Bem-vindo o’ legendary email subscriber. This is my June finance report, as prepared from my apartment (aka Casa Gringo) in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
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 spent the entire month living here in BH. Diving in…
Food and Drink
|Eating out||€ 132||$ 180|
|Groceries||€ 217||$ 297|
About the same as the €335/$456 I spent in May. I thought I’d spend less here since I’ve been cooking most of my own meals, but groceries aren’t cheap, especially when I’m trying to eat healthy (i.e. lots of fresh fruit and veg). Not sure I can eat much cheaper in Brazil without an unreasonable measure of inconvenience.
Housing and Utilities
|Rent at Casa Gringo in Belo Horizonte (1 month)||€ 494||$ 676|
|Total||€ 494||$ 676|
Down from €845/$1,152 last month, when I spent quite a bit on accommodation while traveling through Bolivia and Brazil. The rent on our apartment here in BH is very high, but about as good a deal as can be found for short-term rentals during the World Cup.
|Taxis in Belo Horizonte||€ 14||$ 19|
|Local bus in Belo Horizonte||€ 2||$ 3|
|Total||€ 16||$ 22|
Way down from €180/$246 last month, since I didn’t leave Belo Horizonte at all in June. A welcome change from all the moving about I was doing the previous month!
|Web design outsourcing||€ 365||$ 500|
|Dreamhost web hosting||€ 87||$ 119|
|PayPal fees||€ 63||$ 86|
|AWeber email marketing||€ 58||$ 79|
|Bidsketch (one month subscription)||€ 21||$ 29|
|Skype credit||€ 18||$ 25|
|Domain renewal||€ 10||$ 13|
|Total||€ 622||$ 851
Down a little from €687/$936 in May. Bidsketch is a web app that helps speed up the process of creating and submitting web design proposals to potential clients.
Gifts and Donations
|Total||€ 0||$ 0|
Same as May, and way short of my goal to donate 15% of my income each month. I’ve been holding back on the donations for several months now. In 2013 gave away $7,000 and ended up minus about that much for the year. While I’ll still try to hit that 15% mark overall this year, I won’t be selling myself short to do it.
|Great by Choice||€ 12||$ 16|
|Daily Rituals||€ 9||$ 12|
|The Lessons of History||€ 8||$ 11|
|Neverwhere||€ 2||$ 3|
|Wooden||€ 1||$ 2|
|Total||€ 32||$ 44|
Up from zero spent on books last month. I had cut back on the reading (my usual pace is a book a week), but found I was really missing it. Quick reviews:
- Great by Choice: Excellent, research-based business book with clear takeaways.
- Daily Rituals: Fascinating look at the daily routines of famous creatives.
- The Lessons of History: Difficult to find clear takeaways from this one.
- Neverwhere: Fantasy novel. Not my cup of tea.
- Wooden: Deep wisdom in here. Worth reading several times.
|Olk casual shoes||€ 42||$ 57|
|Club and bar entry fees in Belo Horizonte||€ 26||$ 35|
|Phone credit||€ 23||$ 31|
|Forro dance classes (4)||€ 13||$ 18|
|3 pairs of sports socks||€ 9||$ 13|
|Cinema: X-Men Days of Future Past||€ 9||$ 12|
|Toiletries||€ 6||$ 8|
|Tailor fee for stitching up the arse of my pants||€ 6||$ 8|
|Air fresheners||€ 5||$ 8|
|Laundry detergent||€ 2||$ 3|
|Superglue||€ 2||$ 3|
|Total||€ 143||$ 196|
Down from the €616/$840 I spent on miscellaneous in May.
|Food and Drink||€ 349||$ 477|
|Housing and Utilities||€ 494||$ 676|
|Travel||€ 16||$ 22|
|Business Expenses||€ 622||$ 851|
|Gifts and Donations||€ 0||$ 0|
|Books||€ 32||$ 44|
|Miscellaneous expenses||€ 143||$ 196|
|Total Expenses||€ 1,656||$ 2,266|
Down quite a bit from May’s expense total €2,663/$3630.
I can’t say I have any spending regrets from last month. Of course I’d rather my rent was cheaper and groceries weren’t so expensive, but like I said, I don’t think it’s possible to reduce those expenses without going to a lot of time and effort.
Away from the minuses and on to the pluses…
|Freelance web design||€ 1,385||$ 1,895|
|Book sales from Amazon||€ 361||$ 494|
|World Nomads insurance payout||€ 352||$ 482|
|Coaching||€ 351||$ 480|
|Reader donations (muchas gracias!)||€ 91||$ 124|
|Amazon affiliate income||€ 63||$ 86|
|Book sales: The Cargo Ship Diaries (direct from ebizfacts.com)||€ 48||$ 65|
|Chase credit card rewards credit||€ 38||$ 52|
|Total Income||€ 2,689||$ 3,678|
More than double the €1,269/$1,730 I pulled in the previous month.
I’m actually a little disappointed with those totals, as I felt I worked non-stop in June and should really have more to show for it. I’ve been (re)learning some hard lessons about pricing and client management.
The insurance payout was for my €472/$643 hospital bill in Bolivia at the start of May.
The big payment from Amazon was due to sales of The Cargo Ship Diaries when it was first released in April. The book has done quite well overall — especially considering my shoddy marketing efforts — selling a few hundred copies and earning overwhelmingly positive reviews.
Where that leaves me
I had €1,642/$2,239 to my name at the end of May. After applying the most recent exchange rates (I have accounts in EUR, HKD and USD), those totals shifted a little to €1,637/$2,239. Taking into account all my June income and expenditure, my total bank and cash balances now work out to €2,737/$3,744.
Here’s how I’m doing so far this year:
- €891/$1,202 in January
- €550/$759 in February
- €1,105/$1,525 in March
- €1,616/$2,241 in April
- €1,394/$1,900 in May
- €1,033/$1,412 in June
- €1,291/$1,733 overall
Outlook for July
Expenses shouldn’t be much different to June, as I’ll be staying put in Belo Horizonte again for the entire month. Income I’m not so sure about. A few freelance projects are up in the air. If I manage those well, I may be able to eclipse last month’s income total.
Thoughts? Questions? Speak up in the comments below.
Archived finance reports
I’ve been posting these monthly finance reports since January, 2011. You can view all my old reports via this page.