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Thursday, March 4

My Frugal Miser - February 2021 Income

February was a solid month, with income exceeding expenses by a healthy margin.

Amazon was good.  I've been paying for a service that automatically picks up routes for me.  I used to be able to get the same amount of work without having to pay for it, but the use of bots has made that impossible.

The Airbnb was booked every day and higher rates than last year.  March is already almost fully booked.

I received rent for two of the three Birmingham rental properties.  I also received quarterly income from some of my Realty Mogul investments.

February Income: $10,784

$60 Mystery Shopping/ Merchandising
$0 Meeting Jobs
$79 Gig Apps (Rideshare, Food Deliveries, etc.)
$2,913 Amazon Deliveries
$2,710 Rental Income (Rental Expenses:  $420)
$4,153 Airbnb Income (Airbnb Expenses:  $406)
$26 Interest Income
$843 Other Sources

Investment Accounts Change in Value:  $3,555

My investment accounts were mixed.  While Vereit was up 10%, my put options on AMC suffered more big losses.  I closed out my Carnival Cruise Lines position.

Tuesday, March 2

My Frugal Miser - February 2021 Expenses


In February I kept expenses relatively low.  After we move they will drop even more.
  • The household expense includes $1,423 for the mortgage.  We are moving at the end of March so this expense will be lower soon.
  • Spending on food was reasonable considering the higher expense of our low-carb diet.  We are still preparing nearly every meal at home, which saves on restaurant meals.
  • I bought a Groupon for front brake pads.  I paid $71 for the Groupon and received a $2.85 rebate from Rakuten.  My normal mechanic quoted $270 to replace the brakes.  
  • Health and Dental will continue to be much lower than last year since I switched to an ACA plan.  In February I filled two prescriptions.  The balance is for the monthly insurance premium.


We love adventures, which makes it exciting to talk about the "fun" category.  
  • I visited Las Vegas for three nights.  Travel is still really cheap.  My hotels were comped, I paid $42 for the flight, and food was inexpensive.  The only other expense was the car rental and gambling.  
  • I want to highlight the $42 flight:  at the end of last year I completed a status match with Frontier.  Since I have a SWA Companion Pass, I qualified for the highest-level with Frontier, which lets you choose any seat on the plane and luggage is complimentary.  This allowed me to choose the first row with extra legroom.  I also had the pleasure of checking out the brand new American Express Centurion Lounge on my layover in Denver, compliments of my AMEX Platinum card.  
  • I booked a May trip for Las Vegas.  Two roundtrip tickets were $159, but I had a $50 voucher which brought it down to $109.  I'm loving the Frontier status match since it means our upgraded seats and bags were included in that price.
  • Other fun in February included tickets to a drive-in concert we attended.

February Expenses:  $3,786

$402 Auto (service, gas, insurance, AAA, etc.)
$150 Bank Fees (annual fee on CSR card)
$15 Clothing/ Personal Care
$643 Fun (vacations, movies, gambling, alcohol, concert tickets)
$532 Food
$187 Health and Dental
$1,449 Household/Mortgage Payment/Home Repair
$0 Interest Expense
$0 Miscellaneous
$78 Taxes
$256 Utilities

I have streamlined this post for 2021 by not reporting business spending in 2021 (Airbnb, rental property, unreimbursed job expenses, etc.)  This blog is about my personal journey towards financial independence, and I wanted to simplify things and focus on the expenses I should be able to reduce or eliminate.