Hey folks, thanks for tuning in! This is really more like "half a year in review" because the blog kicked off in July -- but in these past few months, I've enjoyed getting to know folks on so-called PF Twitter and exploring different topics in the realms of money and underground music.
These were the blog's most viewed posts in its inaugural year:
5. Musician of the Month, August 2020: Tucker Thomasson of Throne of Iron
4. Preparing for Maternity Leave Amid COVID and Unexpected News
3. Musician of the Month, November 2020: Lisa Mann
2. Ask a Metalhead: Should My Band Get PR?
1. Musician of the Month, December 2020: Todd Severin of Ripple Music
Clearly, the Musician of the Month feature was very popular!
So what's on deck for 2021? If you read the maternity leave column, you know that my husband and I are expecting a baby boy in January! Naturally, there won't be as much time for putzing around on the internet...
However, I do enjoy writing and exchanging ideas with like-minded people, so I'd like to keep it up at a more relaxed pace. A tentative goal I have for the blog is to build up its mailing list (possibly through question submissions to the Ask A Metalhead column?) and then communicate useful information to the folks who sign up. After all, if you're not providing value, what's the point?
I'd also like to crack 100 book sales for Money Hacks for Metalheads and Old Millennials. I read some statistic that most self-published books sell less than 100 copies; my aim is to be on the other side of that statistic. (67 sales and counting since late August, not too shabby!) Speaking of which, I'm having a "New Year's Resolution Sale" on Amazon this week where the book is set to the lowest prices allowed -- just $6.63 for a paperback and $0.99 for the Kindle version. Great time to grab a copy, don't *sleep* on it!
But aside from my world domination, er, blog-related goals, learning more about personal finance has me making some resolutions for my own bank account and budget in 2021. Here's what I'd like to cross off the list next year:
Adjust the household budget and retirement savings from "DINK Life" to the needs of a family of three. <3 I have no idea what this will look like yet in terms of real numbers, but it will be a big change for sure.
Max out my HSA. This is a matter of filling out a form, so it shouldn't be a problem lol. I'll probably need to fill out another form to reduce my 403(b) contribution in order to make the numbers work -- but trust me, my growing family will use every dime in that HSA this year.
Streamline and automate as much as possible. 2021 needs to be the year of bills paying themselves. The only thing I want in the mail is my mortgage statement. Plus, I have too many accounts all over the place -- credit cards, an old 403(b), this brokerage company, that brokerage company...
Speaking of all these brokerage companies, I want to become more independent in my investing. Lots of folks in the PF community rail against places like Edward Jones as "scams," saying you can do just as well investing on your own. That might be true, but you have to have enough background knowledge to actually choose good investments. Let me put it this way: when I opened a brokerage account with Edward Jones a little over two years ago, I was fresh off spending a decade-plus with my IRA "invested" in cash, which should give you an idea of my previous knowledge level. Since then, this EJ account has had a 9% rate of return -- pretty good considering that almost half of it is in bonds. Yes, I realize I'm paying the guy some fees, but I'm happy with how the account is doing and I understand the different funds it's invested in; learning about the particular funds has provided me with training wheels, so to speak. And now that I know what a "Vanguard" is -- along with terms like p/e ratio, DRIP, index fund, etc. -- I think I'm ready to move away from a managed account and strike out on my own.
So stick with me for 2021 and we'll see how this all goes! Thanks for getting Metalhead Money off to a good start in 2020.
What are your financial resolutions for the New Year? Leave a comment!
To learn more about personal and band finances, order Money Hacks for Metalheads and Old Millennials in paperback and ebook formats: https://amzn.to/3lCsFdq
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