Bridal Shower and $3,645 in Extra Income

Hey everyone! Happy Monday. The weekend went by way too quickly. Saturday was a pretty productive day and I was able to do a decent amount of freelancing projects. On Sunday, I went to a bridal shower for my good friend and it was a lot of fun. I know that I was supposed to…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: May 26, 2023

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Bridal Shower and $3,645 in Extra Income
A goal of mine…

Hey everyone! Happy Monday. The weekend went by way too quickly. Saturday was a pretty productive day and I was able to do a decent amount of freelancing projects.

On Sunday, I went to a bridal shower for my good friend and it was a lot of fun.

I know that I was supposed to post our engagement photos last Wednesday, but I’m still working on finishing that post up, so those will be here either tomorrow or Wednesday.

Life without student loans has been AMAZING. I tried to reward myself by shopping for some new clothes but couldn’t find anything. Oh well!

Being able to pay off my student loans is definitely a reward in itself.  To think that just last year I had $40,000 in student loans and today I do not is INSANE to think about. I would always read blogs and think “eh, that’s not possible.” But now I know it is!


We didn’t do a ton of spending this past week. I gave my friend her bridal shower present and paid for a part of her Chicago bachelorette party, but those expenses have been factored in for quite some time.

We do need to start saving for our vacation to New Orleans. I’m not sure how much that will cost, but I’m assuming it will cost somewhat of a decent amount, even though we are driving.

 Bridal Shower and $3,645 in Extra Income

Extra Income (does not include income from our main jobs)

Extra income was very good last week. I have been waiting on several payments and received payments for others fairly quickly, which made last week awesome.  I love not having to chase payments for months. I also added a “hire me” tab above on Friday and hope to increase my freelancing before I make the jump to complete self-employment.

I would like to add more freelancing to my list, and I would especially like to add a little more after I make the switch and have more time. In the beginning, I do see myself relaxing more and enjoying more of my time, as I will have an extra 50-60 hours available each week. Thank you all for your input last week and telling my that I need to enjoy life. Now, if only I could listen to myself.

I still don’t know when my for sure self-employment switch date will be. I’m still a little afraid to give up such a stable income form my day job, but I do know that I need to get over that. Life can’t be all about playing it safe.


Posts from my blog:

  1. We’re bike people and $1,975 in extra income – We bought a bike! And we’ve been using it…
  2. My student loans are gone – What more can I say? My student loans are gone!


Being healthy

We have both been doing really good with being more healthy. We did eat unhealthy sometimes, but for the most part we ate really well and very clean. We have been riding our bikes a lot. I also try to run at least 2 miles each day – not a ton, but we are also riding our bikes, lifting and other workouts. I’ve also been doing at least 100 squats per day which hopefully helps with something!

We also have been talking about eventually being able to bike the Katy Trail. This is a trail that goes from St. Louis to Kansas City, Missouri and is around 300 miles. This sounds incredibly scary to me, but we would both love to be able to do this. Have you ever done something like this? How long did it take?

Have you been doing well with your extra income, spending and being healthy?


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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. GamingYourFinances

    Wow! The side income is just amazing, you’re an inspiration! I’ll need to put a little more thought into making some side income in the future.

    1. Thanks! I still can’t believe how good last week was!

  2. Great job! I was confused when you showed a pic of the Katy Trail bc we have one here in Dallas. I was about to say…..why are you in Dallas? Lets hang out!

    1. Haha I didn’t know there was one there also!

  3. Great job on your extra income last week!

    I think it’s funny that you said you’re going to have an extra 50-60 hours a week once you quit your job! That’s going to be crazy!

    1. I know! It will definitely be crazy. I know that eventually I will be super busy with my side hustles and it will probably take up all of my time, but in the beginning I will definitely just enjoy myself.

  4. I hate chasing payments as well! Probably my least favorite thing to do. I’m getting a lot better at tracking who owes me what as well as details of advertising agreements. I seriously can’t wait until you go freelance full-time and I can’t wait to hear about the transition. Definitely will be nice to have some more time to yourself.

    1. Aww thanks! I can’t wait until I make the switch also. There will be TONS of posts.

  5. We were also really productive on Saturday, but it all went down hill pretty fast after that. The rest of the weekend I felt like I got nothing done at all!

    1. Haha I know exactly what you mean. The same happened to me too.

  6. Sounds like your are on a roll here Michelle! You manage 3 blogs total and work full time thats a lot but you are making it work. I was waiting on those picture so we will see them soon hopefully. Nice job on the income and with the hire me tab I am sure you will get to 10-15K per month soon. My weekend went by too fast as usual. The beach and park with the boys and then at home with the wifey and baby relaxing. A lot of work on the blogs and stupid Alexa was playing mind games with my rankings. LOL

    1. I actually manage 4 blogs 🙂 It’s a lot but it is all fun!

  7. When are you heading to New Orleans? That’s actually where I met my wife, so it holds a special place in my heart. It’s a fun city, but make sure you don’t wear shoes you actually care about if you head out to Bourbon St. It’s fun out there, but your feet will get GRIMY.

