Sales Exceed Salary (Scary Thought!)

I thought I was going to just miss being able to say this, but five customers bought copies of BCC overnight.  This brings BCC sales for February to $2,925.  

Now, looking at my February pay stub (which is pay for work done in January), the before-deductions sum of everything (base pay, housing allowance, travel allowance, overtime) is $2,890.

This isn’t quite as impressive as it might sound at first blush: Japanese salarymen generally get a biannual bonus which generally at my company amounts to 2.25 months of base pay each time, where base pay is about 75% of that top-line number.  It also doesn’t count that I had to pay expenses for BCC this month ($995), doesn’t count that self-employment would raise my taxes relative to regular employment, etc.

Still… yikes.  (I won’t tell you how many hours are required to get either of these numbers… principally because the difference is too depressing for words.)

Incidentally: the total salary of a programmer in his mid/late twenties in Japan is generally somewhere around the 4 million yen mark (~$40k USD).  It is considered fairly good for someone that age.  We’re crazy underpaid next to engineers in America, I know, I know — my family reminds me frequently.

No Responses to “Sales Exceed Salary (Scary Thought!)”

  1. Adriano (HabitShaper) February 28, 2009 at 8:18 pm #

    Your sales = Your salary. How is that a Scary Thought?

    I dream of the day I’ll be able to say that!
    Though with my grad student salary, it won’t take too long :)

    PS: I actually dropped by here because I remember I liked the very readable font you used in this blog, and wanted to switch mine to it.
    But it’s gone! Would you happen to know what it was?

  2. Sohail February 28, 2009 at 8:50 pm #

    “doesn’t count that self-employment would raise my taxes relative to regular employment, etc.”

    Is this a Japanese thing?

  3. Greg February 28, 2009 at 10:06 pm #

    Good going! Maybe someday you’ll exceed the foreign earned income tax exclusion ;^). Uncle Sam is never far behind is he?

  4. Patrick February 28, 2009 at 10:53 pm #

    Sohail: I suspect it would be similar if I paid Japanese income taxes on my uISV money, but my understanding is that it is US source income and I haven’t hit the qualifications for Japanese taxes on my uISV income yet.

    But in the US self-employment income has a special self-employment tax for Social Security and Medicaid, because you’re paying both your own payroll taxes and the half of the payroll tax that your employer usually kicks in to you. This means ~15% of your profits just vanished, have-a-nice-day.

    For 2008 I think I’m going to owe about a total of $1,300 of self-employment taxes, give or take.

  5. Patrick February 28, 2009 at 10:56 pm #

    Adriano — totally clueless about what font it was, actually, but the old blog was using the WordPress Sapphire theme. You can see the CSS for it here:

    That should tell you all the fonts it used.

  6. Sohail February 28, 2009 at 11:39 pm #

    Ah, I understand now. If your income from BCC == income from day job, then the income from day job is more efficient.

    For some reason, I read the above as “I am now withdrawing the same salary from BCC as my day job.” In which case, minus expenses and stuff, self-employment is more efficient.

    I guess I need to learn to read!

  7. Scott Kane March 1, 2009 at 2:39 am #

    Fantastic to hear, Patrick. Congratulations. May it continue to grow for you!

  8. Tony Edgecombe March 1, 2009 at 4:56 am #

    Interesting, $40K is barely above the average UK salary, way below what an experienced developer could earn here.

    Congratulations on your continued success with bcc though.

  9. Phil Newton March 1, 2009 at 8:01 am #

    Congratulations Patrick, that’s great news. Hope your sales continue to improve.

  10. DanH March 7, 2009 at 11:56 am #

    Congrats Patrick! The advice I got from my old supervisor when I talked with him about quitting my day job was “Don’t quit until your software sales income is double your current salary.” It was good advice! At least here in the US you really do need to earn more from your business than you would from a pay check. Not only is there the self-employment tax to deal with but usually you end up paying a lot more for medical insurance. That might not hit you too hard if you are young and single but for a middle-aged guy with a wife and kids it was good advice indeed to wait until my business was earning close to twice my salary.