Danielle is a Cali girl turned Midwest wife and mama of one. She graduated college in 2009 with a BA degree and $17,000 in student loan debt. However, she accrued an additional $10,000 by taking random courses throughout the years. Danielle and her husband, J, started their journey toward financial freedom in 2015 with a combined debt of $73,000. To date, they have managed to pay off over $47,000! It’s not an easy journey, but every challenge has been well worth it. Recently, she was even able to quit her full-time job to stay at home with their daughter (daycare is expensive!). She now works part-time, and despite their change in income, they are still crushing our debt!
Why did you start a blog?
To sum it up, I wanted to hold myself accountable and broadcast my debt free journey to inspire others.
In February of 2016, I was reading a post on a personal finance blog. I was incredibly inspired by the blogger’s story, and thought to myself, “I should start a blog!”. I held off on the idea for nearly a year because I thought people would not find my passion to be interesting.
I finally made the decision to brush my fears aside and just go for it. I launched The Pennies We Saved in February of 2017.
What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose that niche?
The focus of my blog is personal finance. I chose this topic because, well, I LOVE talking about saving money, making money, and finding ways to climb out of debt. It’s exciting to write about something that I am so passionate about.
What are some of your blog goals for the rest of the year?
Currently, my number one blog goal is to find out how I can spread the word to those who are not content in their current financial situation.
I would love to increase my readership and help others take control of their financial well-being. The web is jam-packed with bloggers who know how to accomplish this goal, so by their words of wisdom, I know I will get there eventually.
What are some of your personal goals for the rest of the year?
One of the biggest goals that J and I hope to reach by December of this year is to pay off our remaining debt (minus the house). We currently have about $25,000 left to go. The remaining debt is that of J’s student loans and our car loan.
What are some tips for staying motivated while trying to reach goals?
You’ve got to maintain a positive mindset and keep the faith while trying to reach your goals.
At the start of this journey, I never thought that J and I would be able to get out of our financial rut. Once we started to think positively, things began to change. Keeping a positive mindset prompts us to take action, which in turn allows us to reach our financial goals.
In addition to that, I repeat the following bible scripture to myself almost everyday: I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me ~ Philippians 4:13 KJV. This truly motivates me to keep striving for my goals.
What has been the hardest part of your journey?
The hardest part of my journey has been having to say no to dinner invites, parties, or outing with friends.
We are on a super tight budget, so we choose not to attend every single function that requires us to spend over our a set dollar amounts. We don’t even allot ourselves funds for dining out, that is how serious we are about our budget.
And trust me, it isn’t easy.
What is your best advice for new bloggers?
I am sure that every other blogger suggests this, but don’t give up!
No one may ever read or comment on your blog posts. So write and post your content for yourself first and others second. Engage with other blog sites to get your name out there! You will be surprise how many bloggers do the same in return!
What is one piece of personal finance advice you think everyone should know?
Obviously, I am not a professional but I do love giving sound advice when it comes to money. With that said, I think everyone should know how important it is to contribute to their retirement.
Gone is the day of those good ol’ pension plans (for most of us millennials). So start investing in your future if you have not done so! It is something that should never be looked over.
If you had unlimited funds right now, what would you do?
Did you know that you can purchase islands? Well, you can. If I had unlimited funds, I would purchase an island in the Caribbean or South Pacific and create a business out of it!