Today we’d like to introduce you to Leah Althiser.
Hi Leah, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory
I first visited Disney World in 1986 and fell in love immediately. I visited many times as a child and started traveling there again as an adult in 2010. In 2014 I found myself a new stay-at-home mom and was losing my mind – I needed a creative outlet it seems! I started my first blog, The Frugal South, and wrote about all of the ways I was living a rich life on a tight budget, including how we traveled to Disney World on the cheap.
A few years later, my posts about Disney World started to take off. That showed me that there is a lot of interest in how to visit Disney World on a budget! And I started to learn how to make money from blogging. I kept writing posts, visiting Disney World, and sharing how I was saving money. In 2018 I decided to start a second site dedicated just to that topic and The Budget Mouse was born! The Budget Mouse is now a podcast with 60 episodes and counting, a site with tons of money-saving tips and tricks, a Facebook group with more than 30K members, and a school on Teachable. Through my affordable online courses, I’ve helped hundreds of people learn how to plan a Disney World vacation on a budget without getting overwhelmed.
And The Budget Mouse Facebook group is such a magical, supportive, and positive community. I’m so pleased with how it’s grown! This online business has completely changed my life and given me freedom I never dared to dream of. I am able to work less than 10 hours per week and have time to homeschool our 8-year-old daughter. In normal years we take at least six trips per year. In the few months leading up to the start of this craziness in the world, we took trips to Savannah, GA, Disney World, Tarpon Springs, FL and Puerto Rico. I have to give credit to the four other members of the blogging mastermind group I started in 2017. This was the turning point in my business. These fellow female bloggers and bosses have supported, challenged, and lifted me up. We believe a rising tide lifts ALL boats – we cheer each other on and celebrate every win. We troubleshoot challenges together and all of our businesses have grown tremendously because of it. I believe a community is essential for long-term success in the online space.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It has definitely not been a smooth road! It has been filled with doubts and setbacks. I remember the trouble I had, even daring to think I could make money blogging. It was truly a mental battle to just get to where I would believe this could make even $1000 per month. I blogged for 2.5 years without seeing any traffic. Just when I was about to give up I finally start seeing some growth. It took off from there and a few years later, I was making six figures annually from my sites. I’ve also pursued many projects that ended up going nowhere. But I don’t see them as failures. I see them as a part of the path and necessary to get me where I am today. For me, the biggest challenges were internal. My mindset had to make huge shifts to believe any of this was possible and that I deserved the things this work has brought me. I still feel like I have so much work to do on my mindset. I also know that challenges are part of growing and I never expect a smooth road. So when the inevitable bumps come along, I just ride them out until a smoother path appears.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I create content for my three websites: The Frugal South, The Budget Mouse The Practical Horsewoman I also run a Facebook group for The Budget Mouse, produce a podcast, and create online courses. I am most proud of the fact that I am willing to try new things that may or may not work. But I keep creating and pushing through the fear of failing. I think it takes a lot of courage to create content online – it is an increasingly crowded space. But what sets me apart is that I am genuine and my content comes out of a desire to be helpful. I am so fulfilled when someone says thanks, you really helped me!
Are there any apps, books, podcasts, blogs or other resources you think our readers should check out?
Yes! My mastermind group did a book study of You Are A Badass At Making Money by Jen Sincero and it helped me tremendously with my money mindset. I highly recommend it for anyone entrepreneur! Invisible Women by Caroline Criado-Perez also completely changed my perspective. I think it should be required reading for any female business owner (and anyone else really). It has changed how I view my work and my contribution to society. I also love the Manifestation Babe podcast. She has helped me work through money mindset challenges and limiting beliefs.
- Save 40% off my Disney World Made Easy online course with the coupon code VOYAGER