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Monday, April 3

My Frugal Miser - March Expenses: $12,223

March was likely the most expensive month of 2017 because I had to pay my 2016 taxes.  A portion of the $7,536 was a repayment for the ACA credit I took for health insurance.  Ouch.  I guess the flip side to the check I wrote the IRS is that I owed so much because my income was much higher last year.  I sold several profitable stocks, and my Amazon Flex income was outstanding.

We spent a week working in DC, and restaurants are expensive there.  We ate in the apartment for several meals, but those $20+ restaurant bills add up fast.  My spending on fuel was high.  Discover Card had a 5% cashback promotion during the first quarter so I stocked up on fuel gift cards.

The other two unusual charges included the $500 annual maintenance fee I pay for my self-directed IRA and the $1,200 I spent on an Angie's List deal for 40 hours of handyman work.  I am hiring a contractor to help me get the bathroom remodeled and do some other repairs.

March Expenses:  $12,223

$1,401 Auto ($583 gas, $20 repairs/maintenance, $798 depreciation)
$500 Bank Fees (annual self-directed IRA fees)
$22 Clothing
$0 Computer
($367) Entertainment (movies, gambling, alcohol) income this month
$421 Food
$57 Gifts Given
$1,184 Household/Housing/Home Repair
$28 Health and Dental Insurance (prepaid 2017 health insurance premiums in December 2016)
$0 Investment Expense
$689 Interest Expense*
$218 Medical/Dental
$0 Miscellaneous
$0 Personal Care
$0 Subscriptions
$7,536 Taxes
$182 Sharing Economy Expenses (dedicated phone, tolls, car washes, etc.)
$279 Utilities
$74 Vacation

*Interest expense includes student loans and the loan on my car.  As both rates are below 2%, I am completely comfortable paying the interest each month and investing the money that I would otherwise use to pay off these loans.  In March, I paid $620 to E*Trade for "hard to borrow" interest on a short sale of Sears Holdings stock. 

Saturday, April 1

My Frugal Miser - March Income: $10,163

March was a great month.  A significant amount of income (more than $4,000) was from work last month.  I cranked up my rideshare activity as well as my Amazon Flex deliveries.  I also worked several meeting jobs.

I received rental income from all but one property.  That home is now rented, so my rental income for April will be higher than March.

March Income: $10,163

$2,163 Mystery Shopping and Hospitality Jobs
$480 Uber
$85 Lyft
$20 Postmates
$1,783 Amazon Deliveries
$5,795 Rental Income
($184) Dividends and Interest (Investment Accounts)
$0 Realized Gains (Losses) on Investments
$20 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.