blogger http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/3845/all en-US 8 Life Lessons I’ve Learned from Self-Employment http://www.wisebread.com/8-life-lessons-i-ve-learned-from-self-employment <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-life-lessons-i-ve-learned-from-self-employment" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_working_at_cafe.jpg" alt="Woman working at cafe" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In 2011, I started a side hustle that would ultimately lead to self-employment. I didn&rsquo;t know at the time that I would become my own boss one day. But you know how life can be; sometimes the stars align and you end up doing <em>exactly</em> what you were meant to be doing all along.</p> <p>And it didn&rsquo;t take me long to figure out I was, in fact, in the ideal career for my personality and talents. So, after a successful year of part-time work, I quit my steady professional job in 2012 to begin a career as a blogger and online content creator.</p> <p>Since those early days, my husband has come home to work with me, our profits have grown, and our business dealings (and taxes) have become a lot more complex. Where I was once a novice at all things self-employment, I feel like I <em>finally </em>know what I&rsquo;m doing.</p> <p>Of course, most of our biggest lessons were learned the hard way &mdash; by messing things up and figuring out how to fix them. I also learned a ton about what <em>not </em>to do just by realizing my own mistakes.</p> <p>Here are some of the lessons I&rsquo;ve learned about self-employment, and why I don&rsquo;t think I could ever go back to my old life. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-moves-every-first-year-freelancer-should-make?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Moves Every First Year Freelancer Should Make</a>)</p> <h2>1. With self-employment, you reap what you sow</h2> <p>At my old office job, there were days when I would sit and stare at the clock for hours, counting down to 5 p.m. so I could leave. Even when there wasn&rsquo;t enough work to fill my day, I still got paid for being there.</p> <p>But self-employment is an entirely different animal. When you work for yourself, slacking off means taking money from your own pocket. When you run out the clock or don&rsquo;t do your best, you&rsquo;re only hurting yourself. You don&rsquo;t get paid for showing up (not to mention vacations and sick days!), nor will you automatically get a salary bump each year or be in line for a promotion. You have to reach for your potential on your own &mdash; grow your skills, raise your rate, and land your clients.</p> <p>Once I became self-employed, I realized that <em>I </em>was the one in charge of my own destiny. If I wanted full-time results, I had to put in everything I had. So that&rsquo;s exactly what I&rsquo;ve learned to do. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/day-job-or-freelance-which-is-right-for-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Day Job or Freelance: Which Is Right for You?</a>)</p> <h2>2. You can&rsquo;t avoid taxes, so you might as well plan for them</h2> <p>Paying taxes as an employee isn&rsquo;t that painful. Although you can see how much is withheld from each paycheck you receive, the money is gone before you really see it. And as long as you set your withholdings up the right way, you shouldn&rsquo;t owe too much money come April 15.</p> <p>But self-employment taxes can really hurt, and they start hurting even more as your income grows. Since you don&rsquo;t have money withheld from your paycheck, you have to make a payment each quarter for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-irs-penalties-with-this-simple-estimated-payment-strategy?ref=internal" target="_blank">estimated taxes</a>.</p> <p>I hate writing those checks every three months, but it&rsquo;s a lot easier to handle when you have the money already set aside. Over time, I&rsquo;ve learned to set aside around 30 percent of my income as I earn it so I&rsquo;m ready to pay my tax bill when the time comes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-budget-consistently-without-a-steady-paycheck?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Budget Consistently Without a Steady Paycheck</a>)</p> <h2>3. Living below your means is the best way to deal with an unpredictable income</h2> <p>While we always earn more than enough money to pay our bills each month, our monthly income often fluctuates by thousands of dollars. This is an inevitable part of self-employment, but it&rsquo;s one I&rsquo;ve gotten used to.</p> <p>Since I hate owing money or feeling like I don&rsquo;t have enough, I decided early on in self-employment that I wanted to keep our bills as low as possible. As a result, we live well below our means. We don&rsquo;t have any credit card debt, we don&rsquo;t have any expensive hobbies or toys, and our house payment is less than 10 percent of our gross income. Even though we could afford to live a little more lavishly, I&rsquo;ve found the peace of mind that comes with living below our means is well worth it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-moves-every-first-year-freelancer-should-make?