January 2019 Finance Report

Everything I earned and spent in Thailand and Vietnam

Below you’ll find all my finance details for January 2019.

I spent the month in Chiang Mai, Thailand, except for a week-long vacation in Phu Quoc, Vietnam.

Summary

January 2019 finance graph

Total Income € 3,240 $ 3,711
Total Expenses € 2,587 $ 2,963
Profit/Loss € 653 $ 747

Income

January 2019 income

Consulting / Project Management 1 € 2,261 $ 2,589
Freedom Business Builder 2 € 386 $ 442
Aweber affiliate payment 3 € 251 $ 287
Chase Sapphire Reserve credit 4 € 211 $ 242
SafetyWing affiliate payment 5 € 97 $ 111
Book sales (via Amazon) € 34 $ 39
Total Income € 3,240
$ 3,711
Previous Month € 2,852 $ 3,278

I was aiming to pull in €3,000 in January. Mission accomplished.

Expenses

January 2019 expenses

Food & Drink

Eating out € 408 $ 467
Groceries € 138 $ 158
Total € 546
$ 625
Previous Month € 463 $ 532

Eating out is very cheap in Chiang Mai but I do so at least two times per day. It’s actually more expensive to buy groceries and cook your own meals, but I also like to do that occasionally. I also spend quite a bit on coffee.

Housing & Utilities

1 month at Chiang Mai condo 6 € 545 $ 624
Electricity bill, Chiang Mai condo (2 months) € 64 $ 73
1 night at Saigon hotel 7 € 0 $ 0
Total € 609
$ 697
Previous Month € 578 $ 664

Health Care

SafetyWing travel insurance 8 € 32 $ 37
Eye care € 7 $ 8
Total € 39
$ 45
Previous Month € 52 $ 60

Travel & Transport

Last-minute Vietnam visa 9 € 164 $ 188
Flight: Gran Canaria to Cork 10 € 154 $ 176
Flight: Dublin to Amsterdam 11 € 70 $ 81
Checked bag fees for 3 flights € 35 $ 40
6 day scooter rental in Phu Quoc, Vietnam € 30 $ 34
Taxis / tuktuks / songthaews in Chiang Mai € 24 $ 27
Scooter fuel € 4 $ 5
Total € 481
$ 551
Previous Month € 33 $ 37

Business Expenses

Teamwork project management software (annual payment) 12 € 230 $ 264
Course: Earn More Writing 13 € 174 $ 199
Course: The Business Of Travel Blogging 14 € 86 $ 99
Course: Social Media Marketing Agency 2.0 15 € 85 $ 97
Hub 53 flexi plan (x4) 16 € 42 $ 48
Course: The 67 Steps 17 € 32 $ 37
SmarterQueue 18 € 19 $ 22
Google Drive storage (1TB) 19 € 17 $ 20
MemberMouse 20 € 17 $ 20
1 month home Internet in Chiang Mai € 14 $ 16
Phone credit € 13 $ 15
SSL certificate € 13 $ 15
YouTube Premium 21 € 10 $ 12
Virtual Post Mail 22 € 9 $ 10
PayPal fees € 2 $ 2
Outsourcing 23 € 5 $ 6
Amazon Web Services (storage) 24 € 1 $ 1
Upwork fees € 1 $ 1
Dreamhost web hosting 25 € 0 $ 0
Total € 772
$ 884
Previous Month € 1,334 $ 1,533

Gifts & Donations

Flowers € 19 $ 22
Effective Altruism Fund 26 € 9 $ 10
Monthly Love & Courage podcast donation 27 € 5 $ 6
SamHarris.or subscription 28 € 4 $ 4
Patreon: The Blindboy Podcast 29 € 3 $ 3
Total € 40
$ 45
Previous Month € 40 $ 46

Books 30

Side Hustle *** 31 € 5 $ 6
The Success Principles *** 32 € 0 $ 0
Total € 5
$ 6
Previous Month € 1 $ 1

Clothing

Total € 0 $ 0
Previous Month € 87 $ 99

Miscellaneous Expenses

US banking fee 33 € 22 $ 25
Ice skating in Chiang Mai (x2) € 16 $ 18
Toiletries € 14 $ 16
Netflix subscription € 11 $ 13
Monthly banking fees (Hong Kong bank) 34 € 8 $ 9
Sunscreen € 7 $ 9
Vietnam SIM card € 6 $ 7
Laundry € 5 $ 6
Chiang Mai arcade € 3 $ 3
Monthly banking fee (Dutch bank) € 2 $ 2
Notebook € 1 $ 1
Total € 95
$ 109
Previous Month € 106 $ 122

Expense Summary

Business Expenses € 772 $ 884
Housing & Utilities € 609 $ 697
Food & Drink € 546 $ 625
Travel & Transport € 481 $ 551
Miscellaneous Expenses € 95 $ 109
Gifts & Donations € 40 $ 45
Health Care € 39 $ 45
Books € 5 $ 6
Clothing € 0 $ 0
Total Expenses € 2,587
$ 2,963
Previous Month € 2,693 $3,093

I was aiming to keep everything under €3,000 for the month, so happy with how it shook out.

Biggest Regret?

The last-minute Vietnam visa was silly. If I’d checked that in advance it would have cost only about $50, rather than almost $200. Worst thing is, I’d been to Vietnam before, so I should have known better.

Only other regrettable expenses was the $25 US banking fee. I wasn’t paying attention when I made the transfer and did it the wrong way around. I didn’t have money in the account I told them to transfer from, hence the fee.

Where That Leaves Me

I had €12,570 / $14,446 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 €13,832 / $15,841. 35

Outlook For February

I’ll earn about €2,000 from my freelance work, and another €300 or so from payment plans on my course. I don’t expect any other major income streams, maybe some affiliate stuff here and there, so I’ll consider anything above €2,500 a decent month.

As for expenses, I’ll be heading back to Europe (Gran Canaria) so living expenses will increase, especially rent. If I can spend less than €2,500 I’ll be doing well.

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.

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About The Author

6 Comments

  1. Hey Niall. After meeting you at a dinner party in Amsterdam I’ve followed your newsletters with interest. Always a great read, so thank you! Am now moving into consultancy and wondered if you have any advice about bank accounts for digital nomads? As you take such care with your finances. Best, Nick

    1. Hey Nick, thanks for the comment.

      Bank accounts are tricky because they vary widely depending on the country.

      Main thing though is to try get a checking account that doesn’t charge you ATM fees anywhere (or at least keeps them to a minimum). You want to be able to rock up to any city in the world and get local currency straight from an ATM without having to worry about fees.

      For credit cards, get the one with the best travel rewards. It may even be worth it to pay an annual fee if you get certain benefits, like airport lounge access.

      Hope that helps!

  2. Hi,
    I love your ideas, your website and your philosophy.
    Genuine question not criticism.
    Do you ever worry about your total net worth even thopugh your lifestyle is amazing and self-sufficient?
    Thanks
    Ricardo

    1. Hey Ricardo,

      Good question. And yeah, I do worry about it. One big, unforeseen expense and I could be in trouble. Having travel insurance guards against that somewhat, but there are plenty of other things that could go wrong.

      So while I’m quite happy and comfortable day-to-day, I’m nowhere near satisfied with my current net worth and it’s something I’m looking to increase significantly. That’ll take hard work and discipline, of course.

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