Adjusting to Sporadic Cash

Adjusting to Sporadic Cash

This is a good year. Affiliate marketing is recession proof. If Americans are broke, I can sell in Australia, England, Canada and other English speaking countries. But I really haven't had to. By focusing my efforts with techniques I learned from Zen to Done and other books, I have steadily been increasing my online income. In fact, if I take one of the last few months and compare it to last year, I have replaced by day job's income.

I don't make much at the day job. Take what you would consider running an ecommerce site and the operations behind would pay and cut it at least in half. But it's an easy job with the perks that I have always got any day off I wanted, I only work 4 days, and I am left to myself.

Plus I know what I want in life. I don't want to retire with some else's name on my company approved shirt. And it would be harder to walk away from a job that paid what I consider I am worth. I would have to replace twice as much income.

My wife doesn't work because we believe it takes a family to raise a child and the village should keep it's nose and it's lowest common denominator values, dogmas and ideas out of it. We didn't choose this village and according to the village, we have gone about everything the wrong way. But I am here writing this post. Once the average intelligence of the general population beats that of all the members of my family, then I might listen. Shouldn't a value have value?

So I kept my day job and starting playing with stuff I had been researching for a few years, affiliate marketing. And I was lucky to start making some money a few months later and by a year, the money that someone would pay a guy will a G.E.D. couldn't touch what I made online.

But affiliate marketing has it's ups and downs. If you aren't bipolar it can quickly make you so. Happy when the money's good and panic when things aren't so bright. And full-fledged dread when a $30,000 a year site gets banned by Google. I am half way through my third year and am finally adjusting to it. Of course, the cumulative effect of three years of work can stabilize the income a little.

"Make Money Online" ebooks and blogs for the most part leave you hanging after you have the money in your pocket. And to tell you the truth I have run into very few ebooks I would call a downright "scam". Most people are just lazy or jump in at the wrong point and then throw "scam" around to justify their failure.

My day job just about covers the mortgage payment and groceries each month. That's it. All the insurance, hospital bills, the rest of the groceries, etc. come out of the checks that fluctuate. And they can fluctuate dramatically from $8000 profit one month to $2000 the next especially in the early stages.

It is hard to see a pattern like that into you are in it for a year. And it takes a while to adjust. The first year, we went through a few months of being poor and jumped a few brackets straight into middle class. It's dramatic and can give you a false sense of security.

We had a great Christmas, got married, bought a car (the Ferrari's a joke and a dig) and bought a house in that year. At first, there was excess money. When it started running out, I had to come up with something. As a single, I lived pretty Spartan. I couldn't force that on my family.

Now I run a two week evolving budget based on the checks that come in. Savings comes out first. Then the advertising credit card. Then bills. Then groceries. Then we go to the list. The list of needs and wants that is waiting on money.

Some periods there is nothing left for the list. That is when we used to run for the credit cards. "I can make it up next month". Next month lasted for half a year at times. Half a year where I pushed myself hard. I hate debt. I ran up $30,000 in credit card debt in my early twenties (you can actually ignore these people indefinitely and use current credit to beat out old debt) and I don't want to go there again.

For now, that's what works for me. It will evolve of course. Any plan that doesn't is doomed for failure because change is natural. But I wanted to point out that there are many facets to learning how to make money online, which is the whole point of this blog to begin with.

Stephan Miller

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Kansas City Software Engineer and Author

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