July 2016 Finance Report

Well hello there o’ legendary email subscriber. This is my July finance report, prepared and delivered to you from the fine city of Berlin.

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…

July Income

July 2016 income

Freelance web development 1 € 934 $ 1,043
3M1K 2 € 647 $ 722
Coaching 3 € 144 $ 161
VAT refund € 138 $ 154
Google Adsense 4 € 76 $ 85
Sale of bicycle 5 € 60 $ 67
Sale of blender € 30 $ 33
Book sales (via Amazon) 6 € 27 $ 30
Wandering Earl affiliate payment 7 € 6 $ 7
Sale of yoga mat € 5 $ 6
Total Income € 2,067
$ 2,308
Last Month € 3,030 $ 3,375

I knew July would be a tough month for income, given that I was jumping around between Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands and spending more time than usual offline. But I managed to reach my goal of €2k so I’m happy enough.

July Expenses

July 2016 expenses

Food & Drink

Eating out 8 € 460 $ 514
Groceries € 111 $ 124
Total € 571
$ 638
Last Month € 351 $ 391

Housing & Utilities

1 night at Aston City Hotel, Amsterdam € 66 $ 74
3 nights at Berlin Airbnb € 53 $ 59
1 night at Hotel Casa 400, Amsterdam 9 € 31 $ 35
Total € 150
$ 167
Last Month € 422 $ 470

Personal Taxes

Total € 0
$ 0
Last Month € 0 $ 0

Health Care

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

Travel & Transport

Flights: Amsterdam to Berlin (AMS-SXF) round trip 10 € 140 $ 156
Flights: Berlin to Dublin (TXL-DUB) round trip 11 € 130 $ 145
Ov-chipkaart 12 € 110 $ 123
Train: Berlin to Amsterdam € 59 $ 66
Irish driver’s license renewal fee 13 € 55 $ 61
Bicycle repair 14 € 33 $ 37
Berlin metro € 30 $ 33
Taxi to Cork airport € 15 $ 17
Bus: Dan Helder to Texel ferry (round trip) € 6 $ 7
Ferry to/from Texel € 5 $ 6
Total € 583
$ 651
Last Month € 63 $ 70

Business Expenses

Taxes 15 € 807 $ 901
Accountant: AGC Associates 16 € 328 $ 366
Outsourcing 17 € 130 $ 145
Mackeeper 24-month subscription € 72 $ 80
ActiveCampaign 18 € 40 $ 45
PayPal fees € 36 $ 40
Teamwork project management software 19 € 22 $ 25
Phone credit € 20 $ 22
MemberMouse 20 € 18 $ 20
Virtual Post Mail 21 € 18 $ 20
Stripe fees (for 3M1K payments) € 15 $ 17
TransferWise fees 22 € 12 $ 13
Lyca SIM card 23 € 8 $ 9
Ticket: Awakened Creatress 24 € 5 $ 6
Google Drive storage (100GB) € 2 $ 2
Amazon Web Services (more storage) € 1 $ 1
Total € 1,534
$ 1,713
Last Month € 2,125 $ 2,367

Gifts & Donations

Busker at the Tiergarten 25 € 1 $ 1
Total € 1
$ 1
Last Month € 60 $ 67

Books 26

Total € 0
$ 0
Last Month € 0 $ 0


Total € 0
$ 0
Last Month € 265 $ 295

Miscellaneous Expenses

Skydive 27 € 199 $ 222
Skydive video 28 € 115 $ 128
Eye test 29 € 25 $ 28
Toiletries € 15 $ 17
Internations party entry in Amsterdam € 10 $ 11
Netflix subscription € 9 $ 10
USB card 30 € 8 $ 9
Berlin nightclub entry € 6 $ 7
Quarterly banking fee (Irish bank) € 6 $ 7
Personal credit card fee € 4 $ 4
Amazon movie rental: Zoolander *** € 3 $ 3
Photo/video with silver soldier at the Tiergarten 31 € 2 $ 2
Monthly banking fee (Dutch bank) € 1 $ 1
Total € 403
$ 450
Last Month € 108 $ 120

Expense Summary

Business Expenses € 1,534 $ 1,713
Travel & Transport € 583 $ 651
Food & Drink € 571 $ 638
Miscellaneous Expenses € 403 $ 450
Housing & Utilities € 150 $ 167
Health Care € 101 $ 113
Gifts & Donations € 1 $ 1
Books € 0 $ 0
Clothing € 0 $ 0
Taxes € 0 $ 0
Total Expenses € 3,343
$ 3,733
Last Month € 3,495 $ 3,893

Oops. I was aiming to keep my expenses under €2k for the month, so I failed miserably. I wasn’t expecting the big tax bill, food and dining expenses were much higher than usual, and of course the spontaneous skydiving adventure cost a bit.

Biggest Regret?

Nothing particular this past month, but it’s about time I put my hand up and admit that registering my business in Ireland last year was an expensive mistake. I’ve lost out on a small fortune already due to taxes, VAT, and accounting expenses.

I now have an LLC registered in the USA and have switched all my business operations over, but it will take a few more weeks and a bit more money to wrap everything up neatly in Ireland.

Oh well. I tried. I failed. No matter. I’ll try again. I’ll fail again. But hopefully I’ll fail better.

