2018 Side Hustle Income Report Month 4

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more information.

April was such a big month! The Frugal Friends Podcast launched and I did very little else except perpare for it. It’s been so fun though.

We’re wherever you listen to podcasts but 70% of our listeners are on Apple devices so here’s the link to us on Apple Podcasts. We’re talking about saving money and so much frugal stuff. 🙂

After we became debt free we didn’t know what to do with our money. We’d developed frugal habits, worked well as a team, and built some income streams we didn’t necessarily want to stop just because we could.

So we channeled those assets to the goal of financial independence. We have the Choose FI podcast and community to thank for that. It showed me ways we could optimize our life to get the lifestyle we really want.

And since we’re still side hustlin, I wanted to an easy way to keep track of it all. So this is as much for me as it is for you.

As always, I only include income that’s deposited into my account so sometimes it’s from stuff I did a while ago but none of it is speculative. If you want more ideas on making money at home you can grab the list of work-from-home jobs I started with by entering your deets below.

Airbnb: $841.96

April was a little slower for us but a welcomed reprieve. Especially because we had some friends stay with us at the end of the month.

We’re definitely getting into the slow season, which is crazy because you’d think summer is “season” but not here in Florida. This is still such a cool side hustle.

People have asked for a guide on how to do it and I’ll be releasing one — with an accompanying Frugal Friends podcast episode — sometime this summer.

If you want to rent out one of your rooms then sign up through this link and you’ll help us earn a little extra too!

T-Shirts: $1321.04

I made $1255.37 from Merch by Amazon and $65.67 from Etsy.

April was an interesting month for T-Shirts and there’s a solid lesson here:

On April 24th I got a message on Etsy to take down one of my best selling shirt designs because it was infringing on a trademarked phrase from a shirt company that sounds like the text I have on my shirt but is slightly off.

I did nothing wrong with my shirt design but this company is one of the many internet bullies that copyrights a term that sells well then sends “take-down notices” to everyone who has a shirt that’s selling well.

The twisted part, there’s actually a trademark law that says they can do this.

I’m not worried because I’ve diversified my shirt income AND all my other income streams. But if they do succeed in taking down my shirt, I won’t lie, I’ll feel the hit.

I posted my experience in a Facebook group dedicated to T-shirt design and I’m not the only one who got their message full of scare tactics (the Etsy message literally said “P.S. We’re coming for Amazon next.”)

There are a ton of these creeps out there making it more important than ever to not count on one basket for all your eggs.

Book: $944.17

Mostly my earnings from The No-Spend Challenge Guide. NSCG is now part of an Amazon beta program called Great on Kindle. Still not sure what it’ll do for the book but I’m in AMAZING company considering the other books on the list.

There are a week’s earnings from Meal Planning on a Budget in this one. I’ll get a better picture next month on how the two are doing side by side.

Mystery Shopping: $15

This is from a shop we did in February and were paid for in April. That’s super standard for mystery shopping. 

We spent about $60 on this shop and was reimbursed then paid on top. Not every company pays on top of reimbursement so when you find one that does, stick with it.

But sometimes the reimbursement-only ones have really fun shops so those are good to keep in your metaphorical back pocket.

If you want to learn more about mystery shopping you can read my post about it.

Blog: $255.30

#MakeMoneyBlogging. The blog income broke down like this for April:

  • $33.28 from Amazon Associates
  • $41.06 from affiliates
  • $30.96 from Ads
  • $150 from one Freelance Writing article I did in February

Travis’s Side Job: $210.55

Travis fills out aircraft paperwork for a private jet owner who has the hangar next to his day job. Sometimes they need him a lot, sometimes not so much.

Total: $3588.04

Expenses: I’m a frugalprenuer so I keep my expenses low but there are some that are unavoidable.

Etsy Expenses: $8.61

Listing fees for Etsy. To have a shop on Etsy it’s 20 cents per listing.

