“Retired” at 24, Now Earning $1.5 Million Blogging | Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

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In today’s episode, Cody and Justin interview Michelle Schroeder-Gardner from Making Sense of Cents. Join them as they dive into Michelle’s financial backstory and learn how she took her issues with student loan debt and turned it into a passion that ultimately became super profitable. While Michelle did retire from her job at 24 and is now living it up sailing around the world, she is still grinding away on her blog and saving a ton of money. This really shows you that no matter how much money you have, your core values remain the same.

Michelle is also trying to help other aspiring bloggers follow in her footsteps through her affiliate marketing course. We hope you enjoy some time getting a behind the scenes look at one of the biggest success stories in financial independence who remains extremely humble and true to her beliefs.

Episode Summary

  • Michelle started blogging in 2011 anonymously simply as a hobby
  • Was living paycheck to paycheck and paying off student loans
  • Spent 30-40 hours a week while also working 50 hours at her full-time job
  • In 2013 she quit her job after reaching consistent earnings of $5k-10k per month
  • On top of blogging she was also staff writing and managing accounts for other blogs
  • A year later she quits all work but her blog and her income triples
  • Remains very frugal to date while earning $1.5M annually from the blog
  • Spent some time living in an RV
  • Currently can be found traveling the world by boat

Key Takeaways

  1. There’s no substitute for hard work. Michelle was working an additional full-time jobs worth of hours just on her blog. Remember that she wasn’t making anything in the early days. She talks about the first 6 months and how many people quit. Build a solid plan and stick to it.
  2. Find the hustle you love. This goes hand in hand with the first takeaway. You will burn out and fail if you aren’t truly passionate about this additional work. We can all tell when an employee hates there job through their performance. Imagine how bad your performance will be if you’re not enjoying it or being motivated by money.
  3. Less is more. When starting any new venture we try to spread ourselves so thin becoming experts in all facets. She’s living proof that removing some distractions and focusing on a specific area pays off. Her profits actually tripled!
  4. You are who you are. Yes she is living an awesome life and making a ton of money but she still chooses to save over 90% of her income. She could afford to do so much more but doesn’t. She continues to follow the principles that got her to where she is today. When you retire don’t fear that you’ll completely change and begin wasting money. It’s actually more likely that you’ll come away spending less than when you were working full time.

Call to Action

Analyze what you love to do or what you’d love to understand better. Make a list of the top three things. Then begin researching one you are truly passionate about. One that you would work on for free even when sleep deprived. Now take that and start working until you build something worth monetizing. You are much more likely to succeed and will have fun either way.

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Links from the Episode

Michelle’s Affiliate Marketing Course

Free Facebook Group

How to Start a Blog

Contact Michelle:

Making Sense of Cents 

Instagram (You won’t want to miss these awesome travel photos)


Learn More About Your Hosts:

Fly to FI (Cody’s Blog)

Saving-Sherpa (Justin’s blog)

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