Thursday, April 17, 2008

Making Money Through Blogging?

I have seen the little buttons on several blogs that I frequent. The Pay per post button? I'm sure you've seen it, too. So, I figured I would check it out. The problem that I have come across with this so far is that I do not qualify for any of the offers. Because I have a low google ranking. Google ranking? Who knew that google ranked you according to how often people searched for your blog? Or how often people linked to your blog. If this is what I have to wait on, I may never get to make money this way! LOL My blog is just not viewed enough, I guess.

And that's OK. I like my readers and I like the way my blog is. So.... I may never get a chance to blog for money.... oh well! LOL

BUT.... the Free Money Exchange link is still working! Check my post here for more info. They have extended this until May 15th, so if you have not gotten your $25 for free yet.... now is the time to act! So far, I have made about $70 this way. My DH and I both got $25 for signing up separate accounts, I got $10 for referring him and I got $10 for referring someone else. I'm not sure who because y'all didn't tell me, but that's OK! LOL Thanks!

Money is so weird. You need it to survive in life. You need more to make your life more comfortable. You need even more to make your life great.... or so the world leads us to believe. I know that I need money to buy books. Really. That's my one vice.

But, when you look at it, so many people are sucked into working sooooo hard and for such long hours, just to make that extra money.... and then they never get to enjoy it because they are always either working or exhausted! Take my life, for example....

Before we moved to Mississippi, both my husband and I worked full time. I worked as a Fiscal Supervisor over a Gift Shop in a hospital. I grossed about $29, 000 a year (I had just gotten a raise) but only brought home about... $800 every 2 weeks. Insurance on all of us came out of that, breakfasts and lunches at the hospital came directly out of my check, taxes and incidentals. So, $400 a week. DH was working construction at the time and was bringing home about... $400 a week. I think. It all depended upon how much they worked. It was never dependable. So, figure we were making about $800 a week between the two of us. That's approximately $3200 a month. How come we were in trouble financially? That seems like A LOT to me, now. Really. We are bringing home about $1650 a month right now. So, moving to MS cut our monthly income by half. Why are we better off?

Well, when we were in FL, I was paying daycare for one baby. I was also concerned with clothing for myself as I was working in a professional environment. DH had to have work clothes and shoes as well. And money for lunches for him. And I definitely did not shop frugally. I had no time to clip coupons or bargain shop. And we did a lot of shopping at specialty stores, going out to eat and shopping for THINGS.

Our bills are actually higher now than they were in FL. But, that is because we have a larger family. We lived in a 2 bed/ 1 1/2 bath apartment in FL and paid $600/ month for it. Here, we live in a house that has 3 1/2 baths, 4 split plan bedrooms and a master bedroom, an office and a library, a spare room and a separate living room and kitchen. The house is huge. We pay $750/ month for it.

We have medicaid for the kids and receive help from the state through WIC and also food stamps. The food stamps are minimal. We get $240/ month in FS. Our other bills are higher as well. Right now, for all of my utilities I am paying approximately $800/ month.

So, our total income (including FS) is $1890/ month. Our outgoing is approximately $1550/ month. That leaves us with $340/ month, right? Now, figure out gas. Luckily, we live only 3 miles away from DH's job. Gas wise, I only need to fill the tank up about every week and a half. Right now, it takes approximately $60 to fill up. So, lets estimate and say I am spending about $50/ week on gas. That's $200/ month. That leaves me with $140/ month. Figure that out expenses for the kids, such as diapers, wipes, toiletries, etc. usually run us about $75/ month. And then figure in additional groceries and non food shopping. And that's not counting things like old credit card debt that we are trying to pay off.

Yeah.... now you see where I am every month. Broke.

That is why I have been struggling so hard to make ends meet. And working the deals at CVS and using coupons and.... trying to make money online! LOL

We sat down one day and figured out how much I could make going to work. AND how much it would cost us. Because I was feeling like I needed to contribute to the bills in some way. And that maybe going back to work would help out. sigh.... Daycare for 2 kids in diapers would cost us about $300/ week. That's the best price I could find. Add in extra gas, lunches and clothing expenses. And then look at the fact that we would lose Medicaid, WIC and Foodstamps if I went to work. The best i could figure was that it would cost me about.... $1700/ month to go to work. That means I would have to be making at least $425/ week after taxes just to break even. Then, look at the fact that the best job I could find when we first moved here was as an Assistant Manager at a dollar store. Making $7 an hour. hmmmm..... I think I would be paying to work.

Basically, besides the fact that I would be paying to work, the reasons that I have stayed at home with the kids is that we want them raised by us. Not by a daycare. And not by strangers with different ideas of morality and different ideas of what our children should learn.

