Kicking Butt and Taking Names: My January and February 2016 Income Reports


FD - Jan And Feb - Pic

You may have noticed I’ve been rather ghostly lately. Please rest assured I’m okay. I suffered a few personal setbacks last month. Believe it or not, they actually worked to sharpen my focus and keep me on track toward my financial goals. Doors opened up for me that wouldn’t have otherwise done so. Some might call it luck. I choose to believe that I’ve learned enough in my journey thus far to have brought about the best possible results I could have given that situation.

Just like in my last income report, I’m happy with my results. I’ll break them down for you for each month. Then, I’ll end with February’s numbers and my hopes as I move onward into March.

The Freelance Dance – Income Report Backstory

This is my third official income report. Though it’s actually two reports in one, it’s the marks the third time I’ve shared this information with the world.

I maintain a rolling total on my profit-and-loss statement each month. I track only income I’ve received and not billed because I can’t spend money my clients owe me. I do the same thing for expenses.


I started looking into freelancing in August 2015. I launched this site in November and secured my first client 11 days into Gina Horkey’s course, 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success – a course I blogged my way through in a project I called, My Sweet November

My total income was $1,175 – $191 expenses = $984 total profit for 2015. It might not seem much to some people, but consider that I turned a profit my first month in business!


Unforeseen circumstances kept me from posting January’s report at the beginning of February. So I decided to include January’s numbers into February’s report. I’ve separated the two by month. You’ll first read January’s completed report, then February’s. Afterward, I’ll continue to my reflections and goals for March.

January’s Results

Gross Income: $1,615

A 48% increase month-over-month!

Business Expenses: $249

Right where it should be. Currently at 15% of gross income.

Net Income: $1,367 

(After expenses, but before taxes) This is a 43% increase month-over-month.

Income Breakdown

A keen focus and eye on the prize worked for me in January. It wasn’t easy. But through lots and lots of hustle, I did okay.

  • Writing: 94%
  • Editing: 3%
  • Other (Gina’s Pitching Challenge Prize): 3%

Explanation of Income

Writing – My writing income shot up as a result of all the massive pitching I was doing in December. I expect to see an increase in income I’ll receive for the next month.

Editing – I’m slowly pulling away from doing this but do enjoy it very much. I’ll soon be making changes to this in order to offer it as part of virtual assistance services altogether.

Other – I won Gina’s December Pitching Contest! I had a ton of fun and even wrote a post for Horkey Handbook all about what I learned as a result. She’ll be sponsoring another one in March, so get on the ball and sign up for her course!

Expense Breakdown

January wasn’t as expensive a month as I thought it’d be. Here’s what I spent money on. Percentages are based on total expenses.

  • Mastermind Membership: 40%
  • Work on Logo: 24%
  • Job Board Membership: 12%
  • Grammarly Membership: 12%
  • PayPal Fees: 7%
  • Purchase of Publication: 5%
  • Office Supplies: 1%

Explanation of Expenses

I’m only interested in investing money into my business that will yield positive ROI. It’s difficult to do that when my income isn’t quite where I need it to be. To help it along, I continue to build my client base with regular pitching.

February’s Results

Gross Income: $2,174

A 36% increase month-over-month and my best month ever!

Business Expenses: $44

Significantly down from January and only 2% of gross income.

Net Income: $2,130 

(After expenses, but before taxes.) This is a 58% increase month-over-month.

Income Breakdown

January was great! But February was AMAZING! It was a month full of ups and downs, but ultimately, everything I went through worked to help me grow my business and expand my network.

  • Virtual Assisting: 87%
  • Writing: 5%
  • Other (Misc.): 5%
  • Editing: 2%
  • Affiliate Sales: 1%

Virtual Assisting – I recently added another service to my repertoire. I’m now a proud VA for two clients! My duties vary, and I’ll probably end up writing a blog post all about that. But for now, I’m glad I began offering this service.

Writing – To allow adequate time to my clients, I’ve backed off of writing somewhat. This is only temporary and will get back on track in March. Diversification is important to any successful business.

Other – This is the first month in which I’ve generated affiliate income. It’s not much, but it does make me hungry to find out if there are other resources out there that I could represent as an affiliate.

Expense Breakdown

February’s constraints kept me from spending any money. This isn’t necessarily a good thing. It means I didn’t invest very much into my business’s growth. I am to fix that by setting a target percentage I’m willing to spend every month.

  • Paid Job Board Membership: 41%
  • Grammarly Membership: 40%
  • PayPal Fees: 19%

My PayPal fees increased significantly over last month because I was lucky that my writing clients all paid me right out of their accounts (a free service).

