January 2018 Finance Report

Everything I earned and spent in Gran Canaria, Madrid, and Bulgaria

Below you’ll find all my finance details for January 2018.

I was in Gran Canaria until January 11th, then spent three nights in Madrid before heading to Bansko, Bulgaria for the rest of the month.

Income

January 2018 income chart

Summary

Total Income € 7,647 $ 9,518
Total Expenses € 5,181 $ 6,448
Profit/Loss € 2,466 $ 3,070
January 2018 finance graph

Note: there are a bunch of affiliate links on this page. That means if you click through to another website and buy something from there, I will probably get a commission, but you won’t be charged anything extra (actually you’ll often get a discount). These kickbacks help justify all the time I spend putting these monthly reports together.

3M1K 1 € 4,590 $ 5,713
Freelance web development 2 € 2,815 $ 3,504
Authority Hacker Pro affiliate payment 3 € 145 $ 181
Cheap Flight Checklist 4 € 32 $ 40
Book sales (via Amazon) 5 € 32 $ 40
Client Finder Blueprint 6 € 14 $ 17
Patreon 7 € 12 $ 15
Book sales (via ndoherty.com) 8 € 6 $ 8
Total Income € 7,647
$ 9,518
Last Month € 5,439 $ 6,526

I predicted $5000 income in January, and managed to pull in almost DOUBLE that!

The freelance income was expected, but I was surprised to see 3M1K doing so well. Announcing a mid-month price increase drove some sales, as did the announcement that I would be closing the doors at the end of the month.

3M1K
Authority Hacker
Elegant Themes

Expenses

January 2018 expenses chart

Food & Drink

Groceries 9 € 323 $ 402
Eating out 10 € 311 $ 387
11 Total € 634
$ 789
Last Month € 389 $ 467

Housing & Utilities

8 nights at Moscow apartment 12 € 400 $ 498
1 night at Mejico Apartment, Maspalomas 13 € 0 $ 0
Total € 400 $ 498
Last Month € 1,087 $ 1,304
AirBnB
Booking.com

Health Care

Dentist in Bansko 14 € 128 $ 159
IMG Global Health Insurance 15 € 0 $ 0
Total € 128 $ 159
Last Month € 3 $ 4
IMG Insurance

Travel & Transport

Flights: Gran Canaria (LPA) to Moscow (DME) (x2) 16 € 198 $ 246
Flights: Sofia (SOF) to Moscow (SVO) (x2) 17 € 74 $ 92
Taxi: Sofia to Bansko 18 € 66 $ 83
Flights: Seville (SVQ) to Gran Canaria (LPA) (x2) 19 € 34 $ 42
Taxi: Las Palmas to LPA airport 20 € 30 $ 37
Fuel: Gran Canaria rental car € 26 $ 32
Taxis: Bansko to Banya (round-trip) 21 € 24 $ 30
Parking in Gran Canaria € 4 $ 5
Madrid local bus € 3 $ 4
Madrid metro € 3 $ 4
Rental car: 3 days in Gran Canaria 22 € 0 $ 0
Ubers in Madrid 23 € 0 $ 0
Total € 462 $ 575
Last Month € 132 $ 158
The Cheap Flight Checklist
Rentalcars.com

Business Expenses

Coaching call with Jen Gresham 24 € 803 $ 1,000
Outsourcing 25 € 482 $ 600
ActiveCampaign mailing list software 26 € 369 $ 459
Teamwork project management software 27 € 212 $ 264
MemberMouse 28 € 173 $ 215
Double Your Freelancing Rate 29 € 167 $ 208
PayPal fees 30 € 122 $ 152
Facebook ads 31 € 76 $ 95
Phone credit 32 € 70 $ 87
Laptop diagnostic 33 € 64 $ 80
TransferWise fees 34 € 44 $ 55
Domain renewals € 31 $ 39
SmarterQueue 35 € 18 $ 23
Chatroll 36 € 15 $ 19
Virtual Post Mail 37 € 8 $ 10
Amazon Web Services (storage) 38 € 2 $ 2
Patreon fees 39 € 2 $ 2
Gumroad fees 40 € 1 $ 2
Dreamhost web hosting 41 € 0 $ 0
Elegant Themes subscription 42 € 0 $ 0
Google Drive storage (1TB) 43 € 0 $ 0
Total € 2,660
$ 3,310
Last Month € 737 $ 884
ActiveCampaign
Teamwork
TransferWise
VPM
Dreamhost
Flag Theory

Gifts & Donations

Mac charger 44 € 89 $ 111
Flowers 45 € 8 $ 9
Monthly Love & Courage podcast donation 46 € 5 $ 6
Waking Up podcast donation 47 € 4 $ 5
Total € 106 $ 132
Last Month € 369 $ 443
Love and Courage podcast

Books 48

Humans Need Not Apply 49 *** € 8 $ 10
Start With Why 50 *** € 8 $ 10
The Big Leap 51 € 8 $ 10
Thomas Edison: Inventing the Modern World 52 € 2 $ 3
Total € 26 $ 33
Last Month € 45 $ 54

Clothing 53

6 pairs of underwear € 36 $ 45
Navy Ellesse fleece € 25 $ 31
Black sweater € 20 $ 25
Black ski pants € 18 $ 22
Thermal pants € 18 $ 22
Grey sweater € 16 $ 20
Navy sweater € 16 $ 20
Black PayPal fleece 54 € 15 $ 19
Navy sweater € 15 $ 19
Grey scarf € 10 $ 12
5 pairs of socks € 10 $ 12
Gloves € 8 $ 10
Total € 207 $ 258
Last Month € 0 $ 0

Miscellaneous Expenses

1-on-1 snowboarding lessons (6 hours) 55 € 212 $ 264
Lift passes for snowboarding in Bansko (6 days) € 176 $ 219
Snowboarding equipment rental (4 days) € 85 $ 106
Thermal baths (x2) 56 € 28 $ 35
Toiletries € 28 $ 35
Netflix subscription € 11 $ 14
Amazon Movie Rental: Up ***** € 3 $ 4
Laundry € 3 $ 4
Earplugs € 3 $ 4
Kitchen cleaning supplies € 3 $ 4
ATM fee (Irish bank) € 2 $ 2
Monthly banking fee (Dutch bank) € 1 $ 2
Disposable lighter € 1 $ 1
Candles € 1 $ 1
Printing € 1 $ 1
Total € 558 $ 694
Last Month € 74 $ 89

Expense Summary

Housing & Utilities € 400 $ 498
Business Expenses € 2,660 $ 3,310
Food & Drink € 634 $ 789
Gifts & Donations € 106 $ 132
Travel & Transport € 462 $ 575
Miscellaneous Expenses € 558 $ 694
Books € 26 $ 33
Health Care € 128 $ 159
Clothing € 207 $ 258
Total Expenses € 5,181 $ 6,448
Last Month € 2,836 $ 3,403

I was aiming to keep everything under €2500 for the month, so… yeah, that didn’t happen.

Business expenses were way more than expected, especially with the $1k invested in coaching. I also failed to predict all that spending on the snowboarding stuff, food and drink, the dentist, and flights for the coming months.

Humans Need Not Apply
Start With Why
The Big Leap
Thomas Edison: Inventing the Modern World
Up

Biggest Regret?

Funny thing: I spent way more this month than usual – $6,448 in total – and there’s almost nothing I can point to as a regretful expense. Closest thing would be one of the lift passes for snowboarding, which we couldn’t use due to bad weather, but that only cost €29.

Everything else I consider money well spent.

I actually had to check myself because at first I felt bad for spending “so much” money.

But it’s not how much I earn or spend that’s most important: it’s the difference between the two. And in January the difference was $3,000 in the green, which I’ve rarely been able to claim in the past.

So yeah, I’ll chalk January up as a massive success.

Where That Leaves Me

I had €12,805 / $15,365 to my name at the end of December.

Taking into account all my January 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 €15,406 / $19,176. 57

Outlook For February

I’ll be paying quite a bit for accommodation, have a $300 accountant bill due, and will likely invest in coaching, so I expect my expenses will be in the $4000 range for the month.

As for income, I’ve closed the doors on 3M1K but have about $2000 due on payment plans in February. I also have about €1500 coming my way from freelance work. Beyond that I can’t predict. I will be on the lookout for new coaching and consulting clients to make some magic with, but that’s not something I’m going to rush.

How I Track All This

Curious as to how I track everything I earn and spend? Check this video…

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. This is my course that teaches people how to start an online freelance business. I closed the doors at the end of January and won’t be opening it up again until May at the earliest.
  2. This is how I’ve earned most of my income for the past seven years. You can see some samples of my work here.
  3. This is an excellent program for advanced online business builders that I recommend often. You can see my review of it here.
  4. This is a short guide I created with a friend to help people save money and time when booking flights online. We split the profits.
  5. I currently have two books for sale on Amazon:

