My January 2017 Blog Income Report

January 2017 Blog Income Report

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I fricken love blogging. I get to help people with their personal finance challenges every day AND I actually get paid to do it. Some months are better than others, but every time I report my earnings I feel like I’m figuring out how to better help all of you, and in turn make more money.

It really is amazing how life works. The more of a blessing you are to others, the more likely it is that you’ll be blessed. This blog is no different. The more people I’m willing to help and inspire, the more likely it is that they’ll tell their friends, which means my visitor numbers shoot through the roof. With a crazy number of visitors, the more . . . → Read More: My January 2017 Blog Income Report

3 Money Saving Challenges That Aren’t the 52 Week Challenge

Money Saving Challenges

One of the biggest resolutions on everyone’s list, and often the one that is rarely achieved, is saving more money. Everyone knows that it’s a great idea to save money, so why don’t more people do it? It’s simple, saving can be hard. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can save more money this year and check off a resolution by trying out a few money saving challenges.

This post was written by the talented Kimberly Studdard. Enjoy!

3 Money Saving Challenges!

Now, these aren’t your typical 52-week money challenges. You know the one I’m talking about, where you save a certain amount of money for 52 weeks, and it equals to $1378 by the end of the year? Well, while that challenge isn’t bad, it’s easy to forget about and the money increases as the year goes on. This could mean that you are trying to . . . → Read More: 3 Money Saving Challenges That Aren’t the 52 Week Challenge

Uplifting Valentines Ideas That Don’t Cost a Thing

Uplifting Valentines That Don't Cost a Thing

You might think that Valentine’s Day is a made up holiday advertised by greeting card companies. But that doesn’t matter much if your significant other is counting on you to remember them on this holiday.

If you’re broke, or avoiding spending money while you pay down credit card debt (like my family), don’t panic. There are still ways to make your special one feel loved without spending money.

Let’s look at some ways you can fill their love bucket without emptying your wallet.

This post was written by Jamie Jeffers, our amazingly talented staff writer!

Plan Ahead

If you plan to have a no spend Valentine’s Day, don’t spring it on your sweetie at the last minute. Take time to discuss this in advance. Make sure both parties are on board.

And no “gotchas” allowed. It’s no fun to go into a holiday thinking you’ve agreed to not spend . . . → Read More: Uplifting Valentines Ideas That Don’t Cost a Thing

6 Reasons You Should Avoid Buying a Huge House

Avoid Buying a Huge House

Ahhhh, the American dream. Find a great job, make bank, and buy a massive house that brings a smile to your face every time you pull into your driveway. At least…that’s what we think the American dream is, until we actually experience it.

6 Reasons You Should Avoid Buying a Huge House

In 1950, the typical home size was 1,000 square feet and housed the average family size of 3.37 people. In 1970, the home size rose to 1,500 square feet for 3.14 people. And, in the year 2000, the average house size jumped to 2,200 square feet! And guess how many people live there? 2.62…

Basically, we Americans have decided that we need more than twice the space to house 1/3 fewer people…

I mean, I get it. Big houses are cool. They look prestigious from the road, they give you more wide open spaces inside, and when your . . . → Read More: 6 Reasons You Should Avoid Buying a Huge House

Is Your Income Better Than Average? Check It Out By State

income by state

Do you ever wonder how much money your neighbor makes? Your boss? Your best friend? Yeah, don’t we all? While we can’t provide the detailed income numbers of each person in the U.S., we can tell you, on average, how much money people in your state make.

Out of the entire U.S. population, the median earnings per household is $56,516. The medium green states above (like Texas, Wisconsin, and Michigan) are pretty much right on the income average. States with a lighter shade pay less on average and states that are darker pay out more per household.

And what are the top ranked states for median income? Check it out below!

The Takeaway

So what’s the point? To move to a higher paying area? No, probably not, since most of the high-paying states are the exact same areas where it’s crazy expensive to live. Thus netting out to . . . → Read More: Is Your Income Better Than Average? Check It Out By State

The 5 Basics of Investing That Everyone Should Know

Basics of Investing

Are you curious about investing, but are afraid that you don’t know enough? Or maybe you’re terrified of losing money? You’re not alone for sure. I have a job in finance and I own and operate this personal finance website, and I still often feel like I don’t know enough!

