Whether you’re developing a small alternative income stream through blogging, or running your own freelance business, or something in the middle, you need a way to keep track of it. It’s not like a tidy job that pays you every 2 weeks or so and gives you a handy slip at the end of the year telling you exactly what you earned. If you want to file your taxes properly and if you want to know just how much you earned last month, the ball is in your court.
To help manage all that, I’ve come up with three handy spreadsheets. The first is best-suited to bloggers or others who are tracking advertising income (or anything with a comparatively limited number of sources and strong repetition). The second is better for freelancers working on project-by-project gigs. If you’re like me, you could probably use both! So there’s a third sheet which simply combines the two into one file.
Click on the images in each section to see a full-size screenshot. And the numbers used are completely pulled out of my head and in no way represent actual clients, earnings, etc. Important note: All downloads are in .zip files because my download plugin doesn’t allow for .xls (spreadsheet extension) at this point.
Blog Income Spreadsheet
This spreadsheet is best for charting blog income. You can download it here.
The blog income spreadsheet is set up to look and work best for income sources that repeat monthly. That could mean a text-link buyer who paid in advance for 6 months worth of ads on your site. Entering it in the spreadsheet right away also gives you a handy reference as to who has paid for how much of what.
Or every month you can enter your BlogHer or AdsDaq earnings in the proper column.
There isn’t much room for description, but you shouldn’t need it here. Just where the money is coming from and how much it is per month.
The lower “Unpaid But Earned” section is for ads whose payout level you didn’t reach that month (compared with ones whose payout level you reached but who still may not pay you immediately). I only record earnings as earnings when I hit a payout, but I do like to know what I’ve earned anyway. This is useful for AdSense and other ad networks with high payout thresholds.
How you enter the money into the spreadsheet depends on your goals. For tax purposes, it’s probably best to write down when you earned it vs. when you received it. But for your own planning, you may want to keep a separate copy that will help you budget the actual money you receive.
The spreadsheet is set up to automatically add up the numbers you input, near the bottom of the screen. If you need more lines, simply add more lines above the total and it should automatically adjust. Again, you can download it here.
Consulting and Freelance Spreadsheet
This spreadsheet works better for freelance/consulting income. You can download it here.
As you can see, it has a place for the client’s name, the date, the fee, whether it was invoiced yet, whether or not it was paid, and a short description. It also adds everything into a monthly earnings figure at the bottom of the month’s section. This isn’t as suited to ads, since you’re often running the same ads all year or for half a year. But it’s great for one-time projects and just fine for repeat clients as well.
I think the “Invoiced” and “Paid” sections are critical, particularly if you’re handling several clients at once. This way you know who has paid and who hasn’t. And whether you’ve even sent the bill yet.
It runs through the end of 2009. Again, you can download it here.
This one is simply a combination of the previous two. Page #1 is the blogging income sheet, page #2 is the consulting/freelance income sheet. Helps you keep everything in once place.
Using the Spreadsheets
If you don’t have Excel, you can still use these spreadsheets. Just download the free Open Office suite.
Hope you’ll find these useful!