Wow! What an unexpected surprise this is – to be nominated for the #Awesome Blogger Award by Fire and Wide, a UK blogger who achieved Financial Independence and Retired Early at 43. Thank you!
I confess I have never heard of this award but it seems a fun way of getting to know fellow bloggers.
Fire and Wide asked some pretty curly questions – I had to think quite hard for some of them!
So, let’s get to the questions and my answers:
1. What Do You Love Most About Blogging?
I have benefitted enormously from blogging – the clarity I get from writing, learning new skills (I am not tech savvy at all) and being disciplined (which I struggle with daily!).
But what I love MOST about blogging is the connection I’ve established with other people in the personal finance community, especially the ones who started our FI journey later in life.
2. Absolute Fav. Blog Post Ever? (Not Your Own!)
When I first discovered FIRE blogs, I had never read a blog besides a recipe post. And I certainly had no concept of following someone. Sounds a bit stalker(ish), doesn’t it? Haha. Now I follow others and appreciate others following me.
Initially, all the FIRE blogs I read were written by young men who were, for want of a better word, very gung-ho about the concept. I wanted to read other perspectives, namely from someone other than a white male with an enormous income.
So when I discovered Meet The Women Of The Financial Independence Movement by Tread Lightly, Retire Early, I was ecstatic! Here was a community of women blogging about their FI journey and with whom I could relate to, even though the majority had started on their journey much earlier than I did.
Angela wrote it in response to a blog post in which the blogger cited one female blogger and replied to a comment that he didn’t know any other female finance bloggers. She came up with more than 100. And that was in January 2018. There are literally thousands now.
And as the movement has expanded across the world, there are also more non US centric blogs providing another point of view. I love reading all the different perspectives, strategies, eventual outcomes from people of all walks of life and from around the world.
3. Proudest Achievement With Your Blog?
The Late Starter to FI series – where I highlight ordinary people who started their financial independence journey later in life eg in their 40s, 50s and later.
I was very surprised at the response – firstly from people who wanted to contribute and then from readers who reached out to tell me how much they love the series.
4. Best Advice For New Bloggers?
It can get overwhelming pretty fast.
I know there is lots of advice on being consistent with a publishing schedule. My advice is ‘Go with the flow’ – often, life outside of blogging gets messy and our energy or focus must be directed elsewhere – to our families, jobs, other responsibilities. That’s ok.
I found that once I accepted that, blogging became much easier. While I would love to publish once a week, sometimes I just can’t. Yes, page views may suffer as a result. But as someone who has experienced burnout in my job, I don’t want to experience it with blogging.
5.What's Your Ambition For Your Blog?
I want my blog to be a place of support and encouragement, a place where we can connect with each other about our journeys to FI. And in particular, those of us who started late and feel the pressure to retire well (or at all) on a shorter timeline.
I want others to know that it is not too late to start and there is a community to support you along the way. I may not be an expert but I can be your cheer leader. And I can share stories of others in the same boat, from whom we can be inspired and get ideas or strategies that we may be able to adapt to our own lives.
6. If You Could Live Anywhere In The World - Where & Why?
I live in Melbourne, Australia – the best city in the world, I reckon!
I love travelling and exploring new destinations but when the plane lands at Tullamarine, I always think “It is good to be home and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”
Melbourne has a soul – I don’t know how else to describe it. It is not a showy or glitzy city. You can wander through the city streets, in laneways that connect with one another, engage in its cafe culture (not at the moment!), take in a live show, visit the Art Gallery or run or walk along the river and various parks. Or go further afield in day trips to wineries, country markets, hikes.
And our weather is certainly not boring! We can experience brilliant sunshine, rain and hail, all in the one day 🙂
7. What Motivates You The Most?
Right now, my overarching goal is to achieve Financial Independence.
The fear of not being able to retire well is quite motivating. I don’t have a partner as a back up plan. And I most certainly do not want to be a burden on my extended family.
8. Most Valuable Life Lesson Learnt?
Time is precious.
My mum started having health problems at 60 and was eventually diagnosed with dementia in her early 70s.
This has taught me that life is not guaranteed. I must not defer things I want to do to ‘when I retire’.
Being on the FI journey has reinforced this lesson – money and time is inextricably linked. I have to balance making and saving money with having time to enjoy the fruits of that labour.
9. What Do You Do Purely For Fun?
Baking or cooking.
I love FOOD. Full stop.
Baking appeals to me more than cooking (yes, there is a difference) – baking is more of a science, following precise measurements although obviously there can be a lot of creativity involved.
I enjoy baking/cooking lessons – I started with lessons in Melbourne but then discovered a whole world out there and now try to do some while I’m travelling.
Lately, I’ve participated in live baking classes via Zoom. I may not make it to London this year but I feel a bit closer when I join a live baking class from Borough Market.
10. What's Your Best & Worst Quality?
My fiery temper!
But that means when I care, I care deeply and with a lot passion!
So that is my best and worst quality 🙂
Let's pass it on ...
Ok – that is enough about me!
So the next step is to nominate 5 bloggers and pass on the award / challenge. And ask them 10 questions of my own. I would like to pass the award on to the following bloggers whom I have enjoyed engaging with, learned from and found inspirational:
I hope you accept the award (challenge) and share a bit about yourself with the rest of us 🙂 Thank you in advance!
Let me know once you’ve written your post and I will link them here. Then nominate another 5 bloggers if you wish and let them know.
My 10 questions for you are:
Questions about blogging:
1. Why did you start blogging?
2. What do you enjoy most about being a blogger?
3. What is the hardest part of blogging?
4. Has blogging led you to other paths that you did not expect? What are they?
5. Have you ever wanted to stop blogging? Why or why not?
Questions about you:
6. What does your perfect day look like?
7. Chocolate or cheese?
8. What is your dream holiday destination / scenario?
9. Who is your role model?
10. What would you advise your 12 year old self?
Hope you had fun reading my answers and have gotten to know me a bit better as a result!
And thank you once again, Fire and Wide for nominating me!