In 2010, Kyle Taylor was drowning in $50,000 worth of student loans and credit card debt.
Six years later, Taylor’s life looked a whole lot different: He was not only debt-free, but the founder and CEO of his own media company, bringing in nearly $20 million a year in revenue.
Back in college, Taylor started working full-time on a series of political campaigns. But it didn’t pay very much, and on top of that, every job came with with an expiration date, he explained to Farnoosh Torabi on an episode of her “So Money” podcast.
Between racking up student loans and using credit cards to supplement his measly campaign paychecks, Taylor found himself falling deeper and deeper into debt, so he started seeking out alternative — and sometimes weird — ways to make money, and started a blog, called The Penny Hoarder, to chronicle his experience.
After a few years, The Penny Hoarder started to gain traction, and Taylor was able to turn it into a profitable, full-time gig. No longer just a personal project, the site ballooned into one of the most-read personal finance spaces on the internet, garnering over 14 million unique readers per month.
Today, the 30-year-old keeps a close eye on his financials to make sure he never falls into a debt spiral again through a simple strategy he calls “Financial Sunday.” At the end of every week, Taylor sits down with a glass of wine and goes over both his checking and savings accounts, determining where he needs to make adjustments.
“This is something I took from childhood where as a family we would go over the budget on Sundays,” he shares. “I don’t have a line-by-line item budget anymore, but I still do sit down every Sunday with a glass of wine.”
The wine is a key factor: it makes the experience enjoyable to Taylor, taking the stress and monotony out of spending precious weekend time working on his finances.
“I want to make it a positive experience,” he says of the practice. “I think we need to take the agony out of finances, make it fun.”
Taylor also bulks up his savings using a variation on the 50/20/30 rule, according to CNBC. Whenever he receives a large chunk of money, such as a bonus, raise, or gift, Taylor puts 50% directly into savings, 30% toward lifestyle spending, such as new clothes or saving up for an apartment down payment, and uses the remaining 20% for fun.
“Having those percentages set up ahead of time will give you the freedom and the control to make sure you’re making a wise financial decision,” he told CNBC.
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