Get Rich Slowly started as a place for J.D. to write about money. Over the past five years, it’s grown beyond that. It’s now a multi-author blog. This week, each of the authors will share a brief bio to give readers a little background. Enjoy!

Sierra BlackMy name is Sierra Black. I’ve been a staff writer here at Get Rich Slowly for just under a year, and was a regular guest previously. My first post for J.D. was “Sweating the Big Stuff“, about my family’s decision to downsize our house.

That decision marked the real beginning of my journey to financial health. In my twenties, I accumulated debt: student loan debt, mortgage debt, auto loan, credit card debt. As my debts were going up, so were my expenses: I married, had two kids, bought a house that needed upkeep. Finally, when daycare costs exceeded my take-home pay, I quit my job to stay home with my kids.

I had a perfect storm of financial woe: rising debt, rising cost of living, and a shrinking household income. On top of that, I was miserable trying to keep up with the Joneses in the suburbs.

Moving back into the city was one of the best choices I’d ever made. Suddenly I was surrounded by community. My husband could bike to work every day. I could walk everywhere I needed to go. My whole life became easier.

And I had more money. A lot more money. The move saved me almost a thousand dollars a month. I started applying that money to paying down my credit cards, and formed a small group to read the personal finance classic Your Money or Your Life. That group led me to GRS, and I was quickly hooked. I first came to GRS as a reader, and have always treasured the tight-knit, active community of commenters here.

Since I began my healing journey with money, I’ve paid off about $20,000 in credit-card debt. I’ve also doubled my household income through a variety of self-started gigs and helping my husband get a huge raise in his work. Last June, I closed my home daycare business and committed to freelance writing full-time. I’m loving my new “day job”, and finding more financial success than I’ve ever done before in my career.

Writing has always been part of my life, and my profession. Before my stay-at-home mom days, I was a newspaper journalist. Blogging is the perfect blend of journalism and creative non-fiction for me. I began blogging about my life as a mom as soon as I found out I was pregnant. These days, I write about parenting and my personal adventures on ChildWild. My work has appeared in The New York Times, Mothering magazine, Babble and many other venues.

Like J.D., my most favorite bits of my own writing are personal essays that have been published here and elsewhere:

J.D.’s note: I always enjoy reading about Sierra’s adventures, because I feel like she’s actually out there living the stuff we preach at GRS. She’s downsizing her house, looking for extra income, and practicing frugality, all in an effort to get rich slowly. Some of my favorite articles from her in the past include: Can You Afford to Go Green?, Struggling with Time-Debt, Investing in Your Life Pays Off in the Long Term, and The Business of Marriage: Five Things You Should Do Before Tying the Knot.

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