Total: $8.61

Set aside for taxes: $715

April Grand Total: $2864.43

2018 Running Total: $10,163.12

Goals for Q2 of 2018:

1. Test ads for my Kindle books. I’m going to put down $20 worth of ads to test the waters with Amazon. Wish me luck.

2. Get 10 iTunes reviews per week for Frugal Friends. As of writing this, we have 13 reviews and my goal is to have 100 by July 6th and 200 by FinCon!! Having reviews helps people “on the fence” figure out if our podcast is right for them. And the more people who listen, the more we get to spread the message of frugality!

I don’t think I know 200 people so if you’re reading this would you visit the podcast’s iTunes page and leave a review?

3. I’m going to hire a designer for T-Shirts. With this trademark issue, it’s opened my eyes to the fact that I’m not taking full advantage of the successful Merch account I’m blessed with.

So when I get back from vacation I’m going to put an ad on Upwork for a designer. Designing is my least favorite aspect of the T-Shirt business so I think If that’s taken care of I can do keyword research and SEO then get the shirts up there faster.

I recently read a quote on another T-Shirt business owner’s blog that said “work on your business, not in your business.” I’m going to try to take that one to heart this year.

Jen Smith is a personal finance expert, founder of Modern Frugality and co-host of the Frugal Friends Podcast. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Lifehacker, Money Magazine, U.S. News and World Report, Business Insider, and more. She’s passionate about helping people gain control of their spending.

Source: modernfrugality.com

2018 Side Hustle Income Report Month 2

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more information.

Doing these has proven to be good for me. I’m sufficiently organized but I’m realizing with all the different things I do I can allow stuff to fall through the cracks.

That’s a lesson worth learning, organized people should be constantly looking to do things that make organizing easier.

You can see January’s Side Hustle Income Report here.

Also, I only include income that’s deposited into my account so sometimes it’s from stuff I did a while ago but none of it is speculative. If you want more ideas on making money at home you can grab the list of work-from-home jobs I started with by entering your deets below.

 

So without further adieu, the February Side Hustle Report.

Airbnb: $933.14

February was actually a pretty slow month for us! We’re still really pleased with how it’s going. I plan to take a few new pictures of the room to post next month but I won’t change much.

People always have a lot of question about hosting people in our home. Airbnb has a lot of features to make sure we’re 100% comfortable with bookings and they offer a $1 million host guarantee that covers theft, property damage, and other accidents that could occur with a guest. If you have questions feel free to drop them in the comments and I’d love to answer them.

If you want to rent out one of your rooms then sign up through this link and you’ll help us earn a little extra too!

T-Shirts: $878.79

This represents my shirt sales on Amazon for the month of January. I’m super excited to get back into shirts this month and expand my business to Etsy. I have 11 shirts live so far — reusing my best sellers from Amazon — and I’ve already made one sale!

Etsy pays quicker than Amazon so I should have some extra earnings to report as soon as next month!

Book: $1291.86

These are my earnings off The No-Spend Challenge Guide in December. This is what led me to start writing Meal Planning on a Budget and launch it so quickly.

In hindsight, I had too much going on in my life to properly launch that book like I did NSCG but it’s still adding revenue and I’m happy I went for it without thinking too much into it.

Mystery Shopping: $-4

This is the risk you take when mystery shopping. We did a dinner shop that reimbursed up to $35 and we spent $39. You have to be careful when you’re doing shops because the temptation to spend past the limit is real. Do it too many times and you’re not taking full advantage of the opportunity.

I take into consideration the fact that I have to write the report after the shop. If I’m paying $20 over the reimbursement limit then It would’ve been better for me to have gone to Chipotle and skip all that work.

If you want to learn more about mystery shopping you can read my post about it.

Blog: $209.80

No ad network payment this month. The blog income broke down like this for February:

  • $101.10 from Amazon Associates,
  • $85 from Ebates,
  • $23.70 from Grocery Budget Makeover

Travis’s Side Job: $113.60

Travis fills out aircraft paperwork for a private jet owner who has the hangar next to his day job. Sometimes they need him a lot, sometimes not so much.