Although I’m proud of my frugality, I regret not taking time to invest in my business.

Additional Deductions

Taxes: 25% of Net Income

I continue to transfer 25% of my net monthly profit into a separate savings account for taxes. The Freelance Dance started out and currently operates as a sole-proprietorship. I don’t plan on changing that anytime soon.

2016 Goals and Progress

I decided to tier-up my goals. I now have ‘A’ goals and ‘B’ goals.

‘A’ Goal: $50K in 2016

I want to bring in $50K in 2016. I’m a long way away, but I have plenty of time to get creative and hustle.

Today, I’m at $3,774. That’s $46,226 away from my goal.

‘B’ Goals:

  1. $1,500 in savings (3/1/16 $0)
  2. Buy my own URL by 3/31/16
  3. Pay off loan (3/1/16 $12,000)

Other Goals:

Revisiting the goals I made at the end of 2015, here’s where I am.

  • Land first steady and regular client by 1/2016 – Got this one done a month ahead of schedule when I was hired by Guyvorce as their full-time editor in December.
  • Land second steady and regular client by 3/2016 – Another goal met ahead of schedule! In February, I was hired by another online mogul to work as a virtual assistant. I won’t announce who it is until I clear it with this person first.
  • Have my own URL by 1/2016Fail! I didn’t get it done in January, but I did manage to finally buy my URL in February! 
  • Create posting schedule to spend adequate time boosting social media presence by 2/2016 – FAIL!! I offer no excuses for this one. I need to get on this as soon as possible. 

I continue to use my spreadsheet to track my goals and update my savings account balances. Please note that the link is to a general version and does not contain updated figures. I’ve populated it with my goals to give you an idea of how to best use the sheet. You, of course, can tailor it to your needs. But first, please remember to make a copy of it and save it on your own.

In addition, I hope to land a third VA client as soon as possible. I didn’t note that one down as an official goal, but I am working toward it every day.

You’re Not the Only One Hustling

I’m right there with you. I know all about how hard it is to make something out of nothing. Remember that we’re working to build more than just a job to take care of bills and nonsense. We’re in this for the long haul. I aim to build a legacy to leave behind for my kids. Working on a constrained time frame with my illness and challenges doesn’t change that. If anything, it pushes me to work harder.

If you’re busy legacy-building, too, I’d love to support you if you’re willing to do the same. Leave me a comment telling me you’re in it with me, you’re struggling with the crap and loving the good things in your life as a freelancer. Tell me where I can go to show you support as you push through to another fabulous month.

Connect with me on Twitter, hit me up on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or on Google+. I’ll follow you right back. You and me, we got this!

About Cruz Santana

Cruz Santana is a cancer-fighter, professional writer, editor, and business consultant specializing in web building, content management, bookkeeping, and traffic optimization strategies. A nine-year veteran of the entrepreneurial world, she has a handle on which techniques work and which don't. She isn't afraid to step out of the box to overcome challenges. An alumni of Texas A&M University, she's well-versed in science and medicine. A voracious writer, she's been featured in The Huffington Post and The Write Life. Her VA clients benefit from her experience in content management and bookkeeping. In addition, she is the author of "Phenomenal Dad: Ten Lessons on Single Fatherhood from a Tougher-Than-Nails Single Mom," her first published book! When not developing marketing strategies that flirt with the avant-guard, she loves kicking back on the couch with her small army of seven babies to watch old movies. Hitchcock films are her favorites!
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4 Responses to Kicking Butt and Taking Names: My January and February 2016 Income Reports

  1. tk1208 says:

    Cool man. I’m happy you’ve seen some success so quickly. I started freelancing in October of last year and I’m navigating this new world just like you. It’s nice to see someone else is right there along with me. I’ll follow to see how your journey progresses 🙂

    • Cruz Santana says:

      October? Wow! My first day was November 1, 2015. I love meeting people who started close to when I did. 🙂

      Thanks for following! It didn’t all land on my doorstep either. Sometimes it feels like it’s harder than it’s worth, balancing my kids and my business. But, honestly, I love it! It doesn’t ever feel like work to me.

      I hope you get to accomplish everything you set out to. Are you pitching regularly? What are some of your challenges keeping you success?

  2. Daryl says:

    Awesome results Cruz! Glad to see that you’re moving forward so quickly. Definitely giving Freelance Dance a shout in my upcoming freelance writing income report roundup.

    • Cruz Santana says:

      Thanks, Daryl. I haven’t posted March’s results yet. I’ve been under the weather. I hope to have them up over the weekend.

      Thanks for the encouragement! ☺️

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