With all of this financial breakdown, the one thing that has not been factored in is the amount of love and happiness in our life. We are happier now than we have been in years. Even scraping by with little to no money for extras. Even with having to borrow money from our parents for anything unexpected. Even with DH working long hours and being tired and never being able to help out around the house.

We are happy. Our children are happy and well cared for. My teenager has someone at home every day when she gets home to make sure she is OK. To make sure she knows that she is accountable to someone for her actions and that someone is aware of her and loves her. My toddler with speech problems is able to have in-home therapy every week and I am able to work with him daily on the issues he has. My baby never wonders where I am. I never miss those special moments. First steps, first teeth, first dance, first anything. Or tenth anything for that matter!

Yes, there are times that I regret making this move. And there are times that I would give my eyeteeth to back in the work force. Where all I had to worry about was someone else's money. And there are times that I am pulling my hair out, trying to make it through each day with my sanity intact. But...... I am so glad we are where we are. I am so glad that we made the decisions that we did. I am so glad that I am able to stay home with my children.

And so, being that I am glad I am at home.... I still want to contribute to our household finances. And that is why I am spending time on sites where you get paid to click and trying to get paid for my blog. And clipping coupons. And trying to get a damn good bargain for everything I buy... it's my job. And I think I am getting pretty good at it!

So, while I am trying to do one of my "jobs" and earn some money, I do want to try to keep this blog a little seperate. I may do one day a week geared specifically to discussing bargains and frugality. And keep the other days for other things. Now, to decide which day.....


Claudia said...

I've learned to live on a limited budget since becoming a SAHM. One income, four people. You get very, very creative. ;)

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Your happiness comes through loud and clear. Stuff is great but the time you are giving your children is priceless.

Kudos to you...

Hallie :)

Pioneering in PA said...

*raises hand shyly*

'Twas me who signed up under you, I just forgot to say so. My bad, really. Besides, I was figuring that you and I are even now for the Truffle Eggs that you sent (which I still have some of because I'm savoring those bad boys).

I so feel for you. Like, extremely. But, if I had to pinpoint where T-Bone and I are in life, we happen to be the people that you were in Florida. Tons of money, no clue where it went to.

T-Bone brings home just shy of $500 a week, after all of his massive deductions. That's roughly, let's say, 2250 a month in cold hard cash (well, we rarely touch it, we use a debit/credit card from his bank). So... let me break it down for you on what we do with it...
$120, car insurances; $95, directv; $50, propane; $80, phone + internet; $120, T.V.; $180, electric. Then we have roughly $30 a month in services I really don't need, but have anyway. Soooo... I'm looking at $675 a month in bills. Plus, I get nearly that in unemployment.

We. are. broke. And my bills are massively behind. Where does my money go? I couldn't tell you. Not one stinkin' bit. Groceries, and gas. Sometimes we go out to eat. But still.. $2k a month? Hell no, we don't blow that much.

*sigh* I really need to get on the ball, and pay attention to where my money is heading!

Pioneering in PA said...

Oh, and on a side note.. check out associatedcontent dot com.

I write there, it isn't a ton.. but I made nearly $200 in less than 2 months!

Lesley said...

Before stumbling into my dayhome I had a great job. I was a librarian in an elementary school and made about $25/hour to do what I loved doing - working with kids and reading books.
After having Thing Two we decided that I would only clear about $100/month after paying expenses for having two kids in dayhome/daycare.
So, I started watching my cousins' daughter as a favor and then it completely snowballed into something I love! I make good money, get huge tax write-offs, and best of all I'm home with my boys :o)
I feel like I've got the best of both worlds, time with my kids but money coming in the household too.

The Mom of 'em said...

i think you're doing great! And it isn't because of me that your google rating isn't high enough - I read ya! =-) How DO you find out what your google rating is by the way?

Faerie Mom said...

No idea how to find your google ranking. All I know is that when I signed up for the pay per post they told me I needed to raise my google ranking before I could accept offers. It is at 0% right now! LOL To raise it, you have to have searches and also links to your blog from other sites. Beats me. I'm not going to stress about it...

The Not So Simple Things In Life said...

Love your post, now I'm even thinking about doing one esuch as yours. Maybe I would then see where our money goes, I have never sat down and figured it out......not sure if I even dare to lol! I will create lots of accounts and view your blog to get your ranking up so you can earn some extra cash!

Laura ~Peach~ said...

and now we know why I dont get into a panic when I am not working for a while or if I am working and hubby is out of work , it just costs too much to work at times.

Jessica said...

Tracy you have now idea how this post touches me. Well, yeah you probably do. I have wished so much that I had the courage to just do it. Frugality (if that's a word) and simple living have been on my mind alot lately. I've been thinking of what our family can accomplish is I continue to learn good shopping methods and watch our budget.

This post is tugging at my heart.

Asthmagirl said...

Great post... really well said. Sometimes we have limited choices and the right one is not always the easy one!

So happy that your choices are working for you!