Cash Money: $5,459 March Income and Blog Updates

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Good morning, peeps!  I’m super excited that March is over and it’s finally April!  I’m especially looking forward to a few things in particular this month.  First, we’re taking a week-long vacation to Florida in a few weeks, and it’s going to be a blast.  Second, my daughter turns five and I think we’re taking her out to swim with and see wild dolphins….but only if I can talk the Mr. into it.  Fingers crossed!   And third, it’s finally warming up outside.  I know I keep saying it, but this winter totally sucked!

In other news, we’re really starting to enjoy our new neighborhood and our new home.  We’re also especially excited about our back yard.  The ground was completely covered with snow when we moved into this house so we weren’t really sure what we had to work with until now.  Fortunately, we’ve been pleasantly surprised.  Not only is the grass in good shape, but the back yard has some cute landscaping as well.

It may not be anything fancy but I absolutely hated our old backyard with a passion.  In fact, I hardly went out there because it was so depressing.  There were so many freakin’ trees that the grass wouldn’t grow, and our neighbors had duct tape on the side of their house.  Yeah, I’m serious.  They literally duct-taped a giant


hole in a piece of their siding.  And, I would totally understand if that had been a temporary solution….but it was like that for years!  It drove me nuts!  On the other hand, our new backyard is tranquil, relaxing, and there is no duct-tape in sight.  In fact, it’s the perfect place to drink five or six gin-n-tonics by the fire.  The former owners of this house also left their outdoor furniture behind for us.  Or they forgot itEither way, it’s mine now.  Winning!

March Income and Blog Updates

March was yet another decent month for me in terms of freelance income.  On the other hand, my blog income sucked.  But that’s why it’s so important to have so many different streams of income in the first place.  When I’m having a bad month in one area, I can try to make it up in the others.  Regardless, I did a ton of writing in March and even added a new bi-weekly assignment for U.S. News and World Report’s My Money Blog and a monthly assignment for Personal Capital.  I also continue to write for Get Rich Slowly, VOSA, and Frugal Travel Guy, as well as a bunch of other places that you probably haven’t heard of.

Cash Money Update

Without further ado, the total amount of cash money that I grossed as a self-employed goddess in March 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

My expenses were relatively high last month because we are in the midst of building out and adding content to our other site, Travel Blue Book.  I also had to buy some new ink cartridges and paper for the printer that I splurged on a few months ago, which is strange.  I mean, I’m pretty sure that an ink cartridge should last for longer than a few months, right?  Anyway, these were my expenses in March:

  • Staff Writing: $340
  • Blog Hosting: $12
  • Internet $50
  • Paper and Ink: $45

Other News

My husband Greg is still enjoying his new job, but he has been working a ton of overtime.  The good news is that he’s no longer salary so he actually benefits from working long hours.  His last few paychecks have been killer and really added to our bottom line.  I love being a two-income family again!

And that’s all the news I got.  I guess no news is good news, am I right?

What about you?  How did your March go?  Did you meet your income goals?

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  1. NICE work! I had no idea you were bringing in that much cash from your side gigs. That $5459 is before taxes? What a great feeling to know that you found and earned it all yourself.

    1. Yes, before taxes. Speaking of taxes, I have to mail in my quarterly taxes today!

  2. Nice income Holly, is your travel from points. Glad that you out it out there that most of your income is from freelancing as that shows the realistic side of blogging income.

    1. No points this time. We rented a beach front condo in Florida and are taking the kids. We’re driving so no flights needed either.

    1. Thanks Dee. I am ready for a change of scenery!

  3. Those are some impressive numbers for writing. What would you say is the average amount you receive per writing assignment? Love the patio! The cute playhouse adds nicely to the backyard decor. 🙂

    1. It’s all over the place. I get paid anywhere from $85 to $500.

  4. Oh I really like the patio in your backyard! I am rebuilding a retaining wall this Summer and considering making a patio area as well, hopefully it ends up looking half as nice as yours!

    March was a good month, nothing out of the ordinary. I have a bad feeling April won’t be that good, but if I can keep the income somewhat consistent each month (or moving up over time) I’m happy.

    1. I’m so glad that patio is there. We could never make it look that nice ourselves!

  5. March was a great month for me as well….I was given the top rating in my end of year assessment, which meant I got a killer performance bonus a few weeks ago!

  6. Your backyard does look super cute. Our backyard is really pretty ugly but that’s okay for now. I think we will probably move in the next 5 years anyways. March felt like a really expensive month. I’m glad we’re into April now!

  7. The backyard looks gorgeous, Holly!!! I can’t believe that your former neighbors actually duct-taped their house – ooh, that makes me cringe. 🙁 I guess the good thing about living out in the country is that we can’t see if our neighbors are duct-taping their houses. 🙂

    1. They did! They had a hole in their siding and birds kept getting in there so they just taped it shut. Then the house went into foreclosure and it was like that for several years after.

