We’re going to start doing these expense reports a bit differently starting with our July expense report. Since I (Kayla) am the one who writes this monthly report, we’re just going to focus on my finances. Why?
I’m a bit lazy. Andrew sends me his finance spreadsheet at the end of the month, and it takes me forever to sift through his expenses. He formats his budget really different from mine, and it auto-populates with data from his credit card. That means that if he paid for a $100 grocery bill, but I reimbursed him $50 for it, he still shows a $100 bill. I also count my $50 contribution. Then we double-count my $50 contribution and the spreadsheet is a mess, showing $150 for a $100 grocery run.
Anyway, this expense report is meant to be a quick and easy piece of content for me to share with you. So I’m just going to focus on my own finances, which are organized in a way that makes sense to me. I’ll also start including my own income, so you can see the expenses and income for a real-life freelance writer.
July Expense Report: What I Earned
Alrighty, let’s start with the fun stuff. I made $2,646 this month as a freelance writer.
- $1847 of that came in as income from writing specifically
- $568 came from building websites for nonprofits and small businesses
- My dog training business made $231 in course sales and affiliate income
- $36 came from “gifts, etc.” I generally record where this money comes from, but I’m not sure about it this month! It wasn’t my birthday and I didn’t sell my plasma or anything, so who knows?
Good news? I managed to pay down that credit card bill and as of August 6, have no credit card debt. I also managed to put a bit more money into savings.
The bad news? I did that by not putting as much money away for taxes as I should. I’ll have to really double down on putting money away for taxes (and not overspending anymore).
I should have put about 1/3 of this income away for taxes – about $882. Sad face.
You can see why I’m still working to raise my rates as a freelancer. My goal is to work more like 30 hours per week, not 40-50, and make a bit more money. $3500/month would be nice since that leaves me with about $2300 for monthly expenses and savings after taxes.
Let’s go on to the July expense report – the money I spent.
July Expense Report: What I Spent
I’m really happy with my July expense report – I finally got my spending kind of under control. Here’s how it looks:
I spent about $1,030 in July. That allowed me to pay off my credit card in full and put some money away for taxes and savings. WAHOO!
While I’m still by no means one of those freelancers/bloggers who’s making $30,000 a month or anything insane like that, I’m pretty happy. I’m in the green. That’s good. Now the goal is to stay there!
Alrighty, let’s break it down a bit further.
- Rent: We paid for our July rent ahead of time in June, so we actually spent nothing on rent this month.
- Gas: We spent a lot less on gas than we expected, probably because everything was pretty close together in Canada. That said, gas prices were pretty high and we tried not to drive too much.
- Groceries: Both of our Canadian AirBnbs didn’t have kitchens, so we were living out of microwaves. Surprisingly, this was cheap. Probably because I ate almost nothing but fresh Canadian produce – YUM!
- Student Loans: They’re still the same.
- Car insurance: Still the same.
- Car Maintenance: We got an oil change and split the cost for that two ways.
- Barley: Little broken dog! $300 was for an expensive vet visit to see a sports medicine specialist. $58 was for the supplements she recommended.
- Misc. International Costs: I think I threw the cost of the ferry to Vancouver Island into this line.
- General Savings: I finally started auto-savings using two different techniques. My Wells Faro Savings account will now get $25/week in automatic deposits. My Acorns account now gets 2x roundups (read all about that at the link) and $40/week in savings on top of that. I don’t have an employer to give me a 401k, so this is what I’m trying to do.
- Business Expenses: I spent $20 to boost a Training Tuesday video for Journey Dog Training on Facebook.
- Restaurants/Alcohol/Dates: Andrew and I went out a lot less this month, and did a good job of choosing cheaper places. We also did a good job of purchasing alcohol to bring home, rather than buying expensive drinks out and about.
- Coffee: We did spend a lot of money on coffee. It was really hot and I got an iced coffee almost every day. Whoops?
- Subscriptions, other: I actually cancelled all of my subscriptions. Gotta remove this line item next month!
- Shopping: I got new running shoes this month, tipping me over a bit. My feet say it’s worth it!
- Gifts: We got Andrew’s younger brother Aaron a birthday present, but otherwise it was a pretty cheap month.
All in all, July was a good month financially. Excited to keep this streak going!
Kayla is a biologist, writer, and web designer. She’s passionate about animal behavior, the science of habits, and anything outdoors.