It’s officially my one year blogging anniversary over here at Chief Mom Officer, and boy has it been a wild ride! My very first post took about three weeks to get a single view, because of course I was talking to myself when I first started writing. Fast forward to now and my writing here on my little corner of the internet has lead to amazing things that I would never have thought possible.

Why did I even start? Why pend so many hours writing, on social media, on forums, all for zero pay (yep, haven’t made a dollar) and extra headaches? And what exactly did happen to me this year? For my one year blogging anniversary, lets reflect on my history and the year gone by. Plus at the end I have a suggestion for a frugal gift that would be just the right thing for me.

Here, have a slice of cake! P.S. Yes, I made this cake.

My Background

As a fan of personal finance and investing since I was a teen, I felt comfortable with my own saving and investment strategy. I’ve been reading websites about personal finance ever since they were first published on the internet.  Heck, I read The Wealthy Barber as a teenager, helping to inspire my entire investment strategy and saving 10% into my 401k at age 18. I was hanging around Morningstar forums back when the Bogleheads were the Diehards, and I remember when Get Rich Slowly was the story of JD Roth (back when it was good).

I’ve read or own pretty much all the popular and influential personal finance and investing books. I gave a speech in my college Public Speaking course about saving and investing, which my instructor proceeded to tell me to never again give for free. I followed all the popular personal finance and FIRE bloggers, listened to personal finance podcasts, and read all the new finance-related books that came to my local library.

When blogs about personal finance and investing started, I was very interested. I read for years and years with great interest. My favorite blogs were always stories. Expecially stories of a person going through similar things to what I go through, or of their financial adventures. Even reading blogs by people in vastly different financial situations, or with vastly different goals from me, was fun. I like the “personal” side of personal finance and it was fun to follow along with my favorite people online.

Why I Started

But as time went on I realized that it was really hard to find stories of people like me. A lot of traditional “mom blogs” are usually about stay at home moms-I work more than full time and am the sole income earner for my family. “Mom blogs” on money were usually about couponing and frugality. Now I love couponing and frugality, but there’s much more to personal finance. My favorite financial blogs were all written by (1) men or (2) women with no children. Sometimes I would find a good blog written by a woman with very small children, but they were pretty much always a stay at home mom.

Where were the women like me? Why were there no breadwinning moms? Moms interested in more hard finance topics and less couponing? Who work full time? With older children? Who love to teach their kids money concepts through everyday, ordinary events? I couldn’t find them anywhere.

My list of blogs written by working, breadwinning moms interested in personal finance, financial independence, and teaching kids about money

Since I couldn’t find it, I decided to create it. Being the family breadwinner, with a lot of knowledge about personal finance, and with a wide age range of children (soon to be 14, 10, and 2), I have a very unique perspective on the subject. My family has been through a medical crisis that almost killed my husband, and our emergency fund saved the day. My identity has been stolen. I use things like school book fairs to teach my kids good money habits. We have Chopped competitions in our house as a fun and free thing to do. We’re creative and make a lot of things ourselves, like homemade sugar cookies and Pokemon valentines for Valentines Day. I hoped that other people would enjoy reading about these things, just like I enjoyed reading the stories of what others were doing.

Why I Keep Going

The answer is simple – for all of you.

People have forever told me that I “should be a writer.” Why? Because I love to read. I have explained to many people that reading and writing are very different. Honestly, I never considered myself much of a writer. Sure, I wrote as required for school, but I never really wrote for fun. I even got a big fat “F” in keeping a diary. Every time I would start one I would fail to keep it up after just a week or two.

When I started , I would read all about how the best part of blogging was the financial community. I wasn’t sure what they meant back then, but now I know. The personal finance community is friendly, collaborative, helpful, and generally amazing. Getting to know so others with similar interests through their writing, podcasts, videos, and social media has been amazing.

But for me the absolute best part has been people who have told me that something I wrote inspired them. The post about my husbands medical crisis has generated a lot of comments about how folks have experienced something similar, and I hope it will be help others in the future who will be better prepared for an emergency in their own lives. I’ve received emails, comments, and messages from other breadwinning moms who loved the site. And there have also been plenty of other people – men and women, with and without kids – who have read and enjoyed the things I’ve written.

