Today's Focus

Current Goal: Automate Savings and Mortgage Paydown

1) Extra $1,100/mo. to mortgage
2) $1,000/mo. to short-term savings
3) $400/mo. to investing

Previous Goal: Eliminate Mortgage on Rental Property
Interest Rate is 5.125%!

January 1, 2019: $59,592
August 11, 2020: PAID!


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Monday, January 4

My Frugal Miser - December Expenses: $7,838


December wasn't too bad, and it's looking like January will be even better.  
  • Airbnb expenses were quite low.  My goal here is to invest in the property during slow season (September-November), which is exactly what I did this year.  The only expenses in November were for normal things like utilities and supplies.  
  • Rental expenses were also low.  Since I already paid property taxes, my only rental expenses in November were the management fees I pay for two properties I own in Alabama.
  • The household expense includes $1,601 for the mortgage.  The only other expense was the quarterly HOA dues.
  • Spending on food remains high.  We are still on the keto diet.  Protein tends to be more expensive, plus at the end of the month we visited a friend who has high-end tastes.

Fun

We love adventures, which makes it exciting to talk about the "fun" category.  
  • We visited Asheville and Pigeon Forge (Dollywood).  When I was researching prices for Dollywood I discovered that buying one season pass ($150) would be a fantastic bargain because it includes a bring-a-friend ticket for this Christmas season as well as 3 tickets in 2021.  Instead of us both buying season passes, this option made more sense.  If we visit 4 times, our per visit cost is just $18.75/each.  I also splurged on an annual pass to the Biltmore Estate.  This is definitely not a frugal purchase, and I had a hard time justifying it:  even with $50 off, the annual passes were $200 each.  I used points for our hotels, so the total cost of the trip was $88 for both flights, the cost of passes to the attractions, a rental car, food and a couple of souvenirs.
  • We spent a couple of nights in Miami visiting a friend.  It was a relatively inexpensive trip but we did spend a lot on food while there.
  • I made another payment towards our China trip.
  • I booked another cruise for later in the year.  The deals are too good to pass up.
  • Last, we pay $48/month for AMC A-List membership.  I should probably cancel this until new movies return to the theater.
December is the last month I will be paying $479 for health insurance - I switched back to an ACA plan, which should save $400/mo.  Unfortunately I needed periodontal surgery in December which was the single largest expense for the month after the mortgage.  I also spent a fair amount on gifts (listed under the miscellaneous category) which won't be repeated in January.

December Business Spending:  $6,988
December Personal Spending:  $850

December Expenses:  $7,838

$364 Auto (service, gas, insurance, AAA, etc.)
$174 Bank Fees
$20 Clothing/ Personal Care
$1,454 Fun (vacations movies, gambling, alcohol, concert tickets)
$994 Food
$1,449 Health and Dental
$1,783 Household/Mortgage Payment/Home Repair
$0 Interest Expense
$370 Miscellaneous
$122 Taxes includes quarterly tax payments
$0 App Jobs Expenses (tolls, car washes, etc.)
$0 Unreimbursed Job Expenses
$0 Reimbursed Job Expenses
$259 Utilities
$420 Rental Property Expenses
$430 AirBNB Expenses

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