Extra income report – January 2018.
It’s my first extra income post of 2018! I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want these posts to achieve for both you as the reader, and me, compiling them.
The point of writing about the extra income we make was always to show you what an average person (or couple) can do to create even a tiny bit of passive income and a little earned income on the side from the comfort of their sofa.
I’m not particularly motivated about making more money for its own sake, but it feels good to know that you can set up systems to alleviate the strain on your finances, both in saving money, and in making a bit extra. This preamble is mostly to do with the fact that this month, my blog income has grown to the point where I’m starting to question whether I should include it in this report, and I’ve begun to wonder how I should tackle my eBay/Etsy earnings as well.
I’ll explain more as we go along…
Here’s a breakdown of our passive and side hustle income for January.
- Sales – £5
- Coupons – £10.56
- Cashback – £20.94
- Interest – £34.37
- Blogs – £385
My rules for calculating our extra income.
What do we include?
Cashback, bank interest and incentives, dividends, bonuses, competition wins, discounts earned through loyalty points, voucher codes or special activity, found money (substantial amounts), gifts, tax refunds that would otherwise be unclaimed, earnings from online or offline sales, as well as earnings from surveys, apps and freelance writing work.
What doesn’t qualify?
Our salaries, regular sale refunds (such as buying something and then returning it), discounts on items in store or online that are available to all, general estimates of what we could have spent but didn’t – such as reducing a bill and calculating what the difference would have been.
Here’s our income in detail:
January has been a very, very happy month for me in terms of Etsy sales – it’s seen the first sales for me on both of my product categories – first craft, then art.
Selling one of my handcrafted items that I made many years ago was a wonderful feeling. It was a very small item and a bit bashed over the years so I listed it at a cut price and made £5, which I was happy with. Then, later in the month I had an inquiry that led to my first art sale! It came too late for the funds to be transferred in January, though, so I’ll report that in February.
Reporting Etsy and eBay earnings – net or gross?
I’ve struggled with this one for a long time, but of course I rarely bother with eBay so I’ve been able to put it off. Now, I can’t say that my sales on Etsy will continue, but I’ll try my best to make them do so, and I will put more effort in to eBay (we’ve heard that one before), so I have to come up with something to make it simple and honest for you as a reader.
After all, what’s the point of writing something like this if it’s misleading? Etsy and eBay charge fees (multiple fees, not only at the point of sale), and of course I have to pay for postage. In the past, I’ve listed what I’ve earned from eBay after PayPal fees and subtracting the cost of postage, but then I’ve faced eBay fees charged a month later. Similarly, Etsy’s fees will be charged retrospectively and take 30p away from my earnings in January.
How to get around this? I think that to keep my sanity intact, I’ll report earnings as they are, after subtracting postage fees, and then add fees separately for each month that they are charged. So that means some months will see only fees. Simple.
The level of interest that we’ve received for this month has put us back to “normal” levels, after December’s spike due to that Nationwide regular savings account. This will fall even more very soon, though, as we’ll be raiding our capital to fund our house purchase!
The great thing about this source of passive income is that even if we don’t have much savings, we can still get £6 a month for free just for savvy use of our Halifax Rewards accounts.
Read about Lee's extra income in January 2018! Click To Tweet
The TSB 1% cashback credit card is a steady earner at £2.15, and we got £18.79 from TopCashback paid as Zeek credit which we’re probably going to store up to put towards a dishwasher in the new house (everyone in the house rejoices).
So I’m very happy and also a bit reluctant to say that my blogs have been the biggest earner this month, bringing in £385. Happy because I’ve worked hard at it and hope to see it grow to the point where it can replace my day job, but reluctant because I know that it’s an earnings source that will be irrelevant to most of my readers.
It’s hardly inspirational if it’s out of reach, is it? Most people can sell on eBay, lots of people can sell on Etsy, but fewer can set up and run a blog. Still, this is what I’m doing now for extra income, and I’ll report it honestly until the point where it replaces my income as an employee, at which time it will no longer be truly “extra” income… so then it’ll be out of the picture.
To make things more transparent, I’ll also include the costs of running a blog as they occur.
Although I have mixed feelings about recommending blogging to someone as a way to increase income, I truly wish I had started this process when I was a newly single parent. It would have been ideal for my situation back then, and so much easier than hitting craft fairs.
Wrapping it up…
The things that have brought me the most happiness this month haven’t necessarily been the most lucrative. Cracking my first sale on Etsy was an amazing feeling, but it brought in less than a fiver! However, it’s given me the impetus to carry on with it and diversify my ranges.
On the other hand, making money from my blogs has helped to give me the boost I needed after working very hard on them over the last year, and has made my husband sit up and take them seriously! That’s been brilliant.
Over to you.
What have you tried to make some extra income? Let me know in the comments below!
How did this year compare to last year?