The typical middle-class household in the United States is no longer a one-earner family, with one parent in the workforce and one at home full-time. Instead, the majority of families with small children now have both parents rising at dawn to commute to jobs so they can both pull in paychecks... Today the median income for a fully employed male is $41,670 per year (all numbers are inflation-adjusted to 2004 dollars)—nearly $800 less than his counterpart of a generation ago. The only real increase in wages for a family has come from the second paycheck earned by a working mother. – Elizabeth Warren, Harvard Magazine.[15]

We live in a modest 3 bed 2 bath house that is about 1,300 square feet. I drive a Toyota Prius that I bought in 2013 for $24,000 which I paid off in early 2015. My wife drives a Subaru Forester which we bought for about $25,000 and will have it paid off in less than 2 years from now. My point is, we know better than to spend our money on luxuries at this early stage in our financial careers. If we invest all of this excess now, how much better off will we be 15 years from now when we are in our early 40’s?
You got a good article here but a lot of points are way off in real world sense. Any monkey that can read and regurgitate information can graduate with a high gpa. The real truth behind success is thinking outside the box. I’m 22 avg student yet run a successful business (100-120k/yr) while in college. With this article your saying go from box to box first your in an educational institution spending all your time and effort getting A’s then your working for someone in a corporate box. Let your bank account be your resume. The world needs more entrepreneurs
I eventually learned the best model (for me) was to copy what Yoast did… charge a flat free for SEO Audits. People were always super happy with my audits. I still have my SEO audit templates (one for local SEO, national SEO, etc). Sometimes it would only take me 4 hours to write an audit and I would get $750, sometimes more if they wanted a more thorough audit. Maybe I undercharged?
I only ask because sometimes I feel like my undergrad degrees are in subjects that people don’t care about in the finance or technology sectors. Where I live it seems like the people I know are getting paid $15-$18 an hour right after graduating college. The high positions I can qualify for after working for 10+ years at my non-profit only pay around $60k a year. I want more than that.
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The problem with affiliate marketing, like many other home business options, are the so-called gurus and get-rich-quick programs that suggest affiliate marketing can be done fast and with little effort. Odds are you've read claims of affiliate marketing programs that say you can make hundreds of thousands of dollars a month doing almost nothing ("Three clicks to rich!"). Or, they suggest you can set up your affiliate site, and then forget it, except to check your bank deposits.
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.

Most of them are common sense but you do need to be aware of things like disclosing that you are an affiliate for that product, and that it needs to be clear and early on in the post. You have to be very transparent about it. I mention it in a big clear “NOTE” at the top of any post that contains affiliate links, as well as again down the bottom in a disclaimer.
According to 2013 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, only 22 percent of households had an income of $100,000 or more. Adam Koos of Libertas Wealth Management Group near Columbus, Ohio, says members of most households would see a boost in their quality of life by hitting the six-figure benchmark, but they might be surprised to see it doesn’t necessarily make them high rollers.

