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We Paid Cash: Starting A Blog

We paid cash!
A testimony from Abby from Winstead Wandering

I’ve been blogging off and on since May of 2011. And in January of 2015, I decided to finally start the new blog I’d been brainstorming for months.

I had just suffered a miscarriage and I needed something to take me out of my own head. I knew, though, that I wanted to be serious and intentional in how I went about starting the new site; I wanted to buy my domain, I wanted to be self-hosted, and I didn’t want a free cookie cutter blog design.

After crunching numbers and spending a good portion of my Christmas break doing research, I decided I needed $200 to buy the things I wanted: my domain name, 36 months of hosting, and a blog design.

I know it’s completely possible to start a blog without spending a penny, but it was important to me to treat my new site seriously — like the business I eventually hoped it would be — right from the beginning.

I also hoped that working hard to earn the money would make the commitment more real to me.

Here’s how I earned $200:

Selling Textbooks

I took four college classes in the summer of 2014, and while I’d always intended to sell my used textbooks, I never got around to it. Needing blog money was the motivation I needed to finally list them on ebay. My timing aligned with colleges resuming classes after winter break, so my books sold quickly, earning me $125.

Teachers Pay Teachers Store

As a high school teacher, I have a Teachers Pay Teachers store where I sell the random forms, worksheets, and activities I prepare for my classes. I typically bring in $30-$40 in passive income each month, but seeing as January was the beginning of a new semester, I was able to set aside my entire $75 paycheck from that month.


I’ve used Ibotta to earn cash back on groceries since the app was first introduced, but I rarely cash out. I prefer to allow my savings to build up and then cash out when I have a specific purchase in mind. Because it had been a while since I’d done that, I was able to deposit $40 from Ibotta into my PayPal account.

It took me less than one month to earn the cash I needed to start my blog. I used the extra — and I continue to use the cash generated from my TpT account — to participate in giveaways and buy odds and ends like pretty dishes to photograph my recipes in.

My goal, of course, is that my blog will eventually bring in a small part-time income to supplement what my husband and I make as teachers. For now though, I love knowing that I started this adventure without tapping into my family’s monthly budget!

new blog

Abby is an Oregonian-turned-Mississippian, teaching high school Business and Technology. When she isn’t learning cool new slang at school, she likes to hang out at the golf course with her husband and aspiring (L)PGA toddlers. Abby blogs at Winstead Wandering.

Have you saved up and paid cash for something — large or small? Submit your story for possible publication here.


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  • I will probably create my own Teachers Pay Teachers store soon. I’m currently studying to become a Speech Therapist and I loooooove preparing activities and worksheets for kids! As a student, I agree with you: selling textbooks is also a great way to earn money!

    Also, I’m from Canada, so I use Checkout51, Snap and Zweet to earn cash back on groceries. My favorite is definitely Checkout51!

  • Leah says:

    Can I ask what blog design you went with? Your website looks great!

  • D says:

    I’m really sorry for the loss of your precious baby.

  • Congrats on your new blog! I also started recently, and I enjoy hearing how other people got their start. Thanks for sharing.

  • Congrats! What a great story!!

  • Good for you to work through your loss and be able to move forward. Good luck with your blog!

  • I remember that starting a blog did cost me quite a bit as well (I launched 6 months ago). But fortunately it is possible to earn it back relatively fast, and even more if you treat your blog as a business and help people from your heart. You have an amazing blog and I think you have done great job 🙂

    • Abby says:

      You’re too sweet, Reelika! I’m doing my best to treat my blog like a real business while still giving enough energy to all the other parts of my life. It’s great to make money doing what you love!

  • Kelly Cox says:

    Love to hear debt free success stories! I’m passionate about debt-free living and my blog was started debt free too. I’ve gone over and checked you out and will be back by in the future. 😉

  • Jenni says:

    This was a really timely post for me. I have blogged in the past but shut it down because it just wasn’t the right time for me to blog, but I have done the numbers too and have wanted to do exactly what you do – I have the idea, post ideas, everything, and even the cash (my mom gave me $200 in birthday money, which would be just what I need) but it’s hard to pull the trigger. I’m worried that I won’t blog consistently enough or have enough to make it worth my time.

    • Abby says:

      If your biggest hesitation is having enough to write about, I would suggest you continue to compile post ideas. Decide on a number that would make you comfortable launching your blog, and wait until you have that many ideas before you pull the trigger.

      50? 70? If you plan to post 2-3 times a week, 60 posts would last you 5-7 months, which would give you plenty of time to continue to brainstorm more ideas. Good luck!

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