Taking the First Baby Step with Michelle from Making Sense of Cents

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Today I’m so happy to have Michelle from Making Sense of Cents here to tell her story. Michelle is awesome. She’s always there to help someone out, like when she scored a bunch of free Uber rides for me for FinCon.

We started blogging around the same time, but she figured out how to make this profitable long before I did. Since she started, she’s paid off $40,000 in student loan debt in record time, quit her day job, and now lives full-time in her RV, living the traveling lifestyle with her husband. But I won’t go into too much detail. I’ll let her tell her own story. It’s an amazing one.

taking the first baby step

Hello! My name is Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am a personal finance and lifestyle blogger. I also live in my RV with my husband and two dogs, and we are currently exploring North America.

I started blogging back in August of 2011. I started my blog just as a hobby – a way to document my way out of student loans. My blog then grew faster and faster and allowed me to make a good deal of income. Due to it, I was able to pay off $40,000 in student loan debt within just seven months.

Then, after that I had nothing holding me back so I decided to quit my day job and focus on my blog full-time. I’ve never once regretted my decision. I am happier than ever right now!

Now, I help others pay off their debt, make extra money, start WordPress blogs, and more.

I honestly never thought life would be like this. I never thought I would be a blogger and I definitely never thought I would be living in an RV!

One day I woke up and realized I really, really disliked my day job as a financial analyst and that my blog was really all I needed. I was also making a great income blogging, so that definitely helped as well.

At this point I ask Michelle about when she realized this could really work for her, and how she maintains her lifestyle now that she’s achieved it.

I realized that this could work the month my blogging income was similar to my day job income. I am also much happier blogging than I ever was at my old day job, so it was an easy decision to make.

The main thing I try to do in order to make it all work is to work as far ahead as I can. I am also working on building up passive income streams so that I can work less and enjoy life. Doing these two things has really helped me keep a great work-life balance.


The office!

I’m curious about what’s gotten easier, and harder, since she made this lifestyle shift…

So many things are easier now. I can now see and talk to friends as much as I want, I can spend more valuable time with family, I can be on the road with my husband exploring the differing landscapes, and more.

The main challenge I used to struggle with was work-life balance. While I am a master at it now, it was pretty bad when I first quit my day job. I found myself always working, staying up late, waking up early, I always had my phone in my hand or my laptop on me, and more. I was glued to work. Yes, I love my online business, but there should be room for life as well!

And to those who want to follow in a similar path? Here’s Michelle’s advice:

My top piece of advice is to just get out there and try it. It’s always that first baby step that seems the most difficult, but once you actually start you will find that it’s not as scary as you initially believed it to be.


Thanks for sitting down with us, Michelle! Have any questions for her? Leave them in the comments!

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15 thoughts on “Taking the First Baby Step with Michelle from Making Sense of Cents

  1. Kalie @ Pretend to Be Poor

    Michelle’s story is so inspiring! One question I’d ask is how much of that work-life balance is possible in the beginning, while getting something off the ground? I’m honesty curious to know what she thinks because I’ve heard a range of answers on the topic.


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