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I'm Mara — I help creatives create and launch digital courses and profitable products. I love chatting about online marketing, design and goal setting!

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Monthly Recap

December 2023 Income Report + Monthly Recap

It’s a brand new year – hello 2024!

I’m kicking off the year by sharing my income report for last month, December 2023.

If you’re curious how the year went as a whole I have a full blog post sharing my 2023 recap – including how much money I made last year, what worked well and what my biggest challenges were.

In case you haven’t read one of my monthly income reports this is a post where I share all the behind-the-scenes details about how the last month went for me in business. 

In this post I’ll cover: 

  • What I accomplished during the month
  • My goals for January
  • How much money my business made 
  • What worked well this month 
  • What felt hard 
  • What I’m doing to grow my business and income 

You can read all of my past income reports here.

How did my goals from last month go? 

1. Create a Christmas Bucket List – Done!

We made a Christmas bucket list filled with a bunch of fun activities like making Christmas cookies, watching Christmas movies and driving around to see the holiday lights. It was really fun to check things off and great to make some new memories as a family of three! 

2. SEO Research and podcast planning for 2024 – In Progress

I spent time this month surveying my audience and doing a lot of SEO research to see what topics I should create content around. I’m still sorting through all of the data and my audience survey is open for a couple of more weeks.

If you haven’t taken my survey yet, click here and let me know what type of content you enjoy consuming. 

3. Create a new free resource: 50 Ways to Improve Your Online Course – Didn’t even start it!

I had planned on pulling together a new email opt-in about how to improve your online course, but December completely flew by and I never got around to this. 

4. Try out a new childcare system – Done!

My husband started taking our daughter to his parent’s house one day a week to give me a full day to focus on work. This has been AMAZING! The first time I had a full day to myself I felt like a brand new person. I’m 3 months into motherhood and there have been very few breaks these last few months. Having a day where I can completely focus on work felt amazing. This is something we are going to continue into the new year.

5. Start booking 2024 podcast guests – In Progress

I have my first handful of podcast guests booked for next year, but overall I’m going to be taking on a really limited number of guest interviews in the first half of next year. I’m still very much in the chaotic baby season and my calendar isn’t always predictable right now. It’s a lot easier to record solo episodes since I can record them any time of day.  

6. Find a new budgeting software – Done!

…or at least I finally decided I am going to give YNAB (You Need a Budget) a try. In the past, I used Mint to track spending and our budget, but Mint is retiring soon which means I needed to find a new solution. I had a bunch of great recommendations for different budgeting tools but I ultimately decided to give YNAB a test because it seems to be the best one for budgeting your money out into the future. I really like being able to create little savings buckets for future expenses I know are coming up.

7. Create a newborn favorites blog post – Didn’t finish!

I did start the rough draft of this one, but it was never finalized and got lost in the holiday shuffle.

Other things that happened in December: 

  • My parents came to town to visit for a week 
  • I set up a college fund for my daughter
  • Our daughter (12 weeks old) started sleeping better – everyone in our house is getting so much more sleep. After 10 weeks of waking up with her every 2 to 3 hours, she started sleeping longer stretches! Life is better when you get to sleep! 
  • My husband and I went on a goal-setting date for 2024 and spent the evening talking about all of our hopes and dreams for next year
  • I took two full weeks off for the holidays

What worked well this month

1. Defining who was responsible for childcare better – This month my husband and I sat down and created a more consistent daily schedule of who is responsible for baby duty. I typically cover the early morning shift, then at the 10am feeding we switch and he covers most of the late morning and afternoon. In the evenings after dinner, we rotate who is in charge of bedtime and switch every other day. This has given me a lot more freedom and makes it easier for both of us because you don’t have to ask the other person if they can watch the baby. You just follow the schedule!

