Cash Money: $5,565 in February Income Plus Blog Updates

fuck winterFebruary was another great month for Club Thrifty LLC and for all of my endeavors, especially considering the fact that I took a week-long vacation to Jamaica and got trapped there for an additional two days.  Still, the rest went pretty smooth.  Even though I was MIA for part of the month, I still completed my regular staff posts at Get Rich Slowly and Frugal Travel Guy, as well as the posts for the lesser-known publications that I write for.  Overall, it was bitchin’.

More good news: Greg did our taxes last week and we are getting a refund of a little over $6,000.  For a few hours, we actually thought we were going to get almost $12,000 back (which would’ve been ridiculous).  However, Greg had us listed as some sort of partnership other than an LLC, and our tax software wasn’t taking out the other half of my self-employment tax.  Remember when I talked about that?

Anyways, I’m totally getting $6,000 back, which means that I need to pay a little less in this year.  And that’s fine by me.  I mean, who wants to give Uncle Sam an interest-free loan for the year?  Not this guy.

Cash Money Update

Without further ado, the total amount of money of cash money that I grossed as a self-employed goddess in February 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 or starting a blog, please check out these posts:

How To Get Freelance Writing Jobs 

Quit Your Day Job: How to Start a Blog

My Expenses

Fortunately, the fact that I work from home means that my expenses are low, if not almost non-existent.  (Hint: That’s part of the reason that my self-employment taxes are so high.  I literally have almost nothing to write off!)  However, I did spend a little bit of cash money on staff writing for our new website as well as this one.  I also bought a cheap printer and ink.  Sue me.  Here is a basic rundown of my expenses from last month:

  • Staff Writing: $200
  • Blog Hosting: $12
  • Internet $50
  • Printer and Ink $98

Other news

Due to my new credit card rewards strategy, I finally earned the Southwest Companion pass.  This means that I can buy BOGO plane tickets for Greg and I this year and next through Southwest, even if I pay for my own ticket with points.  Winning!  I know that it probably seems a little sad that I’m excited about it, but I love to travel…especially for free.

I also booked a $6,200 trip to Europe for this upcoming fall for a total of $197.  I’ll be writing about that soon as well.

In other news, the Wall Street Journal asked me to participate in a debate about married couples with separate finances in their newspaper and online edition. I happily obliged since I basically take any well-paying job that comes my way.  My debate piece will run in the paper and in the online edition on March 17th, and I am super excited!  I will definitely link to it once it goes live.  It’s going to be epic.  Well, at least in my own mind.

How did your February go?  Are you over winter yet, or what?

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. So many awesome things – big tax return back, amazing trip to Europe for under $209, companion tickets, and a piece in the Wall Street Journal – I’d call that an amazing month!
    Alicia @ Financial Diffraction recently posted..Financial Update – February 2014.My Profile

  2. Holy crap that’s awesome you will be in the WSJ! I love the WSJ and even get the print edition still (but only on the weekends). I also can’t even wait to read about your European vacation for under $200! I’m slowly learning more about travel ‘hacking’ so it’s nice to read about how others are doing it. The companion pass sounds awesome and I would be excited too. Good stuff!
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted..4 Tips for Applying to Jobs you aren’t Qualified ForMy Profile

    • It is going to be in the print edition and the online version on the 17th. I don’t know what day of the week that is. Lame!
      I will definitely write about my Europe trip soon.

  3. Yay for tax refunds! Sounds like it was an excellent month all around. Looking forward to reading the Wall Street Journal piece :)
    Lauren recently posted..The Story of My Student Loan DebtMy Profile

  4. Wow! This gives me something to strive for…you are amazing! Congrats!

  5. Very cool Holly! Nice work on the income, refund and WSJ, that’s pretty sweet. I’m hoping that we get a nice return like that but we’ll see. I’m definitely ready for winter to be over, and it’s crazy weather too. We were -12 on Monday and will be 70 on Saturday…I just want it to decide what it’s going to do. ;)
    John @ Frugal Rules recently posted..What Doing Things the Hard Way Will Get YouMy Profile

  6. Congrats on the Companion Pass. I just read your article regarding Bluebird and Reload and just set up my Bluebird account. Now, I just have to wait for the bluebird card and start taking advantage of the system. ;)

    The Warrior

  7. Wow, awesome news all over the place! I’m looking forward to hearing about the details of the Europe trip and reading your WSJ piece. At least you know you can pay a bit less toward taxes now, that’s always nice.
    E.M. recently posted..Moto X Review (Republic Wireless)My Profile

    • Ugh, I know. I am happy that I won’t have to pay in as much! This was my first year being self-employed and it was kind’ve an experiment.

