December 2016 Finance Report

Here be all my finances for December. I started the month in Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife, moved to Las Palmas in Gran Canaria on the 4th, and spent a week back home in Ireland over Christmas.

Income

Freelance web development 1€ 1,926$ 2,026
3M1K 2€ 1,203$ 1,266
Wandering Earl Myanmar Tour refund 3€ 737$ 775
Coaching 4€ 152$ 160
Christmas cash gift€ 50$ 53
Coworking In The Sun coliving deposit refund 5€ 50$ 53
Book sales (via Amazon) 6€ 22$ 23
Total Income€ 4,140
$ 4,355
Last Month€ 2,093$ 2,223

I was aiming to pull in at least $2.5k in December and beat that easily, even without counting the gifts and refunds.

Summary

Total Income€ 4,140
$ 4,355
Total Expenses€ 2,145
$ 2,256
Profit/Loss€ 1,995
$ 2,099

Expenses

Food & Drink

Eating out€ 186$ 196
Groceries€ 224$ 236
7 Total
€ 410
$ 431
Last Month€ 335$ 356

Housing & Utilities

11 days apartment sublet in Puerto de la Cruz 8€ 216$ 227
Cleaner for Las Palmas apartment 9€ 20$ 21
Total€ 236
$ 248
Last Month€ 677$ 719

Health Care

~13 weeks of World Nomads Travel Insurance 10€ 108$ 114
Total€ 108
$ 114
Last Month€ 101$ 107

Travel & Transport

Bicycle 11€ 99$ 104
Bicycle lock 12€ 30$ 32
Taxis in Las Palmas€ 17$ 18
Taxis in Puerto de la Cruz€ 16$ 17
Bus: Cork to Waterford€ 15$ 16
Buses in Gran Canaria€ 7$ 7
Bus: Cork Airport to Cork City€ 6$ 6
Skateboard 13€ 6$ 6
Total € 196
$ 206
Last Month€ 223$ 237

Business Expenses

Outsourcing 14€ 433$ 456
Amazon Gift Card 15€ 95$ 100
Amazon Gift Card 16€ 48$ 50
ActiveCampaign mailing list software€ 43$ 45
TransferWise fees 17€ 40$ 42
Domain renewals€ 31$ 33
Captains’ Hats 18€ 29$ 31
PayPal fees€ 28$ 29
Teamwork project management software 19€ 23$ 24
MemberMouse 20€ 19$ 20
Phone credit€ 10$ 11
Virtual Post Mail 21€ 9$ 10
Notecards 22€ 3$ 3
Google Drive storage (100GB)€ 2$ 2
Amazon Web Services (more storage)€ 1$ 1
Total€ 814
$ 856
Last Month€ 835$ 887

Gifts & Donations

Christmas gifts for friends and family 23€ 44$ 46
Donation for baby Alexandra 24€ 30$ 32
Donation to 22 Stars 25€ 5$ 5
Scouts donation at SuperValu 26€ 2$ 2
Total€ 81
$ 85
Last Month€ 0$ 0

Books 27

Confessions Of The Pricing Man ****€ 13$ 14
All The Light We Cannot See ****€ 13$ 14
A Walk In The Woods ****€ 8$ 8
Total€ 34
$ 36
Last Month€ 15$ 16

Clothing

Checked shirt€ 20$ 21
White shirt€ 18$ 19
Wine sweater€ 7$ 7
V-neck t-shirts (x3)€ 6$ 6
Total€ 51
$ 54
Last Month€ 0$ 0

Miscellaneous Expenses

Spanish lessons 28€ 89$ 94
California Sports Club 29€ 55$ 58
Sunscreen€ 23$ 24
Surfboard and wetsuit rental (x2)€ 20$ 21
Netflix subscription€ 10$ 11
Toiletries€ 6$ 6
Quarterly banking fee (Irish bank)€ 6$ 6
Postage€ 4$ 4
Hex key 30€ 1$ 1
Monthly banking fee (Dutch bank)€ 1$ 1
Total€ 215
$ 226
Last Month€ 133$ 141

Expense Summary

Business Expenses€ 814$ 856
Food & Drink€ 410$ 431
Housing & Utilities€ 236$ 248
Miscellaneous Expenses€ 215$ 226
Travel & Transport€ 196$ 206
Health Care€ 108$ 114
Gifts & Donations€ 81$ 85
Clothing€ 51$ 54
Books€ 34$ 36
Total Expenses€ 2,145
$ 2,256
Last Month€ 2,319$ 2,463

I was aiming to keep my expenses under $2.5k for the month so pretty happy with how things shook out 🙂

Biggest Regret?

I needn’t have bought a bike here in Las Palmas, as there’s one sitting unused at CoworkingC that I found out later I could have used for free.

Oh well.

One big expense I saved myself were round-trip flights from to Taiwan from Amsterdam (leaving end of March, returning end of May) which I booked at the end of the month. Those flights cost $628, but thanks to the sign-up bonus on my Chase Sapphire Reserve card, I got them for free 🙂

Where That Leaves Me

I had €7,336/$7,792 to my name at the end of November.

Taking into account all my December income and expenditure, and the most recent exchange rates – I have accounts in EUR, HKD and USD – my total bank and cash balances now work out to €9,780/$10,288. 31

Outlook For January

I’ll aim to keep expenses below $2.5k again, which should be doable. Income is harder to predict, especially 3M1K. But sure I’ll aim to beat $2.5k and see how it goes.

Feedback Welcome

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.

