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Hi! I'm Mike and this is my wife, Jen!  Since we began this site, we've learned to live more frugally, completely eliminate our debts, create new income, radically increase our net worth, and live altogether better lives!  Sign up below for instant access to our members-only toolbox, including our exclusive guide:  15 Steps to Fix Your Broken Finances and Live a Better Life!



1) Yes, we're still alive!

2) My main growth project -- finishing my PhD -- is complete!

3) In the next couple of months, we'll be deciding whether or not to change my career in 2017.  My work is going very well and I'm engaged in some very interesting new projects, but there are also great opportunities elsewhere... decisions, decisions!   

4) I miss blogging, but I'm not going to do it unless I can do it with excellence and authenticity.  I'm disappointed with most of the content out there and all of the tricks associated with ranking, SEO, etc.  I won't engage in anything that isn't authentic or that isn't written to a high standard!

5) We have essentially no side gigs going on right now.  Jen has moved from full time to a couple of part-time jobs and I'm still working harder than ever in my current job.  We still make $10-$50 in blog income each month though, mostly from affiliate links!  Crazy stuff...

6) We are very close to being financially prepared in case we transition in 2017.  This includes enough passive income to live without jobs (if we must, until we find our next gigs) and the money we'll need to buy a house.  

7) For those who kept track of my P2P loan returns, I'm still drawing down both accounts.  Their returns currently:  Lending Club- 7.39%; Prosper- 12.46%. 

It will be interesting to see if anyone is still out there!  Drop me a note in the comments if you are!  


One Reason Affiliate Income Is Never Truly Passive

All of you know that I haven't spent much time with LTNE lately.  That said, I still check my affiliate income at least once a month, for the sake of each monthly report.

Today, I was pleased to see that I had received a $25 commission for one of my links, so I drilled in deeper on two of my other affiliate relationships within that affiliate marketing company, only to discover that I had tons of clicks for campaigns that had been abandoned by the sponsoring companies.  These clicks did nothing for our affiliate income. 

Some of these were highly-lucrative links, with leads that begin at $25 and shoot up to $75. 

In at least one of the cases, the company no longer even offers an affiliate program, despite the fact that those articles are still up and running here at LTNE, sending them customers.

In the other company's case, they have abandoned the affiliate marketing company where I had a relationship with them and have gone to another, requiring a new application, etc.

Keeping up with affiliate links is far from passive.  If you are using WordPress, plug-ins like Pretty Link help make it a whole lot easier, but it is still something that requires constant attention.

Better yet, consider approaching the company directly, as I did some time ago with a few companies, and offer for them to purchase advertising space on your page. 

All of this is even more reason that any pivot that I do with LTNE in the future that still involves affiliate marketing will involve some process that offloads these responsibilities from me to someone else, so that I can enjoy writing and not have to worry about keeping up with links.

Otherwise, inattention leaves cash on the table, and that is never a good thing.

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