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Aug 2019: Monthly Travel, Expenses, Income, and Goals Report - Tbilisi, Georgia

This month was almost entirely spent in Tbilisi, Georgia which makes the "how much I spent this month" expense and cost of living calculation quite easy. Also since I was settled down in a proper apartment and not moving around as a digital nomad, I was able to get in a great work, gym, and into a great routine. I'm actually now in the third largest city, the old capital of Kutaisi as I'm ending my time in Georgia and already miss it. It's an amazing privilege being able to travel, see new places, and have great experiences, but it's also really nice to have a homebase and an established routine.

For all of us, it's a balance between our human need for certainty, such as a home, established friends, knowing an area well and just being comfortable and stable in general, while having the counter need of uncertainty, which includes seeing new places, having different experiences and independence. This is why people who have normal, stable 9-5 jobs and live in one place always dream of traveling or going on vacation, and why digital nomads who don't have the stability dream of settling down, having a homebase or even buying a house somewhere. For me, it's finding that perfect balance of having the two and this month was exactly what I needed. Here's how much I spent, how much I earned, what goals I hit or missed and what my places are for September 2019.





Where I Traveled



It was perfect. I had rented an Airbnb for the entire month in Tbilisi so I could leave my things there and have a homebase while I took weekend trips. Monday through Friday, I would walk three blocks to Fabika and work from their amazing cafe lobby. From there, I'd walk 10 minutes or so to the gym I had joined called Urban Garden, all while listening to my Pimsleur Russian Language learning audiobook which has been basically my daily routine for the past few months now.

My weekend trips included one to signagi georgia which is shown in the video below, and in my travel guide to Georgia blog post that I had written. But aside from that, my other trip was to where I am now, the second city of Kutaisi. I had booked my flight leaving Georgia from here as the KUT Airport has much cheaper Wizz Air flights, but instead of taking the 4 hour bus directly there, which would mean a super long travel day, I thought I'd be a good idea to come and spend a few nights here first. I was wrong. As much as I wanted to like Kutaisi, and think it's a fine place to spend a night, or base yourself to do a few trips from here, for me, 3 nights was way too long and I wish I would had stayed in Tbilisi longer. I did the Kutaisi Free Walking tour which was actually pretty good and worth doing, but at night, especially traveling alone, it was super boring as the city is super quiet and it's really hard to meet anyone.

Also I didn't realize my flight wasn't until 7pm and that there is no airport lounge in KUT Airport, which means, my normal plan of checking out of my Airbnb at 11am, going to the airport super early, working out of the lounge, eating free food, and loving being there has been thwarted. But either way, maybe it's exactly what I needed before making my way west out of Georgia to Prague, then back to California.






How Much I Spent



It made it much easier to see at a glance how much I spent this time as I've been putting almost everything on my new Apple Card that I just got earlier in the month. My rent for most of the month was at Airbnb #2 for $20 a night. I was now closer to the Fabrika which has an amazing cafe in their lobby and huge tables with power outlets. It's basically a free coworking space that I used every day as I was just a few blocks away. I also booked a free desk using Work from Georgia as well as worked out of the cafe at the world class gym where I was a member of. That being said, even though hardly worked from home this month, my coworking fees were $0 and since coffee in Georgia is only 4-5 gel ($1.50) a cup even drinking two a day I only spent around $75 the entire month for my coffee habit and work space combined, and less than $600 for my airbnb which included utilities and wifi.

Other than that my biggest expense was actually eating out and drinking. Even though restaurants in Georgia are extremely affordable, I would usually find myself eating double portions as I'm a big guy and since I've been lifting a lot of weights lately. You could safely take my food budget and assume it's enough for two people as I would literally order two mains and two appetisers where ever I'd go. Part of that was the fact that food was so good and at such a good value that I would always just order whatever sounded good without worrying about the cost. The same can be said about the craft beer and the Georgian wine, as it's generally so good here that I would almost always have a glass or two of wine with dinner, which is something I never do when i'm in Thailand or even back in the US.

I ended up spending a bit more this month than last even though my gym was much cheaper. Most of the higher expense was because I had moved out of my $420 a month Airbnb into a more expensive place that was closer to $600 for the month. Also I went out more often this month, had more beer, wine, and just spent a bit more in general as things were such a good value, I didn't try to budget. But even then, basically doing whatever I wanted to, I still spent less than $1,300 not including the money I send my parents each month for their retirement.

