How to Live Well When your Passion Doesn't Pay Well (part 1)

By in Wealth | 22 comments

Sign up on right to get free WEALTH TIP’s Newsletter, and FREE bonus eBook; 20 Minute Guide to Investing! And be sure to pick up my RSS feed or email subscription and follow me on twitter so you get the word immediately.

Don’t miss Part 2 of this series; How to Live Well if You Work in a Low Paying Field

and Part 3; How You Turned Your Passion Into Cash

The money question that got me thinking…..

A regular reader has been asking me why I do freelance personal finance writing since the pay is not as lucrative as my work as a Portfolio Manager or Investment Professor.

If the sites that hire you for freelance writing are paying x dollars for an article, and you make more money offline for that same hour my next logical question would be; Why do it?

 Here’s how I responded:

It’s certainly logical to wonder why I do freelance personal finance writing for what is clearly less money than I make “in my day jobs.”

Wow, this philosophical and practical question got me thinking.

I am passionate about sharing sound money solutions and wealth building strategies.

 My blogging goals are to educate others in personal finance, investing, and wealthy living. I have amassed plenty of wealth and want to share what has worked in my life along with tips and strategies for others.

Over time my blogging activities cost more time than initially expected, I want to be compensated for my on line efforts. I also seek to grow my readers so that more folks can learn to be financially successful. Teaching others personal finance strategies through freelance writing helps others and yields a bit of financial return for my work.

I like trying new activities and expanding my life options. Blogging is a perfect example of this preference.

If it was only about the money, I probably wouldn’t blog at all since the hourly rate of pay is low.

Do you participate in “work type” activities which provide personal satisfaction and low pay?

Don’t miss Part 2 of this series; How to Live Well if You Work in a Low Paying Field

and Part 3; How You Turned Your Passion Into Cash

image credit; xorsyst


  1. I completely understand! I love blogging, but it really isn’t as lucrative as some people think. Now, there are exceptions, which may be why people might think otherwise. However, I guess I’m used to doing what I love for little pay (like teaching!) Guess I have a running theme here. 😉

    Little House

    December 7, 2011

  2. I totally agree, Barb. If you were to write about something that might be more lucrative that you don’t have a passion for, you’ll get bored of it quickly and the lack of passion would come through anyways.

    Money Beagle

    December 7, 2011

  3. I’m in the same position. I love my day jobs as a translational scientist/regulatory writer and part-time pharmacist. However, I also love helping people with money issues because so many of us lack a foundation, despite the lower pay. Some people just don’t get it, but it’s about what you find fulfilling.

    Roshawn @ Watson Inc

    December 7, 2011

  4. Opportunities come from doing things you are passionate about!


    December 7, 2011

  5. It’s a hobby for me. One where I trying to help others that are similar to myself.

    While writing is the biggest part of my hobby, I also like to dabble in technology 🙂


    December 7, 2011

  6. Ha – I could make much more money working part time as a cashier at Walmart!!! But I get a kick out learning new things and from writing.

    Marie at FamilyMoneyValues

    December 7, 2011

  7. Fun to see all the bloggers come out and agree! I’m no different. But I would add that, while blogging is often not very profitable for most people (myself include – I haven’t gone down the monetization route w/ my blog (yet?), it is possible to turn what appears to be a passion that doesn’t pay into some decent income.

    In other words, your “passion” might not pay a ton if applied a traditional way (i.e. art, social work, etc.) there are people who satisfy that same passion and make good money doing it (writing about it, holding seminars or classes or coaching). I know it’s not easy, but I’d hate for someone to give up on their passion without first trying to satisfy that tug with an alternative application of their passion.

    Two cents 🙂


    December 7, 2011

  8. BTW, I’d love to hear stories of folks who monetize passions that people think “don’t pay.” It might be a great “part 2” (or 3 or 4).

    Two more cents. 🙂


    December 7, 2011

  9. Doesn’t that apply for most people? Bowling, scrapbooking, quilting… making a living from one’s hobbies or passions is limited for the very few that the drive, vision and perseverance to make it so.