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Moves Every First Year Freelancer Should Make</a>)</p> <h2>4. When it comes to health care, you&rsquo;re on your own</h2> <p>One of the biggest drawbacks of self-employment is the fact you don&rsquo;t have any benefits unless you buy them. This means buying your own health insurance plan, purchasing your own life insurance, and paying all your dental bills out-of-pocket. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-the-self-employed-can-cut-health-care-costs?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How the Self Employed Can Cut Health Care Costs</a>)</p> <p>While health care has always been a struggle, we are finally at a place where we&rsquo;re happy with what we have. We have tried a few different plans over the years, but we ultimately ended up in a health care sharing ministry called Liberty Healthshare after the Affordable Care Act was passed.</p> <p>In terms of dental care, our local dentist offers a $799 per year for a family plan that includes two cleanings with X-rays for all of us plus a 20 percent discount on dental work.</p> <p>None of this is ideal, but it&rsquo;s the price we pay for self-employment and something we&rsquo;ve had to get used to. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-work-perks-you-cant-get-as-a-freelancer?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Work Perks You Can't Get as a Freelancer</a>)</p> <h2>5. Saving for retirement is not that hard</h2> <p>A lot of people assume that health care and retirement are the biggest issues facing the self-employed. Personally, I&rsquo;ve found that, while dealing with health care is a pain, retirement planning is a breeze.</p> <p>You don&rsquo;t need to have an employer to set up a retirement plan. We set up our own SEP IRA and Roth IRA plans with Vanguard when we first got started, but have since transitioned to Solo 401(k) plans instead. Either way, Vanguard funds are some of the least expensive available, and you can find all kinds of resources online to help you choose the right funds. When in doubt, you can even buy target date funds that automatically adjust for risk based on the year you want to retire. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-simple-guide-to-retirement-plans-for-the-self-employed?ref=seealso" target="_blank">A Simple Guide to Retirement Plans for the Self-Employed</a>)</p> <h2>6. You have to set limits on yourself</h2> <p>When you work a nine-to-five job, you can leave your work at the office and enjoy your free time at home. When your work is <em>at home</em>, on the other hand, it can be very challenging to separate your personal time from your work time. If you&rsquo;re not careful, you end up working all the time.</p> <p>I&rsquo;ve fallen into the habit of working 50-hour weeks several times over the years, but I try really hard not to. These last few years, I have tried to work only when my kids are in school, or during the hours of 8 a.m. to 3:40 p.m. Once they get home, I put my computer away to do housework and spend time being a mom. It doesn&rsquo;t always work out that way, but I have a much better work-life balance when I set clear limits for myself. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-biggest-mistakes-people-make-when-working-from-home?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Working From Home</a>)</p> <h2>7. Freedom is better than PTO</h2> <p>If I had a dollar for each time a person asked me if I missed having paid time off, I would be rich! For some reason, people assume that not having paid vacation is a huge drawback of self-employment.</p> <p>While it may be a downside for some people, I am more than happy to forgo paid vacation in order to set my own hours and work when I want. With the freedom to make my own schedule, I can work ahead any time I take a trip. And I never have to ask permission, either.</p> <p>At the end of the day, I value freedom over paid vacation and sick days &mdash; even if that means working during vacation or having fewer days off each year. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/freelance-your-way-to-more-income-and-flexibility?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Freelance Your Way to More Income and Flexibility</a>)</p> <h2>8. I wouldn&rsquo;t trade self-employment for the world</h2> <p>The final lesson I&rsquo;ve learned from self-employment is that, for me, this was a one-way street. Even though self-employment isn&rsquo;t perfect, I couldn&rsquo;t imagine going back to a regular job now.</p> <p>I truly enjoy the challenge of figuring out how to earn a living without a steady salary. I am used to putting my head down and working hard to achieve my goals without having to make small talk or drive to an office. And I love the fact I can earn more money by working harder, instead of relying on someone else to determine how much money I make. Even though my income varies widely and I don&rsquo;t have any benefits, I have something more important &mdash; real freedom to live my life how I want.</p> <p>No job is perfect, and that&rsquo;s certainly true when you work for yourself. But self-employment lets me bet on myself every day of the week &mdash; and it doesn&rsquo;t get any better than that. