Happy New Year 2017

In a lot of ways, 2016 is not a year I’m sad to close the door on (there was an attempt to defund Planned Parenthood, all the great celebrities died, and Trump got elected); however, I learned more than I have in years passed and that makes me hopeful for 2017.

It’s the five year anniversary of blogging about my New Year’s resolutions. This year, I’m making a change. I’m not going to resolve myself to lose weight or take better care of my skin; instead, I’m going to share a few of the things that made 2016 a watershed year for me, and how excited I am to continue great progress in 2017.

As far as earnings go, 2016 was the sixth year in a row that I increased my yearly net income. I don’t have a traditional job, so I have to hustle for everything I have. I’m very lucky to work with some great people who have offered me incredible opportunities, and continue to help me in the pursuit of my professional and financial goals.

I started the year writing for the same businesses I always have. My main gig, which is ghostwriting blog posts for corporations, and my side gigs, which are writing for content sites (scripted.com, contentwriters.com, etc.) and rewriting the same four novels I’ve been writing/rewriting the last six years. About midway through the year, I wasn’t able to score high paying gigs on the content sites, which led to me blogging and making more videos and things in my free time. I also reworked an old romance and published that, Blood on The Vine. Click the link if you want to check it out (message me for a free copy if you’re interested in reviewing it).

Last year, I set a goal to double my income. Sadly, I did not reach that goal, but I did better than 2015. I continue making decent part-time income with my main gig (the business blogging I do for a marketing company on the west coast). Earlier in the year, I successfully negotiated a higher rate for earnings per article, in exchange for more thoughtful, well-researched, and technical content. That got us though some financial struggles in the first part of the year. I think everyone pretty much agrees that 2016 was a shitty year, and my personal life was not excluded from that. Instead of dwelling on my problems, I made a few tweaks to my character, dusted myself off, and resumed business as usual.

I didn’t expect business to boom as much as it has, but that’s why I keep a dream board. I keep it near my bed, so I see it often. It helps me to visualize myself with more opportunities and more cash in my pocket. Although I lost a few content farm gigs in 2016, I’ve more than made up for it. I’m writing for TheRichest.com right now, a site that pays per view instead of per word. It’s working out better than I’d hoped. It pays more than I make supplementing my income with content farming.

THE JOBS THAT ACTUALLY PAY WRITERS A LIVABLE INCOME

I used the last part of the year to make some really positive changes in my life. Together my husband and I improved our marriage, increased our income, learned to save a little bit, and endured some family drama. In the end, we feel triumphant that we’re better off at the end of 2016 than we were at its beginning. So, what’s in store for 2017?

I’m hopefully going to earn an associate’s degree in communications, and then start college at Buffalo State. I will probably start in Buffalo in 2018. My grades are excellent, but my courses may be harder later on.

We’re buying me a hybrid vehicle shortly after the New Year. This makes me so damn happy because I have been working at home and without a car of my own to drive forever it seems like. I had a Mercury Sable like six or so years ago. I have my heart set on a used Prius and a modest budget because I refuse to take out a loan, which shows that I’ve grown more financially stable/responsible in 2016. I have ridiculous shopping urges, and an adopted urge to ignore problems. Bob does too, but changing our financial habits was one of the things we learned to do together this year.

One of my goals for 2017 is to use my new website www.DebtFreeDot.com to kind of talk about all the crazy money shit I’ve been through and put myself through, and the weird way we came out on top. It’s not really an advice site, as much as I want to use it to talk about stupid shit I’ve done and the sometimes weird methods I used to sort it out. If it helps someone that would be cool.

I’m looking foremost to more experiences with my family in 2017. I would like us to spend more time outside. It would be nice to try bike riding, to walk Alabama at Genesee County Park, and to attend more sidewalk events and music performances. Strengthening our bond is necessary as we’ve already proven our resiliency, as I’m sure most people can agree that if 2016 was a roller coaster, it was a broke-down one on the loop-di-loop.

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