$11,117 in July Extra Income – Growing but I crave stability

Yesterday, I published my July Goals and Life Update, and in it I stated that my goal was for $9K in side hustle income.  Well, I definitely blew that number away! July was another awesome month. I’m really hoping that August will be the same, but I’m not sure if it will be. In July,…

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 $11,117 in July working from home.Yesterday, I published my July Goals and Life Update, and in it I stated that my goal was for $9K in side hustle income.  Well, I definitely blew that number away!

July was another awesome month. I’m really hoping that August will be the same, but I’m not sure if it will be.

In July, I made $12,942 in extra income, before expenses. It is crazy to think that just last July, I made $1,425 in extra income. What a difference one year makes! I never even thought that I would be anywhere near this amount. I always thought that other freelancers who posted their income were just “lucky.”

I know that this is a lot of “extra income” but please keep in mind that I spend many, many hours every single day on my side hustles. I have also been growing this for quite some time, and for over one year I was making $0, while still pouring full-time hours into my side hustles. Taxes also take approximately one-third of my extra income…

Also, even though my extra income is higher than ever, I still constantly worry about what 100% self-employment will be like. I’m terrified of everything tanking the day after I make the switch. This will all be included in a post on Diversified Finances soon!

There were some expenses, and they are listed below. In case you are new to my blog, “Extra Income” consists of all income that I make on the side, and does not include my office job that I have in the financial services industry.

Extra income also does not include any money that W makes, as he doesn’t do too much for extra income and he is mostly commission at his work (so it fluctuates every month anyways).

As I say every month in my income update posts: this is not all 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. The goals that we have are also a great motivator. The fact that I plan on making the jump to self-employment is the biggest motivator that I will ever need! Read further on my Extra Income page.

As always, if you have any questions about my monthly extra income that you would like me to include next month, please let me know.

Screen Shot 2013-08-05 at 12.25.55 AM

This is for the month of July and before  fees and expenses (expenses that lower the amount above include approximately $1,825, which includes payments for my virtual assistant, staff writing on my blog, work with FITnancials, PayPal fees, etc.) being taken out. July’s number above includes a rent payment from my sister. So after all expenses and fees, I made approximately $11,117. In the amount above, I do not count the amount that I bring in to blogs that I help run, I only include the amounts that are my actual earnings from my services.

Blog News

My blog is finally stable! Sorry, if any of you had problems with it last month. It seems like everyone was having problems with their websites though, so I’m sure no one really noticed. My site should be good from now on.

My sister’s blog is still doing well. Please subscribe to FITnancials if you haven’t yet. She has many plans for her blog, and just earned her personal trainer fitness certification a couple of months ago. She’s doing great! She is also about to start her second semester of college. I feel like a mom sending her child to college, haha!

My newest blog Diversified Finances is doing really well also. I only post on there once a week, but I plan on increasing that to two times a week soon because I have a ton to talk about. So, if you want to continue hearing all about my switch to self-employment, because follow me over there! I love being able to talk about self-employment on my new blog, and I’m sure those of you who aren’t interested are happy that 100% of my posts on Making Sense of Cents aren’t related to self-employment 🙂

If you are looking to start a blog, don’t forget to read my post How To Start a Blog. It gives step by step instructions on starting your own blog. Also, one of my most popular posts this past month was How To Make Money Blogging.


Staff Writing

Lately, my staff writing has been decreasing, but I really would like to ramp it back up again. I really enjoy writing, and I have so many ideas for blog posts.

So, here’s a shameless plugin: If any of you need a staff writer or just a random content writer, please let me know. Whether you need a couple articles every week, or just a single post with no on-going relationship, I am your girl. I can write regular content, content to fill in gaps in your writing schedule, content for advertising and so on. My turnaround is fairly quick and I would definitely say that I am reliable 🙂

I made a post titled So You Want to Be a Freelance Writer?, so please read further about this topic in that post.


Update on my newest side hustles – Blog Management and more

My blog management side hustle has been going well. I manage different aspects of several different blogs, and that is what has helped me ramp up my extra income in the past couple of months. All of my new services make me extremely happy. Every little thing all make the switch to self employment possible. I would still like to help more website owners, as I have time open for that, and it is something that I truly enjoy.

I’m still debating whether or not I should create an ebook, and I think I will be waiting on that for at least a little bit. I have so many other things that I want to do first!

