Income Report

Online Hustle Report: February 2016

February 29, 2016
This post may contain affiliate links. See disclosure policy here.

 

 

This month’s format is going to be a little different. I never want to use this space to focus on “losses” and I want to emphasize each one of my wins. I’m not delusional. I know building up my freelance income is going to take a little time (which is why I’ve extended my income goal of $2,000 additional per month to December 2016). I have kids, a home, and a full-time job and I will tell you one thing — this month has been cray!  Seriously. Just listen…

The first week of February was my daughter’s birthday. She turned 6 this year and I’ve always explained to her that after her 5th birthday party, we wouldn’t be having a party every year any longer. To make up for it, we decided to drive to my hometown of Spartanburg, SC to take her to visit her god-sister and take them to Chuck E Cheese. The Saturday following her birthday, we took her to Red Robin to eat with family and friends in our local area. She had a blast! Then that Sunday things started to get real.

First my daughter came home from school with a 102 degree fever. Of course, once one child falls sick, the second is sitting around waiting to get germied up. By the end of the week everyone in the house was sick!  When I get sick, the house shuts down. I tried my best to continue but ended up missing work. I could barely take care of myself and I had two sick youngins to watch.

Then another wave of sickness hit and my daughter caught some viral stomach bug. I managed this one a little better by keeping her baby brother away from her so we all wouldn’t end up sick. I thought that would be the last of such foolishness, but last week my son started teething. Then to top it all off we spent a good deal of time in the ER because he had an ear infection.

Needless to say, Toya didn’t do much writing this month.

But you know what? I’m not even sweating it because despite the weeks of sickness February ushered in, I managed to bring in additional income and I have some MAJOR wins to share with you all. So, I’m still pretty pumped about bringing you this online hustle report. I’m changing the format this month and sharing the income last because I want to share my wins with you and progress on some of my goals.

 

Major Win 1:

Every year at the full-time gig, our company selects its top employees to go on a special work conference at Disney World. All expenses are paid and employees get to spend 4 days in sunny Florida doing much of nothing. Of course, each day there are about 3 hours where employees have to attend some workshops, but other than that, it’s like a paid work vacation.

So the week I fell ill, I managed to drag myself out of the house to attend our annual employee kickoff. As I sat all congested and miserable in my seat, imagine my surprise when I heard my name over the speaker when they were announcing this year’s attendees. I actually had to read the screen a couple of times to make sure it was my name they were calling out!

Our work conference is in May and I’m so excited because honestly, mama could use 8 hours of straight sleep!   AND guess what? That is only ONE of the major things that happened this month…

 

Major Win 2:

So, one of my unspoken goals for the year was to become a blogger for a prominent website. I wanted to beef up my testimonials for my hire me page and I knew it would be a challenge with my lack of freelancing experience. When I signed up for Carrie’s (Careful Cents) Client Connection, one of the workshops  available was on how to get published with the Huffington Post.

I knew getting published with them would be a great offset to my lack of testimonials so I decided I was going to come up with 12 articles to pitch them. Yes, 12! I’m an overachiever sometimes.

Imagine my surprise when Arianna Huffington accepted my very FIRST pitch!  Needless to say, I’ve been over the moon and back! I’ve decided to use this platform to discuss something near and dear to my heart — kids and money. You can check out my first article: 6 Stupid Things You May Be Teaching Your Kid About Money.

 

Major Win 3:

I knew I didn’t want to only provide freelance writing services when I started my online hustles again. This is why I added a few other services to my hire me page. I was specifically interested in blog commenting, management, etc. While I didn’t have a ton of writing work this month, I managed to secure a gig for blog commenting services. I’m so happy because it provided just what I needed this month.

I wasn’t able to write as much as I prefer, but I don’t let much keep me from reading (even if I am sick). Since I have a smart phone, I’m able to view many sites on my  phone (especially when holding a teething, sleeping baby) so I used this  opportunity to make extra money. I really like offering this service and I hope to secure around 2 or 3 more gigs like this one. If you know anyone who needs help building their brand through blog commenting, send them on over!

Check out more of my services on my Hire Me page.

 

Goal Progress for February

  1. Create one evergreen post.
  2. Read one financial book.
  3. Sign up for digit.
  4. Pay as much on the credit card as I can stand.

 

Goal 1: Evergreen Content

I actually managed to crank out two good posts outside of my bankruptcy series this month. The first post was How To Responsibly Build Credit and the second was my thorough guide, Credit 101: Everything You Need To Know About Credit.  

I’ve begun working on my March posts, but I won’t be publishing them until next week. I want to make sure every post is bringing something worth reading and I’m still in recovery mode from February. I will continue to do one post a week as it seems to mesh well with my life right now. I may even decide to pair down to two posts per month, but I’ll keep you abreast of those changes.

 

Goal 2: Read one financial book.

I did start another book and I have a few more chapters to read. I’m still trying to determine if it’s worth writing a review on or not. In case some of you have noticed, I opted not to publish a review this month for January’s book because I honestly wasn’t feeling it. The book wasn’t bad, but I simply didn’t have any good news to share with you about it.

I’m not in the business of being fake and publishing junk just to get a few Amazon kickbacks. That’s just not me. So instead of dropping a half-assed post on stuff that’s probably already on the internet about this particular book, I decided to opt out of providing a review. This may very well be the case with February’s book as well. At least you know when you do come here and see a book review, it’s on something I definitely consider worth reading😉

 

Goal 3: Sign up for Digit.

I’m so mad. I signed up for Digit and I was ready to stack some coins with it, but my bank isn’t supported. I even tweeted about it, but we still haven’t gotten to play with each other yet. I’m hoping it happens soon though.

 

Goal 4: Pay as much on my credit card as I can stand.