Airbnb - $20 a night
Utilities - Included
Wifi - Included
Gym - $35
Massages - $40
Sulphur Baths - $30
Taxi - $1.50 per ride (x20)
SIM Card - $15 (20gb of 4G data)
Coffee - $75 (2 a day)
Restaurants - $300
Beer/Wine - $45
Misc/Other: $100 (random stuff)

Gift to my parents: $1,000 (their retirement)

Wordpress Website Hosting: $6 (Siteground)
Ecommerce Stores Hosting: $29 (Shopify)
VPN: $4 (WiTopia)
Email Autoresponder: $50 (Aweber / GetResponse)


Total Expenses for Aug: $1,270

*increase from last month's $1,050








How Much I Earned



Most of this month was geared towards organizing the upcoming Nomad Summit Cancun conference as well as my new conference that we're having in Los Angeles this year, the Invest Like a Boss Summit.  Both are events that can potentially make money this year, but aren't yet, even though I've invested a ton of time and money into both. They are really labors of love as I really enjoy putting on live events and hope that they will one day be profitable enough to actually do as a full time job. But at least for now, I'm just hoping they both at least break even and cover some travel costs for me and the team working so far behind putting on the event.

Aside from the events, I am lucky to have passive income coming in from a bunch of different sources. It was nice getting a $60 payout from Amazon for someone buying a mattress and frame in their shopping cart along side which ever item they actually clicked from my site, possibly one of the pieces of luggage that I recommended in my "Packing as a Digital Nomad" article that still gets a lot of organic readers as it outlines how my packing style has changed over the past 10 years of traveling. If you want to know how to build passive income through content, check out my Income Boss course that shows you step by step how to start, get traffic, as well as case studies on what has actually worked and what didn't.

As far as revenue goes, summer is normally slow for ecommerce and buying things online in general, but luckily, one of my dropshipping stores that I built with a partner who's also part of Anton's dropshipping course had it's best month ever with $14,598 in sales for the month! We haven't calculated the profit yet so I'm not including it as income for the month, but I'm super excited to see that number grow! All in all my profit from this month was much lower than the amazing month I had in July, but still with the costs of living being so low, I can afford to coast a bit while working on passion projects like the Nomad Summit in hopes that it grows and becomes profitable in the future!

Total Net Profit: $4,026.72  

*decrease from $10,145.10 last month. 



Check out my recommended Amazon Products

Sales from my dropshipping store.



Goals and Plans



My goals for these past 30 days were pretty straight forward. I wanted to have a low stress, easy month where I would walk to the gym 5 days a week, workout, do what I needed to do workwise for the conferences and watch a lot of netflix and relax. I knew that my next few months were would to be busy and stressful so I wanted to take a bit of a break and get into a routine. That definitely paid off as I went to the gym 5 days a week without missing a session, and increased both my deadlift and back squat to 100kg (220lbs) and my bench press to 92kg (202lbs) using the Stronglifts 5x5 app to track my progress. In the past few months I've now gained maybe 5-10kg of muscle (10-20lbs) and i'm a lot stronger than I was before, while still being able to do useful movements like bodyweight pullups and chinups, which I increased from being able to doing just a few, to now doing 3 sets of 12 with good form.

I've now actually stopped increasing the weights as I don't see the point in getting any bigger or stronger. So I actually decreased the weights i'm lifting and increased the number of reps, which instead of adding strength and mass, will make my existing muscles more ripped. I'm also going to focus on pullups and other body weight exercises especially since I'll be traveling without a gym.

Diet wise, I allowed myself to eat all of the amazing bread, potatoes and carbs that they have here in Georgia, as well as drink the local craft beer and wine. The only reason why I remained relatively healthy even after eating so much bread, literally a loaf a day or more, is because I intermittent fasted the entire month and would generally not have my first meal until 2-4pm. I would also try to have my last meal at 8pm, which would mean I would have an 18 hour fast everyday which gave a ton of both mental clarity and health benefits. I would much leaner and healthier if I had eaten paleo and skipped all of the bread and beer but it's a enough life now trade off that I was willing to make.

My other goal was to continue studying Russian, which was more difficult in Georgia as most people I'd come across day to day in the city center spoke English well. But I continued my lessons and watched the entire Netflix series of "Better Than Us" which I highly recomend even if you're learning the language.






The Wrap Up



Overall it was a good month. I liked my time in Tbilisi a lot, saved some money, got in better shape, and did the work that I needed to do. It wasn't one of my most exciting months of my life, but it was overall good. My time here in Kutaisi has even more boring, but luckily I managed to meet some cool people through the couchsurfing app which has been fun, but also involved way too much drinking.

In a few hours, I fly from KUT airport here in Georgia to Prague to attend and speak at this year's Dropship Lifestyle retreat which is always fun. It's one of my favorite conferences to attend as the people who attend are almost all just normal people who live a normal life and just happen to be running an online store. It's awesome seeing and meeting people who have escaped the 9-5 and now have the freedom to spend more time with their kids, travel, or do what they like even though 99% of them never post about it online anywhere.

Watch the video below for some more info on the month and the lessons learned:





Warm Regards,

Johnny FD

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Post a Comment

  1. hello johny what app that your use for tracking expense

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Kriss. The screenshot of my expenses above is the "wallet" app inside my iphone as I'm using the Apple Card.

      Delete
  2. Hi Johnny. How do you like the Pimsleur audio book for learning Russian. I am currently learning as well and still looking for good ressources. Thanks a lot.

    ReplyDelete

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