Zack Lovatt

I focus on toolkitting, building custom studio pipelines, expression rigging projects, and creating data-driven animation workflows.

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January 25, 2018

Freelance Profit & Loss

Posted In: etc
How much does this nerd earn?

I’m one of those people who feel that sharing is caring. If people in general were more willing to share their rates, income, and business practices, it would be much easier for others to earn a fair salary, and artists would find stability much faster than they do now.

To that end, I’ve shared spreadsheets for a few years which detail my freelance profit and loss amounts, including invoice breakdowns, tax installment payments (when applicable), and all expenses.

Want more insight? Check out my Motionographer article about this post.

Here’s a quick overview. Read on for more details.

Below is a link to my overall profit & loss sheet showing trends from 2010 to 2017. From 2014 on, there are links to specific, detailed sheets for those years. Before then I wasn’t creating these sheets, so the data is pulled from my tax returns.

Have I made any dumb math mistakes? Let me know! These sheets mostly been created and used in a vacuum, and I’d love to hear any feedback on how these are constructed and laid out.

What’s with the weird censorship?

For the annual detailed sheets, throughout the year I have my own private sheet that I create and update regularly and provide to my accountant for tax return purposes. At the end of the year, I create a copy of this exact sheet and “black out” any private information such as client names and specific personal info (the company I pay rent to, the name of my lawyers and accountants, freelancer names, and so on). Otherwise, the sheet you can see is an exact mirror of my private one.

How come some years have “Salary/Job X” in addition to “Invoices”?

Generally, my income is a combination of self-employed income as well as “passive” income via selling add-ons for Adobe After Effects. Some years I take a staff position, so I have a salary on top of the self-employed income, some years I don’t.

The tax stuff seems weird…

Stop talking. Where are the links?

Overall Profit & Loss (2010 – 2019)

2019 Profit & Loss

2018 Profit & Loss

2017 Profit & Loss

2016 Profit & Loss

2015 Profit & Loss

2014 Profit & Loss

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  1. Andrei Popa • June 14, 2018

    I can not believe this... This is the first time that i see a freelancer be so honest about his incoming. Thal you for this information Zack. Wish you the best! Reply

  2. alixe • February 12, 2019

    I am impressed about the honesty, how nice and neat are your graphs and docs :) and millions of thanks for sharing this is invaluable the help. Reply

  3. Coen Brasser • August 2, 2019

    Really cool that you are sharing those numbers so openly, quite insightfully!

    Was wondering two things, do you do your actual accounting in google sheets(or is that just of sharing)?
    And what happens in 2013?

    On to more! Reply

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