Carol Tice: Make a Living Writing.
Carol Tice is an award-winning, fun-loving freelance writer living in the Seattle area. She’s obsessed with helping writers avoid scams and earn more from their work.
She started the Make a Living Writing blog in 2008 because content mill pay rates made her mad. Her blog now gets about 70,000 monthly readers, showing a wide audience of writers ways to move up from content mills and other low-paying markets.
The following spotlight was conducted via email correspondence. For additional info about Carol, please visit her official website.
😀 Describe yourself in one to two sentences.
Longtime-married mom of 3, friend, Torah reader, author of 2 print books and 12 ebooks. I’m a business-book ghostwriter, freelance writer and since 2008, coach and advocate for writers at makealivingwriting.com and since 2011, freelancewritersden.com.
💪 What achievement are you most proud of?
Helping over 14,000 freelance writers grow their income and earn a living with their craft.
🧐 Who taught you the most about managing money?
Oh, definitely my father. I would watch him walk up and down our corner, worrying about money. I grew up with little, no brand-name jeans and such. Literally from the wrong side of the tracks. Then my dad leveled-up his insurance business, and went after corporate clients instead of individuals, around the time I left for college. He was always saving for retirement and living below his means, and preaching the merits of savings accounts, and he retired quite well. He’s 88 and he and my mom are living it up in Sun City Palm Desert today!
🤔 What’s the best money advice you ever received?
Reading ‘Your Money or Your Life’ in my early 20s was transformative, and taught me that whatever you earn… live below your means. And you will be happy. 😉
💸 How should social distancing change the way we shop and budget?
As it happens, I’m using this opportunity to teach my husband more about food budgeting. I’m the breadwinner and he’s the main shopper — and tends to accede to whining from the teens to drop everything and go buy this or that treat, he’d often end up in the market 3-4 times a week.
Now that we only shop once a week, it’s easy to see what we spend — and what we were previously spending on food for 4 people was a national scandal! The first week’s trip he spent $500, and I said, “That’s $2,000 a month on food projected, for just 4 people honey. Don’t you think that’s high?” And he started cutting back.
I think in general, we’re all shopping less, and it’s a great opportunity to run the numbers and examine how much you spend, and whether you really need it all. No more excuses that it’s hard to track all the purchases, right?
🛡️ Do you have advice for someone who’s temporarily unemployed?
Use this opportunity to assess the direction of your career. Do you want to continue working for the Man? Do you have a creative project you keep putting off? A new skill you’ve been wanting to learn, that might lead in a new career direction? If so, invest in yourself and your future now, even if that might feel scary in this moment. A lot of smart people will be using this pause as an opportunity for transformation, invention, learning, and growth — and they’ll emerge from this in a better place.
🤑 What’s your one tip for someone looking to stretch their dollar during a downturn?
Get into scratch cooking! You’ve got the time now, right?
I think over the years, we’ve all gotten lazy and buy a lot of premade meals. But if you have a sack of good brown rice, some flour, potatoes and a few other basic ingredients, you can eat well very cheaply and save a small fortune.
(If you’ve already heard that one a bunch of times, here’s another angle:)
Because I’ve spent over a decade helping freelancers figure out how to earn more, I tend to think less about ’stretching your dollar’ and more about how to easily generate more dollars.
Look around your house and garage. Do you have items you could sell on eBay or your local Craigslist or NextDoor board? My husband is a videographer and photographer, and he recently cleaned his closets and sold $2,000 worth of lenses he wasn’t using anymore. Ka-ching!