September 2015 Finance Report (subscribers only)

Well hello there o’ legendary email subscriber. This is my September 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. The image above will make sense by the time you’re done, I promise 😉

Diving in…

September Expenses

Food & Drink

Eating out€ 242$ 271
Groceries€ 203$ 227
Total€ 445
$ 498

Down a bit from €517/$582 the the previous month. My ideal is to keep my total food and drink expenses around the €400 mark each month, so I didn’t quite make the mark.

Housing & Utilities

2 months rent for Amsterdam apartment (utilities included)€ 2,300$ 2,576
Total€ 2,300
$ 2,576

Way up from last month’s total of €45/51, which was expected since I choose to pay rent every two months instead of every month. I won’t be on the hook for another rent payment now until November.

Travel & Transport

Total € 0
$ 0

All the way down from the €80/90 I spent on travel and transport in August. I had my travel card loaded up for tram/metro trips but mostly I just used my trusty bicycle 🙂

Business Expenses

Web design outsourcing€ 219$ 245
AWeber email marketing€ 71$ 79
Gumroad fees€ 45$ 50
Edgar social media management€ 44$ 49
PayPal fees€ 42$ 47
Affiliate commissions for Travel The World + Work Online€ 39$ 44
Zapier basic plan€ 18$ 20
Google Drive storage (100GB)€ 2$ 2
Total€ 479
$ 536

Almost half the €893/1,006 I spent on business in August. Some notes on the above:

  • Edgar is a service I started using recently to push more content out to my Facebook page. It’s pretty cool in that it allows you to automatically recycle content, so you can put a lot of evergreen stuff in there (like many of my old blog posts) and let it keep posting on your behalf. The $49/month price tag is a bit hefty, but once I have a few things set up to make the most of the extra traffic Edgar generates, it should easily pay for itself.
  • Gumroad is the payment processor I used to sell Travel The World + Work Online.

Gifts & Donations

UNICEF Ireland appeal for Syrian refugee crisis€ 56$ 63
Donation at De Ceuvel refugee fund-raiser€ 10$ 11
Total€ 66
$ 74

Up from €5/$6 last month. Listening to this episode of An Irishman Abroad convinced me to make a few donations.

Books

In The City Of Bikes€ 12$ 13
Of Mice And Men€ 8$ 9
Post Office€ 7$ 8
Flowers For Algernon€ 5$ 6
Total€ 32
$ 36

Up from the €18/$20 I spent on books in August. You can see all my book recommendations and what I’m currently reading over on Goodreads.

Clothing

Grey hoody€ 15$ 17
Fluffy puppy slippers (pictured above 😉 )€ 15$ 17
2 navy t-shirts€ 14$ 16
Total€ 44
$ 50

Way down from last month’s total of €139/$157. I have a clothing budget of €150/month but roll over anything unspent to the next month. For September I had €187 to play with, so now in October I’ll have €293.

Miscellaneous Expenses

1 year gym membership€ 110$ 123
AdultFriendFinder.com (NSFW) 4-month subscription€ 50$ 56
Entry to Sauna Deco in Amsterdam€ 22$ 25
Friday night entertainment at Mezrab (pay what you want)€ 20$ 22
Keys cut€ 12$ 13
Toiletries€ 11$ 12
Amsterdam walking tour€ 10$ 11
Multi-tool for bicycle€ 10$ 11
Theater Show: Northern Lights€ 10$ 11
Netflix subscription€ 8$ 9
Kitchen cleaning supplies€ 3$ 3
Batteries€ 3$ 3
Amazon movie rental: The Notebook€ 2$ 3
Toilet entry in public library (more than once)€ 2$ 3
Total€ 272
$ 305

Not far off last month’s total of €299/$337. Some notes:

  • I was hitting up a local park here five mornings a week for exercise, but with Winter fast approaching it was getting a bit dark and dreary there at 7am. So I signed up for a gym just around the corner from me. €110/year is a bit of a ridiculous price considering they have pretty good facilities. The only restriction with my membership is I can’t be in there after 5pm, but that works fine for me.
  • After spending €40 on a date that went nowhere a couple of months back, I decided to try investing a bit of money in Adult Friend Finder instead. Jury’s still out on whether or not it’s worth it.

