Her financial mess gave her new hope.

On July 1, 2015, Kayla from the personal finance blog KaylaSloan.com owed $148,000 in debt. Her finances and her state of mind were a wreck.

But something else also kept her up at night — a nagging feeling. “As I laid down each night to sleep, I always felt like something was missing,” says Kayla. “Could this be all there is to life: working and paying bills?”

So on July 1, even though Kayla carried that debt, she quit her full-time job.

Most people called her “crazy,” but Kayla secretly planned this out. It started one sleepless night in 2013, on a day she had joined her friend for lunch.

Kayla explains: “I went to lunch with my best friend and my card was declined for a $10 purchase. That night, I couldn’t sleep, so I did a quick Google search and found personal finance blogs.”

She discovered strange things like budgeting and paying off debt. But those things didn’t inspire her. “I found the stories of people paying off debt each month inspiring,” notes Kayla. “They found ways to simplify their spending and make extra money at the same time and that encouraged me to start my own blog, so I’d become accountable for my own finances.”

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She started as a part-time blogger in 2013 and started freelancing for money in 2014. She created her first blog — Shoeaholic No More. It found success fairly quickly. “At the time that I quit my job, probably a year after I started my blog, my business fully replaced my day-job income.”

I love her success story, but without her painful personal and financial past, it probably wouldn’t have happened.

Kayla said she always spent too much. But when she opened up her first credit card, she didn’t do it for spending purposes. She opened an account to “build credit.” Smart.

But something ruined her plans — she and her husband divorced.

“When you go through a traumatic and very emotional experience, all logic flies out the window,” says Kayla. “I was still a full-time student and only working part-time. To cope with my emotions, I spent a lot of money on eating out, new clothes, and things for my house.”

Kayla unfortunately became an emotional spender. Thankfully, the stories she read on those personal finance blogs proved that other people also went through financial hardships and turned themselves around. Kayla gained control over her spending and now describes herself as “accountable.”

“I’m still working at paying off debt and building savings, but I try not to stress about it too much,” says Kayla. “I’m making progress every month, and even if it’s not as fast as some people or as ‘gazelle intense’ as some suggest, I’m okay with it. I’m moving in the right direction.”
Her business is moving in the right direction, too. Her services now include freelance writing, project management and brand partnership and advertising. But as far as personal finances, Kayla offers this advice:
“It’s not just about saving money because frugality can only get you so far. Once you realize that and you find ways to save money AND earn more money, then you’ll really be making faster progress.”

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Article last modified on May 30, 2017. Published by Debt.com, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: Kayla’s Debt Changed Her Life - AMP.