Time for another income report! Last month was crazy busy as it was my first month of being self employed and I was gearing up to attend FinCon, a financial blogger’s conference.
Let me just start by saying I love being self employed so far! The flexibility is amazing and even though some days are easier than others, I love what I do so that always motivates me sooner or later.
I love being able to pick my son up from school each day and get more involved with what he’s doing. I signed him up for basketball this season and boy scouts and I probably wouldn’t have been able to handle the commitments required for these activities if I was still at my full time job.
With that being said, I practically worked every single day last month up until FinCon because I knew I’d have to take some time off but it was definitely worth it.
I have have a few special announcements this month but I’ll save them for a bit later in this post.
If You Are New Here/How I Got Started
Last year I started publishing insights on the income I earn outside of my full-time job through online side hustles as a way to motivate myself and others to earn more to meet financial goals and work toward financial freedom.
I officially landed my first freelance writing client in March 2015 after receiving some coaching and mentoring from a very notable and successful freelance writer in the industry. At first, I attempted to start earning an extra income as a way to help me pay off my debt and got hooked. I paid off more than $11,000 of debt last year and I’m on track to pay off way more this year. That wouldn’t have been possible without earning an extra income. Even now that I’m self employed, I’m still trying to crush my debt and threw an extra $1,000 toward my student loans last month. Now they are almost halfway paid off and I’m so excited about that.
Now I’m self employed (yay) and these income reports have really motivated me to keep working toward my financial goals and I hope they show readers how possible it is to create an income by doing something you love from the comfort of your own home.
These income reports to demonstrate a true and transparent way that people can earn an honest income working online. I probably never would have gotten to this point and made so much progress with paying off my debt if I hadn’t started a blog.
If you’d like to start a blog as well to help you earn extra income on the side, there’s never been a better time to do it. Check out my tutorial guide to starting a professional self-hosted blog with Bluehost in just minutes.
Now it’s time to talk about the income.
In September 2016, I Earned $4,794.66
This is income that I received during the month of September and before I deducted taxes. I usually set aside 25%-30% of my earnings each month for Uncle Sam.
My income faired much better than last month since I wasn’t busy with work from another job and could solely focus on my blog and freelance work. I’m also pleased to see that I almost reached the goal I set 12 months ago. Last October, I set a goal to earn $5,000 per month in online income. I’m excited that I almost hit that goal and glad that I had the courage to set the goal in the first place.
Sometimes, we don’t dream big enough or give ourselves enough credit. It takes a lot of hard work, time and effort to get there but that shouldn’t deter you.
Here’s How That Income Breaks Down
Freelance Writing: $3,720 (Check out how to get started as a freelance writer by reading this post)
Virtual Assistant Work: $498.14 (Check out how to start earning extra income as a virtual assistant by reading this post)
Blog Income/ Other Online Income (ads, sponsored posts, affiliate income, podcasting): $576.52
It was a much better month for blog/other online income because an affiliate payment came in and we got some sponsored content on the podcast website. I also started providing basic financial coaching but it’s very low key as of now. A few people reached out to me to see if I could help them create a budget and create a plan of attack to get out of debt and I found that I really like coaching on the side. Shameless plug time: If you or anyone you know might be interested in that service, just feel free to shoot me an email at chonce (at) my debt epiphany (dot) com.
On the freelancing side of things, I picked up a new editing client last month and I just received more work from clients in general.
(I don’t include hosting and domain expenses each month since they have already been prepaid for the year)
Blog Help and VA: $171
Tailwind: – For scheduling pins on Pinterest $0 (got a free month thanks to a referral 🙂 )
Blog Redesign: $122
You probably noticed last month that I redesigned my site. I tried to go the DIY route as much as possible but that lead me to some issues and my site was down for longer than I’d hoped. I reached out to Grayson and some people on Fiverr to help and while the whole process wasn’t as expensive, it sure was a headache.
Wedding Guide Editor: $57.75
A Quick FinCon Recap
This year was my second FinCon and I know I posted a recap last year, but this year I decided not to create a full post this year. However, I still want to share some snippets of my experience for people who may be interested in attending.
