August 2016 Finance Report

Well hello there o’ legendary email subscriber. This is my August finance report, prepared and delivered to you from the fine city of Berlin.

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 Income

August 2016 Income

Freelance web development 1€ 2,464$ 2,746
3M1K 2€ 896$ 999
AWeber affiliate payment 3€ 194$ 216
Amsterdam municipality tax refund 4€ 137$ 153
Thrive affiliate payment 5€ 36$ 40
Book sales (via Amazon) 6€ 21$ 23
Book sales (via ndoherty.com) 7€ 12$ 13
Total Income€ 3,760
$ 4,190
Last Month€ 2,067$ 2,308

Up quite a bit from the previous month, and I hit my target of at least €3.5k, but I was expecting to earn more from freelance web dev so a little disappointed.

That said, the client payments I didn’t receive in August should come through in September, so I’ll be off to a good start there.

August Expenses

August 2016 Expenses

Food & Drink

Eating out€ 215$ 240
Groceries€ 118$ 132
8 Total
€ 333
$ 371
Last Month€ 571$ 638

Housing & Utilities

1 month at Berlin apartment 9€ 585$ 652
Total€ 585
$ 652
Last Month€ 150$ 167

Personal Taxes

Total€ 0
$ 0
Last Month€ 0$ 0

Health Care

Health insurance (monthly payment)€ 101$ 113
Total€ 101
$ 113
Last Month€ 101$ 113

Travel & Transport

Flights: Berlin-Belgrade-Kiev (TXL-BEG-KBP) round trip 10€ 211$ 235
Bicycle 11€ 145$ 162
Berlin metro€ 27$ 30
Bike lock€ 15$ 17
Bus from Dublin Airport to city center€ 6$ 7
Bus to Dublin Airport from my aunt’s house€ 2$ 2
Total € 406
$ 452
Last Month€ 583$ 651

Business Expenses

Outsourcing 12€ 506$ 564
Accountant: AGC Associates 13€ 410$ 457
Epidemic Sound 12-month subscription 14€ 129$ 144
ActiveCampaign 15€ 40$ 45
Freelancelift Pro 16€ 35$ 39
PayPal fees€ 27$ 30
Smatree SmaPole Q3 17€ 23$ 26
Teamwork project management software 18€ 22$ 25
Joby GorillaPod 19€ 21$ 23
MemberMouse 20€ 18$ 20
Stripe fees (for 3M1K payments)€ 17$ 19
Ccbetter lavalier lapel microphone 21€ 13$ 14
Currency exchange fees€ 11$ 12
Phone credit€ 10$ 11
Skype credit€ 9$ 10
Stationary€ 5$ 6
Google Drive storage (100GB)€ 2$ 2
Amazon Web Services (more storage)€ 1$ 1
Gumroad fees 22€ 1$ 1
Total€ 1,300
$ 1,449
Last Month€ 1,534$ 1,713

Gifts & Donations

German chocolates for Dublin hosts€ 13$ 14
Busker on Berlin train€ 2$ 2
Busker at Thai Park in Berlin€ 1$ 1
Tip for Greek Leprechaun in Dublin€ 1$ 1
Total€ 17
$ 19
Last Month€ 1$ 1

Books 23

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (x25) ***** 24€ 308$ 343
No B.S. Wealth Attraction In The New Economy *****€ 6$ 7
Total€ 314
$ 350
Last Month€ 0$ 0

Clothing

Black Diamond climbing gloves 25€ 20$ 22
2 pairs sports socks€ 10$ 11
Total€ 30
$ 33
Last Month€ 0$ 0

Miscellaneous Expenses

Bouncey ball 26€ 10$ 11
Toiletries€ 9$ 10
Netflix subscription 27€ 9$ 10
Spy station entry 28€ 7$ 8
Pedal boat rental 29€ 5$ 6
Happy Cow iPhone app 30€ 4$ 4
Public toilets€ 2$ 2
Cloak room at Berlin nightclub€ 2$ 2
Air freshener€ 2$ 2
Parking in Dublin€ 1$ 1
Monthly banking fee (Dutch bank)€ 1$ 1
Total€ 53
$ 59
Last Month€ 403$ 450

Expense Summary

Business Expenses€ 1,300$ 1,449
Travel & Transport€ 406$ 452
Food & Drink€ 333$ 371
Miscellaneous Expenses€ 53$ 59
Housing & Utilities€ 585$ 652
Health Care€ 101$ 113
Gifts & Donations€ 17$ 19
Books€ 314$ 350
Clothing€ 30$ 33
Taxes€ 0$ 0
Total Expenses€ 3,139
$ 3,498
Last Month€ 3,343$ 3,733

I was aiming to keep my expenses under €2k for the month, didn’t quite make it. Biggest unforeseen expenses were the bulk book purchase and the flights to Belgrade/Kiev. Pretty happy overall though.

Biggest Regret?

Nothing particular this past month. Still paying my accountant in Ireland as it’s taking longer than expected to wrap things up there. Hopefully September will be the last month I’ll have that expense. Then all my business dealings will be done through my US LLC, which has much lower overhead.

Where That Leaves Me

I had €7,610/$8,497 to my name at the end of July.

Taking into account all my August 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 €8,546/$9,524. 31

Outlook For September

Income-wise, I should hit at least €3k again. I’ll aim for €5k though just for the hell of it.

Expenses could be quite high. I’ll likely be buying a new phone, putting a deposit down on another travel adventure (or perhaps even paying it in full), and I’ll have to book accommodation for the few nights in Belgrade and Kiev. I’d say I’ll end up spending €3k minimum, possibly as much as €5k.

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.

