Welcome to our first Income Report, Quarter 1 Income Report 2021! We decided to start publishing our income and expense reports every 3 months to share with the world!
Every quarter we will be sharing our income and expenses via our quarterly income reports! We hope you take some inspiration from them because if we can travel the world with finances like this then we are sure you can, too!
This post is all about The Passport Couple’s Quarter 1 Income Report 2021.
Quarterly Income Report
We want to share our quarterly (because monthly is quite a bit of work) finances for a few reasons.
First off, these are not to brag or boast about our money and life. In fact, as you will see below we aren’t making any money at the moment. We are just regular people trying our best to start and run a successful business to continue to travel the world as long as we possibly can.
Second, we have found these to be extremely motivating reading other bloggers and YouTubers how they make and spend their money. Hopefully, we can be some sort of motivation for you! We may not share forever, but we will as long as we can.
Third, we have always been very interested in our personal finances and we were actually discussing this before we were even dating, something not many couples can say. With our interest in saving and growing our money as intelligently as possible from the beginning, we were able to save up enough money for us to travel the world for two years without making another penny.
Since we have a fixed budget for our two years and we have always been interested in our finances, we have always tracked our spending. Dollar for dollar, we have every expense over the last 4 years tracked in our personal finance app of choice, Mint. This Income Report is just allowing us to put all that information out into the world for you to read!
Lastly, this will help us stay accountable and push us to meet and improve upon our goals. We hope to share our income, expenses, and our goals for improving each one every quarter.
Q1 Income Report 2021
So eventually this section will actually have something 😉 but for now, we are still working off the savings that we saved up for two years prior to traveling.
Our Income Goal for the end of the year is to be breaking even on our expenses (about $4,000 per month). As you can see, we are very far from that goal but we have some things in the works!
We are setting up ads on our website and learning to use affiliates that are available to us. Nate is pushing our YouTube videos out to hopefully get to the threshold for YouTube Ads! We also are planning on launching our first product, an e-book, soon!
Now, for how we are spending our money. We will be breaking down what our expenses were for the quarter (January, March, and April combined) and what we did to incur those costs. If you want to know more about how we track our expenses or use credit card benefits to help lower our expenses, let us know!
Flights – $719.04
A great quarter for our flight costs given that flight costs are much higher than they were before the pandemic. With far less demand on flights, there are fewer flights and they are more expensive.
In January, we were able to use points from our American Express Platinum credit card to book a flight to Costa Rica from Jacksonville, Florida, saving us $415.00.
Our American Express Platinum card also has an annual perk that gives a $200 credit for any incidental fees for a chosen airline (baggage, seat choice, meals, Wi-Fi, etc.). We picked United as our airline for the year and something happened where we got the whole credit all at once. We’ll take it!
- Jacksonville to Costa Rica: $0 & 41,000 Amex Points
- Costa Rica to Panama: $377.94
- Panama City to Medellín, Colombia: $481.10
Accommodations – $4,177.93
A bit higher than our budget calls for but it was well worth it. We aim to spend less than we did on our monthly rent in our San Diego apartment before we started traveling, $1,250 per month. So far, we have done a pretty good job with that.
We booked three weeks in a place in Casco Viejo and it was the perfect location and place for us to settle in for a few weeks with all the lockdowns.
This is one category we will always go over if it means a bit more comfort or security compared to the cheaper options.
Food & Drink – $3,556.31
We group all this together with groceries, convenience store snacks, dining out, and fast food. We buy a lot of groceries and rent out Airbnbs so we can cook as much as possible. I was not a very good cook before we started traveling, I had to follow recipes to a T in order for them to turn out. Luckily with all the cooking we’ve been doing, I have gotten a lot better at grabbing a standard set of ingredients and making meals.
If we aren’t able to book a place with a kitchen we will book somewhere with breakfast included to at least help cut some costs. And we have gotten quite creative with no cooking abilities.
We don’t budget for our individual variable categories (food, excursions, etc.). Instead, we have an overall variable budget and it’s a give and take within the category. If we spend a lot at nice restaurants
Local Transportation – $1,445.15
We love renting our own cars to explore and this quarter we rented on in Florida, Costa Rica, and Colombia! All of our trips were amazing and we were able to see so much more of the location than if we had relied on alternative transportation.
This section also includes our Ubers and any public transportation.
Excursions – $708.50
Due to the pandemic, a lot of excursions have been limited or closed. We also try to work with as many excursions as we can, providing photos or videos for them in exchange for a complimentary tour or experience for us. This quarter, we had a great partnership with Barefoot Panama.
