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2012 Keeping track of your IM expenses & profits

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by ichiban, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. ichiban

    ichiban Junior Member

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    I've been increasingly spending more and more on my IM endeavours & need to get in the habit of keeping better track of my expenses. Between hosting, regular domain purchases, private proxies, outsourcing unique content, outsourcing SEO, purchases of IM related tools & things of that nature - I'm starting to lose track of how much money I'm dishing out. Needless to say this is something I want to immediately correct going into the new year.

    Ideally I would like something that shows a breakdown of every last dime according to every site I own. What would be perfect for me is perhaps a total month to month expense report that can be filtered by each individual site.

    That way I know exactly what I purchased, how much I spent & then I can examine the results and determine what else needs to be done for said site.


    I tried making my own spreadsheet, then I tried making detailed notes. Both of which I found were not practical or sufficient enough for a business model.


    For those that have been fortunate enough to make a living through IM and actually have a profitable virtual business, What software do you use to keep track of your expenses?
     
  2. super11

    super11 Senior Member

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    I have tried excel,notepad blah blah blah but only realized that nothing works better than a pen and notebook.

    So, currently I use a pen and notebook and I am able to track almost all my expenses.
     
  3. jon_xx_x

    jon_xx_x Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I really need to too. I just use my BUS credit card and business bank account and that's it. I should be more organized. I keep track of transactions between bank accounts, but don't keep detailed transactions. As someone with about 70+ hosting accounts and about a dozen rentals of homepage links, I should be keeping track more.

    Actually just got an email from my main writer this morning, and she wanted me to confirm I paid her $2500 for writing in 2011. I thought holy shit, I should be keeping track of that, I had no idea it was that much lol. I pay $4 per article, that's 600+ articles lol.
     
  4. syngenetic

    syngenetic Guest

    I use excel to record all expenses and profits. It's so simple and easy to use.
     
  5. m0nster

    m0nster Senior Member

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    mint.com is good
    check out the app lemon for iphone and maybe android
     
  6. wahidpolin

    wahidpolin Regular Member

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    +1 for mint.com
     
  7. agente808

    agente808 Regular Member

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    Excel is what the professionals use, it's flexible and works great - you tried it and didnt like it, but the truth is, there's nothing that's going to do the work for you. You just have to be disciplined and do it, no matter which tool you choose.

    One thing that makes it MUCH easier to reconcile the numbers is to have a dedicated bank/paypal account, just for your work, and don't mix it with your personal spending.

    I have also used quickbooks for this before, which is a fun program, but in the end, I went back to excel. It's the fastest way to get the job done, and it's the easiest to adapt to your personal working style and needs.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2012
  8. Seo Lover

    Seo Lover Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    +1 for Excel
    It has great function alot of features if you use it correctly .
     
  9. Desolite

    Desolite Registered Member

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    I was going to post... but then I saw your post and I agree with all of your points :p

    +1 for excel, +2 for being disciplined to use it. I recommend making it a habit to use it after every purchase you make. Going to make 5 purchases in a row? Fill out excel between each one just to make it a habit.

    Alternatively, if you use a credit card, some companies offer a breakdown for you (discover has a pretty nice setup). Still, it doesn't compare to using excel and looking at it every day.
     
  10. treetreetree

    treetreetree Junior Member

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    I use mint for everything, it's great to keep track of business and personal expenses as well as income. Since I've started using it, from the first year to the second I've doubled my income. I think having nice stats and charts make it more like a video game and makes me want to do it. And in the end I ended up doing it better than before. I highly recommend it. Plus the price is right too.
     
  11. subjimbo

    subjimbo Newbie

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    I have just signed up for an XERO account. I like this option because everything is stored off-site and don't have to worry about losing my data if my computer fries itself.

    Also the iPhone App makes it easy to View/Create Invoices, View outstanding invoices etc. whilst on the road.

    **EDIT** Forgot to mention, This is mainly because Mint.com is not available in Australia yet (US & Canada Only).
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2012
  12. CoyoteAssassin

    CoyoteAssassin Elite Member

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    Check our FreshBooks.com. It's like QuickBooks but slightly different. If you have less than 3 clients (people who pay you), it is free. You can generate invoices, add statements, and track everything.

    You can also send invoices and collect payments online via their system.

    Excel works great but it does not help you in the long run as the data just sits there and cannot be easily exported into your tax software or other analysis systems.
     
  13. crosscheck

    crosscheck Regular Member

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    Have to agree with Coyote ! I use freshbooks, and it is awesome for tracking expense. Not just track but apply to different profiles,invoices or customers. Plus it does a whole shit load of other administrative jobs too. At least check out the free month trial
     
  14. indianbill007

    indianbill007 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I use excel in google docs. You get to use it anywhere,anytime you want, even if you are offline, you can put it to work using google gears.
     
  15. wannabie

    wannabie Elite Member

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    You really need to learn excel to the max then dude ;)
     
  16. wannabie

    wannabie Elite Member

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    +1 on this one, same as! Handy for global JVs
     
  17. Maarchk

    Maarchk Newbie

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    + 1 for excel. It is a bit slow at first, but I've started formatting and creating sheets and formulas that lump things together. Each month has it's own spread sheet, and then I made drop down's on the type of expense categories (domain hosting, Writers costs, Etc) and so I at the bottom of each month I have a total expense listing of all my categories and all my total expenses for the month. Then I have a grand total sheet that keeps a running account of each type of cost and total costs for the year. And each year I make a new spread sheet so that I have a copy of every year.

    There are other apps that can automate stuff but I like doing things in a style that I understand and know where to look when the numbers seem strange.
     
  18. tb303

    tb303 Power Member

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    i use excel for the money side and it works every time i buy or receive something i religiously enter a note and the $'s onto excel. then at the end of every month i go through them all print a receipt and fill the rest of the details in. works well

    its keeping track of the hosting i struggle with, i wasted an afternoon yesterday because i tried to update a site i made a while ago but never noted any ftp or host details for it. Had to change the dns settings in the end.
     
  19. goonieguhu

    goonieguhu Junior Member

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    Excel is great for keeping track of accounts, but quickbooks can't be beat for matching expenses to income. You can create different clients and jobs for different websites and their revenue streams.
     
  20. Spawn

    Spawn Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Hell paypal prints out all your Payments and expenses that's all I really need.