I’ve been blogging for close to two and a half years now, and the personal finance community (and this blog) have become an integral part of my life. I couldn’t imagine when I got started that a blog could possibly have such an impact on my whole life, but it absolutely has been. And a huge part of that is due to the community surrounding this blog and the personal finance community at large.

Unsurprisingly, I hear a lot from the other bloggers in this community, as well as friends I’ve made at in person events like Cents Positive. Beyond that, though, I rarely hear from all of YOU – the silent readers following along with my story.

I know that experience well – I was a silent lurker of blogs for seven years before I started my own. And I never left a single comment or sent a single email; it honestly never occurred to me to do more than read and follow along with the stories that I loved. That all changed once I started writing my blog, and I became involved in the community at such a deeper level than I realized existed.

And at FinCon this past September, I got to meet One Frugal Girl in person, a blogger I had been following since I started reading personal finance blogs back in 2010. As much as I’ve always loved reading her words and following along with her story, we now have a true friendship rather than a one sided story of her life. And my life is so much richer for having her in my life in a real way.

I understand that leaning in to the community does take an extra level of commitment than simply reading stories as they are published, and sometimes life is enough to just follow along. But if you’re up for it, I would love to hear more from all of you – your stories, your hopes and dreams, what brought you to my little corner of the Internet. And if you’re up for sharing, I’d love to hear what you’d like to see more from me in the future.

Fo you want more sustainability and zero waste content? Money post with concrete numbers? Garden updates? Personal stories? Something else? Weigh in! I write this blog for me – but I also write it for you. High traffic numbers are great for vanity, but it’s my regular readers who are invested in my story that I cherish above the rest. I’d rather have 100 people really interested in my story than 10,000 passing through. Quantity is great, but quality and community is what ultimately matters to me.

So please! Share your stories and your thoughts with me. I so love to hear them. And if you don’t feel comfortable sharing a comment publicly, you can always send me an email at treadlightly.retireearly@gmail.com. And if you aren’t up for that and all you want to do at this time is silently follow along, then welcome, I am so glad you’re here.

49 thoughts on “What Should I Write Next? Weigh In!

  1. I’m wondering if you’d find joy in reading some of your earlier blogs from you beginning days and writing about if you’d do something different now than you would have back then. It’s always fun to reflect!

    1. Oh I like that idea! I sort of did that with my reflection for The Fioneers’ slow fi series, but maybe I should go back to a couple others and do the same!

  2. Well I’m not a silent member of your audience 😉 but I’m happy to comment with my suggestion… and that’s to not change a thing!

    I love what you write about and think you should continue as you’ve been doing. (However, I’ve always loved your sustainability content and would love to continue seeing that, or even a little bit more if it!)

    Keep up the great work, Angela!

    1. Oh, I absolutely still want to hear from the non-silent members as well!! And thank you, lady 🥰

      I will definitely have some sustainability focused posts coming up again soon – especially as I tick over the 3 year mark on my clothes buying ban the first of next month!

    2. Chrissy sums it up on my end too! I love sustainability content – simple living, gardening, plastic saving hacks, etc. Basically, any issues that connect to the broader world with a thin thread back to finance.

      I have really enjoyed what you’ve written so far and love how you grow this on the side while also loving your job. It’s a healthy message.

      1. With a “thin thread back to finance” seems to be my perfect intersection that has me solidly in the “lifestyle blogger” category sometimes. Glad to know everyone likes to read those posts too!

    1. They’ve been meaningful for me as well. Writing out my thoughts has really helped me to work them out.

  3. I’d love it if you would weigh on on environmentally friendly or not so environmentally friendly laundry detergents. You mentioned to me something about eco friendly detergents not actually being that eco friendly nor working the way they claim. I’d love to know more about those and what chemicals are not actually eco friendly. I went down an internet rabbit hole one time and intended on “making” my own detergent only to learn that one of the main ingredients in the home made one talked about frequently is a strong chemical and I’d be better served to stick with what I was already using. As I’ve mentioned before, I also quite enjoy frugal fridays and getting a little insight into your life. It keeps me better connected to your blog if that makes sense.

    1. HA. Perfect timing with our text conversation for sure. Maybe I should dive down this rabbit hole.

  4. Similar to Liz’s comment, I’m wondering about the pros/cons of bamboo products. I can now buy bamboo toothbrushes (seems clearly better than plastic) and bamboo toilet paper (is this better than regular TP?). So, I’d love to hear your take on those items.

    Also, I’m probably going to replace my roof soon and I would really love to hear if a cool roof is worth it (I’m also in the PNW) and if I should consider something other than the typical 15-20-year roof (at least that’s what I’ve gathered… I actually have almost no knowledge). I’m hoping to be in this house for another 30-40 years so that leans me toward a 30+-year roof, but is that really a thing? Or is it just marketing?

    1. I went with Bamboo Toothbrushes this year for our family. We like them and so far our dental visits have been good. Only thing I notice is that we have to store them upright or they get mildewy quickly. We burn them as kindling in our outdoor fireplace. I *think* it’s a better solution for the planet but haven’t done the serious research. We also went with the bamboo dental floss. It’s a bit rougher but once you get used to it, it seems to do the trick and in some ways may clean in between our teeth better. I love GLIDE dental floss but it’s definitely not environmentally friendly.

      1. Alas, Glide is the only dental floss that has worked for me and my close together teeth…

    2. Okay, maybe I need to write a greenwashing / Eco effectiveness post.

      And as far as a roof goes, we are IN the trees and have to clean our roof and gutters 3-4x a year so we will be installing a metal roof when it comes time.

