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People often get in touch with me with questions related to finances. I’m always happy to help, where I can. Some of the random questions that I get asked are what are my favourite survey websites? What are survey demographics?
Today I’m going to try and help with one aspect of online moneymaking – how to track moneymaking. I’m a real fan of using a spreadsheet and these definitely help me track my moneymaking.
I love a spreadsheet!
Personally, I like to have a couple of spreadsheets. I have one spreadsheet where I track incomings and outgoings.
These spreadsheets typically cover invoices, payments from affiliate marketing, expenses for running my blogs, other expenses related to online work (software costs, internet hosting etc) and other payments received from survey websites, hosting web content and similar.
I track all of these items together as I declare everything that I earn for paying tax/National Insurance. Including survey earnings!
And another spreadsheet..!
Then I have a second spreadsheet where I track the balances that I have on different websites. This mostly relates to survey websites and similar sites but it also includes things like Amazon Affiliates and other affiliate income.
I like to keep track of my balances, to know if there are any sudden decreases or discrepancies.
At a glance I can see easily how much money I make each day, week or month of the year which is great for looking back to see how well I’m growing my income. When I am of course!
I do have a few tabs on my two spreadsheets. One thing that I keep track of is competition wins and items that I receive from brands that I am working with on my blog.
For me, I like to keep track of this to say thank you to people and also see the monetary value of the items I have received. This also helps with any future collaborations too as I can see who I have worked with on successful campaigns.
Personally, I like to track my moneymaking regularly. I will keep my income/expenses up to date on a monthly basis and this means when it is time to fill in my tax return I only need a few days income/expenses to be completely up to date.
This is really convenient for me and stops me worrying that I have forgotten to declare something.
As well as being organised for my tax return, I am able to check, at a glance, that I have the right amount of money saved for my tax / National Insurance bill.
I’ve had a check for gaps in my national insurance in the past and have also made a couple of years of contributions where the amount was low.
Recording my balances
I keep a record of my balances on online websites and paid apps to see how the balances grow. I can look at daily, weekly, monthly and yearly figures for most of the companies that I complete paid work for.
This helps me to see which websites are worth the effort vs time and which are not.
I have a look at the companies that I use each quarter and make any changes accordingly. This works very well for me and takes the minimum of effort.
I used to check my balances on many of the websites daily. Now that I have two children and more to do generally, I tend to check in and update most balances once a week. I find that with survey websites, and similar, this regular checking helps me make some more money as I visit websites.
Often there are surveys waiting for me, or profiles that I can fill in for future market research opportunities.
Just a few minutes a day makes all the difference!
In total, on the days I complete my spreadsheets, I spend around 5-10 minutes on it. This is time well spent for me as it often directly helps me make money.
Doing it this way means if I want to procrastinate from work that I can complete my spreadsheets and still be doing something fairly productive that keeps me on the track of earning money, recording expenses and doing what I can to legally minimise my tax bill!
One thing that I do is ensure that I keep my incomings/outgoings updated daily when I receive payments or pay expenses.
This takes just a few seconds to record down on a note on my phone or MacBook and means no payment in or out is forgotten.
Keep a backup!
For me, I like to keep my spreadsheets backed up in the iCloud. This means that I can access them on the move from my iPhone if need be. I can see easily how much money I have due and even when it is due.
A few minutes per day is all that is required to ensure that my online moneymaking is kept organised. I have never missed chasing up a late payment.
This also means that when I work with a company on my website I can usually see all of the payments I have had, and how long payments take to arrive.
I find my spreadsheets, with different tabs, very useful, and I wouldn’t be without them now. I ensure that I keep the time spent updating it to a minimum, by only checking some balances weekly or monthly, and this works well for me.
How I track my moneymaking – my top tips:
- Track incomings and outgoings. This will help you when it comes to tax return time to ensure that you claim for all taxable expenses
- Keep a back up of your spreadsheet. I work directly from iCloud now.
- Track weekly or monthly earnings across your websites. This is a great motivational tool and I can see how much I make each month.
- Look at the websites you are completing work for each quarter. Scrap any that are not performing well or aren’t worth the time versus remuneration.
When I track my moneymaking in this way, compared to just printing off a Paypal/Bank statement every tax year, it means I can motivate myself throughout the year.
I can also see how well I am performing from one month to the next which helps to keep me motivated. I love to be organised by keeping a #kickerlist which is my own form of a to-do list.
If you’re looking to make some extra money online then be sure to check out my post of great ways to make and save money.
I don’t personally have to worry about VAT at the moment, but if you do then why not try this VAT calculator? It’s completely free to use and super simple too.