Living paycheck to paycheck sucks
How many times have you said (or heard someone else say) – that you couldn’t buy the whatever-you-want until Friday, because Friday is payday?
I heard it twice this week, and I don’t talk to a lot of people. And it really made me think. And it made me want to write this post.
There is an epidemic of people living paycheck to paycheck. Well, I’m using the term “living” sort of loosely here. Living paycheck to paycheck is more like surviving than living. Are you one of these people?
The good news is that if you ARE one of these people, you can stop. It just takes a little effort.
10 steps to stop living paycheck to paycheck
1) Add up allllll of your debt. Let’s get this out of the way right now. If any amount of your income is going towards debt repayment (other than a mortgage), that should become priority number one. Use your debt as a motivator if possible.
2) Identify where your money is going. Specifically, identify where “essentials” money is going and where your “extra” money is going. To know where your “essentials” money is going, add up all of your “essential” bills (rent or mortgage, power/heat/water, food, transportation, medical insurance, debt repayment etc.) To know where your “extra” money is going, spend as normal for the month, and either put all of your purchases on your debit card, or if you use cash, write it down. At the end of one month, assess where your money went for that month.read more
From blogs chronicling their author’s debt-free journey, to a radio show that invites callers to celebrate becoming debt-free, it seems as if there is a subculture of debt-free fanatics that are challenging our “buy now, pay later” culture.
And it seems that way because there is. There is a growing debt-free community. It’s made up of people who have an “I paid off (insert crazy amount of debt) in just (insert short amount of time)” story; people who are working towards some ambitious and inspiring goal like paying off their mortgage in under ten years or retiring by forty; and people who have always been debt-free and are committed to staying that way. The debt-free subculture exists. And it’s growing.
But, perhaps you’re not convinced about the whole debt-free thing. You can manage your car payment, student loans, credit cards, and other debt just fine. You make all your payments on time, and sometimes you even pay more than the minimum amount due. That’s pretty good, right? If you’re able to “manage your payments” why is being debt-free necessary? What’s the big deal about being debt-free?read more
This is a guest post by Matt Williams, who is a blogger and an unapologetic fighter of medical billing mistakes. He offers tips and resources for help with medical bills at sickandbroke.com
Bills, bills, bills. They are overwhelming. Every day they continue to pour in and every month you will likely receive a power bill, gas bill, your mortgage or rent, water bill, internet and cable bill, and phone bills – and that’s the least of it. How do most people handle it? How do you handle it? I know. I know what you do.
We all have that location in our kitchen, car or office. That spot where we collect the mail in the pile. We tell ourselves that we will organize it, but we just create a new pile until we have the paper version of Mount Everest.
I am going to give you some tough love right now: if you do this, you are a mess. That is right, you are a mess and you need help. You are not doing yourself any favors, and it’s time for you to get it together so you can pay your bills on time and become more organized.read more
I had always HOPED that I could make a living blogging, and I had HOPED that I could generate enough passive income to make it “worth the effort” – but until this past week I have been putting in about 1000% effort. (Not kidding, I’m talking about 6-10 hours per day, every day, for the past 8 months.) Waking and sleeping (yes, even in my dreams) I have been blogging.
And it was TOTALLY paying off, so I knew I wasn’t “wasting my time”. (By “totally paying off, I mean I earned over $8000 in the past two months alone – with a blog I started in MARCH. So less than 7 months to a full time income.)
BUT, there has always been a little picky doubt at the back of my mind as to if the blog could generate an income if I wasn’t able to invest as much time.
And this week I got my answer to that question.
I have not pinned to pinterest, I have not written new content, I have not responded to emails or comments in a timely manor. I have not done a speck of email marketing.
Instead I had a baby – and I am savoring every minute of his squishyness and just enjoying my time with him and letting my body recover without worrying about “work”. I am in awe of his tinyness and blogging is the farthest thing from my mind.
And, while I oggled my little man, I made over $600 in passive income. So yes, I can absolutely make a 100% passive income, and blogging is worth the effort.read more
This post has been sort of rattling around in my brain this week, just waiting to get out onto the screen…but posts have a hard time forming in my head until something inspires the concrete ideas and words that make up what I want to say. This week, what I want to say came to me at the grocery store while I was contemplating how much money my blog made in October, and looking at a box of $16 chicken fingers.
Not just any chicken fingers, but the best chicken fingers I have ever had. (I bought a box a few weeks ago when they were deeply discounted. And we got two meals out of it. So at $16 for the box, I knew that meant we would have 2 $8 meat nights, and that is too expensive. I aim for $5 / meal or less – talking about just meat here, and $6 happens sometimes, but $8 is ridiculous. Unless it’s steak and it’s a treat.)
