Middle Class Girl

Kids on Carolina

Even with our ups and downs Mike and I make enough money to consider us middle class.  I grew up middle class and identify with money from a middle class point of view even when I have been very poor or had a decent job with lots of cash.  For our first two amazing years together Mike and I lived what we liked to call the lifestyle of the leisure middle class. Mike had a thriving business that after years of slaving at he was able to be there on a part-time basis and still make enough money for all of us to live on. I was trying to think of what to do next since my design business had tanked. » » »

All My Stuff

Three years ago Mike and I were in a very different picture financially.  We were entrenched in debt (about $45,000 down from $70,000 at that point) and slowly paying it down….very…slowly.  Our income was probably more than double what it will be this year and so was our spending. I’m bringing this up because I realize many of you don’t know this about Mike and I.  You just came on board and we don’t talk about it anymore since it isn’t news.  It was a real pivotal point in our lives.  We took drastic moves in the summer of 2009 to change our path around spending.  It changed us.  It made us happier… and not the kind of happy like we are skipping-down-the-lane-happy but a deep contentment.  It didn’t just happen though.  The transition was bumpy. I was really pissy about it.  Today I thought it would be interesting to revisit that transitional time so I’m reposting something I wrote back in November 2009.  At this point we had cut back on our spending for about 3 months.

After five years of paying on $70,000 of debt we still had $35,000 left. Mike, my husband, had sold me on the idea of paying off the rest as fast as we possible could rather than as slow as the credit card companies would allow us. We began planning how to implement this goal. In the last four years we have not taken on any more debt (good thing) but we have only been making the minimum payments on what we owed (not so good). We were on the right track but we needed to learn to live within our means rather than buying stuff on credit and borrowing from our future selves. Presently we’re pissed at our past selves for putting us in the position we are in now. Covering the minimum payments on our credit cards is a large burden on our monthly budget. » » »

Blog Update- The 1st Six Months

We’ll be taking next week off.  Don’t miss us too much :(  We will be back with more stories and tales of growing and making stuff!  We have over 100 posts- take a looksie around- god knows what you might have missed!

We’ve been writing ‘Mike and Molly’s House’ for 6 months now.  When we launched our site back in September our goal was to make a blog that would become our full time job.  It was our new small business that combined everything we love to do (writing, making stuff, raising chickens and ducks, inventing new objects) in one spot.  We  knew our posts needed to be thoughtful, interesting and have high quality photos.  What we didn’t know was how to monetize the site.  That’s been a learning curve.  In November we were kicked out of Adsense which was the lowest hanging fruit of blog monetization.

Mike: Boo! no more low hanging fruit!….Stupid Adsense!

Molly: Shush your mouth!  What if they turn off our Gmail?…or erase all our GoogleDocs…or…or take us off Google?!!

Mike: (under his breath) Stupid Google giving everything away for free….fricken fricken frack…. » » »

Finding a Niche Site- Part IV-The Finale!

Our 3 week and 1 day challenge to find and build a niche site is up!  Where’s our site?  Will we make money?  Well, not quite…but we did learn quite a bit and it’s paying off on our site here.

Take a looksie, the vlog will fill y’ all in:

Now what are we going to do for money?  Well, Congress did extend our unemployment benefits so we will have that but we need to find some real solid income.  We have a few irons in the fire and we think we are close to one of them coming to fruition so we won’t have to dip into our emergency fund.  We’ll keep you posted!

Molly:  I’m looking forward to making more vlogs, how about you hon?

Mike:  You know, I like making the vlogs more than working on a niche site!

Molly:  Lordy loo!  What am I going to do with you?

To see all the parts to our 3 week and 1 day challenge go to:

Part I:  We are So F**Ked

Part II:  SEO Keyword Hell

Part III: Finding our Niche (neesh)- Trust Issues

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What?  You can’t get enough of us?  Well do we have options for you!

 You can subscribe to Mike and Molly’s House through our RSS feed or email.

You can also follow our Facebook Fanpage , join us on Twitter, see what we are up to on Google + and see what cool stuff we follow on Pinterest.  

 Like what you see here?  Spread the word to your friends and family!

Thanks!!!!

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Finding our Niche (neesh)- Part III…Trust Issues

We thought we were going to make educational videos when we set out to do this series but really we just like amusing ourselves so if you’re like Steve and still have no idea what a keyword is or for that matter what the heidi-ho a niche site is keep watching…we think at the very least you will get a good belly laugh from it.

If you are just joining us check out the first in this series here (or just skip to the video here) and the second part here (and here’s just the straight video).

To see all the parts to our 3 week and 1 day challenge go to:

Part I:  We are So F**Ked

Part II:  SEO Keyword Hell

Part III: Finding our Niche (neesh)- Trust Issues (you are currently here!)

Part IV:  Finding a Niche Site: The Finale!

…………………………………………………………………………………………………..

What?  You can’t get enough of us?  Well do we have options for you!

 You can subscribe to Mike and Molly’s House through our RSS feed or email.

You can also follow our Facebook Fanpage , join us on Twitter, see what we are up to on Google + and see what cool stuff we follow on Pinterest.  

