting to see people deterred from something that has more than just environmental benefits. So let me dive in:

First the main idea behind Zero Waste is to overall reduce what waste you produce and what waste ends up in the landfills. The goal isn’t to produce no “Waste”; it’s to make sure every piece is taken care of in the best way possible and to be more thoughtful about the waste we create. This can mean things like composting, recycling, terracycling, buying used, and reusing. Now why should you make the commitment or take steps towards it:

Environment

This is the first reason that pops to mind. It keeps trash out of oceans and away from wildlife. It does help with the emissions that affect our air quality. I remember hearing once that the average person in the USA made around 4.5 lbs of trash per day. That is the size of our kittens right now. That is the weight of an entire bag of sugar or flour. Reducing that does more than just help the environment though.

Money 

Moving towards zero waste has saved us immense amounts of money. It seems counterintuitive because most people think you have to buy these speciality products to be able to afford to do this. I argue that for the most part it will save you much more than it costs, especially at first. First there are so many free recycling programs in many neighborhoods and cities or even as part of trash services. If you reduce your waste by recycling by half or even a quarter you could downgrade your trash services and trash bags and save money there. Instead of buying a single use water bottle, a reusable water bottle can easily pay for itself within 5-10 uses. Avery has had his bottle since 2012 (Yes he does wash it). There are so many examples like this that would make a huge impact on your budget over the year and you can feel good about helping the planet while doing it.

Health

While you don’t have to give up processed foods, you will probably see yourself moving away from it! This is absolutely great for you. I have been cooking at home more than ever with lots of produce and I have been doing it for my husband and I for under $75 a month. That includes treats and alcohol. You learn to buy in bulk, at local markets, and can even preserve your food. You are also keeping fewer chemicals in your home and moving towards more natural options.

Clean

I have to admit this might be my favorite and most unexpected benefit to moving towards a zero waste lifestyle. Our house is becoming cleaner and smells great. Here is my favorite example. When my college friend had a roommate who once threw rancid meat in the trash, left it there for days, and then demanded that one of her other roommates deal with it. It had made the entire place start to reek and they all got into a fight about it. Plus it took like three weeks before I’d go and see her from the smell. I used this example because with zero waste you tend to have less food waste because you tend to need to plan out meals better, but even when you do your food can go right into a composting plan and not be sitting in your home for weeks. Now, Avery and I rinse all of our recyclables that had food in them, use a smaller trash can, and are composting most of our food waste. We have less materialistic things overall and have less clutter! What a win!

 

These are just a few of the examples I have about the positive benefits of going zero waste. But it can be really intimidating and unappealing to go this route. It does take a little bit more effort some days but if you get in the habit, it really isn’t bad at all. In an upcoming post, I will be putting together a really simple beginners guide on some very easy changes that will not only be more environmentally friendly; it will also make your life easier and healthier. I’ll be putting that series together about simple to complex changes you can make and you choose what works for you and your family. Just remember every little bit counts! Are any of you interested in going zero waste?

 

~ Naomi

2018 Going Forward

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Hey everyone, it’s Naomi! It is so good to be back. This blog has been long overdue for some new posts. We have some exciting news though! 2017 was a massive year for us. We got married (Surprise!), I graduated college, we have our first apartment together and two adorable kittens. That being said with such a massive year behind us, of course we want to make 2018 a wonderful year as well.

Going Forward!

Avery started an etsy shop (Check it out at etsy.com/shop/ogdencustoms)! He is super excited to be moving forward with this as his side job and it brings him so much joy to design merch! I on the other hand have undertaken the task of reviving the “HomesteadSweethearts” brand. After graduating college I really feel like there is nothing holding me back from this blog, our instagram and so much more. I’m so excited to announce that in conjunction with this blog we are planning a VLOG! What better way to provide tutorials than videos am I right? So expect some posts about those coming up in the future.

So besides our new side hustles/brands/passions coming to life we have some major goals this year! Numero uno is to pay off 50% of our debt. I won’t lie we are nearly 91k in debt between things like student loans, cars, new phones, and credit cards. The absolute bulk being in student loans (sorry Aves, you’re a babe for supporting my education!). So that is the number one goal. 45.5k paid off this year, wish us luck!

The second one is a journey to being zero waste. Sustainability was a major part of my life in college and I want to bring that into my marriage with Avery. Not only will it save us money, but it will bring a whole lot of positive ramifications with it. We honestly can say that this is just one of the ways that we hope to improve our lives.

The third major goal is getting back to “homesteading”. This is a dream for us that is hard to make a true reality when we are renting an apartment. But we are fortunate to have access to land to garden and raise animals and we want to show you how we overcome the inability to purchase large lots of land.

There are so many other little goals to this year but those are the major things that you will see us talking about in our blog and vlog. We hope you have a fantastic start to your year. So let us know two things in the comments down below. 1) What kind of content do you hope to see from us this year? 2) What are your top goals for 2018!

