I did this blog year in reflection for the first time last year, and it was a lot of fun to look back and see what my top posts were over that time. I’ve decided to keep an annual tradition of it going so I can look back at the end of the each calendar year with an accumulation of the top twelve of each year.

Just like last year, these top twelve posts are the top in terms of views, not necessarily my favorites, though I definitely feel the ones listed were some of my better posts over the course of the year. The one I feel deserves a top spot but didn’t make it is this one – perhaps because my readership is skewed more heavily to personal finance than sustainability.

The same was true for my favorite post that didn’t make it last year either, so that seems like that is likely the reason (that, and they were both written in October, near the end of the year). I’ll also note that these are all new posts as of 2019, which aren’t all on the top twelve of all time. With that, enough writing about the background and on to the twelve posts. Here they are, in order of least to most views.

The Top Twelve Posts For 2019

12. The Environmental Impact of Having No (Or Fewer) Children (Guest Post by A Purple Life)

I had meant to write a similar post to this one for the longest time about one of the (many) reasons we stopped at one kid, but I’d only gotten as far as a draft title. When A Purple Life suggested this post as someone who has decided to stay childfree, I jumped on the idea.

In hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have been surprised that there was some pushback to this post, as having children seems to be a sacred cow and talking about not having them – for any reason – tends to be seen as controversial. I’m so glad that I got to share this post though, and I think it’s a very important topic. Not everyone is meant to have children – or more than one – and our world would be better off if people weren’t pressured in to having them.

Look got my follow up post in 2020, as I do still plan to go in depth about our decision to be one and done. The environment isn’t the only reason there, but it’s certainly a compelling reason on the list.

11. A Year of Tracking No Spend Days (And the Privilege of Doing So)

This post was a long time coming. I first went down the “no spend” rabbit hole back in November of 2017, and it was a game changer for our finances. Over time, though, I realized that things had evolved for me, and the specific no spend days were less necessary than they once were. I’m still tracking our spending to the penny – and sharing them in my monthly financial update posts – but I’ve done away with counting zero spend days. This post talks about that why.

10. How We Reached Financial Independence in Our Early 30s (Guest Post by Modern FImily)

I was lucky enough to get to spend some time with Courtney in person this summer, and she and I talked nonstop for the hours she was at my house. She and I have a lot in common, and I’ve loved getting to know her this past year.

Her family’s story of reaching financial independence in their early thirties is a super inspiring one, and I’m so glad I got to share a bit of it here on the blog. She actually wrote this post before starting her own blog, but it ended up being published after it had launched. If you’re on Instagram and looking for an inspiring lady to follow, look her up for sure.

Hanging out IRL

9. My Non-Monetary Emergency Fund

The fact that this post made the top twelve list this year was pretty shocking considering I only published it in December. This was one of those posts where I had mulled over the content for a while, and so the words just flowed when I finally wrote it down.

This post was shared on Get Rich Slowly, Apex Money, Collecting Wisdom, and Google News, which is how it got catapulted to ninth most viewed post of the year in less than a month.

8. Trading Money for Time Before Reaching Financial Independence

I’d originally written about my 80% time schedule in one of the very first months of this blog, but I wanted to update it eventually now that I’ve been at it for a lot longer. Instead of updating that post, I ended up writing a guest post in The Fioneers’ SlowFI series. This meant to just be an intro to that, but it became a post in its own right, sort of like a two part series.

7. The Year of Women in the Financial Independence Community

This post has really just ridden on the coattails of my original Meet The Women Of FI list, where it’s linked. It was a fun one to write though, and I loved collaborating with a few other women on it. I’m debating writing a second year post, and if I do, I think it will focus on my Women’s Personal Finance Facebook group.

6. Transparency (in Blogging and Life)

While this was written as a post, it’s really more of a site page at this point. My About Me page directs people to it, so it gets quite a few views from first time visitors to this blog. Considering I wrote it to be transparent for those reading along with my story, I’m glad that it’s been read so many times this year.

I try to be as transparent as I can be on this blog, but after writing so many words in so many posts, some of it certainly gets lost, so it’s nice to have one background story to point people to.

5. Running From My High Functioning Anxiety

I’m pretty sure that this post holds the record for the most views on the day of publishing. Considering this isn’t a post about money or the environment – my niche here on the blog – it clearly still hit a nerve.

