Our Freaking Budget Turns One!


One year ago this week, a very pregnant Joanna and a less fatigued me quickly scanned over our sad excuse for a website. I double checked design and made sure links didn’t land in an Internet black hole, while Joanna reviewed our content to make sure we didn’t sound like idiots — we did. A few tweaks here and a few tweaks there and then we we were done. We published Our Freaking Budget in incredibly unspectacular form.

It began as a side project. In our 5+ years of marriage, we had always been pretty independent with how we approached projects and hobbies. When I presented the idea of starting a personal finance blog to Joanna, I was surprised at her willingness to give it a shot. I saw it as an opportunity to flex my incredibly weak design/coding/nerd muscles and Joanna was excited to try her hand at writing since she was typically at the other end of that process in her full-time job as a copy editor. And more importantly, we wanted to connect with like-minded folks who love-hate budgeting and help to encourage each other to be smart with money.

We didn’t really have expectations. We hoped a few strangers would poke their heads in every once in a while — before swiftly turning around and mouthing silently “They are WEIRD.” We hoped we would write and communicate financial topics the way we think and talk in real life, which is probably on par with 6th graders. We hoped our families and friends wouldn’t find our blog. And we hoped we wouldn’t quit after a few months.

Our Freaking Budget has been an awesome experience. We genuinely enjoy reading your comments and suggestions, and we feel like we’ve grown more in our resolve to be smarter with our money this last year than any other. We didn’t expect blogging to take so much time, and we’ve definitely almost called it quits on a few occasions. But it always seems like there’s a perfectly timed email from a random Internet stranger that helps us remember why we started all of this in the first place.

So thanks to all you Interneters who have stopped by or commented or not laughed at us. And thank you for allowing us to soak in all of your tips and experiences and advice, and allowing us to share our own, this last year.

Here are a few numbers that help tell our first year OFB story:

316,313 pageviews

160,638 visitors

43,064 comments marked as spam

7,249 comments (not written by LeVar Burton)

225 posts

43 emails to our prior host about our site being down

1 baby born

Those numbers really don’t mean anything, but we thought we’d share what a year looks like around OFB. Here’s to less debt, more awesome, and a great OFB year #2!

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  • Reply Sabrina December 4, 2013 at 8:18 am

    Happy 1 Year OFB! I’m so glad you guys never called it quits. I love your posts and the things you guys share. You make trying to become debt free something that all of us can do, not to mention you two are HILARIOUS! If we were neighbors, I could totally see us being friends (or at least us inviting you over to BBQs in hopes you will think we’re as cool as you two. 😉

    Keep the great posts coming!

    • Reply Johnny December 5, 2013 at 12:54 am

      If we were neighbors, Joanna and I would probably come over and hang out in your backyard without an invitation… at like 9 in the morning. Then you’d probably wish we weren’t your neighbors anymore. 🙂

      Thanks for your comment, Sabrina.

      • Reply Sabrina December 13, 2013 at 7:47 am

        Both of our kids wake up at 6:30 in the morning so at 9 we (ok, just me. the hubby gets to sleep in) has already been up for a few hours so we’re good. lol

  • Reply Carla December 4, 2013 at 9:25 am

    Happy Blogiversary!

    • Reply Johnny December 5, 2013 at 12:56 am

      We’re eating ice cream tonight to celebrate! Actually, we’re eating ice cream because it was in the freezer and someone had to eat it.

  • Reply Renee s December 4, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Congratulations! I love reading and I am happy that you haven’t thrown in the towel…I look forward to your posts! 🙂

    • Reply Johnny December 5, 2013 at 12:58 am

      Thanks, Renee! And thanks for being around for the ride from the beginning.

  • Reply Jodi T. December 4, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Happy Birthday OFB!

    • Reply Johnny December 5, 2013 at 1:02 am

      Thanks, Jodi! We’ll make sure we get OFB a great birthday present. Or not… because it’s a webpage and that’s weird.

  • Reply Smith Johnston December 4, 2013 at 11:23 am

    You two are nowhere near my (advanced) age. And I’m nowhere near your demographic. But I love your blog! It’s fun and funny and enlightening, too. Thanks for sticking with it.

    • Reply Johnny December 5, 2013 at 1:04 am

      “Advanced” is the coolest age adjective ever. You’re also probably advanced in wisdom and general greatness, so we’re fortunate to have you. Thanks for your kind comment.

  • Reply Miranda December 4, 2013 at 11:28 am

    I’m really, really glad you guys started this blog. I love reading and get excited when your new posts pop up in my feed. Your blog is everything good about the internet (funny, thoughtful, sarcastic, intelligent, and fully of baby cheeks). I so hope you keep going and continue to grow and take this thing to a whole new level. I hope you guys see massive success from all your hard work! I heart OFB!

