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Friday, July 20

I've Paid Off ALL My Credit Card Debt

In less than two weeks I should close on the new house.  That's the biggest change in our lives, but there's many BIG things coming...

Credit Card Debt No More

Last year I decided to pay off one of the rental property mortgages using 0% credit card advance checks.  Then earlier this year I spent a significant amount rehabbing another rental property.  Finally, we've been spending big bucks getting our current house ready for AirBnB.  It's been a great year for my stock investments, so I sold quite a bit of stock and paid off all my credit card debt.  As an aside, I also eliminated my margin debt in the brokerage account.  That will save money on margin interest.

About to Pay off the Car Loan

I owe about $4,000 on the Sonata, and the interest rate is less than 2%.  So why pay it early?  I want to change my insurance coverage by eliminating the full coverage portion.  I haven't priced it out yet, but there's bound to be some savings.  I intend to use cash flow from August rents to pay it off.

An Upcoming Vacancy

At the end of August I have a tenant moving out from one of the Birmingham townhouses.  I am happy about this because I haven't been charging enough rent.  This is my lowest rent property, at $595 a month.  I have similar townhouses that I rent for $700.  I'm thinking about experimenting with this property.  The kitchen is due for an upgrade and I want to eliminate the dishwasher.  I also want to see if sprucing things up makes any difference in the rent I can charge and the length of time the next tenant stays.  More on that later.


Saving the best for last.  I found a great deal on a Playa del Carmen all-inclusive, so we are going there in August.  I've been working a lot in 2018; now it's time to relax a little.  

Wednesday, July 4

My Frugal Miser - June Expenses: $4,001

June was an average month.  Half of my spending was for two irregular charges:  my annual homeowner's insurance payment and a $1,000 purchase of IHG Rewards Club Points.  IHG was doing a 100% match promotion on the purchase of points and I decided it was worth the purchase.

I spent too much on food again.  About $300 went to restaurant meals.  I also lost some money gambling while we were working in Las Vegas.

June Expenses:  $4,001

$89 Auto (all for gas)
$0 Bank Fees
$0 Clothing
$0 Computer
$941 Entertainment (movies, gambling, alcohol, concert tickets) 
$501 Food
$0 Gifts Given
($100) Household/Housing/Home Repair
$942 Homeowner's Insurance (annual payment)
$28 Health and Dental Insurance (prepaid a portion of 2018 health insurance)
$0 Investment Expense
$41 Interest Expense*
$0 Medical/Dental
$0 Miscellaneous
$3 Personal Care
$0 Subscriptions
$0 Taxes
$27 Sharing Economy Expenses (tolls, car washes, etc.)
$248 Unreimbursed Employee Expenses
$228 Utilities
$1,054 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.  

Monday, July 2

My Frugal Miser - June Income: $11,183

June marked another great month for income.  Last month set a record thanks to a put option I exercised.  I was able to squeak out another gain this month.  My largest investment for the last few years has been in a REIT called Vereit.  It's been stuck near $7/share for some time, but in June it did fairly well.

I worked a lot in June.  There were two solid weeks of meeting work and a fair amount of Amazon deliveries.

I received rent from all my properties.

June Income: $11,183

($15) Mystery Shopping
$2,056 Meeting Jobs
$682 Reimbursed Job Expenses
$13 Uber
$3 Lyft
$0 Postmates
$810 Amazon Deliveries
$7,411 Rental Income
$22 Interest Income
$200 Other Sources

Investment Accounts Change in Value:  $2,668

Decent month.  Vereit is starting to go up.

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