How to Budget for Your Subscription Box and Make Money

Update: We now have a pricing guide calculator on the website to help you figure out box pricing.

Creating a budget for your new business is a necessary evil. If you’re anything like me, budgeting and playing around with numbers is actually a lot of fun. I love using online financial tools and seeing things change as I put numbers in and move them around. You might be rolling your eyes and wondering if you should in fact call that CPA you know down the road to do it for you – just hear me out.

Click to Download Budgeting Tool

Something that I’ve noticed established subscription box companies talk about all the time is how they wish they would have charged more for their box. Low price box companies like Birchbox can make you feel like charging more than $15 a month for a box is just out of the question – it doesn’t have to be. I mean for goodness sakes Monthly Express just launched and charges $129 a month (and it looks just to die for)!

That’s where this budgeting tool comes in. It’s supposed to help you figure out exactly what your box will cost you, how much to charge and what you can expect to make in year 1, 2 and 3.

So play around with the budget tool – figure out how much you should charge for your box and what your revenue could look like.

Click to Download Budgeting Tool

Here’s a quick guide to what everything means and how to use it if you find yourself not knowing where to start.

Shipping Carrier

Start with Shipping Carrier, then pick your estimated box weight and pick which cost you’d like to compare. Shipping carrier’s price shipments based on weight and how far away you’re shipping it – so you can pick (min) if most of your shipments will be close to home (avg) if it will be a mix and (max) if you just know everything you ship will be far away (or you want to plan for the worst).

Shameless Plug: Did you know that Cratejoy will be able to offer you better rates on shipping?! We’ve made deals, shaken hands and the end result is discounts for you.

Your Box

While you may choose to buy your physical boxes from anywhere the most popular place we’ve found is Uline. It’s super cheap and has amazing customer service. If you don’t know which size you want for your monthly box, you can actually have Uline send you one of each size you’re deciding between for free! You’ll notice next to the actual dimensions are suggested items that would fit in the box, to give you an idea of what size you’re working with. Keep in mind that most Uline boxes have a minimum purchase of 50 boxes and only come in increments of 20 or 50 depending on the item.

Cratejoy is an all in one subscription commerce platform that includes everything you need to start your own subscription commerce business online. Try it free for 14 days.

Credit Card Processing Fee

Expect to pay 2.9% for your processing fee from credit card processing companies. Just in case you’ve found a great deal somewhere else there are other options as well…also if you found a deal better than what I’ve included stop whatever you are doing and tell everyone so we can all get in on that deal.

Audience Size

Here’s where you can get an idea of how many customers you’ll get based on your current audience size. All the growth rates are based on market averages but you can change them if you have insane fans that you know will buy your stuff or you have a record of higher growth.

Yearly Expenses

Any other random expenses that come up throughout the year go here. You’ll also notice a chargeback percentage based on market average for eCommerce transactions.


The best for last. We’ve included year one, two and three because your business will grow if you keep at it. You might look at the first year and think – that is not enough! But wait! Look at year three! Does it start to look better now? That’s what I thought.

Have any questions or suggestions on the spreadsheet? Let me know and I can make adjustments. This is designed for you after all.

4 thoughts on “How to Budget for Your Subscription Box and Make Money

  1. Quick Question: The budgeting tools shipping is based off weight do you have a calculator based of cubic feet? Great Article

  2. Great article, the best pricing tool I have encountered. As an inexperience entrepreneur this tool has been very valuable. Great article, great tool, thanks.

  3. Hi Cratejoy! Did you realize the packaging materials are not accounted for in the calculation of the total cost of box? Thought you’d like to know 🙂

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