This mom of 3 with $200,000 in student loans paid out $30,000 during a payment freeze

This mom of 3 with $200,000 in student loans paid out $30,000 during a payment freeze

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You know the system is down when a performing arts degree costs $200,000.

“I felt like I was in a cage,” says Latasha Peterson. “I left college with a pile of debt.” A wife and mother of three struggled for years to make real progress on her massive student loan bill. Something needs to change.

For more than two years, federal student loan payments have been on hold, and it seems likely that President Biden will extend the moratorium for the seventh time later this month. Millions of Americans are anxiously awaiting the potential Tolerance Act, a campaign promise Biden promoted during his 2020 campaign.

Peterson is not one of them. She took matters into her own hands and got serious about managing her debts. After gaining traction with her finances, fellow artists and creators began asking her how she was earning her expenses. An inner interest led her to create Art & Budgets, a blog of resources to help people create profitable businesses and additional income streams.

“I saw a struggle,” she says. “I’ve seen the problem, and I’ve developed a passion in helping people find legitimate ways to make more money.” ArtsAndBudgets now averages $10,000 a month from ten different revenue streams, and the mom has used the extra money to pay off $30,000 of her debt over the past 13 months.

If you’re tired of waiting for student loan legislation and want to start taking action now, here’s what Peterson wants you to know about starting a side hustle and working toward achieving financial independence.

“It’s more time than the money invested in the beginning”

Growing up, debt was seen as a normal in the Peterson household, and she says she never learned how to manage money. After college, she found herself juggling over $10,000 in credit card debt and nearly $200,000 in student loan debt with no savings.

Related: 4 signs that Biden will extend the student loan suspension again

“I really wanted to be a housewife mom,” she says. “So, I quit while my husband continued to work in corporate America. However, my passion for work never went away.” Peterson and her husband began their debt repayment strategy by taking stock of the family’s finances.

“Money was scarce, and we only had $100 in our account at one point,” she says. “But my husband and I got along and budgeted. We really looked at our numbers, started cutting them down and committed to monthly meetings. We didn’t do this when we first got married, but I really wish we had. We started spending with a purpose — every dollar has a purpose.”

Related: My Side Hustle pays me $4,300 a month, but I don’t put a penny of it into my $208,000 student loan debt. here why

You searched for ways to make money blogging

Latasha also began to take her blog more seriously as a way to generate additional income.

“She was very busy at first, but I worked with my husband to figure out my schedule,” she says. “Initially, it was more time than money invested in blogging. I am very big on timelines, but it was very difficult in the beginning. However, we got into the rhythm of things after about two to three months.”

Peterson focused on several different blog monetization strategies, including display advertising, affiliate marketing, and selling digital products. It has also prioritized increasing traffic to its website.

Related: How to make money blogging in 5 steps, according to 4 experts who did it

Over time, her efforts paid off. She increased her income from blogging to over $5,000 in January 2021, which she used to start processing debt, and now sees earnings of $10,000 or more each month.

“I continued to work with my husband every week to set a schedule that would allow me to spend at least two to three hours each weekday working on the blog,” she says. “We have also worked together as a team to make sure we stick to our budget and have rewarded ourselves each time we achieve a milestone for debt repayment.”

Her advice to start a blog to make money to achieve financial freedom

Peterson paid off all of her credit card debts and made huge progress toward canceling those pesky student loans. She believes that with patience and consistency, anyone can create a blog to earn money to achieve their financial goals.

“Although starting a blog does not require a large investment, it does take a lot of time when you are just starting out,” she says. “But if you stay consistent and keep writing great content for your immediate target audience, you will definitely see results. If you want to keep track of things quickly, invest in a blogging coach or mentor with a proven track record or a great blogging course.” Peterson recommends focusing on great content and learning about important blog concepts like keyword research and search engine optimization (SEO).

professional advice

Making money from a blog takes time, but you can speed up the process by focusing on your niche and target audience and investing in a reputable blogging coach. Blogging courses are also an affordable way to raise your knowledge of blogging and generate income sooner.

Most importantly, Peterson urges other bloggers not to get the results they want to maintain.

“Never compare your beginning to someone else’s midst,” she says. “There will be days when things can get tough, but you can turn a blog into a profitable business and start achieving your financial goals. You have to stay consistent.”

“If I can do it, anyone can do it.”

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