Wow! 2016 was a great year for my business. Last month I earned 5 figures in one month for the first time. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to keep it up, but I did it again in December.
Is it just me? The first time I hit a new income level with my business it always feels like a fluke. So, I’m pleasantly surprised when it happened again.
That said, there might still be months when I don’t earn 5 figures, and I’m ok with that. In fact, this month I wouldn’t have made 5 figures if it weren’t for some bonuses from my amazing clients!
I know that as my business changes directions from time to time, I may still see ups and downs in my income level. Ahh, the joys of self-employment. The whole thing is pretty much an experiment to see what works and what doesn’t. 🙂
Here’s a breakdown of how I earned money and spent money with my business in December.
VA/Blog Management Services – $5,690.65
Freelance and Ghost Writing – $2,240.00
Advertising on Shoeaholicnomore.com and FinancialConversation.com – $1,690.00
Coaching/Pick My Brain – $0.00 🙁
Bonuses, Tips, etc.– $1,425.00
I don’t think my income report wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t share my expenses with you. I personally don’t like reading income reports from bloggers who don’t share their business expenses. It looks great when bloggers say they earned $10K or $20K or some other huge number. But, I always wonder how much they are spending in order to earn that much. After all, you can’t make money without spending money. The further I get with my business and the more it grows, I realize this is 100% true.
When I started blogging and freelancing, I spent almost NOTHING. I had time. But I didn’t have money. Then, as my business grew, I had to begin outsourcing things and building a team. I also started bought some training so I could continue to learn new skills after I learned as much as I could with free trainings and tools on the internet.
The expenses listed below are only what I paid out of my business account this month.
You won’t see a line for internet in the expenses below because that is something I would pay for even if I didn’t have an online business. (But yes, I do get to deduct most of it now that I have an online business.) So keep that in mind. ?
VAs and Tech Services – $2,808.27
PayPal and Other Fees – $77.64
Podcast Expenses – $29.95
Supplies – $117.97
Shipping – $30.21
Facebook Ads – $20.00
Training – $50.00
Board Booster – $5.00
New Computer – $100.00
Total Expenses: $3,239.04
Income less Expenses: $7,806.66
Expenses were up again for December. Some of my contractors worked ahead before the holidays, so some of those expenses would have been in January if they weren’t working ahead. I’ve also been working with one of my assistants on a lot of updates and extra projects to improve the blog and get ready for my re-brand later this month.
Earning more also meant that my PayPal fees were higher than last month. But I know they would be significantly higher if I didn’t use FreshBooks for invoicing my clients. I can’t recommend FreshBooks enough if you are a freelancer who is primarily paid by PayPal. I did get several payments from international clients in December, and those are not eligible for the $0.50 PayPal business fees, so that’s why my PayPal fees are so high this month.
Board Booster is something I started using a few months ago and it has helped increase my traffic from Pinterest. I use a combination of Board Booster and Tailwind to get the most bang for my buck on Pinterest. I plan to increase to a larger Board Booster plan for January going forward.
It’s also important to remember that my online income has not yet been taxed. This means that about 30% of what I make is going to be taken by Uncle Sam. That “expense” is not included in the net figure listed above.
If income reports get you jazzed, you can see all of my online income reports on this page!
Just to see how far I’ve come, I averaged my monthly online income for the 30 months I’ve been freelancing. Even with the smaller months at the beginning, my average monthly online income (gross) is $4,245.57. My 12 month (gross) average is $7,508.28.
2016 Total Earnings and Expenses
2016 Total Earnings: $90,099.34
2016 Total Expenses: $24,812.90
Income Less Expenses: $65,286.45
Wow! I never took the time to add it up before, but I can’t believe I earned over $90,000 online in 2016!
One more month like these last two and I would have made $100,000 for the year. That’s pretty exciting! My income goal for 2017 is to earn $100,000 for the year and I definitely think it’s attainable.
I am also surprised at the amount of money I spent operating my business in 2016. Nearly $25,000! Hopefully I can increase my income and keep my expenses at about the same level in 2017.
Before you go, please let me know if you still think these reports are helpful. I’ve been going back and forth lately about whether or not to continue doing a monthly income report for 2017, or offering a quarterly report instead. Holler at me in the comments and let me know your thoughts!