Acupuncture Side Job: $75

I did an acupuncture session at a rehab center.

Mystery Check: $29

This throws back to that whole organizing thing. I deposited a $29 check this month and I have no clue where it came from. I can’t find it in any of my mystery shopping pay histories and since it was a mobile deposit I can’t see the check image.

Usually, I record my deposits in EveryDollar but I got lazy last month and it came back to haunt me. Lesson learned.

Total: $3498.19

Expenses: I’m a frugalprenuer so I keep my expenses low but there are some that are unavoidable.

Book Expenses: $26.88

I purchased the paperback proof for $5.89, marketing graphic for $11, and $9.99 for a copy of The Financial Diet to the winner of my launch team contest.

Mailerlite: $84

I finally had to spring for the paid version of MailerLite, my mailing list and newsletter service. I like MailerLite’s drag and drop and I signed up while MailChimp didn’t have landing pages.

Also, much cheaper than ConvertKit.

Canva: $115.59

I purchased an annual subscription to Canva. I’d always planned to cancel which is why I was month to month but I use the pro features too often so paying for the year will now save me money.

Next year I’ll revisit this and see if there’s any more affordable options.

Acupuncture License Renewal: $280

Every two years I renew my license and my time was up again. Usually, my employer covers this but since I’m leaving I’m on my own.

Total: $506.47

Set aside for taxes: $700

February Grand Total: $2291.72

2018 Running Total: $4318.08

Goals for the rest of the quarter:

Jill and I have recorded the first two episodes of the Frugal Friends Podcast and we want to get a few more under our belts before we launch.

Instead of getting 130 shirts on Amazon I opted to set up my Etsy shop. So I’m hoping to still accomplish that goal by the end of March but won’t be sad if I don’t.

I updated my Budget Coaching page. I’m offering coaching for anyone who’s serious about getting on a budget and reaching their financial goals. I would really like to push that service more. It’s something I like doing! So check it out and see if it’s for you!

I also want to try out Amazon Ads for Meal Planning on a Budget. I think it could be a best seller and I want to do everything I can to get it there.

Jen Smith is a personal finance expert, founder of Modern Frugality and co-host of the Frugal Friends Podcast. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Lifehacker, Money Magazine, U.S. News and World Report, Business Insider, and more. She’s passionate about helping people gain control of their spending.

Source: modernfrugality.com

2018 Side Hustle Income Report Month 3

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more information.

It’s that time of the month again. The time where I take inventory of what we’re making outside our 9-5 income to get us closer to our goals.

After we became debt free we didn’t know what to do with our money. We’d developed frugal habits, worked well as a team, and built some income streams we didn’t necessarily want to stop just because we could.

So we channeled those assets to the goal of financial independence. We have the Choose FI podcast and community to thank for that. It showed me ways we could optimize our life to get the lifestyle we really want.

And since we’re still side hustlin, I wanted to an easy way to keep track of it all. So this is as much for me as it is for you.

As always, I only include income that’s deposited into my account so sometimes it’s from stuff I did a while ago but none of it is speculative. If you want more ideas on making money at home you can grab the list of work-from-home jobs I started with by entering your deets below.

So without further adieu, March’s Side Hustle Report.

Airbnb: $1164

March was really busy for us! And we made Superhost! Hopefully this will bring even more people into our home and money in our pockets — and by pockets I mean Mortgage.

People always have a lot of questions about sharing a home with strangers. Travis an I have lived with strangers before so I guess it wasn’t weird to us but I do have our listing set to not let people stay more than 14 days… because variety.

Airbnb has a lot of features to make sure we’re 100% comfortable with bookings and they offer a $1 million host guarantee that covers theft, property damage, and other accidents that could occur with a guest. If you have questions feel free to drop them in the comments and I’d love to answer them.