It occurred to me that some people might think to themselves, if they were in my exact situation at that moment, “I can afford to buy these grossly over-priced chicken fingers, because I made an extra $5035.17 on my blog this month” (- which is nuts, by the way).read more
A few years ago, I swore off online surveys, as far as real side hustles go.
And I still don’t think they’re the best use of my time when my goal is to make extra money. I think there are better ways to earn more money, faster. BUT. Sometimes, things change in our lives. I used to have a really hard time with change… as I get older I’m learning to go with it. (Sort of. Mostly.)
I’m realizing that I am about to be stuck in a chair breastfeeding for (apparently) what will feel like hours on end… I already feel frustrated by it, actually. I’ve been told over and over again, “download some good games on your phone”, or “choose a great Netflix line up”.
Or, I think to myself, how ’bout I find a way to turn all that breast feeding time into some coffee money instead? (OK who am I kidding? It’s going straight into the wine fund.)read more
As much as I love love love Christmas, if I’m not careful it can really take a toll on two things I try hard to protect. My health and my bank account.
I always used to leave the Christmas season with a few extra pounds (and bad skin) and a few less dollars… and I know I’m not the only one.
When I was about 22 I figured out the secret to staying healthy and NOT gaining weight at Christmas (but that’s a story for another post)… it took me a little more time to take control of my Christmas spending.
But I think I’ve finally got it. No longer does Christmas make me cringe with the thought of how on earth we are ever going to justify the extra $1000+ we are gonna drop over the course of the month… because we know how to have a frugal Christmas (that’s still awesome.read more
I can’t quite comprehend what happened in October.
I’ve been blogging for just 8 months. I’m doing lots of it wrong. I’m still breaking a bunch of the “rules”, because I honestly don’t know any better. And yet, I’m making money.
More money than I have ever made at any other job in my life. And I’m doing something that I love to do.
So I just can’t quite comprehend it.
Last month, I mentioned that I felt weird and hesitant about posting my income online, and decided to do it anyway. I still feel weird and hesitant about it.
But the feedback from the report in September was 100% positive, and you guys encouraged me so much… I decided I would do one this month too.read more
There are millions of people making their living online, from home. (I should know – I’m one of them!) Some of the work-from-home-online jobs are pretty obvious (- if you’ve ever been on pinterest, you’ve probably seen the “how to start a blog” tutorials.) Maybe you’ve even considered blogging or joining in the work online world some other way, but just haven’t quite found your “thing” (maybe you prefer to be behind the scenes?) Well, I’ve got a suggestion for you. Become a virtual assistant.
Related: How to Start a Blog For Profit and Work From Home
If you’re comfortable on a computer and looking for a work from home job that’ll allow you to be your own boss without having to put the high start up costs into running your own blog or creating your own products… then virtual assisting might be for you.
I see requests every. single. day. in blogger forums and Facebook groups from people requesting competent virtual assistants. When it comes to running a blog (or any online business) there is endless work to be done. (I’m not QUITE at the point where I can hire a VA, but I can see it on my horizon, and I can’t wait to let go of some of my workload.)
While I was researching work at home jobs for this series, I ran into Gina, who is THE lady to talk to if you’re interested in learning how to become a virtual assistant.read more
Be it a “side hustle” to pay down debt or an effort to ditch the 9-5, we dream about living the dream. Be our own boss, control our own schedule, determine our own salary. I get it – because that was me just a few months ago… (and now here I am, making my dream a reality). Blogging was an easy choice for me – because I’ve always loved to write. Even as a kid I knew that writing was my “thing” and it always seemed sad to me that I didn’t pursue it farther. (Someone suggested to me once that I become a freelance writer, but I brushed it off because it seemed too “hard”.)
(Ironic that now I’m blogging – almost the same thing as freelance writing, but much harder to make a profit at. Well thought out on my part!)
Related: How to Start a blog for Profit and Work from Home
As I researched work from home options for this series, freelance writing came back onto my radar. If you, like me, love to write and you’re looking for a great work at home option then DON’T be like me, and don’t let your passions sit on the shelves for years and years. It seems pretty sad to me that I could have become a freelance writer ages ago – and yet I waited until I was 30 to take the leap and start writing.
But I waited because honestly, it’s hard to know where to leap FROM. And that’s the point of this work from home series. Giving you concrete starting points for your work from home journey. So I did some research on freelance writing, and on how to become a freelance writer. And I ran into a lovely lady who knows way more than I do about it.read more