Are you interested in becoming a virtual assistant? Don’t forget to also read about what exactly a virtual assistant does.

I also added a Hire Me tab to my blog, so that I can let me freelancing services be known. Please let me know if you have further questions on the services that I offer.


Affiliate income – I want it!

My affiliate income definitely decreased last month. Why you ask? Well, I don’t think I have included a single affiliate link in a post in a long time. I definitely want to change this. However, I will say that I will only review products and insert affiliate links for products that I think are useful.


Extra Monthly Income in July (all after expenses)

  • Staff writing – $700
  • Blog (managing other bloggers’ websites, my blogs – direct advertising and Adsense) – $9,542
  • Affiliate Income – $550
  • Virtual Assistant tasks – $0
  • Selling Clothes – $0
  • Miscellaneous (not related to blogging and online income) – $0
  • Mystery Shopping – $0
  • Rent (we rent a room in our house to my sister) – $325


Comparisons and 2013 Extra Income total (after expenses, but before taxes)

  • Total extra income for July: $11,117
  • Income in June: $10,192
  • Difference: +925
  • Total so far in 2013: $57,157 (WOOHOO!)



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


Filed under:

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. Michelle–what you’re doing is mind-blowing! It’s wild to know that you made more even with less direct advertising.

    As a blogger/manager of websites, what would you say is your #1 priority/time investment? The single thing that MUST get done daily or weekly?

    1. Thanks Todd! And that’s hard to just say one. I’m always looking to crank out high quality content, and also networking with other bloggers/readers is always high on my list.

  2. Miss Entrepreneurette

    This is awesome! I’m so excited for you to be able to eventually make that switch to self-employment, you’re going to love it! It is definitely a scary thing, luckily for me my husband has a stable paycheck so when I don’t make much one month it’s not the end of the world. It’s just barely enough to cover all of our bills each month, but to say it isn’t tough would be wrong, some months we’re juuuuust scraping by, like July for example. I didn’t do as well as I should have so I’m trying to increase my income in August! It seems design work (most of my income) is put on the back burner for most bloggers (my main clients) in the summer when most people are taking trips and hanging with their kids.

    Thanks for sharing and motivating all of us! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you. And I hope August is better for you!

  3. Wow you are doing great! I love your articles on side hustling and making extra income.

    1. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. That graph is so inspirational! I have just set my bar even higher!

  5. And by the way – your sister’s blog is doing great! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Yes it is! I love her blog. It is very motivational.

  6. Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies

    Congrats on killing it on the extra income, Michelle! Now that the student loans are all paid off is this money going toward the wedding? =)

    1. Of course! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Another great job on the income Michelle. At this rate you will hit $20k per month by next year! Keep up the work. I know you are hustling and working hard and that is something I hope many people don’t just glaze over. There is a lot of work and being smart when it comes to making money online. I like doing the affiliate hustle. If you can add that piece to the mix you will surely be over 20k though you may start pulling back all the hustles if affiliate income kicks in. Great job on July income!

    1. Yes I definitely hustle very hard. I am ALWAYS working.

  8. GamingYourFinances

    Wow Michelle! You’re incredible! It’s been about three months of blogging for me and it’s a huge amount of work (and thats only one small blog) so I can only imagine the time you must spend on your side hustles.

  9. I haven’t done any work with affiliate income for months now, but I would really like to spend more time looking into it. If you can write a great post that generates affiliate income, you could easily get money from that post for months and months. I want posts like that!

    1. Yes, that is exactly what I want as well.

  10. Congratulations on another successful month Michelle. I hope when you decide what to do with your career that you find some space to feel the freedom of life. You are such a busy woman, full of strength. Keep up the good work. CBB

    1. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Liz

    Wow! You are such an inspiration. I have no idea how you do this on top of full time work. Thanks for sharing your journey as this is something I aspire to do one day (become self employed).

    1. Thanks! And it is hard, but I am so motivated to make all of this work ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Mark Ross

    You had a great month, that’s what I though of. Comparing your extra income to mine is like comparing the size of a bean to an elephant, so I feel that I shouldn’t mention mine.
    Did you really earned almost $10000 through direct advertising and adsense? Wow! I wish I could get into adsense and do the same.

