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When you’ve earned $3,000 in side income and none of it went toward paying off your student loan debt for the previous year. It might be a good time to ask yourself where all your money went.
The answer is, probably a lot of places. You may have gone out to eat more than you would’ve liked, or you may have taken an expensive vacation. But the fact of the matter is, if you want to get ahead financially, you need to be mindful of your spending.
This week’s blog will cover Door Dash first-quarter earnings in 2022, as well as the blunders I’ve been making, the lessons I’ve learned, and what I’m doing to turn things around; in an effort to offer some help if you’re stuck. Hopefully, this article can provide comfort in knowing that you are not alone, and we all fall behind from time to time.
Before we begin, if you’re just getting started with your financial journey, I’d like to invite you to take advantage of my free income strategy guide, which will show you how to start a lucrative side business. It covers my unique approach for adding an extra 1K per month through additional income, as well as resources for getting started; questions to ask yourself before diving in, and more.
Door Dash Earnings for Quarter 1
I’m going to go ahead and give you the first quarter’s total earnings, along with information on January, February, and March of 2022 so far. I’ll also offer a general idea of where my money has gone over the course of the last 3-4 months.
2022 Total Income: $3288.55
When reviewing my numbers in the Stride App: $2,330.48 appears to be my company’s net profit so far.
2021 Total Income: $3,164.11
As you can see, the statistics differ, but last year’s income fell substantially, and they’ve remained at around the same level this year. I also can see that, there’s a trend in March when it comes to reduced earnings that I need to be aware of.
The truth is that despite the apparent resemblance to last year, I can no longer count on the extra perks that were accessible to gig workers and small business owners when our lost income was supplemented during the height of the pandemic.
So that means I’ll have to stay on top of my numbers, keep track of my expenditures, and, of course, keep track of my progress.
Total – Expenses:
When you’ve earned $3,000 in income and none of it went towards paying off your student loan debt for the previous year. It’s a reasonable question to ask where all your money has gone. It certainly feels like I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants these last three months.
Now, take note that the figures in this “expense” category are all estimations.
I delayed my tax prep until the last minute (which I never do), knowing that it would be expensive. I spent almost $500 in fees to have my taxes done!
In addition, behind the scenes, I’ve been working on this lovely website you’re now reading. With that in mind, I had to make two deposits of approximately $2,000 each in order to complete the creation of this web design.
For the website, I needed to be photo-ready. As a result, the hair, makeup and location costs for that came to roughly $550.
I decided to invest in my abilities by taking a couple of courses from other subject matter experts in the content creation industry who are authorities on social networking platforms, and who were able to offer me some advice that might assist with my content development.
- The Financial Diet: How To Build A Real Business On YouTube
- Blogging Like You Mean It: Pinteresting Strategies
Total investment: roughly $200.00
So, there you have it! That’s where our cash went this quarter. (Deep Sigh) So, as you can see with my side hustle revenue from Door Dash, I’m not paying myself at all. It’s being reinvested back into the Noir In Color LLC, which is YouTube-based content production as well as the Noir In Color website.
However, this quarter I made little progress on my student loan debt. I’ve been making only the minimum payments on the balance since then. But now that these financial responsibilities are behind me. I’m looking forward to getting my financial goals back on track. As a reminder, if you appreciated today’s material, leave a comment in the comments area of this blog post. And if you like this type of content, consider subscribing to the Noir In Color YouTube channel.
Learning from My Mistakes:
So I’m starting to recognize some mistakes that I’ve made thus far this year. I’m beginning to see that I didn’t emphasize my “Why.” And it’s something I’ve said before, but I don’t believe I followed my guidance this time around.
So, if you’ve been along for the ride with me for a while, you know that I had a specific goal in mind to pay off this one loan by a certain date.
The objective was obvious enough. But why did that date and time matter? I realized that hitting that goal for that date and time was crucial because I knew there were other things I needed to get started. Case in point: This web design, I already knew the launch date of my website. Ideally, the student loan repayment goal should have been completed before the launch of my website design. That didn’t happen, unfortunately. And here we are in this odd space-time junction.
