Ms ZiYou First Birthday

MsZiYou turns one – happy birthday blog!

370 days ago I never dreamed I’d be here yet 365 days ago I published the first post on MsZiYou, this feminist personal finance blog. And here we are, as of today, MsZiYou is 1 year old. Happy Birthday Blog! More about my choice of name, MsZiYou here.

MsZiYou shares my experiences on my journey to FI/FIRE. Specifically, I am aiming to retire early after reaching financial independence and hoping to get there by my 40th birthday. Will I make it?

Moreover, as well as aiming for FI I am enjoying the journey. I am making the most of my life right now and living my best life as a happily single woman. There are a lot of male perspectives in the FI world, and coupled up perspectives and I hope to balance that out.

The background

I’ve always been interested in personal finance and what most people would consider ‘good’ with money. I never spent more than I earned and always saved money, especially for houses.

When I started earning really good money, I had a frugal people problem. I didn’t really know what to do with it. I stumbled upon the idea of FIRE online and realised this could work for me. As I am an analytical type and love planning, there was a lot about the FIRE methodology that jumped out at me.

Thenceforth I dipped a toe in the water and worked out I could retire in 15 years still enjoying a good lifestyle. This was then refined and brought down to 10 years once I started recording my expenditure and realising that I didn’t spend that much, apart from on holidays.

Finally, I came down to the five year FIRE plan that I am following now after a very bad experience which made me realise there is more to life than work and money.

The catalyst for MsZiYou itself

I’ve been reading personal finance content for decades and FI specific content for a good few years. I followed many bloggers but was a bit of a lurker – reading but never engaging or commenting. But I had been thinking it maybe was time to step up and throw my gloves in the ring.

I’d been toying with the idea of creating a blog myself – as there were not many single high earning women openly blogging about it – and certainly not many in the UK. Blogging was a though and an idea percolating in the back of my mind, something to do someday.

But the real catalyst was this post on Tread Lightly, Retire Early: Meet the women of the financial independence movement. This made me realise more women were needed and I had all I needed to get started. As lets be honest, most things you can learn online as you go, and blogging is no exception.

Thanks Angela!

A year in stats

My Fave Posts

What I’ve learned

Firstly to say blogging is not easy. However, I have found the challenges so rewarding in themselves and the end result is well worth it. On the people side, I’ve connected with so many interesting people and brilliant minds in the FI space, both on the UK and further afield. I love hearing for people, whether they agree with me, have some constructive criticism or even want to offer such points of view as the patriarchy does not exist or Saudi is a good place to live for women.

My writing skills have improved immensely – for someone that has a Masters in English my writing is appaling. However, I feel all the practise is helping me get better and making me think about how to get my point across. Additionally, how to engage people that are different from me and ensure I also write so they can also come on the journey.

And onto SEO and marketing – I’ve learned a lot in these areas, but to be honest my biggest learning is I don’t really care, and there is no benefit to me to focusing on these areas.

On the geeky tech side, I have been loving learning WordPress – I am the sort of person that is happy to modify the code and test things out. Learning about php, css and html is actually quite fun for me, in a low stake but can actually see the results kind of way.

In summary, as I love learning and adding new strings to my bow, starting MsZiYou and blogging has been amazing for me!

The future

So what does the future hold?  I have to say I am well and truly ensconced in the blogging world. I feel at home and comfortable so I’ll be staying for the next year.

But please let me know if you have some ideas on what you’d like to see on MsZiYou – my current thoughts are more of the same. I’m hoping to get many more #financialfeminist interviews up and continue with posts on the intersection of money, feminism and more.

Over to you

  • What are your thoughts?
  • Do you mark or celebrate anniversaries?
  • What sort of posts do you think I should write?

Thank you for reading – please leave a comment below and join in the conversation. You can also connect on Twitter or contact me privately.

39 comments on “MsZiYou turns one – happy birthday blog!

  1. Congratulations Ms ZiYou on reaching the one year mark! You have a unique voice and contribute an interesting perspective to the Personal Finance world.

    I admire your ability to balance living for today while plannning for the future. That is something many people could learn from.

    You’ve taught me the word “moreover”, and more than I ever wanted to know about feminism!

    On a serious note, you have given me pause to examine my own attitudes and perspectives, making me more mindful of treating people fairly. Thank you for that.

    You have also had me challenging my own premises, testing for observer and confirmation bias. These things are always easier to see in others than in ourselves. Our preconceived ideas and beliefs colour the way we observe the world, sometimes leading us to draw unfounded or invalid conclusions.

    A suggestions for the next year: you’ve spent this year rightly highlighting the raw deal women so often get. How about providing some constructive guidance on what they can personally do to succeed anyway (work around, climb over, crash through, etc)? What can my wife, nieces, etc tangibly do to succeed anyway? Like a good PF blog, show them the tangible evidence based way how.

    Issues like the gender pay gap, lack of female faces in the C-suite and on boards, etc are undoubtedly real. Yet some women break through anyway. What are they doing differently? Why have they succeeded when so many find their path blocked? How can a young woman follow your demonstrably successful path to becoming a high earner in an unequal world?

