No I don't have throngs of fans writing me emails constantly but I do have the occasional Breaking Even question. I thought I'd take the time to answer a few questions I've gotten.
Are you really that poor?
Yes and no. I make $10 and have some health insurance, which is a lot more than many people have. In addition, I have a working car, an adequate computer, and a college education. More then what I have is who I have: family and friends that could help me get out of situation (financial or otherwise) should I need help. If it's one thing I've learned from doing this blog, it's that I'm very fortunate.
That said, the $7,000 pay cut I took last year in my move to Downeast Maine really made me feel poor in a way I hadn't in awhile. I've made adjustments which I continue to chronicle here at the Breaking Even blog and I'm doing fine. And while I do have people who can help me, I've never asked anyone for money and don't intend to start now. I live within my means, which means that while I can't do whatever I want whenever I want, I can still have a pretty great life.
You live with your boyfriend Sean in his house so do you pay rent?
When I moved in, Sean and I agreed that I would pay what his old roommate used to pay. This works out to be about 1/3 of the morgage and about 1/4 of my salary. Since Sean makes more money then I do and also technically owns the house, this makes sense for us.
I'm a firm believer in coming up with your own agreement, whether you live with a partner or roommates or your family. All parties should think the arrangement is equitable, otherwise it's just one more thing to fight about.
What's your policy for advertisers on your site?
I only advertise products which I'm not opposed to. I've had advertising offers for casinos, gambling websites, paid posts, and payday loan companies. I would rather not have any advertising on my site then have links that could potentially get a reader in a bad situation.
Currently, I use Google Adsense and Blogher Ads to generate a small amount of revenue. I find the links not at all offensive or dangerous. I am, however, always looking for options that make good sense to my readers financially and otherwise. So advertising folks can pitch away.
What kind of dog is Sadie?
I adopted Sadie in middle age (hers, not mine) from the Coastal Humane Society in Brunswick Maine. The only info the adoption people knew was that Sadie is a beagle mix. (I could have figured that out the way she gets into the trash if left unattended!)
My first vet thought Sadie was a beagle-corgi mix while my second vet thought she was a beagle-Jack Russell terrier mix. The microchip put into her neck by a previous owner can't be read so without blood tests, Sadie remains a genetic mystery. An underwear eating, ear raising, stuffed animal ripping genetic mystery.
Who are your frequent commenters?
Robby and Laura are my two childhood best friends who I continue to be friends with to this day.
Kim is my cousin who is a lot like me but ten years older (among other things). My Aunt Paula ("matante") is also super supportive with her comments. Go family!
Justin is my brother-in-law. He is a businessman and hardware expert so I always hope he'll pipe in with DIY advice in particular.
Jennifer is a fellow Maine blogger who I finally made a connection with through an exchange of mix CDs. We've been online friends ever since.
Nancy Marshall is a fellow communications person based in Augusta with her own blog.
Kelly is a personal finance blogger based in France. We've bonded over French and finance, both subjects we love.
The Sarahs are college friends, one in San Fran the other in New Hampshire.
Robby is my most commenting friend and I get frequent telephone feedback about the blog from my friend Michaela.
How many readers does Breaking Even have?
The blog has around 75 subscribers (which is steadily growing, yay!) and 100-150 people visiting the blog everyday. That may not sound like much but that is way more then I had when I started!
How many websites do you read?
I subscribe to about 150 sites. I get the headlines delivered into my Google Reader as the blogs and websites are updated and I just skim through most of them. I do this for a few reasons 1) to keep on top of what's going on in personal finance, Maine blogs, and other topics I love 2) to not copy what other people are doing and, if I do cover a topic, to properly give credit to others and 3) because I love to read. I comment on five to ten articles per day and save links to articles I like in a list for future post ideas.
Some of my favorite sites are in my blogrolls if you want to check them out. (And if you have any to recommend, send them my way!)
If you have any questions about the blog, don't be shy. I'm certainly not!
Images: Me and Sadie at our first Christmas together, Robby Laura and I at a party last weekend (for the first time in five years!)