  5. Hey Angela, I see a few suggestions on environment/sustainability I will go will a different path. How about an investing post? Maybe share your experience with investing, what your invested in, returns, goals etc….. I can’t remember if you have done a post like that recently.

    1. I’ve definitely not done a post like that! Really, most of my investing stuff isn’t really that interesting and/or is so specific to opportunities I have through work that it may not be all that helpful.

  6. Hopefully I don’t sound too shallow but I personally really enjoy reading about your family trips/camping, and your thrifty leftovers for lunch 🙂

    1. Not shallow at all! I know a lot of people love my simple frugal Friday posts, and I really enjoy writing them 😊

  7. Another person chiming in to say I would definitely read more sustainability and zero waste content. This is something that has been on my mind a LOT lately and I’ve found myself really seeking out this kind of content.

    Now, that being said, I really love everything you write so….

    1. I’m so glad to have you chime in as well! Sustainability is pretty much always on my brain.

  8. Oh community really is the best part of blogging! I never could have imagined all of the amazing people I would meet throughout the years of writing in my little corner of the universe. I like posts that talk about the emotions related to personal finance. I find the relationship between mind and money so unbelievably fascinating. I don’t know if you’ve written much about the emotional struggles of saving or trying to meet your savings goals, but I am a sucker for that stuff. It’s crazy to think that you lurked on my blog for 7 years, but never said much. You felt like I was impacting your journey, but all these years later you impacted mine by convincing me to start typing again. Writing has been an incredible gift for me. I forgot just how fond I was of blasting my thoughts out into the world and I am so grateful that those words traveled out to your computer!!!

    1. I could definitely write some more emotional money posts. I hadn’t really thought of that but I like that idea.

  9. I love the zero waste and sustainable living posts. I know you write a lot about eating leftovers, gardening and your pot luck meals with family and friends (which I really enjoy reading about), but I would personally like a peek into a grocery store trip. Maybe you write about them and I just don’t remember, but I think food is a huge budget buster for a lot of people and I really like to hear how other people eat well while saving money.

    1. Hmmmm yeah…. we still do spend a decent amount on groceries 😅 But I suppose I should share!

  10. What I like about your blog posts are the variety so I’m not surprised you have asked readers to weigh in and give you ideas. I appreciate you don’t want everyone to know where you live, but more about your home town, with pics, would work for me. Is there an active local community working towards sustainability? Are there local groups doing good stuff? I like to visualise where people are and where you are is so foreign to the north-west of England where I live, I struggle to picture it.

    1. I’m on my city’s planning commission, so I’m heavy into that stuff on the local government part of things. I DID way way back write a post on kirkland… maybe I should do more of that.

      1. It’s mostly called being a mom who is involved in too many things 😆

  11. LOL, like AF said, how the heck do you blog on an iPhone. Like I get it but to compose a full post on there is awesome with that little keyboard.

    As for content, I think people like seeing the real world expenses other people are accomplishing so they can gauge themselves and make goals. As for me of course the sustainable and environmental topics are my favourite when looked at through the filter of personal finance and lifestyle design.

    1. Tiny hands 😉

      And of course, I know you and I align on the environmental topics. Looking forward to your response when I post tomorrow!!

  12. I’d be interested to learn more about careers in the sustainability field. I know you have experience there, it would be good to have a better understanding of how one could get involved in the space. Thanks!

  13. I’m relatively new to the FI sphere, though I have been a frugal minimalist for a long time. Some questions I have at the moment are: how to balance FI aspirations and advancing professionally. By that I mean, I don’t want to have to work forever, but right now I love what I do. It feels like competing priorities. Also, what tips do you have for balance of all kinds?

    1. Well…… working on the balance thing! Working less than full time helps, but I still tend to overcommit myself all the time, so I’m learning.

  14. I was going to reflexively chime in with more sustainability posts, because I love your writing voice there. But when I thought about it more, I realized that a lot of my favorite topics of yours relate more broadly to self-sufficiency. Like gardening, entertaining at home and prepper FI. Maybe see if thinking about it more broadly brings up anything new for you? Keep writing though, that’s the most important thing!

  15. I’ve been a personal finance blogger for 14 years now (started around the same time as One Frugal Girl). It’s difficult to come up with consistently new topics to write about.

    I write about what interests me, if I think it may be interesting to other people as well. As one example that I think you’ll appreciate, I wrote about the EnviroMom’s one trash can a month challenge that was featured on Nightline back in 2008. It wasn’t personal finance, but I tried to bring it personal finance because it was a topic worth sharing and caring about.

    I like to pick a topic out of the news and put a personal finance spin on it. At some point all the “evergreen” personal finance ideas will have been covered, but the latest news is always a new opportunity.

    1. That’s why I’m glad to toe the line as a “lifestyle” blogger too – because that content is endless!

  16. I would like to read more about how to make my investments tread more lightly! I’m pretty happy with how I’ve set up my personal life. There’s still room for improvement but I’ve made many changes over the years that have resulted in a lighter footprint. However, when it comes to investing, I own standard ETFs (like the S&P500 ETF) and when I look at the list of companies that I ‘owe’ a piece of – oh boy! These are companies who’s products I would never buy and yet I own shares in them.

    I’ve looked at sustainable ETFs but I’m really not happy with those either – they seem to be mostly a list of the least worst companies, plus the returns are often lower to boot. Personally I think the system is biased in that it rewards companies that behave badly, for example, they release pollutants into the environment thereby not incurring the cost of managing or eliminating this waste. Or they out-source production offshore etc.

    I would love to see more dialogue in the FI community about this. It’s a big problem and I’m not even sure we can come up with a solution, but can we at least start talking about it?

    1. Have you checked out Laura from Triple Bottom Line FI?? She dives into this exact question!

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