February 8, 2018 was the day I hit publish on my very first blog post and the day that I discovered my true passion. I have always loved to write but combining writing and connecting with people all around the globe truly seems to be the winning combination for me. Since I began Saving Joyfully, I have learned many things but none as valuable as the lessons I have learned through connecting with other bloggers.

When I started Saving Joyfully it began as a way to document the things that I have learned and discovered about managing my finances and the ways that I have learned to stretch my budget. I wanted to share my story of how I learned the importance of managing my finances and how I came to discover the importance of budgeting and controlling or eliminating debt. Throughout this past year I have learned so much more than the things I share here everyday. I will never regret the day I made the decision to start this blog and I will forever be grateful for the lessons learned through it.

The best things I have discovered through starting my blog

  • Meeting other bloggers both online and in person has been such a joy for me. Whether Saving Joyfully ever does more for my life than what it has done so far, it has still been well worth the time invested. I have been encouraged, I have learned things about myself and about developing friendships through social media that I would probably never have learned and experienced otherwise. Many wonderful bloggers whom I have connected with so far who have become friends and supporters that I can never thank enough. I have been so blessed to have met bloggers from all around the world who have encouraged and inspired me in the last six months to make my dreams a reality. Some blog on similar topics and some like my friends Justin twotall4ufool.com & Lars and Michelle from lifejourney4two.com blog on something completely different yet have become a huge support for me as a fellow blogger.
  • There is such a thing called F.I.R.E. which means financial independence retire early. It is a concept that many have embraced and are working towards today. I have to admit the stories of those who have achieved it already are truly inspiring. I’m not sure that I will ever reach this goal but it does inspire me to continue my journey to financial freedom. The thought of retiring from my career in healthcare and pursuing my actual passions in life are what have made me embrace this concept myself. I would love to one day travel and document my experiences like some of the many travel bloggers I have discovered. If this dream ever becomes a reality there are many people on my list that I will be meeting along the way.
  • Developing a niche as a blogger is important because it helps to give you a focus as you write and it really helps others to know what they can expect when they come back to your blog. For me this has become a struggle at times because my passion to write and my passion for life include far more than just my passion to share my money story and a great deal. I hope you do not mind that I truly love writing about many things and you will most likely find me sharing my heart in many ways on Saving Joyfully. I promise though that each post will remain joyful and encouraging because I recognize the need in all of our lives for more of this.
  • True joy is found in embracing where you are in life, appreciating what you have and where God has placed you. The joy is in the journey my friends and may we always remember that no matter what we go through in life, that tomorrow can always be better, it is truly our choice to find the Joy in every day. The circumstances may not change however when our attitude changes it makes a huge difference.

Thank you for a wonderful first year

To each and every blogger friend and reader that I have connected with along the way I am so thankful for all of you. I am very grateful the part that you have played in the development of Saving Joyfully and thank you for the encouragement to keep going. 2018 has been incredible from discovering how to actually run a blog, meeting so many wonderful new friends to being recognized in an incredible shock in the 2018 Plutus awards in Orlando. I am so excited to learn and grow more in 2019 and share more money saving tips, freebies, goals and victories with all of you this coming year. Thank you all for an amazing 2018 for Saving Joyfully and for your friendships which mean so much! May God bless you all and here is to an amazing and prosperous 2019 for you all!