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!
January 2016 Online Income
User Testing: $0.00
Freelance Writing: $125.00
Paypal Cash Back: $2.21
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:
- Earn $500 in online/freelancing income. (major flippin’ fail and I’ll elaborate more on that in a sec)
- Gain 100 to 115 Twitter followers. (killed it!)
- Gain 60 to 90 Facebook followers. (clears throat)
- One guest post. (dead to the bed…more in a sec)
- One evergreen post. (delivered as promised)
- Read one financial book. (y’all know I didn’t miss reading a book)
- Readjust contributions for ER (emergency) and car maintenance funds. (side eye…I’ll explain)
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Sign up for Digit.
- 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!