February 2015 Finance Report (subscribers only)

Well hello there o’ legendary email subscriber. This is my February finance report, as prepared from the magical land of New Orleans.

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. Keep in mind that I stayed put in New Orleans for the entire month.

Diving in…

February Expenses

Food and Drink

Eating out€ 233$ 253
Groceries€ 228$ 247
Total€ 461
$ 500

Up a little from the previous month, when I spent €417/$471. Food ain’t cheap in America. Tough to eat out here for less than $10 a meal.

Housing and Utilities

2 weeks’ rent for room in New Orleans€ 194$ 210
Total€ 194$ 210

Down from €316/$357 last month when I was traveling through Central America. I’m very grateful to friends here in New Orleans for letting me crash with them for free for a couple of weeks, and then another friend for hooking me up with a cheap place to rent.

Travel

3 months of travel insurance from World Nomads€ 202$ 219
Streetcar in New Orleans€ 1$ 1
Total € 203
$ 220

Way down from €658/$743 last month. Not traveling really helps keep those travel expenses down. Who’d a thunk?

Business Expenses

Web design outsourcing€ 203$ 220
PayPal fees€ 45$ 49
AWeber email marketing€ 28$ 30
oDesk withdrawal fee€ 1$ 1
Total€ 277$ 300

Up from the €108/$122 I spent on business in January.

Gifts and Donations

Book for a friend: The Gift of Fear€ 6$ 6
Total€ 6$ 6

Up from nothing 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.

Books

New Orleans Boom & Blackout€ 20$ 22
Total€ 20$ 22

Down from €58/$65 in January. You can see all my book recommendations over on Goodreads. I’m aiming to read 100 books this year but February and March have been slow with all the work and socializing.

Miscellaneous Expenses

Doctor visit in New Orleans€ 138$ 150
Jacket€ 80$ 87
Bicycle repairs€ 55$ 60
Phone credit€ 49$ 53
Prescription medication for diarrhea€ 46$ 50
Light hoody€ 26$ 28
Grey Long Sleeve Sweater€ 15$ 16
Charcoal Long Sleeve Sweater€ 15$ 16
Toiletries€ 15$ 16
T-Mobile SIM card€ 15$ 16
Cover to see Rebirth Brass Band€ 14$ 15
Club entries in New Orleans€ 14$ 15
Scarf€ 13$ 14
Tuxedo measurements€ 9$ 10
Cape€ 9$ 10
T-shirt€ 6$ 6
T-shirt€ 5$ 6
Wooly hat€ 5$ 5
Earplugs€ 4$ 5
Megaphone NOLA comedy show€ 4$ 5
iTunes movie rental: True Grit€ 3$ 3
Total€ 540$ 586

Way up from €216/$244 last month. I finally splashed out and bought some nice clothes for myself so I look a little less like a ragged backpacker.

Expense Summary

Miscellaneous expenses€ 540$ 586
Food and Drink€ 461$ 500
Business Expenses€ 277$ 300
Travel€ 203$ 220
Housing and Utilities€ 194$ 210
Books€ 20$ 22
Gifts and Donations€ 6$ 6
Total Expenses€ 1,700
$ 1,844

Down a bit from January’s expense total of €1,774/$2,002. My goal was to keep expenses under the $2k mark, so I was just about there.

February Income

Away from the minuses and on to the pluses…

Freelance web design€ 3,670$ 3,982
Paid interview€ 74$ 80
Amazon gift card€ 65$ 70
Reader donations (muchas gracias!)€ 41$ 45
Book sales: The Cargo Ship Diaries (direct from ndoherty.com)€ 20$ 22
Total Income€ 3,870
$ 4,199

Almost double January’s income total of €1,948/$2,198. I was hoping to hit the $5k mark but not all my freelance payments came through before the end of the month. That gives me a good head start on March though 😉

Biggest regret?

Nothing major. One of the clubs I went to in New Orleans was a waste of money, didn’t stay long. I also spent $60 repairing the bicycle I borrowed from a friend. For an extra $20 or so I could have probably bought a new bike.

Where that leaves me

I had €4,389/$4,953 to my name at the end of January. After applying the most recent exchange rates (I have accounts in EUR, HKD and USD), those totals shifted a little to €4,439/$4,814. Taking into account all my January income and expenditure, my total bank and cash balances now work out to €6,533/$7,085.

Here’s how I’m doing so far this year:

  • €174/$196 in January
  • €2,170/$2,355 in February
  • €2,344/$2,551 overall

I should mention that February was the fourth consecutive month that I finished in the green (i.e. I earned more than I spent). I don’t believe I ever had four consecutive green months since becoming self-employed in 2010. Feels good. Let’s hope I can keep it going!

Outlook for March

As mentioned, I got a good head start on the income thanks to some client payments coming through at the beginning of the month. I don’t plan to work as much in March as I did the previous two months, but I may still crack the $4k mark.

As for expenses, I’ll be pretty happy if I can keep everything under $2.5k. Housing and utilities will definitely be higher, and I’ll be out and about doing more social/entertainment stuff.

Feedback welcome

Thoughts? Questions? Speak up in the comments below.

Archived finance reports

I’ve been posting these monthly finance reports since January, 2011 (four years!). You can view all my old reports via this page.

Last thing…

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5 Comments

  1. Fara

    Love what you’re doing, it’s quite inspiring. Good luck next month 🙂

    Reply
  2. Mark

    Good Stuff. What was the paid interview?

    Reply
    • Niall Doherty

      It was this one:
      http://www.nomadned.com/interviews/niall-doherty/

      Usually I’m happy to do that kind of thing for free (it is promotion for my website after all), but I just had too much paid work lined up and couldn’t justify spending an hour or two on something like this. I told the guy as much and he offered to pay me 🙂

      Reply
  3. Frank Collins

    Just started learning web design and found your blog last month. Your transparency is very refreshing and it makes me look forward to future posts. Hope you have a great year.

    – Frank in Houston

    Reply
  4. Chas

    Nice 4 in a row there. Long may it continue. Have you any ideas about outsourcing so you can scale it up?

    What are your plans for when you settle in one place? Because at that point you’ll have to start paying taxes and I would think that is going to make a big dent at this level. You’ll be able to offset expenses vs your income but still have to declare what’s left and pay taxes on it.

    Reply

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