MoneyAhoy.com is now four years old! It has been an awesome ride over the past four years, and I am happy to still be blogging!
I had two main goals when starting this blog which were:
- Help other people improve their personal finances
- Help educate myself so that I could improve my own personal finances
Over the past four years, this blog has really helped me to achieve both of these goals. With my post and video How to Start Your Own LLC, I have helped hundreds of people start their own business. With my free Ebook Stock Market Investing for Newbies, I have helped hundreds of would-be investors learn how to invest in the stock market smartly. I estimate that my other articles and videos have helped folks save tens of thousands of dollars over the years.
MoneyAhoy.com continues to grow and grow as it has helped me and others. The rest of this post will reflect back on the past year and look to the future. But first, if you’d like to check out the other old birthday posts, you can find them here:
Top-5 Posts for MoneyAhoy.com – Year 4:
Here’s a listing of the top most popular posts that were written in the past year in terms of traffic:
- Start and Setup an LLC on-line in Less than 6 Minutes! – This was an older post, but I continue to work on updating it to keep the information relevant. So far, it has helped hundreds of folks to start their own business and save hundreds at the same time!
- How to Start a WordPress Blog with Bluehost – I created this mega-post to help folks understand how easy it is to start their own blog to explore their passion.
- How to Save Money on Heartworm Medicine for Your Dog – Here we explain how you save save thousands of dollars over a lifetime by taking a DIY approach to your dog’s heartworm medicine.
- How to Make Money with a Blog – This popular article gives a deeper insight how you can use a blog to generate quite a bit of additional income. It is pretty detailed and has really helped many folks pull back the curtain on how to make money blogging.
- Monthly Money Reports – These Monthly Money Reports bring readers back month over month to see how I am making, saving, and investing my money each month. They are a fun way to learn about my opportunities and mistakes as I work to improve my personal finances.
Money Results Over the Past 4 Years
This is my favorite part of the birthday recap – we can get down and dirty with some numbers! We’ll look at how blogging on MoneyAhoy.com has helped me to make, save, and invest more money over the past year. It is pretty tough to calculate the exact amount of impacts, but I will do my best.
- Saving – MoneyAhoy has helped us to save a considerable amount each year by having us focus on things we could easily eliminate from our routine and non-routine spending. Here’s a quick summary by year:
- Year 1 Savings – $4,500
- Year 2 Savings – $13,000 ($17,400 total)
- Year 3 Savings – $15,500 ($33,000 total)
- Year 4 Savings – $17,800+ ($54,000+ total)
It is pretty incredible, but MoneyAhoy.com has helped our family to save over $54,000 in total over the past four years!!! Fantastic!!
- Making – I have made quite a bit of spare pocket money to invest through side hustles over the years. MoneyAhoy has helped to fuel the passion to drive forward and push myself to make more side-hustle money. Again, here’s a summary by year for side-hustle income:
- Year 1 side-hustle income: $2,005
- Year 2 side-hustle income: $7,050
- Year 3 side-hustle income: $9,900
- Year 4 side-hustle income: $12,400
MoneyAhoy.com has seen some nice growth over the years as you can see. I am not getting rich or anything, but it has pushed me to go out and earn a total of $31,000+ in side-income. Monthly income from the blog is at the point now where it can pay the mortgage each month which is kinda cool :-).
