Leo Babauta of Zen Habits posted 4 Simple Steps to Start the Exercise Habit nearly a year ago which, while focused on physical exercise, can really be applied to any exercise. In my case, the exercise is this web site.

While he outlines four steps, it really breaks down into two fundamental rules:

  • Set an achievable and measurable goal
  • Make yourself accountable to others as well as yourself.

While my overall goal is to get out of debt, I’ll be setting smaller, easily attainable goals along the way. Getting out of debt is inherently a long process and every little bit can help, but it’s really about building better habits. Creating new habits requires sticking to practices until they come naturally and automatically, so small goals help greatly.

As for holding myself accountable, that’s really what this site is here for. I will report not only my findings on what works for me, what doesn’t, and tips gathered along the way, but also my progress on each of my goals.

My initial goal is to post once per week. I have a number of topics queued up, so you’ll be seeing more from me in less than a week.

Here’s to the beginning of something new!

Today I’m launching slottedpig.info. This site. I’m going to attempt to get myself out of debt, gain a better understanding of personal finance while doing so, and publish my findings here for everybody to read.

I wanted to have some additional accountability in my attempt to bring balance to the financial side of my life, hence the site. I also wish this to be an easier process for at least one other person in the world, so I hope that by writing here regularly I can do that.

Startup Costs

I’m trying to get out of debt, so I wanted to launch this site with as little financial impact on myself as possible. I think I was successful:

  • $8.00 – slottedpig.info domain (via Gandi ; .us, .biz, .etc would have been $15)
  • $14.00 – slick piggybank stock photos (via iStockPhoto ; I’ve actually only used $2.80 of it so far)
  • $0.00 – Textpattern CMS
  • $0.00 – Hosting via my own server & Internet connection
  • $0.00 – < 8 hrs initial configuration (Subversion, MySQL, and Textpattern) and design/development (XHTML & CSS)

$22 is not bad at all. Of course, there will be ongoing expenses (like my Internet connection), so I’ll have minimal advertizing to try to cover it. However, I’m not looking to make this site a primary form of income.