The Sunshine Blogger Award

Recently I was fortunate enough to be nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by Amanda at Dream Beyond Debt and Jessica at Settle Your Finances. Thank you, both.

The rules of the Sunshine Blogger Awards are:

  • Thank the person that nominated you
  • Answer the questions from the person that nominated you
  • Nominate some other bloggers for this award
  • Write the same amount of questions for the bloggers you have nominated
  • Notify the bloggers you have nominated

Since I was nominated twice, I’ve got two sets of questions to answer.

First up Dream Beyond Debt’s:

What made you start blogging about your finances?

After realizing I needed to take charge of my Finances in July 2014 I went down the rabbit hole of PF blogs and loved them. I saw how much progress others were making by documenting their journey to debt freedom and decided I wanted to do the same to not only share what I learned but to hold myself accountable as well.

Have your dreams changed since you started blogging? If so, then how?

I don’t think so, if anything I’m more focused on paying off my debt than ever before. Though I try to keep in mind there are dream goals and realistic goals and they don’t always add up but I aim for the dream goal to help me push past what may be the realistic goal. I think if your not careful dreams and goals can be limiting so I try to keep them broad.

What’s the most significant change in your life since you started blogging?

How much I’ve learned about the technical side of blogging comes to mind, but also how much debt I’ve paid off. I didn’t realize it until I did my blogiversary post, but I managed to pay off over 10k in debt my first year of blogging.

What’s the one item in your budget that you just cannot, for whatever reason, seem to shave down or lower? What’s the reason?

Coffee, I’ve tried other cheaper coffees, I’ve tried taking my coffee differently but I always come back to the coffee I love and I’m ok with not sacrificing on that.

What’s your favorite show to binge watch on Netflix or Hulu?

I actually don’t have Netflix or Hulu, but my TV antenna does pick up Ion Television which basically binges 5 shows each week, my favorites are Criminal Minds and Numbers (I was a math major after all). Thank you, Amanda, for your great questions!

Now for Jessica’s at Settle Your Finances:

Do you drink coffee? If so, how do you take it?

Yes, I didn’t use to but three weeks of law school broke me and learned to love it and am now addicted. I take it with skim milk and two Splenda.

If you had to go back in time and pick your college major, what would you choose?

I think I’d stick with math again, I really enjoyed it and the people that were in my major. There was actually a math lounge that we would all hang out in and work on problem sets together, I even got paid to be there as a peer tutor. Not to mention there was a great couch to take naps on. It was a small department so everyone knew each other and the professors, who were also great. Now if I had to go back in time and not go to law school, that I might consider.

Do you think you could successfully survive a zombie apocalypse?

Probably not, I don’t watch zombie type things so I’m not entirely sure what a zombie apocalypse would entail. If staying hidden would keep me alive then yes, it is how I was the only one left on our team playing paintball, but then we lost.

What was your favorite movie or tv show when you were a kid?

This is probably going to sound weird but I’m going to say, Golden Girls. Clearly, I’m actually an old lady trapped in a twentysomething’s body.

What’s your sign?

Virgo, which means my birthday is just around the corner. I love birthdays and celebrating them, I’m super pumped.

Alright so now it is my turn to nominate a few great bloggers out there, I would like to nominate:

Melissa @ Sunburnt Saver Mel @ BrokeGirlRich C @ The Single Dollar Natalie @ The Finance Girl Kate @ Goodnight Debt

My Questions:

What is your greatest financial accomplishment to date? Do you have a favorite drink and what is it? What is your typical Friday night like? Is there one place you would love to travel to but haven’t yet? What do you love most about blogging?

Blog tools & resources I recommend

Convertkit (for email marketing) I started with MailChimp, quickly left, went to Aweber, and finally settled on Convertkit. I love how easy it is to use. It makes confirming opt-ins and delivering content upgrades (like worksheets) a snap. I use the WordPress plugin and then just choose what form I want on each post and page. One thing that makes Convertkit stand out from other email marketing services is that they don't count subscribers twice. Most other email marketing tools count subscribers on each form, so if a subscriber subscribed to more than one form, they are counted more than once. 

Making sense of affiliate marketing (for monetizing your blog) Michelle is an affiliate marketing maven. She regularly makes over $50k a month from affiliate marketing. I bought her course at the end of Nov. 2016 and mid-December 2016 while I'm still working to implement everything I've learned, I've already seen an increase in my affiliate marketing income. She really knows what she is talking about and the Facebook community that accompanies the course is a terrific resource. Learn more about Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing

Tailwind (for automating pinterest) Tailwind had been a game changer for me, I went from 10,000 impressions on Pinterest to over 100,000 impressions and have seen traffic to my site grow as well as email subscribers. The ease of use to schedule pins and track analytics has been awesome. Learn more about Tailwind.

SmarterQueue (for automating other social media) SmarterQueue is a lower cost alternative to meet Edgar, SmarterQueue does pretty much the same thing but it costs about $20/mo for up to 4 social media accounts. They have a free 14 day trial but if you use my referral link you get a 30 day free trial.

Thrive Themes Membership (for theme, opt-ins, and tons of other stuff)I got the Thrive Themes Membership when I decided to redesign LDMW and it’s been fantastic. It replaces Leadpages which was costing me over $400 a year. It also produced a much cleaner design with so many great tools I’m still working to implement and get the most out of everything. Just to note, Thrive Themes only works on sites. But if you have a WordPress site I highly recommend using Thrive Theme, I love it and have become a bit obsessed with everything it can do.


Liz is a blogger helping people with personal finance and working for themselves. She shares her own journey to debt freedom and helps graduates dealing with above average student loan debt on her site, Less Debt More Wine. She currently resides in NC after calling Massachusetts home for nearly a decade.

  • Congrats on the reward! I didn’t start drinking coffee until I started studying for the CPA exam. Now it’s a must for practically every morning. BUT, I find no problem with the cheap stuff 🙂 If you can believe it, I’ve never been to Starbucks – mostly bc if I go I know I will never go back to the cheap stuff

    • says:

      Thanks! I don’t tend to go to Starbucks, I work from home a lot so it is a pain to go in the morning, but I’m addicted to Wolfgang Puck’s Breakfast in Bed Kcups. Overall it is like $13 for 18 Kcups (I think) so not too expensive but there are definitely cheaper options out there.

  • Jessica says:

    So much yes here! lol I started drinking coffee in law school too and I am also an old lady stuck in a young person’s body (and love Golden Girls!!!). I’m married to a Virgo and I hope you have a great birthday!

    • says:

      Thanks! As for coffee there are worse addictions to come out of law school with… I’ll take caffeine.

  • >