Reviewing the Numbers

I never thought I would be so interested in reviewing the numbers behind my blog.

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Rewind a couple of years and I never paid attention to dollar amounts, budgeting, or due dates.

Everything was a constant surprise and I was barely holding it together. Luckily, I got with the program, paid off my credit cards and developed a budget.

Fast forward to today and who would have thought I’d be writing things like 4th quarter goals, blog stats or talking CPM (just kidding I still don’t fully understand this.) 

I get so excited to talk numbers because they help me stay optimistic after a rough day of work.

Believe In A Budget has grown into something bigger than I thought it could be.

With a little over a year under my belt and what feels like hundreds if not thousands of hours spent on this blog (and not making any money), I’m now having the best time ever.

I never thought in a million years I could quit my job and actually work for myself. I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for starting this blog, which is crazy!

If you are thinking about starting a blog, this tutorial will help you start a blog today. You’ll also get a FREE domain name for a year! Being able to quit my job and blog full time, all within my first year of blogging, was amazing.

I am really glad I took a chance and started a blog! I invested a small amount of money to start my blog using Bluehost and made $13,000 in 6 months of blogging. That’s the best return of investment ever! 

Reviewing my numbers this year

Here’s a bunch of random numbers that changed my life this year.


These are my numbers as of mid December and are not final for the year.

  • 1,076 Total amount of pageviews I received in the month of January 2015
  • 96,419 Total amount of pageviews I received in the month of December
  • 83,321 The number of pageviews my top blog post received
  • 2014 The year the above mentioned post debuted. Yay for evergreen content!
  •  147 Total amount of posts published in 2015. Wow, this is way more than I thought.
  • 2.48 Average time of days between posts
  • 36 How many months I signed a renewal contract with Bluehost to renew my domain and hosting. I’m all in!
  • 88% Overall leading traffic source was from Pinterest. Check out the services I offer here.


  • $197,992.91 How much it cost to keep me alive in the ICU when I got sick
  • $8,786.48 The amount I owed after my health insurance made their payments
  • $5 How much I bet on the Willy Wonka machine the first time I went to a casino
  • $813 How much money I won. Beginner’s luck!
  • 10/5/15 The day I turned in my key and said goodbye to my full time job
  • 2,407 The number of miles I drove when I relocated from Seattle to Nashville
  • $1,270 How much I spent on grabbing coffee. This is horrible. I’m embarrassed to even admit this. Please don’t judge me. I’ve even started buying and making my coffee from home to cut down on this. 
  • 2 How many vacations I took. This is depressing

Side Hustles

  • $2,014.84 How much I made in side hustling thanks to mystery shopping, panel studies and surveys in my limited spare time


  • $61.83 The amount of my first online income report
  • $3,634.28 The amount of my highest online income report to date
  • 90814 The number I was assigned when I opened a PO Box and my business felt official
  • 2 How many months I have been freelancing full time
  • 10 The number of months my blog has been earning an income

On the horizon

  • $43.18 The amount I spent to book my plane tickets to #FinCon16 next year. I had a voucher that was set to expire and I literally used it on the last day.
  • 1st The class I’ll be flying in when using said voucher. Yippee! Bring on the free champagne. There’s free champagne, right?
  • $199.40 Cost of my #FinCon16 pass (not counting the service fee)
  • $10,000 My monthly online income goal I want to achieve by the end of 2016, thanks to the Frugal Millionaire’s $10K Challenge
  • 100% My level of commitment to this blog and freelance life

Biggest lesson learned

Work hard and keep hustling

Nearly every free moment this year was spent working on Believe In A Budget this year.

I said no to a lot of happy hours, brunches and socializing to focus on this blog.

But I knew if I put the time in and hustled hard, this blog would have to pay off at some point.

A small part of me was skeptical, but I knew I couldn’t invest so much time into something for it not to work.

The payoff has been plentiful and satisfying. Quitting my job and not having to work for someone else has been the greatest accomplishment.

I am totally on board with this blog and I can’t wait to see where it takes me the next 12 months.

Related reading:

2015 word of the year

If I had to summarize 2015 in one word, it would be determination.

I had a lot of things I wanted to accomplish personally and professionally, and I pretty much checked everything off my list.

It was hard work and there were plenty of times I had to remind myself to keep going.

2016 goals

My overall goals are fairly straightforward, but complex at the same time. I think the amount of goals I have is small in number, but each goal is a little intense.

Create a product per quarter

In the first quarter, I am all set to debut my ebook on mystery shops and panel studies. This will be my first product and it has been a labor of love and learning.

I’m really excited to share it and this book will be geared towards people who are looking to side hustle.

