This income and expense report took me at least 8 hours to put together. It will take you 10-15 mins to read. Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy 🙂 If you don’t have time to read it now, flag it so you can come back and give it a proper read later!
These income and expense reports have been getting really long lately. Like so long that they need a table of contents. See below.
1. Income Report
2. Expense Report
5. Tragic Losses
Why Do We Send Out A Monthly Income Report?
This section is the same as last month – for new people who are receiving the income report for the first time. If you read it last month, scroll down till you read “Income Report” and start there!
Let me start by saying, the purpose of this income report is not to brag about how much money we’re making from our YouTube channel. Trust me, it’s nothing to brag about!
Kara and I began this crazy adventure of full-time travel on January 10, 2016. When we originally started, the plan was to take a year off to travel the world. We had saved up enough money (plus a lot of frequent flyer miles) to get us through the end of the year.
Now that we’ve been on the road for 8 months, we’ve decided that we’re really enjoying this full-time travel thing, and we’re both going to be really sad if this adventure has to end in December. Plus, we’ve developed an amazing community of people on YouTube who have become a part of the adventure. It’d be a shame if all the fun had to end so soon!
Since we only saved up enough money to travel for a year, we’re going to need to find a way to make money on the road so we can continue traveling. So we’re currently on a journey to see if we can turn our YouTube channel into a little business that supports our travel. The reason we’ve decided to publish these income reports is because we want you to be a part of the journey.
We’re no where close to being able to support ourselves through our YouTube channel, and it’s going to be a huge challenge to get there in the next 4 months. However, traveling and sharing our adventures on YouTube is something Kara and I are both really passionate about. It would be amazing to make a full-time living doing something we enjoy so much, so we’re going for it!
Our hope is that by transparently sharing our journey from the start, we might inspire you to go after one of your biggest dreams. So without further ado, here is the August income report.
1. Income Report
We’re quickly learning that unless our channel goes viral, there’s no way we were going to make enough money from YouTube ads in the next 4 months to support our travels. So we’re in the process of developing additional sources of income. Below are the six ways we made money related to our YouTube channel in the month of August.
YouTube Ad Revenue – $514.26
Change from last month – (August $514.26) – (July $486.67) = $27.59
August was our third full month of running ads on our YouTube channel, and it was our first month to make over $500! The graph below shows our daily views overlaid with our daily ad revenue. This graph should give you an idea of the daily views need to make $500 per month on YouTube. We ended the month with just over 450,000 views (our best month yet!)!
Patreon – $93.87
Change from last month (August $93.87) – (July $0) = $93.87
Patreon is a new source of income for us. Kara and I agonized for months over whether or not we should launch a Patreon page. Launching our page was not a decision we took lightly, I explain our full thought process on our Patreon page, so instead of explaining it again here, you can read it on our Patreon page if you’re interested.
Patreon is a platform that allows creators to receive reoccurring funding from fans. Since launching the page, we’ve had five people sign up as patrons and we’re now receiving $9 for each video we publish on YouTube! This means that next month we should earn $270 from Patreon, which will most likely make it our second largest income source.
We launched our Patreon page midway through this month, and people have been signing up at different times so this month we made $93.87!
Patreon is an exciting source of income for us because, like the YouTube ad revenue we receive, it allows us to focus completely on creating awesome YouTube content. The additional income we earn from affiliate sales and the e-book is great, but the effort I’m investing in building those revenue sources is effort that could be spent planning bigger and better adventures to share with you on the vlog.
We are beyond grateful for the people who are supporting our adventure through Patreon! Below is a screen shot of our pledge growth since launching our Patreon page. The green bar represents new pledges and the blue bar stands for the cumulative amount. Unfortunately, Patreon only lets you show growth by month so the graph looks a little silly.
Amazon Affiliate Income – $102.86
Change from last month (August $102.86) – (July $6.07) = $96.79
Last month was our first month to include Amazon Affiliate income on the income report. We had just signed up for the Amazon Affiliate program, and we were doing very little to promote our affiliate links.
This month we implemented several strategies to promote our Amazon affiliate links and our income shot to over $100 in just one month! Last month I said:
“I don’t think Amazon will ever be a big money maker for us. However, it’s a huge e-commerce that a lot of people already trust so it was an easy place to start!“
Honestly, $100 per month is more than I thought we’d be making with Amazon by the end of the year!