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-the-9-to-5-is-right-for-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Signs the 9-to-5 IS Right for You</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-life-lessons-i-ve-learned-from-self-employment&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Life%2520Lessons%2520I%25E2%2580%2599ve%2520Learned%2520from%2520Self-Employment.jpg&amp;description=8%20Life%20Lessons%20I%E2%80%99ve%20Learned%20from%20Self-Employment"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Life%20Lessons%20I%E2%80%99ve%20Learned%20from%20Self-Employment.jpg" alt="8 Life Lessons I&rsquo;ve Learned from Self-Employment" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-life-lessons-i-ve-learned-from-self-employment">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-biggest-mistakes-freelancers-make">The 5 Biggest Mistakes Freelancers Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-life-skills-every-freelancer-needs">8 Life Skills Every Freelancer Needs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-three-secrets-to-a-successful-family-business">The three secrets to a successful family business</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-websites-that-will-pay-you-to-write-for-them">22 Websites That Will Pay You to Write for Them</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-freelance-jobs-that-pay-surprisingly-well">11 Freelance Jobs That Pay Surprisingly Well</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship Lifestyle blogger entrepreneur freelancer self-employed self-employment work from home Fri, 01 Dec 2017 09:30:05 +0000 Holly Johnson 2059321 at http://www.wisebread.com Can You Really Make Money by Starting a Blog? http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-really-make-money-by-starting-a-blog <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/can-you-really-make-money-by-starting-a-blog" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000044080708_Large.jpg" alt="making money with a blog" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When people ask me what I do for a living and I reply, &quot;I'm a travel blogger,&quot; I can pretty much see the confusion in their faces. They're thinking, <em>How can a blog make money? Isn't that just a hobby? Who pays you? How much can you really make?</em> Based on my own experience &mdash; and those of many other bloggers in different industries &mdash; I'm going to answer these questions (and more).</p> <h2>What Kinds of Blogs Make Money?</h2> <p>There are all sorts of blogs on the Internet and pretty much all of them have the <em>potential </em>to earn money.</p> <p>You can make money from any type of blog if you actively search for income sources and monetize and market your blog in an efficient way.</p> <h2>How Many Blogs Are Out There?</h2> <p>According to WPvirtuoso.com, there is a <a href="http://www.wpvirtuoso.com/how-many-blogs-are-on-the-internet/">blog created on the Internet</a> every half-second. That's over 170,000 new blogs being created every single day! The same study also claimed that there were over 152 million blogs on the Internet in 2013. Given their calculation of a new blog every half second, in 2015, there would have been around 276 million blogs worldwide.</p> <p>This may sound like a saturated market, and it is, but the vast majority of these blogs are hobbies, not careers. There are very few bloggers out there who are actively trying to earn a full-time income from their work, and thus, the competition is not as fierce as the above numbers would suggest. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-websites-that-will-pay-you-to-write-for-them?ref=seealso">22 Websites That Will Pay You to Write for Them</a>)</p> <h2>Who Pays Bloggers?</h2> <p>Typically, bloggers earn income streams from many different sources, but overall, their earnings can be roughly broken down into three main categories.</p> <h3>1. Direct Advertising</h3> <p>This is when a company places a link or a banner ad on a blog. Typically, advertisers will pay a monthly or yearly fee for this placement. Banner ads can pay upwards of $300 a month, so if a blogger places three or four of these, the revenue will start to add up. Some blogs have 10-15 banner ads throughout their website, earning them thousands of dollars per month.</p> <h3>2. Affiliate Marketing</h3> <p>Another common source of blogging income is through affiliate sales. Basically, a blogger links to a product or service from their website. When a reader buys that product or service through that link, the blogger receives a commission.</p> <p>There are affiliates for all sorts of businesses, like Amazon, Expedia, Alamo, and many more. For mommy blogs, affiliates may be for children's toys and craft products. For tech review blogs, their best affiliates are probably through online electronics stores.</p> <h3>3. Sponsorships</h3> <p>This is when a company pays a blogger in exchange for continuous promotion. It is not uncommon for bloggers to get paid to review free gear, free travel, and free services. The sponsorship opportunities are endless and can be available in many different industries.</p> <h2>How Many Hours Per Week Do Bloggers Work?