$22,415 in July Income, Life Updates, and I’m Launching a Course

I'd have to say last month was great! I made $22,415, plus I started putting some of the finishing touches on my new writing course. Details inside!

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Good day, frugal friends. It’s that time again – time for our income and life updates post! You can hardly contain your excitement, can you?!?

In all seriousness, today’s post is all about what happened in our lives and business during the month of July. On the upside, we pulled in a really nice income, and I began putting the finishing touches on a product I created myself! On the downside, however, we lost a beloved family member.

My Course: Earn More Writing with Holly Johnson

Let’s start at the beginning. First, I am very excited to report that I am finally launching a freelance writing course. There are plenty of similar courses out there, but I feel I have a unique perspective to offer. The fact that I actually write for a living (instead of just making money selling courses on the topic) has given me some serious insight on what it takes to master this craft, get the best and highest-paying writing jobs, and plan a workday to maximize income potential.

Plenty of people have good or excellent writing skills but don’t know how to parlay them into a lucrative writing career. My course was created to turn those skills into dollars, and I feel like I’m the premier expert on this topic. Why? I invoiced for more than $180,000 in freelance writing projects last year, and I am on schedule to make well over $200,000 in 2016 from freelance writing alone.

Is there anyone else who can honestly say that?

When it comes to creating online content, I believe anyone can reach some modicum of success with the right knowledge and tools. That, my friends, is what I’m offering. So brace yourselves; I’m entering this market and I hope you’ll join me. Look for my private Facebook group soon, and message me if you want an invite!

My Dog Died

Pablo RunningYou might remember me talking about my dog Pablo several years ago. In a blog post called “My Dog Pablo: The Freeloading Genius,” I highlighted his laughable laziness and his mastery of avoiding labor or work at all costs.

After nearly fourteen years as my beloved pet, Pablo’s heart beat for the last time in early July. We made the tearful decision to put him to sleep after watching his health decline for months. The day we made the decision, he had ten seizures over a ten-hour period. I didn’t want to do it, but I know in my heart letting him go was the best decision I could make.

pablo 3
Pablo when he was a baby!

I will always remember Pablo as a faithful friend and companion. I will miss him sitting and staring at me all day while I worked. I will miss his funny antics, his obsession with chasing “the dot” all over the house, and the way he burrowed into everything from blankets to sweaters.

I will miss how he only ate the circles and squares in his food, inexplicably leaving the brown sticks and triangles behind. I will miss seeing his tail wag each morning, excited to greet us as we all awoke. Most of all, I will miss the love and tenderness he showed my children since the day they were born.

If you are somehow reading or hearing this, Pablo, please know that we will love you and miss you forever! You were a wonderful companion and friend, and you will hold a place in our hearts until the end of time.

$22,415 in July Income

On a lighter note, let’s take a look at last month’s income. Despite the fact that we went on a 13-day vacation in July, we still pulled in $22,415 in income. That’s a pretty nice chunk of change considering I only worked 13 full days last month. The fact that I got some of my work done “ahead” really helped in that respect, but I also buckled down and focused, too. And since this is a boost from what we made last month (Club Thrifty Income Report: $21,566 for June 2016), I’m happy with it!

In case you’re wondering, here’s an estimate of how that breaks down. I might be a few dollars or cents off here and there, but you get the point!

  • Consulting, Sponsorship, and Affiliate Income: $4,066
  • Content Creation and Freelancing: $18,349


If you want to follow along, it also helps to see how our income has changed over the years. It certainly fluctuates from month to month, but it has been on an upward trajectory for some time now. Here are a few of our income reports from previous months:

If you’re pondering the idea of starting a website of your own, get the inside scoop on how to get started with a self-hosted WordPress account. Click here for our step-by-step tutorial on how to start a blog yourself!

Website Expenses

Since we are no longer paying a consultant to help with the SEO on our website, our expenses are back down to normal. We did, however, hire a virtual assistant to help us reach some goals starting in August. As a result, our expenses will be higher from here on out. Still, behold our expenses for July 2016!

  • Internet: $51
  • Blog Hosting: $15
  • Misc. Advertising: $100
  • Writing: $100
  • Giveaway: $100

Total: $366

Final Thoughts

I have been blogging and writing for several years now, and I finally feel like I’m getting somewhere. This is partially because our book, Zero Down Your Debt, Incredible income update! I can't believe how much money she makes online. Plus, details on her new writing course.will be in stores on January 10, 2017. Also, I feel like I have learned more about blogging and business in this last year than I did in the 3-4 years before that! One day, I should have this all figured out!

In the meantime, I love writing this website, participating in this community, and sharing my financial insights with the world. I thank God every day for the fact I am able to support my family without leaving my house…or even wearing pants if I don’t want to. I have to work harder now than I ever have, but I now have the freedom to pursue my dreams and make my own mistakes.

At the end of the day, that is all I have ever wanted.

How did your income pan out in July? Did you reach your goals?

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  1. So sorry to hear about the loss of your beloved pet Holly. I’m sure there will be a void there for your family and we know that it’s especially hard on kids – sometimes the first loss they truly suffer themselves. It sounds like a great month! We’ve been following for a few years and have watched your site evolve into the excellent resource it is today. A tremendous amount of work and a passion for what you do – it’s clear. Enjoy the day!

