2013: A Year In Review

Where did the time go?! It may sound cliché, but damn, 2013 flew by! It was a busy year for me personally. I took my first true “get on a plane and go somewhere” vacation in a few years when I visited Chicago late in the summer. I attended 4 weddings this summer, but more importantly, I finally decided to have one of my own and got engaged this past September.

With all the life commotion going on, I neglected this site for a little while longer than I had planned in the summer. Even with my mini hiatus, readership of The First Million is the Hardest is at an all time high. I’m getting more page views in a single day than I ever expected to get in a month when I first started writing this blog. The fact that more and more of you are even subscribing to have my posts delivered to your email or RSS readers truly blows my mind. This all started as an outlet for my own amusement and now I have people signing up to hear what I have to say next!  Thank you to all of you who stop by regularly, especially those of you who take the time to add to the discussion by commenting and sharing my posts across the social media sites. I truly appreciate each comment and share I get and I hope I keep writing posts that compel you to comment and share them in 2014!

Ok, now that I’ve got the sappy stuff out of the way, here are the most read posts from The First Million is the Hardest (written) in 2013! Now’s your chance to catch up on what you missed, or if you’re new here, what better place to start reading?!

The First Million is the Hardest’s 10 Most Viewed Posts of 2013

1. Should I Contribute to a 401(k) With No Match? – Apparently I’m not alone in this dilemma, because this was my #1 post of 2013. Many people take an employer 401(k) match for granted, so it’s a real kick in the gut when they yank that away from you. No word on if my employer is reinstating the match for 2014, but I have my fingers crossed. 

2. Do You Really Need A Financial Advisor? – A struggle most of us have is wondering if we should manage our own investments or if we’d be better off letting a professional take the wheel. This post explores my thoughts on the subject. (Spoiler Alert: I think you’re just fine doing things yourself and keeping an eye on it all with Personal Capital)

3. How To Invest Without A Lot Of Money – It doesn’t “take money to make money”. You can start investing with any amount of money you can spare! In this post I show you how to do it, even giving you a completely balanced portfolio that you can create with just $500.

4. Saving Half of My Income – A Progress Report – My only real financial goal for 2013 was to save 50% of my income. Deciding to buy an engagement ring kind of threw a hitch into those plans, so maybe I’ll give this another shot this year.

5. Should You Buy Stock In The Company You Work For? – Investigating the pros and cons of owning stock in the company that’s responsible for providing your main source of income.

6. A Beginners Guide To Bitcoin – Bitcoin was a big topic of discussion back in March when I wrote this post, and the debate and attention given to it since then has grown tenfold. If you’re still confused as to what the hell a Bitcoin is, check out this intro.

7. The Government Wants To Limit Your Retirement Savings! – A controversial item from the budget that was passed this year. Find out if it’s for real, and who it affects.

8. Five Dumb Ways To Spend Your Tax Refund – One of the more fun posts of the year IMO. The sad part is, a lot of people do this stuff regularly!

9. What To Do With A Pay Raise – Tips on how to make the most of the new money showing up in your paycheck. But really, you’ll just end up watching the GIF at the top of the post over and over and over…

10. Are Successful Women Relationship Killers? – Why is there a huge drop off in the marriage rate as soon as the woman in the relationship starts bringing home more than 50% of the household income? Are guys scared off by successful women? Or do successful women push less successful partners away?

Honorable Mention

You knew I couldn’t stop at just 10… Here are some of my personal favorite posts from this past year. Authors choice! They must be good!

Buying an Engagement Ring Online – My Blue Nile Experience – It was the most significant thing that happened to me this past year. The least you can do is read the post I wrote about it. Right? RIGHT??

Early Upgrade Plans – What Your Wireless Company Doesn’t Want You To Know – It’s a personal crusade of mine to get everyone that reads this blog to realize that they’re overpaying for cell phone service with the big 4 carriers. Especially if you buy into their latest pitch to make you want a new phone every 6 months! You can get the same service for half the cost. Read how.

How To Invest In A Bull Market – Let’s hope this post stays relevant in 2014!

Thanks again for reading, commenting and sharing this year. Have a Happy New Year & let’s all make a ton of money in 2014!

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10 Responses to 2013: A Year In Review

  1. Happy New Year Jay! I just found your blog a few weeks ago, so the recap of most viewed posts was very interesting. I finally decided to stop investing in my 401k because of the limited offerings and lack of a match. That and the wife income post are very relevant. Good work, and have a great 2014

  2. 2013 was a crazy year and I second the notion that it went by way too fast. The progress I made with my own blog this past year has completely dumbfounded me. I know I could have probably made more by being more strategic with it, but considering the semi-organic growth just from links from other bloggers and commenting astounds me. When’s the date for the wedding? My wife and I had a 18 month engagement which was nice since we could do everything at our own pace. Have a great 2014!

  3. Happy new Year. I hope your 2014 was as good as 2013.

  4. 2013 did fly, but I am now in a position where I receive a reasonable amount in dividends every month (£330 per month average), and around six times a year get to take the accumulated dividends plus my payments in and buy more cash generators, thereby continuing the virtuous cycle.

    I have only just started my blog in November last year, and I think watching the pageloads increase is almost as interesting a watching my dividends increase.

    Wishing you all the best for 2014 and beyond.

  5. Wow four weddings is a lot! The most I ever did in a year was 2 I think. 2013 went really fast for me too. I hope to get more done this year and somehow making the days feel longer in a good way of course. :)

  6. Kemkem says:

    I just found this blog! I guess l have a lot of reading to do. It’s great that you have the review. I look forward to reading more about passive income.

  7. Integrator says:

    Interestingly enough, your Bitcoin post was one of the first I read on the topic. I know you came out negative on it, I decided to take a little to add to my venture portfolio. I didn’t get to it before it went up 10x though :). Odds are high that it could just implode.

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