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When I began this debt-free journey, I went hell-for-leather (what does that mean, anyway?). Guns-a-blazin’, hootin’, tootin’, gazelle-intense on throwing as much money at my debt as possible. Full on debt-repayment motivation. I’d decided enough was enough, and wanted the debt gone.
How I Made Extra Money
I took up matched betting, took on a part-time job, sold loads of stuff and shared income reports to show people how it’s possible to make extra income. Especially for stay-at-home parents like myself for whom it would be counter-productive to go to work to pay for childcare.
But since around March 2019, my repayments slowed right down. Not because I’m not paying down debt, but because I had to get realistic. All of our disposable income, including money for fun, was going on debt.
On top of that I was finding so many money-making opportunities to pursue, it all became too much. I started this blog as an extra side hustle, which took up even more of my time. I was knackered, and was warned to slow down at risk of burning myself out.
Guess what? I burned out.
I lost motivation.
The only thing that kept me going was the exciting discovery that it IS actually possible to make money through blogging.
However, growing the blog meant using as much of my spare time (this is time not spent looking after the kids) as possible to focus on creating content and marketing that content.
It was also around this time that my writing business finally grew some legs and I found myself creating and invoicing for regular paid gigs.
I’m Working Really Hard, Actually
This has also meant focusing on growing this business too, and when you’re just starting out, you’re putting in a lot of unpaid hours. It’s frustrating. Working hard for little return, while juggling family life.
But I HAVE been earning money, even if it’s a slow-burner.
So, why haven’t I been putting all of my earnings towards debt?
A couple of reasons, actually.
So Where is My Money Going?
For one, I’m now officially a business. I have a freelance writing business and I have a blogging business. Which means I need to save 30% for tax, 10% for retirement savings, retain 20% to keep in the business for reinvestment (which I want to increase to 30%), and I send 20% to debt. The remainder is either spent on myself or put towards saving for a caravan (we really, really want a caravan).
I pay myself for one simple reason; I’ve gone without for too many years, and now I want to start rewarding myself for my hard work.
I use this percentage model for all paid work, whether it be £50 for a client letter, a £70 short post or £150 for a longer article.
The Effect on My Debt Repayment Speed
That means debt repayment is slower than I’d like.
But I also know that if I sacrifice my time that should be spent on growing my business, that it’ll take me longer to reach my goals.
I’m self-employed, and I cherish the freedom that this status affords me. I get to pick my kids up from school and be there for them when they need me, because that’s what works for us.
We’ve done the working while someone else looks after the kids, and as well as not making sense financially or health-wise, it made no sense emotionally, either. The kids were really unsettled and unhappy, and I was a bundle of anxious nerves, with no time to myself.
Keep on Keeping on. It’s Not The End of The World.
So I’m persevering with my business plan and slow-debt repayment, because it’s the only way to go. I have a plan, and that plan is being executed.
In the meantime, we’re living off a realistic budget. We have fun money, and we live (fairly) comfortably. We eat well, and the kids are clothed and get treats occasionally.
Now that I have two children in school, I have more time to focus on business growth. As the business grows, so will the money. And then so will the amount that accumulates to pay off debt for good.
How’s Your Debt Repayment Motivation Going?
It’s important to remember that if you’re in the same boat as me, and not earning as much extra money as you’d like due to time restraints, it won’t be forever. The world won’t end, but in time, your debt will.
Just as long as you persevere and Do Not Give Up. Your motivation for your debt repayment is still there, it just doesn’t have to be to the detriment of your health. Keep some money aside to live a happy life. Keep your end goal within your sights and you will get there. Have faith.
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