Income Report

Online Hustle Report: January 2016

February 3, 2016
This post may contain affiliate links. See disclosure policy here.



It’s that time again!  My online hustle update is where I divulge the income earned during the last month. 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 November and December here.

If you are looking to start a blog, don’t forget to check out this post on How To Start a Blog. It provides step by step instructions on starting your own blog.  Also, check out this income report where I share how I earned my first dollar blogging through affiliate income!


Join the FREE 5-Day E-course on How to Start a Blog. You’ll learn everything you need to know to get your own blog up and running, some tips and tricks that have helped me start earning an income, and more. Sign up for the How to Start a Blog E-Course today!

January 2016 Online Income


Etsy: $11

User Testing: $0.00

Freelance Writing: $125.00

Pinecone Research: $6.00 (Pinecone Research pays $3.00 per survey and they pay directly to your Paypal account. They are one of my favorites and I highly recommend them!)

Paypal Cash Back: $2.21

Total: $144.21


Etsy Fees: none paid this month

Client Connection Fees: $55.00

Total Monthly Income After Expenses =  $89.21

Rolling profit from=  $71.57



Let’s begin with the good: I finally made a profit!  

If you’ve been following my previous reports, you may have noticed I’ve been operating in the negative for the past few months as I’ve worked to recoup the costs associated with getting this website started. I’m glad to officially be in the green.

Last year in my post titled, Goals for First 6 Months of 2016 I shared my goals for January. Those goals were:

  1. Earn $500 in online/freelancing income. (major flippin’ fail and I’ll elaborate more on that in a sec)
  2. Gain 100 to 115 Twitter followers. (killed it!)
  3. Gain 60 to 90 Facebook followers. (clears throat)
  4. One guest post. (dead to the bed…more in a sec)
  5. One evergreen post. (delivered as promised)
  6. Read one financial book. (y’all know I didn’t miss reading a book)
  7. Readjust contributions for ER (emergency) and car maintenance funds. (side eye…I’ll explain)
  8. Pay as much on last credit card as I can stand. (major score)

Here’s a breakdown of my progress on these goals:


Income goal for January $500  (FAIL)

As you can see, I was very determined to get the ball rolling during the first month of this year. January revealed a lot of things to me and I’ve been able to learn so many things from the mistakes I’ve made. This will certainly help me moving forward.

I honestly didn’t want to even do this income report because I failed at earning $500 in online/freelancing income. However, I quickly got rid of the idea of throwing a darn pity party and decided to consider this a learning opportunity. I did do some work this month and that’s better than nothing.

I signed up for the Client Connection over at Careful Cents and I received a response from my very first pitch using this service. I was able to score a paid test article (which is reflected in the freelance income above). I’ve pitched two clients per week in January, so we will see if it turns into any paid opportunities moving forward.

I do want to say I’m still very encouraged!  I’ve learned instead of creating these income goals each month, I should focus more on networking and pitching. These are things I can control. Once I have recurring work, then I will be able to determine what my income could potentially look like every month. Until then, I’ll keep pitching and searching for opportunities.


Gain 110 to 115 Twitter Followers (ACHIEVED) and 60 to 90 Facebook Followers (FAILED)

I love Twitter. I seriously put no effort into gaining twitter followers and I’ve gained over 150 of them the past month. I actually stopped counting once I reached my goal. This made me realize if I keep doing what I’ve been doing, these are numbers I don’t need to agonize over. I will continue to participate in at least 2 twitter chats per week and share content I believe offers value to my followers.

Facebook. I hate it. On the personal front, I use Facebook all the time! I think it’s crazy how it works so well with one aspect of your life, but for pages it’s a major flop. I know it has potential to become a great community, so I’ll give it room to grow organically.

I’m not going to create any goals for numbers for social media this month. Like I mentioned before, if I continue to be myself and offer something of value to those who follow me, I’ll grow. Therefore, I want to put my energies into writing content and some personal goals that I have (I’ve just elected not to share them here).


One guest post (PASS)

Honestly, I’m impressed by my guest posts I’ve landed these past few months. I consider them to be major wins! I shared with Michelle’s readers over at Making Sense of Cents, 3 Reasons You Need a Buffer in Your Checking Account. I love her website because her community is so engaging. They really don’t mind chatting it up and I was able to talk with some amazing folks.

My second guest post which was featured last week was on Tonya’s site My Fab Finance. I shared with her lovely readers, Basic Money Lessons: How To Prepare Your Child for Financial Success.

You all know I love talking about kids and money so I jumped at the opportunity to rattle off my thoughts with her readers. I encourage you to check out this article if you are a parent who wants to make a positive impact on your child’s financial future.


One evergreen post (PASS)

I’ve decided to post only once a week here at Life and A Budget.

