I started Frugal Asian Finance (FAF) on March 21, 2017 after 12 years of hesitation and self-doubt. I’ve been working on my blog every day early in the morning, late in the evenings, and on the weekends.
I was surprised to get so much feedback and encouragement from you all. I never thought I would get more than 5,000 views after the first month of blogging.
It motivates me to dedicate myself more to this new adventure of my life. Despite all the challenges and struggles, I’m still chugging along.
One thing I never expected was how blogging would affect my relationship with Mr. FAF in both positive and not so positive ways.
It’s been only two months since Frugal Asian Finance was born, but I’ve noticed the different ways in which blogging has changed the dynamic of our marriage.
1. Joking about our nicknames
I think Mr. FAF particularly enjoys his new nickname. My best friend from college, the only one I told about who’s behind the site besides my husband, said the nickname sounds cute.
Sometimes we just call each other Mr. FAF and Ms. FAF at home and refer to our son as Baby FAF and my mother-in-law Grandma FAF. It makes us feel so warm and fuzzy inside knowing that we’re now the FAF family sharing our frugal lives with my extremely supportive readers.
2. Mr. FAF being more convinced
When I first started my blog, Mr. FAF was encouraging but also doubted if anyone would read my blog. I wasn’t sure either, but I thought I would just need to take the jump into blogging.
I don’t blame him since the only blogs he reads are political. You don’t know what’s outside of your world if you don’t see it. I, on the other hand, believe in the personal finance blogging community. It exists and is thriving!
Mr. FAF said I could keep the blog as a personal journal (translation: don’t be sad if no one reads your blog). After I started marketing the site and saw traffic increasing steadily, Mr. FAF was impressed but still didn’t believe that spike would last.
Well into the second month of blogging, I told him about the traffic the site has gotten. Mr. FAF was in shock and started to believe that his wife’s blog is not too bad after all.
3. Mr. FAF being supportive
Though doubtful, Mr. FAF has been encouraging my new endeavor. Initially, when I did the food expense report, I just wanted to include photos of the groceries. For one thing, I didn’t have the habit of taking food photos. When I saw something delicious, I just wanted to dig in.
However, Mr. FAF has been suggesting and reminding me to take pictures of what we make. He would try to display the food nicely, take away the chopsticks and rice bowls to make room for the main dishes, and stand far away from where I take photos.
He would also suggest captions such as: “This week’s feast” or “Mr. FAF’s cooking.” Those are great ideas, but I never actually used them. But it makes me happy to think that he also enjoys me blogging about what we eat. Now that I think about it, maybe he also wants to show off his cooking skills? (Hmm).
4. Joking about the future of FAF
We have found ourselves joking about the blog more often lately. I like fancying myself in a CEO role managing Frugal Asian Finance Inc. and our real estate business. (After all, what’s life without hope and dreams?)
Mr. FAF, on the other hand, jokingly points that that the blog currently generates no income, and that I run a no-profit company. I may sound mean, but that’s how we joke around at the FAF household.
His jokes just motivate me to prove him wrong, and to show him that one day the site can appeal to a large audience and generate an income he never thought was possible (or not).
1. Mr. FAF being irritated
Mr. FAF usually shows amazing support for my blogging efforts. However, he does get annoyed with me sometimes. That’s when I mention taking photos of the groceries or food too much.
We would be driving home from the grocery store, and I would say things like “The first thing I need to do when we get home is takinge pictures of what we bought.” Sometimes when we eat out, I won’t let him eat until I make sure to have captured a nice image of the dish.
I have learned my lesson and will just take action without talking about it. After all, it takes only a couple of seconds to take some photos.
2. Mr. FAF being upset/jealous
Mr. FAF was in DC to visit me for two weeks in May. Prior to Frugal Asian Finance, when I got home from work, we would eat dinner together, go for a walk, and then hang out until we went to bed.
This time it was different. After we finished dinner, I just wanted to have a short walk, take a shower, and then dive into my blog since there was so much I wanted or needed to do.
I caught myself looking at the clock when hanging out with him, checking whether I still had time to write a post or work on some technical issues.
Sometimes I was so engrossed in the blog I just ignored Mr. FAF’s request to spend time together.
Mr. FAF wouldn’t get angry, but I could tell he wasn’t too happy about it. He would call up his cousins or friends to catch up with them instead while I was typing away on my computer.
One time we got into a fight about my blogging. It was a Saturday morning. We had just finished breakfast when I wanted to upload some food photos for the food expense report.
Mr. FAF took the photos on his phone for me since I didn’t have mine at the time. I asked him to send me the pictures, and he got upset because he was busy doing his work.
He apologized afterwards for being impatient with me. I accepted his apologies. But from now on, I’ll try to have my phone with me all the time and will take care of the photos myself. If I forget to bring it and have to ask Mr. FAF to help, I’ll just use his phone to send myself the pictures.
I have realized I need to balance my full-time job, the blog, and my family better. It is not the blog’s fault or Mr. FAF’s fault that we have had some downs in our relationship.
As a newbie blogger, I’m still trying to figure out what works best for me and to establish a schedule that works best for everyone in the family. I do feel like a workaholic sometimes. It feels amazing when I get work done.
The challenges that I’ve faced with the site so far just push me to try harder and do all the things I believe will benefit the blog and the readers.
But at the end of the day, my marriage and family will still be my priority, and I need to adjust my action accordingly to reflect that.