I’ve made it no secret on here that I struggled, a lot, financially in my 20’s. As a graduate student and then fledgling adjunct I lived most of that decade paycheck-to-paycheck and without any benefits; including health insurance. I was fortunate enough not to have any major health scares and became a bit of an expert on at-home remedies. I also always viewed eating right and exercising as my own form of health insurance and I think that was time, and money, well spent!

Once the health care reforms started I realized if I didn’t get insured soon I may have to pay a penalty fee on my taxes for 2015. Well, in addition to marrying the guy of my dreams I also am now covered under Travis’s health care so that is no longer a concern for me. I wasn’t expecting to get married this year though so I’ve done a lot of research on this topic! Here are a few key points to know:

Turbo Tax

  • The Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare is designed to ensure everyone has health insurance and imposes tax penalties on those who don’t.
  • Your taxes will still be easy to file yourself with TurboTax! For most people (9 out of 10 taxpayers), complying with the ACA on taxes takes checking a box on their tax return to confirm they have health insurance.
  • About 50% of people who are uninsured will quialify for a tax exemption. To see if you may qualify you can check out TurboTax Health.
  • If you will remain uninsured TurboTax has a free calculator to estimate what your penalty will be.
  • Open Enrollment for the health cafe exchanges starts on November 15 and ends February 15, 2015 so you still have plenty of time to get prepared.


So, there you have it. If you have insurance it will still be super easy to file your own taxes next year. I’ve been filing my own with TurboTax for years now and even with all the new freelance/blog income it’s still very straightforward. If you don’t have insurance you can see if you qualify for an exemption, and if not then you can either enroll in the health exchanges starting today or start saving up to pay your penalty tax!

Are you confused about the Affordable Care Act?
Do you know how to handle having/not having health insurance on your taxes next year?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Workout Wrap Up

Saturday: Wedding day 5k

Sunday: Pensacola marathon

Monday: REST

Tuesday: Shake-out 5k (took me 40 minutes!)

Wednesday: 4.25 mile walk

Thursday: Xtend Barre

Friday: 3-6 mile run

Yes, you read that right. I have marathon #4 coming in just 9 short weeks! Travis and I will be traveling to the Big Easy to do the Rock-n-Roll Full marathon there on January 25th. It will be Travis’s first time to the city so I’m really looking forward to it!

This week I took it very easy. My knee is still a little tight but feeling MUCH better than it was pre-marathon. The shake out run and walk really helped get me feeling back to normal within 2 days. I’ve also been chugging Vega recovery every morning, foam rolling every day, and just being as proactive as possible since I know Marathon 4 is right around the corner.

Originally when I signed up for these two marathons I was hoping to sub 4:30 at Pensacola, and just take it super nice and easy at NOLA since it is a training run for my first ultra (Blackwater 50k on February 21st.) Since I didn’t come anywhere near that goal (I just stopped training for it) I’m tempted to try to race NOLA, but given it’s a month out from a 50k I’m sure I should be conservative with my pace there and just run it for fun. I think I’ll make my formal decision on how to train based on how my runs go next week.

For my 5k on Tuesday I ran over to the Veterans Memorial downtown. There were cute letters written from kids all over the place. It was very touching to see!

2014-11-11 06.56.12

2014-11-11 06.56.34On my walk Wednesday I came across four kittens in East Hill (nice neighborhood I used to live in.) I had seen them a few weeks ago sitting on the top of a trash can with their mama. Mama was NOT happy when I approached so I backed off. This time I didn’t see her so I tried to get closer and they started to move away from me. A minute later mama came out toward me from behind a tree so I took off! I’m glad they have mom there to protect them but I hate thinking of them out all alone, especially now that it’s getting into the 30’s here.

2014-11-12 14.49.39This week I received the BEST PACKAGE EVER. Arctic Zero sent me some of their new flavors to try out! Sea Salt Caramel? Gone in two day (sorry Travis!)

2014-11-11 16.47.49-1Arctic Zero is something you either love or hate. I always tell people to not go into it expecting it to taste like ‘regular’ creamy ice cream. It’s only 150 calories per pint people! Something that makes a huge difference for me is putting it in the microwave for about 25 seconds before eating it. That really helps it have a more ice cream consistency versus the flavored ice some people compare it to. I honestly go through 2-3 pints a week. yolo.

I was talking to Travis via text while on my walk and he said something gross so I sent this picture in response. He said, “nice face, babe.” And I got to respond, “Well, you married it!” Hahahahah. You’re stuck now sucka. Imma gain ALL the weight and not give a CARE anymore. Jk.

2014-11-12 15.45.21I actually did some food prep late in the week now that I can’t use marathon training as an excuse to eat a 100% carb diet (or can I with nola in 9 weeks?!) I made a huge batch of my favorite cauliflower and chickpea curry, some broccoli and cheddar tots, and tamari and maple syrup tempeh. The broccoli and cheddar tots are really good with ranch. Just a suggestion.2014-11-12 17.34.39-1Travis and I have been taking a car load of boxes every time we go back to Alabama for a few weeks now. This is this weeks haul. We are hoping it will make the official moving day (over Thanksgiving) a bit easier. Salem is not impressed.2014-11-13 14.51.14Before the move I will have all of my books up there which is always the worst part of moving. I honestly have like 500-600 books. I’m also donating a ton of stuff since we are merging two houses together and we’ll have duplicates of a lot of things. I love getting rid of stuff. It feels so freeing to me! I’ve got my second trunk load to take to Goodwill this weekend and will have an entire car load full the day before I move. Nice tax write-off as well!

How do your pets handle moving?

What’s the last new recipe you tried (and loved?)

I made $1,838 from this blog in October

November 12th, 2014 | Posted by Erica House in Life - (43 Comments)

Last week I asked on facebook if anyone would be interested in seeing a monthly blog income report. I am borderline obsessed with seeing what other bloggers make and apparently many of you feel the same way! Making Sense of Cents made over $14,000 last month and Pinch of Yum made nearly $19,000! Having bloggers be so open and honest with their income is so refreshing and such a motivator for me. There is NOTHING stopping me, or you, from making that same amount of money online!

October Income Report$1,838 (1)

Breakdown of income sources:

  • Sponsored Posts: 1283
  • Ads on Website: 100
  • Amazon Associates: 25
  • Twitter Parties: 300
  • Freelance Writing: 130 (check out my post on how to make money freelance writing)
  • TOTAL: $1,838

October was the highest grossing month I’ve had thus far thanks to a few great sponsored posts I did over the summer. Most of the time you don’t get paid for 30-90 days after you complete a project so this great month is really reflective of sponsored posts I was doing in July/August. My average monthly income from January to September was $911 (and in June I only made $25!)

Last year my average monthly income was $916 so I’m doing about the same, which I’d like to change and start doing much better!

Of the 100 things I’d like to do when I have more free time two top the list. When the semester ends in December and I am living in Alabama with Travis my main job will be writing. I’d like to do a total overhaul of this blog’s layout and start looking for some more freelance work opportunities. As much as I LOVE writing this blog I always try to think long term and I just don’t know if I’ll be blogging in 10 or 20 years. However, I can always picture myself writing so that’s something I want to keep as a priority.

Given that I still have to pay about 20% in taxes my average monthly income is really closer to $700, and I put in about 15 hours a week on the blog so that equates to making $11.70 an hour. No benefits (I have health insurance thanks to the husband now and a 401k via the schools I work at) but I can’t remember the last time I had to actually buy workout clothes or running shoes!

I always tell people but I don’t know if they believe it; I’ve got the best job in the world.

Do you make money online?
What are your goals for your blog?