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No Navigator, No Parachute, No Problem: Flying Solo – July 2014

Sorry about the delay, folks.  The end of July was a little nuts, and it’s taken me a few days to make sure everything’s squared away.

Here are the slightly-delayed numbers for July:

Clients

  • Referral from other attorneys: 5
  • Found me online: 2
  • Referral from area businesses/professionals: 4
  • Referral from local bar lawyer referral service: 1
  • Came to see me after speaking engagement: 1
  • Already knew me: 1
  • Total clients: 14

Expenses

  • Advertising (new rack cards, Google Adwords buy): $179
  • Office supplies (including payments to business credit cards & $200 for funding escrow accounts with local clerk’s offices): $542
  • Rent: $550
  • Florida bar association fees: $350
  • Phone bill: $58
  • Malpractice insurance: $76
  • Total expenses: (roughly) $1,755

Income

  • Earned: $16,211
  • Retainer: $5,000
  • Net income: approx. $14,456

Taxes

  • Amount withheld this month: $4,322
  • Total taxes paid or withheld: $9,117 (withheld from July, paid from April, May, June & July)

Paychecks

  • One paycheck of $2,000
  • One paycheck of $2,500
  • Bonus (birthday) payment: $200
  • Total paychecks: $4,700
Analysis: I know it’s not fall yet, but this month’s theme is “harvest”, because my gains came from reaping what I sowed in June.

Clients: My number of new clients stayed the same at 14, which ties my record.  Again, my primary referral sources have been other attorneys and area business/professionals.  Unfortunately, the arrangement I mentioned last month with a prominent local family law attorney hasn’t resulted in any new clients (despite him giving my name out to a lot of folks), but here’s hoping that changes soon.

Expenses: Again, my expenses were pretty par for the course.  The only new expenses were a couple of hundred dollars to fund escrow accounts at local county clerk’s offices, and some money for Google Adwords so I can play around with that a little.  I still have the goal of getting my expenses down closer to $1,000/month, but as I go along that feels more and more like a fantasy.  I think I’m at the point where around $2,000/month is starting to be more realistic.  We’ll see.

Income: This is where that “harvest” thing comes in.  Most of my new clients this month were actually fairly low-paying matters, yet I still wound up setting a new record for earned income.  This is because most of my income this month actually came from last month’s client’s retainers: I was able to actually do the work they paid me for, so I collected a lot of June’s retainers.  In addition, I also got a small bit on retainer this month.  Unfortunately, that means that August’s income might not reach these same highs… I’ll know soon enough.

Taxes: This month I both withheld my July taxes and paid taxes for April – July, which added up to an IRS payment of over $9,000.  Let me tell you, that’s not a fun amount to see go out of your bank account.

Paychecks: Due to the excess income, I gave myself a little extra this month in the form of one larger paycheck and a small bonus (something to help with my wife’s belated birthday present)  Again, a good chunk of these larger paychecks are going into the family emergency fund, so I think of it as investing in my financial security.

Yes, I realize how incredibly corny that sounds, but it’s true.

Overall, the thing I’m most proud of from this month is that I was able to pay myself more than I’ve ever been able to before, while still adding over $5,000 to my firm’s operating account.  My goal is to grow that account enough to allow me possibly expand at some point in the future, or at the very least give myself a “cushion” so that I’ll be able to pay myself during a really slow month.  If things keep going like they’re going, I should be able to reach that goal in a year or so.

Thanks for joining me again, and as always, leave your questions or comments below or email me at florida_esq@outlook.com.  Have a great month, and hopefully I won’t be so late next time.

One comment

  1. Fascinating to see your breakdown. Congratulations on a strong month, and best of luck going forward!

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