Hello there! We are Joel and Emily, a small town married couple who moved to the big city after college. Just like many recent college graduates, money management was pretty foreign to us and we weren’t too worried about planning financially for our future. After living a couple years the “normal” way with student loans and thousands of dollars in credit card debt, we decided to make a change in our lives. We are both very ambitious and have many goals we would like to achieve as a family, and debt was holding us back from making any progress. So in just 12 months we paid off all $40k of our debt and became 100% debt free!
After our debt free journey, we felt inspired to help teach others how to eliminate their debt and live out their dreams. We created Beyond a Budget to offer an easy and confidential way to learn about personal finance. We wanted to provide a unique perspective as a married couple tackling our finances TOGETHER! Life is too short to spend it paying off debt!
1. How long have you been blogging?
We have only been blogging for about 3 months, but are officially addicted! After deciding to start this blogging mission we have been working non-stop to get our page up and running. Creating a blog is definitely no walk in the park! However, it is SO much fun and most days it’s hard to get off the computer long enough to eat! Blogging has been an exciting journey thus far and we are extremely excited to see where it takes us.
2. Are you a full-time blogger or do you also have another job/career?
We both have corporate careers about an hour away from our hometown in Missouri. They treat us well and keep us motivated to constantly better ourselves. Joel works in retail procurement and Emily in footwear design. Although blogging is currently a hobby, a goal of ours is to turn it into a full-time career. With the help of friends and the remarkable bloggers we’ve met so far, we believe it’s an attainable objective.
3. What got you started into blogging?
Both of us have always been big advocates of the blogging community. We love following personal adventures and learning from others. Throughout our quest to become debt free, we noticed that personal finance is a topic many people are overwhelmed by. The basic understanding of money management is something everyone needs, but the resources aren’t always readily available. After experiencing the incredible benefits a debt free life entails, we wanted to develop a resource to provide the necessary tools to be successful with money. Starting a blog was the perfect solution!
4. What is your blog about and how does it help others?
We inspire and teach others how to eliminate their debt and live out their dreams. We created Beyond a Budget to offer an easy and confidential way to learn about personal finance.
5. What is working for you and your blog? Why?
Being new to the world of blogging, we still have A LOT to learn. We are still growing our social media presence, but like to think we have been fairly successful with it so far. We created a step by step guide called the “Debt Free Jump-start” on our blog that is designed to help guide people out of debt and get a grasp on their finances. So far we have received a positive response from it and hope to branch off of that to provide other services to readers. There are many options out there when it comes to learning about personal finance, but we provide a distinct approach of being “dream driven.” Discovering your dreams in life can open up a completely different side of you! When there’s no “why” behind your actions, there’s no reason to be motivated.
6. What did not work out so well for your blog? Why?
In our opinion, the best way to learn is to “try” new things to see what works and what doesn’t. We have experimented with that philosophy often since creating the blog. Although there are A LOT of things we’ve messed up on, there are 2 specific “fails” that stick out in my mind.
The first was completely messing up our first blog page design attempt. We worked on it for days and days trying to create the perfect layout. We finally got it up and running just how we wanted and then something went horribly wrong. I still can’t even tell you exactly what happened to it, but the entire site stopped working and was stuck on an old theme we weren’t even using anymore. We ended up having to start from scratch and use a different theme. However, it worked out because we ended up liking the second theme even better!
The second “fail” was a grammatical error containing the wrong form of “there” on the first page of our main download, the “Debt Free Jump-start.” Although this may not seem like much, Joel is a grammar nut and has a major pet peeve for the correct forms of “there,” and “your.” Eventually, the mistake was discovered, but not until over 100 people had downloaded it!
7. What tools are you using that you can introduce my readers to?
CANVA! This web-based graphic design tool is literally a lifesaver when it comes to blogging. The overall simplicity and variety of options available make it a must-have.
Google Drive has also become very useful with 2 of us working on the blog together. The instant saving feature and accessibility makes it easy to use.
8. What piece of advice would you give to someone who is interested in starting a blog?
DO IT! It’s such a fantastic way to get your thoughts out there and make plenty of great friends in the process. The blogging community is much more supportive than I ever could have imagined, and it’s a positive environment altogether. Everyone has something unique to offer the world, but most keep it locked up inside of them for fear of rejection or judgment. Let it out for others to see, and you might be surprised at how much of an impact you can leave.
9. Where can everyone find you?
Are you interested in being part of the Featured Writer Friday series? If so, check out the featured writer guidelines. There’s not too much too it. It’s all about you, your writing, and your blog. Come on, click the link and be a part of the fun!!
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To your success.