Before we jump into the income report, let me start by saying the purpose of this income report is not to brag about how much money we’re making. Trust me, when we first started sending out these reports, we were barely making any money.
After 18 months of travel, this is the first time we have ever reported a profit on an income report!
There are three major reasons we started sending out these income and expense reports:
1. I (Nate) am a business nerd! I always wonder how much money people are making and exactly how they’re making it. I wish more people would transparently share their entrepreneurial journey, so that’s why I do it! When other people do it, I find it inspiring and incredibly interesting! So I hope you’re inspired or at least interested when you read this.
2. When Kara and I tell people that we travel full-time, the response we get the majority of the time is “I wish I could do that.” At this point in the conversation I usually just bite my tongue. I realize that, for some, full-time travel truly isn’t possible. But for most of the people who say “I wish I could do that,” they could if they really wanted to. Yes, some people would have to work harder than others to make it happen, but most people could make it happen if they were willing to make travel a priority. A couple years ago, Kara and I made travel our top priority. We saved up money for over a year, we moved out of our apartment, we sold our cars, and we quit our jobs. Now we put in the work (almost) every day to be able to afford to continue traveling. We hope that by sharing this report each month, it will inspire some of you to go from “I wish I could” to “How could I.”
3. We’re not special, and we want you to remember that no matter where this journey takes us. I feel like once people become “successful” it’s easy to think they’re “special” and that’s why they were able to achieve success. But in reality, every successful person started out as a “regular” human. At this point in our lives, Kara and I are pursuing this crazy dream of turning our passion for travel into a sustainable business. If we do achieve success one day, we hope that by sharing this journey from the beginning you’ll be able to see that two regular people had a dream, went after it, and achieved success. In turn, we hope this will inspire you (a “regular person”) to dream a big dream and go after it!
Thoughts on Quarter 2 of 2017
Wow! Kara and I just did a little dance here in our Rome hotel room to celebrate the first ever profitable income and expense report! With that said, I almost feel like this shouldn’t count. These past three months have been VERY different from the previous 15 months of full-time travel.
For starters, we actually spent the majority of our time at home during this quarter. We didn’t really plan it that way, but it just kind of happened. The main reason we were home was for Kara’s sister’s wedding, but we used being in one place for two months as an opportunity to get caught up on work and pursue a lot of businessy things we’ve been wanting to do for a long time, which brings me to my second point.
While we were home, I officially launched my course 30 Days to Becoming a Travel Hacker! In just one week I made almost $6,000 launching the course!
Lastly, my computer broke when we were in the Amazon, so we had to buy a new computer. Instead of me getting a new computer, I took Kara’s old one and she bought a 15″ MacBook Pro. She desperately needs the increased computing power to edit the vlogs, so I happily took her old one and let her get a new one.
So to sum up why this quarter was so different than others, we spent the majority of the time at home (staying with our parents), so we were able to save a lot of money that we would have spent on accommodations had we been traveling. We bought Kara a new computer that cost almost $3,000. We don’t make big purchases like that often, and I launched my course and made almost $6,000 in a week. While that was awesome, it’s not something that can easily be repeated in the future.
The main point of this intro is to say, yes, we made money for the first time. However, I have a hard time celebrating because the circumstances aren’t repeatable. The goal is to make consistent monthly income that sustains our travels, and there were many things about this month that were not consistent.
With that said, I’m super glad our bank account was in the black (not the red) this quarter!
So without further ado, let’s jump into the income and expense report!
1. YouTube Ad Revenue – $1,826.86
We saw a slight dip in our YouTube ad revenue this month. Normally, changes to our YouTube ad revenue are a mystery, but I have a pretty good feeling this decline was due to only publishing 41 videos during the months of April – June. That averages out to less than 4 per week (shame on us). Our goal is to get back to 6 days per week ASAP!
