In four years, the author of one blog has gone from being $38,000 in debt to making nearly $1 million a year. Here's what you can learn from her story.
Just a few years ago, Michelle Schroeder-Gardner was deeply in debt. Now, she’s pulling in nearly $1 million per year.
Schroeder-Gardner told Forbes that at the end of 2012, she had $38,000 in student loan debt and earned just $50,000 annually as a financial analyst.
Four years later, she made just shy of $1 million running her blog, Making Sense of Cents, where she offers tips for saving and making money.
Schroeder-Gardener’s story might inspire you to make millions on your own blog. But there are other lessons from her story that can help you get rich, regardless of your career path. Here are three:
1. Pay off debt quickly
Schroeder-Gardener knew she would be tempted to spend her newfound income. So, she created a plan to immediately divert a slice of her paycheck to paying down student loan debt. She told Forbes:
“As soon as I earned any extra money, I put it toward my student loan debt so it wouldn’t be sitting in my bank account and I wouldn’t be thinking of other ways to spend it.”
For more tips on paying off debt, check out:
2. Pursue your dreams
Schroeder-Gardener got rich because she was willing to take a chance on dumping her $50,000-a-year job and starting her own venture. There are no guarantees, of course, but striking out on your own can be the first step on a journey that ends with financial freedom.
If you’re thinking of starting your own business, one of your first stops should be the Small Business Administration website, writes Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson.
You won’t find a more thorough source of critical information for small-business owners than the SBA site. And don’t stop with just online reading. If you have easy access to an SBA office, visit in person. You’ll find friendly people, encouragement, expert advice and even workshops designed just for you.
Stacy offers more advice in “Ask Stacy: Where Do I Find the Money to Start a Business?”
3. Stay true to your frugal roots
The news media often reports stories of celebrities and lottery winners who get rich, only to blow all their money in a few short years. That’s unlikely to happen to Schroeder-Gardner, who has kept her financial wits. She tells Forbes:
I’m just as frugal as before. It’s not below me to use a coupon. I just don’t like to be wasteful. If there’s a way to save money, I’m not going to waste time to find ways to save money, but if a money saver is there, I’ll go for it.
Staying frugal can help you hold on to — and increase — your wealth. Sure, you could buy a $30,000 luxury car. But let’s say you decide to settle on a set of $20,000 wheels instead and park the $10,000 you saved in a mutual fund.
If you get an average return of 10 percent for 30 years, you’ll end up with around $175,000 extra in your pocket. A smidgen less luxury today for living on easy street tomorrow? Sounds like a no-brainer to us.
For more on investing the right way, check out:
- “Miss the Stock Market’s Record Run? Here’s What to Do Now“
- “8 Ways to Bolster Your Finances in the Trump Era“
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