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Monday, October 5

My Frugal Miser - September Expenses: $8,273

I wasn't as gluttonous as the numbers suggest.  Some of my September spending was in the form of gift cards I have yet to use.  MyPoints had promotions with its Swappable site, so I bought quite a few gift cards, affecting the areas of Vacation, Food, Home Repair and Clothing.   Similarly, I bought fuel gift cards to take advantage of Chase Freedom's expiring 5% cash back on fuel offer.   I also purchased a $500 Carnival gift card at Winn-Dixie to earn Fuel Rewards.   I read that you can apply the gift card to your onboard account when you cruise and then cash out the positive balance, so I'm going to give this a whirl.  The only major expense last month was the purchase of our kitchen counter tops, which was nearly $3,000.  

One category to point out is Vacation spending.  Remove the $500 Carnival gift card, and I only spent $540 on vacationing last month.  This includes four round trip flights:  2 to Denver last month, and 2 to Las Vegas later this month.  Frontier and Spirit have had aggressive sales.  We both flew to Denver and back for under $100, and our round trip flights to Las Vegas were just $122 each.

October looks like a more frugal month.  We will work a hospitality job in Chicago during one whole week, and all our expenses are paid for that.  I have enough gas cards to cover all the driving I do this month.

September Expenses:  $8,273

$1,963 Auto ($539 gas, $455 depreciation, $968 Rideshare Car depreciation)
$45 Bank Fees
$100 Clothing
$0 Computer
$144 Entertainment (movies, gambling, alcohol)
$304 Food
$0 Gifts Given
$3,979 Household/Housing/Home Repair
$141 Health and Dental Insurance
$0 Investment Expense
$162 Interest Expense
$0 Medical/Dental
$6 Miscellaneous
$0 Personal Care
$0 Subscriptions
$0 Taxes
$124 Uber/Lyft Expenses (excluding fuel and depreciation)
$264 Utilities
$1,040 Vacation and Recreation

September Expenses, Excluding Vacation and Home Repairs:  $4,120

Saturday, October 3

My Frugal Miser - September Income: $11,273

What a month!  My September income was the second best of the year.  All properties are rented, and I even received $500 from the one I am selling, as the buyer took early occupancy.  The closing date for the one I am selling has been delayed and I will receive $500 every two weeks until the house is sold.

Mystery shopping and hospitality work took a hit as rideshare driving for Uber and Lyft became a bigger priority.  However, in October we have some solid hospitality jobs scheduled, which will help this category bounce back.

I received four paychecks from Uber and five from Lyft.  I'm starting to think I can make a decent side income here, but the hours are long and my hourly pay is quite low.

September Income $11,273

$380 Mystery Shopping and Hospitality Jobs
$2,274 Uber
$1,080 Lyft
$7,377 Rental Income
$163 Other Sources

  • I don't include transactions in my retirement accounts.  This includes rental income, dividends and capital gains and losses.
  • I don't include changes in investments from capital gains/losses or dividends.  Most of my investments are in retirement accounts anyway, but this category will grow as I start selling my rental properties and I will probably change this policy.
  • I include merchandising and hospitality work in the mystery shopping category since the companies that I shop for provide this extra side work.