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Chicago travel & a monthly update: July 2018

Welcome to another monthly progress update. I haven’t done one in a while. In fact, I haven’t even posted in a while. A little over two months to be exact.

There is a reason for this, which I will get more into. One big thing that happened is I got my Irish passport and fully completed my Irish citizenship process. I’m so happy I finally got it! I don’t know if or when I will ever move to Ireland but it’s nice to have options. Holding a European Union (EU) passport will allow me to live and work in several European Union countries if I ever wanted to.

As for everything else,¬† there have been a bunch of highs and lows. I could come up with a short and sweet movie cliche explanation like “I’ve learned and grown so much!” which is technically true, but there is more to it than that.

Financial Update

I have three main savings accounts that I’m making a point to contribute to. I don’t always contribute to each of them equally every month but each of them has grown in the last few months.

  • Car fund
  • Emergency fund
  • Fun fund (for travel and personal development)

I created these separate accounts at the end of last year. Beforehand, I had just had two savings accounts with the default account numbers on them. Nicknaming your accounts can really do wonders for motivation!

I started a new budgeting method back at the beginning of June that I really love. I had previously used You Need A Budget (YNAB). I liked it but missed having a spreadsheet. There is just something about spreadsheets¬†that I love when it comes to budgeting, I don’t know exactly why.

So, I signed up for Tiller. I remember hearing about Tiller last year at #FinCon17. The main feature of the service is that it automatically imports your financial transactions into a Google Sheets spreadsheet every day. I love it!

One of the tedious things about using a spreadsheet for budgeting is having to log into all of your accounts (bank, credit card, investments, etc) and then go through them and input them manually into the spreadsheet.

Now that I have Tiller automatically importing transactions daily, I find I’m checking and updating my budget a lot more frequently during the month. It’s so awesome.


I’ve scaled this way down. I was getting somewhat steady freelance writing work at the start of this year. Although, over time, I started to get more and more distraught with what I was doing. I like writing and all, but something started to feel off.

I felt like I was being pulled to do something else. So a little while back, I stopped working with my main client and now only do freelance writing occasionally.

My mind started to feel a lot clearer once that happened. Right now, I’m focusing more on doing Facebook Ads as a side hustle rather than freelance writing. I’m going through the Facebook Side Hustle course and learning all about it.

To Blog or Not to Blog?

Blog posts have been sporadic on Rebel With A Plan. There is no denying that. For a long while, ever since #FinCon17, I really wrestled with how I envisioned this site. Did I want it to be a mega-successful blog that makes lots in affiliate and ad revenue? Did I want it to be some hobby blog where monetization isn’t a priority and it makes pennies?

I kept asking myself this question over and over, “What do I really want to do with this site?”

I bought new blogging tools in order to improve. Ones on keyword research, social graphics, email marketing, and growth.

But I could never really move the needle and make myself spend more time working on this site. I had, and still currently do, have some things I want to do. There is a writing project I’m trying to finish. I’ve gotten more into fitness and photography.

I slowly learned that I couldn’t really attempt to juggle all of these things and expect to excel in all of them at the same time.

Eventually, I made the decision to not focus as much time on building this blog. I enjoy writing content for this site, so that’s what made it so hard. It’s not like a traditional blog quitting story where a person grows tired of their blog and then lets it die a slow death. I still like writing here and plan to keep writing here for a long time, but it’s just not going to be in that traditional 1-3x a week blogging style.

What has your summer been like so far? Let me know!

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Colin // RebelwithaPlan

Colin Ashby is the writer behind Rebel with a Plan, a website dedicated to people who choose to rebel against the norm of living in debt and feeling financially unenlightened. He believes everyone has an eccentric quality to embrace and that lattes are sometimes a necessity (despite what the personal finance community tells you).

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2 Comments on Monthly Progress Update: July 2018

  1. Chonce
    August 7, 2018 at 5:38 pm (3 years ago)

    Good for you! Juggling is hard, especially when you have so many interests and things that you want to do/accomplish. You’ve realized that some things just have to take a back seat, and that’s okay. Good luck on the Facebook Ads hustle!

    • Colin // RebelwithaPlan
      August 9, 2018 at 4:17 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks Chonce! Hope your summer is going great!


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