Money Masters: Budget Blonde

This week’s Money Master is Catherine Alford of Budget Blonde. Catherine is multi-talented. One of the things Catherine does that most impresses us is that she helps others monetize their blogs as quickly as possible. As many of our readers know, we’re huge fans of diversifying your income stream. This is because wages have remained stagnant and unemployment high (despite what you hear in the news). Blogging about your passion is a fun way to generate more money. Catherine can help you do that.

Read more to see why we’re fans of Budget Blonde.

1. What’s your story?

I’ve been a personal finance blogger for five years now. It started innocently enough as a way for me to document my frugal activities while I was a graduate student but over time, my site grew to the point where I was making a full time income. This happened very organically. It wasn’t something I set out to do initially. In fact, when I graduated from school, I was a park ranger for the National Park Service, a job I absolutely loved. When my husband got accepted to medical school in the Caribbean, I made a difficult decision to leave the Park Service and move there with him. I arrived on the island with no job, no prospects, and $6,000 in credit card debt. I used the time to learn how to make money from freelance writing online. I documented my whole journey on Budget Blonde, living on the island, building my blog, collecting clients, and slowly but surely paying off that debt. Three years later, I’ve written for some of the biggest names in finance, and I now teach others how to do the same as one of my streams of income. I’ve been self-employed for over a year now, and because of the business I built, I’ve been able to be a stay at home mom to the boy/girl twins I had last March. I love my job, and although self-employment can be a bit harrowing at times, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

2. What’s your point of view, as a personal finance blogger?

My general financial point of view is that everyone should be extremely aware of their money, especially their spending. I don’t care if people take extravagant vacations, buy expensive cars, or have a closet full of designer clothes so long as they are doing everything they can to max out their retirement accounts, save, and spend their life in a meaningful way. I’m not the type of blogger who will advocate keeping your thermostat on freezing during the winter or reusing floss just to save a few bucks. Instead, I’m more of an advocate of working extra hours and putting in some time to make more money. I am frugal in many ways, especially when it comes to being a minimalist parent, but like the famous Ivanka Trump says, I enjoy investing wisely and splurging selectively.

3. In one sentence, what’s one piece of sage advice from your personal finance background that you’d like to share with our readers?

The only money advice you ever really need is learning how to tell yourself “no” as often as possible; this discipline will serve you in all areas of personal finance.

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