Where That Leaves Me

I had €9,798/$10,914 to my name at the end of June.

Taking into account all my July 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 €7,610/$8,497. 32

Outlook For August

I’m usually overly-optimistic with my predictions, so I’ll try be conservative this time around.

Income-wise, I have plenty of freelance work lined up so I’m expecting to pull in at least €3k that way. (I have approximately €2.5k already billed.) I’m working on some marketing strategies for 3M1K but I don’t expect any of that to come to fruition until September, so maybe I’ll only pull in another €500 here.

€3.5k total income is what I’ll shoot for.

As for expenses, I’ll be living quite cheaply in Berlin for most of the month, so that will help keep the purse strings tight. My trip to Dublin at the end of the month will cost a bit, and I expect business expenses will add up to about €1k.

I’ll pencil in €3k total for expenses and see how it goes.

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. You can find links to my latest web dev projects here.
  2. This is my premium course that teaches people how to start an online freelancing business.
  3. This was one-on-one business coaching via Skype.
  4. This is money earned from people clicking the ads on my YouTube videos. The total for the past four months, so not much when you break it down. My videos were viewed 73,639 times in that stretch; works out to about €1 in ad revenue per thousand views.
  5. I sold my bike and a few other items before leaving Amsterdam at the start of the month.
  6. 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>
  7. Specifically, this is for sales referred to Earl’s How To Live A Life Of Travel ebook.
  8. I spent way more here than usual, thanks to being on the road quite a bit last month. I had less time to buy groceries and cook my own meals, and often lacked access to a kitchen as well. Plus, several times I found myself in more expensive eateries than I usually opt for, dining with family and friends.<br /><br />That said, I was also lucky enough to be treated to several free meals by family and friends last month. The total here would have been much higher otherwise.
  9. I split the cost of this one.
  10. I took the first leg of this trip on August 2nd, and will be taking the second leg in October, when I need to be back in Amsterdam for Strong Viking.
  11. This will be a quick trip to Dublin at the end of August, primarily to attend my friend’s Awakened Creatress event. Wanna come along?
  12. This is the travel card I use while in the Netherlands, good for riding on almost all trams, buses, trains and metro. Not sure how I managed to spend quite so much on it in July, though I believe €20 of that €110 was eaten by the system mistakenly :-/
  13. Ten years since I got my first license, so it was time to get it renewed.
  14. Blew a tire on a bike I borrowed in Berlin.
  15. Ouch!
  16. Think I’m paying my accountant too much? You’re not alone. I addressed this in a previous report. I’m in the process of shutting down my Irish company though so the days are numbered for this expense.
  17. 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.
  18. Software for my mailing list.
  19. I use this to manage my freelance and personal projects. Handy for communicating with clients and contractors and keeping everything organized.
  20. Membership software for the 3M1K website.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. New SIM card for use in Germany.
  24. As mentioned above, this is a friend’s event I’ll be attending in Dublin on August 25th. Wanna come along?
  25. That busker was Stanley Rubyn, who you can see in this video I put together.
  26. 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.
  27. Yes, I went skydiving while in the Netherlands. See the video here for more details. We booked with Paracentrum Texel and they were great.
  28. Costs a good bit extra to get video of yourself skydiving as they have to have a camera person jump with you.
  29. Had to get my eyes tested to renew my Irish driver’s license.
  30. This was for the skydiving video. By default they give you an edited video on DVD, but I wanted the raw footage so I could put together my own video. Had to buy the USB card to hold all that raw footage.
  31. I used the footage in this video.
  32. 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. Elke

    Just wondering, how to you find your freelance work (which is quite a sustainable part of your income)? I guess the projects you do are often for different people/businesses, so you must spend quite some time trying to find these clients too? That seems like a tough job while you’re moving and busy with so many other things. Is there a strategy? A niche you focus on? People who help you with this? I’d love to read a bit more about that. 🙂

    • Niall Doherty

      Hi Elke. Most of my freelance work comes from referrals and repeat clients these days. I don’t usually have to go out and find clients. They mostly find me. I don’t have a particular niche though. I take what comes.

  2. Ruby

    Hi Niall,

    I’ve been keeping an expenses spreadsheet fort the last year (much to my other half’s dismay), and really appreciate your meticulous presentation. I’m really glad to see other travellers doing it. We’re currently away travelling Maylasia and Indonisia and I’m pretty sure have the finances to do so from keeping tabs on outgoings.

    I wondered what your thoughts were about insurance when you are in Berlin, will your Dutch insurance be accepted?

    • Niall Doherty

      Hi Ruby. The tracking keeps you very honest, doesn’t it?

      My insurance is actually from an Irish company, and it covers me internationally, so I’m all good there.

  3. TJ

    Curious where you slept cost-free for the rest of the month as only five nights are noted?

    • Niall Doherty

      I had my first 10 nights in the Berlin Airbnb paid for in June. I stayed with family for the 6 nights I was in Ireland, and then in a spare room at a friend’s apartment in Amsterdam for 5 nights. I also spent one night on bus from Amsterdam to Berlin at the beginning of July. Oh, and I didn’t move out of my apartment in Amsterdam until July 5th, and had that already paid for in advance as well.


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