    1. It’s through multiple income sources. That $10K figure also includes other blogs that I manage.

      1. Mark Ross

        Is that so, anyways, I think you still did a great job. Thanks for clarifying it by the way. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. kelly @stayingonbudget

    Great job, Michelle! You are rocking the side hustle. Clearly you have spent tons and tons of hours to get to this point. I hope you have continued success!

    1. Thank you Kelly!

  14. Michelle, your income is sick! Awesome sick of course. I hope one day I can get there, but I need to put in a ton more effort before I come anywhere close to where you’re at ๐Ÿ™‚ You’re a blogging rockstar!

    1. Thank you Lance!

  15. Incredibly impressive. Sounds like you’ve done a great job diversifying your income sources, which should make the switch the self-employment much easier. Keep it up!

  16. Thank you Matt ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Great job on your extra income, Michelle! And one day soon it will just be your regular income, not “extra!”

  18. First, congratulations. Your exponential growth over the last year has been astounding. Second, question for you, Michelle: you are obviously getting closer to moving to full-time self-employment (once you work up the gumption to pull the trigger). What about continuing on with the regular job plus all of your side hustles for a while longer though? I’m not trying to unnerve you or to put doubt in your mind, but you are doing such a fantastic job juggling both that it might be worthwhile to continue on that path for a year longer or so? That amount of $’s you’d be able to stockpile would quite the tidy sum and if you managed/invested it wisely then you’d be set up nicely for the future. Your regular job doesn’t seem to be holding back your online success, so that’s why I ask.

    1. I would love to be able to, but I am just so tired. I get less than 5 hours of sleep each day, and it’s taking a toll on my health. I’ve actually been sick for the past 2 weeks! I’ve been working around 80-100 hours (I’ve either had FT school and a FT job, or FT job plus side hustles) each week for about 6 years now and it’s no fun!

  19. You are killing it Michelle. I always enjoy to see what you are up to and I am sure you are up to your eyeballs in work. Keep it up and you will be the one people write about with regards to online successes.

  20. Tara @ Streets Ahead Living

    Great job on the income! I’m curious though on blog management, what kind of tasks does that consist of? It looks like you’re definitely ready to take the plunge into self-employment. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hey Tara! Blog management consists of a lot of things. Below is a snippet from my Hire Me tab ๐Ÿ™‚

      “I currently completely manage two blogs for other owners, as well as three of my own blogs. I can do various tasks for you, such as reply to comments, manage advertising, reply to emails, manage social media, write articles and so on. I can do it all, or I can do just one function of your blog. Entirely up to you and what will best fit your website!”

      1. Tara @ Streets Ahead Living

        Oh wow, sorry, didn’t realize I could just look under hire me, sorry for being lazy! I like from your tab that you seem to not be above taking any blog related job (at the right pay of course). That’s a trait that I think makes a great employee. You’ll definitely keep up the success!

        1. Haha no you are fine! Don’t be sorry.

          And I love blogging and everything related to it, so I will do anything ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Thanks Jordann! I’m just a worrier. I am crazy haha

  22. Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Thanks Catherine! And yes, thankfully I have 3 degrees and I am still relatively young. So if it doesn’t work out, I’m sure I could eventually get back in.

  24. Kostas @ Finance Blog Zone

    Oh wow, I wish that I would be so clear and clean with my own book-keeping! Have you ever considered just stopping all the other activities and focusing on the “blog” thing first and foremost? It gives you the most money and you seem to be really good at it, so why lose focus elsewhere?

    1. Thanks! And I really want to stay diversified. Once I have more time, I will have tons of time to focus ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Kostas @ Finance Blog Zone

        Yeah, that makes sense as well, especially since you seem to be allocating your time very efficiently!

  25. I don’t do a lot of staff writing. I write for a travel blog and they pay pretty well. I do 8 posts a month for them.

  26. After selling my big money making website, my July income dropped to something similar to what you were making 1 year ago. And honestly, I would not mind to have your numbers one year from now :)) So I really think that you shouldn’t worry a bit about switching to self employment, I am sure you will do amazing!

  27. oh wow~ This is amazing. I’m just so happy for you and I think you get everyone excited. Keep it up~

    1. Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. Connie @ Savvy With Saving

    Wow that is very impressive! I think self-employment is knocking at your door. Blog management seems like a great source of extra income – how much of the ~10K is from managing other blogs and how much is from your own?

    1. Thank you! And approximately 50% is from blogs that I manage for others.

  29. I marvel at your extra income! I’m just starting out trying to make extra income (or any income…finding a job is my #1 goal for August) and you’re numbers are definitely something to aspire to! Way to go!

