$5,983 in February Extra Income and Goals

Happy Monday everyone! It’s already March and I still can’t believe that 2013 is flying by so quickly. Life is still great and I feel like it gets better every single day. Also, good luck to whoever reads this super lengthy post, it’s definitely a whale of a post. In February, I made $5,983 in extra…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: May 25, 2023

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase via my links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. See my disclosure for more info.

Find out how I made $5,982 from blogging in one month.Happy Monday everyone! It’s already March and I still can’t believe that 2013 is flying by so quickly. Life is still great and I feel like it gets better every single day. Also, good luck to whoever reads this super lengthy post, it’s definitely a whale of a post.

In February, I made $5,983 in extra income, after expenses. In case you are new to my blog, “Extra Income” consists of all income that I make that does not include my salaried job that I have in the financial services industry (my job has nothing to do with personal finance just as an FYI). Extra income also does not include any money that W makes, as he doesn’t do anything for extra income and is mostly commission at his work (so it fluctuates every month anyways).

I will say that this is not all super easy. None of it is. I spend enough time to make this a full-time job on top of my already full-time job. Luckily, I do enjoy what I’m doing so it’s not like I’m dreading anything. My goals that I have are also a great motivator. I just keep thinking about how badly I want my student loans gone, and also how badly we want a new house next year. Read further on my Extra Income page.

Screen Shot 2013-03-03 at 6.54.01 PM

This is for the month of February and after fees and expenses (expenses were a little over $1,000 and include payments for staff writing on my blog and on FITnancials, PayPal fees, deposit on a new blog design, etc.) being taken out. February’s number above includes rent.


February was yet another great month. No, I did not beat the $6,523 I made in January, but it’s mainly because I’ve been focusing more on affiliate income, and I don’t get paid for my affiliate income until either March or the middle of April (there’s a 45-60 day wait on most of my affiliate payments). I don’t count extra income unless I actually receive the payment. Also, I had a decent amount of expenses in February for my blog and this ate up some of my income. I’ve come a long way from the just last year when I was ecstatic about $50 in extra income in a month.

If there were no expenses, then I would have made $7,000 in extra income in February!


As you can see above in my expenses, I have a new blog design in the works. The site will be getting a total overhaul and I hired someone that always has fun and colorful designs. I want to spice up my blog, but still not become a boring personal finance blog 🙂 I hope you all love it and it should be ready by the beginning of April.

I have a ton of post ideas planned for March, I just need to finally finish them all. Look for several posts on topics such as side hustles, starting a new business, personal (such as talking about W more), selling our house and more. If there’s anything that you really want to see written this month, please leave a comment below.

Last month, I made my post on How To Start A Blog – Tips for a Beginner and also my post on whether you should use Blogger or WordPress (and how to switch to WordPress)! Thanks to these two posts I was able to earn a decent amount in affiliate income, however that won’t be included until April’s income report. Anyways, thanks guys!

My sister’s blog still seems to be going great also. Her posts have been awesome and she’s enjoying writing, so that’s all that matters. Please subscribe to FITnancials if you haven’t yet.


Staff Writing

I’m not doing as much staff writing as I used to. It has slowly dwindled down since the Fall (I started turning down some writing opportunities, while one was hit by the Page Rank issue recently). Thankfully this is something that has worked out for the best, as now I can focus my time on other things. Right now I only write for one personal finance website and one hotel’s travel blog.

As you can see below, I made approximately $800 in staff writing last month. This probably sounds like I do a lot of writing, but it’s not. One blog that I write for has a pretty good return (hey, the articles I write for them are AWESOME!) and it increases my staff writing income by a good amount.


February Goals Update

  1. Cook 5 days a week. PASSWe have been doing really good with eating in as much as we can. I have also been coming up with a lot of new meal ideas as well. Eating in as so many positives, and I can 100% say we are more happy with just eating at home instead of going out to eat every night.
  2. Run 5 times a week and lose 3 pounds. FAIL I ran around 3 to 4 times a week in February, but definitely did not lose 3 pounds. I need to work harder at this! I feel like eating at home is making me fatter since I have so many options for quick meals at home now.
  3. Make an extra $5,000 this month. PASSI succeeded with this! Around the middle of February, I did not really know if I would make it to $5,000. However, I finally received some last minute payments and it made it possible.
  4. Schedule the engagement photos photographer. PASS. I booked the photographer that I originally wanted to use. She’s a really good photographer and I always love the pictures that she posts online for her photography business that she owns. Best $400 spent I think.
  5. Choose a wedding date. FAIL. We need to talk to W’s family and come up with a date that will work since we will be using the family’s property. I didn’t talk to them about the wedding at all. I really hate asking favors of people, especially when I know them. I guess that’s what happens when you have no family of yours and feel like you’re taking advantage of people (when you actually are not) because you have never really asked for a family favor before, UGH.

