Friday recap, two wheels and a swim!

The ride!

The ride!


Happy Friday! It has been another good week around here, I have made my peace with the workers constantly waking me up at 6am with drills and hammers by going to bed earlier, BF was not around so it was easier. They have almost finished the roof terrace, now we just have to go buy some transparent tiles like we have on the main house to cover the terrace. Underneath I hope to grow some rampant plant, like ivy but with nice flowers, or a vine maybe… It is a challenge to grow anything in the middle of the jungle ironically, except for what is already there. My little seeds have a hard time bearing the heaving rain and burning sun.

BF is coming back this weekend, hopefully bringing over his motorcycle so we can start having day trips around, to Mayan ruins and other places, it is so much nicer than a big car.

A couple of years ago we drove that bike all the way to Seattle and New York City, and I can’t wait to get on it again, although I have never ridden such a big bike on a dirt road.

I thought I would keep February simple and have just one big goal (more on that next week!) but I need an exercise one as well, and like Savvy Scot suggested, will swim four times a week for a minimum of 15 minutes. Having a private beach is a delight, can you believe I barely enjoy it? I am always making excuses, the workers, the weather, too early… COME ON! Time to start a good habit, that will stick after the month is over. Which should be easier since March brings in the hottest weather of the year.

On blogging news, I have been studying a bit more readers behavior thanks to Google Analytics. That is a very fun tool where I could spend hours looking where people come from and what kind of weird keyword they typed that landed them on my site. ”French girl feet”, really? I don’t remember posting any pic to satisfy your fetishism!

But I have a question for you. On my top 10 referrers this last month (people who sent traffic to my site because they featured a post of mine or their readers clicked on my name in the comments), is a pretty small site, that I only visit once in a while. The other 9 are the usual suspects, so my question is, how do you manage your top 10 referrers, do you put more effort into them to hope see them grow or just keep your usual networking and use the data as an FYI? I think I’d rather have 1% of a small site’s readership coming over than try to go for 0.0001% of a bigger site.

And also, do you know if there is a way of checking how much traffic you are sending to other blogs? I have had a look at the in page analytics under content, that will let you know what percentage of the people who read a post clicked on the different links you put in your page, but you would have to add all the pages where you featured another blog to know how many readers went over.


This week I published four posts

 Little house in Guatemala, week 10-13

A golden mistake

So the world didn’t end. Now, what?

Trading foreign currencies as an additional source of income


And a great guest post from Tony at You Only Do This Once

A beginner’s guide to a minimalist home




I was featured on Budget and the Beach, Monster Piggy Bank, Frugal Rules, Money Bulldog, You Only Do This Once, Canadian Budget Binder, Modest Money, Work Save Live, Eyes on the Dollar, Your PF pro, Outlier Model, Living Debt Free Rocks, Money Principle, Carnival of Personal Finance, Festival of Frugality, The Frugal Farmer


And finally here are a few great posts for you to enjoy!

Timeless Finance first anniversary giveaway on Timeless Finance

What should I do with my tax refund money? On Stumble Forward

The side effects of staying in budget On Budget and the Beach

Grab the best remortgage rates while you still can! On Money Bulldog

Reformed spenders adjust to life on a budget On Eyes on the Dollar

Is a penny saved a penny earned? On Edward Antrobus

Grocery Game challenge, will you target your budget On Canadian Budget Binder

7 steps to debt busting on Money Principle

Being an effective public speaker on Outlier Model

A man’s credit: taking responsibility for your financial life On Frugal Rules guest post from John at Fearless Men.

Have a lovely weekend!


This post was featured on the Edward Antrobus, thank you!

A 30 something French girl embarking on a journey towards Financial Independence. I blog about money, travel, simple and deliberate living, freedom and choices. You can find me on Twitter, Google+, or Reach Financial Independence's Facebook Page

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  1. I love the bike! I’m kind of scared of those things though! Thanks for the blog mention! I’m still trying to figure out traffic and google this and google’s all so new and confusing to me! Wish I had some good tips for you!
    Budget & the Beach recently posted..Link Love/Week in Review 2/1/13My Profile

  2. I live 3 miles from the beach (I reside in San Diego) and I’m still jealous you have access to a private beach!

    Anyhow, glad you enjoyed the read and thank you for the reshare!
    Todd @ Fearless Men recently posted..What Women Want From Men | 7 Thoughts From WomenMy Profile

  3. Thanks for everything this week, Pauline! And what a badass picture that is of you! Love it!!
    Tony@YouOnlyDoThisOnce recently posted..The Learning is in the DoingMy Profile

  4. Nice ride Pauline! Thanks for mentioning us this week, I really appreciate it. I recently switched over to google analytics and I’m not sure how to even check my top 10 referrers yet, going to have sort that out as it’s good to know where your traffic’s coming from. Have a great weekend!
    Money Bulldog recently posted..A Trip to London on a BudgetMy Profile

    • On the left you go to traffic sources and you can see the referrals, which site sent you traffic and the direct SEO traffic. It is easy to spend hours looking at it you were warned!