It also wins as scariest post to hit publish on as well. Mental health is still such a hard topic to talk about, even more than finances, and baring my soul here was hard. But also so worth it, considering how many people it touched. I’d also say this post was a big step toward finally getting on anxiety medication this fall, which has proven to be a very good decision.

My favorite trails

4. Consignment Children’s Clothing (No) Subscription Box: Kids on 45th Review

It feels a bit weird for this post to be one of the highest viewed for 2019, but I think I may have simply hit search engine optimization right. It appears that there aren’t that many blog reviews for Kids on 45th yet (mostly Instagram), so I rank up near the top. One of the kiddo’s favorite shirts came from the box I got from them too, which is is nice, and the insulated pair of jeans are perfect for wintertime.

3. In the Pursuit of Minimalism: Lessons from a Two Year Clothing Ban

I kept meaning to do an update at the 2.5 year mark back in September, but that never happened. Instead, I just keep linking back to this post when I talk about my clothing ban, so it’s no surprise that this post ranks in the top three this year. I will write a post when I hit the three year mark in March, which is amazingly near. We shall see when I finally say goodbye to the clothing ban, but I’m not ready quite yet.

2. Eight Years After Early Retirement: No Blog, No Side Hustles, Just Retired

I had talked to my husband’s godfather for a good year or more before he finally sent me the first half of this post. And then it was a number of months later before he sent me the last bit. Clearly, he’s retired.

That retirement means he also gets to travel with us regularly, which is really great. I knew a lot of his story, but it was so fun and inspiring to read through it in a coherent fashion. And I’m not surprised that this post is one of the top for this year, as there isn’t a whole lot online from people who have been early retired for a number of years, and even less from those who aren’t bloggers.

And yes, mid fifties is 100% early retirement. In my opinion, anything before social security kicks in – especially when it’s chosen and not a forced retirement – absolutely counts.

1. Retired at 44 (Guest Post from a Non-Blogging, Work Optional High Cost of Living Dwelling Lady)

I met Liz at the first Cents Positive in Denver in 2018, and while we talked some while there in person, we exchanged numbers and talked quite a bit after we’d both gone home. I don’t remember how the topic came up, but I was so excited to get to publish her story of her early retirement on my blog.

While it makes sense that most stories you read about online come from bloggers (the self selection of choosing to share your life online), it’s extra fun to get a glimpse into someone’s story that is otherwise lived offline. She and I have been talking and I’m looking forward to publishing another post from her sometime in 2020 to delve even more into her story.

It’s a little funny having the top two viewed posts on my blog from this year be guest posts, but I’m also not surprised. A big goal of mine on this blog is also to share others’ stories, not just my own, so I’m thrilled to have so many read theirs. If you’re not a blogger and want to share a snippet of your story here, shoot me an email! I’d love to share a little bit with my readers, who are a fabulous bunch.

And that’s it. The top twelve posts as published on Tread Lightly Retire Early in 2019. As a reminder, I’ll be back with my regularly scheduled posts on January 6th after taking a short break for the holidays.

My break started with last Monday’s post, but I wanted to do this roundup again this year, so I added today’s post (but scheduled ahead so I’m taking a real break!). I’ve got plenty of great stuff planned for 2020, both from me and guest posters, and I’m excited to be sharing some more of my story here on the blog. See you next year, friends.

6 thoughts on “Tread Lightly Retire Early’s Top Twelve Posts For 2019

  1. What a cool honor to be included in this list. I’ve already thanked you via text message, but thank you for giving me a platform to share, Angela! It’s really magnanimous because you are doing all the heavy lifting and I get to focus on the fun stuff. If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t have put together my thoughts and feelings on my 2018 finances and had a most lively and interesting discussion in the comments afterwards. Namaste, my friend!

  2. I didn’t see the Kids on 45th post when it originally was published. What a great concept! A box like that for adults would be an interesting option as well…

  3. There’s a great selection of content covered in 2019. One of my favorites is Eight Years after Early Retirement. A truly refreshing read. I really love the story of early retirement from a different perspective.

    1. He’s a pretty fabulous guy! Perhaps someday I can get him to come back and do a followup.

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