Hello everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful week. It went by super fast for me – was anyone else really busy? I’m pretty grateful I’ve had a decent amount of freelance work already this month, and that this weekend has been mostly relaxing. Aside from having a really stiff neck and not being able to get to sleep, that is.


What am I being grateful for this week? I mentioned in my last post that we had to deal with an unexpected expense of $160 in the form of a broken car window, so I’ve been grateful for R going into work for overtime. I’ve mentioned that his job is pretty flexible on scheduling before, but if he really wanted to, he could work 60 hours a week on a regular basis. As it is, he’s pushing over 50!

I’m enjoying being a freelancer for the simple fact that how much I work is in my control, and I’ve been trying to apply to as many different writing gigs as possible this past week. I actually recently revamped my Work With Me page (shameless plug incoming), so please check it out if you haven’t! I’d like to branch out into virtual assistant work, and I have a non-exhaustive list of everything I’d love to help you with over there.

Fellow Bloggers and Freelancers

I’m just going to group this all into one section! First of all, if you haven’t been over to Kirsten’s blog (Indebted and In Debt), you should go check it out. She’s living as if she were dying for the month of October as part of a writing challenge (I know a few others are taking part as well), and she’s already had some really insightful posts. I think this ties in well with being grateful, as I’m sure we could all reflect on our lives a little more.

Next, I connected with a few bloggers from the NC area this past week, and it’s great to know I’m not alone here! While I love the commenting that goes on in the blogosphere, blogging itself can often feel like a lonely activity. We want to make sure we’re reaching other people besides bloggers, and getting an email from a reader always makes my day.

Being Grateful | Journey to Saving

I can relate to being a lurker, as I was before I started my blog. I felt like whatever I had to say wouldn’t be worth sharing. If you’re a lurker that feels that way, that line of thought couldn’t be any more wrong! Even just a simple, “Thanks for writing this, I can really relate,” is nice to hear. Trust me!

Lastly, I’m being grateful that I’m surrounded by such awesome freelancers and solopreneurs. I got the chance to chat with a few this past week, and it was so nice to talk to people that knew exactly what I was going through. Being able to exchange advice, or just rant a little, is nice. While many of us have supportive friends and family, they can’t always relate to our struggles.

Internet Resources

Who isn’t grateful for the internet these days? If you’ve been inspired by my low-quality videos, check out these two links (here and here) if you want to give it a try. Honestly, unless you’re producing videos for a living, I think you should just start with what you have. Lots of people make fantastic videos with their phones!

Being Grateful - Forty-Seventh Edition
Treats from this weekend!

I am so guilty of waiting to have everything absolutely perfect before I start a new endeavor, and I’m really glad I pushed myself with this, because it’s been a fun learning experience. I hope you’ve all been enjoying it, too! It’s nice to get back to being a little more creative with things other than words. =) It’s also why I’ve been trying to get back into Photoshop, as I miss making graphics.

I’m going to go slightly off-topic here and mention Cat’s post on how to carve out time for what you really love. She brings up a good point that many of us end up abandoning the various hopes and dreams we held as children or teens because of lack of time after college. I keep saying I need to get back into reading (and I know a few of you have struggled with this, too), but if I’m being really honest, I would love to get back to designing websites.

I used to have a LiveJournal (ha, does anyone else remember those days? just me?), and I absolutely loved designing layouts in Photoshop, and coding it from scratch. I really wish I had retained those skills. Unfortunately, too many years passed by and I gave up on the idea. Creating a WordPress theme seems a little too daunting, though, so I might have to stick with graphics. I say I like to play around in Photoshop, but I’ve been using it for over 10 years now.

I am grateful I was able to snag a free version of Photoshop 2 a while ago (super outdated, gets the job done), but the $10/month subscription plan is really tempting! I’ve tried using Canva and PicMonkey, but I keep going back to Photoshop. I would also like to learn how to use Premier Pro if I get serious about videos, and R uses Illustrator and InDesign for graphic work as well.

Who knows! It’s always good to leave the door open for opportunities, right?

