2019 will not go down in history as my favorite year. Some of the lower points in our year included mental health struggles, solo parenting for months at a time due to a husband who was constantly traveling for work, a dying vehicle we weren’t ready to replace, an unexpected and expensive AF surgery (for two members of our family), failed business plans, and the list goes on. It could always be worse, but it could also always be better. Either way, I thought I’d start blogging about my debt repayment journey because a major goal of mine in 2020 is to dig my way out of this hole. We’ve done the Dave Ramsey thing before, paid off a load of debt, and now we’re here again. It seems that with life’s ups and downs, one never really “arrives.” Even when making good choices and living responsibly, sometimes life just happens.
Why blog about it? Isn’t money a personal issue?
Yes, it’s a very personal issue but I’ve followed other bloggers in their financial journey and it’s inspiring to see a person achieve a major goal that seems wildly out of reach. My husband’s job is our main financial support but I have always had some form of “side hustle” to help with our income. In 2020 I plan to really flex my own work schedule in order to maximize the payoff of this debt. Ideally, I want it gone by the end of the year.
How much debt do you have?
Besides my house, I have $47,524.20 in debt right now. OUCH. Seriously…freaking ouch. And want to know what’s worse? $36,408.71 of it was accrued in the last six months.
Isn’t that a lot to pay off in one year? Yep. Doesn’t that seem impossible? Definitely. But not with that attitude, right?
How are you going to pay it back?
Well, we’re going to pay it back like we have been this whole time. We make payments every month on our debt just like most people do who owe money. We have nearly perfect credit, so that’s not the driving factor for wanting to climb out of this hole. It’s to have less to worry about on a monthly basis. It’s so we can focus on saving, instead of being on the hamster wheel. It’s honestly because it all piled up so damn quickly, that I’d like to see it disappear just as quickly.
What’s unique about the way I plan to pay this off, is that besides the regular payments we’ve been making, I hope to bring in most of the extra cash needed to pay this off, by myself. In past years, I’ve monetized my blog and even created a free 50 page eBook that nobody read (but I also never promoted) to share how I make $1,000 a month blogging. That’s a rough estimate, but most months I make between $400-1200 blogging. Working for yourself is wild because the numbers really do jump up and down that far depending on the month. And that’s just what I’m being paid, that’s not including setting money aside for taxes or retirement, which cuts into probably half of that.
I make money on affiliate links, my ad network, and sponsored posts. Ultimately, almost all of my money comes from affiliate links. I got sick of sponsored posts a couple years ago, and it is incredibly rare that I do one on my blog now. Why? I just got sick of being an excited consumer and always telling people they should buy the latest and greatest thing that they probably don’t need. If you are successful at blogging, sponsored posts can really take on a mind of their own. For a time, I felt like my blog was somebody else’s voice because I was always promoting something. In the last couple years, I feel like I got my voice back and now what I post is ONLY the most exciting things, whether it’s sponsored or not. My ad network pays me based upon my page views, so you can guess that if I’m not trying very hard, that’s a low number every month. Affiliate links are just clicks away from my site to the products I am sharing with you, and readers don’t pay a single penny more than they would otherwise. I get a tiny percent of the sale (we’re talking usually like 3%) for introducing someone to it, and the reader walks away happy because they bought something they’re probably going to love. Everybody wins.
All in all, my point is that I want to do more of these things. More traffic to my site means more ad revenue, more affiliate link clicks, and more human connection. My content isn’t going to become garbage in the meantime, I just want to more consistently do exactly what it is that I’ve been doing this whole time without losing my voice. Basically, just sharing more ideas, stuff, books I’m reading, beauty products that are making me look younger than baby Yoda, etc.
How can I help?
You can help by cheering me on in the comments section, sharing my journey with friends, and following me on social media. Engage with my stuff! Read my blog and enjoy an article enough to come back and read again tomorrow. Subscribe to my email list. Truly, it all helps me so much!
I appreciate you following along more than you know. Without people who decide to read what I write, I just have a URL parked somewhere on the internet. It’s the people who read and interact that make this something special. So…thank you!