  5. Gorgeous bike, and great pic of you! Thanks for the mentions, Pauline. I wish I could help you with the analytics stuff, but I’m knew to this stuff myself and will probably be heading back here to read the comments so I too can learn more about the analytics part of blogging. Until then, happy swimming (and biking)!
    Laurie recently posted..January 2013 Financial RecapMy Profile

  6. Thanks for mentioning John’s post Pauline! Sounds like things are coming along nicely with the house and that bike looks pretty sweet. :) I don’t focus too much on my Top 10 referrers, though I guess I should. I do love looking at Google Analytics as it feeds my inner nerd. Though, I do have a new toy as I bought Long Tail Pro last week and have been busy with that. The time that you can spend on all of this really can add up. Have a great weekend Pauline!
    John S @ Frugal Rules recently posted..Frugal Friday: Blog Posts That Ruled This Week, How Can it Be February Edition?My Profile

  7. hey, nice ride mate….. will be interesting to see what it will be like on the dirt roads though like you say, bumpy at best. I always check my traffic ranks, every day because I feel it’s important to know where the people are coming from. Believe it or not it’s not the big sites that drive traffic to CBB it’s the small ones and of course I always give back when I can. I just tend to stick with the people that interact the most with me and and my site and look to network with others that have the same interests as mine, sharing and helping others. Have a lovely weekend (swimming)…Cheers Pauline
    Canadian Budget Binder recently posted..Financial Advisors: 101~Get The Inside Scoop!My Profile

  8. That bike is in my Top 3 I want to own and ride long distance (ie to Alaska and/or Tierra Del Fuego). If Charley Borman and Ewen McGregory can ride those around the world (or even just down to South Africa through sand) then you should be able to ride it on a smaller dirt road and if not, sell it and get a more suitable dirt style bike. Either way just being on two wheels is great.

    Also if you are ever looking for a prety good off road challenge up north in the states, check out the Trans-America Trail (coast to coast off pavement ride). I have yet to do it, but again it is on my list!

    • Trans-America trail sounds like tons of fun! I use the handyman’s 125cc when it is really muddy around here, there are just 6 miles of dirt road then it’s all asphalt so the 650cc should be ok on dry days.

  9. I used to spend more effort with the larger sites, But I think the return us more reliable with smaller sites that you might know personally. Thanks for the mention!
    Brian recently posted..Video conferencing on the riseMy Profile

  10. That bike is awesome! Have a great weekend.
    Michelle recently posted..$6,523 in January Extra Income and GOALSMy Profile

  11. Like Mr CBB said, I tend to stick to the people who interact the most. Ironically enough one of the blogs that sends me the most traffic is a blog I comment on but have not once received a comment from them and they’re not super active but I’m on their blogroll and my name gets clicked. I pop over occasionally but again, little interaction from this blogger. Have a great weekend Pauline!!
    Catherine recently posted..Saving To Rebuild Our Emergency FundMy Profile

  12. Thanks a lot for the mention this week.
    Sean @ One Smart Dollar recently posted..Throw a Touchdown at Your Super Bowl PartyMy Profile

  13. Thanks for the mention. I completely understand about the beach. For three summers in a row, I had acces to an HOA pool and I only went twice in that time.
    Edward Antrobus recently posted..Using Dedicated Income Streams for Debt PaymentsMy Profile

  14. One of my top referring sites last week was one I’d never heard of and when I clicked over, I could find no mention of my site anywhere, so I have no idea where those people were coming from. I tend to have about 10 blogs I interact with daily, another ten I visit maybe every other day, and about 20 or 30 more I try to hit at least once a week. I also try to check out a few new sites each week, but I could spend 10 hours I day doing that if I had the time. Most of my referral traffic is from the once I interact with regularly. Thanks for the mention. I don’t know if I’d have the nerve to drive a motorcycle, but I bet gas mileage is great.
    Kim@Eyesonthedollar recently posted..6 Months of Blogging!My Profile

  15. Have a great weekend! I know the BF is coming but can Holly and I come over to crash on your private beach? 😉
    Greg@ClubThrifty recently posted..My Dog Pablo: The Freeloading GeniusMy Profile

  16. Going for a swim like that sounds pretty great.

    I like Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools the more I learn about them. I do try to give some extra love and attention to the sites that refer me. I feel I owe it to them.
    My Money Design recently posted..4 Passive Income Ideas I Learned From Robert KiyosakiMy Profile

  17. The bike trip sounds fun!
    Have a good weekend :)
    Mackenzie recently posted..Link Love: Superbowl Weekend Edition!My Profile

