Thanks for being so cool about last month’s income report. It can be scary to share this stuff and wonder how people are going to judge me, but I have great readers. So I’m gonna be more open about numbers now.
Financially, this month SUCKED. After taxes, I took home $1,276.36—about half of what I made last month. Worse, I am still owed $2,650.00 for various freelance jobs I’ve done since April. Some of that is from stuff I worked on in June and July, so it’s not technically due yet, but when I am making about $1,000 in a month, I really hope I’ll see some of that soon.
Part of this is my fault. I checked my spreadsheet and noticed I sent an invoice on June 13, and after that I never contacted the client to follow up. It’s important to follow up every 7 days and make sure payments are on track because it’s likely the client has more freelancers than just you. I used to resent this part of freelancing until I realized how organized I need to be to remember to pay my own contributors on time.
This second pie chart might be incorrect math, because the dark blue part is even for both months. I make generally the same amount at my day job every month, plus or minus a few overtime dollars. But what I am trying to show with this chart is that I took home about half of what I did last month.
When my freelance work isn’t going well, my finances as a whole suffer. Ideally, the pie chart should be 50% dark blue, 25% light blue, and 25% medium blue. That would mean that 75% of my income is from me working hard, and 25% just comes in as passive Amazon income, yay!
The problem with this month’s earning is that at the beginning of the year, I mapped out my total yearly income (and day job tax withholding) with the 50-25-25 assumption in mind. Since that’s not happening, I’ll probably get a big tax return in April 2017, but I’d rather be meeting my expected income goals instead.
Even during a low month, I still pay about the same amount on expenditures. I have to pay my Gunpla 101 contributors, my web hosting, and my Freckle time-tracker fee. That means this profit vs. loss bar is teetering closer to 50-50 than I’d like.
Overall, this is kind of embarrassing. This summer is a low point in my five-year freelance career. My day job doesn’t pay much (and the extreme withholding doesn’t help) but it takes up a lot of my time, so I don’t spend as much time looking for new freelance opportunities or hounding my current clients to pay me what I’m owed. On the other hand, it gives me a higher baseline so even if I do have a crappy month in which nobody else pays me, I can still pay all my bills. (Definitely won’t be putting anything in savings this month, though, which could be a problem if I subsist like this for too long.)
My August financial goals are:
- Get paid. Contact everyone who owes me and get those checks in the mail.
- Beef up my affiliate sites with new content. If my freelance work isn’t going to pay the bills, maybe the key is to make Amazon go from 25 to 50% of the pie chart.
- Limit spending. I’ve been going out to eat a lot lately, and that’s my biggest money weakness. I want to be able to put money in my savings account next month.
How’d your July go? Any financial goals for the month to come?
Previously: June 2016 Income Report