October 2014 Finance Report (subscribers only)

Bienvenido o’ legendary email subscriber. This is my October finance report, as prepared International House Medellín, a pretty cool place to stay if you’re ever passing through the city of eternal spring.

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 was on the move quite a bit in October, making my way through the north of Brazil, Venezuela, and Colombia (you can see my travel map here).

Diving in…

October Expenses

Food and Drink

Eating out€ 211$ 264
Groceries€ 55$ 69
Total€ 266
$ 333

Way down from the €391/$493 I spent on food and drink in September. Venezuela and Colombia have proved a lot cheaper than Brazil at mealtimes 🙂

Housing and Utilities

13 nights at International House Medellín€ 91$ 114
5 nights at Local Hostel Manaus€ 63$ 79
6 nights at Dreamer Hostel, Santa Marta€ 63$ 79
3 nights at Geo Hostel, Medellín€ 32$ 40
1 night at El Paisa Guesthouse, Maicao€ 6$ 7
Total€ 255$ 319

Down a little from the €292/$368 I spent the previous month, and pretty good going methinks. Hostels are very cheap here in Colombia.


4 day trek to La Ciudad Perdida€ 233$ 292
Bus: Manaus to Boa Vista€ 46$ 57
Bus: Santa Marta to Medellín€ 38$ 47
Taxis in Medellín€ 18$ 23
Taxis in Santa Marta€ 13$ 16
Metro in Medellín€ 12$ 15
Bus: Maicao to Santa Marta€ 10$ 12
Taxi in Manaus€ 7$ 9
Bus: Boa Vista To Pacaraima€ 6$ 8
Bus: Puerto La Cruz To Maracaibo€ 6$ 8
Taxi: Maracaibo to Maicao€ 6$ 7
Bus: Santa Elena To Ciudad Bolivar€ 4$ 5
Bus: Ciudad Bolivar To Puerto La Cruz€ 2$ 3
Taxi in Maracaibo€ 2$ 3
Venezuela border exit tax€ 2$ 2
Taxi: Pacaraima to Santa Elena€ 1$ 1
Local bus in Medellín€ 1$ 1
Total € 406 $ 509

Down from the €607/$766 I spent on travel in September. Buses through Venezuela were ridiculously cheap, but that’s more on account of the black market exchange rate than anything else (the official exchange rate would have you broke!). The trek to La Ciudad Perdida wasn’t cheap but was oh-so-worth it. Pics are on Facebook if you want to take a peek.

Business Expenses

AWeber email marketing€ 24$ 30
PayPal fees€ 11$ 14
Total€ 35$ 44

Way down from €227/$287 spent on business in September, mostly because I didn’t have all that much work to do.

Gifts and Donations

Cigarettes to gift to soldiers at La Ciudad Perdida€ 1$ 2
Tour guide tip at Quinta De San Pedro Alejandrino€ 1$ 1
Total€ 2$ 3

Down from €15/$19 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.


Kindle Unlimited€ 8$ 10
The End of Faith€ 8$ 10
Bolivar: American Liberator€ 4$ 5
Why We Make Mistakes€ 2$ 2
Total€ 22$ 27

About the same as last month.

And I’ve signed up to Goodreads, so you can now see and follow all my book recommendations over there.

Miscellaneous Expenses

Electric shaver€ 50$ 63
Apple earpods (x2)€ 25$ 31
Currency exchange fee€ 23$ 29
Laundry€ 16$ 20
Phone credit€ 15$ 19
iTunes rentals: Back to the Future trilogy€ 8$ 10
Entry fee for Planetarium de Medellín€ 5$ 6
Entry fee for Quinta De San Pedro Alejandrino€ 5$ 6
Arcade in Santa Marta€ 4$ 5
iTunes rental: Godzilla€ 3$ 4
Toiletries€ 2$ 3
Colombian SIM card€ 2$ 2
Internet cafes€ 1$ 1
Bus station toilets€ 1$ 1
Total€ 161$ 202

Up from €109/$139 in September.

Expense Summary

Travel€ 406$ 509
Food and Drink€ 266$ 333
Housing and Utilities€ 255$ 319
Miscellaneous expenses€ 161$ 202
Business Expenses€ 35$ 44
Books€ 22$ 27
Gifts and Donations€ 2$ 3
Total Expenses€ 1,147
$ 1,437

Down from September’s expense total of €1,665/$2,101.

October Income

Away from the minuses and on to the pluses…

Freelance web design€ 232$ 290
Book sales from Amazon€ 43$ 54
Reader donations (muchas gracias!)€ 28$ 35
oDesk refund€ 10$ 13
Amazon affiliate income€ 8$ 10
Total Income€ 321
$ 402

Way down from last month’s income totals of €789/$996, which weren’t very good in themselves! All the moving around and not being in a solid routine is not conducive to finding new work projects and plugging away at them.

Biggest regret?

I should have haggled for the price of the electric shaver, could probably have saved myself $15 or $20 on that. I think all my other expenses were fair game, and I’m not too mad about the income since I had plenty of adventures and downtime in September.

Where that leaves me

I had €2,683/$3,385 to my name at the end of September. After applying the most recent exchange rates (I have accounts in EUR, HKD and USD), those totals shifted a little to €2,710/$3,394. Taking into account all my October income and expenditure, my total bank and cash balances now work out to €1,855/$2,323.

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

  • €891/$1,202 in January
  • €550/$759 in February
  • €1,105/$1,525 in March
  • €1,616/$2,241 in April
  • €1,394/$1,900 in May
  • €1,033/$1,412 in June
  • €780/$1,050 in July
  • €1,349/$1,771 in August
  • €876/$1,105 in September
  • €826/$1,035 in October
  • €2,424/$3,152 overall

Outlook for November

I’m about to move into an apartment here in Medellín, and so I’ll soon be in a solid work routine and hopefully earning some nice sheckles. I plan to stay put for the whole month, so I’m giving myself a good shot at boosting my income. As for expenses, I’m going to aim to keep everything under $1,500 for the month. If I can do that, and crack my $5k income goal, I’ll be close to break-even for the year.

Feedback welcome

Thoughts? Questions? Speak up in the comments below.

Archived finance reports

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

Last thing…

As you can see above, I make very little money direct from this website. If you find any of this information or my articles helpful and would like to help ensure I keep on doing what I do, this page is for you.

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