    1. Thank you! I can hardly believe he’s gone. I think we will adopt another dog soon.

  2. Sorry to hear about Pablo. We may be facing a similar situation with our cat as he has had some pretty serious health issues himself and having more tests done this week. That being said, great month as always and very cool on the course. We had a good month as well and trying to get as far ahead as possible before we head out to San Diego in a few weeks.

  3. I’m sorry to hear about your dog. Our pets bring us such fun. We love to tell funny stories about our dog.

    1. I know, right. They all have their own weird personalities! I always wished I could read my dog’s mind, if only for a day.

  4. Sorry to hear about your dog.

    Congrats on a great month. I think you’re right that the fact that you already make so much money freelance writing puts you in a good position to create a course.

    I’m ramping up my freelance writing efforts and already see results.

  5. Ahh really sorry to hear about your dog!

    On a lighter note, WOW what a month! I’m looking to seriously upping my online and freelancing efforts. Unfortunately it’s looking like major redundancies at work so I may be totally self employed quicker than I imagined!

    Best of luck with your course!

  6. I’m so sorry about Pablo. I can’t even imagine. Our dogs are our lives and I don’t ever want to experience that day

    Can’t wait until your course launches. It will be great!

    1. Thanks Michelle =)

      And yep, that’s the only bad thing about pets. They don’t live as long as we do! I got Pablo when I in my early 20s. That’s a long time to spend with a pet you love!

  7. So sorry about your dog 🙁 🙁 🙁

    Congrats on the course!! I’m sure it will be incredibly successful!! And you killed it in July!! So inspiring! I made $3200 which was the most I’ve made hahaha, but I’m super happy with that since I hustled maybe 10 hours the whole month! Woo-hoo for online income 🙂

  8. I’m so sorry to hear about Pablo, Holly. Our dog, Pepper, died suddenly yesterday, and our hearts go out to you and your family.

    Will definitely look forward to hearing more about your course and hopefully being one of your students.

    1. Oh, that’s awful! I’m sorry to hear that. It’s never a good time, but I’m sorry your pup died without warning =(

  9. I’m sorry to hear about Pablo! I love these reports and I’m thinking about our interview. You’ve inspired me. Keep up the good work and see you in September.

  10. Another fab month. July was a bizarrely amazing month for me with revenue coming in over 25k – of course now that it’s August, I have NO idea how I’m going to make money this month, haha. I need more consistency (that might be a good thing to cover in your course 🙂 )

    1. My income fluctuates, too, but not quite that much! Ha! I’m sure you’ll figure it out.

  11. Hey Holly, really sorry to hear about Pablo – I’m going to hate it when our (first ever) pet dies and crying will definitely happen 🙁

    Anyway, congrats on another great month as always – you guys are a great inspiration! At first, a few years ago, I just read your articles on other sites – now I’d love to BE like you, haha.


  12. It’s so awesome how you’re able to keep your expenses so low! How has the $500 raise from not having to pay for daycare been?

  13. Soory for Pablo, but really congrats for your great month and your course!!!

  14. You are rockin’ it! Almost as great as a landlord. It takes a lot of work to be successful, and often people think you just got ‘lucky’. Keep up the great work!

  15. Hey Holly, so sorry about Pablo. But other than that July seemed to be a pretty good month for you. You got a nice lengthy vacation and still pulled in a large income. Great job driving your income in an upward trajectory over time!

  16. So sorry to hear about Pablo. Reading your story brought tears to my eyes – I can only imagine how sad your family must be right now. We have a dog that is such a part of our family, we will be incredibly sad when that time comes.

    Thanks for sharing your updates! You continue to be inspiration for those of us just starting out!

  17. Good for you, Holly! Best of luck with your new course launch. You are well qualified. 🙂

    Sorry to hear about your dog. It sounds like he lived a very full life though.

    Congrats on the fantastic income month, especially on 13 days of work. I’m sure it must feel great after putting in so much hard work the past few years. I’m barely into year 2, but know I’ve gotta put in my dues. You deserve it.

  18. I am so sorry about your dog …. and great job with the income even with taking almost two weeks off! you’re killing it!

  19. So sorry to hear about your dog, Holly. Our family cat died after having a seizure as well back when I was in high school. Hopefully your kids are doing okay.

    Congrats on the income and the course! I think your course is a great idea since you’ve been such an inspiration to me and other writers I’m sure. I’m all for diversifying income, but when people ask what I really want to do with my blog and freelancing in the long run, I tell them that I simply want to write for the most part. I love writing, and it’s nice to see how you’ve made a living from it.

  20. I’m going to have to stay in touch about your course, Holly! You are a writing machine, geesh! Congrats on the course and can’t wait to check it out!

  21. So what did you learn this year about blogging and business that you hadn’t learned in the past 3-4 years? Maybe you could do a blog post on this.

    1. Oh geez, a lot!

      I will say, nearly everything I have learned will be included in my course that launches in October. It is going to have like 8 hours of video!

  22. Well done on an extraordinary month. I believe you\’re correct that the way that you as of now profit independent written work places you in a decent position to make a course.

  23. I\’m so sorry to hear about your dog. My condolences.

    The course looks fantastic!

  24. I have been looking for *real* lessons and advice in online writing! (You know, not the ones that say “make $750,000 from your couch tomorrow!” 🙂 I will definitely be looking into your course, thanks so much!

  25. Awesome and inspirational, as always! Thank you for being so transparent and sharing with the masses.

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