    1. End of August! It will be HOT.

  8. I want to know where the weekend went as well…it went by way too fast! Great work this week. I’ve had a slower month, but have picked up a good bit in affiliate, so it all balances out in the end. 🙂

  9. Wow, Michelle. It looks like you are really ramping up your business income. I’m so happy for you. It looks like you will surpass last months income if you keep going at this rate. Congrats!

    1. Thank you Alexa!

  10. I’m trying to be more healthy as well, but it’s not been easy. Good for you! And congrats again for paying off your loans.

  11. wow, great job on the extra income!
    i’ve been trying to be more healthy too with exercise and the right diet but it’s just so hard to keep on track!

    1. It definitely is hard to stay on track. Once I fall off, it’s so hard to get back on.

  12. Jaclyn Arnett

    Wow, Michelle. What a great week for you! I’d kill to earn that much in extra income in three months. You should do consulting for other bloggers who want a piece of the pie (or maybe you already do?!) 🙂

    1. Thanks! And I do some consulting but it’s a little hard. It’s difficult to charge for this!

  13. That’s awesome Michelle! I have been relaxing a lot this summer. It’s weird for me, but I started to think about it, and I just finished my MBA in May. I told myself I would take it easy this summer, but I just have so many ideas and plans!

    1. Thanks! What are your ideas and plans? 🙂

  14. Christopher @ This that and the MBA

    I would love to make the switch to self employed. I am way to risk averse to do that. I cannot wait till you do and you can share your story. Then I can live through you 🙂 While I do not share my income on my site, my side hustles have really been paying dividends lately. So much so I have hired 3 people to help me with it and a few writers on my main site. I think I just bought my 11th site now, while not all making great passive income it does bring in a decent cash flow.

    I think one of the things that you do the best at is making your rounds. You are very loyal reader to many sites and that makes many repeat readers on your site….I love reading your income stories as well, because whenever I tell anyone that they can make any money online, I usually get the deer in headlights look.

    1. 11 sites? WOW! That is awesome! And aww thanks 🙂 I definitely am a loyal reader to TONS of websites. I love knowing what’s going on in everyone’s lives haha

  15. Keren

    Excellent job, once again! My worry on a 300 mile bike trip would be the, um, pain. Haha! Good luck!

    1. Haha yes I am nervous about that!

  16. Kate

    You are amazing? If you don’t mind me asking, what program do you use to track your income/spending? Your screen shots look so user friendly.

    1. Thank you Kate! And I use Outright. I highly recommend it.

      1. Thanks Catherine!

  17. I haven’t really gotten side income…been meaning to monetize my blog and should get on that. As for spending, I haven’t been as frugal and haven’t been researching the best prices. Baby came a week ago, and I just buy things that makes my life easier and is convenient cause I’m too tired! =)

    1. Congrats on your new bundle of joy 🙂

  18. Mrs PoP @ Planting Our Pennies

    That’s some amazing side income, Michelle! Keep it up and transitioning should be a treat for you. =).

    And thanks for mentioning our post, too!

    1. Thank you! I hope it is a treat 🙂

  19. Squirrelers

    What a week! I think most people would probably take that as a month’s worth of side income.

    I’m sure it’s great to be rid of those student loans. I know I was thrilled to be done with them. Debt really sucks, and it’s so much better without it.

  20. Greg@Thriftgenuity

    Looks like all around nice work. I’m sure it feels really good to be rid of the student loans.

  21. Nice job Michelle! I bet you can’t wait to have some more free time. 🙂

    1. I cannot wait at all!

  22. Another great week. Good job!

  23. Thanks! And I think we would do it over a week or 2, as we want to camp as well. And that’s exciting that you did something similar!

  24. It always happens!

  25. “Life can’t be all about playing it safe.” It’s very easy to play it safe. Safe is comfortable and reassuring. Risk is scary. It creates fear in our minds. But I’m beginning to believe that it’s in facing our fears and taking on more risk that we achieve life’s greatest rewards.

    1. I agree Brian. Thanks!

  26. It’s funny how whenever I give myself permission to splurge after achieving a financial goal, I can’t seem to find anything to buy! Great job on the side income, as always!

    1. Yup, it always happens!

  27. John@MoneyPrinciple

    To some that sounds like a main income! But well done anyway. May it keep rolling in but the secret really is to be managing more than a single blog it seems. Hope you have a good time in New Orleans – never been although I have been to Old Orleans many years ago, which is a little nearer to us.

  28. Thanks for mentioning my post about your post! Unfortunately, our extra income has been very slow this week, but hopefully it gets better soon 🙂

    1. I hope it does Lance. I’m sure it will!

  29. I definitely need to get back in an exercise routine. Once you fall off it is so hard to get back into.

    1. Yes it definitely is Michael. Thanks for stopping by!

  30. Lindsey @ Cents & Sensibility

    Hey Michelle! I was wondering what happened to your engagement pics! I am looking forward to seeing them sometime this week! New Orleans should be fun! Congrats on the income this week. 🙂

    1. They will be up on the blog tomorrow 🙂

  31. Haha I know I will!

  32. Well done with the extra income. I don’t make any extra income yet although once I get moved over I hope to start. I did start writing for a large Canadian Site who contacted me that I hope to continue writing for and anyone else who wants me. Have a good one Michelle! Cheers

  33. Lady, you’re killing it here! Congrats!