Households may also be differentiated among each other, depending on whether or not they have one or multiple income earners (the high female participation in the economy means that many households have two working members[15]). For example, in 2005 the median household income for a two income earner households was $67,000 while the median income for an individual employed full-time with a graduate degree was in excess of $60,000, demonstrating that nearly half of individuals with a graduate degree have higher earnings than most dual income households.[8]
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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.
Oh, I absolutely could have chosen to pursue a more lucrative field. I just very firmly believe that I wanted to pursue my passions now, not later. There may be plenty of teachers, but there are other ways that teachers can distinguish themselves within the field. Unfortunately, it doesn’t net the pay increase that we might like. But that’s the trade off, I suppose, for pursuing this field. And you’re spot on with still being able to accumulate wealth. I’m working on it! 🙂
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.
I also worked my ass off during high school, went to a public university with enough AP credit to graduate in three years with an English degree (gasp!) then received a Master’s in journalism (double gasp!) that costed next to nothing, because I moved back home with my parents and didn’t have to divulge their income on the FAFSA for a graduate degree. I went into tech marketing and was making six figures by the time I was 25.
Don’t set a goal to write 3 blog posts a day… set a goal to write 1 blog post a week and make that post super helpful, long, and filled with information that is so valuable you will say “yeah, people will link to that.” 90% of my traffic/affiliate income comes from just 20 tutorials, many of which are 5+ years old. But I am constantly updating them to make the content better.
In the old days of SEO you’d build backlinks using relevant anchor text. So, for example, if you wanted to rank for “bonsai trees” that would be the link text you’d use in your guest posts. And then the Panda update happened and Google took a swipe at unnatural link profiles which meant that SEOs started making their anchor text more natural (things like “click here to read the rest”).
Hey, Sam! Great article/read. Also, i’m not sure if you’re the right guy to ask (bother? lol) but I just turned 20 and I basically got really mediocre grades at my mediocre community college and i’ll be getting my diploma next year. Not that getting into policing will be too much difficulty, but being a high ranking officer, such as a chief, that pays very well might be a bit of a stretch later down the line. I could go back and EASLY get A’s but the idea of going back to school and doing the same thing… ehhh…. I might consider doing it later, perhaps when i’m 30ish and gotten some experience as being an officer. What would you recommend? I’m open to anything. Thanks mate.
Penny – Great post and you have gone beyond what most teachers do to maximize income. Teachers are underpaid. My wife taught for 18 years and the most she ever made was $26000 (when she was single in Alabama), but she would never have traded the experience and sense of accomplishment she had as teaching in a low income school district and helping kids envision a better future.
While I was doing WordPress speed optimization I noticed lots of people needed it, but very few people supplied it (there were a lack of services and tutorials when I researched Google). I also knew hosting was the #1 factor of website speed factor and these companies paid up to $200/sale. Hosting is a competitive space but the commissions and lack of supply enticed me.
I wouldn’t say 500k+ is typical for physicians in the U.S. It depends a lot on specialty of practice. I married a physician who specialized in family medicine, which is primary care. Her prospects upon leaving residency are more between the 200k-300k range. I’m sure it could be more in other geographic regions. I know one family medicine physician who started his own clinic, grew it, hired other health care providers, and makes about 750k. I don’t think that is typical — he just works his behind off. My wife isn’t willing to live her life that far out of balance. She wants quality time at home as well. Surgeons probably earn the most, and I know getting into an anesthesiology residency is highly competitive. Anyway, to sum up my point in a brief way (too late!), there is a broad range of physician income highly dependent on specialty of practice.
But if you want to make money – there are things to do besides be an engineer and having been one of those that did a bachelors, medical degree and post doc before I ever had a real job – worked fine even with the loans. I was the first in my family to acheive a graduate degree, paid for it with loans, but my niche career choice I found out about during my pathology traing way down the line worked out.
Of course there are some drawbacks. Learning to fly isn’t cheap. Another $50,000-$100,000 on top of the costs of a college education is realistic for most. But just as with college tuition, there are loans available to help pay for flying education. And one can flight instruct part-time while attending college to not only help pay for classes, but also gain valuable flight experience. Obviously the military, either active duty or national guard, is another potential option for defraying the costs of flight training.
Don’t set a goal to write 3 blog posts a day… set a goal to write 1 blog post a week and make that post super helpful, long, and filled with information that is so valuable you will say “yeah, people will link to that.” 90% of my traffic/affiliate income comes from just 20 tutorials, many of which are 5+ years old. But I am constantly updating them to make the content better.
The problem with affiliate marketing, like many other home business options, are the so-called gurus and get-rich-quick programs that suggest affiliate marketing can be done fast and with little effort. Odds are you've read claims of affiliate marketing programs that say you can make hundreds of thousands of dollars a month doing almost nothing ("Three clicks to rich!"). Or, they suggest you can set up your affiliate site, and then forget it, except to check your bank deposits.
There are jobs out there for veterans and sometimes yes your training in the military does not give many, if any, civilian options. But I encourage you to think outside the box. You do not need to get any job that has to do with your rate. My cousin was aircraft ordnance and now is happy being a bartender in Hawaii. Not my cup of tea but it’s his life and he is happy with it. Look at USAjobs. com as another poster suggested. There are also jobs on nukeworker.com that don’t require nuclear experience like security. Keep trying, you may have to work some terrible jobs as I did, but you’ll find your way.

No matter how much someone makes, anyone who lives beyond his or her means is going to feel financially pinched. While conspicuous consumption and blatant overspending is a problem, even those who try to keep an eye on their budget spend a large portion of their income on what financial advisers call “lifestyle inflation.” Koos says these are things that may not be necessities but are considered such at a certain income level. Many middle-class citizens now see cable, smartphones, tablets, computers, multiple televisions, Blu-ray players and gym memberships as “essential.”

Hello I just stumbled across your blog. A bit of back ground. I garudated with a degree in accounting in 2008. I got a job at a small firm, but got fired 3months in. I tried my best but I wasn’t getting it and no one was helping me learn. I went back to school did a year of sciences and tried to come back to accounting. I didn’t get another job till 2011 and got fired 11 months in. I learned and applied myself but I also felt I just wasn’t wanted despite my best effort. Tried to get back into it to get my CPA but could not find a job. I found many recruiters to be rude and condescending. A bit more info on me I was a bit of a hot head in college and took shit from no one. I managed to make a lot of enemies very few friends. I feel this is another reason I can’t get work in my home town I just have a bad reputation, and my resume does not look good. I am now almost 30. I want to support my family but and I feel I need to go back and find a useful skill to do so. I was thinking about doing a two year engineering diploma in the energy field; doing IT + accounting; or going into nursing. Any advice would be very much appreciated. Thank you for hearing me out.
I don’t have firsthand data but I believe you’d earn a similar amount working in investment banking as in Pet E for the first few years. However, you’d probably work up to twice the hours (60-80+ per week). If you do well and stay in the industry you could make an extremely high income…much more potential. Might have to go to a prestigious school and be at the top of your class however.
No wonder even after 8 years of trying soooo many programs I am still where I have been for all these years – a NEWBIE! Frankly I do not see Wealthy Affiliate to be my way out. I can see it is a non-specific info-overloaded, with steep learning curve to overcome. After all these years I have yet to find a specific ‘do this first then this’ step by step tried and tested program that I can confidently follow to earn some decent income. What a shame!
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