Today's Focus

Current Goals:

1) $1,000/mo. to short-term savings and $400/mo to investments.
2) Weigh less than 180 pounds by 12/31/21.
3) Read more books.

Previous Goal: Eliminate Mortgage on Rental Property
Interest Rate is 5.125%!

January 1, 2019: $59,592
August 11, 2020: PAID!

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Tuesday, June 6

How I've Become Less Frugal Since This Blog Started

Every time I write my monthly spending report, I ask myself whether I am being as frugal as I possibly can be.  Of course, the answer is no.  There's a tricky balance between spending as little as possible and paying for the conveniences that make my life better.

There are a handful of expenses I could do without, but right now I choose not to:

  • I pay $26/month for an unlimited car wash package.  When a new car wash opened up a mile from my house, I caved.  It's so much easier to run the car through the wash and use the free vacuums.  I'm more likely to drive for Uber in my spare time now that my car is always clean.
  • I pay $35/month for a Wall Street Journal subscription.  I want to make money from investing and need the proper tools to do so.
  • I pay annual fees on three credit cards.  While I recently canceled two credit cards that charge an annual fee, I've decided to keep the other three for now.  It's simple:  the value I get from these cards is worth more than the fee I pay each year.  With that said, I may get rid of the Marriott Rewards card.  I get a free night each year, but the annual fee is $85.  On the IHG card, I also get a free night but only pay $49/year.

Sometimes I wonder if I justify my expenses as a way to avoid the effort of getting rid of them.  I don't think I am doing that.  Most of these costs help me either make more money or save money.   Plus, we continue to be more frugal than most of our peers.  Some of the things we don't spend money on include:

  • cable TV
  • trash removal
  • drinking at bars
  • expensive cars
  • jewelry, expensive clothes, and other status symbols


  1. We don't pay for any of those either, except for trash removal. As a family of 4 it's just not possible to do without it here. What do you do with your trash?

    1. The landfill is 10 minutes away. I can bring a car load of trash for $2. I also will bring small amounts of trash and toss it at the gas station. Since we recycle most of our trash, there's just not much left.

  2. We don't pay for any of those things either. I guess we do pay for trash removal via our property taxes though.

    1. It would be nice if my community provided trash pickup I guess. I'm in an unincorporated area so that's not going to happen.

  3. You know a little splurge to make life better or to help you earn more is frugality in a sense. A clean car, more incentive to work, The investment tips you need more time to invest. remember time is money , time is also time and no amount of frugality will bring that back.

    1. I've gotten better at valuing my time, but still have some work to do. For example, I hired a contractor to remodel my bathrooms. But that was only after spending a year and a half remodeling the kitchen on my own. I should have hired that out, too.

  4. It would be great to have the option. In 2 states and 4 cities, we've always ended up somewhere with mandatory trash/recycling service. You can have it 1/month but not having it isn't an option.