Every so often a blog reader asks a question or leaves a comment and I think others would like the answer to the question too-then I answer them here on the blog. Today is one of those days.
Today’s comment came from Kat, “I really like your blog but I visit it so rarely because of the pop-up ads. they are in the way of what you are trying to share. I’m sorry but I just think it is just too much of a hassle and I hate to say not worth. I hope someday you’ll change it. Until then wish you the best.”
This comes up from time to time. So what’s a girl to do but explain it all again. This time I think I’ll dig in and give the WHOLE explanation. It might be over due.
For me, ads are a necessary way of life. I need the ads. Let me explain.
My family isn’t independently wealthy. I came from a farm family. My husband came from a farm family. Neither of our parents were rich. Both sets of our parents got by. We both had to work while in high school and pay for much of our own things. Neither of us minded. We both enjoyed working and still do.
I rolled up some college debt. My parents had never sent a kid to college so knew little about how financial aid worked. My dad sold two years of crop in 1983 so when it came for me to apply for college in 1984 and get some financial aid, I got none. So I had to work and borrow money. The next year, when Dad sold only that years crop, I got a full tuition grant.
While I did that Hubby was two hours away. We hadn’t met yet. He was trying to start farming in the 80’s. Anyone who knows anything about farming, knows that the 80’s were terrible for farmers. Worse for those just trying to start.
So in 1985 Hubby and I met. By 1986 he lost everything he had farming. I had raked up $6000 in college debt. I was pregnant and we were broke. We got married. Somewhere in this box of my cheap jewelry is my wedding ring.
I hate my wedding ring. For me in represents the hard part of “all that” time. Hubby tells the story something like this, “I went into Zales Jewelry in Rochester. I walked up to the counter and asked the for the cheapest set of rings. The lady started in on him saying- Don’t you love her more that that? Hubby says he told her- Look lady, my girlfriend is pregnant. I went broke farming. We’re lucky I can buy the cheapest you have.” So Hubby at 24 years old, left the store with a wedding ring, engagement ring and his band for $125.
From there, our family grew. I was working part time. Hubby was working two full time jobs. We were trying to get by. Kelli got terribly sick. She was in the hospital at Mayo. They didn’t know if she’d make it. She was in pediatric ICU for a week. None of our jobs had insurance. We ended up trying to pay for it….we couldn’t. We applied for hospital assistance and were granted it. I remember bawling and bawling that day we found out it would be forgiven. It was such a huge relief. It was thousands of dollars and there was just no way we could have paid it.
After that Hubby had an opportunity to have a new job. He took it as a hired man for a neighbor guy. He loved it. I loved it. Our housing was part of his wages. It was great. I got a job and finally had insurance. Hubby’s boss decided to sell the cows he was milking and we had an opportunity to buy them and have our own farm. He was willing to finance it for us under one condition. We had to file bankruptcy. We had no choice. We were still trying to work with the bank on Hubby’s lost farming efforts back before we met. Well if you know anything about bankruptcy, you have to list EVERYTHING you owe money on. That included doctor bills, Hubby’s parents….ALL OF IT! The bankruptcy went through but we felt HORRIBLE about it. We went back and paid everything back to everywhere we had to list except the bank on the farming debt.
Slowly we started doing a little better….but we always would have been classified as poor. Our kids could have always qualified for reduce lunches at school…but we never did that.
From there we moved to Iowa. Hubby worked for a farmer still. He made enough for us to get by. For a long time we had no health insurance again. It was all hard but we wanted to the best for our kids and our decision was to live as cheaply as we could and I would stay home with the kids. Me being home with them was the priority for us. We decided we’d deal with the consequences of that decision later….and now we are.
We don’t regret the decision that I stayed home with the kids for one second. But…there are consequences. Here are some….We’re behind on the financial side of life. I didn’t work full time until Kalissa went to Kindergarten and when I did, I was an in home childcare provider. If you were to take a second and look up the people who work and get paid the worst….on the list would be childcare provider and farm worker. My occupation/Hubby’s occupation. We don’t mind. We both love our jobs and know that’s WAY more important. We both like our bosses (my childcare parents). But the reality of life is this….no one is putting money away in my 401K for me-no one is matching my social security. I don’t have PTO, sick days, vacation…just paid holidays.
Recently a blog friend invited me to a quilt retreat. I thought about going. I seriously did. It was $200ish meals included. That’s not bad. It sounded fun. It was close enough but not too far. I said something to Connie about it and she was all gung-ho encouraging me to go. Then I thought about it and I’d have to take time off of work. Time off of work for me means no pay. That means the price of the retreat just doubled. If I really-really wanted to afford that, I could….but I have this house payment lingering.
