Dec 2015 Online Income Update - picture of woman at laptop

Club Thrifty Online Income Update: $23,620.49

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After spending years of his life in the funeral business as a mortician – and temporarily trying out a career in sales – my husband Greg was able to quit his job in February to work at home with me. Everything since then has been a whirlwind. Not only did we accomplish nearly everything we set out to do in 2015, but we traveled the world with and without our kids and had a whole lot of fun.

That’s pretty much exactly how December played out. Although we worked relentlessly on our blog, social media management business, and freelance endeavors, we made plenty of room for fun. From December 11th to the 16th, I visited Puerto Rico on a press trip and had the time of my life. Not only did I meet a bunch of awesome people, but I also zip-lined on the world’s tallest (and second-longest zip-line) in the world. It was absolutely cray! I also stayed at the El Conquistador Waldorf Astoria Resort in Fajardo, which just might be my favorite resort on Earth!

But yeah, we worked quite a bit, too. Actually, I worked a few weekends in December to make up for the fact that I was in Puerto Rico for a week – and that we were cutting our work month short by leaving for a winter break trip to Cancun on December 29th. Then there was Christmas, which pretty much cost me two full workdays. Fortunately, we made up for it and then some. Even better, we had the best month in terms of income ever! Huzzzzahhh!

December 2015 Online Income Update

Yep, you read that right. After scheming up some affiliate stuff and working like dogs, we had our best month for income ever. Here’s what we made in December 2015 – and all without wearing pants. (Kidding……sometimes.)

$23,620.49

In case anyone is wondering, our online income comes from a variety of sources – some passive and some not. Here’s how it broke down. Remember, these numbers are approximate:

  • Affiliate Marketing including credit card sales from Free Travel Advice : $2,500
  • Social Media Management and other Consulting: $1,300
  • Content Creation, Consulting, and Freelance Writing: The rest

Our expenses were pretty weak sauce again last month, which happens to be just the way I like it. Here’s what we paid to run our online businesses last month:

  • Internet: $51
  • Writing Services: $260
  • Blog Hosting: $15

Total: $326

Online Income: What We Did Right

Obviously, we did a lot of things right! Most notably, I worked like a fiend. My husband swears I’m the most productive person on the planet, and I think he may be right! In order to get as much done as I do, I really have to focus all day long. Despite the fact that people invite me to do stuff, I mainly just sit here and work. And sometimes, I even work the “second shift,” which is the hour of night after my kids go to bed.

I wouldn’t have to work so many hours if we didn’t travel so much. But when we’re traveling a lot, I have no choice but to cram all my work into our hours at home. Fortunately (unfortunately?), we don’t have any big trips planned until Spring Break. In other words, I am going to be home for 80 days straight in a hot minute. That’s very unusual for me, but I think it will be nice for a change!

Other stuff we did right in terms of income was boost some of our affiliate sales. Greg has tried a few different strategies with our main affiliate pages lately, and they appear to have paid off. Our traffic is also up tremendously, which helps grow our income in every way possible. Another thing we did right: We kept our expenses low. I just want to make extra money here, folks – not spend it!

See also: How I Make a Living on the Internet

Online Income: Where We Fell Short

I wouldn’t say we failed in any respect, but I do wish more of our income came from our two websites. It does take time to make this happen, however. Further, we didn’t really start monetizing the right way until Greg came home to work with me and got his bearings. When he worked full-time and I blogged alone, I neglected our site in the worst way possible. Fortunately, we are on the right track now. It’s still going to take time, but at least we’re heading in the right direction.

If I learned anything from December and really the entire year, it would be these things:

  • I need to clone myself!
  • Monetizing in the online world is a constant struggle. Things change all the time, and you have to change with them!
  • The amount of money we could be earning online is truly limitless.
  • A lot of people are smarter than me. Other people just think they are.

In summary, we had a great month – and a great year. I wouldn’t necessarily change anything. I just want to continue doing better and reaching for greater heights – both in terms of my professional development and in terms of income.

Final Thoughts

I feel very lucky that I found my purpose in life. I absolutely love writing about money and the way it affects our lives – both good and bad. I enjoy watching people make subtle changes that improve their lives in amazing ways, and I thrive in an environment where I am helping people achieve their dreams – whatever they are.

Money isn’t everything. It is merely a tool we can use to get the life we want. But when we learn to harness it and take control, amazing things can happen.

Ten years ago, my husband and I were stuck in stressful jobs we merely tolerated. We worked crazy hours, including weekends and holidays, only to turn around and waste all the money we earned. Today, we are self-employed with a business we made up out of thin air. We literally made this shit up, people. And if you want, you can do the same. Our post, 6 Easy Steps to Starting Your Own Blogtells you exactly how to get started.

