Over the last few weeks, I’ve been emailing and interviewing the top writers (e.g., the founders of Budgets Are Sexy, The Broke And Beautiful Life, Frugal Rules, and Modest Money) in the personal finance community. They’re a wonderful, supportive group of people. I’d encourage anyone that’s struggling to make ends meet to reach out for support and guidance from them.
Today, we are fortunate to have Grayson Bell of Debt Roundup. He’s a leading writer in the field, and is a total success story. He came back from $50,000 in credit card debt and lived to tell the tale! I’m happy to share this 5th interview with all of you. Thanks, Grayson!
What inspired you to begin DebtRoundup.com?
I had just made my last payment on my credit card debt. It was over $50,000 to start and I was super excited to pay it off. After the payment, I figured I could share my story with others. My personal story is just a little different because I racked up debt from starting and running a business. It turns out that many enjoyed my story.
How did people (friends, family, etc.) react when you first started?
My family knew about it right after I started it. My wife supported me through the whole thing. Since I have always been someone that worked with online ventures, they weren’t surprised at all. My friends did get a little jolt when I told them. They always thought I had my financial life in order. They were wrong!
What was your experience with design, code, web work prior to starting your site?
I taught myself how to code when I started my e-commerce business. I have been doing it for close to 10 years. I actually offer coding and design tweaks to many other bloggers because of my experience. That is one part of my business that I am trying to grow.
What advice would you give to those thinking about starting their own site?
Just do it. Starting a blog is awesome, but know that it is a lot of work. If you want to become successful, then understand that it is a time commitment. I would also suggest that anyone looking to blog get setup on a real domain running WordPress. That is the real way to blog and grow. I have a great guide on how to start a blog on my site.
How do you make money from your site?
Wait, you can make money blogging? OK, just kidding. I make money in a variety of ways, which include affiliate promotion and Google AdSense. I make the most of my money freelancing for other sites, which found me from my blog.
What do you think you’ve learned from your readers and fans?
This is the best part about blogging. Connecting with the readers is a true experience. I love writing something and then getting feedback from my loyal readers. The biggest thing I have learned is to keep my mind open when it comes to how I manage my money. There are so many different ways to handle your finances that it can be mind-boggling. I really enjoy seeing how others deal with their money.
How can somebody in lower incomes best overcome financial hurdles and prosper?
This is an extremely tough question to answer. The main thing I can say is to have a desire to make a change first and foremost. If you don’t truly want to make a change, then you never will. Take it upon yourself to gain more education. Knowledge leads to opportunities, and opportunities lead to lifestyle changes. I have come across many that started out in lower-income brackets and have worked their way out and now thrive. These people were extremely motivated to start.
Who are your financial role models?
I am not the type of person that likes to focus on role models. No one is perfect and no one has all the right answers. For this reason, I don’t dedicate my time to following one person. I learn about money from the people I interact with on other personal finance blogs as well as my own. I guess you can call them my role models.
What personal finance sites do you read?
What else would you care to share with the readers of Frugaling?
First, thank you Sam for including me in this interview series. I am honored. Secondly, if you really want to make a financial change in your life, then go do it. Action leads to results, so don’t be afraid to take action and find opportunities.
The true power to make a change starts and ends with you.
Want to read more interviews like this one? Read the entire interview series here!