    • Reply Johnny December 5, 2013 at 1:12 am

      Hahah. We definitely didn’t think this site would end up full of baby cheeks, but such is life with a little chubster.

      Thanks for sticking with us and your consistently witty and thoughtful comments.

  • Reply Michelle December 4, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Congrats on one year! 🙂 Here’s to many, many more.

    • Reply Johnny December 5, 2013 at 1:20 am

      One blog year is like, 25, in blog years, right? That means MSOS is 80 now, right? 🙂

  • Reply Alex December 4, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Congrats on 1 year, budgeteers! That’s awesome! Keep it up! (Please, for the sake of my bank account!) 🙂

    • Reply Johnny December 5, 2013 at 1:33 am

      Thanks, Alex! Budgeteers has a nice ring to it. If we ever start an OFB softball team, we’ve got our team name.

  • Reply E.M. December 4, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    Congrats on 1 year of blogging! I hope there are many more. OFB is probably one of the most humorous PF blogs I read, never stop being weird! =)

    • Reply Johnny December 5, 2013 at 1:36 am

      Hah. Short of an anti-weird vaccine, I don’t think there’s any hope for us ever being normal.

      Thanks for your comment!

  • Reply Rob December 4, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    And here’s my congrats too, you guys! I’m sure that it’s been a real labor of love for you both.

    I must, however, disagree with one thing that you wrote – “Those numbers really don’t mean anything” – me-thinks that “1 baby born” has been a real achievement – not to mention resulting in a significant increase in gushy admiring blog comments, agree? 🙂

    Keep up the great work that you devote to your blog as we continue to enjoy your words.

    • Reply Joanna December 5, 2013 at 1:36 am

      Thanks, Rob!

      Yes, having our girl — and keeping her fed and clothed — has been our biggest achievement this year! And we’ve learned the most from her this year, too. It seems like it’s gone by so quickly! We’re excited to see what this next year holds!

  • Reply Tabitha December 4, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    I gotta say it – has it really only been a year? I think I found your blog sometime this spring and I thought by the layout, the look, the material, the number of comment-ers, the content and quality of the writing that it was a long time running blog…(honest I did!)

    I’m so glad you started OFB – I’ve found inspiration, information, and so many other “ins” about budgeting and life reading your blog Thank you for all that you do – and congratulations on one year – here is to many more! Keep on doing what you’re doing 🙂

    • Reply Joanna December 5, 2013 at 1:43 am

      Thanks, Tabitha!

      In some ways I can’t believe it’s already been a year. And in other ways, I can’t remember a time before OFB because it’s so ingrained in our lives now!

      We get all of our inspiration from comments like yours, so please keep reading and commenting!

  • Reply Kirby @ TheSimpleMoneyBlog.com December 5, 2013 at 7:18 am

    Congratulations you two! You’ve accomplished a lot in this last year. That’s quite an impressive following in such a short time, so keep up the great work!

    • Reply Joanna December 6, 2013 at 1:37 am

      Thanks, Kirby! It’s hard to believe it’s already been a year! Hopefully we can keep on keepin’ on.

  • Reply Janelle December 5, 2013 at 8:56 am

    Happy 1 year!
    Every morning I sit down with my coffee and hope you have a new post! Thanks for helping me start my day with a little smarts and humor!


    • Reply Joanna December 6, 2013 at 1:41 am

      Thanks, Janelle! Every morning we sit down and read our posts and hope we don’t sound like idiots. It’s good to hear that you’re not thinking the same thing! 🙂

  • Reply Kasey @ Debt Perception December 5, 2013 at 10:31 am

    Happy One Year, OFB! I had no idea you were so young!

    • Reply Johnny December 6, 2013 at 1:38 am

      Young and reckless. I’d love to think OFB will mature this next year, but I’m 99% sure that won’t happen. 🙂

  • Reply Jenna December 5, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    Happy one year, guys! Your blog is one of the only PF blogs I read voluntarily, not because I need to find something to share. (Shhh, don’t tell the others!) 🙂 Keep up the good work!

    • Reply Johnny December 6, 2013 at 1:41 am

      Haha. What you don’t realize is that we’ve added subliminal messaging throughout our site, so you’re not actually coming back “voluntarily.” Cool trick, huh?

  • Reply Linda December 6, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    Congrats guys! Glad you stuck through it, because I always enjoy reading your posts 🙂

    • Reply Joanna December 11, 2013 at 2:32 am

      Thanks, Linda! Hearing from our like-minded readers like you is what’s kept our blogging flame alight!

  • Reply Lindsey December 9, 2013 at 8:46 am

    Thank you for all the information and motivation! I appreciate all that you do to post meaningful and inspirational content.

    • Reply Joanna December 11, 2013 at 2:40 am

      Thanks, Lindsey! We feel just as grateful for all the inspiration we get from hearing everyone else’s stories and comments!

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