Enough to live or how much money you should earn?

Enough to live on or how much money should you make?Many startups worry about how much they need to earn to have enough to live on. However, the amount of income is also an issue for self-employed people who have been active for years.

Not only do you have to think about this in your business plan, you should do it later on as well. Unfortunately, there are enough self-employed people who work a lot but can’t get off the ground financially.

In this article I also think about income, expenses and getting rich on the internet. How much money should one earn?

Why you can’t get rich on the Internet


Of course, it is provocative of me to claim that you can’t get rich on the Internet. This is just what many new website owners and bloggers, YouTuber and Instagrammer, but also classic company owners expect from the Internet.

And there are so many examples, especially in the US, where young Internet founders have become millionaires overnight or at least earn five-figure incomes per month.

But the reality is different. Only the fewest become really rich and that mainly through other webmasters or bloggers who want to become rich. Websites and offers about "making money on the Internet" are one of the most profitable Internet niches. And unfortunately many of them are not particularly serious.

But it is possible to earn a living on the internet with enough commitment and know how. Be it directly with websites or indirectly by selling your own services and products over the internet.

But even if the Internet offers many advantages, which can be cleverly used to get more customers and thus more money, it is not much easier than in normal business life.

Earning money on the Internet – A question of attitude

First of all, the question of "earning money" is also a question of attitude. Some just want to publish content and make no money, others want to at least recoup their expenses, i.e. server costs, traffic, domains, etc..

And then there is the group to which I also belong. This group has to earn money with the Internet, because they are self-employed and there is no boss there (or the state) who transfers a fixed salary every month.

It should be clear that a self-employed person has a different attitude to earning money than someone who runs a website just for fun. Unfortunately, this is hardly understood by many idealists who condemn any attempts to make money with a website.

But what I always notice is that even self-employed people do not think about earning money with one hundred percent consistency and prefer to pursue their craft or their work. That’s okay, as long as the money will still last until the end of the month. Unfortunately, there are always examples where it is just not enough, especially when it comes to problems, such as z.B. Illness, comes.

Enough to live on is not enough!

The attitude that the income from self-employment should be enough to live on is simply wrong. This is related to the normal ups and downs of a self-employed person’s income.

The following factors influence the different levels of income:

  • Seasonal fluctuations in orders, customers, income
  • Fluctuating economy (rather long term, but also important)
  • Development of the competition in terms of offers, advertising and prices
  • The own health and that of the employees
  • etc.

Especially if you are self-employed on your own, you either have too many orders (resp. requests) or too few. Too many can not be fulfilled and must partly be refused. But it is difficult to compensate for too few and earns too little. The golden mean, with exactly the right number of orders and thus income, there is rather rare.

In addition, when calculating income, many self-employed and founders simply take the weekly working time and then calculate an approximate hourly rate from it.

So 8 hours x 20 days = 160 working hours per month. Do you want 3.000 euros, then you have to earn 18.75 euros per hour.

The reality looks different. So you usually work only 60-70% of your own working hours on projects that really make money. The rest of the time you spend with unpaid work, like writing offers, accounting, warranty, administration, bureaucracy, etc..

This alone leads to the fact that one should set his hourly rate higher and there the further above-mentioned risks of failure are not even included. You should also keep in mind that as a self-employed person you are responsible for your own pension plan and have to pay for your own health insurance. Not to mention other insurances and rising living costs. And of course you should not forget about the income tax.

Last but not least, as a hard-working self-employed person, you want to be able to afford something after your 12 or 14 hour working day. All this ensures that one should calculate much higher.

Thus, with a target of 3.000 Euro earnings per month (on average) at least 4.Aim for 500 Euro income. Due to the above factors, the hourly rate then also increases from 18.75 euros to at least 50 euros net. And that’s really the bottom line. Thus one will have times very good months, which then well compensate the bad months.

Vision and realism

Now some will say that this is often not even possible in today’s market situation and competition. Everywhere there is a great price pressure and all customers look only for the lowest price. All this is not wrong, but this is not an excuse. One is not self-employed to gnaw at the hunger stick, but to be able to live decently. To build something in the long term.

If the price war in your own niche is too big, you should look for alternatives:

  • Are there other areas that I can also serve, where there is less competition and price pressure?
  • Can I distinguish myself in my industry from the numerous competitors through certain offers, services, etc.?. take off so far that customers are willing to pay higher prices?
  • Can I generate more permanent revenue instead of constantly having to fight for new customers?
  • etc.

There are many ways to earn more than the bare minimum despite competition and self-employed should definitely have a vision. A vision of where they want to be in 3 or 5 years and what they want to earn then. Such a vision helps to make difficult decisions and to set the right course in the long run.

And here the circle closes again. Getting rich quick can be possible, but will not work out for most people. It is more important to think long term and to set financial goals that go beyond "it should be enough to live on". Then you do not have to be afraid of a period of illness or retirement.

What experiences have you made in this regard? Have just enough to live on or does it look better to target? What tips can you give from your own experience?

My name is Peer Wandiger. I’ve been self-employed on the web for more than 15 years and run many of my own blogs, websites, podcasts and YouTube channels.

Here in the blog you will find more than 3.000 articles from me about making money on the Internet, the best articles from over 15 years, all about me and much more.


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