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In Budgeting, Guest Posts on
July 5, 2017

Proven methods to pay off debt fast

Debt can be overwhelming. Can’t it? Do you find yourself stuck paying the interest every month and not seeing that loan number lessen? You’re not alone! Thousands of Americans are finding themselves in the same situation. I want to share with you some proven methods to help pay off debt as soon as possible – because, let’s face it, debt makes you a slave to the lender. That’s a hard pill to swallow. Let’s get you out of debt and on your want to freedom, shall we?

I want to share with you the 3 methods I used to help pay off $21,000 in 15 months. It’s all things you can do – kids or not. I promise!

 

Budget, budget, budget. Oh, did I mention budget?

If you want to get out of debt as soon as possible, it’s crucial to stick to a monthly budget. Budgets are usually looked at as constraining, but I think about it as a tool that I leverage to gain my freedom. You can still get coffee every now and then, simply put it in your budget. By utilizing a budget, it allows you to see how much money you actually spend a month and out of that what you may or may not need to buy. Most of the time, you don’t need that extra pair of shoes unless they are falling apart on you. Budgeting allows you to see how much money you can throw at debt at the end of the month instead of buying $100 worth of clothes that will most likely sit in your closet.

 

Live Off of 25% of Your Monthly Income

I know this sounds insane. I do! By cutting back and simply living on the bare necessities, you’ll be able to throw 75% of your income towards debt! How amazing is that?! We utilize this method and that’s one way that we’re planning on paying off $150,000 in student loan debt in about 3 years. It’s not like we’re living life missing out either! Not at all. We still go out to the movies every now and then. I get to have a latte once in awhile. It’s just not every day. There’s also a ton of free things you can do around your community. So, we’re still living life to the fullest and having a blast doing it! Don’t think you can’t use this method because it sounds crazy. I think you’ll realize it’s a lot easier than you initially thought. Once you’re on a good routine, you don’t even notice it.

 

Debt Snowball Method

This method is by far the best method I’ve ever read when it comes to paying off debt quickly. The Debt Snowball Method is for those of you who may have large families and can’t live off of 25% of your income. But, it’s a proven method (that I’ve used) to roll your money into one giant debt payment at the end of it.
For this method, you need to focus on your smallest debt while paying off the minimums on all your debt. Once that small debt is paid off, take that payment and roll it into your next smallest debt.

For example, let’s say that I have $500 in credit card debt with a minimum payment of $50 a month. I also have $1500 student loan debt which totals $150 a month and I bought a car right after I graduated college and now I have $13,000 in car debt with a monthly payment of $250.

So, I’ll pay the minimum amount on all my loans. But, if I have any extra money each month – I’ll put it towards my credit card debt to try and pay off that debt as soon as possible. Once that is paid off, I’ll take the $50 that I used to put towards my credit card debt and put it towards my student loan debt. Now I’m making monthly payments of $200 a month. Once your student loan debt is paid off, I’ll take that $200 I used to pay for my student loan debt and add it to my monthly payment for my car debt. Now I’m paying $450 towards my car instead of just $250. Which will allow you to pay off that debt sooner than you ever thought!

You’ll be paying off your debt without even noticing it because you’re so used to paying off all those minimums nothing really changes in your budget and you become debt free sooner which gives you  an additional $450 back a month to invest in yourself!

 

Those are the three proven methods that I used to pay off $21,000 in 15 months and that’s the same method that will allow me to pay off $150,000 in 3 years. To follow along on my debt journey, feel free to head over to my blog and I share with you more tips, tricks, and resources you can use to help you pay off your debt sooner than you ever thought possible!

 

In Guest Posts, Motherhood on
June 21, 2017

How I was able to work from home and raise our baby

Working from home jobs, tips & ideas are easy to find but what if you have no experience? What companies, opportunities and business can you run part time with kids? Here’s how one woman did it and how you can too!!! Awesome stuff everyone who wants to work from home needs to read!

Now, more than ever, people are tired of the 9-5 grind. I especially was! Job security is out the window and more people are looking for other options to work from home, be their own boss, hit the alarm clock when they want, stay at home with their kids and travel freely. Today, the American spirit of free enterprise is on the rise and with the access of online resources, the options are just about endless.

Related: Work from home and be your own boss. Start a blog and learn how here: Blogging for beginners: How To Start Your Own Blog.

 

If you are a new mom, the idea of staying at home and giving your new baby endless kisses (witnessing their first smile, laugh, word, steps…) may sound better than being at work.
My husband and I prepared ahead of time in order to give me the choice of staying home or being an employee when the time came.

