The reasons I have for being grateful this week, including family visits, winter travel deals, and being inspired.It seems as though I completely underestimated how crazy the first week of 2016 would be!

So a bit of a belated Happy New Year to you all – I hope it’s off to a great (and less hectic) start for you!

A few exciting things are happening for me work-wise, family-wise, and growth-wise.

These are all things I’m grateful for as I start the year with a clean slate.

If you’re interested in the goals I set for 2016, you can look at my last post which details what I was grateful for in 2015, and what I hope 2016 holds.

The biggest goal is getting my student loans paid off! I can’t wait to be debt free.

A Brand-Spanking-New Podcast

As you might have noticed on my sidebar, the Financial Conversation podcast is up and running! I’m so happy to be a part of this awesome project along with Kayla, Chonce, and Kristi.

If you read my FinCon recap, you’ll recall that we hung out a bunch during the four days of the con and had a great time. We thought it made sense to continue that with a podcast!

Kayla happened to have the domain and during FinCon, she realized it would make the perfect site for a podcast. Inspired by Shannon’s Martinis and Your Money, we decided to give it a try.

It has been a huge learning curve, but we’re so happy and grateful to have it out there. Our hope is that we’ll reach a wider audience than we can with blogging.

We’ve got a lot of interesting things planned for future episodes (a new one is launching this week), so stay tuned!

If you have a free moment, please give it a listen and feel free to send feedback.

Family Visits!

My grandma had been going back and forth the last few months on whether or not she was going to make a trip down here during the winter. She wanted to take a month (or two month) long trip, but things didn’t work out as she had hoped.

Being that my grandma is 84 and doesn’t necessarily enjoy traveling alone, I couldn’t blame her if she didn’t make it down here, but that doesn’t mean I’d be any less upset!

Thankfully, my aunt was watching for deals, and we were able to snag her tickets for a total of $100 round-trip.

Of course, that’s on Spirit *shudders* so I’m really hoping she doesn’t experience any problems. After the last time I flew with them, I swore I’d never fly with them again.

She’ll be down here later in the month and is leaving in early February, and has already promised to do some baking while she’s here.

Her cookies are pretty much what made my childhood Christmases, so I’ll be noming away when they appear as I’ve been going through withdrawals.

Winter Travel Deals

I had resolved to fly back home if my grandma wasn’t able to make it down, mostly because she’ll be celebrating her 85th birthday later in February. I would have felt guilty for missing it and not seeing her.

While we could throw her an early birthday party here, it’s not the same. And even though I saw my family and friends back in October, it already feels like it happened ages ago.

I flew back to NY in February last year because, similar to the deal my grandma got, Spirit was offering one-way flights for something like $60. It was a no-brainer (besides getting stuck at the airport every time I go to fly back!).

I’ve been monitoring deals and it seems like I could get a round-trip flight for $140 from American Airlines or JetBlue. I know that’s not very frugal of me, but my sanity is worth the extra money.

It’s either that, or I’ll likely be making my way to Austin to scout out areas for the move. If any of you know anything about the city, or know someone there, I’d appreciate any knowledge/connections you can pass along!

As always, I’m grateful that I have the flexibility to coordinate getting the cheapest flights (I saw some $300s mixed in with the $140s), and for the savings to afford these trips.

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Grateful for Inspiration

I have always said that one of the best parts of the personal finance community is how inspirational everyone is. From amazing stories of debt payoff, to incomes being tripled, and all the people making a living off of doing things they love, there’s no shortage of it.

That’s one of the reasons why I love FinCon so much; you can feel the energy buzzing in the air.

If it hasn’t been obvious (as I’ve stated it before), I’ve been lost at sea for the better part of a year with blogging and where I want to go. There have been ideas, but none I felt strongly about.

There has been a lot of rebranding going on with bloggers I look up to, and I’m always amazed by what is possible with “just a blog.” We all started from nothing and had to build our audience, and it’s so exciting to see where people have ended up.

That gives me the hope and inspiration I need to keep going. I love writing, and likely always will. I also love talking about money in hopes of empowering others to make good financial decisions.

But for some reason, there’s been a disconnect, hence this post being the only one I typically publish.

Being Grateful for…Brain Dumps?

