Well hello there o’ legendary email subscriber. This is my February finance report, as prepared from the magical land of New Orleans.
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. Keep in mind that I stayed put in New Orleans for the entire month.
Food and Drink
|Eating out||€ 233||$ 253|
|Groceries||€ 228||$ 247|
Up a little from the previous month, when I spent €417/$471. Food ain’t cheap in America. Tough to eat out here for less than $10 a meal.
Housing and Utilities
|2 weeks’ rent for room in New Orleans||€ 194||$ 210|
|Total||€ 194||$ 210|
Down from €316/$357 last month when I was traveling through Central America. I’m very grateful to friends here in New Orleans for letting me crash with them for free for a couple of weeks, and then another friend for hooking me up with a cheap place to rent.
|3 months of travel insurance from World Nomads||€ 202||$ 219|
|Streetcar in New Orleans||€ 1||$ 1|
|Total|| € 203
Way down from €658/$743 last month. Not traveling really helps keep those travel expenses down. Who’d a thunk?
|Web design outsourcing||€ 203||$ 220|
|PayPal fees||€ 45||$ 49|
|AWeber email marketing||€ 28||$ 30|
|oDesk withdrawal fee||€ 1||$ 1|
|Total||€ 277||$ 300
Up from the €108/$122 I spent on business in January.
Gifts and Donations
|Book for a friend: The Gift of Fear||€ 6||$ 6|
|Total||€ 6||$ 6|
Up from nothing last 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.
|New Orleans Boom & Blackout||€ 20||$ 22|
|Total||€ 20||$ 22|
Down from €58/$65 in January. You can see all my book recommendations over on Goodreads. I’m aiming to read 100 books this year but February and March have been slow with all the work and socializing.
|Doctor visit in New Orleans||€ 138||$ 150|
|Jacket||€ 80||$ 87|
|Bicycle repairs||€ 55||$ 60|
|Phone credit||€ 49||$ 53|
|Prescription medication for diarrhea||€ 46||$ 50|
|Light hoody||€ 26||$ 28|
|Grey Long Sleeve Sweater||€ 15||$ 16|
|Charcoal Long Sleeve Sweater||€ 15||$ 16|
|Toiletries||€ 15||$ 16|
|T-Mobile SIM card||€ 15||$ 16|
|Cover to see Rebirth Brass Band||€ 14||$ 15|
|Club entries in New Orleans||€ 14||$ 15|
|Scarf||€ 13||$ 14|
|Tuxedo measurements||€ 9||$ 10|
|Cape||€ 9||$ 10|
|T-shirt||€ 6||$ 6|
|T-shirt||€ 5||$ 6|
|Wooly hat||€ 5||$ 5|
|Earplugs||€ 4||$ 5|
|Megaphone NOLA comedy show||€ 4||$ 5|
|iTunes movie rental: True Grit||€ 3||$ 3|
|Total||€ 540||$ 586|
Way up from €216/$244 last month. I finally splashed out and bought some nice clothes for myself so I look a little less like a ragged backpacker.
|Miscellaneous expenses||€ 540||$ 586|
|Food and Drink||€ 461||$ 500|
|Business Expenses||€ 277||$ 300|
|Travel||€ 203||$ 220|
|Housing and Utilities||€ 194||$ 210|
|Books||€ 20||$ 22|
|Gifts and Donations||€ 6||$ 6|
|Total Expenses||€ 1,700
Down a bit from January’s expense total of €1,774/$2,002. My goal was to keep expenses under the $2k mark, so I was just about there.
Away from the minuses and on to the pluses…
|Freelance web design||€ 3,670||$ 3,982|
|Paid interview||€ 74||$ 80|
|Amazon gift card||€ 65||$ 70|
|Reader donations (muchas gracias!)||€ 41||$ 45|
|Book sales: The Cargo Ship Diaries (direct from ebizfacts.com)||€ 20||$ 22|
|Total Income||€ 3,870
Almost double January’s income total of €1,948/$2,198. I was hoping to hit the $5k mark but not all my freelance payments came through before the end of the month. That gives me a good head start on March though 😉
Nothing major. One of the clubs I went to in New Orleans was a waste of money, didn’t stay long. I also spent $60 repairing the bicycle I borrowed from a friend. For an extra $20 or so I could have probably bought a new bike.
Where that leaves me
I had €4,389/$4,953 to my name at the end of January. After applying the most recent exchange rates (I have accounts in EUR, HKD and USD), those totals shifted a little to €4,439/$4,814. Taking into account all my January income and expenditure, my total bank and cash balances now work out to €6,533/$7,085.
Here’s how I’m doing so far this year:
- €174/$196 in January
- €2,170/$2,355 in February
- €2,344/$2,551 overall
I should mention that February was the fourth consecutive month that I finished in the green (i.e. I earned more than I spent). I don’t believe I ever had four consecutive green months since becoming self-employed in 2010. Feels good. Let’s hope I can keep it going!
Outlook for March
As mentioned, I got a good head start on the income thanks to some client payments coming through at the beginning of the month. I don’t plan to work as much in March as I did the previous two months, but I may still crack the $4k mark.
As for expenses, I’ll be pretty happy if I can keep everything under $2.5k. Housing and utilities will definitely be higher, and I’ll be out and about doing more social/entertainment stuff.
Thoughts? Questions? Speak up in the comments below.