My Personal Finance Journey

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Feedback Time, Payback Time

Contributed by mm | July 25, 2005 2:06 AM PST

Honestly, I didn't think the journey can last this long -- PFBlog already exists for more than two and a half years!

Besides exploring the intricacies of personal finance, the journey of PFBlog as a website is amazing to me as well: via PFBlog, I get to know many different people;, and PFBlog itself contributes to the growing community of personal finance blogging, which in turn starts to have an impact on a larger group of people.

So, it is payback time!

In the next seven days, you will have a chance to give your feedback and win some hard, cold cash!

Official Rules:

1. Everyone can participate by adding a comment to this post that includes:

• Email address (so we can contact you for sending prizes).
• How long have you been reading PFBlog?
• What do you like at PFBlog?
• Recommend one post you like the most from our main blog "My Personal Finance Journey".
• Suggest one easy way to make PFBlog more valuable to you.
• Any additional feedback.

(If you don't want to share your email address, you can post the comment without the email address, and immediately send your entire comment to my mailbox from your email address, so you can claim the ownership of the feedback.)

2. Multiple entries from the same email address are ok.

3. Only comments submitted before 8AM PST, August 1, 2005 are eligible for prizes.

4. Up to 4 winners will be decided by MM based on the practicality and meaningfulness of the feedback during the week of 8/1. MM has the sole discretion in determining the winners.

Prizes:

1. Cash: $100 in total, equally divided by the winners. (Example: If two winners are announced, each will receive $50.) Cash will be sent via PayPal.

2. Free promotion of the web site of each winner's choice for six months via text links at the bottom of each PFBlog.com page (a value of $200+).

P.S. I will be on vacation for the rest of the week with minimal internal access. While the main blog will not be updated, please continue to enjoy posts from PFBlog Network. Don't forget to submit your feedback and win the prizes!

This Post Has Received 13 Comments. Share Your Opinions Too.


FMF Commented on July 25, 2005

1. Listed above in my "comments" form. Plus, you know how to get in touch with me. ;-)
2. I've been reading for six months.
3. I like the breadth of personal financial advice -- lots of great posts from many bloggers from many different perspectives.
4. http://www.pfblog.com/archives/2803_the_question_of_selling_or_renting_out_part_1_the_facts.shtml I like it because it's real -- deals with real life issues you're facing -- and got a lot of interaction from readers.
5. Rotate posts from other blogs in the "top spot" of the homepage.
6. Congrats on such a great site!


Thejester Commented on July 25, 2005

2. I have been reading your blog for a little over a month now. I found out about it via Kiplinger's.

3. My favorite part of this blog is the practical applications in practice. I enjoy watching what people are doing with their money and the results they are achieving.

4. Picking an individual article is hard for a few reasons. One, many of the articles that I enjoy are re-occurring. I enjoy seeing your goals, AND how they have changed, and I enjoy seeing everyone's current place. If I have to pick one, here it is:
http://www.pfblog.com/archives/1509_year_2005_financial_objectives.shtml

5. One easy way to make PFblog better for me...easy for me, or you? I understand this page generates money for you, so asking you to limit the advertising is probably not good/easy for you. That being said, I would suggest adding more
gold channels. From this site I found freemoneyfinance and from that site I was able to branch out into other personal financial blogs, some of which appeal to me, others that do not.

6. Additional feedback...I guess I would like to say two things. One, if it was not for this blog, I would not have started my own blog (perfect spot to advertise) so thank you for helping me get started (although it was budgetingbabe who actually got me to pull the trigger). Two, best of luck achieving your goal with your new milestone. It will not be easy, but I believe you will make it.

Cheers,

Thejester


John Commented on July 25, 2005

I've been reading your site for about four months now. I particularly liked the posts you made regarding the decision process you went through before buying a "new" car back in April (or thereabouts). The voyeuristic side of me also enjoys your month end summaries.

