This month's income report went much better than last month's. 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!
Since these emails tend to get really long, I've included a table of contents below.
1. Income Report
2. Expense Report
Why Do We Send Out A Monthly Income Report?
This section is the same as last month - so this is for new people who are receiving the income report for the first time. If you read it last month, scroll down until 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 9+ 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 3 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 September income report.
1. Income Report
After running YouTube ads for three full months we've learned there's no way we were going to make enough money from YouTube ads in the next 3 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 September.
YouTube Ad Revenue - $725.79
Change from last month - (September $725.79) - (August $514.26) = $211.53
After watching our YouTube ad revenue slowly creep up over the past few months, we saw a big jump this month! This was also our first time to break half a million views in a month!
Our average number of views per video are definitely up this month, but we also had a video go semi-viral. Our capsule hotel video got over 50,000 views this month. One day YouTube just decided it should be popular and started promoting to a lot of people. To be honest, I have no clue why this happens. The capsule hotel video brought us a lot of new subscribers, and I believe the new subscribers are to thank for the increase in ad revenue. THANKS GUYS 🙂
Patreon - $280.09
Change from last month (September $280.09) - (August 93.87) = $186.22
We created a Patreon page mid way through August, so this was our first full month on Patreon. We're SO GRATEFUL for the support that we're receiving through this platform. Thanks to our patrons, we're receiving almost $20 per video published.
We'd like to say a special THANK YOU to our new patrons: Sara, Savanna, Cara, Jim, Lisa, Barbara, Xandrios, and Will!
Patreon is the easiest way to support our channel. If you'd like to help keep us on the road producing new content, click the Patreon link below.
Patreon is a platform that allows creators to receive reoccurring funding from fans. We're excited about Patreon because, like the YouTube ad revenue we receive, it allows us to focus completely on creating awesome YouTube content.
Below is a screen shot of our pledge growth since launching our Patreon page in August. 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 - $109.86
Change from last month (September $109.35) - (August $102.86) = $6.49
Wow! Our Amazon affiliate income broke $100 two months in a row. Thank you so much to everyone who takes the time to make an extra couple of clicks in order to give us a small commission from your Amazon purchases!
We didn't add any new resources to our website this month, but the three resource pages below still drove over 2,000 visitors to Amazon! I love that we were able to make over $100 this month just from recommending products we already use and love.
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.
3. Keep Us on the Road - This page explains all of the ways people can help financially support our travels.
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 still receive a commission for the toilet paper!
Mistake Fare Manual Sales - $158.82
Change from last month (September 158.82) - (August $158.82) = $0
$158.82 in passive income is great, but I'm way more excited about the testimonial I received this month! Gena was able to book a mistake fare from Las Vegas to London for $271. Below is the email I received from Gena.
"I used the tips and tricks taught me in the book to get text message alerts from a number of sites, and when I caught wind of the $271 deal from Las Vegas to London I quickly hopped online (found issues, but then an hour or two later it was back) and booked two tickets. I live in LA so it's a quick cheap extra ticket away. I cannot wait to fly Virgin Atlantic nonstop over the ocean for this highly discounted fare. My boyfriend has been dying to go and now I can make that trip happen for him all under the price of what would not even be one ticket price and on a full-feature, food-included, airline! #winning"
This email made my day. It's fulfilling to know that my book is helping people travel to their dream destinations for pennies on the dollar!
Below is a graph of Mistake Fare Manual sales in the month of September.
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 same as last month). $158.82 isn't a ton of money, but it's completely passive income which is really nice!
Audible Partnership - $30
Earlier this month we scored a partnership with Audible. These lucrative partnerships are usually reserved for podcasters, but they made an exception for us. We were super excited to be accepted to the Audible Partnership program because they offer a lucrative commission when a new user signs up for a free Audible trial using your link.
To be completely honest, I thought this was going to be a huge a financial win for us this month because we make $15 for each person who signs up for a free Audible trial using our link. However, after promoting the trial in our videos and on our website, we only had two people sign up.
We're going to continue promoting the free trial for another month. If only a few people sign up this month, we'll reevaluate whether or not it's worth promoting.
If you'd like to receive a free audiobook and help make this section look better in the income report next month, click the link to sign up for a FREE 30-day Audible trial. You'll receive a free audiobook, and we'll get $15. 🙂
I figured a graph that showed two people signing up was kind of pointless... So onto the next section!
Flight Deal Alerts - $8.97
Change from last month (September $8.97) - (August $17.95) = $8.98
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.
We have over 50 people receiving amazing flight deal notifications on a daily basis, but the majority of our subscribers have paid $1 for six months after purchasing the Mistake Fare Manual. The $8.97 we made this month came from the three people who are paying full price for the subscription.
Other Affiliate Income - $5.98
Change from last month (September $5.98) - (August $18.22) = $12.24
Our additional affiliate income came from two sites.
