Bienvenidos o’ legendary email subscriber. This is my April finance report, as prepared from a coffee shop in La Paz, Bolivia.
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. It was a rollercoaster month for me financially, as I saw the balance in my primary checking account dip to $170 before landing a bunch of freelance gigs and receiving an avalanche of kind donations.
Keep in mind that I spent most of the month living in Cusco, Peru. Diving in…
Food and Drink
|Eating out||€ 208||$ 288|
|Groceries||€ 80||$ 111|
|Total||€ 288||$ 399|
Up a bit from the €237/$327 I spent in March. I had a nice routine going in Cusco, making breakfast at home every morning and then hitting up the same two bargain spots for lunch and dinner every day.
Housing and Utilities
|Rent at Casa Pepe in Cusco (3 weeks, almost)||€ 106||$ 147|
|3 nights at AirBnB apartment, La Paz||€ 44||$ 61|
|1 night at The Wild Rover, La Paz||€ 7||$ 10|
|Total||€ 157||$ 218|
A little more than last month’s total of €142/$196, which isn’t bad considering I only paid for a half-month’s accommodation in March (the other half was prepaid on the cargo ship).
|World Nomads Travel Insurance (4 months)||€ 201||$ 279|
|La Paz-Uyuni bus (round trip)||€ 52||$ 72|
|Uyuni salt flats tour||€ 31||$ 43|
|Cusco-La Paz bus||€ 27||$ 37|
|La Paz-Santa Cruz bus||€ 21||$ 29|
|Taxis in La Paz||€ 18||$ 25|
|Taxis in Cusco||€ 3||$ 4|
|Local minibus in La Paz||€ 1||$ 1|
|Total||€ 353||$ 490|
Up from the €210/$290 I spent on travel in March. The whole trip to Uyuni turned out to be a waste of money as I got hit with a severe bout of altitude sickness and spent a day in the hospital instead of touring the salt flats. Oh well. Shit happens, and at least I have the World Nomads insurance to cover the hospital bill.
|The Foundation||€ 432||$ 599|
|WordPress premium themes||€ 69||$ 95|
|AWeber email marketing||€ 22||$ 30|
|Elance||€ 14||$ 20|
|Flippa auction fee||€ 6||$ 9|
|Github||€ 5||$ 7|
|iPhone App: Stopwatch Pro||€ 3||$ 4|
|Amazon Web Services (ndoherty.com CDN)||€ 2||$ 3|
|Total||€ 553||$ 767|
About the same as the €551/$761 I spent on business last month. Notes…
This is an online course teaching people how to build a software business. The $599 payment is one of six, due monthly. I haven’t taken advantage of the training materials the past three months, first because of travel and more recently because I’ve been focusing on freelance work to get some income rolling. But I’m still happy with my investment in The Foundation and planning to devote a lot more time to it once I settle in Brazil in May.
Gifts and Donations
|Book for a friend||€ 6||$ 8|
|Groceries for a friend||€ 2||$ 3|
|Total||€ 8||$ 11|
Down from €17/$23 last month, and way short of my goal to donate 15% of my income each month. I’ve been holding back on the donations for a few months now. In 2013 gave away $7,000 and ended up minus about that much for the year. While I’ll still try hit that 15% mark overall this year, I won’t be selling myself short to do it.
|Mastery||€ 5||$ 7|
|The Elements Of Style||€ 2||$ 3|
|Total||€ 7||$ 10|
Up from nothing the last two months. I haven’t read enough of either of these books to recommend them.
|AIB bank government stamp duty||€ 30||$ 42|
|Laundry||€ 12||$ 16|
|Sunscreen||€ 6||$ 8|
|Belt||€ 4||$ 6|
|Haircuts||€ 4||$ 6|
|Club entry in Cusco||€ 3||$ 4|
|Seamstress||€ 2||$ 2|
|Toiletries||€ 1||$ 2|
|Wedding photo (at Bolivian wedding)||€ 1||$ 1|
|Total||€ 63||$ 87|
Down from the €88/$121 I spent on miscellaneous in March.
|Food and Drink||€ 288||$ 399|
|Housing and Utilities||€ 157||$ 218|
|Travel||€ 353||$ 490|
|Business Expenses||€ 553||$ 767|
|Gifts and Donations||€ 8||$ 11|
|Books||€ 7||$ 10|
|Miscellaneous expenses||€ 63||$ 87|
|Total Expenses||€ 1,429||$ 1,982|
Up from March’s expense total of €1,245/$1,718. Pretty satisfied overall with how I spent my money in April.
Away from the minuses and on to the pluses…
|Freelance web design||€ 1,699||$ 2,356|
|Reader donations (muchas gracias!)||€ 687||$ 953|
|Book sales: The Cargo Ship Diaries||€ 586||$ 813|
|Book sales: Disrupting the Rabblement||€ 41||$ 57|
|Amazon affiliate income||€ 16||$ 22|
|Affiliate income: How To Live A Life of Travel||€ 8||$ 11|
|Affiliate income: Clickbank||€ 8||$ 11|
|Total Income||€ 3,045||$ 4,223|
Way, way up from the €140/$193 I pulled in last month. I owe almost all of my April income to you fine readers of Disrupting the Rabblement, since many of you either sent me a donation or offered me freelance work. Without all that kindness, I would have been pretty screwed.
I’m still welcoming select web design projects, so do let me know if you have anything you need done. You can see samples of my past work over at ndoherty.biz.
Where that leaves me
I had €1,352/$1,866 to my name at the end of March. After applying the most recent exchange rates (I have accounts in EUR, HKD and USD), those totals were left pretty much the same at €1,347/$1,868. Taking into account all my April income and expenditure, my total bank and cash balances now work out to €3,061/$4,244.
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
- €930/$1,245 overall
Outlook for May
Expenses will likely be higher in May, as I travel to Brazil and plonk down a deposit and rent payment on a new apartment in Rio or Belo Horizonte. I also have my final Foundation payment, and will have to swallow that $620 hospital bill until I can claim it off my insurance. Brazil is supposed to be quite expensive overall, too, so my food and miscellaneous expenses will probably rise accordingly.
As for income, I’ll keep chipping away at the freelance web design work. That should again be my primary source. I’m also eager to get back into building my software business, and will have good opportunity to do so once I’m settled in Brazil. I doubt I’ll be seeing any income for that in May, but hopefully I’ll lay a strong foundation for June and July.
My overall goal for May? Given all those expenses, I’d be pretty happy just to finish in the green for the month.
Thoughts? Questions? Speak up in the comments below.