</h2> <p>This varies greatly from blogger to blogger. Many people claim that they work upwards of 60 hours per week on their blogs! In my case, I left a high-paying, 60-hour per week job so that I could have more time doing what I love: traveling.</p> <p>I work on my blog just four hours a day, five days per week... at the very most. The great thing about an efficient blog is that you don't have to put much time into it. Once it's built with a passive income model, it can typically earn money without very much work involved.</p> <h2>How Much Do Blogs Really Make?</h2> <p>Finally we get to the big question. Of course, the income that a blog can earn will depend entirely on the individual blogger, their work ethic, their niche, and the amount of readers that they have, but here are some good examples of real life bloggers making good money from their blogs.</p> <h3>Travel Blogging</h3> <p>My blog, <a href="http://goatsontheroad.com/">GoatsOnTheRoad</a> &mdash; and the freelance writing work that branches off from it &mdash; currently earns me over $10,000 per month after tax. With two people running the site 20 hours a week, that income works about to be about $62.50 per hour. I would consider Goats On The Road to be a relatively successful blog in the travel niche, but there are many others out there that earn much more than $100K per year from their travel blogs.</p> <p>Caz and Craig earn a six-figure income from their fantastic <a href="http://www.ytravelblog.com/">yTravelBlog</a>, and they also travel the world with their two adorable children.</p> <h3>Blogging Blogs<strong> </strong></h3> <p>There is some huge money to be made from blogging about blogs! One of my favorites is Pat Flynn's <a href="http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/">SmartPassiveIncome</a>. Pat is very open about his income because, like me, he wants people to know just how feasible a solid blogging career can be.</p> <p>Pat earns over $1 million per year from his blog. He spends very little time on his computer and has lots of free time for his family. He is an inspiration to all bloggers and family men around the world.</p> <h3>Mommy Blogs</h3> <p>According to the Pew Research Center, there are more than 18.9 million women who write blogs. Of those nearly 19 million, very few are earning a full-time living from it. The top mommy blogs (like <a href="http://houseofroseblog.com/">House of Rose Blog</a> and <a href="http://sunshineandsippycups.com/">Sunshine and Sippy Cups</a>) make over $40,000 a year. That's a pretty good income considering they are able to stay home with their families all day and work in their pajamas!</p> <h3>Tech and Review Blogs</h3> <p>Probably one of the most lucrative and easily monetized forms of blogging, tech and review blogs make most of their money through affiliate sales. They review or talk about a product, and have an affiliate link to the product on their webpage. Every time someone reads the review and buys the product from their links, they earn a commission.</p> <p><a href="http://techcrunch.com/">Tech Crunch</a> is said to earn around $15,000 a day ($5,475,000 per year) through banner ads and affiliate sales, while <a href="http://engadget.com/">Engadget</a> earns around $9,800 per day ($3,577,000 per year).</p> <h2>Can Blogging Be a Career?</h2> <p>Absolutely. If you're looking for an alternative way to earn money, at a job that doesn't tie you into specific hours or one particular location, then blogging may be for you. There are opportunities available online that never existed in the pre-Internet world, and there is more than enough work to go around.</p> <p>If you're looking for a change, you may want to consider blogging. With the most successful blogs earning over $1 million per year, it's definitely a feasible career choice.</p> <p><em>Have you created a profitable blog? How did you get started? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fcan-you-really-make-money-by-starting-a-blog&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FCan%20You%20Really%20Make%20Money%20by%20Starting%20a%20Blog-.jpg&amp;description=Is%20blogging%20really%20a%20reliable%20way%20to%20earn%20money%3F%20Find%20out%20here!" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Can%20You%20Really%20Make%20Money%20by%20Starting%20a%20Blog-.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-really-make-money-by-starting-a-blog">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-make-the-most-of-your-morning-commute">6 Ways to Make the Most of Your Morning Commute</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-tips-to-prevent-side-gig-burnout">7 Tips to Prevent Side-Gig Burnout</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-online-affiliate-programs-that-can-make-you-extra-cash">3 Online Affiliate Programs That Can Make You Extra Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-make-money-off-of-your-new-years-resolutions">7 Ways to Make Money Off of Your New Year&#039;s Resolutions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-websites-that-will-pay-you-to-write-for-them">22 Websites That Will Pay You to Write for Them</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income blogger blogging blogs making money side job starting a blog Mon, 28 Mar 2016 09:30:29 +0000 Nick Wharton 1679591 at http://www.wisebread.com Getting Rich Slowly: Interview with JD Roth http://www.wisebread.com/getting-rich-slowly-interview-with-jd-roth <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/getting-rich-slowly-interview-with-jd-roth" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/fortune.