Monday, February 5

My Frugal Miser - January Expenses: $1,621


January was a decently frugal month.  There were a few large expenses:  I bought a discounted gas gift card ($240) and prepaid for a year of satellite radio.  I also started tracking a new category that added to my expenses.  I also bought a new pair of work shoes.

New this year I added a category for unreimbursed employee expenses.  Last year, the primary company I worked for meeting jobs paid me as a 1099 contractor, and I could deduct expenses like hotels and meals.  Now I am a W-2 and if I choose to take a job that doesn't provide meals or hotel rooms, I am responsible for the expense.



January Expenses:  $1,621

$272 Auto ($240 for gas, $32 for service)
$0 Bank Fees
$159 Clothing
$0 Computer
$223 Entertainment (movies, gambling, alcohol) - gain this month
$272 Food
$0 Gifts Given
$50 Household/Housing/Home Repair
$0 Homeowner's Insurance (annual payment)
$28 Health and Dental Insurance (prepaid a portion of 2018 health insurance)
$0 Investment Expense
$14 Interest Expense*
$4 Medical/Dental (income)
$0 Miscellaneous
$0 Personal Care
$0 Subscriptions
$0 Taxes
$52 Sharing Economy Expenses (tolls, car washes, etc.)
$176 Unreimbursed Employee Expenses
$397 Utilities
$0 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 December, I paid $38 to E*Trade for "hard to borrow" interest on a short sale of stock. 

Friday, February 2

My Frugal Miser - January Income: $8,707


It's 2018 and I am making some changes to how I report things.  I want to stop tracking every investment transaction in Quicken.  I don't use that information anywhere except this blog - capital gains, dividends and interest expenses are all tracked in spreadsheets for tax purposes.  This year I will report the increase or decrease in the value of my investment account, net of any withdrawals or deposits I make.

As for income, it was okay.  Rental income continues to suffer, but this is about to change.  My handyman finished the repairs at my townhouse, and the day it was listed for rent the management company approved an application.  I had to evict another tenant, and I believe she moved out at the end of the month.  A third tenant did not pay rent in January. 

I worked several meetings in January and drove a little for Uber and Lyft.  I also worked steadily at Amazon.  Income from these jobs was solid.

January Income: $8,707

$71 Mystery Shopping
$1,246 Meeting Jobs
$50 Reimbursed Job Expenses
$235 Uber
$163 Lyft
$0 Postmates
$2,236 Amazon Deliveries
$4,475 Rental Income
$29 Interest Income
$202 Other Sources

Investment Accounts Change in Value:  -$17,969

My investments performed horribly in January.  I shorted shares in the company that operates MoviePass (HMNY) and quickly lost a ton of money.  I covered that position, taking a steep loss.  The Hard to Borrow interest rate charged to short that stock is ridiculously high.  In its place, I have a put option that will become profitable if the company tanks.  I also lost a lot from Vereit.  REITS have been way down lately.   I'm not planning to sell anytime soon, so this doesn't worry me at all.  In fact, I bought more shares today.  The dividend on that REIT is close to 8%.

Notes:  
  • I don't include transactions in my retirement accounts.  This includes rental income, dividends and capital gains and losses.