What were you being grateful for last week? Have you wanted to pick up an old hobby again after stopping it for a few years? Do you need any free graphics? ;)



  1. Alicia October 12, 2014 at 7:15 PM

    Thanks for the shoutout to us Canadians and our early Thanksgiving. We are weirdos in American Thanksgiving eyes and vice versa I imagine. It is all about what we get used to growing up I guess. I made apple crisp forThanksgiving dessert and while it isn’t as gooey as those cinnamon buns, with meaty vanilla ice cream, it’s pretty darn delish. :)

    I hear ya about the audience issue. I love talking to my blogger friends but they are usually decently educated on PF, so it doesn’t feel like I am helping them as much as when I get that elusive reader email :) I just accept what I can get out of it, but I am in it for a different reason than you and your freelancing. But I definitely echo reaching out to bloggers that you read – it’s like gold when you get those connections from someone who isn’t somehow marketing themselves. :)

    1. Erin M. October 12, 2014 at 10:27 PM

      I’m just not ready for it to be the holidays already! Your apple crisp sounds equally delicious for sure. I can only eat one of those cinnamon buns, they’re just too sweet. Thankfully R was all over them!

      Exactly! As bloggers, we all read up on personal finance, and we’re already on our journeys to set things right. I know we all learn a lot from each other, and that’s great, but I would love to know I inspired someone to get serious about saving or paying off their student loans. That’s half the reason I started my blog in the first place.

  2. Kassandra October 12, 2014 at 7:24 PM

    I am grateful to be celebrating the Canadian Thanksgiving with my family in Canada. I am also thankful for my husband who works hard and contributes so much to our well-being. I got an email a couple days ago from a reader (non-blogger) who felt like I successfully came across as a real person through my blog and not just as a blogger. That to me was a huge compliment. I have had to start cutting back on my interactions in the community in order to meet the demands of paid freelance writing and still carve out family time. It can difficult to find a fair balance as someone who is self-employed.

    1. Erin M. October 12, 2014 at 10:24 PM

      I didn’t realize you were back in Canada! I hope you have a great time visiting. I definitely think you come across as a relatable person in your blog posts. I hear you on cutting back with the interactions – I completely had to forfeit that earlier last week, and felt a little guilty. Creating that balance is difficult!

  3. Liz October 12, 2014 at 7:41 PM

    Sounds like your freelance business is going really well. Congrats. I think being able to build up a business on your own is a huge accomplishment. It’s definitely something I hope to do one day. As for me, I would say I’m (extra) thankful for my husband these days. He’s been super helpful around the house and has been doing most of the cooking lately while I’ve been super busy at work. Have a great week Erin!

    1. Erin M. October 12, 2014 at 10:21 PM

      Thanks Liz! I know you’ve talked about it before – I think you should really look into it! I’m always grateful to R for the same reasons. When I’m too busy to take care of things, he usually comes to the rescue. It’s nice to have that teamwork going on in the house. I hope you have a great week, too!

  4. Cat@BudgetBlonde October 12, 2014 at 8:02 PM

    I’m grateful for you Erin! I am loving these video messages. What are you using to edit them? Love that you are interacting with other freelancers. It’s totally normal to compare but I’m glad you are realizing how awesome you truly are!

    1. Erin M. October 12, 2014 at 10:20 PM

      Thanks Cat! I’m so glad people are receptive of the videos. I’m using iMovie since it came with my Macbook. It’s pretty decent for a standard editing tool. I think YouTube has its own editing system built in to their platform as well.

      Freelancing can feel a little lonely at times, and it’s always nice to remember that we’re not alone in our experiences! I think we all have different strengths and weaknesses, and that’s what we have to focus on. No one person is better than someone else entirely.

  5. Sarah October 12, 2014 at 8:25 PM

    Hey Erin!! Great post!! I can totally relate to being a “lurker” before I had a blog. I guess I felt like I didn’t want to waste the bloggers time with my comment, as most likely an actual friendship wasn’t ever going to form if I didn’t have a blog (I realize this isn’t true, but it felt that way to me!!).

