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Thursday, May 26

Birmingham Bound

We are waiting on Enterprise to bring the cargo van I rented as it is coming from another location.  Today we travel to Birmingham to work on my empty townhouse.  On the way I picked up three gas station audits in Panama City that were heavily bonused.  Tomorrow I have five mystery shops in Birmingham that also have a generous bonus.  These mystery shops will cover the cost of the cargo van I rented.

I don't know how much work will need to be done on the townhouse.  The tenant told me they cleaned up and that everything is working, but I'm sure we will have plenty to do over the weekend.  The plan is to come home Monday or Tuesday.  If our workload is light we can visit the Botanical Gardens and maybe see a movie at the dollar theater.

The cruise was amazing, except for the last day (sea day) when I had a run of bad luck in the casino.  I've been working the last three days in Orlando, so those earnings will offset what I lost.

Friday, May 6

Work and Play

Life is feeling especially balanced lately.  I went to the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting last weekend.  Then on Monday and Tuesday I worked 8 hour shifts making Amazon deliveries.  I worked a two hour Amazon shift yesterday, did two hospitality jobs this week, and completed 8 gas station mystery shops.  Yesterday we went to see the new Tom Hanks movie, Hologram for the King.  We're going to the beach today on our scooters.  Then tomorrow we kick off a 5 day gig in Orlando.  We will stay in Kissimmee three nights at a cheap motel:  I would rather spend $35/night on a hotel than 4 hours commuting each day.  I will cap off the work-week with an 8-hour shift on Thursday at Amazon.

Why all this work?  To pay off debt, of course.  I only set three goals this year, and one of them is to reduce outstanding debt to $210,000.  This morning I was able to make an extra $4,000 principal payment against one of my mortgages.  It would be amazing if I could pay off one of my two mortgages before the end of the year.

At home, we're putting the finishing touches on the new kitchen.  I bought some storage solutions for the wall that doesn't have upper cabinets.  On one side of the window I installed stainless steel rods with hooks for hanging things.  On the other side I have open box shelving.  I'm really happy with our decision to not wrap cabinets around that wall as it keeps the kitchen from feeling boxed-in.

Work is easy when you have something to look forward to:  next Saturday we take the Megabus to Fort Lauderdale for our 8-day Caribbean cruise.  I had a casino offer that made the cruise $125+taxes per person.  That's cheaper than staying at home all week!

Thursday, May 5

My Frugal Miser - April Expenses: $2,692

In April my spending was okay.  I lost $670 in Las Vegas, which sucks but our room and food were free that week and the flights were only $92 each.  I spent $314 on flights to Atlanta for our Europe trip (the rest of the flights were booked already) and the one night we spent in Phoenix I spent $101 for a room.  Nothing else was out of the ordinary.

April Expenses:  $2,692

$682 Auto ($143 gas, $7 repairs/maintenance, $532 depreciation)
$0 Bank Fees
$0 Clothing
$0 Computer
$705 Entertainment (movies, gambling, alcohol)
$260 Food
$81 Gifts Given
$231 Household/Housing/Home Repair
$26 Health and Dental Insurance
$0 Investment Expense
$15 Interest Expense
$0 Medical/Dental
$10 Miscellaneous
$0 Personal Care
$0 Subscriptions
$0 Taxes
$88 Uber/Lyft Expenses (excluding fuel and depreciation)
$114 Utilities
$480 Vacation

Tuesday, May 3

My Frugal Miser - April Income: $9,008

I earned less in April, partly because I was out of town several days.  One of my properties is vacant; all others are occupied and current.  I received significant dividends, primarily from my largest stock holding, Vereit.  Uber stopped offering guaranteed hourly earnings, but they did raise rates a bit in Tampa (unfortunately still lower than they were in December).

Starting this month (May) I will have income from Amazon Prime Now deliveries.  I will also be able to drive more for Uber at the current rates.  I have several hospitality jobs booked as well.  Income should be decent even though we are taking an 8 day cruise this month and will have to go to Birmingham at the end of the month to work on the empty townhouse.

April Income $9,008

$714 Mystery Shopping and Hospitality Jobs
$668 Uber
$6 Lyft
$0 Amazon Deliveries
$6,168 Rental Income
$1,357 Dividends and Interest (Investment Accounts)
$0 Realized Gains on Investments
$101 Other Sources

  • I don't include transactions in my retirement accounts.  This includes rental income, dividends and capital gains and losses.
  • I include merchandising and hospitality work in the mystery shopping category since the companies that I shop for provide this extra side work.