February 2016 Finance Report (subscribers only)

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

February Expenses

February Expenses

Food & Drink

Groceries€ 181$ 196
Eating out€ 127$ 138
Total€ 308
$ 334
Last Month€ 276$ 301

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$ 1,258
Total€ 1,160
$ 1,258
Last Month€ 1,160$ 1,258

Yup, I could save quite a bit on rent by sharing an apartment, but I’m happy to pay a premium for my own place in a central location.

Taxes

Total€ 0
$ 0
Last Month€ 0$ 0

Now that I’m staying in one place long enough to be considered a resident, I’ll soon be on the hook to pay taxes. At some point I should set myself up so I’m putting money aside each month :-/

Health Care

Health insurance (monthly payment)€ 101$ 110
Total€ 101
$ 110
Last Month€ 101$ 110

Travel & Transport

Total € 0
$ 0
Last Month€ 15$ 16

Business Expenses

Accountant: AGC Associates€ 410$ 445
iDevAffiliate (for 3M1K)€ 82$ 89
Thrive Landing Pages (used here and here)€ 60$ 65
PayPal fees (mostly for 3M1K payments)€ 50$ 54
ActiveCampaign email marketing€ 42$ 46
Stripe fees (for 3M1K payments)€ 37$ 40
Domain registrations€ 25$ 27
Business credit card annual fee€ 19$ 21
MemberMouse (for 3M1K)€ 18$ 20
Buffer social media management€ 10$ 11
StartDock business lunch€ 5$ 5
Google Drive storage (100GB)€ 2$ 2
Gumroad fees (for sales of The Cargo Ship Diaries)€ 1$ 1
Amazon Web Services (more storage)€ 1$ 1
Total€ 762
$ 826
Last Month€ 1,194$ 1,300

Think I’m paying my accountant too much? You’re not alone. I addressed this in a previous report.

Gifts & Donations

Total€ 0
$ 0
Last Month€ 13$ 14

Books

Open (Andre Agassi’s autobiography) ****€ 12$ 13
Missing You ***€ 10$ 11
Blaize And The Maven€ 1$ 1
Total€ 23
$ 25
Last Month€ 9$ 10

Listed above are only the books I paid for last month. I also get books as gifts and via rewards credit. You can see all my book recommendations and what I’m currently reading over on Goodreads. I usually get through a book a week.

Clothing

Total€ 0
$ 0
Last Month€ 218$ 237

Miscellaneous Expenses

Salsa classes (x4)€ 44$ 48
Toiletries€ 23$ 25
Sleeping pills€ 14$ 15
Vrog Freerunning training session€ 13$ 14
Netflix subscription€ 8$ 9
De Nieuwe Anita entry€ 8$ 9
Language cafe entry€ 4$ 4
Tip jar at Mezrab€ 3$ 3
Monthly banking fee€ 3$ 3
Total€ 120
$ 130
Last Month€ 124$ 135

Expense Summary

Housing & Utilities€ 1,160$ 1,258
Business Expenses€ 762$ 826
Food & Drink€ 308$ 334
Miscellaneous Expenses€ 120$ 130
Health Care€ 101$ 110
Books€ 23$ 25
Clothing€ 0$ 0
Gifts & Donations€ 0$ 0
Taxes€ 0$ 0
Travel & Transport€ 0$ 0
Total Expenses€ 2,474
$ 2,683
Last Month€ 3,110$ 3,386

I didn’t set a goal for expenses in February, but I’m happy enough with how everything shook out.

February Income

February Income

3M1K€ 2,518$ 2,731
VAT refund€ 138$ 150
Freelance web development€ 45$ 49
Credit card rewards credit€ 44$ 48
Book sales (via Amazon)€ 17$ 18
Book sales (via ndoherty.com)€ 16$ 17
Total Income€ 2,778
$ 3,013
Last Month€ 54$ 59

I didn’t have a goal set here either. 3M1K did quite well for its first month, but I’d like to get generating €3k/month consistently.

Biggest Regret?

I think my worst financial decision in February was the initial pricing structure of 3M1K. I launched it at €97/month, but many people responded that they didn’t like signing up for an indefinite monthly payment and would be more likely to buy if I offered lifetime access for an upfront fee.

So I made the change.

Unfortunately, not many of those people who said they’d sign up if I offered lifetime access for an upfront fee actually went ahead and signed up once I offered them lifetime access for an upfront fee.

Goes to show that what people say they want and what they actually want are two very different things :-/

Still, I suspect that I would have seen a few more signups if I had come out of the gate with the lifetime access.

Where That Leaves Me

I had €4,767/$5,191 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 €4,946/$5,364.

Taking into account all my February income and expenditure, my total bank and cash balances now work out to €5,026/$5,451.

Outlook For March

I’m going to try keep expenses under the €2,500 mark again. Whether or not that’s a realistic mark will depend on how my tax situation shakes out. It’s proving very difficult to get straight answers about where I should pay my personal taxes without paying a fortune for advice.

Income is tough to call, too. Part of me hopes/expects 3M1K to take off at some point and make me rich, but realistically I expect it to generate €2k this month. I’m taking on select freelance projects again though, so if all goes well there I might be able to finish the month with at least €3k in my pocket.

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.

8 Comments

  1. Hazel

    “Unfortunately, not many of those people who said they’d sign up if I offered lifetime access for an upfront fee actually went ahead and signed up once I offered them lifetime access for an upfront fee.” I know right!

    Noticed that you are using Thrive Landing Page. 🙂 I love the team behind this product.

    Reply
  2. Jonathan

    Hi Niall

    Since you’re an EU citizen, why are you paying for health insurance? I thought you’d get it for free or same rules as Dutch people?

    Or cover yourself with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)?

    No doubt you’ve looked in this, so I’m probably missing something here 🙂

    Reply
    • Niall Doherty

      It’s illegal to be a resident in the Netherlands and not have health insurance. It’s not free here, not even for Dutch people.

      Reply
  3. Jonathan

    Hey Niall

    What software/tool did you use to create the fancy graphs in the reports?

    Reply
    • Niall Doherty

      The top one is generated by Google Sheets. The pie charts are direct from the MoneyWiz app that I use to track all my income and expenses.

      Reply
      • Valentin

        Hey Niall cool report!

        How do you use MoneyWiz app? Do you sync it with banking or you pull out your phone to mark the expense each time..?

        Cheer!
        Val

        Reply
        • Niall Doherty

          Hey Val,

          I do almost everything manually, so I pull out my phone and mark each expense as I go. The only exception is with some recurring expenses. I don’t think the bank sync is much good as I like to be able to enter exactly what I spent my money on when I spend it. If, for example, I go to the supermarket, I like to enter what I spent on groceries separate from what I spend on toiletries.

          Reply
  4. Florian

    I’m very impressed by how much you earned with the course in it’s first month. Well done. I’m sure if you keep optimizing and tweaking it and improve it, you’ll be very successful with it. With everything you learn from doing it, I’m sure you can grow that income a lot in the next 6-10 months.

    Reply

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