2015 was my fifth full year of self-employment, and it was a big year of transition as I quit traveling the world and settled down in Amsterdam.
I still managed to visit ten countries in 2015, the same number as the year previous, but most of those happened within the first five months. Since June I’ve barely left Amsterdam, save for a couple of quick trips back to Ireland to visit family.
If you’re a regular visitor here you’ll know that I’ve been tracking all my income and expenditure since I quit my day job at the end of 2010, and sharing detailed monthly finance reports with my email subscribers.
Below I’ll share with you a summary of all my income and expenses from 2015.
|Housing & Utilities||€ 11,587||$ 12,730|
|Business Expenses||€ 5,442||$ 5,988|
|Food & Drink||€ 5,257||$ 5,777|
|Travel||€ 2,349||$ 2,600|
|Miscellaneous||€ 1,785||$ 1,955|
|Clothing||€ 1,123||$ 1,239|
|Gifts & Donations||€ 502||$ 548|
|Insurance||€ 402||$ 440|
|Books||€ 369||$ 409|
|Phone Credit||€ 336||$ 369|
|Movies/Cinema/Television||€ 157||$ 177|
|Toiletries||€ 120||$ 131|
|Gym Membership||€ 110||$ 123|
|Laundry||€ 62||$ 69|
|Total Expenses||€ 29,601||$ 32,555|
|2014 Totals||€ 20,286||$ 26,655|
As expected, it’s proving to be more expensive to live in one place than it is to travel the world indefinitely.
My expenses for the first five months of the year (i.e. when I was still traveling) averaged out at €1,842/month. But since moving to Amsterdam that average has jumped €2,913.
Of course, a big chunk of my expenses here in Amsterdam can be attributed to renting a nice apartment all by myself. I could find somewhere cheaper to live, but I like having my own, centrally-located place, and I’m happy to pay a premium for that.
|Freelance Web Design||€ 21,142||$ 23,263|
|Travel The World + Work Online (now 3M1K)||€ 8,921||$ 8,098|
|Gifts and Donations||€ 1,495||$ 1,634|
|Affiliate Income||€ 630||$ 685|
|Miscellaneous||€ 524||$ 586|
|Book Sales (via Amazon and ebizfacts.com)||€ 421||$ 462|
|Speaking Gigs||€ 389||$ 432|
|Google Adsense (via my YouTube videos)||€ 321||$ 356|
|The 1-Hour Website Webinar||€ 306||$ 332|
|Fake Flight Itinerary||€ 143||$ 160|
|Total Income||€ 33,469||$ 36,831|
|2014 Totals||€ 20,057||$ 26,328|
Thankfully my income rose in line with my expenses, even a bit more so.
As usual, freelance web design was my bread and butter. I made a good chunk from that despite working at it only part-time.
Other Numbers Of Interest
|Total cash and bank balances on January 1, 2015||€ 4,140||$ 5,009|
|Total cash and bank balances on December 31, 2015||€ 7,836||$ 8,509|
|Difference between those two numbers||+ € 3,696||+ $ 3,500|
|Money spent per day in 2015||€ 81.10||$ 89.19|
|Money earned per day in 2015||€ 91.70||$ 100.91|
|Lowest income month (November)||€ 311||$ 330|
|Highest income month (July)||€ 6,931||$ 7,612|
|Most expensive month (June)||€ 4,115||$ 4,571|
|Least expensive month (April)||€ 1,125||$ 1,257|
Here’s how I did throughout 2015 in terms of profit and loss:
- €174/$196 in January
- €2,170/$2,355 in February
- €608/$655 in March
- €1,366/$1,526 in April
- €389/$425 in May
- €1,422/$1,576 in June
- €2,945/$3,236 in July
- €689/$777 in August
- €1,686/$1,889 in September
- €1,031/$1,135 in October
- €2,104/$2,235 in November
- €276/$329 in December
- €3,696/$3,500 overall
They say you’ve really only learned something when your behavior changes. Anything before that is knowledge, and knowledge is useless unless acted upon.
Before 2015 I knew all about the importance of routine, but until I settled in one place and started hitting the gym every morning and chipping away at my business every day, I hadn’t really learned.
So that was the biggest thing I learned in 2015: the value of routine.
Life on the road was great for a few years, but it was also very distracting. If you really want to make progress towards your goals, knuckle down in one spot and get after it relentlessly, day after day after day.
And that might sound like a chore, but it’s not. I worked a lot more in 2015 than I did in 2014, but I’d say I was also more content.
A couple of clothing purchases spring to mind.
Back in June I dropped €115 on a pair of jeans that I’ve worn maybe two times since. And the following month I spent €40 on a nice white dress shirt that soon wouldn’t fit me because my boobs got all big from the gym.
A Few Photos From 2015
I plan to spend most of 2016 living in Amsterdam, and so I expect both my income and expenses to increase significantly from 2015.