I specifically selected “Journey to Saving” because it can involve anything I experience. It’s my journey that I’m sharing with everyone, and the top reason I chose to share it was to inspire others.

However, I feel like I’ve fallen short there for a number of reasons:

  • My journey looks nothing like I thought it would when I started blogging (of course, that’s life, duh Erin)
  • I also started blogging anonymously (anyone remember those days?) and the tone of the blog has changed as I’ve grown and found my voice.

I remember reflecting on this last year, and it led to me change the theme I use for the blog. While I like it, I’m not in love with it, and I don’t think the solution is as simple as that. It’s a bandaid for a bigger issue.

Those of you on Twitter might have noticed I changed my handle to @erinmcreates. I truly felt like @journeytosaving didn’t fit with all I wanted to share/express on there.

I know that sounds absolutely silly, being that I rarely use Twitter in the first place (I’ve been working on that!), but it felt freeing when I changed it.

I’ve been wondering if the same thing is in order for the site, but we’ll see. I just like to keep you all in the loop on my ramblings. ;)

Anyway, let me stop there for this week. Please check out the podcast if you have time (it’s perfect for a commute!), send feedback, and let me know if you have any inside knowledge of Austin. =)

What are you being grateful for this week? How has the new year treated you so far? Do you take advantage of traveling inexpensively during certain seasons?



  1. Tonya@Budget and the Beach January 10, 2016 at 6:25 PM

    Huge congrats on the podcast with you and the rest of the awesome ladies! It’s great to see more women talking about money. BTW I bought my ticket for Camp Grounded just outside of Austin in October so maybe you’ll be living there by then? Hope so so I can get a tour and see your side of the city! :) Best of luck with everything for 2016!

    1. Erin M. January 10, 2016 at 7:12 PM

      Thank you! I totally agree. More female voices are needed in the space. We want to inspire everyone (but definitely women) to take control of their finances and live a fulfilling life. So glad we’re joining the ranks!

      What is this Camp Grounded? *Googles* Um, that sounds pretty awesome! I plan on moving within the next few months, so yes, I will be there in October!!

  2. Sarah January 11, 2016 at 2:08 PM

    Erin!! Congratulations on the podcast!! I can’t wait to check it out!!

    As for blogging/rebranding, I’ve totally been feeling that too. My blog also is not where I’m at today and it doesn’t represent what I’m about anymore. So, I created a brand new one that I’m launching soon! It’s not even in the personal finance sphere, but it’s general enough to where I can talk about that if I choose to. I’m keeping my current blog, too, but really plan on turning the new one into a business. I thought longgg and hard about this, which it seems like you are, too!! Best of luck!! And any updates on your move?! Staying in Charlotte?! ;)

    1. Erin M. January 11, 2016 at 4:16 PM

      Thanks! I’ve actually thought about creating another blog, too, just using my name as the domain and keeping this one. But, I barely have enough time to keep up with one blog, so I didn’t think it was a good idea to start a second. If only! Good luck with it!

      I am heading to Austin, TX. =)

      1. Sarah January 11, 2016 at 8:24 PM

        Austin!!! Yay!!! We just hired a new person for our company who lives in Austin :) He spent this past week in Charlotte for training (he will work remotely) and had nothing but good things to say about Austin. I hope you love it there!!

        And, sigh, yes, I don’t know how I will keep up with two blogs LOL. Honestly, I think this one (the frugal millionaire) will fizzle out eventually. I’ll for sure keep up with it for now and just see where it goes. I don’t see myself keeping up with two long-term, though.

        And I think that’s a fantastic idea to use your name as your domain! If nothing else, it could serve as your portfolio until you have time to blog on it!

        Good luck, Erin!!!

        1. Erin M. January 12, 2016 at 1:58 PM

          That’s good to hear! I went there last summer and it was nice.

          Haha, I think that’s something every blogger goes through. Blogging is pretty darn addicting. At the very least, if you maintain it, you can always sell it when you’re ready to move on. It has a great name and content history!

          Yep. Lots of decisions to make. I’m just glad I was able to snag the domain – I was surprised it wasn’t taken!

          Good luck to you too!

