The Short Version
The word “saving” has so many meanings, and in the case of this personal finance blog, it means more than just saving money. It’s also about saving oneself.
The letter “K” also can be an abbreviation for many words. As a personal finance blog, one may presume K stands for “thousands” as in dollars, which it certainly does. But it’s also the first initial of our founder’s name, Kim, who has been sharing ways to save money for over two decades.
Here at Saving K, we want to help you take control of your money and your life with the financial education and support you need, for free.
The Long Version
I’ve always been a savvy shopper. Being a young mom of four kids, I cut a lot of coupons and sent in many rebates to stretch my hard-earned dollars. In the late nineties, I was working at a physicians’ clinic, and one of the doctors gave me a book on HTML. I started building websites about passions of mine: couponing and deals, preemie twins, Nebraska Cornhuskers, and shoes (I was the self-proclaimed President of Shoeaholics Anonymous).
My couponing and deals website was entitled “My Shopping Bookmarks” that I shared with family and friends telling them to “bookmark” the site in their browser. When I soon discovered that I could make money with affiliate marketing on my websites, it suddenly made my hobby much more fun.
The first domain name I bought was ShoppingBookmarks.com which I still own today. It was one of the first coupon code sites on the web, similar to what RetailMeNot.com is today. While my hobby was making us some extra fun money (my first big purchase was a dishwasher which at the time rarely few people had such a luxury), my husband (now-ex) decided to take up flying lessons and bought an airplane! When the Omaha World Herald did a story about me in 2001, I was hoping to get more visitors to my websites, but instead, I got bombarded with people wanting “to do what I do”. That’s when I started workinmypajamas.com (which I have since sold) to teach others about affiliate marketing. It was then that quit my day job (and haven’t gone into an office since). Soon after, I also got divorced (and let him keep the plane).
In 2003, I bought the domain name ShoppingKim.com and created it to be a spin-off blog to ShoppingBookmarks.com. Coupon and deal websites became very competitive, and this mom (and now no pop) shop could not compete with the corporate big wigs, so I decided to focus more on blogging and consulting.
When I attended my first FinCon in Dallas, I was introduced to Mediavine, an ad network for blogs. By adding their code to ShoppingKim, I increased my revenue substantially. If you get over 50K visitors to your blog per month, I highly recommend that you partner with Mediavine (and they are by no means paying me for this link). At my second FinCon in Orlando, Mediavine gave me tips on how to increase my RPMs (revenue per thousand impressions), and my revenue raised even more!
I was starting to have more and more paid and guest posts and fewer posts that I personally wrote so in 2018, I bought the domain name savingk.com to take “Kim” out of the equation and planned to move the website. Unfortunately, it was easier said than done as my Mediavine account wouldn’t have transferred, and I didn’t want to lose that revenue. SavingK.com got put on the back burner.
The buy now pay later (BNPL) content on ShoppingKim became even more popular when the pandemic hit. I still feel a tinge of guilt that I benefited from other people’s misfortunes on having to buy items on credit.
And that’s when The Motley Fool approached me about buying ShoppingKim. I had to secure a broker (I highly recommend Chuck Mullins of QuietLight if you’re thinking of selling a website). Unfortunately, that deal fell through when The Motley Fool analyzed my traffic. They wanted visitors who wanted to invest money, but ShoppingKim’s visitors were mainly looking to buy on credit, so I didn’t blame them.
Chuck then advertised my sites for sale to some other potential buyers, and at the end of the day, I was very pleased as I got an offer $100K above my asking price. I have to admit I was a bit nervous about what would be become of my sites after seeing what happened to some of my friends’ websites that were sold. But the new owners have done a great job with ShoppingKim.com (changing KIM to stand for “Knowledge, Inspiration, Momentum”).
I had a one-year non-compete agreement, so I spent a year focusing on my liquidation business and doing consulting, but boy, have I missed blogging! So, I’m starting my new journey here on SavingK.com and although I’m not as thrifty as I once was (I gave up clipping coupons) as I don’t need to be, I still am budget-savvy and always looking to make an extra buck. Dabbling in various types of investing has now become my passion.
Also that first Fincon, I also learned about the F.I.R.E. Movement. FIRE stands for “Financial Independence, Retire Early”, and I’m happy to say I’m now a proud member of that movement!
As for “saving oneself” that I talked about earlier in the third person, that is a tale (or a novel) for another day.
P.S. I credit the Law of Attraction (and my online vision board) for my success thus far.