I do have a major pet peeve about your site design, however. Why do you insist on making what seems like every link on your site open in a new window?!?! I can understand the links to pages not in your domain, but doing it for internal pages is just annoying. If I come to your site and want to read 5 or 6 different posts, I'll end up with 5 or 6 windows open.


Futuralogic Commented on July 25, 2005

Hello MM,

I have been reading PFBlog since a month after making note of your site address on a piece of paper ( And I had decided to carry a pen-paper on that very day when I read magazines at local library! )

PFBlog seems like 1 stop shop for all relevant and day to day PF matters. It is less intimidating, personal and with updates that I often come back to see more than once a day. It branches off to so many worthy advices through the PFBlog network. The contributors are serious and humble and sincere in helping people make money - money saved is money earned!

I like so many posts that it is difficult to pick one than the rest as better. Since it's all about riches I was curious to know where I stack up and hence this simplistic one I like best http://www.pfblog.com/archives/3220_how_rich_are_you.shtml

As usual with websites cutting down on clutter ( usually ads and keeping it to minimum ) is great. If not atleast least intrusive. I would also like to see what bloggers think about where the future is headed in terms of money.

PF blogging is a paradigm shift and PFBlog has made a giant leap and leads the pack I guess. So Congrats and keep up the good work.

Cheers.


savvy saver Commented on July 26, 2005

I've been reading pfblog for almost a year. It inspired me to start my own blog (frugalgirl.blogspot.com).

I like the older pfblog content, before it became as popular, back when it was more personal. My favorite post I think is A Penny Saved is More Than A Penny Earned. It's simple and to the point.

congratulations on your success and good luck with your move!
erin
frugalgirl.blogspot.com
Please don't take this too personally, you have come very far in your journey, but I stopped relating to your journey once you bought the BMW. I really don't stop in here much anymore, and part of that may be due to the amount of ads as well. I think if you reduced the amount of ads, I would be able to quickly find content relevent to me.


andrew Commented on July 26, 2005

1. Email included
2. I have been reading since the end of 2004 so about 8 months
3. What do you like at PFBlog?
I like almost everything talked about here, but thing inspired me the most is your ability of using MS Money and Excel and figured out your networth to the penny level. I wish I could do that.
4. The post that I like the most is the simulation model that you built for calculating your financial goal using @Risk.
It's very professional and I admire that very much. The second best post is where you quantitatively compared the benefit of owing vs renting, with factors and assumptions beyond what online financial calculator usually include.
5. "Suggest one easy way to make PFBlog more valuable to you":
How to add accounts in Money to manage stuff like receivable, tax owned, and cars and house values.
6 "additional feedback".
A big part of personal finance is how to invest the money to achieve a good risk-adjusted return. Things like diversification and asset allocation with mutual funds investment using modern portfolio theory should be included in this blog. I am glad that 1stmillion helped to fill the blanks.


Brian Commented on July 27, 2005

1. Listed in the comments form.
2. Since early-summer 2004. Found by chance when hitting the "most recently updated blog" feature on blogger.com.
3. The quest toward a goal.
4. A selfish one:
http://www.pfblog.com/archives/743_change_is_good.shtml
5. Make it so it doesn't have the left-to-right scroll.
6. I'd like fewer ads, but I can certainly understand it. I'm also not too fond of having links open in new browser windows.


Noni Commented on July 27, 2005

- I found PFBlog through Kiplinger's and I love it.

- Things I like about this blog: it's a real story about (dare I say) "an average Joe" managing his own personal finance. I learned a thing or two about “getting close and personal” with my own money. Plus it's such a thrill and inspiration for me to read your successful financial journey.

- The post I like the most: http://www.pfblog.com/archives/1872_renting_can_be_much_cheaper_than_buying_in_many_markets.shtml

- I don’t really like to scroll back and forward from left to right during my visit to your website. Sometimes, I felt overwhelmed like there’s too much information on a single page. My suggestion: if you’d prefer to keep the same format (4 columns on 1 page), you might want to reduce the total width of the 1st and the 2nd column on your website. Maybe resize the font of the first two columns so the readers still can see what’s been written on the 3rd and 4th column without having to scroll back and forward from left to right.

