March 2016 Finance Report (subscribers only)

Well hello there o’ legendary email subscriber. This is my March 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.

Diving in…

March Expenses

March Expenses

Food & Drink

Eating out € 179 $ 204
Groceries € 140 $ 159
Total € 319
$ 363
Last Month € 308 $ 334

Still coming in well under my monthly target of €400. I rarely dine in restaurants, instead eating the majority of my meals at home. Most of my “eating out” expenses are coffees and drinks with friends.

Housing & Utilities

1 month’s rent for Amsterdam apartment € 1,160 $ 1,320
Total € 1,160
$ 1,320
Last Month € 1,160 $ 1,258

Yup, I could save quite a bit on rent by sharing an apartment, but I’m happy to pay a premium for my own place in a central location.


City sanitation tax € 235 $ 267
Total € 235
$ 267
Last Month € 0 $ 0

These are the kind of hidden costs that sneak up on you when you live long-term in a place like Amsterdam. Ah well. €0.64 per day to live in a clean city. Fair trade.

Health Care

Health insurance (monthly payment) € 101 $ 115
Cough syrup € 6 $ 7
Total € 107
$ 122
Last Month € 101 $ 110

Travel & Transport

Total € 0
$ 0
Last Month € 0 $ 0

I stayed put in Amsterdam most of the month, getting around primarily by bicycle. I did rent a car with my parents on St. Patrick’s Day and get out of town for a bit, but my parents paid for that.

Business Expenses

Accountant: AGC Associates € 328 $ 373
Macbook Air charger € 89 $ 101
PayPal fees (mostly for 3M1K payments) € 55 $ 63
Stripe fees (for 3M1K payments) € 42 $ 48
ActiveCampaign email marketing € 41 $ 47
Annual return filing fee € 20 $ 23
Elegant Themes upgrade € 18 $ 20
MemberMouse (for 3M1K) € 18 $ 20
Phone credit € 15 $ 17
Buffer social media management € 9 $ 10
Postage € 6 $ 7
Google Drive storage (100GB) € 2 $ 2
Amazon Web Services (more storage) € 1 $ 1
Printing/scanning/photocopying € 1 $ 1
Total € 645
$ 734
Last Month € 762 $ 826


  • The charger I had for my Macbook Air died so I had to buy another one. Of course, Apple charge insane prices for these kinds of things.
  • Think I’m paying my accountant too much? You’re not alone. I addressed this in a previous report.

Gifts & Donations

Busker at Waterlooplein € 2 $ 2
Total € 2
$ 2
Last Month € 0 $ 0


Bête de Jour: The Intimate Adventures of an Ugly Man **** € 4 $ 5
Total € 4
$ 5
Last Month € 23 $ 25

Listed above are only the books I paid for last month. I also get books as gifts and via rewards credit. You can see all my book recommendations and what I’m currently reading over on Goodreads. I usually get through a book a week.


Total € 0
$ 0
Last Month € 0 $ 0

Miscellaneous Expenses

Salsa classes (x4) € 44 $ 50
Netflix subscription € 8 $ 9
Toiletries € 7 $ 8
Quarterly banking fee (Irish bank) € 6 $ 7
Laundry € 4 $ 5
Monthly banking fee (Dutch bank) € 3 $ 3
The Waterhole entry € 2 $ 2
Language cafe entry € 2 $ 2
Bin bags € 1 $ 1
Total € 77
$ 88
Last Month € 120 $ 130

Expense Summary

Housing & Utilities € 1,160 $ 1,320
Business Expenses € 645 $ 734
Food & Drink € 319 $ 363
Taxes € 235 $ 267
Health Care € 107 $ 122
Miscellaneous Expenses € 77 $ 88
Books € 4 $ 5
Gifts & Donations € 2 $ 2
Clothing € 0 $ 0
Travel & Transport € 0 $ 0
Total Expenses € 2,549
$ 2,901
Last Month € 2,474 $ 2,683

My goal was to keep expenses under €2,500, so went a little over there.

March Income

March Income

3M1K € 2,414 $ 2,747
Freelance web development € 205 $ 233
VAT refund € 127 $ 145
Google Adsense (YouTube videos) € 84 $ 96
Book sales (via Amazon) € 26 $ 30
Total Income € 2,856
$ 3,250
Last Month € 2,778 $ 3,013

I was aiming to pull in at least €3k in March, so I fell a little short. Happy enough with the income from 3M1K, and I’ve got a ton of freelance work lined up for April; I’ll be back on track there soon enough.

Biggest Regret?

Hard to call it a regret since it meant I got to hang out with a good friend here in Amsterdam, but I ended up dropping out of the salsa classes mid-month, so it wasn’t really worth paying the €44.

The thing with salsa is that you need to be practicing more than twice a week if you want to get good. Otherwise it’s just frustrating because you’re forgetting moves from one week to the next. I wasn’t willing to invest more time in it so I decided to drop out altogether.

Where That Leaves Me

I had €5,026/$5,451 to my name at the end of February. After applying the most recent exchange rates (I have accounts in EUR, HKD and USD), those totals shifted a little to €4,963/$5,647.

Taking into account all my March income and expenditure, my total bank and cash balances now work out to €6,224/$7,083. 1

Outlook For April

I must book flights to the USA and have another city bill to pay, so expenses will be a bit higher in April. If I keep everything under the €3k mark, I’ll be doing well.

As for income, 3M1K should bring in another €2k at least, and I’ve got a lot of freelance work lined up that should amount to €2k minimum. If all goes well I may be able to hit the €5k mark.

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. Note that these totals are never quite right. For example, last month I forgot to include the balance in my Stripe account, and this month 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. Barry

    101 is expensive for health insurance for one person. Are you on a good plan?

    • Christine

      Hi Barry,
      It is expensive but in the Netherlands you are required to have health insurance and this is the price of the basic cover, for all the standard things you are likely to need, including treatment in hospital. What’s included is set by the government so all the insurance companies offer the same cover, although there are small differences between them in the costs. You can also pay for extra cover if you think you need it. Unfortunately, healthcare is pretty expensive these days but it is good!

    • Anna

      It’s not that expensive if you compare it to other countries. In Germany the minimum payment is around 160€. If you’re self-employed it’s even higher. The same in Spain where 250€+ is the minimum if you have your own business (even if you don’t make any money from it). I actually was suprised that Niall can get away with 101. 🙂

  2. Bob

    Whatever about accountants, just in the interests of critical thinking, and questioning long held beliefs, I must ask, do cough syrups actually do anything? Plenty of research would suggest not. Another few searches will also reveal that other older remedies such as honey and milk that your grandparents might have favored are shown to be equally ineffective in tests. Are all cough syrups just a massive scam?

    • Scott

      Whether or not they work, should we suppress coughs in the first place? In most cases, it’s our body trying to facilitate the clearing of mucous and/or particulate. Cough suppressants are like fever reducers; in most cases, they get in the way of healing.

    • Chris

      look at the evidence. You have two types of cough syrup: expectorants and cough suppressants. Both are chemically proven. Please look at the evidence

  3. Scott

    I like and appreciate the pie graphs, Niall. Graphs are more human-friendly than tables–in the viewing, at least.

  4. Katie

    Digging the pie graphs! Are they something you created on your own or are the graphs pulled in from some financial software/app you use? Thanks!

    • Niall Doherty

      MoneyWiz generates the pie charts, and the bar graph up top is generated by Google Sheets.


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