Momondo.com - $5.64
Skyscanner.com - $0.34
This small commission we received from these two websites came from The Score Cheap Flights resource page we added to our website last month. The page lists the two main websites we use to search for cheap flights along with a couple other resources. I still have no clue how the commission structure works with the flight booking websites...
Hopefully we'll be able to find even more affiliate links to 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.
Total Income for June - $1,319.18
Change from last month (September $1,319.18) - (August $905.98) = $413.20
Below is a graph that shows the make up of our income by revenue source.
Increasing our income by over $400 this month is really exciting, but we're going to need to do even better next month if we want to reach our goal of $3,000 per month by the end of December!
The thing that excites me most about this month's income report is that we saw a big jump in both YouTube and Patreon revenue. These two sources of income allow us to focus all of our effort on uploading quality content. So it's exciting that they're both growing and account for over 75% of our total revenue!
2. Expense Report
Convert Kit - $49
Adobe Premiere Pro - $19.99
Teachable - $39
Total Business Expenses = $112.99
GeoBlue Health Insurance - $161
T-Mobile Phone Plan - $135.91
Kindle Unlimited - $10.94
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Total Fix Costs - $307.85
Barcelona, Spain - $86.64 [Sept. 1 - 2]
- Airbnb (1 Night) - $55.71
- Other - $30.93
Krakow, Poland - $490.39 [Sept. 2 - 9]
- Airbnb (8 Nights) - $181
- Other - $309.39
Bratislava, Slovakia - $132.53 [Sept. 9 - 12]
- Hostel (2 Nights) - $107.62
- Other - $24.91
Budapest, Hungary- $242.61 [Sept. 12 - 15]
- Airbnb (3 Nights) - $99
- Other - $143.61
Munich, Germany- $317.16 [Sept. 16 - 20]
- Holiday Inn Express (4 Nights) - $0
- Oktoberfest Attire - $49.41
- Other - $267.75
Ljubljana, Slovenia - $390.33 [Sept. 20 - 24]
- Airbnb (4 Nights) - $200
- Other - $190.33
Split, Croatia - $293.70 [Sept. 25 - 29]
- Airbnb (4 Nights) - $131.33
- Other - $62.37
Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina - $119.53 [Sept. 29 - 30]
- Hostel (2 Nights) - $43.69
- Other - $75.89
Wow! I did not realize we had been in eight different countries this month. No wonder September feels like a blur!
Barcelona to Krakow - $195.02
Krakow to Bratislava (Overnight) - $38.71
Budapest to Munich (Overnight) - $60
Munich to Ljubljana - $31.40
Ljubljana to Split (Overnight) - $69.14
Bratislava to Budapest - $38.54
Split to Mostar - $101.08
Total Spent on Transportation - $533.89
Total September Income
Mistake Fare Manual $158.82
Amazon Affiliate Income $109.35
Audible Partnership - $30
Flight Deal Notifications $8.97
Other Affiliate Income $5.98
Total = $1319.18
Total September Expenses
Business Expenses - $112.99
Fixed Expenses - $307.85
Travel Expenses - $2,606.78
Total = $3,027.62
Overall Monthly Gain/Loss = $1,708.44
Change from last month (September $1,708.44) - (August $4,149.83) = -2441.39
In last month's Income report I said "I'm hopeful that we'll be able to keep Sept. under $3,000!". We went over by $27.62. While we didn't quite meet our goal, I'd say we did pretty good to spend just over $3,000 while visiting 8 countries in a single month!
After blowing out the budget last month, Kara and I made a strong effort to save a much money as possible this month. The biggest sacrifice we made to save money was taking three different overnight buses. Not only are buses the cheapest form of transportation around Europe, but we also save on a night of accommodation.
I'm feeling much better about this month's income and expense report than I was about last month's. Reaching break even by December actually feels like an attainable goal!
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 by Using Hotel Points!
We used 80,000 IHG points to stay four nights in Munich during Oktoberfest. Using hotel points was the only way we could afford to stay in Munich during the festival without completely breaking the bank. Since we were staying at the hotel during Oktoberfest, the cost per night was almost $200.
Total Saved with Frequent Flyer Miles - $800
This gave us a per point value of 1 cent per point!
I learned most everything I know about Frequent Flyer miles from 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 500,000 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.
When we travel with other people, we usually seek out less partnerships. We ended up partnering with two companies during the month of September.
Bratislava Food Tour - $146 (Our Cost Free)
Ljubljananjam Food Tour - $124 (Our Cost Free)
Total Partnership Savings - ~ $270
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 - $100
When we stay in an Airbnb for an extended period of time, I try to negotiate the price down by contacting the host directly. This month I was able to negotiate two of our five Airbnb stays for a savings of just over $100.
Total Savings for September - $1,170.00