$22,150 in April Income and Insider’s Look at My Paycheck

April 2016 Income Update - picture of increasing stack of coins and hands using calculator

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Hey all, we’re baaaaaaaaaaaack with our monthly income report for April of 2016. Even after taking a week off to enjoy spring break in paradise, we still managed to pull in a tidy sum of money for the month.

As a reminder, we share our income to provide inspiration for all the other internet entrepreneurs and aspring stay-at-home couples out there. By explaining how we earn money and how much time we put into it, we hope to show how others can do the same.

As I have always said, if I can do it, anyone can. I absolutely hate computers and technology, yet still rock it online somehow. Even if you’re technology-averse, starting a blog isn’t that hard at all.

Aaaaaaannnnd let me tell you a little secret about starting a blog. Save yourself the trouble and get started with a self-hosted WordPress account. Click here for our step-by-step tutorial on how to start a blog yourself!

April 2016 Online Income

As mentioned above, we had a pretty decent month! We didn’t make as much as last month’s income, but I’m not one to complain. One of the best decisions we make every month is to keep our expenses crazy low and never give into lifestyle inflation. Since our monthly expenses still sit well below $4,000 including our mortgage, utilities, childcare, groceries, and all of our regular bills, wide swings in our income don’t freak us out too much.

With all that being said, behold the amount of money this here website (and the person typing) made online in April of 2016:


In total, my husband and I made around $22,150 for our efforts, which makes me more happy than anyone could know. Of course, it has taken us quite a while to get there! Here are a few of our previous income updates if you want to compare and see our progress:

Now that we’re fairly established online, we have money coming in from several key sources. To provide a glimpse into our bank account, I crunched some numbers for your viewing pleasure. Remember, these numbers are approximate:

  • Affiliate Marketing and Blog Income: $4,156
  • Other: $1,560
  • Advertising and Sponsorships: $575
  • Content Creation and Freelance Writing: The rest

Our expenses were pretty weak sauce again last month, which happens to be just the way I like it. However, we did hire a virtual assistant and that costs us around $150 per week. (Before you accuse me of hiring cheap labor, please know that she works ten hours per week for $15 per hour) Here’s what we paid to run our online businesses last month:

  • Internet: $51
  • Virtual Assistant: $600
  • Blog Hosting: $15
  • Misc. Advertising: $100

Total: $766

In addition to those expenses, it’s important to remember that being self-employed means paying a boatload of taxes. And since we have no benefits, we have to pay for our health insurance ourselves.


How Much Do I Pay Myself?

Recently, I participated in a webinar for a friend who is creating an online freelancing course. One of the questions they asked me was how much I pay myself, and IApril Paycheck admit I struggled to answer. As a result, I wanted to elaborate here.

Since my husband and I changed our business, we are now an LLC taxed as an S-corp. As a result, we are able to pay ourselves fairly modest salaries on par with normal salaries for our jobs. The biggest benefit of this option is that we are able to avoid paying self-employment taxes on around half of our income.

But, here’s the kicker. Even though I earn quite a bit, the majority of my paycheck goes to retirement savings. That fact is also exacerbated this year because we switched from a SEP IRA to a Solo 401(k) and I didn’t contribute to retirement from January – March while we made the switch. To make up for those three months, both Greg and I need to contribute $2,250 per month to retirement for the rest of the year. That will get us to our $18,000 max via payroll deduction. Then, at the end of the year, we can contribute up to another 25% of our earned income out of our profits, per IRS rules.


With all that craziness being said, this is what my monthly paycheck looked like for April. Yes, I paid myself a whopping $1,069.92 for the entire month. Don’t worry; I won’t spend it all in one place.

Basically, I pay myself in retirement savings, wear clothes with holes, and drive a car that is almost falling apart. But one day I’ll be rich…as long as the stock market doesn’t completely crash!

Exciting News – We Wrote a Book

Although learning how much I actually pay myself surely has you on the edge of your seat, I have even more exciting news. As of this week, Greg and I finished the first copy of our book – all 34,000 words. Better yet, we signed on with a publisher who is going to assist with our efforts and help us market said book.

Writing a book is a goal I never really knew I had until we got started. But once that baby is up on the shelves, I’ll be more than a writer; I’ll be an author. It sounds so much more prestigious for some reason, doesn’t it?

Anyway, feel free to buy dozens of copies and give them as birthday gifts all year long. That’s what I would do.