We also have been turned on to ‘free’ walking tours by some friends and we love how informative they are! And we can just tip instead of paying a whole arm and a leg through some companies.
This quarter included the following:
- Swimming with Manatees
- Coffee Farm Tour
- Costa Rica Waterfall Entrance
- Hanging Bridges Park
- Hot Springs Spa
- Ziplining Adventure
- Comuna 13 Walking Tour
- Piedra del Peñol Entrance
- Jardín Cable Car
We did quite a bit for not too much money! Of course, places like the US and Costa Rica are a lot more expensive than places like the small pueblos of Colombia.
Travel Entry & Vaccines – $1,674.71
This is a relatively new category due to all the changes to travel with the pandemic. We now need to account for a COVID test for each country we visit which can range from $100 – $200 for the both of us.
> Check out COVIDControls.co for a great overview of entry requirements!
And the reason it is so expensive is for our vaccines to visit South America and we received our booster shots for multiple vaccines we received before leaving on our travels last year. An expensive quarter for sure but we are clear on almost all of our travel vaccines for a really long time!
SIM Cards – $87.42
We highly recommend getting SIM cards in foreign countries. They are so cheap and allow you access to data all over the place! It is honestly so difficult traveling without data and only relying on Wi-Fi. Possible, but hard. You can check maps, reviews, search for more things to do, get an Uber and so much more!
Since we travel for longer periods of time, we can get the monthly rates and pay for fewer SIM cards. And for our month in Panama, we actually did not get a SIM card at all due to the restrictions on traveling.
Our January was a bit higher for our SIM card because we had to get one in the US. Even though we only had two weeks in the US, we needed to pay for a whole month at $50! We usually pay around $15 – $20 a month for as much data as the plan allows.
Miscellaneous – $508.13
This includes random souvenirs, donations to churches, personal care (like makeup or toothpaste), and more. We try to keep souvenirs to a minimum and spend on normal personal care items as we did before we traveled. We just don’t buy in bulk anymore. This was a bit higher than normal as we did buy some new clothes due to the change of weather of our travels (warm weather, yes, please!).
Business Expenses –
Most of these are fixed expenses that help us be more effective and productive. This quarter we invested in a few courses that will hopefully pay back in dividends!
Gear Insurance – $83.76
After being robbed in Mexico, we now have specific gear insurance to protect us if we get robbed again or if we damage any of our gear. Well worth it for the peace of mind.
Mail Service – $60.00
We get all of our snail mail sent to a place that scans everything so we can see it from wherever we are. It helps us not have to bother our parents or have our mail collecting somewhere without us able to check it.
Adobe Apps – $118.01
We use these daily! This quarter we were paying individually for Photoshop, Lightroom, and Premiere Pro but after purchasing one of the courses below, we got access to the student discount for all the apps which will significantly lower our costs in this category.
Cloud Storage – $95.88
Again, after being robbed, we make sure we have cloud storage for everything! We use Apple iCloud for all of our phone photos and videos and Crashplan for backups of our hard drives and computers.
Video Editing Apps – $54.50
We use Epidemic Sound for video editing and just started using Tube Buddy to help with the SEO side of YouTube.
> Check out our YouTube Channel where we upload weekly!
Courses – $1,030.51
This was a big expense for us this quarter but we are already so happy with the results we are getting from them. We will share the courses once we finish them and can vouch for them since they are such big purchases! We bought 3 different courses and 2 different packs of e-books.
Fixed Expenses – $776.31
These are our fixed expenses each month that are travel or personal related. They don’t change too often so these will look pretty familiar month to month.
Travel Insurance – $716.37
We had to change insurance this quarter because our previous insurance would not cover any COVID-related insurance which was necessary for travel to Costa Rica. Our new insurance is even cheaper and is paid bi-annually but we divided it out per month for our expenses.
Netflix & Spotify – $59.94
We can’t help ourselves, we love to relax with a show or movie on Netflix. And Spotify is just magical, we use it for everything, music on road trips, learning Spanish, and our white noise machine at night!
All in all, we obviously spent more than we earned but hopefully, in the next Quarter Income Report, we will have a different story to report! We stayed near to our budget so far this year and even while traveling in relatively expensive countries like the US and Costa Rica.
We hope you enjoyed the little bit of insight into our finances. Thank you for letting us share, we aren’t perfect but we do love learning and getting better!