So a huge THANK YOU to every single person who stops by. I hope you’ve enjoyed following along on our adventures and money lessons this year, and you’ll stick around for the year to come!

Here's a Gift Of My Thanks To You!

Highlights From Year One

Remember at the beginning where I told you this blog has lead to things I never thought possible? Here’s a sampling of what I meant:

Those are just the top successes that I’ve had, which is way more than I thought would be possible. Since I’ve started this site, I’ve learned so much and I think my writing and blog skills have improved greatly. I have so many more ideas to share and things I want to do. I’m so excited for year two!

Celebrate My One Year Blogging Anniversary With me!

Did you forget to bring a gift to this party? That’s OK, I know just the thing for my one year blogging anniversary – it’s free AND just right for me. In the comments, tell me:

  1. What is your favorite article that I’ve written?
  2. What topic would you love to see me tackle that I haven’t talked about?

Thanks for reading!

Be sure to follow my blog for more great posts via e-mail or WordPress, or connect with me on Facebook or Twitter and say hello! You can also check out what I’m buying or baking on Instagram,  what I’m pinning on Pinterest, or the latest books I’m reading (or want to read) over on Goodreads.


45 thoughts on “Celebrating One Year of Chief Mom Officer!

  1. Congratulation on a great 1st year. is about a month younger than Chief Mom Officer, and I haven’t missed any of your posts. I have been amazed at the pace you have continued over the past year. The posts have all been well-written, well-researched, full of original ideas, and they keep coming.
    I didn’t go back to look for a specific post, but the concept of “college compact” is a solid idea. I also love that goals for your kids are listed alongside your own goals.
    Congrats on the recent blogging award nomination. Well deserved.
    Mr. JS.

    1. Thanks Mr. JS. I’ve enjoyed following along with you and your son as you navigate that transition to college and adulthood. Since my oldest is only a few year behind your son (he’s a freshman now), college is always on my mind. I also love the college compact idea, I think it’s one of my better ones. Next week I’m doing a recap of my top posts from the last year and it’s on the list

    1. Thanks Penny! I love stopping by your site too, I love the way you write. When it comes to commenting, honestly, sometimes I have to remind myself that no one knows I’m reading their stuff if I don’t leave a comment. Because my default is always just to read without commenting. 😀 See you in a few weeks!

    1. I know-honestly it still somewhat unbelievable to me. I was very surprised (happy but surprised) by it all. Hope baby AE is doing well!

    1. Thanks so much! It hasn’t been an easy year, that’s for sure. I can see now why so many people start sites and then give them up.

    1. I know, time flies when you’re having fun! I’m giving a lot of thought to how I can step up my game next year. This is going to be a hard year to beat!

  2. Crushing it – congrats! I’d say that’s an awesome first year 🙂 What I love about it is that I think everyone hopes it’ll happen to them, but few people expect it…and yet, you stick with it because you just love writing and sharing your story. That’s what I love about blogs 🙂

    Here’s to the next 12 months!

    1. Cheers to the next year! I have so many ideas for this site, articles, and different things I can do-I only wish I had a clone that could go to work for me so I had more time! 😀

      And yes I think this almost sounds too good to be true, especially for little old ME. I still suffer from a lot of disbelief (like…why am I up for an award???) and a bit of imposter syndrome (like….oh, I can’t reach out to that person, they’re so well known and I’m so unknown). One of my goals for year two is to keep pushing out of my comfort zone and put myself out there more!

    1. Thanks so much! I loved putting that one together. I don’t see a lot of articles out there about moms pursuing financial independence (one of the reasons I started this site), and I love having a platform to talk about it.

  3. Congrats, Liz!! You’ve had such an incredible first year and I love reading about finance from another breadwinning mom 🙂

    You know my favorite post of yours is the College Compact, but you have so much great stuff on here. I would love to see a post on your progress to FI and what your goals are there!

    1. You’re right I should do an update on that soon! My main focus has been on my short-term (next 3 years) foundational FI goal but I could provide an update on how that’s going. Another vote for the college compact-I’m thinking that’s a concept I need to work on expanding this next year! You’ve had an amazing year yourself, and I love knowing another breadwinning mom into hard personal finance (going beyond the coupons). Soon we’ll be celebrating your one year too!

