An Indie Mac Business – Breaking Down the Year

Uncategorized Nov 23, 2014

Back in July, for reasons outlined in these two posts, I wrote about the financials of my indie Mac software business. With the year coming to a close, and with the prodding of a few friends, I thought I’d share where the money from my total yearly sales actually goes.

First, the big numbers.

If you read my original post on the topic, you’ll know that in 2013 my software grossed $58,093 in total sales. Since that’s the last complete year of sales data I have, we’ll start with that number. Where does the money go?

Immediately off the top is the commission I pay FastSpring for handling all of my e-commerce. FastSpring charges 8.9% per transaction. That’s quite high compared to a payment processor like Stripe (who I used to use exclusively), but FastSpring offers benefits beyond simply credit card processing that make them worth the extra cost.

So, $58,093 minus 8.9% leaves $53,600.

What are the costs of running my business? I do my best to run a lean ship, but here’s what I’m paying out each month…

  • Grasshopper for a virtual 800 number – $288/year
  • Hockey for beta testing and crash symbolication – $120/year
  • Adobe Photoshop – $120/year
  • Rackspace – One legacy server that I need to move to Linode – $216/year
  • Linode – My primary web server plus two proxy servers that run Lift Off – $600/year
  • DigitalOcean – One server where I host my GitLab installation – $240/year
  • Pingdom – Server monitoring – $108/year
  • Amazon Web Services – Static files stored in S3 – $48/year
  • MaxCDN – CDN for my web server – $70/year
  • Mailchimp – Mailing lists – $100/year (I pay-as-I-go rather than a monthly plan since I’m an infrequent sender.)
  • Domain names – $250/year
  • SSL certificates – $100/year
  • Apple Mac and iOS developer programs – $200/year

That’s everything that’s in my spreadsheet and off the top of my head. Like any business, there are other incidentals throughout the year, but that’s most of them. Grand total?


That brings our total down to $51,140.

Finally, taxes. I put aside 30% of every paycheck. Which leaves us with with $35,798 or 62% of what we started with.

My main goal for the new year is to finally grow up and get an actual accountant rather than handling everything myself with TurboTax. I know there are tax and payroll strategies I’m not taking advantage of that could save me real money.