Writing a newsletter

writing a newsletter

When I was in the 4th grade I decided to write a newsletter.

Why I wanted to make one, who knows.. maybe to keep up with friends that moved away? But either way, I had the idea and was able to pull it off, with the huge help of my mom.

First I came up with the content: A letter from the editor, guest stories from friends, a crossword puzzle, facts about the weather in different states. Fun stuff like that. I named it “U.S. Girls” (as in, short for “United States Girls”) which I quickly learned was often mistaken for “Us Girls.”

The next thing was figuring out how to lay out the newsletter. This was back in 1996, and during this process I discovered there was more to do on my “Macintosh” computer besides play the Oregon Trail. I have no idea what software we used (an early version of Microsoft Publisher?) but somehow I designed it on a six-page spread and saved my first issue on a floppy disk.

The next part was finding a printer. We shopped around a few printing places and landed on Kinkos. They gave me a bunch of paper samples and I remember feeling so special picking out what colors I wanted for the issues. What a thrill!

Then we had to come up with pricing. We calculated pricing for a printer and stamps, and decided a six-month subscription would be $3. What a deal!

The last part, which was key, was getting subscribers. I sent out a letter to everyone I knew living far away, and somehow I ended up with over 50 subscribers! A few of those subscribers were cousins and friends, but my aunt brought in most of the support. She was so excited about the newsletter she bought a subscription for like 40 of her friends. I felt so rich!

Its circulation was about four issues before I decided it was a little too much work and I wanted to go back to playing outside with my friends and reading Mandie books (did anyone else read those?!).

I felt so guilty that I didn’t deliver the full six-issues people paid for, so I decided to donate the remainder of the money to a Christmas charity and informed all of my subscribers $1 of their $3 would be donated. I guess I didn’t know what profit was back then!

Here are a few pics of the newsletters I could find in all my childhood stuff:


Looking back, I’m so proud of my little self for doing something so brave and new! I could learn some lessons from that nine year old.


Getting married in April instead of October

getting married in april

We got engaged on August 7, 2010, and immediately started planning the wedding. Initially we planned on an October wedding, since it would give us enough time to save and I love this time of year. But as we started to plan for something 14 months away, it felt like such a long engagement for two people who didn’t care for a big fancy wedding, and were really ready to be married right away.

So we decided to move it forward to April.

That next October, six months after we were married, we laughed at how relieved we were to have been married sooner.

Good decision. 


Contributing to my 401(k)

contributing to my 401k

The first company that I worked for full time had a 401(k) program that matched up to 3%. Actually, I don’t really remember how much the match was it was, all I knew was that if I wanted that “free money” I needed to contribute the same amount. It was a big sacrifice to essentially donate to my future, since every single penny was precious at that time, but I knew in the end it would be beneficial to start young… because, compound interest. The best financial tool to get ahead when you’re young.


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