The 5 Year Blog Bash

Around this time back in 2006, I had a crazy idea in my head to start a blog to discuss money issues.  Since all blogs need a theme I decided to write mine from the angle of wanting to retire by my 45 birthday.  At the time, I wasn’t even sure if that would be possible or not, but ‘free at 45’ had a nice ring to it (heck I liked it so much, I titled my first book that).

Now five years later, I barely recognize the blog anymore.  I’ve switched blogging platforms, tried out more themes than I would like to admit and now I don’t even write half the content anymore thanks to Robert, Dave and Sheryl.

On the financial front I went from a net worth of $76,000 to $459,000, which works out to an annual increase of $76,600 per year.  Granted that was partly fueled by a crazy hot housing market in Regina, so even if you strip that out it still works out to an increase of $41,200 per year.  Ah, the joys of having a plan and compound interest.  Not to mention my plan for early retirement has gone from a dream to a something so certain that only thing up for debate is the final age I’m at when I pull the plug.

Then of course I’ve also learned a lot about happiness from this blog including the following key points:

  • Wants are unlimited, instead focus on your needs.  Which by the way are a lot more than food, water and shelter, you also need affection, a sense of belonging, the ability to create something and the freedom to choose.
  • More spending does not equal more happiness.  Actually depending how much you are already spending it will make you less happy.
  • Quality over quantity and more experience, but less stuff will take you further to being happy than you realize.
  • Forget what your suppose to do in life and do what works for you.  Following what every else does will just land you in an over sized house filled with too much stuff , fat, in debt to your eyeballs and noticeably less happy than I am.  Skip average and go straight to being different and be proud of it.

Now of course to celebrate any good event, you need a party, but that is fairly hard to do well online.  So instead let’s have a good old fashion blog contest with the following prizes:

The grand prize will be a Vox tablet (worth ~$200) or I will donate an equal amount of money to a charity of your choice.

Ten secondary prizes of the following books:

  • Wise Investing Made Simple by Larry Swedroe
  • Juggling Dynamite by Danielle Park
  • The New Investment Frontier III by Howard J. Atkinson
  • What Investors Really Want by Meir Statman
  • Understanding Wall Street (5th Edition) by Jeffrey B. Little
  • Uncontrolled Risk by Mark T Williams
  • The Wealth Cure by Hill Harper
  • The Wealthy Barber Returns by David Chilton
  • Findependence Day by Jonathan Chevreau (signed)
  • Free at 45 by Timothy Stobbs (signed)

To enter the contest you have several methods:

  • 1 entry for leaving a comment on this post
  • 2 entries if you tweet about this post on Twitter and include my user id @canadiandream
  • 5 entries if you link to this post from your blog and email me a link to[at]

Contest closes at Nov 16, 2011 at 7pm CST. Multiple entries from a single method are not allowed.  Winners must have their prizes shipped to an address in Canada or the US.  Please note secondary prizes won’t ship until the end of Nov.

48 thoughts on “The 5 Year Blog Bash”

  1. I have been following your blog for 2 years now and I do enjoy your blogs and those of your guest bloggers. I came to the realization about 4 years ago that I didn’t need to chase the huge paying job that I would ultimately be sick to my stomach on Sunday b/c the work week was starting again. I am all about simplifying my life. It helps when you have done financial due diligence and have mortgage pay down in sight…3 years for me. As I started to read your blogs, I too targeted 45 for retirement. I think that I will miss that mark by 1-2 years but I am looking forward to a part time job that will be fun to be at…a golf course!
    Keep up the good work and good luck to all on your journey to financial satisfaction.

  2. Congrats on the 5 year anniversary, I’ve been following your blog longer than I can remember and it just keeps getting better. Keep up the great work!

  3. Congrats on the 5 years. Just recently found your blog. It is nice to read something with some Canadian content.

  4. Congrats on five years!!!!!! I wish I knew about this blog back then…but I am pleased to have found this blog a few months ago. Actually, I only knew about it because of your book (congrats on that too!).

  5. It’s nice to read some financial advice from someone like me (frugal, trying to pay of my mortgage quickly, etc.). Congratulations!

  6. I enjoy the frugal living concept and believe this is a huge part of accruing financial independance. Thank you for sharing your journey in such an honest manner.

  7. Great stuff here. I keep coming back. Congratulations on your five year success and following your dreams and making them a reality.

  8. This is a great post of your lessons learned over your five years of blogging. I like the fact that you mention to focus on your needs, other than food and shelter. I have become much more frugal over the same time frame. As a result, my happiness and health have increased significantly.

    I’ve been following your blog for a few years and have finally started my own as there is still much to be discussed and explored.


  9. I first learned the phrase ‘Less is More’ in art school as a wide-eyed 19 year old. If only I had been taught how life-changing this little mantra could actually be!

    “Following what every else does will just land you in an over sized house filled with too much stuff , fat, in debt to your eyeballs and noticeably less happy than I am. Skip average and go straight to being different and be proud of it.” Awesome.

    Cheers. Congrats on the blog and good idea on the contest! (I already have my charity picked out!)

  10. Just started reading your blog recently. I am retired but I find your ideas and financial advice still applicable to my current life.


  11. Congrats on 5 years! I don’t remember how I started following but it was before you switched over from blogspot. Keep up the great work!

  12. Congratulations on 5 years strong! It has been a daily read of mine for the last few years. Here’s to the next 5 years 🙂

  13. Congrats on the anniversary and your accomplshments. You’ve been an inspiration, I hope you keep the blog going after the retirement!

  14. Great blogging after 5 years. Enter me in the draw and keep up the good work. I’m 28, so only 17 more years until retirement for me.

  15. I have been reading this blog for a while but this contest finally prompted me to comment. I have really enjoyed your advice and am happy for your success. I am a 19 year old student and hope to be free at 40 if not sooner. So far your advice has led me to think this will not be the impossible dream everybody makes it out to be. Congratulations on the 5 great years. Thanks

  16. Happy belated birthday! I don’t know how long I’ve been reading – maybe 4 years or so? Long before I started commenting anyway. You’re inspiring so many to just keep chugging along. What an accomplishment!

  17. Happy 5 years! Love that it’s a Canadian blog set not far from where I live with real people and real numbers! Something to aspire to 🙂

  18. Wow, 5 years?!? I had no idea… A truly sincere congratulations and my fingers are crossed to win something 😉

    Here’s to 5 more years!

  19. Congratulations on your 5 years of inspiring us. You have inspired me to think different about retiring and I too have set a goal to retire at 45.

  20. I too have been following this blog for many years. Wonderful content and ideas. I too plan to be ‘financially independent’ early. Keep up the great work. Minimizing stuff will lead to a happier life. When I’m tripping over stuff, it doesn’t just hurt the toes, it hurts the mind too !

  21. I didn’t realize the blog had been around so long — I’ll have lots of extra reading available in the archives…Cool!

  22. Congrats on the Anniversary and the net worth progress! I read and enjoy your blog daily….thanks for all the effort you put into maintaining it!


  23. Congrats on the milestone! Have been following along since you were profiled on Very impressed with your work ethic and goals. Thanks for sharing your journey.

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