Our increase in Amazon affiliate income can be attributed to three new resources we added to our website at the beginning of August.
1. Travel Essentials – This page lists all of the packing gear we’re lugging around the world with us.
2. Vlogging Gear – This page lists all of the gear we use to create our vlogs on a daily basis.
Both of these pages are resources for our viewers to answer the questions we get asked most often, “What kind of camera do you use?”, “How do you pack for year of travel?”. In addition to helping our viewers by answering these questions, I also included Amazon affiliate links to all of our gear. This means anytime someone clicks the link and buys something off Amazon in the next 24 hours, we receive a small commission!
3. Keep Us on the Road – I believe this is the page that had the biggest impact on our Amazon affiliate income! This page explains all of the ways that people can help financially support our travels. People can’t help you if they don’t know how, right? That was my motivation behind creating this page.
On this page I list our four ways that you can help fund our travels at no additional cost to yourself. Buying through our Amazon link is the first option listed on the page. I believe people are intentionally using our link to make purchases on Amazon in order to help fund our travels, and this is why we saw such a large increase in affiliate income this month!
We’re so grateful for everyone who takes the time to make an extra couple of clicks in order to give us a small commission for your Amazon purchases!
Just so you know: We get paid for ANYTHING you buy off of Amazon within 24 hours of clicking our link! It doesn’t have to be the product we recommended. If you click through to look at our camera, and then get distracted and buy toilet paper, we would still receive a commission for the toilet paper!
The Amazon Affiliate Program pays a maximum of 10% for each sale. Last month we were in the 4% bracket, and this month we made enough sales to make it to the 6.5% bracket! Below is a graph of our sales in August.
Mistake Fare Manual Sales – $158.82
Change from last month (August 158.82) – (July $104) = $54.82
The Mistake Fare Manual sells for $29. We use the Teachable platform to deliver the book. After they take out their fees, our profit is $26 per book. This month with sold six books. The only “promotion” we did for the book were the links included on our website and in the description of our YouTube videos.
Last month I said that we were planning to do a big promotion for the book in the near future. I had hoped to start the promotion in August, but we spent three weeks of this month traveling with friends which means I was much less productive than I should have been. Basically, nothing changed this month, but we still sold two additional books!
I’m hoping to start doing a fair bit of promotion this month. We’ve already rewritten the sales page which is a big step in the right direction (the website will be updated soon). Now I just need to sit down and put some sales emails together! Hopefully this number will be much larger in next month’s income report!
Below is a graph of Mistake Fare Manual sales in the month of August.
Flight Deal Alerts – $17.95
Change from last month (August $17.95) – (July $2) = $15.95
The flight deal alerts are an easy way to get the best flight deals from around the web sent directly to your phone. Having these alerts set up is key to finding and booking mistake fares. They are sold as a companion to the Mistake Fare Manual.
Normally, flight deal alerts cost $2.99 per month, but when you purchase the Mistake Fare Manual you can get 6 months of alerts for only $1.
The $17.95 we made this month was from a mixture of people who had purchased the book and taken advantage of the 6 months for only $1 (3) and a few people who signed up for the notifications at full price (4).
Even though it’s not a lot of money at this point, the exciting aspect of the flight deal notifications is that they provide us with reoccurring revenue. We now have 5 people signed up to receive the notifications at full price which means as long as they don’t cancel their subscription, we’ll make $14.95 again next month, plus any new subscriptions we receive! I’m excited about the future potential of these notifications!
Below is a screen shot of our sales in the month of August
Last month I said we were going to redo the sales page for the Flight Deal Notifications. I was reading through last month’s income report before writing this one, and I realized I hadn’t followed through on it. So I literally just updated the sales page before hitting send on this email.
You can check out the new sales page here!
Other Affiliate Income – $18.22
Change from last month (August $18.22) – (July $0) = $18.22
Our additional affiliate income came from two sites.
Booking.com – $16.28
Momondo.com – $1.94
Other Affiliate income is a new section being added to the income report this month. After seeing a little success with the Amazon affiliate program I was encouraged to sign up for a few more affiliate programs!
We added two additional resources to our website this month. The Score Cheap Flights page lists the two main websites we use to search for cheap flights along with a couple other resources. To be completely honest, I’m not exactly sure how the commission structure works with the flight booking websites, but we made $1.94 from Momondo (somehow) this month.
