Cash Money: $5,650 in November Income and Blog Updates

Good morning, peeps.  I just realized that it’s less than two weeks until Christmas….and I’m freaking out!  I still have a few people to buy for and at least 7 or 8 gift cards to pick up.  I definitely need to do that…and fast!   Anyway, November was another great month for my business income-wise.  My earnings were slightly lower than they have been the past few months, but I’m not worried.  I took at least a week off in November to move and unpack so it isn’t really unexpected.  But, despite the fact that I took some serious vacay, I still made bank.  So, without further adieu, the total amount of money of cash money that I grossed as a self-employed goddess in November was……*drumroll, please*


This total includes all of the money that I made from my various streams of income:

  • Credit Card Sales
  • Consulting
  • Freelance writing
  • Affiliate advertising
  • Ghost Writing

Please remember that I make the majority of my income from a variety of freelance writing jobs, not my blog.  If you’re interested in learning how to get freelance writing jobs, please check out this post:

How To Get Freelance Writing Jobs 

Also, please keep in mind that this is my pre-tax income.  I pay taxes quarterly and will soon be handing a giant chunk of my hard-earned cash over to Uncle Sam.  However, this is the grand total of my income after expenses.  Thankfully, my expenses are pretty weak.  I basically wear pajamas and I use the two computers that I already own.  Other than my two computers, I don’t really need to spend any more money to complete my assignments.  Hell, I don’t even own a printer!  Here are the expenses that I deducted from that amount:

  • Staff Writing: $140
  • Blog Hosting: $12
  • Internet $120
  • License Search: $20

I also consider my Republic Wireless smartphone an expense, although I don’t currently have a bill due to a recent promotion I signed up for.  Obviously, I had another great month.  And although I am pretty darn happy about it, I do think that I am going to make a lot less in December.  Here’s why:

  • Two of my big clients are closed for two weeks over the holidays
  • I don’t have daycare on Christmas week, which means that I can’t work
  • We are going on a short mini-vacation with Greg’s parents which requires another two days off

So, in other words, I’m not going to work very much for the second half of the month.  But that’s no big deal.  I still feel confident that I’ll hit my minimum income goal for the month of December.  In case you forgot, here are the goals that I decided upon when I quit my job:

  • Gross at least $4000 per month to replace my income from my full-time job
  • Exercise at least once per day
  • Eat healthier and continue juicing fruits and vegetables
  • Spend more quality time with my kids
  • Cook most meals at home
  • Be a cooler, nicer, and less-stressed version of myself

Even though this upcoming month might be slim in terms of income, I still hope to gross at least 4K.  But, of course I would like to earn more.  Obviously.  The good news is that I’ve got quite a surplus amount of money built up in my business account for Club Thrifty LLC.  The extra cash that I’ve accumulated can be used to balance out the slower months.  And that’s the whole purpose of budgeting and saving to begin with, am I right?

How was your income in November?  Are you ready for Christmas?

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About Holly

Holly Johnson is a wife, mother of two, and frugal lifestyle enthusiast. She is the co-founder of Club Thrifty and a staff writer at Get Rich Slowly, Frugal Travel Guy, and U.S. News and World Report's "My Money Blog." Holly has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger Personal Finance, Fox Business, and Daily Finance.


  1. As long as you are hitting your low required income level, which you are, you have to be stoked. Working for yourself is working really well.

    Just out of curiosity, are you looking to diversify your online income beyond your freelance writing gigs? I’m more just interested to hear if there are any other avenues you are looking to pursue.

    Well wishes!

    The Warrior
    The Warrior recently posted..How I Saved $19,701 on My Mortgage w/ a 15 Minute Phone CallMy Profile

    • I have a bunch of different income streams. Sometimes I make more writing and other times I make more on my blog. Of course, I’m always looking for ways to make more money.

  2. Not bad at all Holly, especially with taking some time off for unpacking and such. It’s looking like a slower month for us as well, but we’ve been crazy busy the past few so it’s a welcome respite. It also looks like it’s going to be a good January, so that’s good to know. I think we have one or two gift cards left to buy for my brothers and then we should be done with Christmas shopping…finally! :)
    John S @ Frugal Rules recently posted..How to Reduce Your Stress Level During the HolidaysMy Profile

    • Thanks John! I actually think that December will turn out well, after all. I have a ton of work to do before the 20th…so hopefully that will make up for my downtime.

  3. Nice work! That’s definitely something I’m looking forward to as I’m building my freelance clientele. Thanks for sharing!
    Ben @ The Wealth Gospel recently posted..$25 Gift Card of Your Choice Giveaway!My Profile

  4. Congrats Holly — you really are amazing! I can’t believe with everything going on in your life that you’re constantly updating the site and earning such a high percentage of your income from what I can only imagine are time-intensive freelance writing gigs.

    I seriously wish I had 10% of your drive and intensity!
    Brad @ recently posted..Lending Club Update December 2013My Profile

  5. Awesome, Holly!!! So excited for you guys – you’re doing great! Our November was great for side hustle income – a record for me! We’ve got a few presents left to buy as well, but we’re about 70% done – woohoo!!
    Laurie @thefrugalfarmer recently posted..Getting out of Debt: The Secret You Might Not Know AboutMy Profile

  6. Nice November Holly. Mine was record breaking, but it is not translating over to this month. December has been slow for me, but I guess it is expected. People are trying to get ready for the holidays and companies are getting ready for their end of year. It makes sense, but hopefully I can bring it back in January!
    Grayson @ Debt Roundup recently posted..Are You Robbing Visa To Pay Mastercard?My Profile

  7. Holly continues to be my personal online hero; I have every article she has ever written pasted to the walls of a closet my wife doesn’t know about… at a safe distance from the alter I have to frugality. Nothing creepy going on, swear!

    Oh and also gift cards? Do it NYC Italian style and give cash-in-envelopes.
    Snarkfinance recently posted..The power of Mobility in the Modern AgeMy Profile

  8. It looks like you had a great month, regardless of income being a bit lower. Christmas really snuck up on me, too, this year. With wedding planning and life, I haven’t really been paying attention to the date!
    Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter recently posted..How to Get Your Child Excited About ReadingMy Profile

  9. I can’t believe Christmas is only 2 weeks away. Where does the time go? I don’t have much gifts to get thank goodness. We really need to send out holiday cards…I’m sure everyone is expecting a card with pictures of Baby LRC. You guys are gonna be busy this month…another move right?
    Andrew@LivingRichCheaply recently posted..Do You Judge Someone’s Financial Worth By The Cover?My Profile

  10. Awesome! Totally great month!
    Nick @Step Away from the Mall recently posted..How to save money on home improvement projectsMy Profile

  11. Nice! Always inspiring to read these updates. And even though it was a little less than your norm, it’s still way above your minimum, so I’d still call it another great month!
    Kali @ CommonSenseMillennial recently posted..Dealing with Student Loan DebtMy Profile

  12. GREAT JOB! I am totally inspired by your income and ability to work freelance. It’s slowly becoming my ultimate dream.
    Michelle @fitisthenewpoor recently posted..The Real Cost of the RTW Amazing RaceMy Profile

  13. Great to hear that working from home full-time is going so well for you! I did not calculate my November income…or actually August – November! I have it on my “to do” list as I’m currently on a week of PTO.
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted..5 Ways to “Get” Money this Holiday SeasonMy Profile

  14. I am not ready for Christmas I have about 10 more gifts to buy. Christmas shopping this year is very different than shopping last year. I have done a lot more shopping online because it seems overwhelming to take Emmett with me.
    Jennifer @ Budgeting in Baby recently posted..When Generosity Goes too FarMy Profile

  15. I KNOW you will meet your minimum goal of $4k for December Holly! Congrats on a great November and I’m happy you guys found a home you love. :)
    Girl Meets Debt recently posted..How Much Cash-Back Did I Get on My Credit Card?My Profile

  16. Hey Holly, great job on your November income. Personally, I did about 3k in November, but it looks like December is going to be my first 5k month! I’m so excited!
    J from recently posted..The First Steps To Take When Repairing Credit ScoresMy Profile

  17. Sounds like you are still doing great Holly. I hope December is good for you even though it sounds like there will be some days that you can’t work.
    Michelle recently posted..How Would Your Life Be If You Didn’t Have Debt?My Profile

  18. It sounds like you have a great handle on how to deal with slower months, which is important. I like that you’re confident you’ll be able to reach your goal of $4k this month, while being able to enjoy other things. I imagine that makes life less stressful and lets you enjoy time with the family! Also sounds like you’ve obtained a great work/life balance.
    E.M. recently posted..The Benefits of Living in a Low Cost-of-Living AreaMy Profile

  19. I am enjoying dh having a salary again! First paycheck posted this week. :)

    And we just paid $800 to spay/neuter/vaccinate 3 feral kittens. And a bunch of Christmas shopping. Next up… Target Gift cards for the kids’ 11 teachers. I really enjoy dh having a salary again.
    Nicoleandmaggie recently posted..Do the holidays stress you out?My Profile

  20. Nice job Holly, even with the time off. I had a slow Oct and Sept but making up for it this month. I’ll hardly have any time off but I should be making a lot the next couple of months.
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted..How I Made 10k in Side IncomeMy Profile

  21. You’re a huge inspiration Holly :) Enjoy the week off with kids!
    Catherine recently posted..What I Learned From Jobs I Didn’t GetMy Profile

  22. Wow!! That is awesome. What an inspiration!!!
    Allison K recently posted..Money MilestonesMy Profile

  23. Awesome to hear you are hitting your target goals for income. Given the buffer you mentioned, I don’t think you should have too many issues if you happen to fall short with the days off in December. I think a lot of people wind up working a lot less in December just because of the holidays. Maybe that’s why it always seems to go by so quickly compared to the other months of the year.
    Micro recently posted..Before You Open a New Bank Account, Read These 3 Warning SignsMy Profile

    • Yeah, I don’t mind taking some time off. Since I won’t have as many paid jobs to do, I’ll probably just spend that time working on my blog.

  24. That’s a great month considering it’s really just 3 weeks worth of work!
    H @ Minding My Cents recently posted..A Frugal Gift For Moms (Free Printable Nursery Wall Art)My Profile

  25. I think the best point of the post is that you can take that time off to do fun stuff and hang with the family and still make enough to cover your expenses. November is always a crappy month for me because my government job has it’s fiscal renewal in October and there is always a couple of months lag before I get paid. The good thing is I should be getting a huge deposit any day now! Did you buy your gift cards at an office store with the Chase Ink card?

    • No, I didn’t Kim. Massive fail on my end. I just used my Chase Ink points for plane tickets to Jamaica. I just moved onto my new AMEX card! =)

  26. Wow you are working it! So impressed and inspired. December has been slow, but I have a few extra gigs. November was worse, but I am confident 2014 will bring in new, good things. Here’s to hustling and enjoying life!
    Dear Debt recently posted..Would you beg for tuition money?My Profile

  27. Way to go with your November goals. December is a time to slow down and get ready for the next year anyway. It’s very exciting to read about all of your success!
    kelly @stayingonbudget recently posted..Weekend Reading #12: Coming Out of the FreezerMy Profile

  28. Nice work Holly! Even with a week off you’re still crushing your original goal. Hopefully with decreased income will also come some enjoyment of increased down time in December. That is, if Christmas isn’t too stressful.
    Matt Becker recently posted..Navigating the Excitement and the Fear of Having a Second ChildMy Profile

  29. Congrats on another awesome month! I am trying to work on some stuff now that will benefit me more in the long term. And I am thinking trying to get some offline freelance writing. Fingers crossed something works!
    Alexa recently posted..A Day in the LifeMy Profile

  30. Great job with November! It’s been interesting to follow your and other freelancers’ monthly reports, and what it’s like with the ups/downs and strategies to prepare. Thanks for sharing!
    anna recently posted..K.i.s.s.’ed my debt good-byeMy Profile

  31. That’s great, Holly. I love seeing people make money from writing — there’s something pretty cool about that.
    Done by Forty recently posted..One Case of HomelessnessMy Profile

  32. You should have a wrap song about earning that “FREELANCE DOUGH, FO SHO!”

    I’ll write it…..for a fee ;)
    Jacob recently posted..Your Hybrid Car Is A Waste Of MoneyMy Profile

  33. Hi Holly, I just found your website earlier today and I am very impressed. I just started blogging about financial independence and how my family is trying to get there. Its awesome seeing examples such as yourself having so much success. Keep up the good work.
    Mr. Grump recently posted..FREE BOOKSMy Profile

  34. Not bad! I cleared $1700 or so in November. Not bad for my second full month of blogging and December is right on track to hit that same level of income. I’m not spending all day blogging, so I’m pretty happy with the income this early. Especially given my level of effort!

    Keep up the good work!
    Justin @ RootofGood recently posted..Three Months of Early RetirementMy Profile

  35. I love seeing these posts. It’s really helps me (and others) who are in the process of planning a switch to freelance life-in the far future!

  36. Awesome post Holly and way to go. I appreciate your sharing how you make a go of it and it is a monthly does of inspiration:) Keep up the great work and the goals and 2014 will kick butt!!

    Take care and all the best.

    lyle @ The Joy of Simple recently posted..The Joy Of Simple Gift GivingMy Profile

  37. Enjoy the time off work and don’t stress. You’re obviously doing well above your target and now that Greg is employed, you’re all good. Isn’t it nice when you don’t have to worry about having a lean month because your expenses are low and you’ve got plenty of savings?
    Tara @ Streets Ahead Living recently posted..Paying off debt blowsMy Profile


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