  8. I still haven’t done my taxes yet! I would love to get 6k back but I’m not even sure that I paid out that much. I still have a day job coupled with my side hustle.

    Congrats on the monthly income! I’m looking for ways to increase freelance writing income as well. I’ll check out that post.
    Tish recently posted..My Monthly Income Report- February 2014My Profile

  9. Glad to hear you’ll be adjusting your tax withholding/estimated payments in order to get a smaller refund next year. Good move.

    And, wow, congrats on getting into the WSJ. That’s big time!
    Mr. Utopia @ Personal Finance Utopia recently posted..How to Cope with Absent Minded Mistakes that Cost You MoneyMy Profile

  10. That’s a pretty rockstar month. I too make most of my money from freelance writing which a lot of people seem to forget is IN ADDITION to everything it takes to manage my own blog.
    Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life recently posted..Pets Without the Price TagMy Profile

  11. 6k doesn’t surprise me since you told me you were putting so much in during the past year. Overall though what a great month you’ve had!!
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted..Let’s Talk About Your ColonMy Profile

  12. Wow that is awesome about the WSJ gig. Excited to read that!

    Sounds like another great month :) Good job!
    Michelle recently posted..Excuses You Use To Not Follow Your PassionMy Profile

  13. First Kiplinger’s and now the Wall Street Journal…that’s awesome! Can’t wait to read it. And I’m so over winter…spring can’t come soon enough!
    Andrew@LivingRichCheaply recently posted..Are We Overworked?My Profile

  14. WSJ! I will make sure to read. We get free online access through my work. They have great writing but to be honest I don’t always make time for it.
    Liz recently posted..February {In Review}My Profile

  15. Nice work on the companion pass. I may have missed the post, but did you have to call reconsideration to get the Business version of the card? Did you wait a few months before applying for the second card?

    Either way, kick-ass month! And excited to read about Europe. That’s on my radar a few year out, but want to start planning now.

    And did you win the WSJ debate? I’m assuming so… ;-)
    Jacob recently posted..How Facebook Is Emptying Your WalletMy Profile

    • Yes, I did have to call reconsideration line for that one. They didn’t want to give me another business card since I already had the Chase Ink Bold. They did approve me, but only gave me a $5,000 limit. As if I care! I was still able to earn the companion pass, which is bitchin!

      Greg signed up for the premier and plus cards and is also going to earn the companion pass. That way we can take the kids on some trips and only pay for half of the tickets with points. Woot!

      I don’t think that anyone “wins” the WSJ debates. Haha!

  16. Nice work Holly! Great month for you. I think it is awesome that you are going to be a part of that debate. I would love to see how it goes.
    Grayson @ Debt Roundup recently posted..Financial Crisis Made Worse By Bankers Not Taking Enough RisksMy Profile

  17. You’re slowly taking over the world. Best thing about blogging business is wherever you travel it can be a deduction if you write about it. Congrats recently posted..Why Do You Allow Others To Keep You PoorMy Profile

  18. Wow, I am sure that the Wall Street Journal debate will be pretty amazing! And so will be getting 6 grand back, plus your nice income this month. And, my, a trip to Europe for less than $200? I want to know that, and I live in Europe :))
    C. the Romanian recently posted..When Things Go Bad, They’re Going to Get WorseMy Profile

  19. Congrats on a great month, very inspiring!
    Awesome picture, I’m so done with winter!
    Kara recently posted..How Busy Moms Find the Time to ExerciseMy Profile

  20. Holy cow- congrats and the awesome tax return, and especially being featured in WSJ! Pretty soon I’m going to get to tell people about how I “know” a celebrity.
    Ryan @ Impersonal Finance recently posted..5 shows you should be watching on NetflixMy Profile

  21. $6,000 back from the government is a HUGE win! Congrats Holly! SO exciting about the WSJ opportunity as well. I can’t wait to hear your epic argument. :-)
    Shannon @ Financially Blonde recently posted..Website Review – Smart AssetMy Profile

  22. Very nice results! 5K+ after expenses is awesome. That is actually my goal to eventually hit that mark. My net side income for February after expenses was – $160.34. Long way to go but this post certainly gave me some motivation.