I was initially posting twice a week, but it’s an unreasonable expectation for me to put on myself. I have two kids, a full-time job, a husband, and a part-time business. This doesn’t include all my other responsibilities. to ensure I’m creating valuable content, I’m focusing on creating one evergreen post per month in addition to all other topics I’ll share.

Check out Budgets: Quick, Simple, Easy Method for Beginners


Read one financial book (PASS)

Of course, I would never pass up a good book. Last month’s book was interesting and I’m looking forward to digging into some of the meat of the book to give you a great review. If you haven’t caught last month’s review, go read  Do You Need A Wealth Cure? In this review, I reviewed Hill Harper’s book, The Wealth Cure. Stay tuned for this month’s review!


Readjust contributions to emergency fund and car maintenance fund (SORTA PASS)

I did put the specified savings in the car maintenance account, but I didn’t setup the automatic contributions for this or our emergency fund account. It’s justified though. I want to determine how much money we would need to set aside monthly after I receive my yearly bonus from my full-time job.

I plan to put 90 percent of it towards the emergency fund. This would greatly reduce the amount we need to save up each month to meet our goal of an additional $2,000 by the end of the year. For our car maintenance fund, I’m actually going to bite the bullet and try Digit. I believe this app can help us contribute a nice little sum (without the added effort) to our fund by mid-year.


Pay as much on credit card as I can stand (PASS)

Staying true to my word, I paid an additional $200 on this card using the bi-weekly payment method. Since this card is interest free for another 15 or so months, I will have it paid off long before the introductory interest-free period is over. Any money we receive from Uncle Sam will probably kill the rest of this, but I still plan to contribute as much as I can stand each month regardless.


February Goals:

No income goals, but I will plan to pitch twice a week (cold or warm pitch) and network like a boss. I need a recurring client. If you or anyone you know of are looking for a blogger or writer for personal finance related topics, check out my hire me page. I’d love to help!

I have another guest post for the month of February, so I’m focusing on March and April. I’m taking a slightly different angle this time and I will let you know what it is if it pans out.

  1. I’ve created my evergreen post for this month which will be published next week. If you haven’t picked up on it yet, my theme for this month revolves around Bankruptcy and Credit. I shared with you my bankruptcy story and this week I will follow up with how I recovered from bankruptcy. My goal this month is to start on March’s evergreen content.
  2. Read one financial book. I already have it on the nightstand and I’m itching for some time to myself where I can dig in.
  3. Sign up for Digit.
  4. Pay as much as I can stand on the credit card.

Boom there it is (Yes, I know… I’m so 90’s)! That’s a wrap-up for January. February is a short month and I will continue to grind as usual. I’m not discouraged, just more determined!


Did your online hustles pay off last month? What are a few of your goals for February?

Also, if you’re into Facebook pages, what are some of the things about Facebook you believe engages you as a follower?

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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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  • Holly@ClubThrifty February 8, 2016 at 11:12 am

    You will totally meet your goals if you keep plugging away! I mostly focus on Pinterest and Twitter because I think Facebook is a tough nut to crack. With that being said, the best way to get new followers is to engage with people as much as possible. Also make sure you’re asking your readers to follow you in each of your posts!

  • Latoya S February 8, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    Oooh, thanks so much, Holly! I knew there were aspects that I was overlooking and I always meant to do this, but it’s simply been at the bottom of the list. I’m going to make that a priority this week! Thanks, again!

  • Jason B February 8, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    I believe you will reach your goals this month. My January was my highest side hustle month ever. One of my February goals is to increase my client base. Another goal is to make $1000 in side hustle money this month.

    • Latoya S February 9, 2016 at 5:28 pm

      Alright, get it now! You’ll definitely meet your goal. Thanks for visiting and encouraging!

  • Melanie @ Dear Debt February 8, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    You can do it! It’s tough to start, but once you build momentum it gets easier. Keep up the good work!

    • Latoya S February 9, 2016 at 5:28 pm

      Thanks a bunch, Melanie:)

  • Chonce February 9, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    Congrats on the extra income last month! It seems like you are rocking it on Twitter as well 🙂 Facebook is pretty hard to me to crack into as well, and I’m not willing to start investing money into Facebook ads so I’m just trying to engage for now and share some good list posts. It seems like Facebook users like those types of posts.

    • Latoya S February 9, 2016 at 5:29 pm

      Awesome! I really appreciate that tid bit of wisdom. I’ll be sure to implement this. Thanks for reading:)

  • Cat@BudgetBlonde February 13, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    You are going to rock it Latoya! I’m really excited that you’ll be working with Carrie via the Client Connection service. She’s awesome!

    • Latoya S February 16, 2016 at 11:09 pm

      Thanks, Cat! Yes, her services are invaluable. I’m glad that I’m able to be apart of her connection:)