    It is easy to complain about something and say “they” should do something about it, but that is about as effective as howling at the moon. Successful people help themselves.

    Interview successful women from the real world (bloggers were a good start, but tend to be too young to have won the game yet), tell their stories and lessons learned. You’d get to meet some fascinating women along the way.

    All the best for year 2, keep doing what you’re doing!

    1. Thanks for your awesome comment indeedably – I love the detail! And I determined to bring Scottish words into everyday vocab – my next project word is “outwith”.

      And I think you have hit the nail on the thread there – I am all about dismantling the patriarchy so women don’t have to act differently to succeed. I’m much less about working around it and accepting the status quo. At the end of the day, I believe Maggie (and Theresa for that matter) are terrible role models.

      Nonetheless, I do like the idea of interviewing more diverse and interesting women to hear about their stories and life lessons.

      Some things for me to ponder here, appreciated indeedably.

  2. Happy anniversary/blog birthday!

    It’s unbelievable that you’ve only been about for a year as your blog presence feels really established, like you’ve been around a lot longer!

    I think your blog is unique (well there’s no other blog I read which is like yours!) and continues to open my eyes to topics I wouldn’t normally read about.

    Keep on keeping on – in another year’s time, you’ll be 10 months from your FIRE goal and I look forward to how things will change (if at all) as you go into countdown mode!

    1. Thanks Weenie – yeah I can’t see many bloggers like me exactly, but there are plenty of awesome bloggers (like yourself) that have some commonalities.

      And yeah – I am really keen to see where I will be in another year – both finance wise and mind wise. Will I be on track to FIRE? Will I still plan to FIRE? I hope yes for both, but only time will tell.

  3. Many congrats on your first year, MsZiyou. I enjoy reading your work.

    I can’t think of any particular changes. Unless you need to make money from your blog or want more exposure, always write to please yourself.

    I’m not a big anniversary celebrator personally. I even occasionally need to calculate my age. It is good to make sure there are things to mark the passage of time though and celebrating anniversaries is as good a reason as any.

    1. Thanks Greencat – I love hearing your comments too.

      And I’m still not about blogging for money or wanting to get more exposure and be outed – so writing for myself sounds like a good plan. And let’s be honest, it’s rare nowadays that I don’t do what I really want.

      Oh – I don’t usually remember my age either. I get it wrong a bit, and have to do my sums again. The number just seems less important as you get older and older…

  4. Happy first blogiversary Ms. ZiYou… I agree with so many of the things you mentioned – Blogging is not easy but the challenges are fun, the people that you get to engage with are awesome and the impact on the quality of writing is really good!

  5. My blog turned 1 last month – completely forgot about it!
    Actually, my personal blog turned 11 last September… I guess it’s fair to say, in answer to your question – No, I don’t celebrate birthdays!!!
    Congrats on sticking to it for a year!

    1. Thanks $76k project – I love reading and hearing all the perspectives out there – it really helps me understand the wider world and the different challenges people go through.

  6. Happy first anniversary, Ms. ZiYou!! I’m so happy for you, blogging is definitely really hard, so kudos to you for sticking it out anyway. I really enjoy reading your take on things, because as you note, so many FI blogs are written by men and folks in couples. As a single woman, I can’t always relate to them.

    I love your blog and wouldn’t really change anything. For me, probably the most important topic I wish I could read more on, is how to navigate the dating scene as a FIRE (and feminism 🙂 devotee. But I’m well aware that’s a loaded subject 🙂


    1. Hi FF – I love hearing from you. And yes, life is different as a single woman and i don’t think there are that many of us out here blogging about money.

      And yes, with dating being in my 2019 goals, there are lots of dating posts to come. Just deciding how much I want to share and send details of into the ether for ever-ever!

  7. Many congrats Ms ZiYou! Given how many blogs fall beside the wayside after a few months, one year is great.

    Agree with the others who say that you have a unique voice. I particularly enjoy the Financial Feminist posts. I learn a huge amount from a perspective that I have never have myself from each one of those.

    I’ve only been reading your blog for a few months but you writing is the opposite of appalling. I can completely relate to what you say about blogging improving writing though. The process of composing, and honing, my writing is a huge benefit from blogging.

    Best of luck for year two and beyond!

  8. Congrats! And your writing is exquisite Zi, not that I have the chops to say so. But it is. You are real, and you are real good!

  9. Congratulations Ms ZiYou! I’ve enjoyed reading and commenting on your blog over the last few months, and look forward to it continuing over the next year and beyond.

  10. Happy birthday Ms ZiYou! You’ve done an amazing job with your blog and you’ve enriched the UK FIRE scene no end with your podcasts and Slack channels. Here’s to another fantastic year!

  11. Belated birthday wishes! Just catching up with my blog reading. Your beauty tax post is probably one of my favourite all time blog posts. I love the insight you bring to your posts, you always make me challenge my own accepted thoughts and view things that have happened in my own life through a different filter. That’s a good thing!

    1. Thanks Tuppeny – I also love reading others experiences and different ways of framing things – it really makes me think and challenge my biases sometimes.

What do you think?