  30. Awesome! Since you are leaving your current job on good terms do you think they would take you back if self employment didn’t work out for you? You seem to be very diversified which is awesome and I do think you will make it but having a back up plan might make you feel more secure.

    1. I don’t think I would want to come back haha.

  31. Congratulations on hitting that figure! I see that the lion’s share of the income comes from blogs and blog management. I know this probably sounds like a rudimentary question, but is this income from writing content, or a service of administering a blog, advertising, or just a mix? Sorry if that’s too personal a question…I definitely don’t want to pry, but would love to learn more.

    1. Thank you! And blog management consists of anything that you can think of when it comes to a blog: Advertising, writing, managing emails, managing social media, etc.

  32. All hail the queen of extra income! I earned a profit for the first time in July and landed my first coaching client, so July was a (relatively) good month for me!

    1. Hahaha thank you!

  33. I swear, every time you do one of these extra income update, I get so inspired! Keep doing what you’re doing!

    1. And that is the point of these, I want to inspire everyone! ๐Ÿ™‚

  34. Haha thanks Angella! I want to write an ebook but I guess I’m just nervous that it will suck ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. Impressive! Hope you still have time for normal life haha.

    1. Haha I have some time. Luckily all of my friends are super busy as well, so I never feel left out haha ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. Peter

    These income reports are great, they are inspiring. Hey Michelle, how long have you been blogging and how do you get words out to get hired to manage someone else’s blog? Would love to see breakdown of $9542.

    1. Thanks Peter! I started blogging in August of 2011 with this blog (Making Sense of Cents).

      Nearly every single time, I have been asked about my blog management services ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. I always read these posts with interest! You are such an inspiration to me as I make the transition to working from home.

    1. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  38. Thanks Laura! And yes, leaving stable income is terrifying!

  39. Nice job again and great stuff Michelle! I love reading what you are doing here and what the potential is for side income. Thanks for sharing this.

    1. Thank you Brian!

  40. E.M.

    Great job once again! Your dedication is amazing. I am sure that everything will keep going smoothly when you make the switch – something major would have to happen for everything to fall apart. You’ve come too far and put in too much work for that to happen.

  41. Jaclyn

    Wow, Michelle. You are kicking ass! It’s really easy to see your income and get discouraged myself, but I have to remember that I just started my blog a month ago tomorrow! Your posts on how to start a blog and how to make money on a blog have been very helpful for a newbie like me! Can’t wait to hear when your switch date is!

    1. No, my income is supposed to ENCOURAGE you Jaclyn ๐Ÿ™‚ You are doing great, and you just need to keep it up ๐Ÿ™‚

  42. Romona Bradham

    That sure is a lot of mula for just a month. As a new blogger I see right now I have to find ways to diversify my income in order to create more income. Thanks for sharing. Very inspiring.

    1. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  43. Michelle, this is outstanding achievement. I was also thinking on starting freelancing, but I do not feel confident yet to do that, so I will wait a bit longer.

    On the other hand I wish I would be able to create and improve affiliate marketing income, which sort of can be considered passive (if you ignore hours and hours of work on your own blog and promoting it).

    In that case, dividend investing is no brainer, but it goes quite slowly.

    1. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  44. Alex @ Searching for Happy

    Congratulations on a kick-ass month, but I think I understand what you mean about stability. Taking a successful side-hustle and making it your main-hustle is a huge leap, no matter how successful your side hustles are!

    I hope you can keep the awesome momentum going!

    1. Yup, it is hard to actually MAKE the switch.

  45. Wow again, Michelle! Yes, I think an e-book would be HUGE when you have time. I know it’d be a big seller for you. Great passive income!

    1. Aww thanks Laurie!

  46. Adam @ Debts & Dollars

    Someday I hope to achieve at least half the success you show here. You’ve come quite a long way in a years time which is quite impressive! As for craving stability you really have to ask is your job really ever “stable” to begin with? You’ve created an excellent side income that’s thrived and really isn’t a side hustle anymore but a second job. The question is how much greater can you make it if it was your only focus?

    1. You are right Adam. I know that I could grow it so much more!

  47. Another awesome month! I really need to ramp up diversifying my blog income. I must be doing it wrong! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  48. Word up, homie! Rockin’ it once again. I’m going to start calling it “Michelle money”. You know, like “ballin’ like I got that Bill Gates and Michelle money”

    Nice work, and even better moving toward other avenues beside direct ads and adsense alone.

