Geezeo is a free web-based personal finance application that makes it easy to track all your finances, see where all your money is going, set financial goals and learn from others.

Another personal finance site along the lines of Wesabe which not only includes the basic tools offered by Mint, Yodlee MoneyCenter, and Quicken Online, but is integrated with a community for that “positive public pressure” and swapping of tips.

[Via My Money Blog]

The last few weeks have gone very poorly. I’ve found no motivation to add anything to this site or even to pay my bills. The latter has cost me $39 in over-limit fees on one of my credit cards.

However, I’ve been thinking about what I need to motivate myself to work on this site and, more importantly, my financial situation. Leo Babauta recently noted what he feels are the only two things you need to do to motivate yourself: “1) make things enjoyable and 2) use positive public pressure.”

I’m already doing the latter, that’s what this site is here for. However, the former is where I’ve been falling short. I find the technical aspect of this site fun, but not actual financial side of things. All I really need to make fun is posting to this site as that’ll increase readership and increase the weight of the “positive public pressure.”

What’s New?

So, with that in mind, I developed a new feature: nuggets. Nuggets are links to other useful and/or interesting bits of financial advice and information I’ve stumbled across. They link right to the article in question and I usually include at least a quote and frequently some quick thoughts on the piece.

They’ll be interspersed with the full articles, but are distinguished with the gold coins icon:

This is based on John Gruber’s Linked List and will make it easier for me to bookmark what I’m finding useful, pass it on to you, and to post more regularly and quickly.

I still need and want to write my longer posts, but I need to be comfortable with posting here for that to happen.

Stats

For the past two weeks (October 6th-20th) I’ve seen only 41 site visitors (mostly at the head & tail of that period). Almost all of that traffic has come from the banner on my personal site" because I released some new Textpattern plug-ins recently.

I’m still retaining my six subscribers to the RSS feed.

SmartyPig is for people who want to save for specific goals. […] Just tell us what you’re saving for, how much you want to save and when you want to reach your goal, and we’ll suggest an automatic monthly deposit you’ll make from your existing checking or saving account until you reach your goal.

An interesting and probably very helpful concept. It’s got a higher interest rate (3.9% APY at the time of writing) than my ING Direct Orange Savings account which just—understandably—dropped from 3.0% APY to 2.75% APY.

The downside: you won’t be earning as much interest as you would if you kept all your savings together. However, the fact that others can contribute to your goals and that you’re looking at “goals” as opposed to account numbers are probably significant benefits.

Of course, it’s FDIC insured.

I’m ashamed to admit it, but it’s been a full month since I posted here. Not only no new content, but I didn’t keep up with my goal of posting weekly updates.

I can berate myself all I want, but it’s not going to be particularly helpful. I’m not going to change my goals, I just need to try to meet the ones I’ve already set.

The most recent article I had been working on involved gathering some financial data about myself, which allowed me to procrastinate all too much. I’ll wrap it up over the next few days to get myself back on track.

What’s New?

I’ve made some very minor improvements around here to try to further motivate myself:

  • Slotted Pig is now on Twitter as slottedpiginfo.
  • I’ve balanced the color palette a bit and better separate articles by utilizing the blue I set for links on the Twitter page for the article titles here.
  • I created the following 125×125 pixel ad for linking to this site:

Some Stats

The site has seen 212 visitors over the last 30 days and is up to 6 subscribers to the RSS feed. I’m surprised that I’ve retained what few readers I already had.

Unfortunately, yesterday’s introspection was posted nearly a week late, so I’m not on track for my first goal of posting at least one new article per week. In fact, I think that the goal is a little too weak as it gives me too much time to procrastinate writing.

I’m going to stick with the goal as-is for another couple of weeks, hopefully writing more than one article per week (I’m going to have two this week), but will update it to specify that I’ll post at least three times per week (preferably Monday, Wednesday, Friday) if I don’t see myself sticking too it.

I will, however, take this opportunity to introduce a second goal: post a weekly update of goal progress, my own financial progresses, site news & stats, etc. So, that’ll be at least one new article per week, plus a general update post.

What’s New?

Development of the site itself progresses and I’ve added a few new features, including:

  • Goals – The Goals section itself is a new addition. It gives me (and all of you, if interested) a quick list of my goals and progress on each.
  • Gravatars – You’ll notice that article comments (like those seen here) now have an image next to each author’s name. These images are pulled from the free Gravatar service and so are a picture of your choice based on your email address. If no Gravatar is associated with your email address, you’ll just get the default slotted pig image. More comment styling is pending implementation.
  • Advertising – There are now some 125×125 pixel ads on the left side of the page. I haven’t picked anything really focused towards the content as it’s still in it’s infancy. I also don’t really have enough readers yet to judge what you’d find useful.

On a related note, Slotted Pig was submitted to and is now listed on welovetxp.com, “[A] design gallery dedicated to showcasing sites created using the [Textpattern] content management system.” Welcome to all my fellow Textpattern fans!

Behind the Scenes

In addition to Textpattern, I’m using the following wonderful plug-ins:

There are a small number of admin-side plug-ins that I’ll add in the near future, but I’m running a pretty bare-bones setup at the moment. The public side of the site is intentionally minimalist, so I doubt too many more plug-ins will be used there.

Some Stats

I’m up to four subscribers (not including myself) to the RSS feed. A couple are probably friends or family.

Also, I’ve seen 77 unique visitors from around the world since launch. About 15 were from friends and family and the remainder are mostly from welovetxp.com.

I’m, of course, not earning anything from advertising at the moment and don’t expect to for some time.

In my first weekly update, I added this second goal:

“[P]ost a weekly update of goal progress, my own financial progresses, site news & stats, etc.”

Progress

2008-10-19 – 2008-10-25: 0 articles, 0 updates, 3 nuggets
2008-10-12 – 2008-10-18: 0 articles, 0 updates
2008-10-05 – 2008-10-11: 0 articles, 1 update
2008-09-28 – 2008-10-04: 0 articles
2008-09-21 – 2008-09-27: 0 articles
2008-09-14 – 2008-09-20: 0 articles
2008-09-07 – 2008-09-13: 0 articles
2008-08-31 – 2008-09-06: 2 articles

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.

In my post on accountability I set the following first goal:

“[T]o post [new articles] once per week.”

Progress

2008-10-19 – 2008-10-25: 0 articles, 0 updates, 3 nuggets
2008-10-12 – 2008-10-18: 0 articles, 0 updates
2008-10-05 – 2008-10-11: 0 articles, 1 update
2008-09-28 – 2008-10-04: 0 articles
2008-09-21 – 2008-09-27: 0 articles
2008-09-14 – 2008-09-20: 0 articles
2008-09-07 – 2008-09-13: 0 articles
2008-08-31 – 2008-09-06: 2 articles
2008-08-24 – 2008-08-30: 2 articles