I’ve decided to publish monthly income reports. Yes, it’s been done a millions times, by people FAR more influential than little old me, but bear with me, here’s why…
I want to be totally honest about the realities of self-employment as a single mother.
Total transparency means getting down to brass tacks about what I’m bringing in and what I’m shelling out. The money talks.
Also most of the income reports I see online are from people who are making the big bucks, not the people still just about scraping by. So don’t worry, I’m not going to intimidate you with my six-figure income (well maybe one day!). Or the thousands I fork out on marketing!
This is my real life – and it’s not very different from yours. I make a very modest income, but I get by, and so can you.
By sharing this, and the lessons I’m learning as I go, I hope you can learn from what works for me, and what doesn’t. I also hope you’ll see that for a very modest investment you can make a living by living off your own wits.
From a selfish point of view, I also want to keep myself accountable and it’s a great exercise to sit down and review each month properly.
- To accurately show the financial reality of self-employment what I’m showing here is what actually came in and out of my account. So it’s not necessarily reflective of the work I did that month. Amounts are rounded up to the nearest £.
- Any links below marked with a * are affiliate links meaning that if you click them and make a purchase I may earn a commission. This is at no cost to you, and I’m only an affiliate for products and services I use and recommend.
- Freelance copywriting and social media consulting: £2700
- Passive income (social media planners): £0
Total income = £2700
- Policy Bee – professional indemnity insurance: £17
- Melyssa Griffin – Blog To Business Hive: £38
- Leah Kalamakis’s Freelance To Freedom School: £29
- Buffer: £8
- Convertkit: £24
- Client Xmas gifts: £17
Total expenses = £134
Net profit = £2566
Salary to Emma = £1489
So December was a bumper month – or so it appears. It was the highest earning month I’ve had since I became self-employed. Yay! Well not really.
Because of the Christmas holidays I invoiced my biggest client much earlier in the month than usual and therefore they paid me twice – for November and December. So it looks like a cause for celebration, it’s not. It means that there’ll be very little coming in this month.
Also, because I’ve been focussing on this blog, I dropped the ball when it came to promoting my social media planner so the income there was zero. Ho hum. Something to come back to this quarter.
I wouldn’t be totally transparent if I didn’t also report that on top of this income I also get tax credits and child benefit from the government.
- Tax credits/child benefit for December = £1684.10
This included a top-up payment of tax credits held back by HMRC until I’d reported my exact income for the 2016-2016 financial year.
You’d think the tax return system would talk directly to the tax credit system – it’s all run by the same department after all. But no, you have to call them to tell them something you’ve already told them!
That little windfall was very welcome addition to the Christmas budget – hello shiny new bike for my daughter! But it also meant I could pay off a chunk of my credit card debt. So that little windfall disappeared swiftly.
What I learned
It’s not ideal to be reliant on one client. Earlier in the year I had a far more diverse income from several sources, but now one client is the bulk of my income. I’m now worried because if that contract ends I’m a bit stuffed. I’d really need to hustle to find a replacement for that income.
This will be less problematic once E and I have moved in with my mum at the end of the month and also have rental income coming in. But I’m making it my goal to have another regular retainer client on board by the end of March.
I need to finish what I start. I’m very good at creating things – like my social media planner. But it’s no use to me – or anyone else – if I don’t also put in the time to promote it or build it into my email sequences properly.
The next couple of months are going to be all about moving and getting this blog launched. So I can’t focus anymore time on freelance work at the moment. Luckily my main client have booked two days a week work with me over January so I’ve got enough money coming in for the time being.
Once this blog is launched and we’re settled at my mum’s I’ll be turning my attention to attracting another retainer client. A larger organisation that can give me a day’s work a week would be ideal. If that’s you, get in touch!