How I Maintain a Healthy Financial Fitness Routine Without a Salary

Today’s blog post is brought to you by Fidelity and MEFA. Tommy, Connor and I will be attending the Boston Book Festival October 13th in Copley Square as part of the U.Fund Dreams Tour to learn more about how to ensure we are saving enough for their college education. We hope to see you there!

I’ve been a full-time fitness content creator for over 9 years! It feels like a lifetime. I didn’t set out to be an entrepreneur and I sure didn’t study being a business owner in college. Once I became a mom, my unpredictable income became a bit stressful.

Early in my career, I met with a financial planner to make a game plan for my finances.

The way I was able to be a full-time blogger was to not rely on one revenue stream. From sponsorships, to ads on my blog or videos, affiliate sales and more. The income was never consistent or predictable.

With my financial planner, we estimated my monthly take home pay and then started to calculate my nonnegotiable expenses like rent, car payments, insurance, groceries, and other bills. Once we had an idea of what I had left over, I could budget for my gym membership, clothing allowance, going out and how much I could save.

You guys are probably like me, exercising regularly and checking in on your diet to ensure you’re healthy in the long run. You can’t ignore your health until you’re 35 or 40 and expect to be able to quickly undo years of neglect, but you all knew that, right? Well, I hate to break it to you but your financial fitness is similar! You can’t all of a sudden start saving at age 40 and expect to have enough money for retirement or your children’s college education. You have to regularly contribute, manage and check in with your finances to make sure you’re on the right track. 

Our first goal was to save 3 months worth of essential expenses.This would help during the months that I didn’t have a ton of campaigns or traffic. It would also cover my butt in case of an emergency expense or I couldn’t work at all.

Then we started saving for the future. I created different accounts for saving as well as for retirement since I didn’t have a company 401K.

This is so important if you are self-employed! Good financial fitness means having the money you need, when you need it whether it’s an emergency or retirement.

The day he was born, we actually started saving for Tommy’s college education. We created a Massachusetts 529 plan in his name, the MEFA U.Fund College Investing Plan which is tax-advantaged college investment plan. For Tommy, a New England private 4 year school is predicted to cost $114,113 his freshman year and $128,362 by senior year!

If you haven’t started Massachusetts 529 plan yet, be sure to check out the U.Fund Dreams Tour family-friendly HubBub Boston Book Festival event on October 13th for information on how to start one for your children. They have fun activities for the kids like a coloring mural and always fun photo booth while parents learn more. I hope to see you there!
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I love being my own boss, but it doesn’t come without stress. Maternity leave? Unpaid/non-existent. This is why it’s so important for me to save. I also have a life insurance policy, so in case anything happens to me, Tommy and Baby C will be taken care of.

Financial planners have helped me set all of this up. It sounds super overwhelming, but they are there to help people like me who accidentally became business owners with families to protect.

So how have I managed to stay in business after all these years?

You honestly don’t need any capital to start a business in blogging. Unlike many businesses, you don’t have to start in debt, only to be eventually pursued by pertinacious debt collectors like lowell. However, I do not recommend going full time until you have a consistent and reliable revenue stream. I was able to do this by working part time for an online health publication for years as well as personal training at a gym.

Over the years, I’ve kept my business lean and while that may have limited my growth, it’s never been about success or money for me but fulfillment. Staying small has allowed me to enjoy family time and being a work from home mom. I don’t manage stress well.

I save a lot of the money I make because I honestly don’t know where this content creator/influencer industry is going. I’m enjoying it because it’s allowing me to spend time with my littles while contributing to my family’s expenses and for that I’m grateful! From my own 401K to Tommy and Baby C’s 529 college savings plan, it’s more important for me to be prepared than to own a fancy handbag or a drive a nicer car.

Learn more by visiting MEFA.org.

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