I’m thrilled with how my Pinterest niche freelance business has taken me, but I want to be able to reach more people.

Working with each client’s account is time-consuming and I can only take on so many clients at one time so I can provide the best service.

Because of this, in the second quarter, I’ll be switching gears and releasing a course on how to create Pin-worthy images for blogs and Pinterest, as well as how to navigate and master Pinterest.

This course will be directed towards bloggers and freelancers.

As of now, I’m not sure what the other two products will be for the third and fourth quarter.

I am definitely finding that I love to teach and share, produce guides, and remain creative and visual (perhaps because I loved doing these kinds of things at my old day job?)

Finalize my niche site

This got placed on the back burner this past year, which is too bad.

I created a niche site back in 2007 and sadly shut it down a few years ago because of time restraints.

I’ve hired a VA to help me get this site finished in the next few months. Sometimes you have to spend money to make money, and this will be a great investment.

I’ll probably be sharing the ups and downs of this niche site on the blog next year. I’m hoping it produces some income and I plan to document the journey of what all happens with it.

Increase my passive income and hustle less

Right now I am working a ton of hours each work and love what I’m doing.

But I wouldn’t mind slowing down and find ways to earn the same amount of money – or preferably more – and work less. I need to work smarter, not harder.

Right now I would estimate 95% of my income is from freelancing and working for other people.

I would love to get this number down to 50% by the end of the year, with half of my income coming from freelancing and half from passive income.

What are your 2016 goals? Do you have a word of the year?

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  1. Very informative – thanks for sharing. I really like that the post with the most views was from 2014. It highlights the separation between effort/work and reward, and the benefits of having them (mostly) independent.

    1. Evergreen content for the win!

  2. New to youR blog but it looks like you really blew 2015 out of the water, way to go! I have a lot of goals for 2016 but some of them include graduating from ASU, training for a warrior dash and growing my site so I can leave my day job. πŸ™‚

    1. I like your goals!! Anything is possible and you seem determined. You will crush it!!

  3. Your stats continue to inspire me! Congrats on a great year and I look forward reading your book!

  4. Wow! You’ve done a lot in one year! Impressive numbers! Did you write a post about when you were sick? Thank goodness for insurance!

    1. Thanks Jayleen! Not really, I mentioned it briefly in a couple posts but wasn’t sure how much would be considered oversharing. I had bronchitis and couldn’t shake it, stopped breathing and dropped. I woke up a few days later in ICU, and then it took me about a month at home to recover. Totally crazy!

  5. I love the year end review. Its amazing seeing how it all went down and how you to go where you are now. Thanks for sharing!

    Im happy to see you got your Fincon16 pass. Ill be there as well and look forward to meeting you.

    1. Oh yay! It’ll be my 1st time going, I can’t wait to meet everyone in person! Actually, I’m fairly shy so I’ll probably be sitting in a corner by myself πŸ™‚

  6. These stats are so interesting! Can’t believe your medical bill was that crazy. Hope you are all better from that time you were ill. Inspirational post because you have accomplished so much in a year and went full time too.

    1. I know, the medical numbers don’t even seem like real numbers. I can’t imagine what would have happened without insurance, eek!

  7. Wow what an awesome year for you Kristin. I think this year was pivotal and would be especially memorable because this is when you transitioned from employee to your own business… Crazy!! (My dream in a few years!)

    My word this year and probably early next year is STRATEGIZE. I’ve come to realize that my time is super valuable and to always apply the 80/20 rule in everything I do.

    1. I like your word of the year! And having enough time is something I worry about all the time.

  8. Awesome job on growing the blog. Thanks to your help, mine’s growing too. It’ll take some time, but I’m hopeful that I can make at least $200 a month by the end of 2016. (I know it’s small, but it’s about 400% more than I made each month for the last 6 months.)

    At some point, maybe I’ll find time to cobble together some posts into a book. I know that could help make some money, but I just can’t find the time and energy.

    1. You should def do a book!!

  9. Love the stats! Sounds like an amazing year and I’m so proud of you and all that you’ve accomplished πŸ™‚ AMAZING how your page views have increased and I can’t wait to see where you’re at next year. I need to purchase my FinCon pass this week. I know it’s going to creep up on me in no time.

    1. Thanks Chonce! I wanted to take advantage of the sale price for FinCon, so I went for it now.

  10. Kristin!!! WOW!!!! You are doing awesome!! I am so happy to be able to follow along! πŸ™‚

    Product idea for you: How I Went From 1,000 to 100,000 Pageviews in a YEAR!

    1. Ahhh, you’re so smart. What would I do without you?! Love it!

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