But even without this website – and the huge income boost that came with it – getting our money straight, embracing a budget lifestyle, and paying off all of our debts made our lives a million times better. As the year wraps up, I realize I’m thankful for where I am, but also where I’ve been.

How was your income in December? How about 2015? Did you meet your goals?

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37 Comments

  1. Fantastic month! Congratulations. I’m so glad it just gets better and better, especially with Greg being able to join you at home! Continued success 🙂

  2. Congratulations!! I’m so inspired by you guys. Personally, I want to take my blog income up from $1000/month to $5000/month this year. Income reports like yours help me to realize it is totally possible!

    1. It is definitely possible. When I quit my job to write/blog full time, my goal was $4,000 per month. I just wanted to replace the income from my full-time job, plus a little cushion.

  3. Awesome job! That trip to PR sounds like so much fun!

  4. Nice work yet again Holly – congrats! I feel very similar to being thankful for finding my groove – it makes all the difference in the world. I had a really good month last month, income wise, and this month should be ok even though I was gone the last two weeks with family stuff – but thankfully affiliate more than made up for my being gone.

  5. Fantastic month, congratulations!!! I’m at the point where I am working on my growing my blog income. Since I do work FT, I’ve decided to minimize freelancing to only high-paying clients, that way I have more time to work on the blog. Hoping it pays off!! Your income reports are always huge motivation to me, so thank you!! 🙂

  6. It’s great that you found your calling and can make a killing doing it!

  7. My favorite part about this post, Holly, is that you emphasize the fact that you guys work your tails off to create your success. This is what it’s all about! You have to plant seeds, care for those seeds, and wait for them to grow if you’re going to reap a harvest, and that’s exactly what you guys are doing. Great work!

  8. Wow, congratulations! Like you said, you work your butt off, so you deserve every penny. Here’s to your affiliate sales increasing so you can choose even how much you want to write on other sites!

  9. You guys are doing awesome! I hope 2016 is even better 🙂

  10. Very impressive month and year. I couldn’t agree more that it’s not necessarily about the money, but embracing a “money mindset” allows you to eventually lead the life that you want.

  11. Holy moly is that a lot of hands on income from content creation! You’re not kidding when you said you worked your butt off! Well deserved, guys. Kudos for an awesome year!

  12. Wow well done! Wish we earn a portion of that online income ourselves. Just gives us something to aim for. Very inspiring.

  13. Holy cow that’s incredible Holly! The amount of work you are able to crank out is inspiring and always makes me feel super lazy. Here’s to a successful 2016 for you and Greg!

  14. Well done you two! Here’s to a fab 2016 for you both but I’m sure you don’t need any luck. Keep up with the travels, I know I wish I could do that.

  15. I love this kiind of post I find them very inspirational!!!

  16. Well done guys! I plateaued last year but it is time to get back on the horse and shoot for the stars! Like you say all you need is to work like crazy..

  17. Awesome job on the income earned in December Holly! Zip lining is definitely on my to-do list.

  18. “Money isn’t everything. It is merely a tool we can use to get the life we want. But when we learn to harness it and take control, amazing things can happen.”

    Amen to that!

    I hope 2016 is even more awesome for you guys.

  19. That’s amazing, what an inspiring post! If I could achieve a fraction of that in the future I would be happy as just starting out. You’ve definitely given me the incentive to give it my all and work really hard!

  20. I am SO psyched for you and Greg, Holly. I know the two of you travel and have fun, but you are also two of the hardest working people I know and I’m so psyched to see your hard work paying off for you! Congrats!

  21. Holy crap! That is really inspiring. Well done! I love that you work so hard and are so focused. That is no easy feat so you should be very proud, as I’m sure you are. Do you ever take work with you when you travel? Or is travel (assuming it’s vacation) strictly time-off? My husband and I have always loved the idea of extended travel and working from a beautiful location 🙂

  22. Way to hustle! I’d love to hear a breakdown of what your writing services look like. Way to keep the creative writing flames burning so brightly!

  23. Holly, You are truly an inspiration! I am a full time working mom with four kids! I often feel paralyzed by the perimeters of my demanding job! Yet, I see the potential for great success in what you do! I found you as I was searching for ways to increase my income as my husband and I prepare to send our oldest son to college! I am so intrigued by the limitless opportunities that freelance writing and blogging has to offer. I just wish that I had the knowledge that you and others have to jump in and get started! If there is a direction that you could send me I would be so appreciative!

    1. Thanks for writing =)
      We are going to have a free webinar coming up around this! Make sure to check back. I would love to have you show up! =)

  24. It is really motivating getting all these detail from those that are making it in the blogging sphere like you.

    Regards

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