Episode 20: Increasing Income to Pay Off Debt with Kayla Sloan

April 23, 2018

Quick Recap:

  • From Shoeaholic No More to $10k VA
  • Saving $10,000 while paying off debt
  • You don't have to be frugal
  • Evil vs Awesome: Taxes
  • Getting started as a virtual assistant
  • Becoming a full-time VA
  • Where her debt stands now
  • Evil vs Awesome: Real life quidditch
  • Special offer to our listeners


The Show:

Today, I’m excited to have our guest who helps people bet on themselves, something she knows a lot about because she bet on herself and became self employed while working to pay off debt.

Her proudest financial moment was paying for her new teeth in cash and she just recently diversified her income, allowing her take more time for herself.

Today I’m happy to welcome Kayla Sloan to the Accio Debt Freedom Podcast.  Welcome Kayla!

Ok, so first things first, your site used to be called Shoealholic No More, can you tell us a bit about your shoe collection and your debt story?

I started the blog in 2013 and had well over 100 pairs of shoes and no money in the bank.

So I decided to start my blog to work on improving my finances and pay off debt, but I also wanted to learn more about how to live simply and pursue a lifestyle that could bring me happiness. Rather than just buying stuff and trying to keep up with other people and what they needed for a good life.

It's crazy, I had ups and downs along the way. I didn't have a giant emergency fund and ended up taking on more debt in the process, and the height of my debt I had $148,000 which included a mortgage. 

But that was actually at the same time I ended up quitting my job which is crazy.

I had the mortgage, some credit card debt, and a small student loan that I'm working on paying off right now, and a car loan also. I'm credit card debt free and have been for almost a year. I'm looking forward to just having my car loan and mortgage. 

How did you manage to save $10,000 while paying off debt, to pay for your teeth?

So something I've always been self conscious about was that I had very stained teeth because I didn't have good enamel as a kid, so I had really bad stains. I've always wanted to get them repaired with cosmetic dentistry through veneers, but it's something that insurance doesn't cover.

It was $9,920 out of pocket. So it was really expensive but it was something that I wanted to do forever. When I became self-employed I was able to increase my income and at that point I set a super aggressive goal to set aside $1,000 a month towards my teeth. In addition to paying extra towards my debt.

So it was really balancing those goals. 

If I had tried to do it when working my full time job, it wouldn't have been possible because I only brought home $2,000 a month. 

Liz: I think it's amazing you did that and prioritized it, I saved up for Lasik a few years ago, it was about $3,000, but it helped me with so many other things and to move on and do other things. It was $3,000 but it was absolutely life changing.

Those things that you're self conscious about, and dealing with that give you so much more confidence and you can translate that into other wins for yourself. 

Doing more public speaking and being on the news and more video, I'm a lot more comfortable doing that now and I feel like that is going to help me grow my business. Which then helps my finances

So it's all one big circle, every thing comes back to money. 

You claim that you are not very frugal, what’s your reasoning or mindset with how you choose to spend your money?

I'm not frugal, I'll happily admit it. I totally okay with spending on things that bring me joy, like going out to eat or getting coffee at starbucks or those things that get a lot of hate in the personal finance community. I don't really care.

Liz- But they are things you value and that bring you joy. I think the problem with buying coffee out is more if it's mindless and you're just in a rush. I think if it's something you take time out to enjoy the experience then it's ok and even a bit frugal.

I do the same thing eating out because we like the experience. I live in a small town and so when I travel I love trying new places to eat.

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Evil vs Awesome: Taxes


  • The worst.
  • I owe so much because I'm self employed
  • I save all year and pay quarterly taxes, but it still sucks to write that check


Overall: Evil

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Being a virtual assistant has changed your life, how did you get started with that work?

It's not something that has been around very long so it is new to a lot of people. I really didn't know it was a job or a thing at all to be honest. But when I started my blog as a creative outlet, I started connecting with other bloggers in my community.

After blogging for a few months, I was approached by someone in our community who was looking for help running her blog and business. She asked if I was interested in being her virtual assistant, and I was like, I don't know what that is but if you're going to pay me money, I'm all over that because I need all the money I can get to pay off debt.

So it really fell into my lap, but it was my organizational skills that caught her eye and had her approach me.

Looking back, if I'd known it was a job and business I probably would have tried to get into it a lot sooner and there are things I've learned that I've tried to pass onto others getting into this work.

So what was the timeline of you starting your blog to becoming a full time VA?

I started my blog in Dec. 2013 and got my first client as a virtual assistant in July 2014. Then I worked part time as a virtual assistant in the evenings and on the weekends and got several clients built up over 12 months. When I quit my job in July 2015 I had fully replaced my full-time job's income. 

How many different income streams do you have and how has it contributed to paying off your debt?

I have about 4 different income streams now. I work as a virtual assistant and a freelance writer. I also earn money from my site and I also do coaching and sell products. I just launched my first course last year, 10k VA.

Now I have awesome ideas and new projects that will be coming soon.

When you became self employed you had replaced you day job income of $2,000 a month and have since grown that to earn $10,000 month?

I've also really been focused on transitioning from client work to more building my community and helping others to become a VA. 

I've been overrun with work and I can't possibly take on any more work, so teaching others is going to pay off in the long run.

What types of work does a VA do?

It's similar to an assistant you would find at an office, but they can offer tons of different services. I came up with a list of over 100 ideas of services you can offer as a virtual assistant. 

It's great as a side hustle, because it's virtual you can work anywhere but also whenever you want, so long as you meet the deadline.

You also get to set your prices. Including if you want to charge hourly or flat rate. 

The hardest thing is finding your first client and then once you do that it's so much easier. 

Where does your debt stand now?

I'm currently sitting at $122,000 which includes my mortgage and that's also while reaching other financial goals including my teeth, and travel, and paying off credit card debt.

What else would you like our listeners to know?

I guess that no matter where you are your journey, you're going to come across things that are hard but you just have to keep going. Keep doing what you do and it will pay off. 

Also, $10k VA is always open for enrollment. Get $50 off with code: ACCIO50

Evil vs Awesome: Real Life Quidditch


  • Tiring to carry a broom while running
  • I'm too out of shape to truly enjoy the experience


  • Kinda crazy since we can't fly

Overall: Awesome but raises some questions

What do you think?

Interested in becoming a VA? Get $50 off $10k VA with code: ACCIO50
Sign up for $10k VA

Thanks for joining us!

Create Your Own Financial Magic!

You don't have to be frugal to pay off debt, but you likely do need to earn more. Listen to the latest episode where we talk increasing income to pay off debt with Kayla Sloan
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