    John Schroeder recently posted..February 2014 Sprouted Income ResultsMy Profile

  23. That’s so awesome!
    SavvyFinancialLatina recently posted..What is Your Next Career Move?My Profile

  24. Today WSJ! Tomorrow the world!!!! Well done… Oh..and Malta is in Europe… :0)) .
    Kemkem recently posted..A traditional West African Engagement !My Profile

  25. WSJ? That’s epic in my mind too! Congrats. Look forward to checking it out.
    Kyle | recently posted..Frugal Hack #20: Crack the PLU Produce Sticker CodeMy Profile

  26. I can’t wait to see the WSJ article!! That is so exciting! Congrats Holly!
    Cat Alford (@BudgetBlonde) recently posted..Awesome Solopreneurs: Women’s Power WednesdaysMy Profile

  27. You are really in the big leagues now. Donald Trump might read about you. Can’t wait to hear Europe details. Congrats!
    Kim@eyesonthedollar recently posted..Fix An Old Washer or Buy a New One?My Profile

  28. $6k is a pretty nice tax return! I still have to get around to doing mine, maybe I’ll find the motivation soon. Congrats on the WSJ article, that’s huge!
    The First Million is the Hardest recently posted..Ten Tips That Saved Us $12,000 On Our Wedding BudgetMy Profile

  29. Congrats on WSJ! I can’t wait to hear how you booked a $6000 European Vacay for just under $200 bucks!
    Raquel@Practical Cents recently posted..2014 Goals: Progress ReportMy Profile

  30. I just caught up on your income reports and they are remarkable! Apologies if you’ve answered this somewhere else, but how many hours do you put in, do you think, to account for that income? I’m very curious about this with people who are finding success!
    Mike recently posted..Can I Really Make a Living by Blogging? (Our Experience, So Far…)My Profile

  31. I’m with you on not giving the Fed a free loan. Hopefully next year you’ll do better.

    Congrats on the WSJ story. I’m also looking forward to your European trip explanation!
    Tara @ Streets Ahead Living recently posted..Why I don’t do monthly budgetsMy Profile

  32. Great job on the WSJ article/debate. February was a great month for me. I closed on a flip property I did as a cash investment and got the check!

    Keep working and keep getting writing gigs!
    No Nonsense Landlord recently posted..The Landlord Trap, Do not get caught in itMy Profile

  33. Have fun with the WSJ! And it’s paid too? Even better.

    I gotta wait a couple more weeks to submit my returns due to an outstanding K1.
    Financial Samurai recently posted..My GS Elevator MomentMy Profile

  34. That is one advantage Rental Income has, no self employment tax. That saves ~13.5%, right off the top. It certainly helps me.

    You can lower your salary, and give yourself a large dividend. the dividend is only taxed as income, not self employment. Keep the dividend lower than the salary.
    No Nonsense Landlord recently posted..Late rents and what they meanMy Profile

  35. I’m looking forward to seeing your post about your Europe trip and how it came out to be so cheap! I would love a tax refund of $6,000. I’m not getting a refund – in fact, I owe $3,000 or so (though I haven’t included our home-office) yet.
    Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter recently posted..Can I Get A Price Check?My Profile

  36. Great job as usual Holly! We went straight from rainy season to dry season which could be called summer and was really expected so now it is just perfect warm and sunny, hope it lasts!
    Pauline @ Savvy Scot recently posted..A lifetime of savings part 3: saving money in your 40sMy Profile

  37. Right now it appears like Expression Engine is the top
    blogging platform available right now. (from what I’ve
    read) Is that what you’re using on your blog?
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