Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Sunday, August 14, 2016

What I Do and How Much It Costs.

Since Patreon Won't Leave My Mind

One of the reasons why I've been hesitant to do crowd funding is because I don't want people to think I'm scamming them. When I say give me money I want people to know exactly how I spent it. Fortunately, my year of doing this without crowdfunding has pretty much given me "books" of how I spend money and a decent idea of how I would spend it if I had more of it.

By the way, this is how my Patreon page more or less started looking and then I came to the realization nobody was going to read all this but I find it necessary and even interesting so if you do too knock yourself out.

What Do I Do

But before I even get to that here is what I currently do on this blog.

Current Costs (Generally Not Counting Tax and Delivery)

To keep things tidy I'm going to try as much as I can to use annual numbers for reoccurring costs. 

  • Laptop ($529.99)
  • Headphones ($29.99)
  • Wireless Mouse ($11.99)
  • Video Camera ($597.99)
  • Video Camera External Microphone (199.95)
  • 64 GB Flash Card ($24.21)
  • 16GB Flash Card ($9.99)
  • PC Blue Yeti Microphone ($129.00)
  • Tripod ($23.49)
  • Still Camera ($88.00)
  • SD Card Reader ($6.99)
  • External Hard Drive ($105.99)
Total  $1769.59

  • 24 Reporter's Notebooks ($18.75)
* I bought a lot of office supplies while I was subbing and am using that for now but realistically eventually that's going to run out and I'm going to have to get general office supplies.)

Total $18.75

Software and Computer Services
  • Skype Subscription ($167.88 for world) ($83.88 for U.S. and North America)
  • Adobe Creative Cloud for Teams ($839.88)
  • Dropbox ($99)
  • Microsoft Office 365 ($99.00)
  • Godaddy Hosting ($15.00)
  • Writer's Market ($39.99)
Total  ($1260.75/$1176.75)

*Pretty much all of these are annual reoccurring costs

* I transferred hosting from Google to GoDaddy slightly before I separated my business and personal  finances but it's still a business expense.

*I'm sort of running out of capital so I use skype monthly but I could save money if I ordered an annual subscription so that is the number I'm going to include)

*At the time I was worried about business licenses for software and I think that caused me to make bad decisions on the Adobe and Microsoft stuff and I'm considering downgrading

*Also I hardly ever use Microsoft Office since I use Evernote for most of my word processing, note taking, and other things so I'm considering dropping it once it's subscription comes up.

*In addition, I passed the 1tb limit for Dropbox and had to get an external hard drive so I'm also considering dropping it.

  • Ridesharing (Both Lyft and Uber)  ($570.63)
Total (570.63)

*I don't have a car so I use a combination of ridesharing and buses to get around. I use my personal bus pass so I'm not counting that. I think the easiest way to do this is to use my personal accounting software to chart how much I've spent on transportation regarding my blog in the last year but typically each video costs about $10-$20 in transportation

Interest and Financial Fees 
  • Interest ($239.27)
  • Paypal Fees ($7.62)
Total $246.62

Total...Total ($3866.34/$3782.34)

Actual From Software ($3728.78)

*I bought most of this stuff on credit so I have to pay interest. And I know it's going to suck.

Stuff I Don't Do or Haven't Done In A While But Would Like To If Given The Resources

  • Expand My Coverage Area - The further the stuff is the bigger the transportation costs. So no matter how important it is if it's more than 15 miles away I have to weigh it against missing a City Council Meeting.
  • Interviews and Deeper Coverage
  • Mini-Documentaries and Video Essays
  • Media Reviews
  • Longer Form Media Analysis- I want Bob Chipman's job. I want Lindsay Ellis's job. Hell, I want Evan Puchack's job. I want to do that sort of stuff. And I think some of my older blog posts come close but I haven't done it in a while.  Specifically, I would like to really dig into Lilith's Brood, but it's the type of thing that would take a long time and not necessarily immediately pay off and as such keeps getting pushed to the back burner. That having been said I do think I have something to add to these types of discussions. 
  • Character Retrospectives - Did I say I want Lindsay Ellis's job. I really do love Loose Canon, but I also realize that Lindsay Ellis is one person and she's probably not going to get to every character I want to see studied. And seeing as her show is her show she shouldn't have to. 
  • Reading stuff that's in the public domain- This is simply a why not thing. It's content I can put up pretty easy so why not. 
  • Podcasting - I kind of want to experiment with podcasting but I've been told that in its progenitor radio it's really hard to keep people's attention with one person and I don't want to do it until I have the resources to pay to bring someone on board to help me. 
  • Vlogging - Again I would like to experiment with it, but doing a good vlog on a regular basis is again a resource heavy time-consuming thing and between that and everything else I want to do I don't know if I can, especially with the resources currently have on hand. 