    1. Welcome! Glad you’ve stopped by. You’ll find a ton of different, interesting posts in the archives. 😀

  4. Congrats on one year.

    You know it’s interesting to hear you talk about the gap in people with your perspective, it triggers another gap I hear about often. My wife has one foot in the working world and one foot in the stay at home mom world. She takes care of the kids but she also has a highly lucrative ten hour a week freelance business. It leaves her feeling like she doesn’t belong in either the working mom or stay at home mom world. Have you come across anything in your travels that speaks to that midpoint demographic.

    1. Unfortunately no, and I think you’re right that it’s another gap. I could see how you’d feel you don’t belong in either place, because you have a lot in common with both worlds but some significant differences. If I come across something I’ll let you know-or maybe another reader has a suggestion for you.

    2. I was doing that for about a year, but I don’t think I’ve seen other blogs cover it. There wasn’t much interest in my coverage of how I handled that situation so I didn’t write on it further but I really enjoyed that period and aim to return to some version of it.

  5. Happy first year! I stopped reading GRS when it stopped being JD’s story, too. There was a long moment when the old timers were letting go of their blogs and they went commercial, and I was flailing to find better reads. So glad to have blogs like yours in their place.

    1. Ugh, I know-when the big blogs went commercial they got so terrible. It’s just like when a startup gets bought by a megacorp, they lose that startup feeling that only a strong founder can give. I was soooo disappointed in the past few weeks to get multiple emails from someone working for the Simple Dollar bugging me to add their links to me site. I used to like that site! I hated that they were essentially trying to trick their way into topping the Google results.

  6. Congrats on one year! Thanks for interviewing me. I liked the article you wrote about your husband’s illness.

    1. I loved your interview Hatton1! It’s actually one of the top posts from the last year. People were very interested in your donkey. I hope the article about my husband helps some other folks out there be better prepared to face a medical (or other) crisis.

  7. Congratuations Liz on your first year! I love your Instagram 🙂 and your achievements put me to shame! I’m glad you found your niche, I agree that the mommy couponing blogs are… well I’m glad you’re YOU 🙂

    1. Thanks Lily! Don’t get me wrong, I love a good coupon deal, but I really wanted something a little more…substantial is probably the right word. 😀 I’m really glad to hear you like my Instagram, it’s a fun place for me to share all kinds of pictures!

  8. Congrats on the one year anniversary Liz!! Good luck on the Plutus Awards over at FinCon later this month.
    Love your instagram posts and all the fun you have with the kiddos.

    1. Thanks so much! That’s the second compliment I’ve gotten on my Instagram account, I’m really happy to hear people like it.

    1. Thanks Dave, I enjoy your site too! Glad to hear you like what I’m writing over here. Looking forward to seeing what Year 2 brings!

  9. Hard to pick a favorite post … Details of your husband’s illness and how it impacted your lives and discussion of dealing with idenity theft would be on the list. Love the breadwinner mom posts; would also be interested in breadwinner women (aka no kids) as well.

    1. Thanks so much Heather! I think breadwinner childfree women would be an awesome topic too. I’ll try to see if I can find some folks to interview!

  10. Congratulations on your one year! “The wealthy Barber” was also a trigger for me to start saving and investing. I actually saw David Chilton at a conference last year and he is quite entertaining. I really like your blog and can relate as a mom of three, working more than full time. Keep it up!

    1. Thanks Caroline! I actually asked for a copy of The Wealthy Barber for Christmas this past year, just so I could re-read it. I can see why teenage me in the late 90’s liked it so much. Unfortunately a lot of the specifics in it are out of date now, but the story still holds up well. I wish he would update it!

      1. He has published the Wealthy Barber Returns but it’s not as good:( I still want my kids to read it..

  11. Hearty congratulations CMO. Your writing brings the personal to personal finance, while still managing to tackle advanced topics. I also give kudos to your family for their involvement (stories, interviews and modelling!) – frugal celebration party at the CMO household!

    1. Thanks Mrs ETT! Glad to hear that you enjoy my writing. I always thought that I’m not much of a writer, and it’s nice to hear from others that they disagree. I love being able to get to know you and everyone else over this past year! Here’s to year two!

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