(Just so you know, there may be some affiliate links in this post, but we only recommend items that we believe in and think will benefit you on your travels.)
1. Tell us about yourself and sum up your travels for us.
Hello! My name is Michelle and I run the personal finance blog Making Sense of Cents. I have three finance-related college degrees and I used to be a financial analyst before I became a full-time blogger.
Me and my husband sold our house in 2015 and travel full-time with our two dogs, in an RV. We have been to many national parks, have summited several mountains, been to many states, lived and sailed a boat for 10 days (plan is to do that next after RVing!), and more.
I am able to travel full-time due to my blogging business, Making Sense of Cents. I earned over $979,000 from my blogging business in 2016, and I am on track to earn over $1,500,000 from it in 2017.
2. How have you funded your travels?
In August of 2011, I started my blog with the aim of teaching people how to save money as well as journaling my personal finance journey after reading a magazine that featured a personal finance website in one of their articles. I became extremely interested in that website and my interest in blogging just grew from there. This is interesting and hilarious because before that same summer, I had no idea about what blogs were, that they could even make money, or anything along those lines.
I did not create my blog with the intention of making money blogging. It was all just a hobby and an outlet I then realized how much I loved blogging and realized that it was for me, so now I am a full-time blogger! I went full-time in October of 2013 and I haven’t looked back once. Blogging has completely changed my life for the better and it’s something that I recommend everyone try if they are interested.
On my blog Making Sense of Cents, I teach readers how to make extra money, the best ways to save money, achieving your dream life, RVing (me and my husband RV full-time), and more. I love running Making Sense of Cents and I am very happy that this is now my full-time career, my business, and pretty much my life.
I currently earn over $100,000 a month from my blogging business, which consists of affiliate income, course sales from Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing (I teach people my exact strategy to earn affiliate income in this course), sponsored partnerships with companies, and display advertising.
3. Tell us about your budget.
I have a budget, but not in a strict sense. I know where my money is going, where it’s coming from, and I am pretty much always aware of that.
Personal finance is my life (and I am very good with numbers), so while I am not as crazy when it comes to budgeting, I definitely recommend that 99% of people have a budget.
My favorite financial tool is Personal Capital. If you don’t know what it is or don’t have it, download it ASAP!
4. What have you learned about money since hitting the road?
One thing I’ve learned about money is that appearances can be deceiving!
So many people think that RVers and other full-time travelers are broke, and have no choice and no home. That is just dumb. I have met mega millionaires, people living in $2,000,000 RVs, people who are running successful businesses, and more, all while on the road.
Whenever someone finds out that we live in an RV, around 50% of them take pity on us, as if something is wrong with us, we are stupid, or need help. The other half are extremely jealous of the lifestyle and want to travel full-time – so it makes no sense that there is such an extreme between the two views!
5. What’s your top tip for someone trying to figure out how to make long-term travel financially possible?
My top tip for someone who wants to travel long-term is to find a way to make money while traveling. My favorite way is to learn how to start a blog, but there are many other ways to make a living while traveling as well.
You could work for someone else online (I know many people who telecommute to their job), start your own business, work at businesses you come across on the road (such as a hostel), and more.
6. If someone wanted to follow in your footsteps, are there any online resources you’d recommend?
My top online resource for someone who wants to start a blog would be to sign up for my free How To Start a Blog course.
If you’re looking for a great Facebook group on making money while RVing, my top recommendation would be Make Money and RV.
7. What’s some of your favorite travel gear that enables you to do what you do?
My top favorite travel-related item is my RV – does that count? 🙂
We have a 2016 Tiffin Allegro Bus 37AP, and it allows us to comfortably see the United States with our home, us, and our two dogs. Living in an RV means that we can live wherever we want to live. The United States has so many beautiful places to see and live, and because it would be hard to just pick one place, RV life allows us to live in as many as we want.
Other than that, my favorite items are our Jeep Rubicon that we have turned into an overland vehicle, and my laptop and iPhone so that I can work wherever. We also have a lot of fun toys in the RV such as rock climbing gear, paddle board, kayak, multiple bikes, and more.
8. Where can people follow your travels?
If you want to learn how to make money, such as for traveling or to become a digital nomad, I recommend finding me here – 75+ Ways To Make Extra Money.
My free How To Start a Blog course – With this free email course, I show you exactly how to create a blog easily, from the technical side (it’s easy – trust me!) all the way to earning your first income and attracting followers.
Lastly, if you want to see my travel adventures, you should follow my Instagram.