I hope your month is off to a great start! I just came home from two weeks on the road (with one night in my own bed in the middle). I had a great eight day adventure in Huntsville and Montgomery, Alabama, then took a family vacation to Seattle and Victoria. I kept up with work along the way, but now that I’m back home it’s time to put my head down and make some cash!
Why in the world do you share your income publicly?
When I started this website more than nine years ago, I had just left a job working as a bank manager. I learned so much about misunderstood parts of banking and personal finance earning a finance degree and running a bank branch that I decided it was time to share what I had learned. I was the guy who decided if your mortgage was approved, after all, something most people never see firsthand.
I read other personal finance blogs as I worked to pay off my car loan (which I did in about half of the five year term), pay off my student loans (two years and six days after graduation), and conquer other financial challenges as a Millennial with a shiney new finance degree. I realized reading those other sites that I had a unique perspective thanks to my background, and to build trust with you, I would be completely transparent on how I deal with my own finances.
I used to share a monthly net worth update, but since stopped doing so regularly for the privacy of my family. However, I always shared what I earned online and through side hustles, and continue to do so every month. Side hustle income has changed my life, and I like to show you how in these monthly updates.
If it’s your first time stopping in, you can see a history of my online income reports here, going back to February, 2012, when I brought in $739 online. I did a whole lot better this month, but you’ll have to keep reading to find out exactly how much better and how I did it.
Most popular posts for new readers:
- Complete Beginner Guide to Budgeting
- Complete Beginner Guide to Credit
- Complete Beginner Guide to the Stock Market
- Complete Beginner Guide to Freelancing
- Complete Beginner Guide to Travel Hacking
- 137 Side Hustle Ideas
Buying Bought a house!
Last month I shared that my wife and I were in the process of buying a new house. We’ve called Ventura, California home for the last 13 months, and we’ve been renting a nice apartment about five minutes from the beach. While the apartment is brand new, it is about half the size of our old house in Portland and we were already outgrowing the place when we moved in.
As someone who has spent the last 13 months full-time self-employed, getting a mortgage was not a walk in the park. But ultimately we were able to jump through the hoops, which included a higher down payment, to make it all happen. We signed two weeks ago and the loan officially closed last Monday. We are homeowners… and landlords!
We bought the home because we want to be by one of the best schools in town, and the family that we bought the house from did the same. We are giving them an extra month in the house through what is known as a “sale, leaseback.” We own the house and they are renting from us until our move in day next month.
Epic trip to Alabama
I admit that I had some biased thoughts going into my trip to Alabama, in the heart of the Deep South. But I was blown away by the great time I had in Huntsville and Montgomery. I enjoyed a day at Space Camp, spoke at TBEX (watch almost the entire talk here), made great connections, and had an amazing time exploring Montgomery. After this visit, I can easily recommend Alabama as a top affordable travel destination. And you will eat really, really well along the way.
Speaking – My talk in Huntsville was a great success. Around 100 TBEXers gathered in conference room two for my big moment on stage as I shared tips and tricks I used to take my freelancing business from a side hustle earning less than $10,000 per year to a six figure business. I was able to record the talk, which is available here on YouTube.
KosherFish.co – While in Montgomery, I got a message that my app is now live in the Apple App Store! This took about two months of back and forth emails, app tweaks, and hassles, but we got er done. View the web version here, the Android version here, and the new iOS version here.
Money Mola – Money Mola is so close to launch I can taste it! We have the main integrations built and working, so now it’s just time to test and hit the big switch to make it live!
Writing – I’ve noticed an interesting trend where I am less busy at the start of the month and more busy at the end. That works out well for me this month, as I have been traveling for about two weeks with limited writing time. But on the bright side, it looks like I may have a new client or two from TBEX.
Entrepreneurial Income Breakdown
I know this is the part you’ve all been waiting for! If you are a new visitor, check out my entire history of income reports going back to 2012 here. The page just got a big overhaul, so long time readers may enjoy stopping in as well!
- Affiliate Marketing – $103
- Direct Ad Placements – $145
- Total Advertising – $249
- Website Support – $169 (this business closed at the end of April)
- Writing Services – $10,350
- Total Freelance – $10,519
- Flipping – $12
- Premium Plugins – $0
Gross Profit – $10,779
April was officially my last month billing for my monthly website support service, and it is officially shut down. I have one more pending website to finish, and the web design and support business will be officially closed. This gives me more time to focus on the writing side of my business, where I make much more per hour and have done well consistently.
EXPENSES (Does Not Include My Paychecks)
- Advertising – $5
- Bank Charges and Payment Fees – $1 (some revenue reported net of fees)
- Computer and Internet Expense – $1,342
- Meals & Entertainment – $3
- SG&A – $0
- Outsourced Labor – $693
- Postage & Shipping – $3
- Professional Services – $ 0
- Telecom Expense – $83
- Travel – $0
- Total Expenses – $2,130
Total Revenue $10,779 Total Expenses $2,130, Profit Before Tax $8,649
Check out my full history of income reports here.
Financial Planning & Analysis
Now that my new VA is fully onboard, I expect my monthly outsourced labor costs to go up. My plan is that the new VA will help generate more traffic, and in turn more affiliate revenue. Personal Profitability is a money loser on its own, subsidized by my freelance business. But without the blog, I wouldn’t have the freelance opportunities. It is a chicken and an egg scenario, but I know the blog came first.
Now that my overhead is higher and I’m a homeowner instead of a renter, ensuring I earn enough to make my mortgage payments and then some is more important than ever.
Lessons Learned in the School of Hard Knocks
Last month a trip to visit my parents in Denver ate some of my work days. This month it was the trip to Alabama, Seattle, and Victoria. I still have time to catch up and hit my goal by the end of May, but I am realizing I need to build some padding into my goals and schedule for unproductive days and hours. After all, I don’t get paid anything for writing this post. I only get paid for client work.
This also shows why I need to focus more on earning when I’m not working. But that “passive income” is harder to earn than it sounds. It is my long-term goal, however, so I need to start focusing on earning when I’m away from the keyboard.
Until next time, stay profitable.