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="248" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>JD Roth is a familiar face in the world of personal finance blogging. He started his site, Get Rich Slowly, in 2005, writing about his own experiences in trying to build personal wealth without gimmicks. He has since developed a loyal following readership, and has continued to build his site around personal finance. I asked JD to tell us a little about his personal transformation into a money-wise, financially-savvy blogger.</p> <p>------------------------------------------------------------------------------------&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>You write one of the most <a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/">popular personal finance blogs</a> on the internet. What do you think it is about your content that people respond to so positively?</strong></p> <p>I think there are several things at work here. First, I'm just an average guy. I'm not some financial guru. I wasn't born to wealth. My family was poor, and I made things worse by making stupid mistakes when I was a young adult. I've been where a lot of my readers are now. People can relate to my journey.</p> <p>Also, I tend to write about a variety of subjects. If I were writing about the best credit card deals and high-interest savings accounts all day, it would bore me to tears. Don't get me wrong, there's a place for sites like that, but I couldn't write one. I think people like seeing personal finance covered from a variety of angles.</p> <p>Finally, I've been fortunate to pick up a large readership, one that includes some great folks with interesting financial experiences. I'm very open to sharing reader stories on my site. If somebody makes a great comment on a post, I will sometimes work with the author to turn it into an actual article. I field reader questions. I accept guest posts. I think all of these things help foster a community of like-minded people.</p> <p>Oh yeah -- I like to think that I write well. Maybe I'm fooling myself, but I work hard to be a clear, effective communicator. That helps.</p> <p><img height="64" width="64" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u14/happyjdbw.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><strong>Are you actually rich? Do you believe that you, personally, know what it takes to accumulate wealth? In other words, what makes you so special, finance-wise?</strong></p> <p>Ha!</p> <p>Okay, maybe that's not a funny question. My first reaction is, &quot;No way! I'm not rich!&quot; But when I think about it, maybe I am. Certainly I am when compared to most of the world. But to answer the question I think you're asking:</p> <p>Before starting Get Rich Slowly, I was an average middle-class guy struggling to make ends meet. I was living paycheck-to-paycheck. As I mentioned before, I was raised in a poor family. Through hard work and good fortune, I've managed to create a firmly middle-class life for myself. I was raised poor, have lived middle-class, and am working toward becoming rich.</p> <p>Do I know what it takes to accumulate wealth? I don't know. I'm *learning* what it takes to accumulate wealth. I can see positive results in my own life that have come from following the advice I preach. I think what makes me special finance-wise is that I'm an average guy struggling to reach the same destination that my readers are trying to reach. I'm experimenting with things as I go along. I'm sharing my results.</p> <p>By the way, one thing I feel that I don't convey strongly enough at GRS is that *entrepreneurship is awesome*. If you have a talent or skill, brainstorm ways that it can produce income for you. Start a side business. This is one of the best ways to pursue wealth, yet I'd guess 95% of people completely ignore the suggestion to look into entrepreneurship. They think it's not for them. That's too bad. I think it's for everyone...</p> <p><strong>OK, OK. So being &quot;rich&quot; isn't just about being wealthy, but everyone's definition of &quot;rich&quot; is a little different. How would you define it for yourself?</strong></p> <p>This is something I've been struggling with lately. Now that I'm nearly debt free, I'm preparing to set other financial goals. But what will they be? Do I really want to be &quot;rich&quot;? And what do I mean by that?</p> <p>In the past, I always thought that a person with a big house and a fancy car was rich. Now I understand that material wealth just means a person spends a lot. They may or may not be wealthy. Aside from a few things -- a MINI Cooper, for example -- I don't really covet material goods anymore. Instead, I value time, both alone and with friends. So, for me &quot;rich&quot; now means freedom to do what I want.</p> <p><strong>Do you still have a day job, or are you blogging full-time?