August 2015 Finance Report (subscribers only)

Well hello there o’ legendary email subscriber. This is my August 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.

Diving in…

August Expenses

Food & Drink

Eating out€ 360$ 405
Groceries€ 157$ 177
Total€ 517
$ 582

Way up from €403/$442 the the previous month. My ideal is to keep my total food and drink expenses around the €400 mark each month, so I failed miserably in August. I thought being back home in Ireland for ten days would mean less money spent on food as I could raid the mammy’s fridge, but instead I ended up spending a good bit meeting up with friends and family for coffee and meals and all that lark. Can’t say that was money badly spent though!

Housing & Utilities

Cleaner for apartment€ 45$ 51
Total€ 45
$ 51

Way down from last month’s total of €2,300/$2,526, but of course I paid two months rent in July and therefore had no rent payment in August. I’m bringing in a cleaner only about once every three months to give my kitchen and bathroom a good scrub.

Travel & Transport

Taxis in Cork and Amsterdam€ 75$ 84
Airport shuttle bus in Cork€ 5$ 6
Total € 80
$ 90

Way down from the €294/$322 I spent on travel and transport in July. I got stung for a €55 taxi fare to make it to the airport in time to catch my flight to Ireland, which could have been avoided had I been more organized.

Business Expenses

Accountant (business setup fees)€ 646$ 728
Virtual assistant (for help on€ 53$ 60
Edgar social media management€ 43$ 49
Web design outsourcing€ 31$ 35
AWeber email marketing€ 27$ 30
PayPal fees€ 26$ 29
Domains (registered with Dreamhost)€ 21$ 24
Gumroad fees€ 19$ 21
SurveyGizmo€ 13$ 15
Stationary€ 4$ 4
Printing and scanning€ 4$ 4
Postage€ 3$ 3€ 2$ 2
Google Drive storage (100GB)€ 2$ 2
Total€ 893
$ 1,006

Up quite a bit from the €690/$758 I spent on business in July. Some notes on the above:

  • Edgar is a service I just started using to push more content out to my Facebook page. It’s pretty cool in that it allows you to automatically reshare 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.
  • I did a little test purchase on before recommending it as a resource to people who bought my travel guide. It’s a handy service for getting around the whole “proof of onward travel” thing while visiting foreign countries.

Gifts & Donations

Pastries for hotel reception€ 4$ 4
De Poezenboot floating cat sanctuary€ 2$ 2
Total€ 5
$ 6

Down from €19/$21 last month. I no longer have a specific goal for donations (I used to try give away 15% of my income), having decided to focus on building up a decent savings cushion before trying to save the world.


A Good Man€ 9$ 10
The Catcher In The Rye€ 9$ 10
Total€ 18
$ 20

Up a little from the €13/$14 I spent on books last month. You can see all my book recommendations and what I’m currently reading over on Goodreads.


Leather jacket€ 79$ 89
Fila footwear€ 35$ 39
2 long sleeve shirts€ 18$ 20
3 pairs of underwear€ 9$ 10
Total€ 139
$ 157

Not far off last month’s total of €126/$139. I have a clothing budget of €150/month but roll over anything unspent to the next month. For July I had €176 to play with, so now in August I’ll have €187.

Miscellaneous Expenses

2 months of travel insurance from World Nomads€ 99$ 111
Birth certificate apostille€ 40$ 45
Phone credit€ 30$ 34
Head shaver€ 26$ 29
Espresso maker€ 23$ 26
Electric toothbrush€ 22$ 25
Laundry€ 9$ 10
Toiletries€ 9$ 10
Netflix subscription€ 8$ 9
Entry to Kwaku festival in Amsterdam€ 6$ 7
Cinema: Mission Impossible – Rouge Nation€ 4$ 5
Lint brush€ 4$ 5
Amazon movie rental: Ex Machina€ 4$ 5
Amazon movie rental: American Sniper€ 4$ 4
Incense€ 3$ 3
Incense holder€ 2$ 2
Postcard and stamp€ 2$ 2
Parking€ 2$ 2
Church candle€ 1$ 1
Bin bags€ 1$ 1
Spray bottle€ 1$ 1
Total€ 299
$ 337

More than double last month’s total of €141/$154. Some notes:

  • I’m still buying travel insurance even though I’m not traveling anymore. I’m still in the process of getting registered as a resident here in Amsterdam and once that’s sorted I’ll look into getting a local health insurance plan.
  • “Birth certificate apostille” refers to getting my birth cert verified in Ireland so I can get registered as a resident in the Netherlands. Crazy price for what amounts to an ink stamp, but sure what can you do?
  • I bought another head shaver in Ireland and left it at my parents house so I won’t have to bring one over and back 3-4 times a year.

Expense Summary

Business Expenses€ 893$ 1,006
Food & Drink€ 517$ 582
Miscellaneous expenses€ 299$ 337
Clothing€ 139$ 157
Travel & Transport€ 80$ 90
Housing & Utilities€ 45$ 51
Books€ 18$ 20
Gifts & Donations€ 5$ 6
Total Expenses€ 1,997
$ 2,249

About half of last month’s expense total of €3,986/$4,376. I was aiming to keep expenses under $1.5k but fell well short of that mark, failing to foresee the $728 I ended up paying to my accountant.

August Income

Away from the minuses and on to the pluses…

Freelance web design€ 1,911$ 2,153
Sales of Travel The World + Work Online€ 437$ 492
Affiliate income: Danny’s Elance/Upwork course€ 105$ 118
YouTube ads (4 months)€ 99$ 111
Cash gifts from friends and family€ 50$ 56
Fake flight itinerary€ 36$ 40
Book sales (via Amazon)€ 24$ 27
The Cargo Ship Diaries (sales direct from€ 11$ 12
Affiliate income: Amazon€ 9$ 10
Amazon Ach/Cred€ 6$ 7
Total Income€ 2,686
$ 3,026

Way down from the previous month (aka. my best month ever), when I pulled in €6,931/$7,612. My goal for August was only $2k though so I far exceeded that.

Some notes:

  • The “fake flight itinerary” income above is from people contacting me via this video, asking me to create fake flight itineraries for them. I advise everyone who contacts me about that to use, instead one guy last month said he’d rather pay me $40 to create one for him. So I did.

Biggest regret?

The only thing I can really point to from August was the €55 I spent on a taxi to the airport in Amsterdam. I wasn’t very organized about getting there and in the end didn’t have time to take a bus or a train, which would have saved me about €50. Ah well.

Where that leaves me

I had €10,385/$11,406 to my name at the end of July. After applying the most recent exchange rates (I have accounts in EUR, HKD and USD), those totals shifted a little to €10,185/$11,473. Taking into account all my August income and expenditure, my total bank and cash balances now work out to €10,907/$12,286.

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
  • €6,919/$7,594 overall

Outlook for September

Expenses will be high this month as I’m doubling up on my rent payment again and paying two in advance. If I can keep all my other expenses under $1k combined, I’ll be doing very well.

As for income, I think I should be able to pull in at least $2k, most of it from freelancing. If the chips fall nicely though I may be able to hit the $3k mark. That said, making a few quick bucks isn’t an urgent priority for me, as I want to start devoting more time and energy towards building some digital products, and it will be January at the earliest before I get those launched and reap any financial rewards.

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.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *