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July 2015 Finance Report

Well hello there o’ legendary email subscriber. This is my July finance report, prepared and delivered to you from the fine city of Amsterdam.

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.

Diving in…

July Expenses

Food & Drink

Eating out € 184 $ 202
Groceries € 219 $ 240
Total € 403
$ 442

Down from €476/$528 the the previous month. My goal for the month was to keep food and drink expenses under $500, so pretty happy with that. I’d like to keep it around the €400 mark consistently.

Housing & Utilities

2 month’s rent, Amsterdam apartment € 2,300 $ 2,526
Total € 2,300
$ 2,526

Not too far off last month’s total of €2,410/$2,682. I decided to go ahead and pay two month’s rent in advance so I wouldn’t have to worry about it in August.

Travel & Transport

Bicycle € 160 $ 175
Flights: Amsterdam to Cork (return) € 134 $ 147
Total € 294
$ 322

Up from €116/$128 spent on travel and transport in June. I had to buy a new bicycle to replace my first one here which was stolen. I didn’t stray too far from Amsterdam in July, but booked those flights for a trip home to Ireland in August.

Business Expenses

Gumroad fees € 353 $ 388
Virtual assistant (for help with webinar) € 104 $ 115
Affiliate commissions for Travel The World + Work Online € 92 $ 101
Facebook ads € 36 $ 40
Web design outsourcing € 32 $ 35
Zapier basic plan € 18 $ 20
SumoMe Scroll Box Pro € 18 $ 20
PayPal fees € 12 $ 13
Domains (registered with Dreamhost) € 10 $ 11
AWeber email marketing € 9 $ 10
Printing € 2 $ 2
Google Drive storage (100GB) € 2 $ 2
Stationary € 1 $ 1
Total € 690
$ 758

About the same as the €654/$725 I spent on business in June. Some notes on the above:

  • Gumroad is the payment processor I used to sell Travel The World + Work Online. It may seem like a lot to pay them but given the revenue figures (see later in this report) I’m quite happy to do it.
  • I needed a paid Zapier plan to get people who registered for my webinar last month on to an Aweber mailing list with minimal hassle.

Gifts & Donations

Jackie’s Healing Nepal fund € 14 $ 16
Olives for hotel reception € 5 $ 5
Total € 19
$ 21

Up from €3/$3 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.


Launch € 7 $ 8
Ask € 6 $ 6
Total € 13
$ 14

About the same spent on books as last month. I haven’t read Launch yet but skimmed through Ask this week and like the ideas in there a lot. You can see all my book recommendations over on Goodreads.


Long-sleeve thermal shirt € 50 $ 55
White dress shirt € 40 $ 44
Brown casual shoes € 20 $ 22
2 white undershirts € 16 $ 18
Total € 126
$ 139

Down from €148/$165 last month. This is actually the first time I have clothing as its own separate category in my finance report. I’ve given myself a clothing budget of €150/month here in Amsterdam, as I try to build up a nice little wardrobe after five years of living out of a backpack. I get to roll over anything unspent to the next month, so for August I have €176 to play with.

Miscellaneous Expenses

House plants € 43 $ 47
Canal boat rental € 31 $ 34
Amsterdam Arena tour € 16 $ 18
Rory’s Amsterdam walking tour € 10 $ 11
Padlock € 10 $ 11
Netflix subscription € 8 $ 9
Toiletries € 7 $ 8
Shower facilities at the beach € 6 $ 6
Sleep Yogi guided meditation € 4 $ 5
Postcard and stamp € 2 $ 2
Lightbulb € 2 $ 2
Total € 141
$ 154

Down from €290/$320 last month.

Expense Summary

Housing & Utilities € 2,300 $ 2,526
Business Expenses € 690 $ 758
Food & Drink € 403 $ 442
Travel & Transport € 294 $ 322
Miscellaneous expenses € 141 $ 154
Clothing € 126 $ 139
Gifts & Donations € 19 $ 21
Books € 13 $ 14
Total Expenses € 3,986
$ 4,376

Not too far off last month’s expense total of €4,124/$4,571. I was aiming to keep expenses under the $4k mark but didn’t quite make it.

July Income

Away from the minuses and on to the pluses…

Sales of Travel The World + Work Online € 6,595 $ 7,243
Freelance web design € 273 $ 300
Book sales (via Amazon) € 23 $ 25
Amazon affiliate income € 19 $ 21
Book sales (via ebizfacts.com/books) € 11 $ 12
Amazon Ach/Cred € 10 $ 11
Total Income € 6,931
$ 7,612

Way way up from €2,702/$2,995 in June, and also far beyond the $5k minimum I was aiming for. After almost five years of self-employment, this past month proved to be my highest earning and most profitable yet 🙂

Biggest regret?

Really the only thing I wasn’t happy with in July was spending $40 on Facebook ads. I didn’t do a great job of tracking the conversion on those ads so I don’t know if the investment gave me any kind of return.

Where that leaves me

I had €7,459/$8,268 to my name at the end of June. After applying the most recent exchange rates (I have accounts in EUR, HKD and USD), those totals shifted a little to €7,482/$8,218. Taking into account all my July income and expenditure, my total bank and cash balances now work out to €10,385/$11,406.

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
  • €389/$425 in May
  • €1,422/$1,576 in June
  • €2,945/$3,236 in July
  • €6,230/$6,817 overall

Outlook for August

My expense goal this month is to keep everything under $1,500, which should be doable since I don’t have any rent payment due nor other big expenses looming.

I expect my income will take a big dip from July. I don’t have the guide for sale anymore so I’m back to relying on freelance web design for the bulk of my earnings, but I’ll be missing two solid work weeks thanks to my trip back to Ireland. That said, I do have some client payments due from last month though so hitting the $2k mark isn’t unreasonable and should keep me on a green streak.

Feedback welcome

Thoughts? Questions? Speak up in the comments below.

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  1. I concur with Mathilda – the income/expenditure detail and analysis is so interesting. I wish I found my own accounts so riveting.

  2. Hi!

    Wow great job! I like the finance report. What app do you use to keep track of your daily expenses?
    Even now that you are based at one place do you intend to continue publishing your finace report? I hope so!!


  3. Why is the guide no longer for Sale? I would have thought that this would be an ongoing stream of revenue. I didn’t purchase your guide but will consider it in the future.

    1. Good question!

      I plan to relaunch the guide so you’ll be able to buy it again in future.

      It’s not still for sale for a few reasons:

      1) Constantly having it for sale means constantly attending to sales and marketing, which distract me from attending to the first group of buyers and making sure they have success with the guide. I also want to gather feedback from them and use that to improve the guide for the next release.

      2) I like to create a community, and this is easier to do with a group of people who buy the guide at about the same time. The first group of buyers are all in a Facebook group now and they will learn and grow together. If a new buyer was to join them in a week or two they’d feel like they’re behind the curve and out of place.

      3) For me personally, it’s more financially viable to relaunch the guide every few months rather than having it up for sale all the time. I can build buzz and make a big sales and marketing push every once in a while rather than trying to maintain it constantly. This should lead to more sales, which means I can afford to spend more time and money making the guide even better.