HAPPY NEW YEAR! It is 2017 can you even believe it? If you’re new to the blog, let me fill you in a little bit. Last year I was a stay-at-home mom and wanted to make a financial difference for my family. Living off a low-income is kind of a vicious circle, however and it felt like I couldn’t find a solution.
If I got a job, we would have to pay for daycare and possibly get a second car and with my experience, I would have some horrible retail job with equally horrible hours. So after scouring Pinterest and various blogs, I decided I would create my own job from scratch with zero start up cost. My ultimate goal was and still is to run a fashion/lifestyle blog but I knew starting a blog cost money. You can read more about what it really costs to start a profitable blog here. (Hint: It isn’t just $3.95/month)
I had to find an option that required no start up but would help me earn money for my blog and family. I started freelance writing on this content mill to have samples ready. I was literally making pennies from that but hey you have to pay your dues right? Then, I used those samples to write for two blogs I found on ProBlogger.com. I wrote for them for a few months but come August, I no longer had those jobs. We moved to a new state and it too me a while to get back into freelancing. We still needed the extra paycheck and were barely able to make all our payments on bills. I had dreams of paying off all our debt with my side business alone but I’d have to commit.
In September 2016, I applied for a virtual assistant job with Time Etc. Since I had written for some blogs and had some administrative experience, I was hired. This was a huge step! The first month (the last two weeks of September) I made over $300! Then I landed a job in November that would pay me over 6 times that!
What a way to start off 2017 right!? I think so! I went from making zero to making myself valuable. How amazing is the internet?? So here we are in the new year and of course I have some big goals. Here we go.
- Pay off credit card. The goal here is to pay off our credit card balance and then use it only for things we already have money for (groceries & gas). My credit needs some serious help and I figure paying off the small balance every month for a year will seriously help. Then we can just cut up the card.
- Pay off my student loan. My student loan is about $6,000. No, I didn’t finish school so don’t be too jealous. This shouldn’t be too hard to pay off.
- Pay off other loans. We have about $12,000 in loans we had to take out because we literally couldn’t pay bills or buy groceries and that’s when we were budgeting. I’d like this to be paid off before June as well.
- Pay off car. It’s about a $20,000 balance. This will take a lot of hustle but hey it would be nice to keep that $300 in our pockets every month. Ideally, half would be paid off by July.
- Take out no new loans/debt. Simple enough.
- Pay off collections. I have about $2000 in collections and that needs to go.
Savings + Income
- Save $1000 for Emergency fund. This needs to be done immediately! End of February at the latest.
- Set up auto pay. I want to get caught up and ahead on all of our bills. I want to be confident enough to set up auto pay and not worry about it.
- Save $3000 for baby. I told you these goals were ambitious.
- Take CLEP tests. I want to finish school but in the most frugal way possible. I plan on taking all the CLEP tests I can to save money on classes.
- Pay for college out of pocket. The rest of my classes will be paid for out of pocket or with scholarships/grants. I’d like to try and push myself to get my associate’s degree this year.
- Make $10,000/month from blog by the end of the year. This will probably take some hustle too, at least in the beginning.
- Launch blog. Yep, I’ve been writing this blog for months before it was launched. Surprise! I finally did it and I am so, so excited.
So there you have it! Thirteen very ambitious goals for the year. If I’m doing my math right, I have to make $44,000 just to pay off debt and savings. I need to make even more in order to help pay the bills and go to school. My target income is going to be around $70,000 this year… I know. It’s a big, big jump from making $400 last month but I think I can do it.