September 2016 Finance Report

Here be all my finances for September. I spent the month living in Berlin, with a quick trip to Kiev via Belgrade. Because, well, why not?

Income

September 2016 income

Freelance web development 1€ 2,218$ 2,493
3M1K 2€ 1,409$ 1,584
Affiliate payment: Secrets Of A Six-Figure Upworker 3€ 129$ 145
Chase Amazon rewards credit 4€ 19$ 21
Book sales (via Amazon) 5€ 13$ 15
Total Income€ 3,788
$ 4,258
Last Month€ 3,760$ 4,190

Almost exactly the same as last month. I was aiming for at least €3k, with a stretch goal of €5k.

Expenses

September 2016 expenses

Food & Drink

Eating out€ 225$ 253
Groceries€ 109$ 123
6 Total
€ 334
$ 375
Last Month€ 333$ 371

Housing & Utilities

1 month at Berlin apartment 7€ 585$ 658
2 nights at hostels in Belgrade€ 35$ 40
2 nights at hostel in Kiev€ 31$ 35
Total€ 651
$ 732
Last Month€ 585$ 652

Health Care

Health insurance (monthly payment)€ 101$ 114
Total€ 101
$ 114
Last Month€ 101$ 113

Travel & Transport

Bicycle repair 8€ 40$ 45
Taxis in Kiev€ 23$ 26
Berlin metro€ 17$ 19
Taxi in Belgrade€ 16$ 18
Local buses in Belgrade€ 5$ 6
Kiev hill tram€ 1$ 1
Kiev metro€ 1$ 1
Total € 103
$ 116
Last Month€ 406$ 452

Business Expenses

iPhone 6s 9€ 645$ 725
Chase Sapphire Reserve annual fee 10€ 400$ 450
Accountant: AGC Associates 11€ 328$ 369
Outsourcing 12€ 186$ 209
PayPal fees€ 71$ 80
ActiveCampaign mailing list software€ 40$ 45
Gleam competition software 13€ 35$ 39
Phone credit€ 30$ 34
Virtual Post Mail 14€ 27$ 30
Domain renewals (via Dreamhost)€ 25$ 28
Stripe fees (for 3M1K payments)€ 24$ 27
Teamwork project management software 15€ 22$ 25
Facebook ads 16€ 22$ 25
MemberMouse 17€ 18$ 20
TransferWise fees 18€ 6$ 7
Google Drive storage (100GB)€ 2$ 2
Amazon Web Services (more storage)€ 1$ 1
Total€ 1,882
$ 2,116
Last Month€ 1,300$ 1,449

Gifts & Donations

Pablove Across America 19€ 27$ 30
Super Mario fundraiser 20€ 25$ 28
Kiev gymnast kids 21€ 2$ 2
Total€ 54
$ 61
Last Month€ 17$ 19

Books 22

Stop Thinking Like A Freelancer **** 23€ 8$ 9
Iacocca: An Autobiography ****€ 7$ 8
Winning Through Intimidation *****€ 6$ 7
Total€ 21
$ 24
Last Month€ 314$ 350

Clothing

Total€ 0
$ 0
Last Month€ 30$ 33

Miscellaneous Expenses

Laser skin treatment 24€ 120$ 135
iPhone case and screen protector€ 20$ 22
Toiletries€ 14$ 16
Kiev zip line 25€ 12$ 13
Berlin walking tour€ 10$ 11
Kiev walking tour€ 10$ 11
Netflix subscription€ 10$ 11
Yoga class in Berlin€ 10$ 11
Belgrade walking tour€ 8$ 9
Quarterly banking fee (Irish bank)€ 7$ 8
Postage€ 5$ 6
Locker rental at Kiev hostel€ 1$ 1
Postcard€ 1$ 1
Monthly banking fee (Dutch bank)€ 1$ 1
Public toilets€ 1$ 1
Total€ 230
$ 259
Last Month€ 53$ 59

Expense Summary

Business Expenses€ 1,882$ 2,116
Housing & Utilities€ 651$ 732
Food & Drink€ 334$ 375
Miscellaneous Expenses€ 230$ 259
Travel & Transport€ 103$ 116
Health Care€ 101$ 114
Gifts & Donations€ 54$ 61
Books€ 21$ 24
Clothing€ 0$ 0
Total Expenses€ 3,376
$ 3,795
Last Month€ 3,139$ 3,498

I thought I might spend as much as €5k in September, so I did quite well here. Though really I just postponed a couple of big expenses that are looming.

Biggest Regret?

The Facebook ads didn’t do much. And I threw away €10 on phone credit by not buying the right package.

Where That Leaves Me

I had €8,546/$9,524 to my name at the end of August.

Taking into account all my September 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 €8,666/$9,742. 26

Outlook For October

I have very little freelance work lined up, so I expect that to be way down. I might hit the €1k mark again with 3M1K but that’s hard to predict. €2k income for the month would actually be decent.