 

Here’s how I was able to work form home and raise our baby:

 

Dig your well before you’re thirsty

We started a savings plan before we decided to have kids. Even $10 here or there added up. When the time came to start having kids, I got on the phone with our insurance and the hospital to calculate the cost of delivery and prenatal appointments. Now that I had a goal number to hit, we got on a strict budget and split my entire salary three ways: baby savings, savings and paying off debt. We wanted to get as much debt out of the way as possible, save the rest of what we needed for the cost of having our baby and build up a few months worth of my salary in savings.

 

Related:  The first step towards achieving your financial dreams is creating a budget. Get on the right track: Budget + Free Printable, For Beginners

 

Have a plan B – ALWAYS

In addition to a savings plan, we started a side stream of income outside of our jobs (a plan B) before we got pregnant.

Here’s an interesting story for you: shortly after my husband and I were married, the company we were working for stopped giving us paychecks, we found other jobs and I landed an awesome opportunity for my career in Denver, CO. After spending every penny we had on the move and leaving our families behind, they let me go three months later due to lack of funds; last one in, first one out. Almost the exact same situation happened to my husband at two other agencies he worked for shortly after.

After the fourth teary phone call, we decided that depending on someone else for our income was not the way to go. We wanted to be financially stable now and set for retirement, so we looked for other options. We did our research on many, many options and got fully educated before deciding on our course of action. We kept our goals in the forefront as we made our decisions. I was skeptical about everything because the norm was getting a good education, getting a job, buying a house, going into debt, and retiring if possible. That’s what we were trying to do but it wasn’t working for us and I desperately wanted a plan B.

There are many options out there of side hustles, alternative means of income, work from home jobs etc. All you have to do is Google or Pinterest your way through them. I was shocked at the alternative options to the 9-5. You really do have your pick! We could have chosen from many but we landed on an MLM business, and on the side…side, I started a blog and Thomas flips products via ebay for fun. MLM stands for multi-level marketing. I am not going to go into all the details about MLMs (because there are so many out there!) but they can be an incredible turn-key business opportunity like franchising without the huge financial portfolio and investments required. Do your research if you plan to look into a MLM! Find a company that has been around for a LONG time, offers a variety of products (not just a few genre-specific miracle things), has a great incentive package (compare them to others), the sponsor does not profit from your sign-up, and most importantly, has easily (daily) accessible, personal mentors (who are where you want to be) focused authentically for your success.

 

Get mentorship from others who have success

Whatever you choose to do, the biggest thing I learned is to take advice and get mentorship from others who were successful in doing what I wanted to do. Everybody had an opinion but one of the biggest keys to our success was listening only to those who were where we wanted to be.

There are so many amazing resources out there. Decide what you want to do. Decide how you want to live. Look for people who live that lifestyle and do what you want to do. Learn from them in any way you can. If you want to work from home and earn X income, find those who have done it. Consume the information you find.

For example, now I run a blog on the side and every day I read up on how other bloggers (who make thousands each month minimum) do what they do. I take classes online of those bloggers who have been there, done that and got the t-shirt. Yes, I have friends and relatives (who don’t even have blogs) give me advice. Do I listen? Yes. I respect them as human beings but I only DO what those who have been successful before me have done.

 

Put in the work

“I just don’t have time for that.” This is the most common excuse I hear from solo plan A people even if they say they may be interested in having a plan B and eventually working for themselves.

Here’s the deal. You probably do have time. You can achieve your goal, if you really want it. Everyone has 24 hours in a day and there is a reason why some people are more successful than others. Cut the TV out, get up two hours early, put in time over your lunch break, make your goal a priority over wine night with the girls and keep doing it day in and day out till you reach your goal.

Have goals. Know where you are going and don’t be afraid to put in the work. When you are so frustrated that you want to throw in the towel and scream aloud on your balcony so all the world can hear, push through and welcome yourself to success. It does get easier but only for those who put in the work, aren’t afraid to live out of their comfort zone, welcome failure, learn with all of their might and push for their goals.

 

How to be a work-from-home success

There are three things that will allow you to achieve your goal:

  1. Have a big why: this is the goal you are reaching for. Have the idea of staying at home and seeing your baby take their first steps motivate you. Whatever will push you to get up at 5 am when you hate to or put in the hours to achieve that goal. If you don’t have a big why, you will lack the motivation to get you through the hurdles that come from any entrepreneurial endeavor.
  2. Learn. Learn. Learn. Follow others who have achieved what you want to achieve. Don’t be afraid to set big goals. Believe in yourself. Push yourself. Most importantly: be real with yourself. I’ve seen bloggers say to an e-course group, “I did everything the course told me to do. I’ve tried every trick in the books for the last six months. I’m ready to give up.” They received a slew of comments about all the things they weren’t doing on their blog that the course clearly laid out. Be real with yourself.
  3. Have a good work habit. Day in and day out, set goals and put in the work.