  3. Cat@BudgetBlonde January 12, 2016 at 8:04 PM

    I can’t wait to see where you go. I think everyone who sticks with blogging eventually figures out that their blog no longer really fits with what they want to say and what they want to be. Re-branding can be hard, but sometimes it’s for the best. Congrats on the podcast! I love it!

    1. Erin M. January 12, 2016 at 9:19 PM

      Thanks Cat! I absolutely love your redesign, and it looks like rebranding has been a great step in the right direction for you/the business/the blog. I’ll take my blog not exactly fitting where I want to be as a good sign – growth is much better than stagnancy!

  4. Melanie @ Dear Debt January 12, 2016 at 11:03 PM

    The first week of January was crazy! I can’t wait to check out your podcast. Congrats girl! You’ve accomplished a lot and I know you can nix those student loans this year. Get them GONE! I’m here to support. :)

    1. Erin M. January 13, 2016 at 10:57 AM

      Thank you!! There is no way I’m entering 2017 with student loan debt. They will definitely be gone, hopefully sooner than later.

  5. Anum January 13, 2016 at 10:22 AM

    Wow. I’m so excited for your podcasts! I just heard the first ep and I can’t wait for more! Congrats to all of you guys!!

    1. Erin M. January 13, 2016 at 10:53 AM

      Thank you so much, Anum! Our next episode just released this morning. =)

  6. fehmeen January 14, 2016 at 10:43 AM

    That’s really good news about the ambitious podcast project you have started. I’m definitely going to stay tuned to see what you have to share with us. The new year has turned out to be pretty pleasant so far and I’m hoping it stays that way. Have made a few (realistic) resolutions and feel pretty good about sticking to them so far :)

    1. Erin M. January 15, 2016 at 3:59 AM

      Thanks! Good luck on sticking to them! I’m glad you mentioned realistic goals – that’s what I try to set, too. =)

  7. Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank January 15, 2016 at 7:24 PM

    I am excited to read your posts on your family visits, where you go, and more of your posts on being grateful. Hope you have more editions of this kind of posts Erin. I am sure there are so many things to be grateful for this 2016 for all of us.

    1. Erin M. January 18, 2016 at 11:19 PM

      Thanks Jayson, I appreciate it, and totally agree that we all have many things to be grateful for this year!

    1. Erin M. January 18, 2016 at 11:18 PM

      Thank you, I hope you enjoy it!

  8. DC @ Young Adult Money January 22, 2016 at 8:57 PM

    So happy and pumped for your new podcast! Podcasting is something I would be very bad at so I’m always happy to see people I know give it a try.

  9. James January 29, 2016 at 8:06 PM

    I had fun listening to your podcast, Erin! I hope there’s more to come! It’s so fun to listen to you girls.

    1. Erin M. January 31, 2016 at 11:13 PM

      Thanks, James! We have quite a few episodes out now, and another one will be out tomorrow. =)

  10. Kelly February 2, 2016 at 8:19 PM

    Erin, that is a fun podcast. I have listened to two podcasts. You all are great! I am just so excited for the new podcast. Congrats!

    1. Erin M. February 6, 2016 at 12:42 AM

      Thanks Kelly, we appreciate it!

  11. Bobby February 19, 2016 at 5:17 AM

    Wow, its one thing to be grateful in life, its another thing all together to write several blog posts about it. You must have had to dwell and think on all of the things you mentioned in order to really appreciate them. I do that sometimes and it really makes a huge difference in the way I view my life. Very well written post. Truly.

    1. Erin M. February 19, 2016 at 11:46 AM

      Hi Bobby,

      Actually, quite the opposite. I’ve conditioned myself to be grateful after writing so many of these posts, and figuring out what to mention doesn’t take much thought at all. =) It definitely does make a positive difference, though.

  12. Grant Bledsoe May 23, 2016 at 3:30 PM

    Nice job with the blog and podcast – everything looks and sounds very sharp.

    Now that you’re a few months into podcasting, what are some of your “takeaways”? Any suggestions for other aspiring podcasters?

  13. EL @ Moneywatch101 May 26, 2016 at 4:39 PM

    Congrats on the new podcast, it is a big step. Eventually we all might have to go to audio or video content, as people everyday prefer those avenues for media consumption. The financial conversation is a great domain name, Best of luck.


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