The idea of a Transparency page was started by Tanja Hester from Our Next Life. She is dedicated to being intentional about the information her readers get. You, as the reader and consumer have a right to know some of the ins and outs with money and the blog. I too, want to make sure I’m being transparent.
Our About Page covers some of this, but not all of it. Feel free to start there and then bounce back over here.
Who does what?
When the blog began, I actually wasn’t that into it. I was working on other side-projects including a phone photography blog. Not to mention I had a ton of growing and learning to do about finances.
As time progressed and life moved a bit faster for us, HisFI- Charles, no longer wanted to write for the blog. Instead, we started the podcast and worked on this creative venture together. He did all of the editing and I did the scheduling and drafting of bios/questions for guests. We have the FI podcast on pause now and we’re not sure we will actually pick it up again. HisFI received a promotion which led to 12-hour shift work and a reduced amount of energy to dedicate to the podcast.
HerFI, that’s me! AKA: Bethany McCamish. I run the blog and all social platforms. I’m who you’ll talk to if you send a note. I do all of the writing now unless it’s a featured guest post. Sometimes I write stories, sometimes it’s a helpful post full of strategies, and very occasionally I’ll write an SEO driven post. I know how to do these, but I’d rather share my life with you all and save that expertise for my clients.
HisFI and I aren’t married yet. We’ve recently become engaged in 2019 and we planned to be married in 2020. Our wedding was canceled due to COVID, so it is now set for 2021. For the past 7 years of our relationship, we have not ever fully combined our finances. We began by splitting everything 50/50. When this no longer became equitable (and after some long conversations), we began splitting our finances based on the amount that each of us made (about 40/60).
More recently, we combined our finances. We actually have a joint checking account now and you can see how we do our money with the one month ahead budget here.
We don’t post our net worth because we don’t believe in comparison or having every number out there for everyone. It’s personal for us, and we aren’t ready to share yet. (Although it has been mentioned in conversations on the podcast a bit)
What we do share:
- Spending reports
- Our full monthly budget and income was shared on Business Insider. (This has since been reduced due to a job change)
- How much I owe in student loans – Originally $78,000 and now down to $34, 000
- How much we saved for certain ventures
- How we bought a home with a 401k loan and paid it all back
- Details on how we invest and HSA accounts
- How we give
- Details on groceries, frugal hacks, moving, jobs etc
- Travel – one of our favorite things to spend money on
These are shared on our platforms in conversation, tweets, and posts.
You should know we are privileged in so many ways. You should also know this doesn’t make us automatically good with money. We share our stupid mistakes, things we are trying, and money fights. All of this is open for us to talk about.
In 2020 I shared more about my student loan debt, which hasn’t taken center stage on the blog because I was banking on Public Service Loan Forgiveness. However, my career has changed and HisFI’s income has increased- so we are now working on a serious debt pay-off plan. If you have any questions about student loans or how I got mine- I’m happy to fill you in.
Our Work and Life
We are DINKS. Double income-no kids. HisFI’s salary is high and mine is on the lower end. HisFI, Charles is an electrical engineer. I’m a former teacher, now a freelance writer and designer. We ascribe to being vegan, but we try our best not be annoying about it. We share why we choose to be vegan, but never expect people to jump on board with our choices.
Like any creative pursuit, the blog is ever-evolving.
It’s important that you know our lives move fast (like most people’s). We try to keep things up to date on the blog, but may have missed something so you can always ask us.
The 2018-2019 school year was hard for us and I think this is reflected in the blog by having more general posts, rather than personal ones. In that time span, two friends of mine passed away, one of our dogs suffered a spinal injury and passed, HisFI found out his company would be shutting down (yes, he still got the promotion) and he had to be on the job hunt, I had a bit of a mental breakdown with stress from teaching and trying to grow a new business. I quit teaching and took on a new career. Then, at the very end of the year, we sold our home in the PNW and moved to AZ which rounded out the chaos of that year.
We have huge plans for our financial independence journey– and we like to share them here. They might change or get pushed off, but we’ll try to let you know.
The blog and my work
The blog has been instrumental in helping me find work as a freelancer. It acts as a portfolio of writing for me. I have a link to my main business website in the side-bar. I have had clients contact me because they liked what they saw here. The blog is a way for me to connect with potential clients.
This doesn’t dictate what is here. The blog is a great outlet for me. No one is telling me what to write here (unless it’s a reader with a request). It’s whatever I want to write about at the moment. I keep a long list of ideas in Trello and make sure to post here when I can. I do schedule them out about a month ahead of time.
Making Money from the Blog
Do we make money from this blog? The answer is yes, we make a small amount of money from this blog. We make money with our affiliate links. We have Amazon affiliate links which give us a small kickback if you use them for a purchase. No, it’s not a ton of money. We’ve made about $300 in the past two years for Amazon sales. No, we don’t promote any products or courses that we wouldn’t use ourselves.
We are also a Personal Capital Affiliate. It’s a tool we use ourselves to manage money and look at investments. We have it linked in posts and as an ad at the bottom of the blog. This has made us about $100 a month. I plan to add on more affiliates in the future as we grow, but only to products or services I believe in. You will see some of these affiliates on the Resources and Freebies page.
I also recently launched a few products. These are all digital downloads and I created them myself. These create a small amount of revenue for the blog.
Something you won’t find from us are annoying ads. Especially pop-up ads. We can’t stand it on other blogs so we won’t do that here.
The small amount we make from the blog sits in a savings account. We use it for blog-related expenses like hosting, themes, etc. We don’t turn a profit. As mentioned before, the blog brings me clients and media coverage which helps my career. This is how most money is made from the blog.
The blog isn’t about making money, but if that changes we’ll tell you
We had a deluded idea when we first started blogging that we might make some decent money on the blog. This wasn’t true for us. You can tell from our Amazon sales that we aren’t formulating the blog that way either.
If the blog does start making money, then that’s ok with us. We aren’t against monetized blogs, but we know it takes a certain strategy in content creation and it takes time.
I plan to update this page annually at the very least. In the meantime, if you have any questions I didn’t address let me know. I love to get e-mails from readers and will respond.