 

“Whatever Your Mind Can Conceive And Believe, It Can Achieve.” – Napoleon Hill

 

Alice at A Silver Lined Life

 

 

In Guest Posts on
June 7, 2017

15 free ways to market your blog

If you are juggling a full time career and a side biz or even if you are a full time blogger primarily, we all have one thing in common; looking for the quickest way to market our blog. 7 years ago I never thought of the importance of marketing my blog to my readers because I thought only my family and friends wanted to read it. Sometimes to this day I still think that 😉 But now, I realize the most effective way to promote myself was by creating a list to not only help myself, but to help you too. Although some of these tasks may seem small, they can really make a huge impact toward gaining a bigger following. But hey, let’s dive into 15 ways to market your blog!

 

  1. Share Share Share – Regardless of your business, your main ideal client is on social media. Share your blog on all of your social media accounts. The easiest ( and FREE ) way to get your blog out there is by sharing them on all platforms; Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google + and Pinterest.

Image: Caits Cozy Corner

  1. Use Your Social Media – Sharing is important on social media but also making sure you make it easy to share your blog is essential as well. Make sure you fill up your “About Section” on Facebook or Twitter with a link to your blog. Often, I see people don’t fill out their social media profiles. Use that description area to help instruct those that come to your media accounts on where to go and add a bit of flare to your description to make it stand it out.

  2. Automate Social MediaHootsuite is one of my favorite FREE services that allows you to schedule 3 of your blog posts on 3 different social media platforms ( Facebook, Twitter and Instagram ). It’ll save you hours of work if you use a scheduling media management tool like this.

  3. Write Regular Posts – Consistency is key. Share content that inspires your followers. You may start to see them share your content and in turn, watch your business grow. Unsure of what to write? Think of questions that your audience may ask and answer them.

  4. Get Your Name Out There – Guest posting is one of the easiest ways to get your name out there! Share with your favorite bloggers and ask to do a guest post! Make a list of those blogs you can approach to keep it all together. The worst they could say is no!

  5. Mix It Up – Although you may love blogging, to keep your audience engaged, mix it up with different content. Add a podcast, a video or make your writing more personal like your struggle or why you wanted to start blogging in the first place.

  6. Mobile Friendly – While many followers will love reading your blog on the computer, the majority of us read it on our phones. Make sure your website is mobile friendly to accompany all your users.

Image: NJ SEO

  1. Increase SEO – The higher your position in the Search Engine that you have, the more traffic will come to your blog. Again, creating regular content that your readers will find valuable is key. Make sure you use keywords that people will look for. Matt Anton created NJ SEO to help those that that want to have a meaningful relationship through their clients possible. They develop effective content strategies for your blog. With 12 years of marketing experience and 27 individuals to help you with any of your needs, you’re always in good hands with this company to help keep your blog afloat and help answer all your questions!

  2. Work On About Page – Did you know that your “About Page” is the second most viewed page after your homepage? Make it stand out to your readers. They want to know who you are and how they can identify themselves with you so make sure it counts and stands out to them.

  3. Be Productive – Are you spending too much time on a specific platform and not on others? How about setting a 15 minute timer to concentrate on one task at a time. It always help me to focus when I know I’m on the clock!  

  4. Look At Your Statistics – Where is your traffic coming from? If you are not tracking, you could be missing out on valuable information. Make sure you install Google Analytics to give you an insight view to market your blog in all the right places.

  5. Share A Survey – Surveys are easy and FREE! I tend to ask my followers once every 6 months what they want to see on my blog to make sure things are current and what they want to be reading.

  6. Join Facebook Groups – Share your business page on various Facebook groups. These are great groups to connect with those that share the same values and can help get your blog name out there in return for doing the same for them!

  7. Reuse Your Content – Share this article in other posts to have users clicking through more of your content. Create graphic tips, videos or podcasts to keep it fresh and fun!

  8. Think Of Your Vision – When you have a goal or vision of where you want your blog to be at 5, 10 or 20 months or years from now, the possibilities seem in sight!

 

Remember to keep these tips in mind when you’re looking to market your blog!

How do you market your blog to others?

 

XO, 

Cait

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