</strong></p> <p>Ah, what a deep question. You probably thought it was innocuous, didn't you? :)</p> <p>The answer is yes and yes. That is, I do have a day job, and I do blog full time. You do the math. It's not a pretty picture. Actually, I do have a timeline to begin cutting back at the day job. Beginning 01 Jan 2008, I'm dropping to 29 hours a week. This is a scary move for me -- the day job is a Sure Thing, you know? But GRS is producing enough income now that I can cut back at the day job and not feel the pinch so sharply. And by cutting back, I'll be able to have large uninterrupted blocks of time to write. Large uninterrupted blocks of time are golden.</p> <p><strong>You mentioned being raised poor. How do you think your upbringing influenced your financial habits, if it did at all?</strong></p> <p>It had a *huge* impact. Because we didn't have much, I grew up as a hoarder. I wanted to keep everything I could get. When I got older and had access to credit, I felt like I had to buy anything I wanted. On some level, I guess I thought that if I *didn't* buy the things I wanted, I might not be able to later. Speaking with other folks who were raised poor, many have had similar reactions. Unfortunately, we don't realize we're doing this until it's too late, and we're up to our eyeballs in debt.</p> <p>Looking back, I can see that part of the reason we were poor is because my parents were spenders. It's true that my family had a low income, but my parents did nothing to keep what little money they earned. My father bought all sorts of toys -- boats, airplanes -- and then had to sell them when he couldn't afford payments.</p> <p>Being raised poor warped my concept of money, I think.</p> <p><strong>What was it that caused you to decide to make a change from the paycheck-to-paycheck existence?</strong></p> <p>The answer to this is complex.</p> <p>In 1998, it looked like my wife and I might move across the country so that she could go back to school. When I looked at my financial situation, though, I realized that this would put me in a terrible bind. I had too much debt. This prompted me to cut up my credit cards.</p> <p>I carried that debt for a long time, making minimum payments, etc. Eventually I converted the debt to a home equity loan. This reduced the payments and gave the debt a finite horizon -- in ten years it would be paid off. Though I no longer accumulated credit card debt, I still found ways to spend. I took out private loans. I spent everything in my paycheck (and sometimes more).</p> <p>Finally, about three years ago I read Your Money or Your Life, and then The Total Money Makeover. These two books were wake-up calls. I sat down and drew up a plan to get out of debt. For a year or so, I just fumbled around. I made some progress, but not as much as I'd hoped. Then, in the spring of 2006, I read a couple of other personal finance books. As PF books, they're not much, but at the time, they spurred me to action. Now, eighteen months later, I'm nearly debt free.</p> <p>So, there wasn't any one thing that made me change from a paycheck-to-paycheck existence.</p> <p><strong>What was the best financial move you made to transition from someone who was struggling to make ends meet to someone who is financially solvent?</strong></p> <p>This is a tough question. There are a couple of good answers.</p> <p>First, I began to educate myself. I read books about personal finance. I read magazines. Second, I implemented Dave Ramsey's &quot;debt snowball&quot;. Finally, I started Get Rich Slowly.</p> <p><strong>Regarding entrepreneurship, do you have a single piece of advice that you would offer people who are thinking of starting a business on the side?</strong></p> <p>Take the leap! Starting a side business is scary. You're not sure what to do. But you learn as you go. It's a risky thing, but risk brings reward. If you have something you're passionate about, begin making small steps toward turning it into a money-making venture. Do one thing every day to lead you toward that goal. Don't be scared. Ask questions. Have fun!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-rich-slowly-interview-with-jd-roth">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-really-make-money-by-starting-a-blog">Can You Really Make Money by Starting a Blog?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-improve-your-finances-using-social-media">How to Improve Your Finances Using Social Media</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-places-to-find-freelance-writing-jobs">6 Places to Find Freelance Writing Jobs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-good-writing-skills-saves-and-earns-money">How good writing skills save and earn money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/write-for-money-online-series-part-i-bukisa">Write for money online series - Part I - Bukisa</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance blogger blogs frugal websites get rich slowly writer writing Thu, 25 Oct 2007 13:30:05 +0000 Andrea Karim 1320 at http://www.wisebread.com Giving is Better Than Blogging... or IS it? http://www.wisebread.com/giving-is-better-than-blogging-or-is-it <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/goat.jpg" alt=" " title="http://www.morguefile.com/forum/profile.php?username=fotographix" width="215" height="224" /></p> <p>Giving is better than receiving. I do sincerely believe this, as much as I like receiving. And I <strong>do</strong> like <a href="http://www.woot.com/">getting stuff</a>.