I, too, work in an industry with salaries that are tied to budgets and salary cohorts. But I have found that side hustles, both in and out of my field, help to increase my income. It is sad that we have to give up even more of our time to get there, but I guess the sacrifice makes the reward even more satisfying??? In any case- thank you for sharing your journey, your goals and your insights. It is comforting to me to realize that there are others in my circumstances.
AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: You should assume that I am an affiliate for products that I recommend through my website. If you purchase those items through my links I will earn an affiliate commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link. In fact, I oftentimes am able to negotiate a lower rate (or bonuses) not available elsewhere online. Plus, when you order through my link, it helps me to continue to offer you a ton of quality free information through my blog @ email list:)

By another measure - the number of square feet per person in the home - the average home in the United States has more than 700 square feet per person, 50% - 100% more than in other high-income countries (though this indicator may be regarded as an accident of geography, climate and social preference, both within the USA and beyond it) but this metric indicates even those in the lowest income percentiles enjoy more living space than the middle classes in most European nations. Similarly ownership levels of 'gadgets' and access to amenities are exceptionally high compared to many other countries.[16][17]

I’m 34, female, no college degree (but loans from part time schooling) making $38,500 as a person who has no kids but lives with a boyfriend (not all bills are split but rent is). I’m okay each month but still feel like I live paycheck to paycheck. It would be nice to have more to put towards savings each month or go shopping once in awhile for clothes WITHOUT feeling guilty. My boyfriend makes about the same as me and he has a college degree, same age. I guess we both need to strive for something closer to $100,000!


I DID invest in the 7-Figure Franchise because I gleaned so much from Cheney’s products. In fact, his training helped me steer clear of OTHER junk peddled on the web. So, it made sense that when I was asked what helped me, I recommended some of his products. When 7-Figure Franchise came along, of course, I realized, “why NOT make 100% on the stuff I’m already suggesting to others? Just drive more traffic.” Well, that last part is easier said than done: getting traffic.
Author Bio: Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 to help people achieve financial freedom sooner, rather than later. He spent 13 years working in investment banking, earned his MBA from UC Berkeley, and retired at age 34 in San Francisco. Everything Sam writes is based on first-hand experience because money is too important to be left up to pontification.

There are plenty of different avenues you can take to breach that magical six figure mark. Doctors and lawyers routinely make multiple six figures. Longshoremen (dockworker) average $120,000 a year as we discovered during the Oakland longshoremen strike in 2001. After 20 years at the Federal government, police force, and fire department, the majority of workers all make $100,000+. Not only that, their capitalized pensions are worth millions!
Long-Tail Keywords – specific keywords usually with 3-7 individual words in a phrase. They are highly targeted and MUCH easier to rank for than broad keywords (all mine are long-tail). The lower your domain authority (check using OSE), the less competitive (more long-tail) your keywords should be. If you can get more specific and the keyword still shows up in Google Autocomplete, Moz Keyword Explorer and other keyword tools… choose the SPECIFIC one.
As is the case for most professional reviewers, many of the books I review on this site have been provided by the publisher or author, at no cost to me. I've also reviewed books that I bought, because they were worthy of your time. And I've also received dozens of review copies at no charge that do not get reviewed, either because they are not worthy or because they don't meet the subject criteria for this column, or simply because I haven't gotten around to them yet, since I only review one book per month. I have far more books in my office than I will ever read, and the receipt of a free book does not affect my review.

Just a quick note on the consulting firms you listed. Although the Big 3 are obvious to include in the list, I would certainly remove Booz Allen Hamilton, and even Arthur D. Little. Booz Allen is notorious for under-paying, especially when compared to much better firms. Booz Allen is also primarily a Federal contractor with very limited commercial work (granted their non-compete with Booz & Co. [now Strategy&] is over) – commercial strategy/ management consulting out-pays Federal counterparts.

Great post, Penny! As you know – I am finishing up year 29 in education. I have two Master’s degree and a doctorate and I’ve never earned six figures. Had I stayed as a principal in the last five years, I would have made six figures. I’d likely be at around $120,000 right now. But I gave that up to go teach at the college level, not work 12 months a year, and have fun educating the next generation of teachers. Five years ago, I knew I was almost to FI because of this community (and that’s never making six figures and being a single mom for a number of years…)


I was recently looking into this and came across a few videos online. There was this guy who said you can make commissions in under a week. I dont know if thats true but wanted to know if hes genuine or a scammer. This is the video he said it in: https://youtu.be/7sN6U73pZr0 . If not then who would you recommend for learning this stuff as it seems so confusing for me!


I totally hear you with deciding on your affiliate products first, and then designing a blog around that decision. I am currently in a niche where the few affiliate products around are fairly low-commission, so it makes earning a decent living with them nearly impossible. Also, the audience is seasonal, so sales spike and then drop to nothing a couple times a year.
Interesting and motivating article. I didn’t take high school very seriously, and I only took my last 3 years of my 4.5 years of college with strong intentions to succeed. I got my GPA back up to a 3.33 from a 2.76 and landed two summer internships with Fortune 500 companies during school. I now work at one of those said companies and will gross just north of 85k after base salary, relocation, and sign-on bonus (also, could be closer to 88-90k depending on my performance bonus).
these are certainly well known ways of making money with affiliate marketing…the best example i can give is rahul kuntala of learnblogtips.com, he has created an ebook and also has a landing page as you suggested! i would also specify bharat mandava of wpsquare.com, who earns most of his income through affiliate marketing!! thx fr the article jafar :)