- Lately, some of the new entries got really appalling. I noticed some post/entry consist only one or two short paragraphs. It looks like the writer have read an interesting article from some other site on the internet, copy and paste the link of the original article, tell the readers what he/she think about it and that’s it. Come on, you can do better than this, right? :)


Tim Commented on July 27, 2005

1) Given email address in email.
2) About 3 months.
3) Interesting articles and opinions from an independent individual perspective.
4) http://www.pfblog.com/archives/1509_year_2005_financial_objectives.shtml
5) I would probably give the site a better design. It is plain and the front page is kinda hard to read with so much text.
6) Great site. Great information. Keep it up.


BigMike Commented on July 29, 2005

Ive been reading site off and on for about 4 months.
I would recommend adding John Mauldin's weekly article.
I think the site if to busy, pull back and focus on a particlar area.
I love you personal finance spreadsheet. I now create on monthly.
Cheers


Mr. K Commented on July 29, 2005

--- Email included
--- I have been reading PFBlog for over a year now. I was researching the MSFT $3 dividend and one of your pages popped up on my google search. Your site was my introduction to the world of Blogging.
--- I like the fact that you give almost full disclosure of your personal finances and helpful hints on how you have trimmed expense levels and maximized personal income. You give an in-depth view of how real people live and try to get ahead in life.
--- I enjoy seeing the Monthly Review come out at the beginning of each month. I have been doing a personal monthly balance sheet/cash flow statement/etc. since I have entered the real work force 5 years ago and it is nice to see the effort someone else puts into their financial progress.
http://www.pfblog.com/archives/2898_monthly_review_june_2005_231119_4376.shtml
--- I think you could expand on the “Goals” scenario that your website is based upon. Like in the movie, Jerry McGuire, he says, “Who’s coming with me?” I think you could ask your readers that very same question. Who wants to track their financial progress on my site side by side mine. I think a page devoted to the path to financial freedom of you and your readers would be a great addition. I think a lot of people do it on their own offline, and on different sites, but you seem to have one of the best methods out there, and the connections to bring it all together into one area. Just think of the possibilities (and increased traffic to the site)!


Tony Commented on July 29, 2005

(I'll provide my email address via email).

I've been reading PFBlog for a while - maybe 9 or 10 months. My draw to PFBlog is the intelligence of the posts, and the similarity to my own style of personal finance (putting heavy importance on starting early, taking care of family, and personal responsibility). I also enjoy the fact that there is little, if any, political commentary.

I suppose my favorite post is actually a series of posts: "Saving for College," which was very well written/organized and covered the options well (and I couldn't agree more regarding parental responsibility). This series was well timed for me, as my wife and I had just begun our own family and I was pursuing options for college savings vehicles.

I think that the site would be more valuable if it was easier to navigate. I think that there is too much information on the main page. Were it me, I would use a site statistics program to determine how the site is actually used by the visitors (e.g., there may be entire sections on the main page that are rarely or never clicked). There are many programs that can track "visitor flow" to help identify design weaknesses. The one that I use at work is called "AXS Visitor Tracking" by Fluid Dynamics. It's free (donations accepted), was easy to setup if you have appropriate access, and does a good job, in my opinion. I am not affiliated with the author in any way, incidentally.

I hope that response is not too verbose. I really enjoy the site, and wish you continued success with it. By the way, I might be in the minority, but I don't think that the advertising is a weakness or distracting. This is a site about money, after all...


Futuralogic Commented on July 30, 2005

Friends,
I just found a way to reduce the left/tight scroll issue.. just remove the "favourites" listing from the screen. More real estate to enjoy PFBlog.
thanks.............................


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