Showcase: Gather Little By Little
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glblguy blogs at Gather Little By Little, a personal finance blog with a Christian perspective.Tell me a little about yourself.
I'm a husband to my wife of 15 years, father to 6 children (5 boys and a girl). I'm a computer geek and was rocked a little over a year ago by a personal circumstance that made my wife and I do a complete 180 on our finances. We went from living paycheck to paycheck and running the cards up as high as they could go, to being left with almost nothing. As a result we regained control of our finances, began living more frugally, and are on a journey to get out of debt and never return.
In addition to blogging on personal finance topics and my new blogging project Saltwater Blogger.net, I enjoy spending time with my wife and family and working on my saltwater aquarium.
When did you start blogging? Why do you blog?
I started blogging after literally stumbling onto Get Rich Slowly and The Simple Dollar while searching for things I could do to improve my
financial situation. We were going through a very rough period in our lives and learning a lot. I started a small personal blog just to play
around with blogging and soon found myself writing far more on the topic of personal finance than anything else. Inspired by Trent (The Simple
Dollar) and jd (Get Rich Slowly) I decided to start Gather Little by Little.
I blog for two reasons:
1) To make a positive difference in people's lives - I learned very quickly that I wasn't the only person in financial chaos, but that literally millions of people around the world were in the same situation (or worse) than I was. I wanted to share what I was learning with others
to hopefully have a positive influence in their lives.
2) To earn some extra income to help accelerate my debt snowball. This isn't a focus, but just a side benefit. I would blog regardless.
How did you come up with your blog title?
It's pretty easy to figure out that I am Christian as I am very open about that on my blog. My faith is an important part of who I am and what I
I decided to start a blog focused on personal finance, but from a Christian perspective. The problem was, I had no idea what to name it. While reading the book of Proverbs one evening I came across Proverbs13:11 - "He who gathers money little by little makes it grow". I realized
that this was the fundamental foundation of wealth and was something I could write about. The next morning I owned the domain
What does "frugal" mean to you? What do you think it means to other people?
That is a really good question and I actually blogged about that topic. Frugal to me means spending less than you earn and actively looking for
ways to squeeze more out of each dollar you have. It's about maximizing that value of each dollar you have.
Frugal to others can mean many different things and I've found there are varying degrees of frugality amongst people. Others are far more frugal than me, others far less. It really boils down to what you are comfortable with. It's a very personal choice.
Why be frugal?
When you maximize each and every dollar, you can live on less. When you live on less, you live on less than you earn and the excess can be saved or invested and it can grow. Placing your money where it can grow is the key to wealth. It's the key to not having to live the life of financial stress that many people live.
Do you feel your blog has a special niche of its own? Did it happen by design or by accident?
Absolutely I feel it has a special niche. Before starting my blog, I read a number of other blogs. The key thing I found missing that I personally
wanted was a Christian perspective on personal finance. There were very few "A-list" blogs filling this role, and I strongly felt it was a niche I
could fill. Filling the niche was very much by design.
While there are many Christian personal finance bloggers, they are seldom open or vocal about their faith. I am the opposite. I am very open about my faith and how it influences the financial and life decisions I make. Hopefully that is refreshing for my readers, Christian or not.
Did it take you a while to "find your voice," or do you feel you've
always been the same as a blogger?
To be honest, I don't think you find your voice, I think your voice finds you. Mine found me a few months into blogging. We're still trying to
work out the kinks together, but we've come a long way. Not sure if this is part of my voice or not, but I guess it is some type of signature: I
enjoy finding and placing interesting pictures at the top of each of my articles. I was telling another blogger the day that I sometimes spend
more time trying to find the "right" picture, than I do writing the article itself.
What do you think was your best frugal post ever? What was your
Wow, that's a tough choice. I guess it would be Money Saving Monday Tip#19 - A better shave for less money. I don't think I had a frugal post that was controversial. All of my controversial posts are related to my opinions on credit cards.
What do you know about your readers? What do you think draws them to your blog?
Well, until recently I didn't know a lot. I recently wrote a confessions post confessing about not following what I preach for the past 2 months.
I fully expected my readers to bail on me, but they didn't. Instead they encouraged me, applauded me for being honest and for being human. Their comments made me laugh and nearly made me cry. What I learned is that they want me to be me, not the perfect blogger with all the answers, but the real person that I am. The person who is constantly learning, making mistakes, and frankly often learning more from them than they do from me. They encourage me and keep me honest. They are my friends and accountability partners.
I think what draw them to my blog is that I share what I learn. I share the things that work for me and the things that don't. I always try to
keep my articles personal. I write them to be easy to read and easy to follow. I work hard to relate to them, and always throw in a bit of
humor. I like making people laugh.
Does frugal living come easily for you or is it a struggle?
No, it doesn't come easily it all. We were used to living above our means and frankly is the primary reason we're digging ourselves out of debt.
When you've become used to living that way, it's hard to change. As my wife and I have worked hard to be more frugal, we've started viewing it as a challenge. Trying to make each dollar last as long as it can, and get the most out of it. I like a challenge, and frugal living is a constant
challenge. It's easy to slip back into old habits, so I have to be constantly aware of the decisions I make.
Do you believe the saying, "you get what you pay for"?
Yes and no. I've purchased items where I definitively agree I got what I paid for and purchased other items where I didn't think it mattered at
all. I've even tried to put boundaries around this statement and have found doing so is very difficult. It all boils down to doing your
homework. I don't buy things on a whim, especially larger purchases. I always thoroughly research the items and find out what others are saying. I think making an educated and informed purchase will result in getting what you paid for.