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Saturday, December 5

My Frugal Miser - November Expenses: $11,420

November was a gluttenous month.  Some of the spending was on gift cards that I haven't used yet.  Retailers make aggressive offers during the holidays so I like to "pre-pay" future purchases when I get a discount.  As an example, my Chase Freedom credit card offered me a 10% rebate on purchases at Amazon, so I purchased a $1,500 gift card.  I also bought restaurant, fuel and home repair gift cards.  In preparation for our cruise, I purchased several Carnival gift cards and will attempt to cash those out during our cruise.  I am effectively getting cash at a 10% discount by buying Carnival gift cards at Winn-Dixie to earn Shell Fuel Rewards.  I am crossing my fingers that this hack will be successful.

One large expense in November was the re-purchase of my base kitchen cabinets and installation charges.  I could not get the cabinets level on my own and had to buy them again in order to hire a cabinet installer to do it for me.  It was a very expensive mistake.  I've been thinking more and more that I need to stop attempting home repairs on my own:  I'm just not good at it.

November Expenses:  $11,420

$1,537 Auto ($301 for 6 months insurance, $6 for car washes, $155 gas, $335 depreciation, $739 Rideshare Car depreciation)
$67 Bank Fees
$0 Clothing
$0 Computer
$2,148 Entertainment (movies, gambling, alcohol)
$600 Food
$0 Gifts Given
$3,285 Household/Housing/Home Repair
$141 Health and Dental Insurance
$0 Investment Expense
$92 Interest Expense
$7 Medical/Dental
$9 Miscellaneous
$0 Personal Care
$0 Subscriptions
$955 Taxes
$568 Uber/Lyft Expenses (excluding fuel and depreciation)
$251 Utilities
$1,759 Vacation and Recreation

November Expenses, Excluding Vacation and Home Repairs:  $8,099


  1. I bought $300 of Staples gift cards from Amazon and a $1200 gift card from Amazon to take advantage of the Chase Freedom 10% deal as well. Gift card purchases throw off the monthly accounting. I usually just count the purchases when I actually use the cards. It is a pain to record the correct amount when I use a discounted gift card though so I usually just count those when I buy them.

    I used those to buy a bunch of stuff to sell on Amazon so hopefully I'll make more than 10% on that money. Post how the Carnival cruise cards work for you. If it works I'll try that strategy on my next cruise.

    1. Since I download everything into Quicken in order to track my spending, I'm sure I would forget to record purchases made using the gift cards. That's why I just count the expense when I buy the gift card. It's not perfect for sure.

      Good luck with selling on Amazon.

  2. FYI on Lyft/Uber news..

    1. Thanks... it will be interesting to see what happens if the drivers do in fact unionize. I imagine rates will increase.

      The Technology Policy Institute's Scott Wallsten, in research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Economic Association, finds evidence in New York that the number of complaints per taxi trip there has declined as Uber has expanded in the city.

  3. Duke University
    Duke University Duke University is a private research university located in Durham, North Carolina,