    I would say I’m grateful for the ability to work from home while raising my kids. Oftentimes a lot of stay-at-home-moms complain about their long days. And while that’s true, we all have long days haha! I’m viewing this situation as a HUGE blessing that I know so many working moms would love to be in!

    And that’s awesome you want to be a virtual assistant and get back into designing!! Good for you for putting yourself out there! Hope you have a great week!

    1. Erin M. October 12, 2014 at 10:18 PM

      Thanks Sarah! It is really easy to feel a little left out of the commenting on blogs when you’re a reader versus a blogger. I’d like to find some way to change that eventually.

      I imagine it must be really nice to be able to work from home and raise your kids. I know it’s not a walk in the park, but it’s likely better than being away from them! It’s great you’ve been able to make it work. =) I hope you have a great week as well!

  6. Genevieve @ PFTwins October 12, 2014 at 8:38 PM

    I love the videos! I went back to last week’s video. Super cute. :)

    I had a livejournal back in the day. I actually just deleted it a few months ago, so that embarrassing piece of teenage history was up for a long time.

    1. Erin M. October 12, 2014 at 10:16 PM

      Thanks Genevieve, I’m glad you enjoyed them!

      Ah, seriously! I don’t even remember the name of my first one; the other one I made was private, so hopefully no one is able to creep on it these days.

  7. Kirsten October 13, 2014 at 4:41 AM

    I am so happy for your freelance efforts, Erin. You are a great writer and you come across as sincere and informative all in one. That is so hard to pull off.

    I actually want a theme redo. The one I got is ok, but I’m annoyed that I lost some of my ability to easily customize things. I’ve been debating getting another logo and maybe going back to a free or cheap customizable theme… But you know what? I have zero time. If you ever get into that game, I’d be willing to line up as your first customer!

    Thanks for linking to my challenge :-) I’m so glad you are enjoying it.

    1. Erin M. October 13, 2014 at 10:28 AM

      Thanks Kirsten! I think you pull it off pretty well, too. =) No problem on the mention!

      That’s why I’m hesitant to hand over any design work to someone else. I like being able to go through everything and familiarize myself with it so that I can make changes on my own later. Your theme is really cute, though! I haven’t ventured into paid themes yet, so I’m not sure if they lean more toward coding than “drag and drop” methods. I would love to help you out if you have an idea of where you want things to go!

      1. Kirsten October 14, 2014 at 9:32 AM

        Sweet! No vision just yet, but I’ll ponder over it!

  8. Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank October 13, 2014 at 6:29 AM

    Good video Erin. You must have used the IMovie. It seems like you’re really good at it. Me? I am still finding y way how to use it. I really like how you respond to comments, it’s really a personal and selfless comments. Thanks for responding to our posts! Keep it up!

    1. Erin M. October 13, 2014 at 3:36 PM

      Yep, I used iMovie. Seriously, just search for some tutorials on YouTube! There are so many out there that can help you navigate the program. =) I’m learning how to do something new with each video I made.

      I love receiving comments, and so the least I can do is respond. I’m always thankful that people take the time out of their day to stop by here.

  9. Mrs. Frugalwoods October 13, 2014 at 6:47 AM

    I am right there with you on wanting perfection before starting anything! I’ve had to really get over that with blogging, or I’d never post a single thing. It’s still a struggle and I edit every post waaaaay more than I should, but, I’m getting better (I think.. :) ). Congrats on getting your freelance biz going so strong! And, those cinnamon rolls look amazing…

    1. Erin M. October 13, 2014 at 10:24 AM

      Thanks! Oddly enough, when it came to blogging, the only thing I was stuck on was how my site looked. I spent a weekend trying to get all my colors perfect, and my boyfriend (tired of me asking for his opinion!) said it looked fine, and pointed out I could always change it later. So I pushed that aside and have been tweaking things ever since. That’s the nice thing about WordPress!

      I can relate to over-editing posts, too. Your writing always comes off flawless, but at least you have pictures of Frugal Hound to distract people with. =)

  10. Holly@ClubThrifty October 13, 2014 at 7:44 AM

    I did a lot of photo editing and design at my old job and I absolutely miss it! I hope you find a way to get back into it.

