Well hello there o’ legendary email subscriber. This is my April 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.
Food & Drink
|Groceries||€ 207||$ 237|
|Eating out||€ 114||$ 131|
|Last Month||€ 319||$ 363|
Still coming in well under my monthly target of €400. I rarely dine in restaurants, instead eating the majority of my meals at home. Most of my “eating out” expenses are coffees and drinks with friends.
Housing & Utilities
|1 month’s rent for Amsterdam apartment||€ 1,160||$ 1,328|
|Last Month||€ 1,160||$ 1,320|
Yup, I could save quite a bit on rent by sharing an apartment, but I’m happy enough paying a premium for my own place in a central location.
|Waterways tax||€ 159||$ 182|
|Last Month||€ 235||$ 267|
Here in the Netherlands you have to pay an annual tax for the upkeep of all the canals and waterways.
|Health insurance (monthly payment)||€ 101||$ 116|
|Last Month||€ 107||$ 122|
Travel & Transport
|Flights: AMS-MSY return trip in June||€ 628||$ 719|
|Bicycle service||€ 20||$ 23|
|Total|| € 648
|| $ 742
|Last Month||€ 0||$ 0|
Had to book flights so I can attend a friend’s wedding in New Orleans in June. Methinks I got a pretty good deal on those flights, too, using a nifty little app called Hopper that keeps an eye on your desired dates and location and lets you know when to buy and when to hold off.
|Accountant: AGC Associates||€ 328||$ 376|
|Outsourcing||€ 326||$ 373|
|3M1K refund||€ 158||$ 181|
|Upwork fees||€ 72||$ 82|
|Stripe fees (for 3M1K payments)||€ 57||$ 65|
|PayPal fees (mostly for 3M1K payments)||€ 42||$ 48|
|MemberMouse (for 3M1K)||€ 18||$ 21|
|Phone credit||€ 15||$ 17|
|Skype credit||€ 10||$ 11|
|TransferWise fees||€ 6||$ 7|
|Gumroad fees (for sales of The Cargo Ship Diaries)||€ 2||$ 2|
|Google Drive storage (100GB)||€ 2||$ 2|
|Amazon Web Services (more storage)||€ 2||$ 2|
|Last Month||€ 645||$ 734|
- I’ve started outsourcing a lot more work, trying to build a solid team to help me get more done and scale the business a bit. So far, so good.
- Upwork is where I go to find new freelancing clients. It’s great, but they take 10% of whatever money you make through there. I landed a $900 project last month, for example, but I’ll only see $810 of that.
- TransferWise is changing the game for me in terms of sending/receiving money abroad. PayPal used to be my go-to for that purpose, but their fees and exchange rates are ridiculous. TransferWise uses real exchange rates and a flat fee of €2 for every transfer. It adds up fast!
- Think I’m paying my accountant too much? You’re not alone. I addressed this in a previous report.
Gifts & Donations
|Last Month||€ 2||$ 2|
|Last Month||€ 4||$ 5|
I’m still reading regularly, but not spending so much money on books of late. Any money I make through Amazon’s affiliate program now gets paid to me in Amazon gift vouchers, so I use those to buy new books.
You can see all my book recommendations and what I’m currently reading over on Goodreads. I usually get through a book a week.
|Black dress shirt||€ 40||$ 46|
|Black sweater||€ 20||$ 23|
|Orange polo shirt||€ 11||13|
|Last Month||€ 0||$ 0|
Had to get an orange shirt for King’s Day in Amsterdam last week 🙂
|Government stamp duty on credit card (Irish bank)||€ 30||$ 34|
|Toiletries||€ 12||$ 14|
|Internations party entry||€ 10||$ 11|
|Netflix subscription||€ 8||$ 9|
|Postcard||€ 1||$ 1|
|Monthly banking fee (Dutch bank)||€ 1||$ 1|
|Egg throw||€ 1||$ 1|
|Last Month||€ 77||$ 88|
Some video explaining the “egg throw” here.
|Housing & Utilities||€ 1,160||$ 1,328|
|Business Expenses||€ 1,038||$ 1,189|
|Travel & Transport||€ 648||$ 742|
|Food & Drink||€ 321||$ 368|
|Taxes||€ 159||$ 182|
|Health Care||€ 101||$ 118|
|Clothing||€ 71||$ 81|
|Miscellaneous Expenses||€ 63||$ 72|
|Books||€ 0||$ 0|
|Gifts & Donations||€ 0||$ 0|
|Total Expenses||€ 3,561
|Last Month||€ 2,549||$ 2,901|
My goal was to keep expenses under €3,000, so obviously I went a bit overboard there. The main expense I failed to anticipate were the outsourcing costs and the 3M1K refund.
|3M1K||€ 2,706||$ 3,099|
|Freelance web development||€ 884||$ 1,012|
|Book sales (via Amazon)||€ 22||$ 25|
|Sales of The Cargo Ship Diaries (via ndoherty.com)||€ 12||$ 14|
|Total Income||€ 3,624
|Last Month||€ 2,856||$ 3,250|
I was aiming to pull in at least €4k in March, so I fell a little short of that. However, I have about €2k owed to me from freelance clients, so factoring that in I did much better than predicted.
The €158 refund I issued for 3M1K was a bit of a bummer, but there wasn’t much I could have done to avoid that. The guy found a full-time job and no longer had the itch to build his own business.
Other than that, nothing I can really point to.
Where That Leaves Me
I had €6,224/$7,083 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 shifted a little to €6,217/$7,119.
Taking into account all my April income and expenditure, my total bank and cash balances now work out to €6,383/$7,309. 1
Outlook For May
Expenses should come down a bit. I’ll aim to keep everything under €3,000, with €2,500 as a stretch goal.
Income is harder to predict.
The first batch of students have finished their 3-month payment plans for 3M1K and they were providing the bulk of the revenue there. Unless I get new students signing up in the coming weeks, I only stand to earn about €1k from the course in May.
I have some plans for marketing but no idea how effective those efforts will be.
I’m more likely to earn the bulk of my income in May through freelancing. As mentioned, I have about €2k owed from clients for recent work, and I should be able to collect a further €1-2k this month as well.
Overall then, €4k should be a realistic income target this month, with €5k as a stretch goal.
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.
- Note that these totals are never quite right. For example, last month I forgot to include the balance in my Stripe account, and this month there’s money in my business account that’s earmarked for VAT so it’s not really mine. But I couldn’t be arsed figuring it all out perfectly and the above figures are close enough so let’s roll with them.