  6. This is a sub-course of 3M1K that helps freelancers find more and better-paying clients.
  7. I just recently got set up on Patreon (see my profile here) and have six patrons on there kindly supporting my work by sending me a few bucks each month.
  8. I sell both of my books via this page as well as on Amazon.
  9. I picked up the grocery bill a few extra times since my income was way up.
  10. I ate out a bit more than usual and treated some friends and my girlfriend to several meals throughout the month.
  11. Under €400 is what I usually aim for, so way more than usual.
  12. This is for my trip to Moscow in February. Found the place on Airbnb. Use this link to sign up and you’ll get $36 off your first Airbnb booking.
  13. Found on Booking.com, but got the money back via my annual $300 Chase Sapphire Reserve travel credit. Use this Booking.com link to find accommodation there and you’ll get a €15 discount.
  14. This was for 5 trips to the dentist. I got a double root canal and teeth cleaning. Very happy with the work.
  15. I paid for 12 months up front back in May, but listing it here each month so you don’t have to ask :-) Works out to $109/month and covers me everywhere in the world.
  16. For myself and the missus in April.
  17. For myself and the missus in February. The price was actually $374, but points on my Chase Sapphire Reserve card saved me $282.
  18. Could have saved a good bit here by taking the bus, but would have taken at least twice as long and we would have had to rush from the airport to the bus station.
  19. For myself and the missus in March.
  20. Had to catch an early flight so the bus wasn’t an option.
  21. Took a taxi to and from a thermal bath.
  22. This should have cost me €65 but got it free as part of my $300 Chase Sapphire Reserve annual travel credit.
  23. Two Uber trips should have cost me €34 but got them free as part of my $300 Chase Sapphire Reserve annual travel credit.
  24. Yup, I paid $1k for a single coaching call. And it was totally worth it.
  25. I have an assistant helping me with 3M1K and I also hire some other freelancers every now and then to help me out with various projects.
  26. Annual payment.
  27. Annual payment. I use this to manage my freelance and personal projects. Handy for communicating with clients and contractors and keeping everything organized.
  28. Annual payment. This powers my 3M1K.com membership site.
  29. This is an online course teaching freelancers how to deliver more value and charge a higher price for their services.
  30. Mostly on 3M1K and client payments.
  31. To promote my 7 Years As A Digital Nomad video.
  32. We’ve had crappy internet at our Airbnb in Bansko, so spending quite a bit on a 4G back-up connection.
  33. My MacBook Pro was making a weird noise so I got it checked out in Las Palmas. They didn’t find any problems with it, and it hasn’t made any noise since.
  34. I use TransferWise quite a lot now to send and receive money. From clients, to contractors, etc. Works out way cheaper than PayPal.
  35. I use this to schedule and recycle social media posts.
  36. I was using this live chat service for a weekly webinar to promote my 3M1K course. No need for it anymore so I’ve canceled it..
  37. This service allows me to receive old-fashioned mail in the USA without having a physical address there. They scan any mail received and email it to me, and can also forward along any important documents to another address I specify.
  38. I use this for hosting podcast episodes, among other things.
  39. This is the cut they take from the money my patrons send to me each month. You can see my Patreon profile here.
  40. I use Gumroad to process payments for The Cargo Ship Diaries, the Cheap Flight Checklist and The Rabble Rouser’s Guide To Travel.
  41. I use Dreamhost for all my domain registrations and web hosting. Use my link and you’ll get $25 off shared hosting over there and I’ll even help you get set up :-)
  42. I use this for updates to the Divi WordPress theme that powers this website and 3M1K.com. I paid for a year last March, cost $69.
  43. Remote storage so i can keep a bunch of stuff backed up in the cloud. I paid for a year in advance last July, worked out to $100.
  44. My girlfriend’s charger was shot so I decided to earn some boyfriend points :-)
  45. I gets fierce romantic sometimes.
  46. Recurring donation to show support for one of my favorite Irish people and his new podcast. We need more people like Ruairi getting their voices heard.
  47. Via Patreon, I donate $1 per episode of this podcast because I reckon it does a lot of good in the world and we need more like it.
  48. You can see all my book recommendations and what I’m currently reading over on Goodreads.
  49. A bit dry considering the subject matter.
  50. Great message, mediocre book.
  51. Still reading this, liking it a lot so far.
  52. Haven’t started this one yet.
  53. I bought quite a few items of clothing to survive the cold and the snowboarding in Bulgaria.
  54. Bought this in a second-hand clothing store. It has a small PayPal log on it.
  55. Had a great instructor from Method Snow School in Bansko.
  56. Spent an evening with my lady at an outdoor heated pool and jacuzzi.
  57. Note that these totals are never quite right and don’t really align with my profit/loss numbers each month. That’s because of the different currencies and money constantly moving around between my accounts, plus I have some investments that can make or lose money in any given month. But I couldn’t be arsed figuring it all out perfectly and the above figures are close enough so let’s roll with them.

4 Comments

  1. Karol

    Nice, Niall! On both the increased income and your mindset about spending (and in some cases investing) money. Also, wow are the dentists cheap in Bulgaria. (I mean, doing it there basically paid for your snowboarding trip instead of doing it in Western Europe.)

    I must’ve missed it, but why did you close down 3M1K until May (or later)? Revamping it? Too much workload for the time being? Want to focus more on current members? Something else?

    Reply
    • Niall Doherty

      Thanks, Karol!

      I decided to close down 3M1K for a few reasons, but the main one is so I can focus on my own freelancing for a few months and build that up to $5k/month consistently.

      Reply
  2. Anton

    Nice work! Fairly smashed it there! Re closing 3M1K, just goes to show how urgency and scarcity will always work, provided you mean it and aren’t using it just as a tactic – which I’ve seen some people do.

    Reply
  3. Nancy L

    Niall, its great to see you have such success, you deserve it!

    Reply

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