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The initial purpose of this blog was to document my journey out of debt. Yet, there’s a little more history behind it. Read on to find out how and why it started.
My blogging story
Since 2012, I’ve dipped my toes in and out of the blogosphere, but I never quite found my blogging ‘niche’. I originally began blogging alongside writing novels, but that was mainly to document my progress. I also wrote book reviews and travel reviews, and hosted other authors. It was a time when blogging was just in its infancy and there was a bit of a buzz around it, but it wasn’t a well-known money-maker back then.
The irony is that in 2012 I chose to become a stay-at-home mum and take a pay cut, over the security of a full-time job and a second salary. I’d returned from maternity leave to pay unaffordable childcare costs for someone else to bring up my 7-month-old baby. I was miserable and ill with stress and anxiety.
So, we did some sums, and worked out we could just about afford me giving up work. I had to find ways and means to save money, due to now only having one income. I even wrote an ebook, 7 Simple Ways to Survive on a Budget.
My vision was to develop my writing career with novels, and earn money through freelancing. I’d always known I was a writer since coping with – and beating – Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2005. Life was amazing, and we were so happy with our lifestyle and little family.
Then in 2013, we lost a baby at 27 weeks. She lived for 40 minutes and I completely lost myself and any concept of what I was supposed to do. I tried to continue with my novels, but my heart wasn’t in it. I fell pregnant again, then had my first novel rejected three times.
For the next few years, I drifted from pillar to post not knowing what to do or who I was. I knew deep down that I needed to write, but I didn’t know how.
Instead, I studied for and gained a CIM qualification in marketing and digital marketing. I also tried to be a parent-blogger, but it felt wrong, somehow. So I spent my time freelancing as a blogger and social media marketer.
3 years after my 3rd baby was born, I picked up a fixed-term contract at a top fashion brand, which I loved. But when the contract finished, I was a stay-at-home mum again.
The birth of Miss Penny Money
The thing is, I’d been in debt since the age of 18. Living life on credit becomes the norm, and you don’t realise how damaging it can be when you can’t afford to buy nice things or go on holiday, because your ‘disposable income’ is all tied up in finance agreements and credit plans.
Despite having earned a steady, full-time income over the last few months, I realised we’d been overspending because I had nothing left to show for it. In an instant, I decided I’d had enough of being in debt, and my mission became crystal-clear.
Considering how my writing journey began with my first eBook, I couldn’t believe it had taken me so long to see it. Writing about personal finance, saving money, and making money, was something I was passionate about. It was something I’d always loved.
The little challenges to see how far you can make your money stretch. The mini-missions to scrape some money together to buy some bread from the shop when there’s no money left in your bank account. The oh-so-many-ways there are out there to make extra money; to leverage the power of the internet to grow a business.
So, Miss Penny Money, my alias as I began my journey out of debt, was born.
A few weeks later I had two further companies contact me to collaborate with them.
Within 5 months, the blog had earned me £300. Granted, it’s not a huge amount, but as new blogs go, this was pretty good going!
Blogging isn’t easy and it takes a lot of hard work and commitment, but when you find your niche and the thing you love blogging about so much, the passion you feel when working on your own business is totally worth it.
I lose track of time when I’m working on my blog. In the beginning, I spent so much time setting it up, I had to be careful and take a step back, as I was in danger of burn-out.
However, seeing your traffic grow month-by-month, seeing your social media channels flourish, and engaging with people is so rewarding. And when you receive a little email in your inbox from a company wanting to collaborate with you, it fills you with an enormous sense of pride. Because you know, you made this baby and it’s going somewhere.
So, thank you for being here and reading this blog. It’s down to you and all the other lovely people who drop by. I really hope that the information you find here is helpful to you, and helps you on your own journey; whether that be to become debt-free, or just to earn a little bit of extra money. Especially if you’re a stay-at-home parent having sacrificed your income and independence.
While my husband and I share everything, I found it tough not to have my own payslip every month in those early years. Becoming self-employed so you can be there for your babies and having lots of different ways to earn extra money here and there is not just a welcome income boost, it’s a real confidence booster.