$5,983 in February Extra Income and Goals

W made us drive in this the other day…

March Goals

  1. Cook 5 days a week. Since we really want a new house within the next year, we are really trying to save as much money as we can for the down payment. As long as I have a interesting and tasty meal plan, I’m sure this is possible.
  2. Run 4 times a week and lose 3 pounds. This is something that I’m really working on. I want to lose some weight and be back to my normal weight for when we take our engagement photos in the beginning of May.
  3. Make an extra $5,500 this month. I only slightly increased this from February’s goal number. I think this is a good goal for now, especially since I’m mainly working on affiliate income.
  4. Choose a wedding date. We need to talk to W’s family and come up with a date that will work since we will be using the family’s property. This is something that we really need to do soon, as it’s hard to do anything else without a date in mind.
  5. Sell 25 items from my closet. I have a TON of things in my closet, and are goal is to slowly declutter our house so that we will be ready to sell.
  6. Come up with a name for the new business. We have a ton of things to do for me and my friend’s new business (nothing related to blogging). First thing though, we need a name. It’s hard to build a website or buy any product without a name and a legal entity. Then we need to apply for a lot of business items as well.


Extra Monthly Income in February

  • Staff writing – $800
  • Blog (consulting and advertising such as direct advertising and Adsense, but after all expenses) – $4,610
  • Affiliate Income – $200 (this is affiliate income I made in December but wasn’t paid for until February)
  • Virtual Assistant tasks – $50
  • Selling Clothes – $0
  • Miscellaneous (not related to blogging and online income)- $0
  • Mystery Shopping – $0
  • Rent (I rent a room out to my sister) – $325

Comparisons and 2013 total

  • Total income for February: $5,983
  • Income in January: $6,523
  • Difference: -$540
  • Total so far in 2013: $12,506

How did you do in February? What are your extra income goals?


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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. Francesca

    Your extra income really inspires me,thanks so much.

  2. The Norwegian Girl

    good job! I always get so inspired by reading about your extra incomes, so I`m persistently searching for a job that could fit together with a busy study schedule. Can`t wait to see how your blog design turns out!

  3. John S @ Frugal Rules

    Awesome job killing it once again on the "side" income! That's not too shabby for your free time. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Looking forward to the redesign. I am getting mine redesigned as well and looking forward to see what they come up with.

    1. Thanks! Looking forward to your redesign as well.

  4. "I will say that this is not all super easy. None of it is. I spend enough time to make this a full-time job on top of my already full-time job." Good to know we won't see you publish a "get rich quick" book anytime soon ๐Ÿ˜‰ I am nowhere near you, but I have had consistent $1k/month extra income the first two months, which was my goal for 2013 so I am very happy with how things are going. I need to push it into high gear, though, and get that up a bit higher so that I can pay off debt and save more.
    My recent post Canon Rebel T4i DSLR Camera Giveaway

    1. Haha no I will not be saying anything about getting rich quick! And $1K is very good.

  5. Congrats on the income. Stay warm out there.
    My recent post It's All in the Family

  6. Alisa

    Great post! Your blog is so inspiring. My extra income was $60 in February…I'm just starting!

    1. $60 is good though, you just need to keep pushing and increasing that ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Great numbers again this month. I appreciate your forthcomingness about the amount of time that you put into working on the side. I think a lot of people think that they can start a blog and write for 20 minutes a week, or start a side consulting business and work a few hours a night and become rich. You work really hard and it's definitely paying off. I've made a few hundred dollars this month selling some stuff on e-bay. It's not a lot but I'm just pleased to have all that clutter out of my house.
    My recent post I’m Dating a Financial Stud!

    1. I agree! It's definitely a lot of work and NO WHERE near passive.

  8. As usual, great job on your extra income! You are killing it!

  9. I always enjoy reading your updates Michelle. It inspires me to keep going even thought I seem to be running out of gas lately. This baby thing is really time consuming!