~ Naomi

Enjoy the sunshine

Hello Everyone!
This is just a quick update. As you can probably imagine Avery and I love being outdoors. That is why we often write up blog posts in advance and then update them before we publish them. Today the weather is just too beautiful to sit behind a computer screen. So, this is your public service announcement to remember to shut off you technology once in awhile and go enjoy some gorgeous weather!
Naomi & Avery

How to Survive Wedding Planning… as a really chill bride

Hello Everyone!

As most of you know Avery and I are engaged! We are very excited to be planning our wedding, but have already encountered some issues. Avery and I are having a bit over a 2 year engagement. For us, this was the perfect way to let me finish up college and also to have a stress free wedding planning.

Stress free was not how it started at all. I am probably one of the most chill people you will ever meet when it comes to event planning. While I know what I want and what I like, I’m not the type to throw hissy-fits and tantrums if things don’t go exactly as planned. So, I’m writing this for all you future brides who are in my situation: Where everyone seems to have the panic-filled wedding fever… but you. My family and friends are amazing, phenomenal people who just want to help. Unfortunately they get a little overwhelmed too easily. Here is my step-by-step guide to surviving the chaos and maintaining the peace.

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  • Set down some ground rules: This is huge and can be really intimidating. You really need to tell everyone in your life to chill the fuck out and get the troops organized. Tell them exactly how you are feeling (stressed because of them) and that you want them to stop everything and listen to what you need from them. Whether that is to not spend money on this or to stop taking control of your wedding, take this one moment to have them take a step back.

 

  • Create a Timeline: My number one problem is that everyone thinks I’m putting everything off until the last minute. This is where your timeline really comes in handy. Not only do you probably already have one, but it shows them that you have your crap together. For me, my timeline is fairly spaced out and I have a bunch of things already checked off. Simply sharing this information makes a lot of loved ones realize that you do in fact have your shit together.

 

  • Assign Roles: This may seem like overkill, but this is one of my strengths. I gave everyone who was overly-excited a project to do for me. It let me turn their chaotic energy into something productive. For my best friend and bridesmaid who is great with Pinterest, I gave her a theme and a board and said “Go Crazy!”. My mom who seemed to be exceedingly concerned that I was putting everything off? I gave her the task of researching venues. She is great at pro and con lists and within a few weeks of looking we found exactly what we wanted. Now any projects that come up with research go straight to her. This way I’m less stressed, everyone else feels involved, and the wedding keeps moving forward.
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The Pinterest Board just for my pin-happy friends.

  • Remember that they love you: So, most importantly, if you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed in the center of attention, your loved ones are doing this because they care about you and your happiness. They want to see this whole event go off without a hitch as much as you. If your mom really wants to go dressing shopping as soon as possible, maybe go browse with her sooner than you planned. While this is your wedding, remember to cherish the important moments and don’t start fights just because they are putting too much on you. Take a step back, a deep breathe, talk to them, and then give them a hug.

What is your number one tip for stress-free wedding planning?

-Naomi

10 Affordable Spring Date Ideas

Hello Everyone!

* This post does contain affiliate links. These result in no increase cost to you as a consumer, but simply a small percentage of the sale goes to us for directing you to them. We only will ever post links about items that we would use ourselves and you are never expected to buy anything.

With the first flowers blooming and green showing, spring is here! I love the weather right now with lots of variety, but warm enough for just sweaters. Avery and I are big fans of winter and snow, but we are quite exuberant to see the new opportunities that spring will bring us. Avery and I definitely have a long history of dating which you can check out a bit more here, but without further ado let me share with you some my favorite affordable spring dates!