 Like what you see here?  Spread the word to your friends and family!

Thanks!!!!

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SEO Keyword Hell

Hang on to your seats as we peel back the curtain to reveal the dark secrets behind how we’re mining Google to find the perfect term to bring the hoards to our new niche website.

There comes a time in every blogger’s life when they start thinking –  ”How the heck am I going to get more people to my site?”  Turns out it’s all about the SEO (search engine optimization) here in internet land.  Really the question is how can I get a good ranking in Google so that I’m at the top of the page when someone searches for something I’ve written about.

Oh, for those of you who are thinking, ‘Yawn…watching a video on SEO keyword research sounds  really  boring’ we are ready to prove you wrong.  Well, at the very least it’s only 4 minutes and if you don’t like it you can have your money back.

Molly:  We are STUNNING  people!

Mike:  Forgive Molly, she  just finished imagining she was presenting at a seminar on positive thinking.  » » »

We Are So F**Ked

Well, the video will explain….

What is a niche site?

A site that is focused on one particular topic.  An example would be a site dedicated to lemon cupcakes.

Great links to check out the 411 on niche sites:

Sandy @ Yes I Am Cheap

Pat @ Smart Passive Income

Who competed in the  Niche Site Duel?

Sunil @ The Extra Money Blog

To see all the parts to our 3 week and 1 day challenge go to:

Part II:  SEO Keyword Hell

Part III: Finding our Niche (neesh)- Trust Issues

Part IV:  Finding a Niche Site: The Finale!

…………………………………………………………………………………………………..

What?  You can’t get enough of us?  Well do we have options for you!

 You can subscribe to Mike and Molly’s House through our RSS feed or email.

You can also follow our Facebook Fanpage , join us on Twitter, see what we are up to on Google + and see what cool stuff we follow on Pinterest.  

 Like what you see here?  Spread the word to your friends and family!

Thanks!!!!

…………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Blog Update-January

We’ve been writing Mike and Molly’s House for 5 months now.  We skipped reporting on December- the month went a little faster than expected.  How does that happen?  We have continued to grow which is always exciting.

Stats

Posts:  20!  Our goal is to write at least 20 each month.

Visitors: 3,519-out of those 2,374 were ‘unique’ visitors (AKA- new readers)

December we had 3,199 visitors and 2,058 were unique

Readership: 

Since December 1st (yes this is over two months) all of you helped us to go from:

88  Facebook fans to 123!

154  Twitter followers to 197!

131 subscribers to 176! (email and RSS)

Our Alexa ranking went from  188,454 (and 29,961 in the US) to 161,915 (and 28,270 in the US)

Are we making money?  No.  Have we tried in the last two months?  No.

Molly:  CRYSTAL!!  HELP US!!

Mike:   Yikes!  That was a li-ttle screechy.  Crystal from Budgeting in the Fun Stuff  will be taking over our advertising.  She’s our gal now! » » »

Are We Rich or Poor?

This year Molly started to notice a shift in the girls’ perception towards our standard of living.  Even with the two of us out of work for most of 2011 our spending has changed very little compared to the previous year.  When we cut our expenses back by 50% a few years ago they perceived us as a family who had money but chose not to spend it.  There’s an interesting interview Molly did with the girls 2 years ago about their take on our cutting back on Molly On Money.  In the interview they talk about their initial fears but in the end they were happy that we did cut back and paid off our debt.

Lately we’ve heard them make comments to the effect that we are ‘poor’ and cannot afford to have a nice things like so-and-so’s car.  So let us repeat…how we spend our money now compared to when we had much larger incomes has not changed but somehow we’ve become ‘poor’. » » »

Teens & Toys

My friend Juliette calls us the  ’Little House on the Prairie’ home.  I don’t think we are all that out there but I do realize most of our friends don’t have ‘butcher day’ at their house.  On the other side of the pendulum we (Mike and Pistol) love technology.  My Dad got Pistol started with her first desktop computer at the age of 2.  Yes, she had a nicer computer than me.  They both love to figure stuff out in their own ways on the computer while Dumpling and I put in our IT requests of what we would like. “More music on my iTunes, please.”

The girls are both 13yrs old now.  Gone to the wasteside (Editors note from Mike:  unintentional Mollyism) are dolls, scooters, bouncy balls and dress up (unless we are talking the occasional fashion show in my clothes!).  Nowadays they want clothing and technology.  They have whittled their desires down to the essentials.  For two years both girls got the newest iPod nanos (they were gifts).  Last year they both wanted iTouches.  I’m the parent who says, ‘Why do you need that?’  Mike, on the other hand, is a technology enabler.  I’m outnumbered.  What they ended up doing this time was rather clever.  With the help of Mike (I’m yelling in the background, ’11 and 12 year old children don’t need iTouches!’) (Editors note from Mike: No she wasn’t, she was squealing with 8 other ladies in the living room because she was hosting “trashy book club” night.) they sold their iPods online and then bought refurbished iTouches, again, online.  They used some of their savings to make up the difference between their sales revenue and the cost of the iTouches. » » »