Footnotes

  1. You can find links to my latest web dev projects here.
  2. This is my premium course that teaches people how to start an online freelancing business.
  3. I used AWeber to manage my mailing list for years, and they have quite a nice affiliate program which sends me a bit of money every now and then. Nowadays though I use ActiveCampaign for my mailing list. AWeber is great if you’re just getting started. ActiveCampaign is for more advanced stuff like sales funnels.
  4. I paid for all of 2016 but they gave me a partial refund when I unregistered as a resident and left town.
  5. I use and recommend several Thrive products, such as Thrive Leads and Thrive Landing Pages.
  6. I currently have two books for sale on Amazon:

  7. The Cargo Ship Diaries is also available for purchase via this page on my website, audio version optional.
  8. Way down from last month. Under €400 is I usually aim for, and it’s a lot easier to achieve that in Berlin than it was in Amsterdam :-)
  9. I got lucky with my living situation in Berlin. A friend here offered to sublet me his place while out of town for three months. If I had to find a place on my own it would have taken a good bit of searching and I doubt I would have found something for less than €700/month.
  10. Booked this spontaneously a few weeks back, for mid-September. An Asian Efficiency meetup was the excuse to head to Kiev for a few days, and the cheapest flight option gave me two 20-hour layovers in Belgrade. See my exact travel dates here and give me a shout if you’re in the vicinity :-)
  11. Bicycle is my preferred way to get around town, so I bought one at a market here in Berlin. I’ll sell it on when I leave town at the end of October.
  12. I have an assistant helping me with 3M1K and I also hire some other freelancers every now and then to help me out with client projects.
  13. Think I’m paying my accountant too much? You’re not alone. I addressed this in a previous report. I’m in the process of shutting down my Irish company though so the days are numbered for this expense.
  14. I’ve started using this service to find music for my YouTube videos. Love their huge and varied music selection. The price is pretty good, too.
  15. Software for my mailing list.
  16. Saw these guys advertising a special lifetime access offer to their course on Facebook and decided to sign up as research for my own 3M1K course. Haven’t gone through it yet.
  17. Smatree-SmaPole-Q3
  18. I use this to manage my freelance and personal projects. Handy for communicating with clients and contractors and keeping everything organized.
  19. joby-gorilla-pod
  20. Membership software for the 3M1K website.
  21. lapel-mic
  22. I use Gumroad to process payments for my book The Cargo Ship Diaries.
  23. You can see all my book recommendations and what I’m currently reading over on Goodreads. I buy many books via Amazon affiliate credit so you won’t always see my book purchases listed here.
  24. Yes, I bought 25 copies of this one book. Apparently that makes me best friends with the author :-P Seriously though, I’ll be doing a giveaway thingy soon so you can win a copy. Stay tuned to my YouTube for details.
  25. Better for climbing in the Thunderdome.
  26. I have tight calves. I wanted to try this but couldn’t buy tennis balls for sale individually (only in packs of three). So I bought something similar. Does the job.
  27. Stranger Things = wow!
  28. I made a video about this: Exploring An Abandoned NSA Spy Station In Berlin
  29. Same day as the spy station adventure, we rented a pedal boat at Strandbad Wannsee, not far from Berlin.
  30. For finding veg-friendly restaurants.
  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.

9 Comments

  1. jmacc

    Why 25 copies of the book?

    Why all the camera holders / photo equipment?

    Reply
  2. Declan O'Byrne

    Hi Neil
    Thanks for all the news. Glad to hear you are enjoying life.
    One question for the moment – why the bulk book purchase? Intriguing!

    Anyway keep in touch – and if you know any investors with about €30000 to spare to invest in ‘my dream’ please let me know. Talk soon….safe trips!
    Declan

    Reply
    • Niall Doherty

      Re: bulk book purchase, see my reply to jmacc.

      Reply
  3. Roberto

    Hey Niall,

    You’ve touched a topic of your US LLC. Is there anything I can find about your experience with opening it, handling taxes, etc? Or maybe it’s a part of the 3m1k?

    Reply
    • Niall Doherty

      That is part of 3M1K, but happy to share what I can here. Depends on where you’re from though. Are you an American? If so, opening a US LLC is very easy. And you can decrease your tax burden significantly by living outside of the US 330+ days a year. Look into the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion.

      If you’re not from the US, it can be quite complicated. I recommend contacting the guys at flagtheory.com. They’ll jump on the phone with you an discuss options. They helped me a lot.

      Reply
      • Roberto

        Thanks for the info. I currently live in the U.S. on the work visa, and planning to leave the states in the near future. And I’m most probably going to purchase 3m1k anyway, so great that it’s a part of the course 🙂

        Reply
  4. Jack

    Hi Niall,
    Interesting to see how this all breaks down, I’m scoping out a trip to Berlin myself soon, it would be great to meet you there if you’re around (and not in tenerife?).
    I have a question about how your freelance web development income/expenditure/hours break down. I understand you charge around €75 per hour. How many hours of actual work do you normally do for let’s say 20 hours of paid freelance work. 30? 40? I’m curious what the reality is like if you include all the time faffing and pitching and learning new technologies (do you have to do that much?) so on. You may have addressed this elsewhere so apologies if I’ve missed it.

    Reply
    • Niall Doherty

      Hey Jack,

      When are you coming to Berlin? I’ll be leaving at the end of October. Let’s try meet up if you’re here before then.

      I don’t do a lot of pitching these days for freelance work, as I get enough work from repeat clients and referrals. Still, I’d say for every 10 hours of paid work, I probably spend another 2-3 on miscellaneous stuff that I can’t or don’t bill for.

      As for learning new technologies, much of that is done “on the job.” If a client wants me to do something for them that I’ve never done before, I’ll charge them for time spent researching. Sometimes I’ll only charge them 50% my rate if I feel it’s something I should know anyway or if I was planning to learn it on my own time.

      Reply

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