Author Bio: Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 to help people achieve financial freedom sooner, rather than later. He spent 13 years working in investment banking, earned his MBA from UC Berkeley, and retired at age 34 in San Francisco. Everything Sam writes is based on first-hand experience because money is too important to be left up to pontification.
The second thing you’ll want to consider is whether or not it is a receptive audience for both your message and the final sale. For example, doing a guest post on a site about Japanese culture might be a good idea for your Bonsai affiliate post even though the community might not be currently interested in Bonsai growing. Or you could go to a photography blog and do a link-bait post about beautiful Bonsai photographs. The site’s traffic might not buy from you but once the post gets indexed a lot of Bonsai-lovers will find it. Remember, these guest posts, videos, etc. should be sending relevant organic traffic that converts to sales over the coming months and years.
The Cost of Living Index compares the cost of housing, utilities, grocery items, transportation, health care and miscellaneous goods. According to Bankrate’s cost-of-living comparison calculator, you’d need to earn about $141,000 in Boston to have the equivalent of $100,000 in Houston. And if you were living on $100,000 per year in Memphis, Tennessee, you’d have to earn roughly a whopping $245,000 to maintain the same standard of living in parts of New York City. While salaries are often higher in cities with higher costs of living, they don’t always match up to provide the same quality of life.
[…] FICA stands for Federal Insurance Contributions Act and consists of a Social Security tax and a Medicare tax. This tax is very important for everyone to understand because so often we only think about federal tax rates and state income tax rates. The FICA tax is a big percentage of your total tax bill, especially for those making under six figures a year. […]
I sometimes question choosing a career that was safe and paid well over chasing my passions. In a way, it comes down to passions now or passions later. If you earn big and save you can FIRE and the start your passion work then. Or you can be working on your (presumably lower paying) passions all along and wait until a more traditional age to retire.
The same goes for setting your battle tactics – you have to show folks how your offers will benefit them generally or meet their particular needs before they can buy from you. Really, there’s nothing so out of the ordinary about Michael Cheney’s Commission Black Ops. It’s pretty much the same things that have been rehashed and taught you repeatedly. The only difference this time is that Michael Cheney chose to present them with action-packed expressions.
Thanks for visiting. I recommend tracking your finances for two weeks and writing down everything you’ve spent money on. Then purge the unnecessary things and all that money into another savings account you can’t touch, or auto invest it in a digital wealth advisor like Wealthfront. The key is to cut fat and automate your savings and contributions. Do this for 10 years and you WILL have more money than you could ever realistically imagine.
With the oil crash, I’m not sure petroleum and chemical engineering is the best choice anymore. Though I would DEFINITELy say “STEM” degrees give you way more bang for your buck than arts degrees. I’m a computer engineer turned published children’s author, so I’ve been in both fields. Engineer is gruelling and doesn’t have the emotional payoff that writing does, but man is it lucrative. For those who don’t like engineering, they could work there for 10 years, make enough to retire early, and then do whatever their little heart desires. It worked for me and it was worth it. Can’t easily do that with most arts degrees. If I had to choose again, I’d definitely choose engineering…or accounting.
As I read further to post this, I saw a next post about marrying for money. How dare…..I know it happens. I did it. After a 7 year extremely abusive marriage, which ended in debt over my head and my children still get to see this abuser and still has more time than should be allowed, due to a horrid system, with his perfect on paper persona, Works for the DOD, contractor, writing programs and coding for them, white collar perfect portrayal of family, to only be a devil in his own home behind closed doors…..
Some more information: I’m really interested in business, finance and law and have started a successful organization. I also am good at computer science and have won a lot of national and international science fairs. I’m also a national high school debate qualifier. I’ve taken a certified IQ test and have received a 140. I got close to a 2400 on the SAT. I had a very bad injury in ninth grade and I missed a lot of school (I got a C in a class because of that!) I am really worried about my future.
I’ve already committed thousands to AWOL(I’m 17 by the way) and I believe in quality products as such to promote. Do I need to purchase SFM training eventually? I am willing to do so, in order to stay congruent with diversifying income and promoting valued, justly priced products, just as the top earners do so. Please let me know what you can say about the terms of being an affiliate with SFM.
Don’t get me wrong…Sponsored content is great (and next month we’ll be publishing a post on how to work with brands), but I love having total freedom in what I write and–especially now that I’m pregnant and due with my first baby boy in September!!–I really wanted to ensure I could start to rely more heavily on automated and more effortless income.
Well, to be honest being patience and invest enough time and money is the key to get success in any online business and 7 Figure Franchise is not an exception. The problem is that first, it’s not worth $1997 at all because it only teaches you how to promote products of someone else and second, there is not any guarantee that you’ll get success if you follow training. Another negative points of 7 Figure Franchise is lack of support. If you stick on a level of training, nobody is there to help you out. You need to figure out everything by yourself which takes more of your valuable time.
Well, I'll be straightforward here. I haven't bought 7 Figure Franchise, so can't comment on specifics of the training and value behind the curtain. However, based on what I've seen, it's not worth my two-thousand dollars, so in my opinion, it's not worth yours either. With two thousand dollars you could pick any affiliate membership website  and have about 5 years of membership. You could purchase $500 worth of content (10-20 articles per month) for four months (enough to jumpstart a new affiliate website). You could even buy a done-for-you website with original content.
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