  1. Picnics! Okay everyone has heard of this one, but it is such a nice classic. I have a blanket that I use just for picnics and it is one of those dates that you really control how much you spend. I love cooking so it keeps us from going out to lunch and spending more money. Plus you get more privacy and space in a park than at a restaurant.
    • I will say Avery and I love asian food. He will tell you I have an obsession with sushi and it is so true. So one of my favorite things on this planet it bento boxes. They are great for picnics and very affordable lunch boxes. I totally recommend checking out the one below for an affordable and stylish upgrade from tupperware.
      This bento box is great with removable compartments, chopsticks, and dishwasher and microwave safe! Click on the picture for a link to buy it.
  2. Plant a garden! Spring is the perfect time to try something new and if you have never had a garden you definitely need to start one. If you love fresh vegetables and herbs, you should really try it out. It is really fun spending the time together picking out what you want and how it will look. Bonus the little bit of cost comes back in saving from the produce. If you life in the city like I currently do start a major jar herb garden! Super adorable and great for adding a little freshness to your home, plus you will have a great time trying to keep it alive together.
  3. Explore a local city! I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve been in my college town for three years and have barely seen any of it. Spend a day in the beautiful spring weather and get lost window shopping and trying new cafes. Just make sure to charge your phone so you can find your way home when you’re done!
  4. Try a new outdoor hobby together! So running and biking were the bane of my existence for a long time. Avery changed a lot of that for me and now I would love to try going for a run with him or a biking adventure. It is a great alternative to spending money and the bonus of getting a workout in (especially when you have a wedding coming up) is awesome.
  5. Visit a local Farmer’s Market! Okay, so Avery and I are obviously involved in our country roots. I love visiting the farmer’s market just to get to see all the fresh veggies. As spring hits full force you will find fresh spinach, eggs, and other goodies galore. You can choose to just walk through and chat and learn about what they are doing, or you can get some treats for the week. This is great if you struggle with your green thumb or space to have a real garden.
  6. Have a Spring Cooking Challenge! This is great if you actually just went to the farmer’s market and came back with a bunch of stuff. Compete against each other to make the best dish using what you came home with. The extra challenge? Put a spending limit on the ingredients. You will have a great time cooking and eating together. Plus at the end of the day you might have a special new recipe to add to your daily life.
  7. Watch the Sunrise or Sunset! With warmer weather I just find myself gravitating towards being outside. Plan a special occasion to watch the sky burst full of colors. Most people will tell you that they love watching the sunset, but I love watching the sunrise with Avery. It just is a really amazing way to start our mornings together. 

    For my love of sunrises, this was a really beautiful sunset!

  8. Have a cookout with friends and family! As much as I love being alone with Avery, I also really love my friends and family. Plan a nice day where everyone gets together for a potluck! Just make sure everyone brings a dish to pass. Bonus points if you can pull a grill out!
  9. Attend a free festival or event! With warm weather comes community activities. There is plenty out there to check out so find some near you. They tend to come with free entertainment and some times even free food!
  10. Try Swing Dancing! There is an awesome community in my area that does swing dancing once a week that is 100% free with free lessons! Find one near you or make your own. It is a phenomenal time and swing dancing is easy and fun. Most people start planning outdoors ones, so trying something new!

What is your favorite spring date? Do you plan to try any of these?

  • Naomi & Avery

March Review & April Goals!

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Hello everyone!

Our first full month of blogging is over! I can’t believe how this first month has gone by so fast. Avery and I had some goals for this month and we did pretty well overall, but we still have a long way to go! So, let’s just dive right in and review how we did and where we need to improve!

March Review

These were our goals for March:

  • Post on our blog every Tuesday and Friday!
  • Create our Pinterest page
  • Read about bloggers Pinterest strategies
  • Post on Instagram 3x a week

Here is how we did!

  • 7 New Blog Posts
  • Posted at least 5x a week on Instagram
  • Our first affiliate link!
  • Created our Pinterest

Some big things that haven’t happened yet:

  • Posting on Pinterest
  • Scheduled posts on social media
  • Actually making an income

Stats:

Unique Visitors: 24 (down from 40)

WordPress followers: 7 (up from 4)

Highest Performing Post:

Instagram followers: 47 (up from 11)

Highest Performing Photo:

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Photo Credit: Avery. Btw it tasted as good as it looks.

Our thoughts on March

First of all I want to say that in March we did hit over 50! followers on Instagram, but to be honest on March 31st we were down to 47. Since then we have stayed above 50 Instagram followers.

Mar Insta 2017

So that was pretty awesome. Unfortunately I do not feel that we were as successful turning those new followers into content viewers. We are bloggers first and the fact that our post viewers were down is disappointing. I realized this about half way through the month and found that it came from two main reasons:

  1. We were not interacting enough with other bloggers on WordPress. We are great about responding to comments on our own posts, but we need to improve putting ourselves out into the community.
  2. Our social media presence isn’t translating into blog viewership. We need to get Pinterest going as it is easier for people to get to our website than Instagram. Although we really have loved running Instagram and will definitely keep growing it.

Blogging content I was happy with, but my posting skills were weak. I definitely didn’t post every Tuesday and Friday, although we have made progress. Regretfully I struggled with some technical issues and scheduled posts and had to delay some. This is a huge goal for next month. Also we only got our first affiliate link up on March 31st. That was definitely cutting it close and obviously wasn’t going to make us money.

 

April Goals 

  • Post on our blog every Tuesday and Friday!
    • Until we nail this goal it is going to be at the very top!
  • Post on Pinterest
    • Use a Social Media Scheduler
    • Schedule posts once a week minimum
  • Post every single day for the rest of the month on Instagram

Stat goals:

Unique Vistors: 250

WordPress followers: 25

Instagram followers: 100

Our thoughts on April’s Goals

We kept our stats goals at the very same level. While we plan to not drop our momentum with Instagram, we definitely need to change course and work on getting views on our blog! Our number one objective this month is to showcase our blog.

What is your favorite way to attract new visitors?

Naomi & Avery