Fortunately I am one of those few people on Steem who despite the disappointing market price of Steem on the Market lately, still earn a little extra money for my own personal use.
Truth be told, money-wise I'm not really expecting much out of this platform. I am just glad that I am able to earn some extra money just by expressing my thoughts/opinions and my passions through blogs just like what I would normally do on other social media platform like Facebook and Reddit.
I have been on Steem for over 9 months now and it was just last August where I started withdrawing some liquid Steem out of my wallet. Right now I am cashing out around 30% of my liquid Steem earnings on this platform while powering up the remaining 70% per month.
I then use it to pay for my Internet Bills which is around P1500-P2000 ($30-$40) and buy some character skins online like characters from DOTA2. (Also availed their DOTA2+ Subscription atm)
Going back to your question, Yeahhh! Steem helped me with paying out some of my expenses irl (well only internet bill atm) and allowed me to buy and purchase some of the things I am really passionate about.
It hasn't changes my personal finances at all - for now! I am one of the believers in the long term of the Steem blockchain, and believe it has a HUGE future ahead of it. SMTs are going to make this blockchain take off (in my opinion).
At the moment I don't really need the extra money (I mean we could all do with extra money - but I don't need it to live off), and so I just earn extra Steem and accumulate. If it goes to 9, then well I didn't invest any of my own FIAT, but if it goes to say $50 it could be life changing!
I now try to earn as much steem as possible in hopes that it will return to the old highs of $7 a steem or more. It would allow me to pay off my house and live a life that is much more fun rather than just going to work everyday.
It hasn't at all. I see this as a long term investment of time and effort. I haven't invested any money into my account and have started from scratch.
I have just over 800 SP currently which in today's prices is around $750 or so. I haven't benefited as I haven't taken anything out yest and won't as it is all about powering up and growing.
I see this a s a fabulous investment for the future and the aim is to get to 5000 SP as soon as possible. Once that is achieved I will then look at other ways of growing by delegating etc. It will change my finances in the long term and even if it is only when Steem gets to $10 per Steem then if I am holding 5000 SP that would be worth something and made this all worthwhile.
I won't cash out but I will definitely at some point use some of the rewards as a passive income and even if it is only a few hundred dollar a month it will change my finances. I am expecting big things from Steem in the next 6 months and it is a matter of patience and powering up whenever I can.