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Tuesday, September 7

My Frugal Miser - August Expenses: $5,057

I really don't feel frugal after looking over my August expenses. I spent more on gambling and alcohol than I should have last month. There were three other large and unexpected expenses. I had to replace my stolen phone, pay my semi-annual auto insurance, and I replaced my ROKU (Netflix streaming device) with a Blu Ray player. The ROKU died after four solid years of heavy use. Since I don't pay for cable, I stream movies, documentaries and TV shows from the Internet. The Blu Ray player included wireless streaming, which I pay $9 per month for unlimited access.

August Expenses

$1,031 Auto ($615 for insurance, $53 for service, $36 for fuel, $326 Depreciation)
$2 Clothing
$148 Food (both groceries and eating out)
$911 Entertainment (movies, gambling, alcohol)
$36 Gifts Given
$0 Home Repair
$444 Household (new phone, Blu Ray player, etc.)
$107 Health Insurance
$0 Medical
$106 Interest on Debt (not including Mortgage Interest)
$0 Miscellaneous
$439 Mortgage Interest (primary residence)
$823 Mortgage Interest (rental properties)
$10 Personal Care
$295 Taxes (car tags)
$151 Utilities
$426 Vacation

Total August Expenses : $5,057


  • Thanks to mystery shopping, I spent $36 for fuel even though I drove nearly 4,000 miles.
  • I paid $50 to Pop-a-lock when I left my keys in the car during a gas station audit. I'm hoping to get this reimbursed through a roadside assistance service provided by my insurance.
  • 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 was pleasantly surprised by the car tag fee. Last year I still had the BMW and the fee was much higher. It will be even lower next year since this year I had to pay two years' taxes on the new car that replaced the BMW.
  • Spending on food was right where I want it to be at roughly $5 per day.

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