Monday, March 14, 2011

One-Year Blog Anniversary and GIVEAWAY!

Whoa — I've been blogging for a whole year! I didn't tell anyone about this blog for quite a while after I started writing it, so it seems like it's been a shorter amount of time.

I started one year ago by writing about my debt and the steps I was taking to get out of it, and I was pretty embarrassed about the situation I'd gotten myself into — nearly $9,000 in the hole between a credit card, a student loan and some money I owed my mom.

For a long time, I had trouble admitting all that to myself, let alone admitting it to my 600+ closest friends and the vast, anonymous Internet. I was ashamed that I couldn't manage my money and I didn't want my friends to know that I had been barely scraping by before I moved back into my mom's house after college.

But coming clean — to myself, to my family, to my friends (who couldn't have cared less, honestly) and to the Internet — was a vital part of the process for me. It kept me accountable to my goals, and reminded me that all the number-crunching and budget-scribbling was important and worth the effort.

became debt-free on July 16, 2010 — a mere six months after I made it my top priority. It could have easily taken forever — I could have been in debt for the rest of my life. I couldn't be happier that I've gotten my finances straight and am now able to be financially responsible while having some fun adventures, too.

This blog, and the support I've gotten from so many people through it, has been a huge part of that.

So in celebration of my one-year blog anniversary, I'm going to do a super nerdy giveaway: a hardcover copy of Dave Ramsey's The Total Money Makeover.

This is a simple, straightforward book that taught me all about basic personal finance, including how to create a budget, how to get out of debt, how to build a comfortable level of savings and how to plan for retirement (it's so important to start early!). I can safely say that I wouldn't be where I am financially today if I hadn't read and re-read this book.

I've loaned my copy to several friends, all of whom have said they learned so much from it, and it's currently on loan to a co-worker who easily makes double — maybe even triple — my salary. We all like to think that the more money you make, the better off you'll be financially, but oftentimes mo' money = mo' problems, and my co-worker has told me The Total Money Makeover is exactly what he needed to read.

Enough about the book — here's how to win! 

Just leave a comment on this post by 5:00 pm PST on Wednesday, March 16, telling me one thing you'd like to do in your life. Do you want to visit a certain city or country? Fly in a helicopter or become a certified scuba diver? Whatever you want to do, big or small, let me know and you're entered to win. Even if you don't particularly want the book, you can always sell it on eBay and use the money for a few burritos from Chipotle — with guac.

I've updated the comment settings, so you should be able to leave a comment without creating an account! Be sure to leave your name so I know who to get in touch with. I'll randomly choose a winner and announce it on Thursday.

Aaaand if this prize is a little too nerdy and nobody enters? Then more burritos and guac for me!


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  1. I want to be able to run a half marathon distance. Not necessarily DO A HALf, but be able to run that far. :) - Becky in Seattle

  2. i want to payoff my debt, visit africa and the south pacific somewhere and get my phD!

  3. I want to teach English overseas! - Jen in Seattle

  4. I would like to set up a fund to educate kids from my village who have mostly given up on education on account of knowing their parents cannot afford.

  5. I want to see you run the marathon (or 1/2 marathon) in Vegas then go paint the town red! I aleady have the Dave Ramsey book so don't enter me in the drawing. I just wanted to leave my first comment! Hope I did it right. :)


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