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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.
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!
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.
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.
#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.
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.
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.