2. Patreon – $2,684.73
YouTube ad revenue can be fickle, which is why we’re so grateful for the patrons that choose to support our work! This second year of full-time travel wouldn’t be possible without them! For the second quarter in a row, our income from Patreon exceeded our YouTube ad revenue!
Our pledges on Patreon have grown substantially this quarter! Patreon says we’re up to $110 pledged per video. We’ve learned from past experience that Patreon over-estimates pledges. So, our actual average per video is probably closer to $90 or $95! Either way, we’re still blown away every day that people spend their hard earned money to support our work!
3. 30 Days To Becoming A Travel Hacker Course – $5,948
At the end of June I officially launched 30 Days to Becoming A Travel Hacker!
To celebrate I gave everyone a big discount and threw in a bunch of fun bonuses such as a free t-shirt, free decal, and life time access to my flight deal notifications! The goal was to create a lot of hype around the launch and give people a reason to buy the course during the first week.
It worked! The discount and bonuses were only available for the first week, and that week we had almost 60 people enroll. The course launch actually rolled over into the first few days of July, but I included all of the launch sales in this report just to keep everything in the same place.
I also went ahead and subtracted the cost of the t-shirts and decals, so the number that you see above is actually the profit I made from the launch of the course! I’m excited about how the launch turned out, but I’m even more excited to see if I can build a sales funnel that will allow me to make consistent sales each month.
I don’t expect to make $5,000 every month, but I’m hoping I can sell 5 or 10 every month at the full price of $147! That would be a nice bump in our consistent monthly income!
4. Mistake Fare Manual – $234
The Mistake Fare Manual has continued to sell the occasional copy on auto pilot. This e-book doesn’t make us a ton of money every month, but it is truly passive income. I expected sales to drop off during the launch because I included the Mistake Fare Manual as a free bonus to anyone who purchases 30 Days to Becoming a Travel Hacker! However, sales actually went up! I think people who aren’t ready to commit to the full course may be purchasing The Mistake Fare Manual as a starter because the price point is much lower.
If you want to learn how I’ve been able to find and book CRAZY CHEAP flights around the world, check out the Mistake Fare Manual!
5. Flight Deal Notifications – $57.82
The Flight Deal Notifications are another income source that doesn’t make us a ton of money each month, but it is completely passive. Once I add someone to the notifications list, there’s no additional work to be done! You can get 6 free months of flight deal notifications when you purchase the Mistake Fare Manual, or a year for free when you purchase 30 Days to Becoming a Travel Hacker. However, you can also sign up for the Flight Deal Notifications separately! If you want the best flight deals from around the web sent straight to your phone as soon as they’re posted, sign up for my Flight Deal Notifications!
6. Affiliate Income – $629.43
- Amazon – $495.33
- Audible – $75
- The Paradise Pack – $59.10
This quarter we made almost $500 through the Amazon affiliate program (which is about average) by recommending products we use and love. The majority of our Amazon affiliate income is generated through people who visit the following pages.
Other miscellaneous sources of affiliate income are include above as well.
5. Sponsored Videos & Video Licensing – $700 (new category)
For the first time ever we created a sponsored video for a company, and we licensed two videos to another company.
In May skillshare.com reached out to us to make a sponsored video promoting their platform to our audience. They offered to pay us $400, and give our viewers two free months of access to their learning platform. It seemed like a win-win so we took them up on their offer! You can watch the video here.
Then The Matador Network reached out to us and offered us $150 to license 45 seconds of footage from two separate videos (The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary & The Bolivian Salt Flats). Licensing basically means we gave them permission to use our videos. They used this footage to create viral videos posted their Facebook page. Both videos did well, but the one from Elephant Jungle Sanctuary did REALLY well! It currently has over 14 million views! (watch it here)
Since the beginning, we’ve been trying to develop multiple income streams that will combine together to fund our travels. The pie chart above gives you a quick breakdown of how each revenue stream is contributing to our total income.