I did this. I’ve paid about $300 on this card since January. I plan to kill the remaining balance as soon as our taxes are received this week. I’m tired of keeping up with it and I’ll be glad when it’s gone.

Okay, I’ve made you wait long enough. If you’ve read this far, thank you. All income I report is money that has actually made it to my checking account.  I’ll include expenses paid out of these earnings. These reports will not include taxes I owe.  I plan to set aside 30 percent to cover taxes owed.  If you missed my last two reports, check out December and January here.

 

Here’s February 2016 Online Income:

Income:

Etsy: $6

User Testing: $0.00

Freelance Writing: $75.00

Pinecone Research: $0.00 (Pinecone Research is one of the easiest survey companies to work with. They pay $3.00 per survey and they pay fast!)

Ebates Cash Back: $8

Blog Commenting Services: $36.00

Total: $125

Expenses:  

Etsy Fees: $2.00

Client Connection Fees: $52.00

Total Monthly Income After Expenses =  $71.00

Rolling profit=  $142.57

 

Goals for March:

  1. Pay off remainder of credit card bill and maternity bill.
  2. Find a new laptop (seriously, if you could see the condition of the one I’m typing on you’d probably laugh)
  3. Read one financial book (undecided)
  4. Pitch at least one potential client each week (2 freelance writing opportunities and 2 blog commenting opportunities)

 

For the coming month I want to focus on growth. I haven’t been able to pitch like I’ve needed to this month, but that has to end. I don’t care if I have to wake up 30 minutes earlier or do it on my lunch break.

I have to focus on scaling up if I ever want to reach my income goal before the end of the year. Plus, in June my economic hardship for my student loans comes to an end and I need to begin generating additional income to pay EXTRA on my balances.

I’ve got work to do, but even after a crazy month like this, I’m still encouraged. I landed on the Huff Po, I’m going to Disney, and before the end of the week my credit card debt will be wiped out. I have nothing to complain about.

 

What were some of your major wins for February?

 

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Latoya Scott
CFEI/Social Entrepreneur
Latoya Scott is a Certified Financial Education Instructor and personal finance writer with a mission to help millennials learn how to stop living paycheck to paycheck so they can become financially carefree.

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  • DC @ Young Adult Money March 1, 2016 at 2:32 am

    Wow congrats on winning the Disney World work conference! That’s incredible! And the Huffington Post deal is incredible as well! It sounds like you had a great month. My major win came today, the last day of February, when the first copy of my book came in the mail. It’s still so surreal to have the physical book in my hands.

    • Latoya S. March 1, 2016 at 12:38 pm

      Thanks, David! It’s going to be an awesome experience and I’m hoping to learn a lot:)

      Congrats on your win! I CAN’T wait to get my hands on your books. More people need to know about side-hustling because it creates so many opportunities for everyone!

      • DC @ Young Adult Money March 3, 2016 at 1:26 am

        I agree with your point about side hustling, which is why I’m so excited about my book. I think side hustling is a well-known and common thing in the personal finance blogosphere, but the average person typically has no idea what the phrase means. I hope that it empowers people who feel handcuffed by their 9-5 pay.

  • Holly@ClubThrifty March 2, 2016 at 11:33 am

    Great job winning the Disney thing! My husband went to a work training thing at Disney once and really enjoyed it. I think it was called the Disney Academy?

  • Aliyyah @RichAndHappyBlog March 2, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    You have some interesting sources of income, especially blog commenting services. I am looking to get into freelance writing. As you mentioned, it’s important to pitch, pitch, pitch.

    • Latoya Scott March 2, 2016 at 10:06 pm

      Hi Aliyyah,

      Yeah, it’s a pretty fun job to do for someone who doesn’t have that much time to dedicate to visiting all of their visitors blogs. I really enjoy it.

  • Catherine Alford March 2, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    Awesome job! Having sick kiddos makes it so hard. We had some sickness in our household too and I even did a video about it for my YouTube channel. I’m so happy for you about your new side hustle gig and getting published on Huffington Post!

  • Chonce March 3, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    Congrats on the income and the big wins!! My big win was just making it through the month, haha. I had some pretty bad back pain and was doing taxes and other wedding stuff so it was crazy. I didn’t pitch as much as I wanted to but still landed 2 new clients so I was happy with that.

    • Latoya S. March 3, 2016 at 4:57 pm

      Woohoo on those clients! Sorry to hear about your back pain, ugh…that definitely sucks!

  • Shirria March 3, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    Congrats on the income! Like Chonce, I just needed to make it through all the changes!

    • Latoya S. March 3, 2016 at 4:58 pm

      Hey, I understand that. I’m hoping that March will be germ free here in our household and nothing else catches me off guard. I’m still feeling off my game a little bit.

  • Revanche March 7, 2016 at 4:30 am

    I’m a first time visitor and what a great post to come into! Minus the sickness of course. You have my deepest empathies on that front. The kiddo has brought home cold after cold so our household spent February being grateful for any day we weren’t sick as dogs, while the dog, ironically, was fine. Mostly. I’m tempted to say the best win of February was surviving it but also it was not paying a several hundred dollar bill unnecessarily. Huge!

    • Latoya Scott March 7, 2016 at 11:46 pm

      Ha! Yep, I hear you. We have to up our game on the kids and their vitamins. I’m hoping that March will be sick free around the homefront:)

  • Jason B March 8, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    Congrats on the extra income and also winning the Disney thing. It’s one of my favorite places to visit.

  • Taylor March 10, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    Awesome news LaToya! Feb. was a tough month for me, too. But, it’s great to see that you reached some other goals still. Sending love your way!

  • Sarah Li Cain March 23, 2016 at 2:29 am

    You go girl! I had a rough time near the end of February, but if you keep going at it, not matter how small, it’ll work out! I’m rooting for you!

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