    1. Erin M. October 13, 2014 at 10:20 AM

      I’m glad I’m not alone there! I used to take a lot of pictures from vacations and whatnot, and I loved editing them as well. Clearly the solution is to just take more pictures so I have something to do with them. =)

  11. How to Save Money October 13, 2014 at 8:35 AM

    It’s never too late to rediscover old hobbies! I played the piano when I was a kid..Wish I didn’t stop. Hopefully, I can get to play again someday :)

    1. Erin M. October 13, 2014 at 3:34 PM

      I used to love playing my little keyboard! I requested one for Christmas and I had a ton of fun learning how to play things by ear. I was more interested in voice lessons, but sometimes I do wish I had learned to play the piano. You’re right, though – it’s never too late to reignite the flame of our old passions.

  12. DC @ Young Adult Money October 13, 2014 at 12:15 PM

    Wow so much in this post that if I were to respond to everything I would write a 500 word comment haha. But I can relate to the whole “lurker” thing when it comes to blogs. I used to read a lot of blogs in college but never commented and definitely didn’t email them. Now that I’m on the other end sometimes it feels like you are only writing to a small group of people who regularly comment, but I don’t think that’s truly the case for most people. I started to use picmonkey but really would like to learn how to use photoshop. I honestly have put ZERO effort into learning about graphics and whatnot. It’s kind of like playing instruments. I know it’s never going to be my “thing” so I put zero time into it. But if you actually stop and learn just a little about graphic design (and other things) it can go a long way. Just using picmonkey and putting in a few extra minutes of effort have drastically improved my blog posts and made them more “pinnable” which I think will continue to become more and more important.

    I’ll stop my comment there but I could go on and on. Those cinnamon rolls look amazing btw. We had some on Saturday morning.

    1. Erin M. October 13, 2014 at 3:33 PM

      Reading blogs can be such a passive activity, and I don’t truly think you come to realize the value that comments and other interactions can have until you’re the one publishing the content! Just from looking at the statistics, I can tell other people are coming to my blog, but I wish there were more evidence of it.

      To be honest, I have no clue where my interest in graphic design came from, other than watching my dad use Photoshop back when I was a kid. He let me play around with it and the rest is history. When I figured out that it wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, I let it go. PicMonkey is a great simple alternative, I’m just really used to all the options in Photoshop! Having pinnable pictures to go along with posts is great. I think it makes things look a little friendlier to readers, if that makes sense.

  13. Shannon @ Financially Blonde October 13, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    I am thankful that I have the kind of job that I can take with me. I have been in Puerto Rico for my cousin’s birthday and while I have called a little behind on where I would like to be, I have also kept up with a bunch of projects thanks to the internet and my laptop. :-)

    1. Erin M. October 13, 2014 at 3:27 PM

      That’s awesome, Shannon! I hope you’re enjoying it over there. Traveling around is something I’d like to experiment with. I am grateful that the choice is there if I ever feel like taking off somewhere new!

  14. Natalie @ Budget and the Bees October 13, 2014 at 2:18 PM

    We could have the perfect relationship! I love taking pictures, but editing is not near as fulfilling to me.

    1. Erin M. October 13, 2014 at 3:24 PM

      I don’t know what it is about the process, I just love being able to bring out the best elements of a picture! It’s pretty calming for me. I do enjoy taking pictures, too, though.

  15. Tonya@Budget and the Beach October 13, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    I think it’s a great idea to encourage people to reach out to their favorite bloggers and let them know they enjoy their stuff. It’s great to have the usual commenters who always support you, but really nice to see someone new pop in there. I’m grateful to my parents this week-as crazy as they sometimes can be. :)

    1. Erin M. October 13, 2014 at 3:23 PM

      Exactly! It’s so nice to hear from readers (new and old) who aren’t necessarily commenters. They’re half the reason I blog! Haha, I hope you’re enjoying your trip back home then! =)