Curious as to how I track everything I earn and spend? Check this video…

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Footnotes

  1. A bit better than expected. Helped that one client wanted to rush a payment to me before the end of the year (for tax reasons).<br /><br />You can find links and details for my latest web dev projects here.
  2. This is my premium course that teaches people how to start an online freelancing business.
  3. I made a little video about this tour a few months back, but they couldn’t get enough people so it was cancelled and my deposit refunded.
  4. I don’t proactively seek coaching work, but occasionally people reach out and ask for it and I’m happy to oblige.
  5. This was for the coliving in Tenerife I did back in October/November. Here’s a little video I made about my experience at Coworking In The Sun.
  6. I currently have two books for sale on Amazon:<ul><li><a href=”http://amzn.to/2aQDUxf” target=”_blank”>The Cargo Ship Diaries</a></li><li><a href=”http://amzn.to/2axMNxQ” target=”_blank”>Disrupting the Rabblement</a></li></ul>
  7. Up a good bit from last month. Under €400 is what I usually aim for. Food prices are fairly average in the Canary Islands. Eating out can be expensive but I buy groceries and prepare most of my own meals.
  8. Got a great offer on a sublet so I took it. You can see a bit of the apartment in this video.
  9. This is the coliving apartment via CoworkingC. I paid rent for it back in November 2016.
  10. I’ve abandoned my old health insurance plan from VHI and switched to World Nomads travel insurance. The latter costs much less while still giving me solid coverage.
  11. Las Palmas is nice and flat so I bought a cheap bike to get me around. Easily saves me 20 minutes a day going between the apartment and coworking.
  12. Probably didn’t need this, as I keep the bike inside the apartment and inside the coworking, so I never have to lock it.
  13. Bought this as a bit of an experiment. It’s a very small skateboard, but had some fun messing around on it.
  14. I have an assistant helping me with 3M1K and I also hire some other freelancers every now and then to help me out with various projects.
  15. This was the prize for the little contest I ran during my Nomad City Talk.
  16. This was a Christmas thank you gift for my VA :-)
  17. Some freelance clients pay me via TransferWise and I lose a bit in the transfer. Still way better than PayPal though.
  18. Like this one. I bought five of these for use in my my Nomad City Talk.
  19. I use this to manage my freelance and personal projects. Handy for communicating with clients and contractors and keeping everything organized.
  20. Membership software for the 3M1K website.
  21. This service allows me to receive old-fashioned mail in the USA without having a physical address there. They scan any mail received and email it to me, and can also forward along any important documents to another address I specify.
  22. Used these to prepare my Nomad City Talk.
  23. All my gifts were perishables and consumables. I try to only give gifts that will be used, and not end up sitting on a shelf for eternity.
  24. A friend is doing a fundraiser for this little girl in the Ukraine who has serious heart problems and the family need help to afford the proper healthcare. If you can spare a few $€£, even the price of a cup of coffee or a beer, that’d be much appreciated.
  25. During Nomad City I met the legendary lady who runs this company that sells handmade jewelry from Uganda and supports local communities there. For €5 I got a bracelet for myself.
  26. They packed our Christmas shopping at the supermarket :-)
  27. You can see all my book recommendations and what I’m currently reading over on Goodreads. I sometimes buy books via Amazon affiliate credit and gift cards so you won’t always see my book purchases listed here.
  28. These lessons are via iTalki.com. Averages out to about $9/hour. I found a great teacher in Venezuela and sticking with him for the time being. Aiming to do at least 3 hours of focused speaking practice each week.
  29. This is a little place near the beach in Las Palmas where you pay €40/month (€55 for the first month) and then you can use their equipment (surf boards, wetsuits, skateboards, basketballs, etc.) as often as you like. I mainly use them for surfing, and it works out way cheaper than renting for €10/hour.
  30. This is so I can keep the handlebars tight on my cheap bike.
  31. Note that these totals are never quite right, on account of the different currencies and money constantly moving around between accounts. But I couldn’t be arsed figuring it all out perfectly and the above figures are close enough so let’s roll with them.

7 Comments

  1. Graham

    Any plans to publish a travel hacking guide (cheap flights, hotels, bonuses)? You’re the man to do it. I’d pony up a few bucks for a book…

    Reply
  2. John Doe

    How can you directly substract total income from total expenses (some of which are biz expenses?) Do you run it all as “personal” and no separate biz accounts?

    Reply
    • Niall Doherty

      I do have separate accounts but since I’m essentially a one-man business I like to keep it simple in the reports and have one total figure for income and another for expenses.

      Reply
  3. Nancy

    I enjoyed “A walk in the woods” because it was just an average age guy doing something different. It’s easy to dismiss the blogging or traveling like a nomad as a young persons game, but the book shows you can do anything at any age. The movie was pretty funny because of Nick Nolte as his bumbling climbing partner. Totally fun!

    Reply
  4. Paul

    I’m living in Ireland (where you from) and would like to try the same way of life as you do.
    How did you sort out legal questions like opening company, paying taxes?
    If you paying taxes then what percentage (on average) of your income?

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Niall Doherty

      Hey Paul,

      Short answer: it’s complicated!

      The most basic form of company in Ireland is Sole Trader, but you actually need to stay in Ireland and be a permanent resident for that. You could get away with just having a mailing address, but technically you’d be breaking the law.

      I had an Private Limited Company for a year but that proved overly complex and expensive. I had to pay an accountant in Ireland to be a director of the company as one director has to be a permanent resident in the EU. And then there’s all the hassle of VAT and such.

      Now I have a US LLC, but the jury’s still out on whether that’s a long-term solution. I’m still not 100% sure how it will work tax wise.

      Here’s a FB group where you may be able to get some better answers: https://www.facebook.com/groups/205470759903160/

      Reply

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