What inspired you to start a blog on financial management? How do you think Making Sense of Cents is different from other blogs?
I started Making Sense of Cents all for myself. I didn't start it to make money or anything like that.
I started Making Sense of Cents several years ago, with the hope of learning how to save money as well as journaling my personal finance journey after reading a magazine that featured a personal finance website in one of their articles. I became extremely interested in that website and my interest in blogging just grew from there. This is funny for me to think about because before I created Making Sense of Cents, I had no idea about what blogs were, that they could even make an income, or anything else. I honestly had no idea they even existed.
After starting my blog, I quickly fell in love with it. I was working on it anywhere from 20-40+ hours a week and I have always been very passionate about it. Eventually, I started to earn a living from it, and I went full-time in October of 2013. Blogging has completely changed my life for the better and it's something that I recommend more people try if they are interested.
My blog is different from others because it is very personal. I talk about my struggles with money, how I paid off my student loan debt, how I'm living a life different from others, and more. I like to show my readers that they can live an extraordinary life — instead of a "normal" life filled with debt.
For some, finance can be pretty scary, but obviously very essential. What advice do you have for someone who wants to learn about financial management, but not feel overwhelmed?
My favorite way is for a person to read financial blogs and pick up a relatable financial book. Finance doesn't have to be boring; there are tons of ways to learn more about what the average person is doing and receiving motivation through that.
What are some immediate solutions for someone with lots of student loan debt?
My top tip is to find ways to make extra money. The average person watches around 35 hours of TV each week, which is like a full-time job! So, instead, I recommend at least halving the amount of time you watch TV and using that time to make more money. This could mean picking up extra hours at your job (if you're hourly), finding a part-time job, starting a side business, freelancing, and so on.
What has been your favorite post to write? Why?
That is actually a very hard question to answer! I only write when I'm interested in a subject, so I love pretty much everything that I write. My top three favorite ones recently are probably:
- My Quest To Be More Present And Enjoy Life More — I like this one because I know that it's something that so many people struggle with, including myself. I’ve decided that I really need to slow down, enjoy what’s happening right now, and to live in the moment. I want to be more focused so that I can truly enjoy whatever it is that I am doing. Life goes by so fast, and I'm sure many of you are wondering how it's already 2019. Your children are growing up, you may be finishing college, you may be feeling older, and so on. Life just goes by so quickly!
- My Student Loans Are Fully Paid Off! — My other favorite is this as it talks about how I paid off my student loans quickly. It's definitely one of my proudest moments!
What do you see coming for yourself and the blog in the upcoming years?
For my blog, my main goal is simply to continue to publish high-quality content that makes personal finance more enjoyable for everyone. For me, I hope to simply continue to have new adventures in life and love what I'm doing.
What is the most interesting thing you’ve learned about personal finance since starting Making Sense of Cents?
The most interesting thing is probably learning about the early retirement community. I had no idea that people were retiring early, traveling full-time, or anything else along those lines. That has completely changed my life and I'm so happy to have learned of a new way to live life!
Got a quote about investing? I’d love to hear it!
My favorite quote about investing is “The best time to invest was yesterday. The second best time is now.”
If you enjoyed this interview with Michelle of Making Sense of Cents, check out our interview with Logan of Money Done Right.