    1. Thanks! And yes, I bet a baby is very time consuming ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. juliegardeen88

    wow, amazing side income!! I'm new on your blog but totally inspired ๐Ÿ™‚
    im starting to generate some side income as well through tutoring, baby steps!!

    where do you post to sell your clothes? Im due for a huge cleanup of my closet and would love some tips on how to sell your clothes efficiently! thanks:)

    1. Thanks! Hope you stick around and continue reading ๐Ÿ™‚

      I usually just sell my clothes to the local thrift shops around my house. It's the easiest for me.

  11. Awesome income. I will need to join the secret society your a part of to reap the rewards as well.

  12. Christopher @ This That and the MBa

    Damn you knocked it out of the park…Wow you are on track for $75k extra income this year!!!!

  13. Wow you really killed it with side income! You're getting Another blog make over? Didn't you just change the site around not too long ago?
    My recent post Finally a Safe Savings Rate for Your Retirement Formula

    1. I just changed it around, but it was only a small change. I'm getting a full makeover soon ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Nick @ AYoungPro.com

    Great post and very inspiring! ๐Ÿ™‚ I would be happy making an extra $100 a month in income every month!

  15. therandompath

    You're rockin' it as usual Michelle!! Keep up the good work ๐Ÿ™‚
    My recent post Link Love: Hello March Edition!

  16. Thanks! And I agree, February seemed very short.

  17. Thanks! And ugh I just want it to warm up.

  18. It took over a year until I started making a decent amount of extra income. You're doing great!

  19. Sarah

    Hi Michelle, Your extra income is very inspiring! I was just curious about you regular salaried job. Is it a 9-5 job or do you bring work home in addition to the hours you put in at work. I am asking because I've tried to generate additional income (mostly through mystery shopping) and it affected my performance at my regular job as well as my ability to eat healthy and stay fit.

    1. My job is an 8-5 job (and sometimes I come in early and/or stay late). I think it's all about good time management. I'm used to always being extremely busy, so I can do with having a very busy day.

  20. Yes less staff writing does mean more time for myself, but not for long!

  21. We're just eating a lot more. Our fridge is constantly full now so we have a lot more options for food.

  22. Thanks! And yes I would keep trying.

  23. Mind blowing!! You're doing a great job. I was surprised how little of the income was from affiliates though for blogging. Is most of your blog revenue from consulting?
    My recent post Time Change? About That Daylight Saving Time

    1. It's mainly because I've only started with affiliate income. There is some affiliate income mixed in with the blog income category above, but I was lazy and didn't break it apart. My blog revenue is mostly ads (affiliate income, adsense, and direct advertising), and around 25% is consulting. It could be more, I haven't really tracked it too closely.

  24. Renee S

    Your extra income has inspired me to track mine more closely! I mostly babysit for extra income. I sometimes do medical studies, too ๐Ÿ™‚ In january I made $615–just babysitting. In February I made about $430. This month I have a medical study, plus babysitting, plus will be house sitting for 5 days…I am hoping to make about $900? That would be awesome!

    I would love to make about $6,000 in a month. I have to figure out more ways to make more money!!
    My recent post You Win Some, You Lose Some

    1. I think you're doing great Renne!

  25. Sheesh you are rocking it! So inspiring. Also good to see a more detailed breakdown, appreciate it! (I have no idea how you keep up this pace – even 10-15 hours a week totally wears me out. )

    Agree on feeling awkward about asking family for stuff – T's mother is making my dress and will help out with stuff like food and logistics (pack up and packdown) as she can't really contribute financially, but yeah, honestly, I'm relying on him to be the go between on most things.
    My recent post Ways I’ve made money: a rundown of the highlights

    1. Oh trust me, I am definitely tired. I need to work on improving my time management skills – I've been slacking.

  26. newlywedsbudget

    I made a little over $3,000 in February which is my highest one-month take home ever! I don't expect that to be the norm, but it was certainly nice since I had to pay for school upfront (I get reimbursed from work once I complete the class) and it just so happened to cost $3,000.
    Anytime I break the $1,000 barrier I'm happy : )

  27. Rachel

    I'm still struggling to find some staff writing positions- I could use the extra money!
    My recent post Embracing Imperfections