- Investing – After losing gobs of money trying to “trade” the market in the 2008 downturn, I was really gun-shy about continuing to invest our hard earned money. My wife and I were continuing to invest into our 401(k) retirement accounts, but I was gun shy about any other type of investing. MoneyAhoy.com helped me to get over the fear of investing by forcing me to learn more about investing and the ins and outs of the stock market. It also forced me to develop an investment routine and get “timing the stock market” out of my system. Here’s a breakdown of the amount we worked to invest each year and the amount of dividends we collected (this is just in our private investment account):
- Year 1 – $38,500 invested with $850 in dividends
- Year 2 – $139,000 invested with $2,900 in dividends
- Year 3 – $113,500 invested with $8,800 in dividends
- Year 4 – $104,000 invested with $12,200 in dividends
We continue to reinvest all dividends into the stock market, and nearly all of my take-home pay is invested in the stock market (my wife’s paycheck covers our bills completely). I continue to remain the most proud of how MoneyAhoy.com has pushed us to continually invest for our long-term financial success. Over the past four years, we have invested a total of $415,000 in the stock market and received ~$25,000 in dividends! This is through a combination of our IRAs, 401(k)s, and private investment accounts. The coolest part is that our annual dividends will continue to grow and grow as long as we continually reinvest them to take advantage of compound interest!
As you can see, MoneyAhoy.com has drastically change our financial lives for the better. It has helped us work to increase our net worth by an EXTRA ~$110,000 over the past four years ($54K savings + $31K side-hustle + $25K dividends) higher just because of this blog and the personal finance discipline it has helped us to bring into our lives.
Some days running a blog feels easy, and other days it feels like a great deal of work. Sometimes it is hard to believe I have been at it for four years. Other times, it can be a bit stressful wondering if I will hit the goals I have set for myself each and every month. If I could go back and do it all over again, I don’t think I would change a thing. To me, that’s the best measure of if something has been worthwhile :-).
What’s Next for MoneyAhoy in Year Five?
So far we have been hitting the goal of having our average monthly side-income (dividends + MoneyAhoy.com) hit at least $1,000. This is enough to cover the house payment with a little left over. After reviewing the goals I set forth for year four of MoneyAhoy, we did so-so. Here are the year four goals:
- Continue to look for ways to save more money on our routine finances.
- COMPLETE – our property taxes have naturally worked themselves lower, we got into a cheaper cell phone plan, and we figure out how to save a bunch of money on our dog’s heartworm medicine. Nothing ground-breaking, but we have made some progress.
- Continue to work to increase the presence of this blog and make more side-hustle advertising income.
- COMPLETE – it looks like revenue from MoneyAhoy has grown about 40% vs. the previous year.
- Continue to invest ~100% of my income each month (my wife’s income is devoted to paying 100% of the bills).
- COMPLETE – we have been doing this other than saving a bit for my wife’s new van fund.
- Continue to promote and expand our new HealthierDay.com health website.
- POOR PROGRESS – our health and fitness website did not take off very much. We also did not put a whole lot of time into it. So, it is just floundering at this point.
- Work on another side-hustle project. Currently I am focusing on learning and making a computer/cell-phone game using Game Maker Studio. This really seems to fit well with my skills, interests, and previous background/jobs. We’ll see how it pans out 🙂
- POOR PROGRESS – as if I didn’t already know this, making a computer game takes a TON of time and effort. It is fun, but can also be very frustrating at times. I came to the conclusion that I could see a much better return on the investment of my time through blogging. So, I basically canceled this goal.
I think that’s a pretty decent track record for the past year. It wasn’t a 100% home run, but we did see some great progress.
Now let’s talk about goals and plans for year five of MoneyAhoy.com:
- Convert my wife’s old 457b into her IRA.
- Achieve annual investment dividend income > $15,000.
- Achieve 1,500+ subscribers on my MoneyAhoy YouTube channel.
- Achieve monthly average MoneyAhoy.com revenue of >$1,500.
- Really focus on putting out more quality YouTube videos with a goal of 4+ per month.
- Get our routine monthly expenses down below $2,500 a month.
Final Birthday Thoughts
I really hope that you will continue reading MoneyAhoy.com for year five to see what sorts of progress we can make toward the above goals. As you can see, this blog has helped us increase our net worth by an extra $110,000 over the past four years! I hope that in this process it has helped you to make more money, save more money, and invest your money better than before. I look forward to many more years of blogging fun, learning, and adventure!
If you have any suggestions on how I can make MoneyAhoy.com even better, please leave a comment below or send me an email.