About Carrie Smith

Carrie Smith is an ex small business accountant who now helps freelancers and entrepreneurs get out of debt and organize their lives, so they can fund their dream business. Find her on Twitter @carefulcents.

How to Make Six Figures a Year as a Freelancer

One of the strangest beliefs about freelancing is that it either makes you a ton of money or nothing at all. I'm not the only one who used to think this. A lot of people have this misconception that “making money on the internet” is either scammy or completely impossible. So naturally, when I quit my very comfy (and well-paying) accounting job, to build an online business, my family thought I was crazy. On paper it doesn’t make a lot of sense to leave the … [Read more...]

How to Get Started Freelancing Today with No Experience

Listen to this post thanks to our friends at Optimal Startup Daily. Making money online isn’t easy but it can pay off big if you apply the right strategy and stick with it -- much like anything else in life. As someone who recently quit my day job to freelance full-time, I understand how to get started freelancing for extra money. This type of work -- creating a lifestyle business through freelancing -- is becoming increasingly popular because of the massive … [Read more...]

Is it Worth Going Into Insane Debt for In Vitro (or Adoption)?

Having children is a luxury a lot of women and couples experience on a daily basis. However, for others, it’s a difficult struggle. There are many factors why couples might not be able to have the family they long for, but one of the biggest considerations is the financial aspect. Most moms-and dads-to-be won't have insurance that covers the majority of fertility or in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments. And most people don’t easily have the means to start the … [Read more...]

25 Insanely Easy Ways to Manage Your Money and Get Back on Top

Ready to manage your money and get back on top? It's taken me 3 years to consistently stay on top of my finances. It's not a simple task for sure, but most of the time we make it harder than it really is. Once you implement a few simple tasks, you'll be on track. Below are twenty-five insanely easy ways to manage your money and take back control. 1. Commit to a small savings goal. A small step forward is better than a giant leap forward couple with a loss of … [Read more...]

Dump Your Car Loan and Pay for Your Next Car with Cash

Is it time to dump your car loan? Besides the mortgage, a car loan is often the next biggest thing on the list. And depending on the type of car you buy, you could spend anywhere from a few thousand to several hundred thousand dollars on a new car. Of course with that shiny new car often comes with a car loan and monthly payments. My car loan was the last thing I paid off before I became debt-free. I got into the car loan when I traded in my first car -- with no … [Read more...]

6 Ways to Give Memorable Gifts (Without Going Into Debt)

The fine fellas at Optimal Finance Daily created an audio version of this post. Listen along using the player below. When you’re part of big family like I am, it's hard not to come under peer pressure to spend a lot of money on gifts. As one of five kids -- all who have families and kids of their own -- buying gifts for every holiday and birthday get really expensive. And with the never-ending feeling of having to make each gift bigger and better than the … [Read more...]

10 Ways to Stay Fired-Up While Paying Down Debt

At the beginning of the year, we’re all fired up about making New Year’s resolutions and changing our habits for the better. We get excited about the prospect of this year being the year we finally take back control of our finances and pay down our debt. But then a month or two goes by and we become less enthusiastic and less motivated. The further away from the beginning of the year we get, the less likely we are to actually reach our goals. Statistics show … [Read more...]

How to Deal With the Unhealthy Stress Caused by Debt

Stressed out? We all know that paying down debt has positive effects on your finances. But have you ever realized that it can have positive effects on your health and overall well-being too? It’s true! Getting out of debt has intangible benefits and can help you become a happier and healthier person. Last year when I became debt free, I discovered first hand, how interconnected being in debt is with the overall health of your mind and body. Four of the … [Read more...]

A Simple Strategy to Get Out of Debt for Good

As the New Year rolls around, many of us are reflecting over the past 12 months and creating new goals and resolutions for the upcoming year. Without a doubt the most popular New Year’s resolutions have to do with getting a fresh start, which invariably involve either getting fit or getting out of debt. In fact, studies show the most common New Year’s resolutions are losing weight and exercising more, followed by managing debt, saving money and reducing … [Read more...]

6 Steps to Help Stop the Cycle of Debt

Are you caught in a downward debt spiral? Debt is a vicious cycle, and once you're stuck, it's very difficult to get out. I learned this the hard way when I woke up and realized I was $150,000 in debt, constantly worried about money and was only 23 years old. That’s not the best way to start out your adult life! My American dream of owning a home, having a fulfilling career and settling down, turned into a debt nightmare. No matter how hard I tried to get my … [Read more...]

3 Dangerous Christmas Shopping Debt Traps and How to Avoid Them

The Christmas shopping season is one of the most expensive times of the year. It's also my least favorite. We're supposed to focus on giving and spending time with our friends and family, but for many of us, it's turned into a shopping nightmare, accompanied with the obligation of buying presents for every single person in our family. In December 2011, shoppers charged billions of dollars on credit cards and according to a recent survey, the holiday spending … [Read more...]

A Costly Debt Trap that Every Young Adult Should Avoid

Editor's note: please join me in welcoming Carrie Smith, new staff writer. Carrie is a successful freelance writer across many sites, including her own, CarefulCents.com. She will be sharing her story with money and her successes in getting rid of debt. Are you building a debt trap? I was 23 when bought my first house. I thought I had it all; the big yard, a two car garage and all the pride that came with being a homeowner. It was my American Dream come … [Read more...]