But the truth is that absolutely no one knows everything there is to know about the world of investments – even those that do it every day. But each day another millionaire is made because they learned a few simple investment basics many years ago. And now, it’s your turn.

The 5 Basics of Investing

Here’s my disclaimer… I am not an investment professional nor do I claim to be. BUT, in the past six years I have turned my non-existent retirement account from zero dollars to over $70,000 with positive earnings in every year.

These are the principles I . . . → Read More: The 5 Basics of Investing That Everyone Should Know

How to Save on Those Spring Projects

The key to saving money almost always comes down to preparation and thinking ahead. If you’re behind the 8-ball and are always throwing things together at the last minute, that’s when you end up paying through the nose.

Liz and I are great planners and with our mild winter here in West Michigan so far, we’re already thinking about spring and our future outdoor projects. Two years ago, we replaced all of our windows and painted the entire exterior of the house. Last year we put our money into a backyard fence (which has been fantastic by the way!), and this year we’re thinking about sprucing up the front yard.

How to Save on Those Spring Projects

So how are we prepping for this front yard sprucing? Well first, we talked about and mapped out how we’d really like it to look. Currently, the front yard has three tall arborvitaes . . . → Read More: How to Save on Those Spring Projects

Why You Shouldn’t Neglect Your Savings While Paying Off Debt

Paying Off Debt

I was recently doing my usual daily perusing of Facebook when I saw a bunch of hometown friends sharing a financial article that argued people should pay off all their debts before saving for emergencies.

At first, I was totally shocked. As a finance expert, I get that paying off debt is important, but it shouldn’t be at the cost of your own financial detriment. Keeping an open mind, I clicked on the article and read it anyway.

It basically stated the following: If you have high interest debt, focus on paying it off as quickly as possible. That may mean neglecting your savings for a bit, but at least you get rid of high-cost debt.

This post has been written by the ever-talented, Amanda Abella. Enjoy!

Why Neglecting Your Savings In The Name of Paying Off Debt Is a Problem

While I get the argument that paying off debt . . . → Read More: Why You Shouldn’t Neglect Your Savings While Paying Off Debt

Cut Overhead and Increase Bottom Lines – Start with People

How to Increase Your Bottom Lines

If you are looking to increase your company’s profits, a good place to start is to lower overhead costs. Since these are ongoing operating expenses that aren’t directly tied to sales, you may think that these costs are inevitable and needed to run a business. However, if you really dig deep, you may find that some corners can be cut and some crippling costs may be eliminated.

A major portion of your overhead costs are employees, so assessing your people is a great place to begin when cutting costs and ultimately improving your bottom line.

Don’t Overhire

It’s easier to handle a bunch of different tasks with a big team of helpful employees, but having too many employees increases costs. If you are just starting up your new business, don’t underestimate how much wages can add up. That’s why many start ups require a low number of people who . . . → Read More: Cut Overhead and Increase Bottom Lines – Start with People

The Rental Property Wealth Calculator: Your Path to Millionaire Status

Rental Property Wealth Calculator


Do you have a passion for real estate? Have you ever wondered how fast your rental empire could grow? And how quickly you’d become wealthy?

I’ve spent quite a few nights trying to figure out over the years:

When we’ll have enough money to buy the next rental How much we’ll earn from year to year And how much our net worth will grow as I acquire more and more rentals

Pretty much I always ended up with a notebook page filled with scribbles and cross-outs, and a very vague sense of how everything would play out with the rentals 10+ years from today.

Finally, I decided that I’ve had enough with my rough estimations! It was time to figure out all of the details exactly. So you probably know what that means! It was time to build another Excel-based calculator! 🙂

(Interested in all the free tools . . . → Read More: The Rental Property Wealth Calculator: Your Path to Millionaire Status