</p> <p>You know that old saying about giving a man a fish, and he&#39;ll eat for a day... but teach him how to fish, and he&#39;ll end up going to cooking school and opening a swanky restaurant downtown that you won&#39;t be able to get reservations to, despite the fact that you taught him, in painstaking detail, how to tie flies when he was down and out?</p> <p>I bring this up because of... livestock. My mom likes to donate to charities that work in Third World countries, and a recent charitable phenomenon is a Goat Gift Pack (or sheep, or <a href="http://www.heifer.org/site/pp.asp?c=edJRKQNiFiG&amp;b=201452">cows</a>, pigs, even <a href="http://www.kanoute.com/sendagift.htm">fowl</a>) for poor families that have no source of income. It&#39;s sort of a microfinance concept, that a small loan or donation put towards livelihood, rather than pure survival, is more beneficial to a poor family than, say, a bag of rice. Animals produce milk, which can be consumed and sold for profit. It&#39;s something that seems to be very popular right now in the giving world.</p> <p>I&#39;m a tad skeptical about the price tags, however. For instance, my mom recently paid $300 to a well-known religious organization to give a pair of sheep to a poor family in India. $300? I don&#39;t think a pair of sheep cost that much in the U.S., and we <strong>should</strong> have pricey sheep. I&#39;m wary of just how much money is being skimmed off the top for these organizations. I know that there are lots of administrative costs, but we&#39;re talking about a country in which you can get a full, satisfying meal for under a dollar.</p> <p>I&#39;m not sure how to organize an investigation of whether or not Mom got ripped off, so I&#39;ll just caution anyone else who was thinking of paying $300 for livestock to shop around a bit. In my mother&#39;s case, she personally corresponds with thsi family, so I think she felt stuck in using her chosen organization to give them help.</p> <p>By the way, Slate.com ran a good article on the <a href="http://www.slate.com/id/2161797/">best microfinance organizations</a> to donate to. I found it informative, anyway.</p> <p class="heading">Give without really giving</p> <p class="sub-heading"><strong><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/feedhungry.gif" alt=" " width="244" height="47" />Link to Give </strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.greatergood.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects/GreaterGood">Greater Good</a> runs several web sites that raise money to combat hunger, disease, and animal abuse. Greater Good is a for-profit company, but they give a portion of their profits to charity. They also started the click-to-give idea a while ago, before Google got involved, in which revenue provided by ad clicks was donated to dedicated charities. The premise is that you can visit any of the Greater Good sites once every 24 hours, and click once on an ad, which usually says something like &quot;Click Here to Feed the Hungry&quot;. The revenue generated by that click goes entirely to charity.</p> <p>I should add that Greater Good has a <a href="https://shop.thehungersite.com/store/item.do?itemId=26450&amp;siteId=220&amp;sourceId=220&amp;sourceClass=StoreSearch&amp;index=1">good price on a pair of goats</a> for Rwandan families, too.</p> <p><a href="http://www.urbanmonk.net/50/blog-apocalypse-2-minutes-from-you-500-to-charity-from-me/"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/apoc.gif" alt=" " width="125" height="170" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.urbanmonk.net/50/blog-apocalypse-2-minutes-from-you-500-to-charity-from-me/">Urban Monk</a> is donating $500 from ad revenue to charity, so I&#39;m linking to him in hopes that he gets all the ad revenue necessary to write that check ASAP. You can also link to him - his preferred method is that you write a blog post as though it were the last blog post EVER - and help give without having to open your wallet. Check out his site whether you want to link to him or not - he&#39;s a good guy.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/troy-hadley">Troy Hadley</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/giving-is-better-than-blogging-or-is-it">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-charities-do-you-give-to">Ask the readers: What charities do you give to?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/private-foundations-for-ordinary-folks">Private foundations for ordinary folks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/51-uses-for-coca-cola-the-ultimate-list">51 Uses for Coca-Cola – the Ultimate List</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-really-make-money-by-starting-a-blog">Can You Really Make Money by Starting a Blog?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-easy-ways-to-make-someone-happy-today">25 Easy Ways to Make Someone Happy Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Personal Development altruism blog blogger blogging charity donation friends giving goats link love links marketing microfinance microloan rip-off tips tricks Wed, 11 Apr 2007 19:22:18 +0000 Troy Hadley 491 at http://www.wisebread.com