I was fresh out of college, earning a mere $16 an hour with over $20k in debt. My income paid for the rent, some food, and the minimum payment on my debt. This was not the life I was dreaming of.
For many students, it is almost assumed that life will be rosy and easy after college. Companies will almost seek you out just because you have that piece of paper. The average salary seems to be about $50k and the good life begins. For many, this is just not the case. I have seen many of my friends apply for jobs all over the U.S. with no luck of landing any of them, which inevitably forces them to go back to work at their high school or college job. This is often in retail or the restaurant industry, and it is there that they feel stuck for life. Wages are low, debts are high, and money is tight. The dream was just a cruel lie.
The Need to Make More Money
Along with many others, I was in need of more money. I did not want my debt hanging over my head for 10 years (like many of my friends), so I decided to do something about it. Since my job most likely wouldn’t begin paying me $60k in the next year, I would have to find another source of income. It was then that I was turned on to blogging. I heard that some earn a thousand dollars or more per month just for writing down their thoughts and experiences. Well I can do that! How hard could it be?
The first month, I earned a whopping $5, and I think I was pretty lucky to do that actually, because the next month I earned a few dozen pennies. After about 6 months of failure though, I started to earn a few hundred bucks on a consistent basis. At the year mark, it really started to roll in. Some weeks I earned $1,500 per month, while others skyrocketed to $4,000 per month. In some months, I was earning more through my website than my job (as you can imagine though, this didn’t last forever).
Using the Extra Dough
Lucky for me, my parents raised a boy with a good head on his shoulders. I didn’t start the website for fast cars or highrise apartments; I wanted to pay off my debt. Within a year from my site’s real money-making days, I had my $20k of debts paid off. Once that was out of the way, I was sort of at a loss for what to do with the money. Rent was kind of bothersome to me, so why not save up some money to buy a house? Within the next 6 months, I had $10k to put down on a $75,000 fixer-upper. The consistent cash flow allowed me to make improvements month after month without dipping into my regular pay from my job.
At this point, I have a fully functional house (which looks quite nice by the way) and have only $55k left on the mortgage. So what is the plan now? In the next 16 months or so, I plan to put my website and job earnings toward the mortgage, sell the house, and begin to invest in rental properties, preferably in multiplexes (4 units or more would be my goal). Through this venture, I will increase the interest (and earnings) in my site (because I’ll be writing about my investment), and I’ll be earning additional money through the real estate venture – hopefully $1,500 a month or so.
Think of all that has happened in less than three year’s time. I paid off $20k in debts, bought a house, and will soon be investing in real estate, all because I decided to earn an additional grand per month. Pretty exciting huh? You could do it too! I can’t wait to hear your story.
This post is from Derek. He blogs at Life and My Finances. Be sure to check out his blog that made all this possible.