If you want to rent out one of your rooms then sign up through this link and you’ll help us earn a little extra too!

T-Shirts: $933.90

$922.43 of that came from Merch by Amazon and $11.47 came from Etsy. I actually thought my Etsy margins were way higher than that but as it turns out I priced my 3XL and 2XL only slightly higher thinking I’d get the same margins as smaller shirts and I’m not.

Most of my Etsy sales are larger sizes so I’m taking inventory and adjusting my offerings this month.

Book: $1420.97

These are my January earnings from The No-Spend Challenge Guide. I just found out that NSCG was selected for an Amazon beta program called Great on Kindle. Not sure what it’ll do for the book but I’m just excited I got an email from a real person at Amazon.

Next month I’ll start to see earnings from Meal Planning on a Budget. January is a huge month for personal finance books so even though I’m adding another book I anticipate my earnings going down. But who knows? We’ll see.

Mystery Shopping: $0

An improvement from last month’s -$4! We did a lot of mystery shopping this month but it gets paid out 4-6 weeks later so this should be higher in the coming months.

If you want to learn more about mystery shopping you can read my post about it.

Blog: $82.44

#MakeMoneyBlogging. The blog income broke down like this for March:

  • $16.59 from Amazon Associates
  • $65.85 from Ads

Travis’s Side Job: $161.15

Travis fills out aircraft paperwork for a private jet owner who has the hangar next to his day job. Sometimes they need him a lot, sometimes not so much.

Total: $3762.46

Expenses: I’m a frugalprenuer so I keep my expenses low but there are some that are unavoidable.

Etsy Expenses: $7.85

I purchased mockups for Etsy listings for $7.85. I’ll have listing fees starting next month.

I use Printful to print the shirts and it charges me for each shirt that’s sold but I’m not including it in expenses I’m just taking it out of the profit.

Total: $7.85

Set aside for taxes: $774

March Grand Total: $2980.61

2018 Running Total: $7298.69

Goals for the rest of the quarter:

Jill and I are launching the Frugal Friends Podcast on April 27th! I’ll definitely announce the launch more in the coming weeks once I get the website set up and the trailer on iTunes!

I’m working on 7 news shirts that I want to get up before Mother’s Day.

I updated my Budget Coaching page. I’m offering budget coaching for anyone who’s serious about getting on a budget and reaching their financial goals. I would really like to push that service more. It’s something I like doing! So check it out and see if it’s for you!

I’m still wanting to try Amazon Ads for Meal Planning on a Budget. I think it could be a best seller and I want to do everything I can to get it there.

Jen Smith is a personal finance expert, founder of Modern Frugality and co-host of the Frugal Friends Podcast. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Lifehacker, Money Magazine, U.S. News and World Report, Business Insider, and more. She’s passionate about helping people gain control of their spending.

Source: modernfrugality.com

2018 Side Hustle Income Report Month 1

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more information.

Well, I have a little announcement, I got a new job! Earlier this year I accepted a full-time writing position at The Penny Hoarder. I started last week and I’m loving it so far.

Since I’ll be doing more writing at my day job I’ll be trying some new things on the blog including this side hustle income report!

Even though we’re done paying off $78,000 of debt, we haven’t abandoned the side hustles that helped us get there. All the time we spent saving money by not going out or taking vacations, we filled with side hustling.

I think one of the best ways to save money is to fill your time making it. It better taught us the value of a dollar and has helped us discover passions that have literally changed our lives.

So I want to share with you what we’re making on all these side hustles so you know what to realistically expect. I will only include income that’s deposited into my account so sometimes it’s from stuff I did a while ago but none of it is speculative.

Airbnb: $1257.46

In December we began renting out the front room of our house on Airbnb. It’s been the best decision we’ve ever made, I wish we’d done it sooner.

Our guests have been so fun and it’s been such easy money. The most work I do is extra laundry and making the bed (I don’t make my own so it’s too much more work!)