  8. Looks like an awesome backyard Holly! Duct tape on siding…for years? Wow! Anyway, great work last month. I had a pretty good month myself as well and looks like April is shaping up to be more of the same. I’m SOOO ready for warmer weather, which I normally am not. We had 75 at the beginning of the week and snow on Friday and they’re calling for the same this to happen this week. 🙁

    1. WHAT?!?!? Snow again? I hope it doesn’t snow here anymore…I don’t think I can take it anymore!!!

  9. Beautiful house, I love the backyard! You’ll definitely have a ton of fun out there by the fire this summer. That’s something I currently miss. We live on a small lot in the city so backyard fires are not allowed. Congrats on the income this month too, very impressive!

  10. Congratulations on the $5k figure, very tidy sum I must say. Hopefully you’ll join me and others and commit to giving some of that away to charities.

      1. I know that you do, I think you misinterpreted my comment. I’d just like to see more bloggers give it publicly to inspire their readers to do the same.

  11. That income sounds great for freelance writing only. Your expenses are only 8% compared to income, wow. Good Luck in Florida.

    1. Hey thanks! Yeah, my expenses are pretty low. I do use two computers and a printer but that’s about it.

  12. Sounds like you had a great month, Holly! I laughed out loud when I read that your neighbor had duct taped their siding. That’s not very sightly. Having a nice yard to hang out in during the warmer months is great. It expands your living space. Enjoy!

  13. Tara @ Streets Ahead Living says:

    Love the color of your siding! That definitely looks like a backyard I’d enjoy.

    Also, if you’re spending a lot on ink cartridges, have you considered getting a laser printer? If you’re printing mostly black-and-white, it can lead to significant savings. I hate ink-jet, it’s a racket!

    1. We have a cheap printer but it’s newer. We typically don’t print very much but we just printed more than usual because we did our taxes!

  14. I used to have ink cartridges that gets empty rather fast as well. That was because the printer takes/heats the ink during power on. Its a printer and scanner but i don’t use the printer anymore. Retirement plans for dummies, learn to be thrifty just like you and get lots of different income streams.

    1. Our old printer was the worst. It went through ink like crazy and made you replace all of the colors each time!

  15. I’m really jealous of your green grass. We have another month before ours looks anything like summer. I am amazed at what people leave behind when they move. We got an almost new lawn mower from our rental house. If you don’t want it, why not have a yard sale, but their loss is your gain!

    1. Nice!

      Yeah, the patio furniture is pretty nice. I have no idea why they left it behind. They left that little playhouse too. My kids love it.

  16. Awesome Patio Holly. My wife and I are looking to put one in possibly next year. As much as I like being in the house the spring is always one time in the year I look forward to just so I get outside, and take walks with my family. I just hope we don’t go straight from the cold winter to blistering hot summer.

    1. I love walks with the family. We’ve gone on a long walk with the kids almost every day lately.

  17. Duct tape! Sounds like something my dad would do! Haha. Love the backyard…I’d really like one but living in NYC…buying a house is pretty difficult. Would love to have an outdoor space for the kiddos to run around.

    1. It’s been nice. Our old yard was not great for the kids because grass wouldn’t grow and it was muddy =/

  18. I think having a tranquil outdoor space is such a huge bonus. I love how it looks so I can see how you’re going to enjoy many nights out there! My income was good last month. I’m trying to go above and beyond my projected income, but now I’m also taking a LOT more out for taxes so that’s a huge budget hit. 🙁

    1. I hate taxes. I’m getting ready to pay my quarterly taxes today =/

  19. I love your home! So cute. And sounds like March was a great month. You write for so many people, I don’t know how you do it!

  20. Wow, I love your backyard! That reminds me that I still need to clean my balcony for the spring so that we can invite people over to BBQ, etc. 🙂

    If you guys can live off of your income, what have you been doing with his paychecks? Sending them to the mortgage? Investing them? Building up cash savings?

    1. A little bit of all of that. We’ve been overpaying our mortgage, investing, and saving. We spent our emergency fund down to 15K earlier this year but now it’s climbing again because of the extra funds!

  21. I like your new house. I forgot what it is like to have a little land. Living in California, land is a premium. I am looking forward to getting through this semester and hopefully a full time assignment.

    1. I’ve heard that. Our yard isn’t huge, but our lot is .33 of an acre. It’s the perfect size for us because we don’t want to spend a ton of time mowing.

    1. We ate outside Saturday night and it was heavenly. We could’ve never done that at our old house =/

  22. Definitely take your daughter to swim with the dolphins. She’ll love it and remember it forever. It’s one of those times the experience is well worth the cost.

    1. We definitely are- Greg said yes~ I cannot wait~

  23. Nice patio! Looks like you’ll be able to spend a lot of time out there once the weather gets nice.

  24. Good lucking backyard Holly! March was a good month, but that was because of a good February. I was really busy in March and will be busy this month, so income will be down considerably. It happens, but I hope I can pick it back up. I lost one writing gig due to the site slowing down, so I am looking for another opportunity!

    1. Hey, that happens! I lost one a few months ago and replaced it with three new ones!

  25. Congratulations! Seeing how much you’re bringing in from these jobs inspires me to get a few more side-jobs. I love the extra cashflow you’re getting and seeing all the progress. Thanks for sharing!

