After the success of the online Supermarket Savings 101 course, I started helping some local ladies with couponing and was putting together a list of the best deals at nearby stores for them each week. I kept thinking about how I was sure others could benefit from these lists outside of my circle of local friends.
At the same time, I felt like my personal blog was becoming too over-run with frugal posts and I wanted to have a place to freely share those. I looked for a blog which was covering the drugstore deals and teaching people step-by-step how to cut their grocery bill, and, surprisingly, I found none.
(Back in 2007, blogging was still a new phenomenon so while there were some finance and frugal blogs, to my knowledge, there weren’t any blogs which were specifically dedicated to sharing deals. And based upon the emails I was receiving, I knew that people were really looking for specific, detailed information on how to work the deals and get the best bang for their buck at the grocery store.)
So I kept feeling this nudge in my heart to start a blog dedicated to helping women with the nuts and bolts of using coupons, getting the best deals and also to just share things about finances and saving money we had learned during our lean law school years. I approached my husband about the blog idea and he loved it. However, we both sat on it for a few weeks as we wanted to make sure it was the direction God was leading and I also wanted to make sure I wasn’t biting off more than I could chew.
I also needed a name for the blog, if I were going to start one. We tossed around a lot of possibilities but finally landed on MoneySavingMom.com. I bought the domain and opened up a little Blogger blog. I didn’t even have a header designed for a few months and it was as barebones as it could be, but people started coming and coming and coming. Pretty soon, the blog was averaging around 5,000 visitors per day, then 10,000, then 15,000 and on and on it went.
MoneySavingMom.com has far exceeded my wildest dreams and I’m humbled that God would allow me to be apart of this. Many times when people ask me what is the key to this blog’s success, I’ll tell them, “Hard work and the blessing of God.” I have put a lot of time and effort into the blog and believe that the lessons I’ve learned through failure have been invaluable. However, I know beyond any shadow of a doubt that MoneySavingMom.com would not be anywhere near what it is without God’s blessing upon it.
For some reason, God allowed us to be at the right place at the right time. We didn’t know that the economy was going to go downhill just a few months after MoneySavingMom.com was born. Nor did we know that couponing and frugality were going to become extremely popular. In addition, I knew very little about SEO when I started (search engine optimization, i.e. how you get your blog to show up at the top of the list when people use a search engine).
I’ve made some major mistakes along the way. I’ve offended people by careless words and actions. I’ve struggled with having my priorities in order. I’ve unintentionally hurt people who are very close to me. I struggle with thinking I am somebody (and every time that happens, God will smack me right in the forehead to remind me how human and fallible I am!)
It’s been a humbling and growing process to have the responsibility upon my shoulders of hundreds of thousands of people around the world reading what I write. You all have been gracious, long-suffering and incredibly kind to me along the way and I appreciate it very much.
I’m honored to be at a place now where I can completely choose my own hours to work and have a very talented team of people who do much of the behind-the-scenes work so that I can give the best part of my day to my husband and children. It hasn’t always been this way and if I were to do over parts of my life, I’d definitely seek, by the grace of God, to work less and have my priorities more in order.
Working from home can be a great thing, but if your family and friends are run over or short-changed in the process, it’s not worth it. At the end of my life, it won’t matter how many blog posts I wrote or how much money I made, but it will matter that I was faithful as a wife and mom! As I’ve often said, anyone can be a successful blogger, but only one person can be your husband’s wife and your children’s mom.
Over the next few weeks, I’d love to answer any specific questions you all might have related to working from home in my Saturday posts. So if you have a question related to working from home you’d love to see answered, please leave it in the comments here or email me. I can’t promise I’ll have an answer or that I’ll be able to get to every question (depending upon how many are asked!), but I’ll at least pick a few and give them my best shot!