We bought a house 3 years ago. We didn’t have equity in a previous house to put on a big down payment. We are scrambling and every extra penny is going on the house payment to try to play “catch up” with many people our age who already have a house paid for.
About 10 years ago Hubby’s boss started putting some money away in retirement for him….but we don’t have a big retirement account waiting for us. We have been trying to play “catch up” there too.
So the reality is this. I work one of the lowest paying jobs. Hubby works one of the lowest paying jobs. We have a house to pay for. I work 10 hours a day. Hubby works more. We like working….it’s a good thing because we are playing catch up. We don’t regret the choices we made at all. Our kids were and are our first priority. They were the right choices for us at the time and still are.
We’re okay and very comfortable living but…we know where we are financially when looking at the long term.
So…with that back ground knowledge, I’ll now write a little something about Kat’s comment.
I love the blog. I write it for myself most of the time…. I started it kind of as a dare from Kayla. It turned into WAY more than I ever thought it would. I thought I’d write a little happy post and that was the end of it. It was that way but it’s not anymore. It’s not at all. After the garage sale one of the nights last week I came in and sat down at the computer. 45 minutes later I was still sitting here. I had email that had to answered. Someone wanted to know where this recipe or that was on the blog. Someone found an old post about my Pfaff Grand Quilter and had a question. Another blogger had contacted me about something we were working on. Someone wanted to know where some quilt pattern was because a link was broken so I had to fix it. Another wanted to know if I was going to post all the Double Wedding Tutorial stuff on one page somewhere. All of this had to be taken care of. Hubby of course didn’t understand all of that and was trying to get me to get to bed…and why I hadn’t even written a blog post. I don’t mind it. I actually enjoy getting the emails. BUT, there becomes a place where this is all beyond hobby. So, there will be ads.
Another reason there will be ads. When you all sit down and surf the internet, thinking everything is free. It actually isn’t. The owners of blogs and websites are paying for your ticket to view. I pay a fee for the “parking space” on the world wide web for you to “park” in. People who are doing hobby blogging, don’t get very deep into that. Typically they buy a package for $25 a year…(or something like that) When your viewership goes up, then expenses expand. I can’t afford to pay those fees (remember I have no one putting coins into my 401K)…so the ads pay for that. It’s awesome. I don’t have to worry about paying. You don’t have to worry about paying. The ads pay it for us.
This is slightly off topic but kind of on topic…I was in the thrift store the other day. There was some lady in the store that had just retired. She was going on and on to this other guy that “he needed to retire too”. Well the guy looked slightly above homeless. If I had money to bet, he wouldn’t be retiring anytime soon.
As I’m heading towards retirement I hear this kind of stuff more and more. I’d like to say a couple things….
-not everyone had a job that puts coins in the 401K
-not everyone wants to retire-can you imagine how crazy I’d be???
-some people love their job
-not everyone has had health insurance or currently has health insurance that pay decently so they are behind
-some people chose being a full time parent over work and are behind
-some people had unexpected circumstance that might not allow them too
-some people don’t have a spouse’s income that “carries” them
I had a chat with one of the gals at retreat. Her husband was fired after a strike walk out and has never, and will never, recoup the retirement, wages and benefits that he once had. We don’t know where people are in life. We don’t know another’s circumstances.
The long and short of all of this is this….
I’m sorry if anyone doesn’t like the ads. I gotta keep them there. I need the money. I need to pay the fees associated with the blog and if there’s money left at the end of the month from the blog, it’s goes in my retirement account. I’m behind the eight ball and need to be putting as much as I can into the account. Whether I want to or not, someday I’ll have to slow down and I’ll need some money to allow that. (Part of the money goes to Kelli too. She’s been packing her extra bit on her student loans…she’s married to dairy farmer and if you’ve watched any news broadcast, you know things stink for them)
As much as I know there are some people who get cranky with the ads, I know some of you take it with a grain of salt, ignore the ads and want to be helpful. I’ll just say this…. Bloggers make more money if occasionally readers click on an ad *wink*wink*...I did whole post on that here.
So Kat, If the ads bother, click the “x”. Choose to quit reading. I’m okay with that. As much as I need to do what’s right for me, you need to do what’s right for you.
P.S. If you’re looking for an ad-free blog, check out Kat’s. It’s HERE.