Well hello there o’ legendary email subscriber. This is my September 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. The image above will make sense by the time you’re done, I promise 😉
Food & Drink
|Eating out||€ 242||$ 271|
|Groceries||€ 203||$ 227|
Down a bit from €517/$582 the the previous month. My ideal is to keep my total food and drink expenses around the €400 mark each month, so I didn’t quite make the mark.
Housing & Utilities
|2 months rent for Amsterdam apartment (utilities included)||€ 2,300||$ 2,576|
Way up from last month’s total of €45/51, which was expected since I choose to pay rent every two months instead of every month. I won’t be on the hook for another rent payment now until November.
Travel & Transport
|Total|| € 0
|| $ 0
All the way down from the €80/90 I spent on travel and transport in August. I had my travel card loaded up for tram/metro trips but mostly I just used my trusty bicycle 🙂
|Web design outsourcing||€ 219||$ 245|
|AWeber email marketing||€ 71||$ 79|
|Gumroad fees||€ 45||$ 50|
|Edgar social media management||€ 44||$ 49|
|PayPal fees||€ 42||$ 47|
|Affiliate commissions for Travel The World + Work Online||€ 39||$ 44|
|Zapier basic plan||€ 18||$ 20|
|Google Drive storage (100GB)||€ 2||$ 2|
Almost half the €893/1,006 I spent on business in August. Some notes on the above:
- Edgar is a service I started using recently to push more content out to my Facebook page. It’s pretty cool in that it allows you to automatically recycle content, so you can put a lot of evergreen stuff in there (like many of my old blog posts) and let it keep posting on your behalf. The $49/month price tag is a bit hefty, but once I have a few things set up to make the most of the extra traffic Edgar generates, it should easily pay for itself.
- Gumroad is the payment processor I used to sell Travel The World + Work Online.
Gifts & Donations
|UNICEF Ireland appeal for Syrian refugee crisis||€ 56||$ 63|
|Donation at De Ceuvel refugee fund-raiser||€ 10||$ 11|
Up from €5/$6 last month. Listening to this episode of An Irishman Abroad convinced me to make a few donations.
|In The City Of Bikes||€ 12||$ 13|
|Of Mice And Men||€ 8||$ 9|
|Post Office||€ 7||$ 8|
|Flowers For Algernon||€ 5||$ 6|
Up from the €18/$20 I spent on books in August. You can see all my book recommendations and what I’m currently reading over on Goodreads.
|Grey hoody||€ 15||$ 17|
|Fluffy puppy slippers (pictured above 😉 )||€ 15||$ 17|
|2 navy t-shirts||€ 14||$ 16|
Way down from last month’s total of €139/$157. I have a clothing budget of €150/month but roll over anything unspent to the next month. For September I had €187 to play with, so now in October I’ll have €293.
|1 year gym membership||€ 110||$ 123|
|AdultFriendFinder.com (NSFW) 4-month subscription||€ 50||$ 56|
|Entry to Sauna Deco in Amsterdam||€ 22||$ 25|
|Friday night entertainment at Mezrab (pay what you want)||€ 20||$ 22|
|Keys cut||€ 12||$ 13|
|Toiletries||€ 11||$ 12|
|Amsterdam walking tour||€ 10||$ 11|
|Multi-tool for bicycle||€ 10||$ 11|
|Theater Show: Northern Lights||€ 10||$ 11|
|Netflix subscription||€ 8||$ 9|
|Kitchen cleaning supplies||€ 3||$ 3|
|Batteries||€ 3||$ 3|
|Amazon movie rental: The Notebook||€ 2||$ 3|
|Toilet entry in public library (more than once)||€ 2||$ 3|
Not far off last month’s total of €299/$337. Some notes:
- I was hitting up a local park here five mornings a week for exercise, but with Winter fast approaching it was getting a bit dark and dreary there at 7am. So I signed up for a gym just around the corner from me. €110/year is a bit of a ridiculous price considering they have pretty good facilities. The only restriction with my membership is I can’t be in there after 5pm, but that works fine for me.
- After spending €40 on a date that went nowhere a couple of months back, I decided to try investing a bit of money in Adult Friend Finder instead. Jury’s still out on whether or not it’s worth it.
|Housing & Utilities||€ 2,300||$ 2,576|
|Business Expenses||€ 479||$ 536|
|Food & Drink||€ 445||$ 498|
|Miscellaneous expenses||€ 272||$ 305|
|Gifts & Donations||€ 66||$ 74|
|Clothing||€ 45||$ 50|
|Books||€ 32||$ 36|
|Travel & Transport||€ 0||$ 0|
|Total Expenses||€ 3,638
Almost double last month’s expense total of €1,997/$2,249. I was aiming to keep expenses under $3.6k (that’s about $1k on top of my rent payment) but fell about $500 short of that.
Away from the minuses and on to the pluses…
|Sales of Travel The World + Work Online||€ 904||$ 1,013|
|Freelance web design||€ 821||$ 920|
|Fake flight itinerary||€ 89||$ 100|
|Affiliate income: Danny’s Elance/Upwork course||€ 53||$ 59|
|Affiliate income: Amazon||€ 45||$ 50|
|Book sales (via Amazon)||€ 39||$ 44|
|Total Income||€ 1,952
Down from €2,686/$3,026 the previous month. My income goal for September was only $2k though so I managed that and then some.
- I put the guide on sale for a 24-hour period at the end of August, to give people one more chance to buy it this year. Now I’m busy transforming the Work Online part of the guide into an online course, which I believe will be a much better format for the information. If all goes to plan, I’ll be launching the course in January.
- The “fake flight itinerary” income above is from people contacting me via this video, asking me to create fake flight itineraries for them.
I can’t really point to any purchases that I regret making in September. The theater show I went to sucked but I got to hang out with friends for the evening, so can’t really call that a waste.
Where that leaves me
I had €10,907/$12,286 to my name at the end of August. After applying the most recent exchange rates (I have accounts in EUR, HKD and USD), those totals shifted a little to €10,951/$12,266. Taking into account all my September income and expenditure, my total bank and cash balances now work out to €9,304/$10,421.
Here’s how I’m doing so far this year 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
- €5,233/$5,705 overall
Outlook for October
Expenses will be much lower this month given that I’ll have no rent payment. I’ll have to book flights home for Christmas, there will be some new business expenses, and I’m going to try get my health insurance sorted before November hits. Taking all that into consideration though, I’m thinking I shouldn’t have much trouble keeping everything under the $2k mark.
As for income, I have almost $3k owed for freelance work and should be able to collect all of that before the end of the month. With a few other bits and pieces, I might be able to pull in $3.5k total.
Thoughts? Questions? Speak up in the comments below.