  18. Wow that’s one heck of a bike ride. How long did it take? I honestly try to avoid Google Analytics because it can easily become obsessive. I have other things related to blogging I can better put my efforts towards (content can always use some extra attention). I like to see myt raffic trend, and I think the Google search terms are useful to see who is staying and who is going. I use it to brainstorm posts, it works pretty well!
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted..Friday Giveaway Post – 21 Giveaways – I’m Freezing EditionMy Profile

  19. I love the bike. I got my licence a number of years ago. I don’t enjoy them in a busy city, but out on the highway it is nice because you can see so much more of the sights then you can from a car. Thanks for the include and please on behalf of all of us that are sitting in 2 feet of cold, icy snow, go Swimming!!!!
    Tackling Our Debt recently posted..Is it Easy to Improve Your Financial Situation?My Profile

  20. Yasss!!! Very proud friend right here! :)
    Savvy Scot recently posted..Passive Income Series – Method 2: Income from InvestingMy Profile

  21. Thanks for including my post!

    I don’t focus too much on gaining traffic from any certain blogs. I read and comment on the ones I like, and if I notice someone new commenting or sending traffic my way I’ll usually try to reciprocate. I know in wordpress stats you can see what links people are clicking on and where you’re sending traffic each day, but I don’t know of any way to see an aggregate total.
    The First Million is the Hardest recently posted..Should You File Your Own Taxes Or Hire A Pro?My Profile

  22. Oh analytics, how they can be so insightful. I tend to move myself around multiple sites. I have over 100 blogs in my reader and hit about 70 of them per day. You never know which one might hit it big and send you good traffic. I need to work on getting in with the bigger sites next.
    Grayson @ Debt Roundup recently posted..Weekly Personal Finance Blog RoundUp – 2/1/2013My Profile

  23. That’s pretty awesome that you have a private beach. Swimming is my fav pastime so I’m not sure how much work I would get done if I had a beach.
    Great idea about Google Analytics showing what links people click. That way you know where people are headed and give you a better picture of your readers.
    have a great weekend and enjoy the bike.
    Justin@TheFrugalPath recently posted..Refi or Mortgage Free Retirement: It’s Your ChoiceMy Profile

  24. Thanks for including my link this week Pauline :)
    It is amazing that having something so lovely so close that you can really take it for granted in such a short period of time. When people find out how close we are to some really beautiful beaches they think we must be there all the time, but the fact is that we only really get there about 1 time a year :(
    Glen @ Monster Piggy Bank recently posted..MPB – Pool Room Posts #15My Profile

  25. I value relationships over referrers. I’d much rather interact with other bloggers than just drop comments into a void. The former method lets me learn new things and grow as an investor and personal finance guru. The latter burns time. As I follow more blogs, I need to become more efficient at how I interact with other blogs, otherwise I’m going to wind up with all comments and no posts. There is only so much time in a day.
    My Financial Independence Journey recently posted..Identifying the Core Material Aspects of Your LifeMy Profile

  26. Super interesting about growing seeds in the jungle! I wouldn’t have thought, but it makes total sense. Good luck with the swimming…you can do it! Can’t wait till you guys go to the Mayan ruins….hope we get to hear all about it!
    femmefrugality recently posted..Big Let-Downs on the Deal FrontMy Profile

  27. John@MoneyPrinciple says:

    Two wheels are not my thing – more a 4 wheels or pair of wings sort of guy. I mean either you just climb into the car in your civies, no leathers, protection or whatever. Or you don the full outfit and reach for the clouds.

    Maria has a dream to ride across America – when our son is 17 and can ride himself. I will either be in an SUV or the air, maybe with son who also loves aeroplanes.
    John@MoneyPrinciple recently posted..Awesome infographic on a troubling matter: the global debt crisisMy Profile

    • the SUV trip sounds awesome. the winds, I don’t like too much, I am not a good flyer, although it has to be amazing to fly on your own.

      • John@TheMoneyPrinciple says:

        I have always been fascinated by aeroplanes and used to go to Farnborough Air Show when I was a child (I come from the south coast). Nowadays I take our son to air shows as he has inherited similar interests (third time lucky!). A few years ago I had a flight in a Tiger Moth so now that’s on my bucket list – to learn to fly. I love driving (not in the traffic) and I am sure I will take to flying as well. My risk-averse nature is what stops me from two wheels!
        John@TheMoneyPrinciple recently posted..What you need to know about the new UK pension legislationMy Profile

  28. Regardless of size, if they’re sending you a lot of traffic then I’d certainly continue to connect with them. Speaking from experience though, I think much of that traffic eventually dries up which means you have to expand your network and comment on blogs you don’t usually comment on. That way it exposes you to new readers and more opportunities to get new traffic.
    Jason @ WSL recently posted..Financial Responsibility And Kids: It’s Never Too Early To StartMy Profile

  29. Philip Townsend says:

    I really do need help with taxes. I’m so happy I can find help online.

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