  16. anna October 13, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    Mmm, those buns look delicious!! I’d have to agree with you that meeting other bloggers is pretty fun and makes things seem less lonely (and more real)! I’ve had the great pleasure of meeting a few of them (like Wendy, Tonya, Mackenzie), and it’s a pretty amazing feeling to see the person behind the words come to life! Hope to meet you some day, as well, Erin, and very happy for you that you’re also able to engage with other bloggers in your corner of the earth! :)

    1. Erin M. October 13, 2014 at 3:22 PM

      I hope to meet you someday as well, Anna! There are so many awesome bloggers on the west coast (including yourself), all the more reason for me to visit someday. It’s definitely nice to meet the actual people behind the blogs you read on a daily basis. =)

  17. debs October 14, 2014 at 5:54 AM

    I read your blog yesterday but had to come back today so I could watch your video because last night hubster was watching TV. I tried using GIMP, a free like-version of Photoshop and found it quite difficult, so hats off to you mastering Photoshop. I finally gave up and am able to manage picmonkey and a little bit of Canva. I love creating things and colours but I can’t really put a label on what type of creative person I am except weird. LOL I’m grateful to have many wonderful blogger friends of which I call you one. xo

    1. Erin M. October 14, 2014 at 9:53 AM

      Aw, thanks for coming back to watch, Debs! I have tried using GIMP before, and it has some similarities to Photoshop, but I didn’t like it much, either. The only other program I used extensively back in the day was Paint Shop Pro. I think PicMonkey and Canva are great resources to pretty up an image for a blog, though! They’re both more robust than I initially thought.

      I am grateful for you and the rest of the community, too!

  18. Laurie @thefrugalfarmer October 14, 2014 at 6:46 AM

    How cool that you got together with some of the NC bloggers!!! NC is our dream state to have a winter home in, so that just sounds so fun to me. I’m grateful for our home in the country this week. We spent some time this weekend in a busy downtown area nearby here and it just about drove me nuts. :-)

    1. Erin M. October 14, 2014 at 9:50 AM

      Downtown areas drive me nuts, too. I’m not a city girl, though I don’t mind visiting every once in a while! It’s nice to have that peace and quiet to go back to. I am interested to see how winter will go here! I know my parents saw some frost last year (so tough to deal with!), but I am wondering if we’ll see snow.

  19. Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life October 14, 2014 at 8:21 AM

    The internet really is the most amazing resource. It boggles my mind when people don’t act on something because they don’t know how to do something. I’m like, seriously? Just google it!

    1. Erin M. October 14, 2014 at 9:48 AM

      That throws me for a loop, too. There is so much free content out there that we could be using to better ourselves!

  20. Lance @ Healthy Wealthy Income October 14, 2014 at 10:45 AM

    I’m grateful I have the time to do what I want. I have never been busier than I have now in my life, but thanks to a change in priorities and time management I am doing everything I want despite having less personal time. Sometimes you hold on to things that just don’t matter in the long run and after you leave it behind you find out it really isn’t that big of deal.

    1. Erin M. October 14, 2014 at 2:53 PM

      That’s awesome, Lance! I’m constantly tweaking how I manage my time, and trying to get clearer on priorities. I definitely agree with your last statement.

  21. Kayla @ Shoeaholicnomore October 14, 2014 at 5:06 PM

    Sounds like a good week. I’m going to be revamping my Hire Me page too, but I just haven’t done it yet :-S Also, I really need to get a new layout on my site. I just keep putting it off because I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing and I want to make sure it’s something I like and if I hire someone that it’s someone I trust. Ugh! So much to do and so little time.

    1. Erin M. October 14, 2014 at 5:09 PM

      I dragged my feet on it, too. It’s hard to market yourself! If you need help with a theme or anything, just let me know. I can try and help as best as possible! I’ve been eyeing a few free themes that look really clean and more in line with the look people are going for these days. That’s mostly why I want to update mine!

  22. Catherine October 14, 2014 at 9:00 PM

    The interaction of blogging and writing is what I love, good and bad :) Good luck to you on your VA work!!

    1. Erin M. October 15, 2014 at 9:35 AM

      Thanks Catherine!


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