The hubby and I just sat down to look at our taxes this weekend. We had to gather up our W-2’s and all that other fun information to give to the IRS. Since I’m self-employed as a writer, I had to go through my business transactions and put them into categories. I’m kind of astounded by how much I spent last year. I don’t feel like I did much, but all those little things add up quickly.

What little things? The postage, the website maintenance, the office supplies, etc. Since I’m a total nerd, I made a pie chart of where my money went last year. No dollar amounts here, just a general idea of what writers spend money on. (Not to say that this is how most writers do or should spend their money.)

2012WritingExpensesPieChart

 

This is the first time I’ve really paid attention to what I’m spending and taking in. Being pregnant and having twins in 2011 made me Not Myself, so I didn’t keep up with things like I should have. I’m going to do better in the future and keep my costs down. I think it’ll be easier because, as a newbie author these past two years, I’ve been expirementing with different things (website ads, Facebook ads, promo materials, etc.) to figure out what works for me and what doesn’t.

Obviously, my agent fee is the biggest expense, but I don’t mind that at all. She is worth every shiny penny! (I should do a post sometime about how much I love my agent and agency.)

If I combine my travel and CE/conference expenses, that’s a big chunk of change, too. Most of that is spent on the RT Booklovers Convention, which I’m going to again this year. When I see how big an expense that is, I’m not sure it’s worth it. I mean, it’s fun, and it’s great to meet so many enthusiastic readers, but I almost feel like I’m there more as a fangirl than as an author, since I’m pretty much a nobody and, um, I’m kind of quiet in large groups. We’ll see how this year goes.  I might skip out next year and do the RWA Conference instead, since it’s in San Antonio.

The website expenses I should be able to reduce significantly. I think I have it set up the way I want; I just need to get off my lazy butt and keep the thing updated.

If you’re a writer and want to share where your money goes, I’d love to see how we compare. You can leave a link in the comments to your blog post and I’ll check it out. To make this pie chart, I went to Create-a-Graph. It’s super easy. Just be sure to click “No Labels” before you download so you’re not posting dollar amounts.

All right. I’ve exercised the nerdy part of my brain. It’s time to let my creative side free and get some editing done before I have to pick up my kids. I haven’t accomplished anything yet, writing-wise, because of the tax stuff and some freezer cooking. I made blueberry muffins that are yummy (and they darn well should be after how much sugar goes into them!) and then I made some sausage, egg, and cheese breakfast burritos. I’m curious to see how the latter turn out.