As for expenses, I’m planning to put down a $750 deposit on a travel adventure for next year, and there’s my final rent payment in Berlin. I have my flight to Tenerife already paid for, and possibly two weeks free accommodation lined up there, so that makes it easier. I’ll aim to keep everything under €2.5k.

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.

Summary

Total Income€ 3,788
$ 4,258
Total Expenses€ 3,376
$ 3,795
Profit/Loss€ 412
$ 463

September 2016 finance graph

Footnotes

  1. You can find links and details for my latest web dev projects here.
  2. This is my premium course that teaches people how to start an online freelancing business.
  3. An excellent course by Danny Margulies showing freelancers how to win more work online. It is specifically tailored to help you win more freelance gigs on Upwork.com, but the lessons are applicable to any online marketplace. Note that the affiliate program for this is no longer active but I’m happy to still promote it.
  4. Cashed in a few points on my old credit card.
  5. I currently have two books for sale on Amazon:<ul><li><a href=”http://amzn.to/2aQDUxf” target=”_blank”>The Cargo Ship Diaries</a></li><li><a href=”http://amzn.to/2axMNxQ” target=”_blank”>Disrupting the Rabblement</a></li></ul>
  6. Same as last month. Under €400 is I usually aim for.
  7. I got lucky with my living situation in Berlin. A friend here offered to sublet me his place while out of town for three months. If I had to find a place on my own it would have taken a good bit of searching and I doubt I would have found something for less than €700/month.
  8. I fixed up the botched front wheel of a spare bike here at the apartment, only for the back tyre to blow out a few days later :-/
  9. Finally upgraded from my 3.5-year-old iPhone 5, which had a worn out battery and limited capacity. I waited until the iPhone 7 came out last month and then nabbed a 6s at a reduced price. 64 GB capacity this time around, 4x what I had before.
  10. Sounds like a hefty annual charge on my new credit card, but there are some significant benefits, as outlined here. I get $300 annual travel credit, and I can unlock another $1,500 or more travel credit via my usual spending habits. Plus, I now have access to business lounges at pretty much every airport in the world. Sweet deal!
  11. This was the last month paying my Irish accountant. All my business operations there are now wrapped up. Phew!
  12. I have an assistant helping me with 3M1K and I also hire some other freelancers every now and then to help me out with client projects.
  13. I used this to run this book giveaway a few months back.
  14. 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.
  15. I use this to manage my freelance and personal projects. Handy for communicating with clients and contractors and keeping everything organized.
  16. Ran some ads for the book giveaway last month. Poor results. Wasn’t worth it.
  17. Membership software for the 3M1K website.
  18. Way better than PayPal for transferring money from one currency to another. Minimal fees.
  19. My buddy Wes in New Orleans is doing this 550 mile bike ride to raise money to fight childhood cancer.
  20. Some friends in Amsterdam did a fundraiser to help with a friend’s medical bills.
  21. A few notes for the two girls doing gymnastics on the street, as seen in this video.
  22. You can see all my book recommendations and what I’m currently reading over on Goodreads. I buy many books via Amazon affiliate credit so you won’t always see my book purchases listed here.
  23. Reading this one as part of the monthly book club I started with the 3M1K crew.
  24. Had a couple of annoying warty things on my face. So I paid a German lady to shoot them with a laser.
  25. Zip line across the river in Kiev. Including photos and video. Bargain! You can see the video on this page.
  26. Note that these totals are never quite right, on account of the different currencies and money constantly moving around between accounts. But I couldn’t be arsed figuring it all out perfectly and the above figures are close enough so let’s roll with them.

9 Comments

  1. Ian

    Niall! Great blog post. What are the software tools you’re using to make this page? I love the embedded-hover over- info links. What’s going on here? WordPress Plugin? Are you just JavaScripting like a hero?

    Reply
  2. Nancy

    Oooh it is fancy! Like all the footnotes. Where are you off to next? I didn’t recognize the Tenerife….

    Reply
    • Niall Doherty

      Tenerife is in the Canary Islands, part of Spain, but way down off the coast of Morocco 🙂

      Reply
  3. Christopher Kelly

    You mentioned the facebook ads as your biggest regret. Haven’t had a chance to check out your facebook but have you tried running ads against a video usually gets much better reach and engagement

    Reply
    • Niall Doherty

      Hey Christopher. Yeah, the ads were for a video promotion.

      Reply
  4. Roberto

    Hey Niall,

    I’m wondering why do you pay $30 for virtualpostmail? Do you really have that much mail that you need a bigger plan?

    Reply
    • Niall Doherty

      Not usually that much. Just had to get a couple of pieces of mail shipped to me in September which costs a bit. Could have bundled them together if I’d been a bit more thoughtful about it.

      Reply
      • Roberto

        Ah, I see. I thought I could save you a couple of bucks 🙂

        Reply

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