This year it was held in San Diego and the weather was iffy at first but it warmed up later. The hotel and marina I stayed at during the conference was in such a beautiful location but I never made it to the pool even though my room was just a few steps away, haha.
My favorite session was Chris Peach’s session about building your email list. He dropped a ton of knowledge during his session and even hosted a free webinar to follow up. I also attended a few sessions on freelance writing (I LOVED Holly’s session), podcasting, and a really cool one about repurposing your blog content to create new funnels for products and other marketing techniques.
I stayed after the conference for a few days with Kayla and Erin to check out San Diego. It was my first time trying AirBnb and it was certainly not what I expected but we tried to make the best out of it and even recorded an episode for our podcast in our room at the AirBnb.
On the downside, I didn’t attend too many sessions or keynotes except the final keynote which was super controversial among the FinCon crowd – in a nutshell, you either loved it, hated it, or just didn’t care.
I also felt like I didn’t really go into this year’s FinCon with a clear goal and that backfired. I didn’t make as many connections as I would have hoped and I didn’t network as hard as I could have. Something about this year’s conference also felt weird to me but I couldn’t put my finger on it. There were also way more people than last year and I got pretty overwhelmed because I’m an introvert.
Some times I didn’t know if I should be attending a session or chatting with someone in the hallway or catching the keynote or taking a nap and grabbing dinner for example. Overall, I think I tried to find a balance and make the best of it. I appreciate Phillip Taylor and his team for all their hard work in putting the conference together this year and I purchased my ticket for Dallas next year.
If you’re thinking of attending FinCon, my advice would be to make sure you set clear goals and understand why you want to attend. Having a clear mission makes things so much simpler. Also, consider your ROI and what you hope to get out of it. Even though I didn’t network as hard, I still found two clients from FinCon (so far) and with that I can expect to earn my investment back within the next two months or less.
New Staff Writer
Some of you may notice that I changed things up by adding a new staff writer. Her name is Anum and her first post went live last week! Like I said before, having a staff writer doensn’t mean I’m going to post less or stop sharing content of my own. I’ll still be posting weekly on the blog but I also wanted to add a different voice to MDE since my individual knowledge and experience has it’s limits and I love Anum’s content so I’m sure you will too.
New Debt Series
I know this post is getting long, but bear with me. I left FinCon this year with some great ideas for how to revamp my blog and connect with this community. Since I want to focus on debt more, I decided to start a debt series that will focus on money mindset as opposed to the actual process of paying off debt.
I plan to feature people who have paid off their debt or who are still in debt and tackle the mindset aspect regarding their first purchases that lead to debt and how they overcome the struggles that many people in debt face.
I realized that I can offer helpful tips and advice all day, but if you don’t change your mindset, you won’t be willing to make a change. This is why I really want to dissect the mindset factor when it comes to debt. I plan to run this weekly series all next year so if you’d like to participate, please feel free to shoot me an eamil. If I know of you and your story, I’ll probably be emailing you eventually anyway 🙂
My Last Monthly Income Report
Finally, I wanted to let everyone know that this will be my last monthly income report – hence why I shoved so much info into this post. First and foremost, I want my income reports to be extremely helpful to anyone who’s interested in doing the type of work I do. I realize that they are helpful but I want to make them even better by being as transparent as possible and outlining the full picture.
I realize that I can do this better by sharing quarterly income reports instead. Since I’m trying to operate more like a business quarterly makes more sense for me so I don’t have to feel like I’m scrambling to put things together for the month when other aspects are still in progress if that makes sense.
Plus, I do feel like I’m competing with myself to beat my income each month which is a great motivator but it can be draining. I want to focus on growth but also on doing work I love and enjoy. Since we’re heading into the 4th quarter, this is the perfect time to make the switch so the next income report you’ll receive from me will be in January 2017.
P.S. I Need Your Help
In order for me to continue to share valuable stories and information to make this site as helpful as possible, I need feedback on the content as well as suggestions for what you’d like to see. If you could just take a few minutes to complete a brief survey, it would mean the world to me. I value your opinion and your time which is why I made this survey short and sweet and easy to complete in under 3 minutes. You can find the survey here. Thank you so much for your support!
How was your month? What did you think of FinCon if you attended? Do you want to be apart of my debt series?
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