    101 Centavos

    December 7, 2011

  10. Thanks for this post, Barb. It’s also very satisfying to share our passion with others.


    December 7, 2011

  11. @Little House-You are a perfect example of someone making a wonderful life for yourself. Success is a very broad category.
    @Money-Actually, writing for most is only moderately lucrative.
    @Roshawn-I think there are a lot of us out there! BTW, what is a translational scientist?
    @Krantcents-That’s my philosophy as well 🙂


    December 7, 2011

  12. @Don-Clear cut and well defined. So many bloggers start as a hobby, make some money and start dreaming of great riches!
    @MArie-I think you are in the majority:)
    @Nick-Agreed, but I think it’s the exception, not the rule. Great idea for part 3 (Part 2 is already written). Stay tuned.
    @101-Definitely true for the majority.
    @MAggie-That’s the fun of the blogging community.


    December 7, 2011

  13. @Barb translational scientist means I have both basic and clinical research training. The caution though is that it is also a buzzword, so a lot of people claim that they are translational for political and funding reasons. There’s a huge spectrum of translational scientists too ranging from physicians to bench scientists.

    Roshawn @ Watson Inc

    December 7, 2011

  14. Basically what you’re saying is that you’ve monetized your hobby. If you would do it for free, isn’t that basically free money?

    My University Money

    December 7, 2011

  15. @Roshawn, Thanks for the explanation, quite interesting and informative.
    @My-Yes….. and no. It’s awesome that I’ve monetized a hobby. Although, for “just a hobby” I’m spending way too much time 🙂 But, I like how you think. Very positive!!!! It’s lucky that I love to be productive.


    December 7, 2011

  16. I love doing different things. I like my day job. I work in the area of cancer care. It is very interesting. I also like my blog. I love building new relationships with people the most. I do admit though that the blog has turned into a time sucker. I didn’t expect it to but it has. Because I like making new friends and learning I have kept it up.

    Miss T @ Prairie EcoThrifter

    December 8, 2011

  17. “Do you participate in “work type” activities which provide personal satisfaction and low pay?”

    To answer your question, yes. Blogging is the perfect example. It’s a lot of work. Sometimes I volunteer to teach personal finance related topics for no pay. So, it’s nice to make even a little money doing what I love.


    December 8, 2011

  18. @Miss T-thanks for that extr bit about your experience. Seems like there’s a thread about blogging going on!
    @Shawanda-Wonderful about the volunteer work, sounds like fun!!!


    December 8, 2011

  19. Being able to monetize a hobby is generally the exception, rather than the rule. There is nothing quite like doing what you love, though.

    Kevin Mzansi

    December 9, 2011

  20. Hey Babs, I understand completely! Sidework isn’t always just for the extra cash (although that’s nice). Many times it gives you a chance to express yourself and be your own boss which can be extremely satisfying.

    And if, like you, you are able to help others while doing it that is more than enough reason to take on extra ventures. And lastly, getting your name out there and building extra brand awareness doesn’t hurt either.

    Car Negotiation Coach

    December 10, 2011

  21. The way I see it, people who are doing what they’re passionate about will inevitably achieve financial success as well. However, the true richness of this is is the fact that you’re doing what you’re passionate about. Not everybody gets lucky enough to do it.


    dallas tx mortgage

    December 14, 2011

  22. @Kevin, Thanks for putting things in perspective-monetizing a hobby really is the exception, rather than the rule.
    @Car-All true benefits, nicely laid out!!!
    @Dallas-I agree, and actually the harder you work, the luckier you become!

    Barb Friedberg

    December 15, 2011


  1. Carnival of Personal Finance 340 Diverse PF Bloggers Edition - […] Friedberg from BARBARA FRIEDBERG PERSONAL FINANCE presents HOW TO LIVE WELL WHEN YOUR PASSION DOESN’T PAY WELL (part 1),…
  2. How to Live Well When your Passion Doesn't Pay Well (part 2) | Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance - […] Part 1,  I responded to a reader who wondered Why I Freelance for pay well below my normal hourly rate…
  3. 5 Tips to Get What You Really Want - […] $400 that could go toward paying off my debt. Yes, I could start a new side hustle (even if…

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *