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Tuesday, September 5

My Frugal Miser - August Expenses: $4,057

Overall August was a good month.  Taking out the Sears interest I paid on my short stock position, my real spending last month was just under $3,000.  The utilities category was high because I paid two electric bills, bought a new phone and switched to a new phone provider.  The net effect will be a lower phone bill in the future.  I also spent nearly a grand on vacationing.  That shouldn't surprise anyone:  we spend on experiences, not things.  I bought two round-trip tickets to Las Vegas for $221 (5 years ago it would have cost $800, go figure!).  The balance was for the Belize trip, and it included the food we consumed while we were there.  We did one day tour on the mainland, paid for four ferry trips, and ate (and drank) like kings.

August Expenses:  $4,057

$158 Auto ($19 gas, $139 for service)
$85 Bank Fees
$0 Clothing
$20 Computer
$115 Entertainment (movies, gambling, alcohol)
$185 Food
$150 Gifts Given
$443 Household/Housing/Home Repair
$0 Homeowner's Insurance (annual payment)
$28 Health and Dental Insurance (prepaid 2017 health insurance premiums in December 2016)
$0 Investment Expense
$1,112 Interest Expense*
$0 Medical/Dental
$0 Miscellaneous
$6 Personal Care
$35 Subscriptions
$0 Taxes
$88 Sharing Economy Expenses (tolls, car washes, etc.)
$653 Utilities
$979 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 August, I paid $1,070 to E*Trade for "hard to borrow" interest on a short sale of Sears Holdings stock. 

Saturday, September 2

My Frugal Miser - August Income: $13,499

I busted my butt in August!  Amazon deliveries ($3,412) contributed to the bulk of my income.  Not bad considering we spent a week in Belize last month.  We didn't do any meeting jobs and I only did a few mystery shops - most of the income in that category is from work I did in July.

Rental income looks okay, but one management company paid July and August rent during the month of August, so this is artificially high.  I still am dealing with the deceased tenant's house.  Her mother is living there and hasn't paid rent since she died.  I also found out another tenant (in one of my townhouses) is leaving.

August Income: $13,499

$1,242 Mystery Shopping and Hospitality Jobs
$181 Uber
$104 Lyft
$0 Postmates
$3,412 Amazon Deliveries
$7,546 Rental Income
$28 Dividends and Interest (Investment Accounts)
$875 Realized Gains (Losses) on Investments
$112 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.