    1. I think it's much harder when you're not a personal finance blog. I hope you find something!

  28. Thanks Jordann! And $630 is awesome ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. haha no I'm not working hard enough! ๐Ÿ˜›

  30. Congrats on another great month. It's very inspiring to see how you've leverage your blog into a very successful side venture. Am looking forward to seeing your new blog design and learning more about your new business in the works. ๐Ÿ™‚
    My recent post Meet Shannon Ryan: Financial Literacy Advocate

    1. Thanks! I definitely need a blog design so I'm looking forward to that a lot.

  31. Lena

    Nice job on your extra income and goals! But hey, it's not nice to tease telling us that you found a wedding photographer when we can never see those photos ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks Lena! And I do plan on posting the photos on here. Look out for May when I post our engagement photos! ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Haha he makes decent money and enjoys his job ๐Ÿ™‚
    My recent post $5,983 in February Extra Income and Goals

  33. kimateyesonthedollar

    I felt like February was pretty good until I see your numbers! Way to go again.

    1. I'm sure you did great Kim ๐Ÿ™‚

  34. alwayshungry4

    Wow, you are so consistent with the high side income – great job! With that, cooking at home, and wedding planning, when do you sleep??

    1. Thanks! And haha I don't get much sleep ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. myfijourney

    I love your extra income updates. If I can pull in a fraction of what you make, I'll be ecstatic.

    1. I'm sure you will be able to one day.

  36. CT

    Wow, great extra income!

  37. I spend a lot of time before and after work and during my lunch break. A blog takes up so much time!

  38. Good plan! Knocking out those student loans will feel like a great relief, no matter how large or how small they are.

    It definitely was a little worrying to take the leap full time online. I made sure my passive income or online income covered my normal living expenses for 20 consecutive months before I decided to negotiated a separation package.

    Keep up your pace, and I'm sure you're going to be thinking of going solo before long!
    My recent post Why Do People Like To Reveal Their Income?

  39. pilotsandpugs

    Jeez Louis, you have this side hustle thing down good. Now, if I could only do 10% of this I would be happy.

  40. Nice work Michelle. What do you plan to do with all the extra income? Any thoughts on quitting your job and doing the online thing full-time? Any plans on moving away from direct advertising given Google?

    It's clear revealing your income benefits dialogue and traffic, two things every blogger wants. I just still can't overcome the hurdle to highlight my own on a consistent basis. I think it's an age and culture thing for me. Maybe one day! I'll do an annual passive income report, but that's probably about it.

    My recent post Why Do People Like To Reveal Their Income?

    1. We are putting as much of it as we can towards my student loans. Hopefully they'll be gone soon! And haha I'm too much of a worry wart to work 100% online right now, I'd want to wait until it's more stable.

      Yes, I do have plans to move away from direct advertising as I said in my post above. I'm working on affiliate income. There would be more affiliate income in this month's update but I don't count money until I receive it (and there is usually a net 30 or net 45).

  41. TTMK

    Wow, outstanding extra income! Who couldn't use that kind of extra money?

    1. Thanks! And yes, the extra money is wonderful.
      My recent post $5,983 in February Extra Income and Goals

  42. Yeah I'm sure eventually I'll slow down, but right now I'm having a ton of fun with it ๐Ÿ™‚
    My recent post $5,983 in February Extra Income and Goals

  43. Thanks for stoping by Justin ๐Ÿ™‚
    My recent post $5,983 in February Extra Income and Goals

  44. mycanuckbuck

    As always, I'm impressed at your extra income!
    My recent post An evening with Gail Vaz-Oxlade

  45. Whoops–I posted this on your other page by accident.

    Anyway, I just wanted to say Wow! And congratulations! I hope March is just as great or better for you.
    My recent post Blogging and Writing Full-Time: One Month Update

  46. I have affiliate income as well. I also staff write, consult, etc.

  47. Martin

    This is really inspiring. Making almost 5k blogging is amazing job! I hope I will be able to get there too. I cannot believe it is possible. Seeing you reaching this goal is something great. Heck if I can make 5k monthly blogging, I can basically retire and switch to full time blogging only!

  48. Jaclyn Arnett

    What do you mean by “affiliate” income exactly? I’d love to see more of a breakdown of your online income. Just how much comes from consulting vs AdSense, etc.