Expense Summary

Housing & Utilities€ 2,300$ 2,576
Business Expenses€ 479$ 536
Food & Drink€ 445$ 498
Miscellaneous expenses€ 272$ 305
Gifts & Donations€ 66$ 74
Clothing€ 45$ 50
Books€ 32$ 36
Travel & Transport€ 0$ 0
Total Expenses€ 3,638
$ 4,075

Almost double last month’s expense total of €1,997/$2,249. I was aiming to keep expenses under $3.6k (that’s about $1k on top of my rent payment) but fell about $500 short of that.

September Income

Away from the minuses and on to the pluses…

Sales of Travel The World + Work Online€ 904$ 1,013
Freelance web design€ 821$ 920
Fake flight itinerary€ 89$ 100
Affiliate income: Danny’s Elance/Upwork course€ 53$ 59
Affiliate income: Amazon€ 45$ 50
Book sales (via Amazon)€ 39$ 44
Total Income€ 1,952
$ 2,186

Down from €2,686/$3,026 the previous month. My income goal for September was only $2k though so I managed that and then some.

Some notes:

  • I put the guide on sale for a 24-hour period at the end of August, to give people one more chance to buy it this year. Now I’m busy transforming the Work Online part of the guide into an online course, which I believe will be a much better format for the information. If all goes to plan, I’ll be launching the course in January.
  • The “fake flight itinerary” income above is from people contacting me via this video, asking me to create fake flight itineraries for them.

Biggest regret?

I can’t really point to any purchases that I regret making in September. The theater show I went to sucked but I got to hang out with friends for the evening, so can’t really call that a waste.

Where that leaves me

I had €10,907/$12,286 to my name at the end of August. After applying the most recent exchange rates (I have accounts in EUR, HKD and USD), those totals shifted a little to €10,951/$12,266. Taking into account all my September income and expenditure, my total bank and cash balances now work out to €9,304/$10,421.

Here’s how I’m doing so far this year in terms of profit and loss:

  • €174/$196 in January
  • €2,170/$2,355 in February
  • €608/$655 in March
  • €1,366/$1,526 in April
  • €389/$425 in May
  • €1,422/$1,576 in June
  • €2,945/$3,236 in July
  • €689/$777 in August
  • €1,686/$1,889 in September
  • €5,233/$5,705 overall

Outlook for October

Expenses will be much lower this month given that I’ll have no rent payment. I’ll have to book flights home for Christmas, there will be some new business expenses, and I’m going to try get my health insurance sorted before November hits. Taking all that into consideration though, I’m thinking I shouldn’t have much trouble keeping everything under the $2k mark.

As for income, I have almost $3k owed for freelance work and should be able to collect all of that before the end of the month. With a few other bits and pieces, I might be able to pull in $3.5k total.

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.

9 Comments

  1. Sean Casey

    The Notebook ?

    Reply
  2. Perlin

    What tools do you use to keep track of your finances and organise it before writing it up in this document (apps, excel, etc)?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Niall Doherty

      I use an app called MoneyWiz to track everything, then export the monthly reports that generates as PDF’s. I’ve started using a spreadsheet as well to automatically calculate the exchange rate for each entry, and then I transfer everything into WordPress here, copying over the page for the previous month and modifying that.

      Reply
  3. AMC

    Adult Friend Finder?? Noooo, nooo, noooo. Bots, spammer and ladies of the night. Very 2004…cancel that subscription dude!

    Give Tinder / POF / Match a go (or another go). The latter is a paid option too, but you’ll find lots of nice (real) girls on there 🙂

    Reply
    • Niall Doherty

      AFF has been very good to a friend of mine. I deleted Tinder because that wasn’t getting me anywhere. I’ve been on POF and OKCupid for a long time and have met some women from those sites, but they’re generally looking for a committed, long-term relationship (which I’m not).

      Reply
  4. AMC

    Ah right. Well I guess see what happens so. I am looking for long-term relationship myself, but curiously I haven’t had one from the aforementioned sites after many, many years. Actually deleted POF last night so I wasn’t actually recommending it as such – more deterring you from AFF which I now see could potentially work for you 🙂

    Great blog by the way – especially the videos!

    Reply

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