2. Batching my podcast social media posts when the episode is recorded – I used to create social media posts (and the emails too) for podcast episodes once the episode was edited and getting ready to air. Now I’ve been batching more of the episode production in one go so I’ll often record the episode, send it to my editor, write the email that goes along with it and get started on the social media pieces that way it’s all ready a lot farther in advance.

3. Asking people what they wanted for Christmas and sharing what we wanted with others –  Gift giving honestly kind of stresses me out and with a brand new baby my husband and I had less time for shopping than ever before. This year we asked everyone in our families what they wanted super early. My family and I even ended up creating a shared Google Doc where everyone could dump links and ideas. This helped take a lot of stress off of everyone this holiday season.  

What felt hard this month

1. Balancing work and mom life – This is probably going to be on my list forever but it’s really challenging balancing work with motherhood. When I’m watching our baby I think about work and when I’m working I think about her. It’s something I’m getting better and better at but it’s still challenging and confusing.

2. Getting sick –
My husband and I came down with a bad cold halfway through the month and I got my first experience of “there are no breaks when you’re a parent.” It was a rough week with both of us sick and a tiny baby to take care of.

3. Living far away from family – Both my husband and I grew up in the Midwest but we moved to Florida 10 years ago. Our family is spread out all over the country and I’m finding more and more I wish my parents were close by or that it was easier to see my sister without having to get on a plane.

How Much Money I Made This Month: 

$6,141 – This is a combination of one-to-one client work, affiliate income and coaching calls. 

You can read about exactly how my business makes money and the different income streams I have here

Podcast Episodes I Released in December: 

Subscribe to my podcast, Create a Better Course on Apple or Spotify

My Goals for January:

1. Batch record podcast episodes – Before my maternity leave I pre-recorded a bunch of episodes, but I’m running out of new podcast episodes and this month I want to spend some time getting ahead on my editorial calendar

2. Track our spending and create a new budget – You saw above where I talked about finding a new budgeting software. This month I want to keep trying out YNAB, track all of our spending and also redo our budget. With a baby, we now have a bunch of extra categories of things we spend money on. Plus I like to redo our budget at the beginning of the year and see if there’s anywhere we can cut back on spending.  

3. Plan for a BFF trip – My best friend is coming to visit in February and I need to make a plan of the activities we want to do together. This is my lifelong best friend who I’ve known since I was a freshman in high school. We live 1500 miles apart so when we do get to see each other we like to make the most of it! 

4. Set up for The Systems and Magic Workflow Bundle – In February I’m going to be a part of Dolly DeLong’s bundle all about launching. There are a few backend things I need to set up for it like emails and social media posts. You can take a peek at the bundle and join the waitlist here.

5. Work my way through Podcast Success Blueprint –
One of my big goals for the year is to grow my podcast, Create a Better Course and as part of that goal I joined Elizabeth McCravy’s podcast course, Podcast Success Blueprint. I want to make sure this month I’m spending some dedicated time to work through the lessons and start taking action on some of the podcast to-do list items I have on my list. 

6. Setup a new client website – One of my bigger projects this month is setting up a new website for a client’s online course. The course has been around for years but it’s grown the last several years and we have big plans to continue growing it so we’re setting up a dedicated website that will give us more space to create free resources, host the course and more!  

All of the software and tools I use to run my business:

Productivity and Goal-Setting Tools:

Social Media: 

  • Your Template Club – Canva templates for Instagram and Facebook that you can easily customize 
  • ManyChat – For sending automated messages on Instagram and Facebook
  • Metricool – To schedule posts on Instagram and Facebook  
  • Tailwind – For scheduling Pinterest pins 
  • Canva – To create graphics
  • Ring Light – The ring light and tripod I use to film content 


  • Riverside – Recording podcast episodes and interviews 
  • Libsyn – Where I host my podcast episodes 
  • Microphone – For recording podcasts, events and videos 
  • Calendly – To schedule guest interviews 

Email Marketing: 


Finance and Money:

I hope you have a great January! I’ll be back next month to report back on how everything went. 

*This post may contain affiliate links.