People always have a lot of question about hosting people in our home. Airbnb has a lot of features to make sure we’re 100% comfortable with bookings and they offer a $1 million host guarantee that covers theft, property damage, and other accidents that could occur with a guest. If you have questions feel free to drop them in the comments and I’d love to answer them.

If you want to rent out one of your rooms then sign up through this link and you’ll help us earn a little extra too!

T-Shirts: $782.56

Last year I spent a lot of time working on Merch by Amazon. It’s a print on demand t-shirt business where you design the shirt and Amazon takes care of printing, payment, shipping, and customer service.

I have 120 shirts and they make me passive income of up to $2000 per month. This is income from December which was universally dismal for everyone on Merch. It’s definitely got me considering taking some of my designs to Etsy which I’ll have more time for in March.

Here’s an example of one of my shirts.

Book: $370.20

This is income from The No-Spend Challenge Guide’s launch in November. I was really pleased by how much the book made initially which is why I started so quickly on Meal Planning on a Budget.

I’m hoping book income will steadily increase but I’m taking a break from self-publishing again until the fall. I have an idea for a book I really want to invest some time and energy into.

Furniture Flip: $250

Travis bought a king-sized bedroom set on Facebook Marketplace in pretty good condition for $150. He bought a $6 wood stain marker to pretty it up a bit and sold the whole set for $400. $250 for about two hours worth of work (1 hour transporting it and 1 hour refinishing) was a pretty sweet ROI.

Mystery Shopping: $45

We got reimbursed for 4 mystery shops in January. One was only reimbursable and three paid $15 plus reimbursement. So we were paid $234.12 but really only made $45.

If you want to learn more about mystery shopping you can read my post about it.

Blog Ads: $128.37

Here’s my juicy blog income y’all! I know, blogging is so lucrative right!? This is mostly Amazon affiliate income with about $30 from ads.

Travis’s Side Job: $28.39

Travis fills out aircraft paperwork for a private jet owner who has the hangar next to his day job. Sometimes they need him a lot, sometimes not so much.

Total: $2871.88

Expenses: I’m a frugalprenuer (new term?) so I keep my expenses low but there are some that are unavoidable.

Canva: $12.95

I use Canva Pro for it’s upgraded features for t-shirt design and Pinterest images.

Airbnb: $118.82

Somebody canceled to close to their scheduled date and Airbnb withdrew money from them and it was deposited into our account. Technically they should’ve had to pay but she was nice so we gave her the refund when she asked.

Book Expenses: $102.75

Meal Planning on a Budget is brought to you by my fantastic editor Julie who I found on Upwork. Seriously if you’re going to self-publish a book you need an editor, one who speaks English as their first language.

My book is small so the expense was smaller but good editing is worth every penny.

Other Expenses: $11

I bought fonts for shirts and a workbook template for the book freebie.

Total: $245.52

Set aside for taxes: $600

JANUARY GRAND TOTAL: $2026.36

Goals for the rest of the quarter:

I’m still reeling from the launch of Meal Planning on a Budget. I wanted to take a little break and work on something more relaxed so my friend Jill and I are going to start a podcast!

It’s called Frugal Friends (website to come) and we’ll talk about saving money and spending less in all areas of life. There’ll be some minimalism, side hustling, and fun segments intended to make us laugh but I think you’ll probably laugh too. I hope.

So my goals for Month 2 are:

  • Get up to 130 shirts on Merch
  • Plan the first few episodes of the podcast
  • Record the podcast pilot with Jill
  • Have a glass of wine and celebrate the book launch!

What’d you think of the first side hustle income report?

Jen Smith is a personal finance expert, founder of Modern Frugality and co-host of the Frugal Friends Podcast. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Lifehacker, Money Magazine, U.S. News and World Report, Business Insider, and more. She’s passionate about helping people gain control of their spending.

Source: modernfrugality.com