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Thursday, March 7

My Frugal Miser - February Expenses: $8,717

It's important to remind everybody that I am including business and personal expenses in these reports.  Business expenses are a necessary part of growing my income.  But there's a difference between buying sheets for my AirBnB and paying for a restaurant meal.  Nonetheless, it is all listed below.

I have switched from Quicken to a customized spreadsheet to manage my finances.  As part of that transition I have consolidated some categories.  I am also now reporting business expenses.  Previously I did not include rental property expenses. It's all designed to simplify managing my money.

The Good

Because the meeting jobs often provide us meals, our spending on food was really low:  $90.  I can't remember the last time it was so low.  Meeting work also meant less spending on gas for the car.  However, that was offset by a repair in February to fix an oil leak.

The Not-So-Good

I spent $1,500 on "fun".  This is a new category in 2019 that consolidates spending on vacations, entertainment, gambling, etc.  In February, I made a payment towards our next exotic vacation:  China.  We are going there in October.  We also took a trip to Vegas and Seattle at the end of the month, so some of the spending was on this trip.

I also had to have more minor dental work done last month.  Lastly, bank fees and interest.  I paid the annual fee on the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, which is $450.  I will get $300 in travel credits which will offset the cost of having this card.  I also paid some interest on two credit cards.  Rather than covering my balance with money from my investment accounts, I decided to keep an oustanding balance and just pay interest on it.  This isn't the cheapest way to do things, but I have my reasons.

February Expenses:  $8,717

$500 Auto (service, gas, insurance, AAA, etc.)
$460 Bank Fees
$96 Clothing/ Personal Care
$1,525 Fun (vacations movies, gambling, alcohol, concert tickets) 
$90 Food
$0 Gifts Given
$982 Health & Dental
$1,310 Household/Mortgage Payment/Home Repair
$0 Investment Expense
$105 Interest Expense*
$118 Miscellaneous
$0 Taxes (Quarterly Tax Payment)
$0 App Jobs Expenses (tolls, car washes, etc.)
$0 Unreimbursed Employee Expenses
$280 Utilities
$2,777  Rental Property Expenses
$474 AirBNB Expenses

*Interest expense includes student loans.  As the rate is below 2%, I am completely comfortable paying the interest each month and investing the money that I would otherwise use to pay off this loan.  


  1. The China trip should be fun. I'm going to be in China this year too. I have a layover in Shanghai for my trip to Bangkok. Since I didn't want to go through the hassle of getting a China visa I'm keeping my stay in Shanghai to less than 24 hours. Since I'll be coming off a 13 hour flight I'll probably spend most of my time there resting. I'll have to make another trip to see the sights.

    1. The visa fee is pretty expensive in China, but the trip is so inexpensive overall. We paid $299/each TOTAL for the flights, hotels, and tours. That's before the visa and gratuities, but other than food everything else is covered.