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.
More top posts for new readers:
- Complete Beginner Guide to Budgeting
- Complete Beginner Guide to Credit
- Complete Beginner Guide to Freelancing
- Complete Beginner Guide to Travel Hacking
- Complete Beginner Guide to the Stock Market
- 137 Side Hustle Ideas
The New Year in Full Swing
With the new year in full swing, I'm as busy as ever, but good busy. I finished up my 2016 taxes, have already been on a few trips, and have new clients coming on board as on old client fades away. That is keeping me plenty busy on the laptop as I keep pushing forward while working hard to reach every goal I have set for 2017.
Just last night I finished my 2016 taxes. For the first time in a few years, I tried hiring an accounting to take care of things for me. I used the app TaxFyle to find an accountant, and a gentleman in Alabama claimed my return. He did a great job with my 1120 form for my S-Corp, so I thought I'd give him a try for my personal taxes as well. I was not impressed with the first draft, which was riddled with errors and omissions, so I went back to the software route. I filed my personal tax return with TurboTax online, and it did everything I needed for about $160. I wanted to use TurboTax for my business taxes as well, but they don't offer an online version or a Mac version, which is why I didn't start with them in the beginning.
I'm also finding I may be getting a little complacent with my recent successes. Getting free trips and conference admissions while making my revenue goals a few months in a row has taken away some of my motivation to keep working hard. But with a lackadaisical attitude comes subpar results, and that is not what I'm aiming for. I need to stick with it to keep seeing the same level of success!
Speaking – I was accepted as a speaker at TBEX, a premier travel blogging conference taking place this summer in Huntsville, Alabama. In addition to my talk, I'll get a handful of fun experiences including a day at space camp, a ghost tour, and a three day trip to Montgomery. TBEX looks to feature host cities a little off the beaten path. I'm looking forward to my first trip to Alabama and everything else that comes with speaking at TBEX.
KosherFish.co – After seeing some success from Google, I hired a freelancer on UpWork to create Android and iOS versions of my Kosher Fish web app. The Android version is live and available to download. iPhone version pending approval from Apple. Hopefully the $600 I spent on the two apps will pay off quickly!
Money Mola – Money Mola is back in full swing with a new CTO. I also added a CMO to the team. The new CTO is hard at work coding away and testing our integration with Dwolla. Once that is all set, we are good to launch with our minimum viable product!
Writing – After visiting LendIt, I am excited to bring a couple of possible new clients on board. I've also seen more volume lately from Contently, which offers great pay but fewer opportunities than some of my recurring monthly clients. I just squeaked by and reached by goal last month with little room to spare, so I need to crank things up a notch in March and April.
Entrepreneurial Income Breakdown
Now the part you've all really been waiting for. How much money did my business, Narrow Bridge Media, bring through the doors last month. I don't regularly tally up my earnings during the month. Invoice day is the last day of the month, and this month I came in just shy of my goal. But I remembered a few bucks sitting in PayPal that I hadn't accounted for yet and had a big article in my queue, so I was able to make it over the $10,000 mark for my fourth consecutive month. Woo hoo!
- Affiliate Marketing – $53
- Direct Ad Placements – $250
- Total Advertising – $303
- Website Support – $193
- Writing Services – $10,386
- Total Freelance – $10,578
- Flipping – $28
- Premium Plugins – $0
Gross Profit – $10,989
Website work is now under $200 per month, and will continue to shrink in March. I am shutting down my monthly WordPress support business officially at the end of April. But at the same time, my writing income has been great and I'm looking to add a new line for speaking by the end of the year.EXPENSES (Does Not Include My Paychecks)
- Bank Charges and Payment Fees – $23
- Computer and Internet Expense – $80
- Meals & Entertainment – $62
- SG&A – $10
- Outsourced Labor – $464
- Postage & Shipping – $8
- Professional Services – $ 207
- Telecom Expense – $129
- Travel – $0
- Total Expenses – $983
Total Revenue $10,989 Total Expenses $983, Profit Before Tax $10,006
Check out my full history of income reports here.
Financial Planning & Analysis
On the last day of February when I first tallied up my invoices, I was a few hundred dollars short of my $10,000 per month goal. Through hard work on that last day, I was able to figure it out. But it wasn't just an issue of meeting my goals, it showed me a deeper issue that if I really want to reach my goals, I need to check in a bit more often. I am planning to start a bi-monthly financial review where I can see how I'm doing and what I need to do to reach my goals.
This also reminds me that I have to hold an annual meeting to maintain my C-Corporation. The officers are me and my wife, who both regularly review business financial performance. Tax season is a good time to hold an official annual meeting where we both sign off that we have met and reviewed the business finances and plans for the next year.
Lessons Learned in the School of Hard Knocks
I also learned quite a bit about my taxes going through the process this year. S-Corps don't work all that differently from LLCs, so it isn't a huge learning curve. The biggest thing I need to start doing is actually filling out and sending in quarterly estimated tax payments. I got a big refund this year, but still had to pay $27 in penalties for the two quarters I didn't send in an estimated payment. Shame on me! But 2017 is the year I start to get that right.
No month goes by that I don't learn something new! Here's to an amazing March and many lessons learned!