  26. My online income really sucked in March. Worst month ever I think here’s hoping it gets better for us in April, eh?

    I love your backyard it’s really nice! We’re going to get kiddo a little playhouse like that for her birthday I think. We don’t have anything like it and she LOVES our friends daughters one so it seems like a good idea. I’m waiting to see if it will go 50% off before we buy though (I usually see them 50% off come may/june).

    1. Hey, thanks! Yeah, they left that playhouse in the backyard. It was muddy and dirty but I cleaned it up so that the kids could play with it!

  27. Thanks! Me too. It is so much nicer than our old yard!

  28. Congrats on all of your writing jobs Holly!!! The ability to earn income from multiple sources is one of the things I love best about having my own business. If you work hard, they all seem to balance out.

  29. Good job wth the freelancing, Holly. With regard to ink jet cartridges…I too got disgusted with buying/replacing every few months at $45 a pop. Years ago, I found out that that I could buy ink in bulk containers and with syringes, inject the ink into a near empty cartridge. I kept a log and discovered that every three months I needed to refill the cartridges (if you do it too late, i.e. when empty, they will dry out). You can do this about five times per cartridge, until the “print head” of the cartridge starts to wear and the image isn’t as sharp. Now I only need to buy replacement cartridges every two years or so.

    1. That is really smart! I had no idea you could order ink and inject it yourself. Good to know!!!

  30. So awesome about your US News and World Report assignments – congrats! I hope you and the family have a wonderful vacation, and that the dolphin swimming happens! 🙂

  31. That’s a pretty nice looking table/umbrella and fire pit to have just left behind. Score one for you!

    As far as the duct tape on the house? You can take the family out of the trailer park, but you can’t take the trailer park out of the family… Yay Indiana!

    1. We actually bought the fire pit with two Menards gift certificates we got for Christmas. But the table and little play house were left here for us. The table originally had 6 chairs but two of them were falling apart. The other four look great though!

  32. What a great looking back yard you have there, Holly. A nice patio and grass, with landscaping to boot. Good stuff!

  33. WOW this is so impressive. It’s posts like this that keep pushing me to work towards my dream even though the road is tough. Part-timing and marketing an online business while having a 9-5 is a doozy for sure!

    1. I had a full-time job for the first year we blogged so I totally understand. It really is crazy!

  34. Love the backyard, Holly! Super duper cute 🙂 Your free-lance/writing income is so inspiring to see. (We actually first got to know you over at Frugal Travel Guy!)
    Between my husband and I, we’re working hard in our career positions and share blog responsibilities – but we’re having fun doing both. It’s good to see what we can work towards if we keep it up. Thank you for the dose of inspiration today!

    1. Hey, thanks for the kind words!!!!!! I think it’s fun to blog as a couple. My husband helps me with all of the techy-stuff and he does most of the work on our second site.

  35. MomofTwoPreciousGirls says:

    If your little girls are anything like mine, the ink and paper was used to print thousands of My Little Pony coloring pages from the internet! Sadly I’m only half kidding!
    Your home looks great, enjoy making it “yours”!

  36. Those pavers look nice in your backyard. I want to get some installed in ours to eliminate some of the grass. Also, that patio set was a nice thing they left behind. That’s at least $500 on sale. Looks like you did pretty good on the homefront too.

  37. Awesome to hear. I bet you are working very hard!
    what is Ghost writing, and does it bring a good profit?

  38. Nice! Your backyard is really cute. I’d love to have a porch or deck to lounge around on. I’d also like to be able to grill at our next place. I feel like ink is such a rip off these days. The printer tells you you’re out, but there’s no way that’s possible because you haven’t used the printer that much. It happened to me a lot when I was in college writing papers. I love getting overtime opportunities, the paycheck is so worth it.

  39. SWIM WITH THE DOLPHINS! My family swam with wild dolphins in New Zealand and the scariest part was squeezing into a wet suit…It’s so much fun and creates amazing memories.

    Congrats on the new backyard and all the income. Well done!

  40. We made my freelance goals for the first month we’ve been tracking it. Super excited about it. I’m not at half the fraction of where you are, but it’s something, right!

  41. Your backyard is awesome, what a great find from under the snowbanks! That’s still a lovely income you’re earning, nicely done.

  42. What a great yard. One of the reasons we’re thinking about moving to the suburbs is so we finally have a yard again. I really missing bbq-ing once the weather gets warm. March wasn’t a great month for saving for me, but I didn’t have to take any money out of savings, so I guess that’s a break even and I’ll take it.

  43. I think this might be my first time over here at your site.

    Your background and home look lovely ~ gotta love that free furniture!
    Congrats on your ability to make your writing your full time job with full time income!

  44. March rocked and April has been even better — like significantly so! Our income is moving on up 🙂

    Great job on the monthly income — that’s really impressive, especially considering your blog income was down! And your backyard looks great!

  45. Hi Holly,
    I need to admit that I have learnt a lot today from your well-written post. What I’m going to remember for a long time is that it’s really very important to have several different streams of income. And that we make a mistake by deciding to stick to just one thing/source for lifetime. In case the first option doesn’t work, you always have something else to fall back upon. Thanks for making me realize the secret of incessant success. Cheers!

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