~ from the desk of Connie Ragen Green
In regards to living paycheck to paycheck…
Recurring income is a bit like compound interest; both are magical ways to earn income without doing additional work. It’s how I am able to travel the world, live in two cities, and provide my family with the opportunities of a lifetime. It’s also why I am able to work about twenty to thirty hours a week and take off lots of time all year long to do other things I love, like travel, adventure, and volunteering with several non-profits and service organizations.
But it’s also about a dream I had when I came online in 2006. My dream was about getting away from living “paycheck to paycheck” and being able instead to design a lifestyle that suited my personality. You can do the same, and recurring income through a membership site can help get you there.
I was reading an article in the Washington Post’s business section this week on the topic of living paycheck to paycheck. The article included examples of people from different walks of life, including professors, real estate agents, farmers, business executives, computer programmers and store clerks. They could have included classroom teachers as well, for that describes my life for the twenty years I worked as a teacher and also part-time in real estate. I’ll share more on that later on.
It turns out that four in 10 adults say they couldn’t produce $400 in an emergency without sliding into debt or selling something. A professor said this:
“I see no way out,” he wrote in an email to The Post. “I am 40, have built a strong career, have 17 years experience, and if something were to happen to me, my wife and kids would be homeless within a year when my life insurance ran out.”
No matter if you are highly educated, a hard worker, with a couple of decades of experience in your field, have a spouse who also earns income, or even have money in savings, one unplanned event could take you down to below zero.
The article does not give any suggestions on how you can change this, but I have ideas that worked for me and helped me to turn my financial situation around in a big way. The solution:
Creating recurring income with an online business – more specifically, creating a membership site where people pay monthly or annually or even with a one time payment to belong and you provide valuable content for them to learn from and benefit over time.
I have more than twenty of these that are active right now. I started out with one membership site and saw an opportunity. Then I simply replicated what I was doing over and over again.
Something else to think about…unlike a brick and mortar business, or even one like I ran from a home office with real estate, it costs next to nothing to get started as an online entrepreneur.
When I stated above they could have added teachers to the list of people who many times are living paycheck to paycheck, it’s because that describes my life for twenty years. It’s also why I continued to work in real estate once I became a teacher, even though that meant working after school, on weekends and holidays, and during my “off track” time at school. As far as coming up with four hundred dollars, I would have had to put it on a credit card or sold something that had meaning to me. I was one of those “four out of ten” people.
Every four weeks I received my direct deposit from the school district. That day after school, and after I had completed any real estate assignments that were due I would go to Target or Costco or Sam’s Club to pick up the items I had run out of during that month. It might be laundry detergent or mayonnaise or tuna or bathroom tissue. I would also allow myself to spend fifteen to twenty dollars on something I wanted – a new blouse from the clearance table, or a book, or a wall clock. Then I would go back to squeezing everything I could from every dollar I had for the next twenty-seven days. I made my lunch every day, and prepared a second bag lunch for the days when I had real estate work after teaching school all day.
For the twenty years I was in teaching I was paid thirteen times a year. This means that on two hundred sixty occasions I was aware of just how little financial stability I had and how close I was from losing it all if anything went awry. But life happens and I did stumble, but I will not go into those sad and dreary details here. You may already be familiar with my stories of illness and injury along the way.
Even though I was well paid as a teacher and had the opportunity to earn additional income from my real estate work (this went up and down, depending on the economy) there was never anything left over. As a single adult my expenses included my house payment, car loan, two credit cards, food, utilities, clothes (I never once in all of those years paid full price for an item of clothing), gasoline, expenses for the classroom and my real estate business, and other incidentals.
My Mother – During those twenty years my mom was still alive and I am an only child. She received Social Security in the amount of less than six hundred dollars a month, which barely covered the rent on her tiny, studio apartment. That meant I covered everything else – food, utilities, clothing, and extras. My mom never knew how much I struggled financially and I would have gone barefoot and hungry before allowing her to do without anything. Thank God she lived until 2011 and I could finally provide for her in a way that was aligned with my beliefs around caring for our loved ones.
The point I am making here is that if you can relate to any part of this story then please allow me to help you get your membership site set up and moving.
My Bonus when you purchase the “End of Year Evergreen Gems” product and trainings is a webinar on Saturday, January 5th at 11 am EST where I will show you everything you need to get started right away. When you purchase at:
the link to the webinar registration is on the download page where it says Bonus.
Thank you for reading this far and may you and those you love never have to live paycheck to paycheck again.
~ Connie Ragen Green