Well hello there o’ legendary email subscriber. This is my April finance report, as prepared from a fine hostel in Barcelona named Bon Moustache.
As usual, I’ll share with you all the details of my finances below, along with a few notes that I think you’ll find interesting. April saw me move continents as I started off in New Orleans, moved across and down through Florida, then caught a cruise across the Atlantic to Barcelona.
Food and Drink
|Eating out||€ 167||$ 187|
|Groceries||€ 105||$ 117|
Way down from the previous month, when I spent €691/$744. The big dip was largely thanks to having paid for the cruise a couple of months ago, and all my meals for eleven days were included. I was also lucky enough to have friends and family treat me to a bunch of meals throughout the month.
Housing and Utilities
|Don Moustache Hostel, Barcelona (deposit for 8 nights)||€ 26||$ 29|
|Total||€ 26||$ 29|
Also way down from last month. I spent €1,372/$1,477 on housing and utilities in April. I had pretty much all my accommodation prepaid, including rent in New Orleans and of course the cabin aboard the cruise ship. My mother also treated me to some hotel stays in Florida and Barcelona.
|Cruise ship service charges + additional fees||€ 184||$ 206|
|2-day car rental in Florida (fuel, tolls, parking, etc.)||€ 126||$ 141|
|Taxis in Orlando||€ 40||$ 45|
|Taxis in Miami||€ 27||$ 30|
|Shuttle bus in Funchal||€ 9||$ 10|
|Total|| € 387
About the same as the €342/$368 spent on travel the previous month. The cruise ship was more expensive than expected with the service charges and such.
|Web design outsourcing||€ 121||$ 135|
|PayPal fees||€ 26||$ 29|
|Keynote software||€ 19||$ 21|
|AWeber email marketing||€ 9||$ 10|
|Total||€ 175||$ 195
About the same as the €169/$182 I spent on business in March.
Gifts and Donations
|Coffee for a friend||€ 5||$ 5|
|Tip for bowling attendant on cruise||€ 4||$ 5|
|Total||€ 9||$ 10|
Way down from the €71/76 I spent on gifts and donations the previous month. I no longer have a specific goal for donations (I used to try give away 15% of my income), having decided to focus on building up a decent savings cushion before trying to save the world.
|The Churchill Factor||€ 12||$ 13|
|We Learn Nothing||€ 12||$ 13|
|Essentialism||€ 11||$ 12|
|Search Inside Yourself||€ 11||$ 12|
|10% Happier||€ 10||$ 11|
|The Effective Executive||€ 9||$ 10|
|Philosophy For Life And Other Dangerous Situations||€ 9||$ 10|
|Sam Walton: Made In America||€ 7||$ 8|
|Mockingbird||€ 5||$ 6|
|What You Should Have Learned About Money But Never Did||€ 4||$ 5|
|Total||€ 90||$ 100|
Big jump from the €9/$10 spent on books in March. I bought quite a few in anticipation of all my time offline aboard the cruise ship. You can see all my book recommendations over on Goodreads.
|Phone credit||€ 47||$ 53|
|Government stamp duty on AIB credit card||€ 29||$ 32|
|Toiletries||€ 13||$ 15|
|Bowling (on cruise ship)||€ 13||$ 14|
|Laundry||€ 12||$ 13|
|The Moth StorySLAM in New Orleans||€ 9||$ 10|
|Internet cafe (on cruise ship)||€ 8||$ 9|
|Comedy show in New Orleans||€ 5||$ 5|
|iTunes movie rental: Birdman||€ 5||$ 5|
|iTunes movie rental: John Wick||€ 4||$ 5|
|Amazon movie rental: Gone Girl||€ 4||$ 5|
|Sports shorts||€ 4||$ 4|
|Amazon movie rental: The Imitation Game||€ 4||$ 4|
|iTunes movie rental: Super 8||€ 3||$ 4|
|Amazon movie rental: Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol||€ 3||$ 3|
|iTunes movie rental: Drive||€ 2||$ 3|
|iTunes movie rental: Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes||€ 2||$ 3|
|Total||€ 167||$ 187|
Way down from €582/$627 the previous month. I binged a bit on movies, but that’s okay 🙂
|Travel||€ 387||$ 432|
|Food and Drink||€ 272||$ 304|
|Business Expenses||€ 175||$ 195|
|Miscellaneous expenses||€ 167||$ 187|
|Books||€ 90||$ 100|
|Housing and Utilities||€ 26||$ 29|
|Gifts and Donations||€ 9||$ 10|
|Total Expenses||€ 1,125
Almost a third of the €3,236/$3,484 total expenses from the previous month. I was hoping to keep everything under $1.5k, so very happy with how it shook out.
Away from the minuses and on to the pluses…
|Freelance web design||€ 1,932||$ 2,158|
|Speaking Gigs||€ 286||$ 320|
|Google Adsense (YouTube)||€ 77||$ 86|
|Travel Consultation||€ 72||$ 80|
|Reader donations (muchas gracias!)||€ 54||$ 60|
|Amazon affiliate income||€ 37||$ 41|
|Book sales (via Amazon)||€ 21||$ 24|
|Book sales (direct from ebizfacts.com)||€ 10||$ 11|
|Amazon Ach/Cred||€ 3||$ 3|
|Total Income||€ 2,491
Down quite a bit from my March income total of €3,844/$4,139, but I exceeded my goal of $2k. Not bad considering I spent almost half the month offline!
April was also saw the first time I’ve ever been paid for speaking. I delivered two talks on my travels while in New Orleans, and they went pretty well. I might look at doing more along those lines in future.
I can’t say I have any financial regrets from April. I kept my expenses low without being super-frugal and earned a good chunk despite spending a lot of time offline.
Where that leaves me
I had €7,289/$7,848 to my name at the end of March. After applying the most recent exchange rates (I have accounts in EUR, HKD and USD), those totals shifted a little to €7,193/$8,036. Taking into account all my April income and expenditure, my total bank and cash balances now work out to €8,524/$9,522.
Here’s how I’m doing so far this year:
- €174/$196 in January
- €2,170/$2,355 in February
- €608/$655 in March
- €1,366/$1,526 in April
- €4,318/$4,732 overall
April was the sixth consecutive month that I finished in the green (i.e. I earned more than I spent), extending my best streak since quitting my day job in 2010.
Outlook for May
Income will likely take a big dip as I haven’t been working much so far this month and will be home visiting family for the final two weeks. $1k is probably realistic. $1.5k would be very nice.
Once again, my goal for expenses will simply be to keep them lower than income. My expenses the latter half of the month will be very low as I’ll be living back home with my parents before the move to Amsterdam, but living and traveling through Spain and France these first two weeks isn’t cheap. Realistically, I think under $1.3k is a good goal.
Thoughts? Questions? Speak up in the comments below.