We also added a Book Accommodations page to the site. This page lists the websites we’ve used to find accommodations in 20+ countries. The commission structure with the accommodation booking sites is more straight forward. We make somewhere between 3% – 4% of the total cost the booking. While that’s a small percentage, hotels can be expensive, so if multiple people started using our links to book their hotel stays it could add up to a substantial amount of money.
Hopefully we’ll be able to find even more affiliate links that we can work into our site. However, we’ll never force affiliate links. We only recommend sites and products we use and love, so the addition of new affiliates will have to be organic. It’s not something we can force.
Total Income for June – $905.98
Change from last month (July $905.98 ) – (June $603.26) = $302.72
Below is a graph that shows the make up of our income by revenue source.
While we missed our goal of making $1,000 this month, it’s exciting to see our income increase over $300 this month. What’s even more exciting to me is the addition of two new sources of income, Patreon and “Other Affiliate Income”.
Amazon Affiliate income was our new source of income last month, and this month it accounted for over $100 revenue. We’re hoping to see both of our new sources of income grow in Sept. like Amazon did in the month of August!
2. Expense Report
Convert Kit – $49
Adobe Premiere Pro – $19.99
TubeBuddy Lifetime Subscription (One time fee) – $39
Teachable – $39
NEW Canon G7x Mark ii – $724.98
New External Hard Drive – $89.95
GoPro 3-Way Knock Off – $21.98
Total Business Expenses = $988.90
GeoBlue Health Insurance – $161
T-Mobile Phone Plan – $159.23
Kindle Unlimited – $10.94
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Total Fix Costs – $331.17
Mauritius – $133.93 [August 1 – 4]
- Food – $7.93
- Accommodations – $127
Zanzibar – $772.23 [August 4 – 13]
- Visas – $200
- Food – $92.48
- Accommodations – $466
- Misc – $13.75
Portugal – $1,241.83 [August 14 – 24]
- Visas – $0
- Hostel (2 Nights) – $113
- Airbnbs (with Kayla and Barrett) – $381.50
- Other (Probably Food) – $627.33
- Rental Car – $120
Barcelona, Spain- $956.80 [August 24 – 31]
- Visas – $0
- Hostel (2 Nights) – $110.34
- Airbnb with Charlie & Gel (5 Nights) – $270
- La Tomatina Day Trip – $208.76
- Other – $367.70
Other Travel Expenses – $40.61
JNB Airport Hostel – $40.61
The Mauritius to Zanzibar flight was part of a ticket I booked in July. I accounted for that expense in last month’s expense report, so that’s why you don’t see that plane ticket listed here.
Dar Es Shalam to Zanzibar – $120
Taxes and Fees on Zanzibar to Lisbon flight (cost of frequent flyer miles listed below) – $195.80
Lisbon to Barcelona – $274.54
Total Spent on Flights – $590.34
Frequent Flyer Miles
United MileagePlus Miles – 35,000
It cost us 17,500 United MileagePlus Miles each to fly from Zanzibar to Lisbon. It should have cost double this amount, but let’s just say we were sneaky 😉
Total Travel Expenses – $3,735.74 & 35,000 Frequent Flyer Miles Spent
Total August Income
Summary of Income Sources:
Mistake Fare Manual $158.82
Flight Deal Notifications $17.95
Amazon Affiliate Income $102.86
Other Affiliate Income $18.22
Total = $905.98
Total August Expenses
Business Expenses – $988.90
Fixed Expenses – $331.17
Travel Expenses – $3,735,74
Frequent Flyer Miles Spent – 35,000
Total = $5,055.81
Overall Monthly Gain/Loss = $4,149.83
Change from last month (August 4,149.83) – (July $3,208.95) = $940.88
The expenses this month got a little out of hand. I’m honestly cringing looking at the numbers, but I’ll do my best to justify them. First our “business expenses” were much higher this month because we purchased a new camera that cost over $700.
Second, we spent most of August traveling with friends and family. Unfortunately, traveling with other people ends up costing us quite a bit more. When we have to meet up with people in a certain place on a certain day we can’t be flexible as we’d like with our flights so we end up a paying a bit more.
Then, when we meet up with people who are in “vacation mode” they tend to spend more money because it’s their one vacation of the year and they want it to be awesome.That means we end up tagging along and spending money with them. We go out to eat a lot more than we would if we were on our own, and we end up paying for activities that we probably wouldn’t have paid for otherwise.
