Search My Frugal Miser

Friday, December 4

My Frugal Miser - November Expenses: $13,660

November expenses were above-average once again.   One reason is because every year around Black Friday I buy discounted gift cards for future purchases.  
  • Airbnb expenses were high as we continue to prepare for peak season.   The biggest expense was the annual property tax bill.  I received a 4% discount by paying in November.  I bought a new set of pots and pans.  I also replaced the vinyl flooring in part of the house.  Lastly, I bought a few gift cards to take advantage of a special credit card offer.
  • Rental expenses include the property tax bill for the condo in Birmingham.  At just under $500, it is my smallest property tax bill.  Alabama has the lowest property taxes in the country.
  • The household expense also includes the purchase of gift cards.  This year Citibank offered a 5% Black Friday rebate on online purchases, so I bought gift cards in both Citi accounts to max out that offer.
  • Spending on food should start to go down in December.  I did a lot of stocking up on keto-friendly foods that will last a while.


The "fun" category is still hefty on fun, and I'm really excited at how far my travel dollars go right now.  I think by April of next year the pandemic will be well under control and that this will cause a huge spike in leisure travel.  Prices for flights and hotels will normalize.  I booked several trips for 2021 so that I could "lock in" COVID-discounted rates.
  • I plan to end my keto diet at the beginning of April, and since Frontier was having a big Cyber Monday sale (plus I was able to status match with my SWA Companion Pass, so our bags and seat assignments are free), I booked a flight to Austin.  We went there once before, but I had a massive toothache which ruined the fun.  Time for a do-over.  Two roundtrip flights were $84.  
  • We booked a December flight to Asheville, NC ($88 for 2).  
  • I rented a car to visit my mom.  
  • Finally, the most exciting of them all... I paid deposits for 2 trips later in 2021:  an Australian cruise in August and another trip to China in November.  The China trip is the same unreal deal we booked 2 years ago:  $299 each for a package that includes flights, hotels, breakfast, transportation and some tours.   The Australian cruise fulfills a bucket-list trip, plus the value was solid.  I paid $148/night for a balcony stateroom.  I will receive a $1,000 onboard credit and we both get free drinks.  That onboard credit and the free drinks are worth as much as the cost of the cruise.  Insane value. 

November Business Spending:  $6,169
November Personal Spending:  $7,491

November Expenses:  $13,660

$762 Auto (service, gas, insurance, AAA, etc.)
$550 Bank Fees
$46 Clothing/ Personal Care
$1,130 Fun (vacations movies, gambling, alcohol, concert tickets)
$957 Food
$581 Health and Dental
$2,965 Household/Mortgage Payment/Home Repair
$0 Interest Expense
$80 Miscellaneous
$92 Taxes includes quarterly tax payments
$0 App Jobs Expenses (tolls, car washes, etc.)
$0 Unreimbursed Job Expenses
$0 Reimbursed Job Expenses
$327 Utilities
$1,118 Rental Property Expenses
$5,050 AirBNB Expenses


  1. Those are some great travel deals. I'd like to check out that China deal if you could send me a link. I've got a business class flight to Europe in April that I was able to book for half the usual miles. Hopefully, I'll be able to take it or change it for no fee.

    1. Hi Andy... the China deal is through UTO Vacations. The $299 price is on select dates mostly in November and December next year. We chose November 9th. It's the best travel deal I have found. Note that the first time you go you will have to pay for a Chinese Visa but once you have one it is valid for 10 years. That's awesome about the business class flight. I would love to fly business class to Australia if I can find a decent deal.