    1. Hahha oh my you just won COMMENT OF THE DAY! ๐Ÿ™‚

  49. Another fabulous month! You are awesome! Congrats! Keep on keepin on!

  50. Lindsey @ Sense & Sensibility

    Wow, you are doing so well, Michelle. I can imagine the kind of work you must be doing on top of your day job to make this happen! I have just started making extra income from my blog within the last couple of months and it’s funny how much more work everything becomes the minute you start accepting money for something that was once just a hobby. I can’t post when I feel like it, I have a schedule. I look at my numbers a lot more and think about ways to increase them. It’s a big shift. Congratulations on your success – I’m excited to learn more about your launch date for freelancing!

    1. Thank you Lindsey!

  51. Latoya @ Sisters’ With Bank

    Hi, I’ve been following your blog for some time now and I think it is absolutely wonderful the strides you are making in your side hustles. I have a few myself, which include writing, and although I’m not anywhere near the point where I can go full-time with freelancing, your blog definitely motivates me to keep at it. Thanks for sharing your plans and goals with us.

    1. Thank you Latoya! ๐Ÿ™‚

  52. This is amazing! You are well on your way to a blogging empire.

    1. Thank you Michael!

  53. Kim@Eyesonthedollar

    I don’t have anything really to add that others haven’t said, but again congratulations and I think whenever you feel ready, I’d make the jump and leave the 9-5. You still would maybe work those hours, but it would be by your choice.

  54. I realize that it has been a few weeks, but I love the new look of the page. It looks great and so professional!
    Your side income successes continue to be an inspiration, Michelle!

    1. Thank you! I appreciate that ๐Ÿ™‚

  55. you are awesome michelle! i remember when the $2000 a month was a wahoo for you! not that that amount isn’t great as well, but look how far you have come. you are definitely an inspiration to me.

    1. haha I know! Isn’t it so weird?

  56. Jon @ Increase Credit Limit

    Congrats for your hard work, it is really cool all you have accomplished, definitely quite inspiring! Keep rocking it! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you Jon ๐Ÿ™‚

  57. Michelle-you kicked it out of the park! I’m wondering, when did you start working with a CPA to help you manage your taxes?

    1. Beginning of this year is when I started consulting with a CPA. It’s a lot of work!

  58. Alexandra @ Real Simple Finances

    Michelle, I really love reading these updates! I feel like I can do anything, even though I haven’t yet monetized my blog.

    I would like to know how you got started doing staff writing! It’s something I’d really enjoy doing. How did you find places to write for; were you approached, or did you send out queries? What did the queries look like?

    1. I believe at first I was approached about it ๐Ÿ™‚

  59. This is amazing! I’m so happy for you! You are totally inspiring to take the time to buckle down an make it work for those of us who want this extra income! I would love to dig in and do all that it takes for this but with a baby, you just don’t have the time to sit and work at the computer! You are so smart to get it going now because it will be so much easier down the road! Life just keeps getting crazier but you will get to the point with this work that you won’t have to put in the effort to get yourself out there, you know?

    1. Yes, with a baby it would be much more difficult!

  60. Daisy @ Young Finances

    I never noticed your blog having issues! Good job with your income and all of your side hustles. I’m sure that makes transitioning into self employment so much easier, knowing you have an income!

    1. Haha glad you didn’t notice ๐Ÿ™‚

  61. First time stopping by here and if this doesn’t inspire my side income efforts, what will?!?!

    Congrats on a great month.

    My biggest fault when it comes to developing these side incomes is finishing one project before moving on to another. Do you struggle at all with this and if so, how do you keep yourself on task to completion?

    Thanks for the inspiration and advice!

    The Warrior

    1. Thank you for stopping by! And yes, it does get hard trying to manage it all at once, but I just power through ๐Ÿ™‚

  62. Wow, congratulation! You are doing so well.
    I’m making 2-3k/month and would love to hit 10k at some point.
    I’ll get in touch with you more via private mail to see if you can help out with some advertising. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Great job!

    1. $2-3K per month is awesome!

  63. I need to learn more about SEO also. I don’t do much with that!

  64. You’re income reports are so inspiring. Maybe someday I’ll make more than a nickel a day in adsense ;o)