Top Articles From An Amazing Year

Continuing my celebration of one full year of blogging, I decided to take a look back at the top articles I’ve published here on CMO since I started this site in late 2016. I’ve also decided to take a look at some of my personal favorite articles that may not have gotten as many views as I like, because I published them back when I was new to this whole “blogging” thing and didn’t have as big of an audience as I do now.

So sit back, grab a cup of coffee, and come with me on a trip down memory lane while I look at the top ten posts from the year gone by and look forward to what kinds of subjects I’m going to write about this coming year.

CMO’s Top Ten Articles From Year One

Let’s count down backwards from ten to number one, shall we?

Coming in at number ten we have my interview in my Breadwinning, Six Figure, Millionaire Moms series with Temple BoClair. Temple is an amazing woman-a retired police captain who teaches people about personal finance in Florida. If you haven’t read it before, be sure to check out her story!

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Now for number nine we have my article on How Your Emergency Plan Can Save You. I wrote this post as a companion to my very first guest post ever on Steven Goodwins site My Family On A Budget. Most books and articles talk about the importance of having an emergency fund, but I think it’s even better to have an emergency plan.

At number eight here’s an awesome article about moms on FIRE. Not to be confused with moms on fire (which would be bad), this article celebrates all the awesome moms out there seeking financial independence and early retirement. So often in personal finance we hear about FIRE, but rarely from the perspective of a mom. This article is one of my personal favorites.


Number seven is actually another favorite of mine, and it’s often linked to by other bloggers. It’s my article on creating a college compact, which is an agreement with yourself and your kids on what exactly the conditions are for you paying for college. Will you pay for all of college? Some of it? None? What will happen if there’s money left over, or not enough to fund the college of their choice? Creating this compact ahead of time, reviewing it with your kids, and updating it as life changes helps you really think through these questions and be prepared when the acceptance letters roll in.

Here’s number six, another entry in my Breadwinning, Six Figure, Millionaire moms series-an interview with the amazing Hatton1. Hatton1 is also a frequent commenter on the site (Hi Hatton1!), and we were put in touch by our mutual online friend Physician On FIRE. Hatton1 is a doctor, owns her own practice (and a donkey!), and has a net worth over seven million. If you missed her story the first time around, check it out now!

Number five is my ultimate 529 day guide. On May 29th (or 5/29 – get it?!?!) we celebrate 529 day, which is dedicated to college savings. As the mother of three boys, including a high school freshman, college is never far from my mind. This post is chock full of all kinds of tips and tricks about saving for college.

Next at number four we have my post about embracing your frugal wierdo. Those of us who save, invest, and live below our means are different than your “average American.” Instead of being sad about that, lets embrace it and celebrate being like no one else, so we can be like no one else (as Dave Ramsey would say).

Embrace Your Frugal Weirdo

Number three is a surprise hit (at least to me!), my post all about the cost of making vs. buying cookies. For some reason Google has decided that this post is worthy of first-page Google status! If you do a Google search for “cost of cookies” it comes right up on Page 1, which is awesome.

Number two is my go-to post and a critical part of my overall story. It represents one of the main reasons I write here – it’s my post all about my husbands near-death from septic shock about five years ago. This post is also the most-commented I have here on my site, and I’ve linked back to it countless times. This event was a pivotal moment in our lives-financial and otherwise-and I hope by sharing it my family can be part of helping others prepare for an emergency in their own lives.

Drumroll please….Topping the list at number one with the most views is my post on Not A Box. This post was picked up by Rockstar Finance back in April, and of course that caused a huge spike in traffic. I loved this article not only for the adorable picture of my little guy in his Not a Box, but also because I was able to share the amazing book by the same name. Encouraging kids to use their imaginations and pretend the box is a rocket ship, a fire truck, or a car is not only frugal, but also good for their long-term development.

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CMO’s Honorable Mentions

So these were the top ten articles by page views-but what other articles have I written that stand out? Here are five honorable mentions:

  • These Personal Finance Books Are All The Same – This is where I hit a braking point with book reviews. I’d been reading and reviewing a book a week, and had just read 4-5 books in a row that were all saying the exact same thing. I love the groundhog day picture here because it perfectly represented how I felt.
  • 20 Years Of Striving Toward FI – This is the overall story of my journey through personal finance in the past 20 years, since I was a teenager. I’ve been a PF nerd long before the internet was cool, and this article will show you that. As they say, “just keep swimming”.
  • Why I Love My 15 Year Mortgage – So often in the personal finance space you’ll hear all about why you should opt for a 30 year over a 15 – usually it’s all around the flexibility to make lower payments when you need to, and you can “pay it like a 15” (which actually, no you can’t). So I decided to give some love to my 15 year mortgage, which is melting off principal from my loan like ice cream melts on a hot summer day. Of course I still want to have it paid off in five years (but secretly my stretch goal is before I’m 40!).
  • Chopped Championship – One of the fun things about starting this site is getting a chance to share all the fun and creative frugal things we do as a family. This chopped championship is a great example of an activity you can do with your kids that they’ll love and costs nothing. Someone actually linked to this article in Mr. Money Mustache’s forum on mini money mustaches, which I thought was awesome.
  • Public Speaking – Awesome Skill Or Worse Than Death? – I loved writing this post because I was able to reflect on some of the great public speaking opportunities I’ve had in my life. I’m a very good speaker, and speaking in front of a crowd doesn’t bother me. Heck, after speaking at my company in front of the CEO and 30k people, I have nothing left to fear


One extra you may or may not have noticed – since a lot of articles on my site are about breadwinning, six figure, and/or millionaire moms, I created a new one-stop shop page featuring all my prior articles and interviews (plus some updates on prior interviewees!). Swing by and check it out!

Did You Remember My Gift?

So that’s it – the top articles from the past year, and my personal honorable mentions. Thanks again for following along on this amazing year!

In case you forgot to leave my gift on last weeks post, I’m asking for just one comment on two simple things to help me in the year ahead:

  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?

If you already gave me my gift, thanks so much! And thanks for reading and taking this trip with me down memory lane.

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.


IT professional, MBA, working mother of three, avid reader, geek and personal finance nerd

4 thoughts on “Top Articles From An Amazing Year

  • October 20, 2017 at 11:41 am

    Favorite Article = “It’s OK if you don’t want to quit your job and travel the world!”

    Favorite Topics = teaching kids about money, family adventures, “balancing” work-life

    Keep up the awesome work, Liz!

    • October 20, 2017 at 11:45 am

      Thanks Mrs AR! Appreciate you taking the time to let me know what you like the best over here at CMO

      • October 26, 2017 at 12:10 am

        Favorite article? I have two. #1 was “Going Into Crisis Mode – When It All Goes to Hell” as it gave me a good feel for what my wife went through when my health took an unexpectedly went to hell. (I was either unconscious or really drugged up for most of the exciting stuff). It really reinforces the fact that bad things can happen to anyone, at any time – so it’s important to be financially prepared!

        The other favorite article was on your idea of a college compact. Our oldest daughter just entered high school this year (ugh!), so my wife and I have started having conversations with her about the financial aspect of it using some of the ideas you listed. The good news is that she is asking good, responsible questions – so I’m hoping this rationality will continue!!

        Idea request – perhaps some discussion of how your family (or other blogger families) handle financial responsibilities to ensure redundancy? One thing we struggle with in MSW house is ensuring that Mrs MSW stays “up to speed” with where we are financially, and even how to handle basic tasks like paying bills online, etc. Like many families (I think), we tend to gravitate towards the tasks that we like – and for me as an engineer, handling the bills and the family budget is what I ended up with.

        It’s not that I mind basically being the family CFO – it’s not a big deal at all, actually – but the concern is more around having some redundancy in case something happens and I can’t do it myself for an extended period. I can’t have my wife be that widow (as an extreme example) with seven figures in the bank, but out on the street because she cant access any of the accounts. I can also see people in that situation be “easy prey” for salespeople of financial products. Curious to see if you feel that’s ever been an issue in the CMO household, and if so how you’ve handled it. May be a good tie-in from the emergency preparedness series from all the bloggers a few weeks back.

        Not sure if you’re in Dallas this week – but if so enjoy the trip! I travel to Dallas for work quite frequently (including this week), and the one good thing is that it’s FINALLY cooling off – this place gives a whole new meaning to the word “HOT”!! Actually had to break out a sweater today, nice change of pace:-)

      • October 26, 2017 at 2:01 am

        Thanks Mr. MSW! My oldest son also just entered high school (how did that happen???) so I can understand how you feel. Glad to hear you enjoyed both those articles, they’re among my favorites too.

        I love your idea and will definitely write an article about that in the future. It’s something I struggle with too. The bill paying and investing is all automated, but since I’m the one with the interest in personal finance and investing I know my husband would struggle if something were to happen to me. I’ve told him to just call Vanguard and enroll in the plan they have where they help you manage your investments. It’s relatively low cost and will help him to make wise decisions. But overall he’s not really interested in money at all, so it’s certainly a weak point for us.

        And yes, I’m headed to Dallas (tomorrow night, in fact). I’ve never been there before so I’m looking forward to it! Good to hear it’s cooling down, my Connecticut self doesn’t deal too well with too much heat. 🙂

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