May 2016 Finance Report (subscribers only)

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

May Expenses


Food & Drink

Groceries€ 217$ 242
Eating out 1€ 173$ 193
Total€ 390
$ 435
Last Month€ 321$ 368

Housing & Utilities

1 month’s rent for Amsterdam apartment 2€ 1,160$ 1,295
Total€ 1,160
$ 1,295
Last Month€ 1,160$ 1,328


Total€ 0
$ 0
Last Month€ 159$ 182

Health Care

Health insurance (monthly payment)€ 101$ 113
Total€ 101
$ 113
Last Month€ 101$ 116

Travel & Transport

Flights: AMS-ORK return trip in July 3€ 142$ 159
Ov-chipkaart 4€ 50$ 56
Total € 192
$ 214
Last Month€ 648$ 742

Business Expenses

Taxes€ 735$ 821
Accountant: AGC Associates 5€ 410$ 458
Outsourcing€ 280$ 313
Stripe fees (for 3M1K payments)€ 88$ 98
PayPal fees (mostly for 3M1K payments)€ 69$ 77
Thrive Leads 6€ 59$ 66
3M1K affiliate payment 7€ 49$ 55
ActiveCampaign 8€ 40$ 45
Thrive Content Builder upgrade 9€ 26$ 29
Teamwork project management software 10€ 26$ 29
MemberMouse (for 3M1K)€ 18$ 20
Phone credit€ 15$ 17
PDT Mastermind Talks 11€ 6$ 7
TransferWise fees 12€ 2$ 2
Google Drive storage (100GB)€ 2$ 2
Amazon Web Services (more storage)€ 2$ 2
Gumroad fees (for sales of The Cargo Ship Diaries)€ 1$ 1
Total€ 1,828
$ 2,041
Last Month€ 1,038$ 1,189

Gifts & Donations

Wedding gift 13€ 52$ 58
Book: Flavors of Life (x2) 14€ 40$ 45
Donation to Colombia house building project 15€ 26$ 29
Beer for bike shop 16€ 9$ 10
Total€ 127
$ 142
Last Month€ 0$ 0

Books 17

Ryanair: How a Small Irish Airline Conquered Europe ****€ 6$ 7
Total€ 6
$ 7
Last Month€ 0$ 0


Tailor 18€ 8$ 9
Total€ 8
$ 9
Last Month€ 71$ 81

Miscellaneous Expenses

Strong Viking 2016 19€ 67$ 75
Keukenhof ticket (bus + entry) 20€ 24$ 27
Sunscreen€ 10$ 11
Netflix subscription€ 9$ 10
Toiletries€ 9$ 10
Mastermind meetup€ 5$ 6
Laundry€ 5$ 6
Cover charge for random bar€ 5$ 6
Kitchen cleaning stuff€ 2$ 2
Language meetup€ 2$ 2
Toilet entry at festival€ 1$ 1
Coat check at random bar€ 1$ 1
Monthly banking fee (Dutch bank)€ 1$ 1
Bin bags€ 1$ 1
Total€ 142
$ 159
Last Month€ 63$ 72

Expense Summary

Business Expenses€ 1,828$ 2,041
Housing & Utilities€ 1,160$ 1,295
Food & Drink€ 390$ 435
Travel & Transport€ 192$ 214
Miscellaneous Expenses€ 142$ 159
Gifts & Donations€ 127$ 142
Health Care€ 101$ 113
Clothing€ 8$ 9
Books€ 6$ 7
Taxes€ 0$ 0
Total Expenses€ 3,954
$ 4,415
Last Month€ 3,561$ 4,078

My goal was to keep expenses under €3,000, so obviously I went a bit overboard there. Business taxes were the main expense I failed to anticipate.

May Income


Freelance web development€ 3,293$ 3,677
3M1K 21€ 2,689$ 3,002
Affiliate payment: Secrets of a Six-Figure Upworker 22€ 308$ 344
VAT refund€ 149$ 166
Book sales (via Amazon)€ 37$ 41
Sales of The Cargo Ship Diaries (via€ 11$ 12
Total Income€ 6,487
$ 7,243
Last Month€ 3,624$ 4,150

I was aiming to pull in at least €4k in May, with €5k as a stretch goal, so I did much better than expected. I didn’t foresee 3M1K doing quite so well, and more freelance payments came through than expected.

Biggest Regret?

No regrets this month. It was a good one 🙂

Where That Leaves Me

I had €6,383/$7,309 to my name at the end of April. After applying the most recent exchange rates (I have accounts in EUR, HKD and USD), those totals shifted a little to €6,405/$7,151.

Taking into account all my May income and expenditure, my total bank and cash balances now work out to €9,579/$10,695. 23

Outlook For June

Expenses should be down as I’ll have no business taxes and I’ll no longer be paying rent in Amsterdam. I’ll try keep everything under €3k, with €2.5k as a stretch goal.

Income will come way down as I only have a couple of small freelancing projects lined up and it’s unlikely that I’ll get enough new people signed up to 3M1K to match May. If I hit €3k overall I’ll be happy.

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.


  1. I ate out a little more than usual as I had a few friends in town throughout the month.
  2. My final big rent payment in Amsterdam. I’ll be moving to Berlin soon! More about all that in my latest Momentos.
  3. I’ll be spending a week back in Ireland visiting family.
  4. This is a travel card that you can use for public transport in the Netherlands.
  5. Think I’m paying my accountant too much? You’re not alone. I addressed this in a previous report.
  6. Software for capturing email addresses on my websites.
  7. When someone is an affiliate for 3M1K, I pay them €49 for any sale they refer.
  8. Software for my mailing list.
  9. Software to make my blog posts look purdy. Like this one: Cargo Ship Travel. Had to upgrade so I could use it on more than one website.
  10. I use this to manage my freelance and personal projects. Handy for communicating with clients and contractors and keeping everything organized.
  11. Event in Amsterdam about making money online.
  12. TransferWise is changing the game for me in terms of sending/receiving money abroad. PayPal used to be my go-to for that purpose, but their fees and exchange rates are ridiculous. TransferWise uses real exchange rates and a flat fee of €2 for every transfer.
  13. For the wedding I’m attending in New Orleans in June.
  14. My friend Jessica wrote this and self-published this beautiful book. I bought two copies to give away as gifts to friends.
  15. My friend Danny is raising money to help build a new home for a deserving family in Colombia.
  16. The guys at my favorite bike shop in Amsterdam keep refusing to charge me for quick fixes to my bike so I bought them a 12-pack of beer.
  17. You can see all my book recommendations and what I’m currently reading over on Goodreads.
  18. Had them stitch up the crotch of my shabby jeans.
  19. I’ll be back in Amsterdam in October to do this 19km obstacle run. It’s going to be mental. Check the video here for a taste.
  20. Described as “the most beautiful spring garden in the world.” They might be right. I went for a visit with a friend.
  21. This is my premium course that teaches people how to start an online freelancing business.
  22. A great course by Danny Marguiles that I recommend to people looking for an alternative to my 3M1K course.
  23. Note that these totals are never quite right. For example, there’s money in my business account that’s earmarked for VAT so it’s not really mine. But I couldn’t be arsed figuring it all out perfectly and the above figures are close enough so let’s roll with them.


  1. Michel

    My wife asks, how is your laundry only $5? 🙂

    • Niall Doherty

      Haha. I have a washing machine. I just buy detergent and softener once every couple of months.

  2. John

    Your accountant is ripping you off!!

  3. Emer

    Are you breaking your Amsterdam lease?

    • Niall Doherty

      Yeah, but not an issue. The landlord didn’t even mention it when I told him I was moving out. Rental contracts here are more for protecting renters than landlords.

  4. Anton

    Hey Niall, is that rent for a one-bed in Amsterdam? Presume it is but just wondering 🙂

  5. Faouzi

    You have been doing fine in my opinion ,but you didn’t mentioned the “salsa class” and the “gym”!Did you stopped?

    • Niall Doherty

      I stopped the salsa classes, yeah. I paid one year up front for the gym so no monthly payment.

  6. Michael Hayden

    Hi Niall,
    You are fortunate to be leaving behind that con artist of an accountant when you go to Berlin :-))
    I’m looking forward to hearing about your experience in Berlin, I wish you all the best.
    I’m also surprised at that steep rent in Amsterdam !!


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