Sure we could not go eat with our friends and family, and we could not do the same activities, but what’s the point in having people come meet you if you’re not going to spend as much time together as possible together.
I’m not complaining about meeting up with friends and family. We absolutely LOVED having Kayla and Barrett meet us in Portugal, and meeting up with Charlie and Gel in Barcelona was awesome! I’m just trying to explain why the expenses this month were much higher than usual.
We’ll be in Eastern Europe the entire month of Sept., and we plan to travel by bus and train. I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to keep Sept. under $3,000!
4. Savings (Vanity Metrics)
How much money we saved this month thanks to partnerships, frequent flyer miles, and negotiating. This is just a fun vanity metric to calculate. If you love numbers like me, it’s fun to look at how much money this month “should have” cost us.
Money Saved with Frequent Flyer Miles
We used 35,000 United miles and paid $195.60 in taxes and fees to fly from Zanzibar to Lisbon. Flying from Africa to Europe proved to be quite expensive when I was searching for flights. These numbers won’t be exactly right because the time frame is different, but I just went to Momondo.com and priced out the flights. The total cost for two people to fly from Zanzibar to Lisbon would have been $1,400.
Total Saved with Frequent Flyer Miles – $1,204.20
This gave us a per point value of 3.4 cents per mile!
I learn most everything I know about Frequent Flyer miles after taking Trav’s Frequent Flyer Boot Camp course. If you’re ready to start traveling the world for pennies on the dollar, I highly recommend checking out Trav’s course to fast track your travel hacking success.
Now that our YouTube channel is getting over 400,000 views per month, we’re getting opportunities to partner with companies for free experiences/accommodations in return for featuring the company on the vlog. You’ll always know if we’ve partnered with a company because at the end of the vlog we’ll put a message that says either “Accommodations Provided By:” or “This Adventure Made Possible By:”. This serves as an advertisement for the company that we partner with, but it also helps us be transparent about content on our vlog being sponsored.
Since we traveled with other people during the second half of August we sought out less partnerships than usual. We ended up partnering with two companies during the month of August.
Barcelona Ferrari Tour – Cost $250 (Our Cost Free)
Barcelona Cooking – $143 (Our Cost Free)
Total Partnership Savings – ~ $393
We were the ones who initiated all of these partnerships. We aren’t to the point where brands are reaching out to us, yet 🙂 We learned how to pitch brands for partnerships from Tommo and Megsy at Travel Master Class.
If you have a travel platform and you’re interested in learning how to partner with travel brands, we highly recommend checking out their course Pitching Master Class!
Negotiation – $0
When we stay in an Airbnb for an extended period of time, I try to negotiate the price down by contacting the host directly. Unfortunately, it was high season for tourism in every city we visited. This drastically reduced my negotiating power. I wasn’t able to get single person to lower their price :/
Total Savings for July – $1,597.20
5. Tragic Losses
Unfortunately, this month I had to add a new section to the expense report. I broke two expensive electronics this month and I felt like it was only fair to include those expenses here.
Our New Camera: $724.98
It seemed like everyone in Barcelona was riding skate boards. So one day we decided it would be a good idea to buy skate boards to explore city. Long story short, we bought these little skate boards (penny boards I think they’re called) and we’ve been riding them everywhere for the past week.
I was riding my skate board back from a walking tour we took in Krakow and I crashed… During the crash I threw our camera at least 20 feet across the concrete which resulted in a shattered LCD screen, rendering our brand new camera basically useless. We’ll have to go back to our old camera until we can figure out where we can get the LCD fixed. I’m still super mad at myself for not doing a better job of protecting the camera during the crash grrrrrrrrrrrrr!
My Iphone 6+: $600
While we were on the beach in Portgual we had a grocery bag full of snacks and drinks. My phone got put into the bag and one of the drinks leaked and filled the bottom of the bag. When I found my phone an hour later, it was sitting in a pool of liquid and it hasn’t turned back on since. I tried putting it in rice for a few days, but I think it’s a goner…
I hope you’ve enjoyed our August income report! It may seem like we’re a long way from achieving our goal, but if we can keep our expenses under $3,000 a month (our goal) and continue consistently building our income over the next 4 months, I think we’ll be really close by the end of December.
Kara and Nate