Specific Things I Want To Make My Job Easier (How I Would Spend Excess Money)

  • Lawyer/Accountant - First off I set up everything by myself and if I had the money would like to hire a lawyer and an accountant to make sure everything was on board. I have this fear that I filled paperwork out wrong or did my taxes wrong and it would make me feel better if I got that stuff taken care of by a professional, which I can't really afford to do right now but if I had some loose money it would be one of the first things I looked into. 
  • Quickbooks - I've been using Quicken for Home and Business and while it separates my business expenses... it really doesn't.
  • Salary - If I want to call this a job I need to make it a job and I want to set up a payroll account to pay myself and anybody else I might use. I want to be clear I want a regular salary that will be reviewed either quarterly or annually. I don't want that I love Lucy episode where she bounces money around.
  • Payroll and Commissions - Pretty much what I said about paying myself but with other people.
  • An Office/Studio - I'm kind of uncomfortable with the fact that I play where I work. It doesn't have to be much but after a salary, I would like to subsidize an extra room devoted to the blog where I can not only write and edit but also film if I needed to. 
  • Transportation Budget- Shoring up that war chest would be something off my mind.
  • FOIA Budget - I want to be able to send out Freedom of Information Act Requests without being scared off by costs. 
  • PACER Budget
  • An Event Budget - If I want to cover events that require tickets well there you go. 
  • Travel Budget - For some big ticket stories I would like to be able to travel.
  • Marketing Budget - As much as I grip I need new business cards and some google ads wouldn't hurt either. 
  • Storage Materials - I had a project a while back and I fell in love with bankers boxes and Sterilite totes. They just make things easier. 
  • Jackery Battery ($19) - I've been using my personal one and something about relieving yourself where you eat. Also with my camera, they are really easy to switch out without disrupting the camera itself. 
  • Review Material Budget - Especially if I start doing video reviews I'm going to need to start buying disks to get footage instead of streaming stuff I want to talk about and that's going to get expensive.
  • Larger Flash Memory Card ($44) Right now I can get 5 and a half hours of footage before having upload something to a laptop. There have been some events that have cut it close. 
  • Blog Cell Phone - If not having a professional/business cell phone can get Hillary Clinton into trouble it can get me into trouble.
  • Blog Tablet - I have a laptop but it's hard to be inconspicuous with the thing. A tablet would make reading minutes and taking notes easier. 
  • Skype Number ($79) - Michigan is a one party consent state which means I should probably be recording every phone conversation I have. Turning my computer into a phone will help with that,  and honestly, it makes interviews easier. 
  • An Office Chair - You don't know how much I want a new chair. This one is frankly an embarrassment. 
  • Evernote Premium - I have it for my personal Evernote account and want it for my business account
  • Amazon Prime - Second verse same as the first. 
  • Grammarly Premium - I suck at proofreading. 
  • Batchgeo GIS Software - You want to know what my favorite thing I ever did on my blog was. A map breakdown of the condition all of the city's roads. I want to do more of that sort of thing.  
  • A NAS Server - If there is one thing I will take away from my failed time at U of M it was the tech. Papa want. That being said the single biggest headache of my year has been digital storage.
  • AAA Batteries For My Microphone
  • Workstation

* Correction: I noticed after posting this that some of the items I listed include sales tax while others do not so please take the numbers mentioned as approximations.

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