Salutări to all you legendary email subscribers.

Welcome to my January finance report. 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.

Let’s dive in…

January Expenses

Food and Drink

Groceries € 141
Pubs, Coffee Shops, Restaurants, Take-aways € 248
Total € 389

Up a little from the €346 I spent in December, but I have to say I’m quite pleased that it’s not a lot higher since I cooked less and ate out much more in January.

Housing and Utilities

24 nights at the Loft Hostel, Budapest € 266
2 nights at Paprika Hostel, Budapest € 51
1 night at Tiger Tim’s Hostel, Budapest € 18
Total € 335

This was just €47 last month, as I was staying at a friend’s apartment most of the time. January was almost all hostels for me. All three listed above were great, but I do have an especially soft spot for the Loft Hostel. Really enjoyed the few weeks I spent there.


Train from Budapest to Cluj (first class) € 51
Budapest Metro tickets € 29
Sleeper train from Cluj to Bucharest € 28
Taxis in Cluj € 15
Total € 123

This amounted to €223 in December, mostly due to visa and vaccination expenses. I didn’t have to worry about any of that stuff in January, and instead spent some money on actually moving to different places. I booked first class to Cluj so I could get some work done on the train. Turned out pretty good.

Business Expenses

WooThemes Developer Club (monthly subscription) € 15
MS Remote Desktop (monthly subscription) € 15
Ecwid shopping cart (for $50 Blogs, monthly subscription) € 14
AWeber email marketing (extra charge for 500+ subscribers) € 8 (monthly subscription) € 3
Total € 55

Way down from the €199 I spent in December.

A quick note about affiliate links
I link to everything I use so you can go ahead and check out the products and services for yourself. However, I only become an affiliate for products and services that I actually like and am happy to recommend. If you click through and buy something via my affiliate links, it doesn’t cost you anything extra, but I get a percentage of the sale price. Please don’t buy anything unless you have a clear need for it.

Gifts and Donations

Amazon gift card for DtR Facebook contest € 19
Amazon gift card as thanks for client referral € 15
Donation to Niall Maxwell € 12
Donation to Unlimited Smileage € 8
Chocolates for Loft Hostel and Hummus Bar people € 5
Various street donations to homeless € 5
Paying forward my last Forints before leaving Budapest € 2
Birthday beers for a friend € 2
Total € 68

I’ve decided to give gifts and donations their own special spot in these reports, since I want to focus more on giving in 2012. I’m aiming to donate 10% of my total earnings over the course of the year.

Miscellaneous Expenses

New jeans € 57
Doctor visit in Budapest € 39
Phone credit € 26
Hungarian bath house admission (so good) € 13
Medication € 13
Book: Never Eat Alone € 12
Book: The Vegetarian Myth € 7
Toiletries € 7
Winter hat € 5
Laundry service at hostel € 5
Subscription to Raam Dev’s Journal € 5
Ice skating € 3
Club entry in Budapest € 2
Kindle Single: Lying by Sam Harris € 2
Club cloakroom € 2
Club toilet € 1
Total € 199

Up from the €108 I spent on miscellaneous bits and pieces in December.

Expense Summary

Food and Drink € 389
Housing and Utilities € 335
Travel € 123
Business Expenses € 55
Gifts and Donations € 68
Miscellaneous expenses € 199
Total Expenses € 1169

Nice! I was able to keep my expenses to triple figures in December. Last month I went a little over the 1k mark, spending €1062.

January Income

Away from the minuses and on to the pluses…

Freelance web design € 692
$50 Blogs € 223
Google Adsense (on € 120
A Course In Courage € 45
Aweber affiliate payment € 39
Donations (muchas gracias!) € 15 affiliate payment € 11
Total Income € 1,145

I didn’t quite cover my expenses, but I’m quite happy to have broken the €1k mark again in January while making a conscious effort to spend less time in front of the computer. In all, I estimate I had about 40-50 hours less screen time compared to December, and so managed to do some fun things instead of being stuck in front of the computer all day, every day.

Also, I again didn’t need to spend any time pitching for freelance gigs, as cool clients are still approaching me instead of me having to go find them.

Where that leaves me

I had €3,864 to my name at the end of December. After applying the most recent exchange rates (I have accounts in both Dollars and Euros), that had decreased slightly to €3,803. Taking into account all my January expenses and earnings, my total bank and cash balances now work out to €3,774.

Let’s start a new list to keep track of how I do month-by-month in 2012:

  • €24 in January

Outlook for February

I have no idea what to expect this month, as I gear up for my craziest few weeks of travel thus far. If all goes to plan, I should be in India before March hits, but to get there I need to pass through some big, mysterious countries, like Turkey and Iran. I’m not sure what to expect in terms of food and accommodation prices, and it might be tricky at times to get online and do some solid work to keep the income flowing.

Stay tuned, should be an adventure 😉

Feedback welcome

Let me know your thoughts on these reports. Do you find the info helpful? Would you like more detail? Less? If you’re self-employed yourself, I’d also love to hear about your financial adventures.