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Saturday, September 5

My Frugal Miser - August Expenses: $7,785

I followed through in August with plans to pay off the rental property mortgage.  That means the only debt I have is on my primary residence.  This will reduce monthly expenses by $449 starting in September.  

There were a couple of other beneficial transactions last month.  The electric company decided I was "over-securitized" and refunded the deposit to my account.  I didn't have to pay a bill in August and still have a $43 credit that will be applied to the September bill.

Large Expenses

  • By far the mortgage on our home is the largest expense.  Right now I pay $1,600/month.  This will go down some next year because it currently includes a payment to make up a shortage in my escrow account.
  • I paid $300 to renew two types of termite protection on the Airbnb.  I had to have it tented when I purchased it in 2014 so this coverage protects me should there be another infestation.
  • We had a lot of "fun" last month.  Early in the month I went to Tunica for a few days and lost at blackjack.  We have also been doing mini-getaways.  In August we visited Boca Raton, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Naples and Atlanta.  Hotel stays are included here but fortunately rates are really low.  I was able to take advantage of Hilton's price match guarantee for three separate bookings.  While I was booking a price-match room with Hilton I was offered bonus points to listen to an offer from Hilton Grand Vacations.  I decided to take advantage of the offer for a Hawaiian vacation, so the deposit for that is included as well.   In all, I took 5 trips and paid for a sixth, all for $1,800.

Everything Else

Rental property expenses were more than $1,000.  When a new tenant moves into one of my managed properties I have to pay a leasing fee to the management fee.  My largest rental property rented in July and the $700 leasing fee was billed to me last month.

August Business Spending:  $2,497
August Personal Spending:  $5,288

August Expenses:  $7,785

$447 Auto (service, gas, insurance, AAA, etc.)
$85 Bank Fees
$0 Clothing/ Personal Care
$1,818 Fun (vacations movies, gambling, alcohol, concert tickets)
$688 Food
$406 Health and Dental
$1,640 Household/Mortgage Payment/Home Repair
$0 Interest Expense
$38 Miscellaneous
$100 Taxes includes quarterly tax payments
$6 App Jobs Expenses (tolls, car washes, etc.)
$0 Unreimbursed Job Expenses
$0 Reimbursed Job Expenses
$65 Utilities
$1,382 Rental Property Expenses
$1,108 AirBNB Expenses

Thursday, September 3

My Frugal Miser - August Income: $10,967

 August income was down from July.  Fortunately I still earned more than I spent by about $3,000.

I didn't work any meetings.  I was paid for some merchandising work I did in July.  App-based income has declined every month since peaking during the quarantine.  People aren't ordering delivery as much now that they can go out and pickup their own food.  Amazon work has picked up a bit.

Bookings at the Airbnb have slowed down.  There were 9 days last month where the house sat empty.  I lowered rates for September which has helped with some early bookings.  

I collected rent from all 3 Birmingham rental properties.  I also received a quarterly dividend from three of the apartment investments I have at Realty Mogul: $425 from one and $823 and $175 on two owned by my retirement account.  I don't include transactions from my retirement accounts in the monthly figures but thought it was worth noting the amount.

August Income: $10,967

$43 Mystery Shopping/ Merchandising
$0 Meeting Jobs
$590 Gig Apps (Rideshare, Food Deliveries, etc.)
$1,854 Amazon Deliveries
$3,441 Rental Income
$3,225 Airbnb Income
$22 Interest Income
$1,793 Other Sources

Investment Accounts Change in Value:  $14,942

My investment accounts improved nicely.  My largest position is in Vereit, and shares were up in August.

Tuesday, September 1

My Next Financial Goals

 This month I am embarking on a new set of financial goals:

  • Pay an extra $1,100/month on my home mortgage.  This will eliminate $1/week in interest expense.  My mortgage rate, 4.75%, is 50% higher than prevailing rates.  I tried to refinance, but the defective underwriting process finds I don't earn enough money to pay a less-expensive mortgage.  No irony there!
  • Transfer $1,000/month to investable savings.  I have designated a savings account for funding investments.  This can include making improvements to the Airbnb or rental properties, investing in new opportunities, or for anything else that can increase my recurring monthly income.
  • Transfer $400/month to my brokerage account.  The last several years were focused on debt reduction.  It's time to start increasing my nest egg.
At first glance these sound like "softball" goals.  All I am doing is committing to moving money around.  In reality, I am committing to earning enough income to achieve these goals.  If I am falling short, I will have to earn more income to make up the shortfall or cut something like a vacation or unneeded expense.  

This is just the start!  I'm going to monitor my progress.  If the goals are too easy, I will adjust them.  Since I am committing $2,500/month towards this, I think it will be a big enough goal to motivate me to work harder but not so big as to discourage me.