As some of you might have noticed, I didn’t post my monthly goals at the beginning of April. As it turns out, this was OK because of the crazy twists & turns the month took as it went on. Even if I had set goals, most of them would have been augmented, abandoned or blown out of the water. How’s that for variability??
Speaking of variability, April was the proof I expected to find (at some point) about how insanely variable freelancing can be. Inconsistent is the word that I’ll use to describe my income over the past two months–and I know this is just the beginning of the freelancer roller coaster ride. Luckily, I had anticipated this so when I ended up bringing in over $10K in March, I knew that I shouldn’t rest on those laurels too much before diving right back into my work.
Another blow to the April income statement came in the form of the Boston Marathon bombings. I don’t want to share anymore space here talking about such a negative event, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t impact me in some way. I spent that week sort of floating around in a haze, glued more to the TV and newspapers than to my laptop. This certainly had an effect on how much I brought in for the month but I’m hopeful that I can pick things up in May.
On the positive side, I had another round of exciting media mentions in April which included my work being quoted on Wise Bread, an article being picked up on Lifehacker and my very first TV appearance on the Dr. Oz Show! The TV stuff was definitely unnerving and I’m not sure I’d ever be cut out for it unless I could spend plenty of time desensitizing myself from the panic of cameras, lights and audiences in my face. That being said, it’s pretty cool to see myself and my Twitter handle up on national TV! Sadly, there was no mention of this site due to legal reasons but it was such a fun experience that I’m not really sure I care. Stay tuned for whatever screen shots I can manage to pull from the footage after it airs.
All in all, I ended up being just under $3K short of the total income I made in March. While $7,200+ is nothing to sneeze at, I still see plenty of room for improvement. I have my eyes on the $8K mark for May so hopefully a bit of extra hustle gets me over that threshold (and higher!).
Here’s how I fared overall with the various items I wanted to cross off my financial to-do list:
How was your April?
Holy guacamole has this been an amazing month. When I quit my full-time job 1.5 months ago, I had no idea what I would be in for in terms of income, budgets and my long-term goals. While I know that online income is highly variable and this could all vanish in a New York minute, this month has given me a ton of confidence to attack some even bigger goals over the remainder of the year.
As I was writing this post, I went back and forth about whether or not to mention anything about income here. There are a variety of reasons why I’ve never shared much about the income side of my finances publicly, but I’m choosing to share this gigantic milestone as motivation for any of you out there who are contemplating striking out on your own, growing your side business or generally just wanting to kick ass in the extra income department. I’ll likely never share exact figures here, but I will share rounded portions of what I’m bringing in from my online ventures (I do still have my part-time jobs to keep benefits, etc, too).
A huge shout-out has to go out to Michelle for her inspirational posts about her own extra income. Her online income is consistently at killer totals each month, and she shares her weekly updates on her blog. I’m considering doing something similar with my monthly posts, but I could never do it without giving her the proper credit she deserves for being the source of inspiration!
All the extra money this month made life a lot sweeter in terms of the goals I had originally set. I was able to send another chunk of money to my last student loan, add more to long-term savings than originally anticipated and even save some money for the horrendous dental bill I’ll be receiving next month (remember when I told you about breaking my tooth while eating rock candy?).
Here’s where I ended up:
- Save at least $1,200 in long-term savings CHECK–saved $2,500
- Bring in at least $2,000 in freelance/blog income CHECK
- Fully fund the remaining costs of my Dubai trip CHECK
- Work with neighbors to do some building repairs (cedar shingle replacement, install motion sensor lights, have roof inspected) CHECK
- Get the damn chairs for the office reno Fail. Although there are still a few days in the month left…
- Re-caulk/grout master bath tub/shower Fail.
- Keep running 3 times/week CHECK
- Research plane tickets for Kauai trip CHECK Flights are sooo expensive!
- Reach out to one old friend CHECK
- Increase Twitter Followers to 1,300 CHECK
- Increase FB likes to 1,100 Fail…almost there!
- Increase RSS subscribers to 300 CHECK
How was your month?
I’m terribly late with posting my goals for the month, but as always I’ve been plugging away since March 1st. After reviewing my past monthly goals posts, I’ve realized they are in desperate need of a makeover, so I’m trying something new this month with how I’m listing them. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the new layout!
This month is a unique one because I received my tax refund and I’m headed to Dubai and Abu Dhabi next week. Buying my (fourth) new laptop also hit the list despite how badly I just wanted to sock that money away into savings. It’s also both mine and my BF’s birthday month, so there were some additional line items added it to cover those expenses. It’s a pretty busy month all around!
March 2013 Goals
- Save at least $1,200 in long-term savings
- Bring in at least $2,000 in freelance/blog income
- Fully fund the remaining costs of my Dubai trip
- Work with neighbors to do some building repairs (cedar shingle replacement, install motion sensor lights, have roof inspected)
- Get the damn chairs for the office reno
- Re-caulk/grout master bath tub/shower
- Keep running 3 times/week
- Research plane tickets for Kauai trip
- Reach out to one old friend
- Increase Twitter Followers to 1,300
- Increase FB likes to 1,100
- Increase RSS subscribers to 300
What are your March goals?
Holy guacamole, where did February go?? And January? I’m beginning to think this year is going to zoom by!
February, while I’d originally thought it was going to be a tight month, turned out to be much better than anticipated. My transition to being primarily self-employed has been an incredible ride so far–I’m adjusting well to the increased “freedom” in my schedule, learning how to prioritize my responsibilities in order to maximize my working time and have generally been more stress-free and relaxed than I had been in months.
- $600 to long-term savings CHECK–ended up saving $1,310 plus paying $245 for an upcoming flight, $200 to the office reno and $25 to Happy Homeowner contests
- $860 into retirement accounts CHECK
- $285 to student loan (last one left to pay off!) CHECK–paid $483
- Limit variable spending to $500 CHECK
- Complete office renovation In progress (just finishing touches left to go! I’ll do a follow-up before & after post soon)
- Cook 4 dinners/week CHECK
- Complete TV stand project Fail–postponed until BF buys his new TV
- Begin Pinterest bench project Fail–postponed
- Run 3 times/week CHECK
- Get through the next 2 weeks with my sanity in tact CHECK? Haha…
- Begin to plan my trips to Dubai and Kauai CHECK! T-minus 2 weeks until I’m on my way to Dubai!
- Increase Twitter Followers to 600 CHECK–at 1,006
- Increase FB likes to 200 CHECK–at 682
- Increase RSS subscribers to 250 CHECK–at 271…what are some tips for increasing this?
How was your February?