The Big Secret: How Much Money I Earned in 2011

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how much I earned in 2011

I’ve decided to bust a few money and income myths, by opening up my finances, publicly. Most of my family doesn’t even know exactly how much I make.

Pretty much everyone in my life thinks I make a lot of money, but in reality I don’t. I’m here to prove that I live on a very modest income, and it’s not about how much money you make, it’s how you manage it.

My personal status:

  • Single female
  • No dependents
  • No pets either (sadly)

One thing I hate hearing is that “Carrie’s single with no kids, so of course she has money”. HA! That’s so untrue.

I could be living the Sex in City lifestyle and wasting spending all my money on shoes.

It takes a lot of discipline and self control to stay within a reasonable spending plan, and save for the future. So don’t even think about throwing that excuse at me. 😛

Sources of income in 2011:

  • Full-time bookkeeping job
  • Side bookkeeping clients
  • Seasonal tax professional
  • Freelance writing/blogging (started in June)
  • Holiday bonuses
  • Royalty bonuses (industry benefit)
  • Interest income

sources of income by category

As you can see, I have multiple sources of income, but they aren’t making me rich. My full-time paycheck only netted $37,072 for the entire year. For a person in my profession (accounting) that’s relatively normal.

My gross salary gets eaten up by taxes, social security, etc…since I’m in the 25% tax bracket (yay for being single).

Average Salary

According to SalaryExplorer I’m making average income for my job, experience level, age and sex. I used my gross income which, is more than what I actually live on.

I don’t have any degrees or an expensive college education, but I still do pretty well in my opinion. I’ve taken some classes and courses for certifications and specializations in my field, but that’s it.

Most of my success is just from being a diligent, honest and hard working employee.

Busting money myths

I’m the “career” one in my family. My brothers and sisters all think I make lots of money and anytime they need to borrow money ask for money, they come to me.

I have money saved for emergencies and some cushion in my bank account, but it’s not a lot. I prefer to spend my money on experiences and gadgets (of course), but I offset it by living under my means.

That’s an important part of living a balanced financial life. You should indulge in what makes you happy, and cut back on areas you aren’t interested in.

How I balance multiple jobs

I only live on $37,072 a year plus the extra $5,000 or so from doing side jobs or freelancing. THAT’S IT! Here’s how I do it.

1. Spend money with purpose

There’s no way to get around the fact that everyone has to spend money, so we might as make the best of it and spend it wisely. If you’re selective with your spending, they will mean more to you and in turn make you happier in life.

2. Don’t take on more debt

I’m working very diligently to pay off my last debt, my car loan. Ever since I decided to live debt free, I haven’t used any credit cards or taken on any more debt. It’s a long process but I’m starting to taste financial freedom.

3. Set and achieve smart goals

For me personally, setting goals and having deadlines is an important part of financial success. It gives us something to work towards and focus on. Writing down goals and openly expressing them, also keeps us accountable and motivated.

4. Utilize the right tools

If you’re serious about getting control of your finances, you have to find the right tools for the job. By far, the fastest way to see financial results is to keep track of your money.

I’ve used Mint for 3 years, and more recently a few other debt apps and tools. I’m also in love with Betterment for my investing and retirement accounts.

I don’t have a ton of money, but I still try to be faithful and responsible with what I’m given. I have no complaints, and I’m happy.

That’s the big secret.

Be content with your circumstances, and learn to maximize your situation. Being rich won’t make you happy. If you can’t be content with a small amount of money, how will more make you happy?