Travel Expenses – $2,610.08
Peru – $517.77
- Accommodations $146
- Credit Card Charges $100
- ATM Withdraws $271.77
Myrtle Beach Road Trip – $409.44
Home (Nashville, TN) – $1,682.87
Business Expenses – $2,625.01
Partnerships Manager – $1,200
An awesome guy named Benji is our strategic partnership manager. He’s the one who lines up the majority of our partnerships!
Facebook Ads – $50
I experimented with Facebook ads leading up launching the course. I don’t know if they actually paid off, but I was able to get new email subscribers at around $.80 each. I plan to continue experimenting with Facebook ads as an attempt to build a sales funnel around 30 Days to Becoming a Travel Hacker.
DJI Spark – $545.16
To celebrate 40k subscribers (and to get a lot of new email subscribers before the course launch) we gave away a DJI Spark! We had over 7,000 enter the giveaway! I’d like to assume that several of those people bought the course, so the giveaway paid for itself through extra course sales. Unfortunately, my tracking isn’t that good so I really don’t know.
Convert Kit – $259.59
The great email platform that we use to send emails to our email list of +9,000 people.
Teachable – $164.08
The platform where I host my course 30 Days to Becoming a Travel Hacker and The Mistake Fare Manual
Premiere Pro – $98.28
The program Kara uses to edit our episodes.
Gleam.io – $78.00
The software we used for our 40k Giveaway. The built in sharing features helped us get over 7,000 entries!
Upwork – $10.00
We hired a virtual assistant off Upwork to help us grow our Instagram account. It was a complete failure. We basically paid him $10 to go away.
Google Service – $45.00
This is the money we pay Google for our email address every month so that we can look semi-professional.
Touchnote Postcard – $102.90
This is the service we’re using to send postcards to patrons!
Epidemic Sound – $15
We used free music off SoundCloud forever, but we’ve started paying $15 per month to epidemic sound for more access to royalty free music.
TubeBuddy – $57
This service allows us to bulk edit the cards and end cards across all of our videos on YouTube. Basically, we pay $19 to avoid spending hours of our lives monotonously changing cards on our channel.
New Toys – $3,383.89
15″ Macbook Pro – $2690.75
Sony 16mm f 2.8 lens – $145.98
Wide Angle Converter – $158
Drone Insurance – $79
New Hard Drive – $120.16
New Credit Card(s) Annual Fee – $190
Fixed Costs – $1,351.20
T-Mobile Phone Plan – $350
Health Insurance – $522
Car Insurance – $276.00
Short Term U.S.A. Health Insurance – $203.20
Our phone plan and international health insurance are necessities. We also had the pleasure of paying for car insurance while we were home, and we had to tack on short term health insurance plan because our International Health Insurance plan doesn’t cover us if we’re in the U.S.A..
Total Q2 Expenses – $9,969.87
|YouTube Ad Revenue||$1,826.86|
|Flight Deal Notifications||$57.82|
|Licensing & Sponsors||$700.00|
Frequent Flyer Miles – $1,200
Lima to Nashville – $1,200
We redeemed 40,000 American Airline frequent flyer miles to fly from Lima, Peru to U.S.A. for only $100 each! I love the flexibility that frequent flyer miles give you!
Before Kara and I left to travel full-time, we saved up almost 2 million miles and points! We’ve used these miles and points to save over $20,000 on travel expenses. If you want to learn how to do the same check out my new course 30 Days to Becoming a Travel Hacker!
Partnerships – $5,950
Mountain Lodges of Peru (5 Day Lares Trek) – $4,800
Kuoda Travel (2 Day Sacred Valley Journey) – ~$1,000
Delectable Peru – ~$150
Total “Savings” – $7,150
We had far less “savings” this quarter than usual because we were home in Nashville the majority of the time. This number would be a lot higher if I included the money we saved on rent by living with our parents for a couple of months. However, mooching off our parents is not something we’re proud of so it’s not included here. Thanks mom & dad 🙂
That wraps up our Quarter 2 income report! I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!