Our book won’t be released until late this year or early next year, but we’ll make sure to share plenty of news along the way.

Thanks for reading – you mean more to us than you know!

How did your income goals work out in April? What are your goals for May?

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  1. Great effort guys! winatmoney.com (my blog) is still in its infancy. I mainly write to help people who struggle financially however making a living from blogging would be unreal!

  2. Hi Holly,

    Thanks for sharing this. You are an inspiration and I hope to go full time with my blog as well. Keep up the great work!!

  3. Another great month! Nicely done. Congrats on the book. We had a good April, looking to continue the momentum in May.

  4. So inspiring Holly! I think saving away for your retirement is pretty important so I wouldn’t feel too down about it, as long as it’s going into your pocket somehow as opposed to the tax man!

    1. I’m not down about it at all. I like to make fun of myself. =) Being self-employed means I can pay myself whatever I want. I just think it’s funny I work all these hours and my “take home pay” is a thousand bucks for the month, lol.

  5. You guys are so going to be the millionaires next door! You guys are definitely an inspiration! I can’t wait to read your book ^_^

  6. Great month and congrats on the book! I’m in a similar spot having just finished my book with publishing expected in a month. I agree, it’s a great feeling and accomplishment. Good work!

    The Green Swan

  7. I continue to be in awe of you guys, Holly. In time, I hope to get to a similar point myself. I am looking forward to checking out your book in the future.

  8. Congrats on writing your book. My wife just released her first eBook two months ago and it was a lot of work. Especially the editing/proofreading stage.

    Hiring a publisher is a great choice. You have a great platform here that will help a lot, but publicity can be a tough nut to crack for newbies.

  9. Love the post!
    Out of curiousity, where did you hire/find your virtual assistant?

  10. Great month guys and congrats on the book – very cool! We pay ourselves in retirement savings as well. That’s one of my favorite benefits of working for ourselves – that you can put so much money away. 🙂 Our April was good, which is good since we’ll be out for about 10 days this month.

  11. Thanks for sharing. As a newbie blogger, reading about others’ success is great motivation!

    Congrats on the book!

  12. Holly and Greg this is SO awesome!!! What I love is how much you supercharged your monthly income since you started working together as a team! So inspirational!! And congrats on the book! I want you guys on my podcast to drink and chat about it whenever you release it!

  13. Solo 401k\’s are awesome, aren\’t they? Looking forward to being successfully self employed and being able to take advantage of the large contribution limits.

    Congrats on the new book!

  14. This is really inspiring for anyone looking to freelance write, because..if you do the math obviously most of your income comes from that. I swear most people picture writers as starving and living in a studio apartment in a bad neighborhood in New York City. It’s not true! There is so much demand for content, and it should only increase. Granted there is a huge difference between good writers and everyone else : )

  15. Lisa@DearDollar.com says:

    Congrats Holly! Can’t wait to read your book.

    I wanted to say ‘Thank You’ to you (and Michelle at Making Sense of Cents). If it weren’t for the two of you for being so open and honest about blogging (and income) I probably would never had the courage to start my own blog; Dear Dollar. It’s a newborn! (three days old) LOL!

    Your Start a Blog tutorial really helped and I highly recommend it for anyone looking for some guidance in the process.

  16. 401k now , rich..later :-). Congratulations on another awesome month!!!! Better yet..huge congratulations on the book. May it sell millions.. 🙂

  17. It’s so awesome you’re able to keep your expenses so low. May I ask you found your VA? What tasks does she do for you? Thanks!

  18. Congrats on finishing a book! 34,000 is no joke. I am excited to see what you guys put together!

  19. Congrats on the upcoming book, that’s exciting! And thanks for the insight into how much you’re paying yourself, that’s definitely an interesting. There are a lot of places that $22k from April ends up heading before the last bit hits your pocket!

  20. Aye! You guys are killing it! Congrats on another month and on the book! That is definitely a dream deferred of mine (I actually have the book written…I just haven’t done anything with it). Also, thanks for giving us a glimpse at your actual paycheck. It’s exciting to know that you’re making regular old paychecks like the rest of us, lol;)

  21. Very inspiring. Nice to see how much you can get from affiliate marketing.

  22. Wow! You guys really give me the motivation to keep at it with my own blog even when it is tough. Congrats on your success! I hope one day I can be as successful. Thanks for the great info – especially on how you deal with taxes and contributing to retirement. Y’all are awesome!
    -Rachel @ Tidy&Teal

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