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Q&A: Personal Finance & Blogging

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A few weeks ago, I reached out to you guys via social media about any questions you have for me to answer! I got an awesome response and wasn’t able to answer them all this go around. But here are some questions and answers that I was asked about all things money and blogging.

Have additional questions? Let me know in the comments below! Also, don’t forget to follow me on social media to keep up on what’s new for The Budgeting Wife!

Personal Finance:

1. How do you save money on giving gifts to friends and family for things like birthdays and baby showers?

Gifts should never come as a major surprise, but it ends up being one of the biggest budget busters for many! Here’s how I suggest combatting gift buying:

Add it as its own sinking fund in your budget. Although, I caution you in this category! It’s so much fun to spend money on friends and family with gifts, but don’t go overboard. Add a little bit every month to your gifts fund and let it grow! Then you’ll have a savings account ready to go with money inside when you go to a birthday party, wedding, or baby shower.

2. As a college student, should I build an online business and then worry about debt?

I will always encourage you to pay off debt first! Because I hate debt and the burden that it brings. But if starting your own business is your career goal, then you should definitely do that. But do it in a smart manner.

You really don’t need to spend a lot of money to start an online business. I have spent about $300 total so far on my online business and have made money off of it! You truly don’t need to spend a lot to start an online business.

With that being said, budget for your online business like you would for your personal finances. Create a monthly budget for your business to determine what you feel comfortable spending on. Then track your income and your expenses! And all in all, I truly believe that you can start an online business for little expense. So also focus on paying off that debt as quickly as possible!

3. What are some ideas you can give about starting a debt free journey? i.e. what bills to cut, what to spend money on and how much to put to the debt?

When you want to get out of debt, first, you need to look at defining your needs and wants. To get serious about paying off debt, only spend money on those needs and limiting those wants. Wants consist of things like cable, eating out, extra clothing shopping, etc. Cut those bills first when you’re trying to pay off debt.

Then focus on funding your needs: food, shelter, transportation and limited clothing. Make meals at home, find cheap rent, limit your gas spending, and buy clothing if you REALLY need it. Besides that, say no to additional spending.

From there, put every extra dime you have to your debt. What you would have spent on cable? Put that to your debt instead! This is exactly the method we used to pay off $87,000 of debt!

4. How do you still have fun and live life without over spending?

I’m not going to lie, it’s hard when you see your friends out spending money and having fun and knowing that you can’t. But there are free things that you can do to still enjoy life. We have Netflix, which we actually really enjoy for movie date nights. We will also go on walks during the summer time. Friends will come over for game nights which are also fun! You might have to get creative to find cheap/free ways to have fun, but you don’t need to spend money to enjoy yourself!

Blogging:

5. Do you have another career/job outside of blogging? If so, how do you manage a work like balance?

I do! I work a day job as an accountant for a non-profit. I do a normal 40 hour work week there but do it in only 4 days a week. Then I work a side job from home on Fridays for 5 hours a week. There, I do marketing for a small local business. And then I blog on the side… Yes, I am busy!

I work on my blog every week day evening after dinner for about 3 hours a night until I go to bed. I also work on the blog over the weekends.

I’m not going to lie, I don’t think I’ve been the best about work-life balance recently with everything I have been doing. I will say though, that I don’t work on the blog until after dinner. So I get to spend quality time with my husband after work and when we eat. But for me, blogging is also fun! It’s what I truly enjoy doing so it really doesn’t feel like work.

6. What is a typical day or week look like for how you manage your site?

I create a blog working schedule for myself where I focus on something specific every day of the week so I don’t feel overwhelmed. For example, Mondays I focus on social media and Tuesdays I work on writing posts, etc…

I like to plan out my week so that I can use my little bit of blogging time to always be productive. I hate when I “work” on my blog for 3 hours but then never feel like I actually got anything done. But scheduling myself allows me to use my time wisely to accomplish my needed tasks for the blog.

7. How much does it cost to set up a blog?

So far, the blog you are reading has cost me a total of $323.08. This includes my 3 year subscription to Bluehost (paid upfront all at once) and taking the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing class. Both of these services have enabled me to create a profitable blog.

My Bluehost subscription allows me to host a professional site. You can learn more about how to set up your blog here. I honestly wish I would have started this sooner with my blog, because you need to be hosting to start making money off your blog! It also costs only a few dollars a month, so why not??

The Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing class has been a game changer for me and my blog. I have learned so much about how to make money blogging by taking this class. In fact, I made more in affiliate marketing in the month after taking the course than the cost of the class!

8. Any tips for learning how to work/build your WordPress site more easily?

My tips? Do A LOT of research. Thanks to Google and YouTube, I’ve been able to find the answers to a lot of my WordPress and website questions. I also suggest joining a blogging Facebook group! I am part of the Millennial Money Man Blogging Club Facebook group. The group is basically an open forum to ask other bloggers about the technical side of blogging as well as big picture. It has been a huge help in answering some of my blogging questions!

I hope that this Q&A has been helpful for you guys in answering your questions related to personal finance and blogging! Remember to follow me on my social media platforms to keep in touch! If you have additional questions, leave me a comment and they may be included in the next Q&A!

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Twitter: @BudgetingWife

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