September Expense Report for El Perro Tambien

Wow! September turned out to be quite an expensive month — they aren’t kidding when they say San Francisco is expensive. Luckily, I also am really getting into a good rhythm with work and have a good amount of work for freelance writing.

I’ve been working a lot. This month, aside from my normal work as a freelancer for,, and, I picked up some work with and The Spruce Pets. I also have been working on some fun side projects:

  • Continuing education for dog training (a Fenzi Dog Sports Academy Nosework course)
  • Hired a writer (hi, Erin!) for Journey Dog Training
  • Building courses for Journey Dog Training
  • I’m doing weekly Facebook Lives for dog training
  • I finished my Fulbright application
  • I’m applying for Certified membership of the IAABC.

Oh, and I’m running a marathon this weekend.

So yeah, it’s been busy.

Let’s take a peek at the finances under the hood.

September Income Report: What I Earned

All told, my pre-tax income this month was just shy of $3,000. To break that down a bit:

  • $450 from website design and SEO work
  • $100 from Journey Dog Training between affiliate link sales and a few packages
  • $700 from editing work
  • $1750 from writing work

The vast majority of my income is coming from three large clients that expect several articles per month from me. But I’m really trying to spend time (and money, as you’ll soon see) on building Journey Dog Training into something that makes money, too!

I did go over budget a bit this month, even after a good earning month. You’ll see why in a moment.

September Expense Report: How I Spent It

I spent just over $3,100 this month, which means I ended up negative. I could blame that on San Francisco prices, which is partially true. I also could point out that we’ve booked our AirBnbs until mid-November, which is also true. But let’s also be honest that I spent $60 on brunch one morning and purchased a $260 dog training class. So… it’s not all necessities.

On the plus side, my automatic payments for taxes and savings are wrapped up in the expenses — so I still managed to put money away for taxes and for savings.

Let’s break it down.

  • Rent: I spent $575 on Airbnb and rent. That’s quite a lot for us, but it’s because we’re actually booked through mid-November. So our September “rent expenses” included October and some of November.
  • Gas: $83.
  • Groceries: $251 on groceries. Ouch. Groceries in California are expensive. We also had an unfortunate refrigeration incident that led to us needing to purchase all-new groceries one week.
  • Student Loans: $101, as always.
  • Car Insurance and Maintenance: $400 for insurance and maintenance. We took Turtle the car in for some alignment issues and an oil change.
  • Barley: $300 for a few treats, some food, and a $260 class.
  • Misc. International Costs: We got our International Driver’s Permits and copied a bunch of important papers.
  • Savings: I put $200 in savings this month, not including my Acorns round-ups.
  • Business Expenses: $550. Yeah, I spent 5x more on Journey Dog Training than it earned. Part of that was continuing education classes and equipment, but I also purchased some marketing materials and paid my writer.
  • Restaurants/Alcohol/Dates: $350. We went out to eat far too much in San Francisco and other expensive California places. Part of our excuse was that our hotel in San Fran didn’t have a kitchenette, mini-fridge, or any other way to store/prepare food. And there was nothing cheap to eat. But we also enjoyed the food of Napa Valley and indulged a bit!
  • Coffee: $50 for a few mochas and Chai lattes.
  • Shopping: $300 for a cute hat, some makeup, a haircut, a few new shirts, and a $100 Run Angel to keep me safe during all of my marathon training.
  • Gifts: $60. I purchased a few lavender sprays from an AirBnb host to send to all of my Fulbright recommenders after I submitted. I can’t thank them enough!

Overall, hoping to spend a bit less next month and put more away for taxes. Unlike the Trumps, I can’t just evade $500 million (+) in taxes. Nor am I supposed to spend $500 million (+) in taxes. I hope.

Author: Kayla

Kayla is a biologist, writer, and web designer. She’s passionate about animal behavior, the science of habits, and anything outdoors.

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