Had I gone back and re-evaluated my “Why” and stuck to the original timeframe on when I wanted to get that done, I would have staggered some of my progress and some of my business expenses so that everything didn’t all collide at one time.
Were all those expenses necessary?
In terms of taxes? Without a doubt! I’m the owner of two small businesses, including one with Door Dash and the other is Noir In Color. My taxes have changed considerably. I used to just file a 1040 EZ, but now my taxes are growing more complicated. It’s each separate tax form for my small businesses that I must submit incur separate fees.
While I’m not opposed to using tax preparation software to complete your taxes. I’d rather spend the money on working with a tax preparer who is well-versed in the tax codes, understands them, and can complete them more successfully than attempting to do it myself to save money. As a result of this, filing my taxes and hiring someone was not a mistake. The error was waiting till the last minute! I didn’t realize that depending on where you go to get your taxes filed, the earlier you get your taxes done, can sometimes result in less money spent getting them filed.
Of course! I decided to create a professional website for Noir In Color because I wanted to establish a source of income that I controlled. The YouTube algorithm and Instagram algorithm are not under my control. However, I do have complete control over my domain name, which is NoirInColor.com.
Now don’t get me wrong, I did attempt to go the budget-friendly route and try the DIY approach on Squarespace, but it was a failed attempt. It wasn’t something I loved. As a new business owner, you need to learn what is not a good use of your time. While I appreciate the SquareSpace interface and customer service, I quickly discovered that web design was not a good use of my time or talents.
In my year-end wrap-up, I shared with you that to start my YouTube channel, I took a Skillshare course to learn the fundamentals of how to video edit. So because the year hasn’t ended yet and I’m just getting started with some of these courses and putting what I’ve learned into practice, it’s still too early to tell whether they’ll be useful or not for me in the long run. However, I’ve liked the social engagement I’ve had in these digital educational environments.
Why You’re Not Achieving Your Financial Goals
If you’re not achieving your financial goals, I want to encourage you to ask yourself “why?” Why is that goal important? What will happen if you don’t achieve it? And what can you do differently to make sure you do achieve it?
Truth is, I put all of my eggs in one basket for Q1, because I think I was just being impatient with my progress. I just wanted to see results right away.
Many of the objectives I mentioned in my previous video were supposed to begin at or around Q1. And so, I became extremely focused on those goals. Instead of concentrating on the main objective that began this blog and YouTube Channel. The one student loan! And I should have remained focused on that exclusively.
I didn’t take stock of all the progress I’d already made. So, recently, I revisited some of my early videos on the YouTube channel to look at my student loan balance from those videos.
I think it’s amazing how far I’ve come since January 2021. And, WOW, I’ve made a lot of progress! If I had looked at those videos during all of these points that I mentioned throughout this post, I’m confident that I would have given myself a swift kick in the butt and said, “Okay, let’s get this done!”
Something I would highly recommend is to document your progress. Go back and reflect on it because sometimes you don’t realize how far you’ve come. Personal Finance is a long game and a long journey.
So what are the lessons learned?
Remembering something that Oprah has said, or perhaps something similar to this, “You can have everything you want, just not all at the same time.” I kind of just wanted everything to happen all at the same time. And of course, that wasn’t very realistic.
The other lesson learned is that I need to avoid shiny objects. Learning when things are necessary for my business will be a critical learning exercise for me going forward. There’s always going to be some new course that I need to take, or somebody offering some new training or there’s a new workshop ahead.
If you’re like me, you’ll find it useful to have some set standards to follow:
Ask yourself two questions:
- Is this going to help solve my problem right now? Or, Is this the solution to my problem?
- Is this giving me fear of missing out? Or, Do I just want this thing because I’m assuming it just won’t be there later?
As a result of avoiding shiny things, I’ve learned that I should keep track of what has already proved successful for me and that I need to recall what worked previously before diving headfirst into the next greatest thing.
Those are the things that worked, and somehow, I forgot about them along the way.
I hope this was helpful for somebody. If it was helpful for you, please let me know in the comments. If you want more information on my financial freedom journey, then check out this post where I discuss some of the expenses that I have cut from my personal life to help meet my financial objectives. Until then, take care, and see you on the next one.