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Thursday, August 5

My Frugal Miser - July Expenses: $3,801

I kept expenses just north of a reasonable amount in July, though I had a couple of larger than normal expenses. I'm speaking at the Independent Mystery Shoppers' Conference later this month. Since my travel expenses are not reimbursed, I decided to include them under "vacation" since the conference is being held in Las Vegas. When they move it to Des Moines, I might reconsider the category (no offense to all those Iowans out there!).

July Expenses

$655 Auto ($18 for service, $194 for fuel, $443 Depreciation)
$39 Bank Fee
$31 Clothing
$152 Food (both groceries and eating out)
$155 Entertainment (movies, gambling, alcohol)
$0 Home Repair
$52 Household (pest control, fire dues, cleaning supplies, etc.)
$107 Health Insurance
$418 Medical
$426 Vacation
$219 Interest on Debt (not including Mortgage Interest)
$0 Miscellaneous
$441 Mortgage Interest (primary residence)
$827 Mortgage Interest (rental properties)
$0 Personal Care
$77 Taxes
$203 Utilities
$426 Vacation

Total July Expenses : $3,801


  • Thanks to mystery shopping, I spent $194 for fuel even though I drove over 5,000 miles.
  • I separate my mortgage interest by personal residence versus rental properties. I think this is an important distinction: the personal residence interest is an expense I should exercise control over moving forward when looking at ways to be frugal; the other is an expense that generates income.
  • I spent more on alcohol than normal. This is because I did several bar shops in July and took my partner with me. We spent more than the reimbursable amount.
  • I spent $31 on clothing, which is pretty high for me. A couple pair of khaki pants that I wear for merchandising/audit jobs had holes in them. I had been wearing them anyway, but found two pair at K-Mart that were my size and we marked down less than $10 each. The rest of the clothing was spending above the reimbursable amount for a mystery shop I did.
  • Spending on food was right where I want it to be at roughly $5 per day.
  • Medical bills were high because I had to crown one of my teeth.

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