Search My Frugal Miser

Thursday, June 3

My Frugal Miser - May 2021 Income

 2021 has been great thus far with strong income every month.  May was no different.

The Airbnb was booked most of the time.  I blocked a few days off early in the month to deal with some maintenance issues.  There was just one available day that went unbooked.  Rates remain high.

I received two rent payments for one of the Birmingham rental properties.  Rent was paid on all three of my Birmingham rentals.  I also received a couple of distributions from Realty Mogul.  I am mildly disappointed thus far with the performance of my Realty Mogul investments.

I did a small amount of rideshare, worked a one day event in Vero Beach, and did some Amazon deliveries.  The meeting industry is finally returning (slowly), and I already have work booked in June and July.

I thought it was April that brought showers, but May was raining cash.  I finally received the third, $1,400 stimulus payment.  I also received an escrow refund from selling my house (not income since it offsets housing, but a hefty refund nonetheless) and my 2020 tax refund (again, it offsets the tax expense and doesn't show up as income).  Thanks to cash flow continuing to exceed expenses, I transferred an extra $3,000 to savings last month.  

May Income: $13,677

$0 Mystery Shopping/ Merchandising
$190 Meeting Jobs
$830 Gig Apps (Rideshare, Food Deliveries, etc.)
$1,053 Amazon Deliveries
$4,577 Rental Income (Rental Expenses:  $525)
$3,453 Airbnb Income (Airbnb Expenses:  $762)
$19 Interest Income
$3,555 Other Sources

Investment Accounts Change in Value:  $3,203

My investment accounts were up slightly.  I sold a portion of my Vereit stock.  Also for the first time I sold a couple of put options on AMC.  These were small transactions mostly done to gain experience with selling puts, but this accounted for almost $2,000 of the balance increase.  Time will tell if the transactions end profitably.

Tuesday, June 1

My Frugal Miser - May 2021 Expenses

In May I was able to keep my expenses significantly lower than my income.  I received my tax refund and home escrow refund, which I posted to the expense category since the refunds are money I previously marked as an expense.
  • The household expense benefited from the $3,691 refund of my escrow balance from the sale of our home.  
  • We ate out during our 3 day trip to Las Vegas, including a splurge on an $80 meal.  I also visited my mom in Birmingham and we ate out every meal.
  • I paid $706 to the Vespa dealership to get our scooters running again.  After a few years of not using them, neither would crank.  This included repairs, new brakes, oil changes, and a new mirror.
  • I inadvertently paid the water bill twice, making utilities look higher than they were.  In June the credit will be applied towards the balance.


We love adventures.  Spending on experiences makes us better humans.  
  • Carnival's casino player's club offered me two "free" cruises.  They weren't technically free - I had to pay a non-refundable $200 deposit that is refunded as an onboard credit, plus taxes and fees.  But they were still a bargain.  I booked a 13 day trans-Atlantic from Lisbon to Tampa and a 5 day cruise from New Orleans, both sailing in 2022.
  • We spent a few days in Las Vegas.  We gambled a lot on the first day.  I lost $100 but my partner won $400 that first day.  On the second day we went hiking at Mt. Charleston.  Beautiful mountain hike, but on the way back down the mountain I got caught in a speed trap and was ticketed for driving 40 in a 35.  For perspective, a 55 mph sign was visible in front of me and the spot where I was ticketed screamed "speed trap."  We did a small amount of gambling later in the day and I lost about $100 on video poker.  Our third day I broke even.  We saw a movie and had a nice but expensive early dinner at Brigg's Oyster House.  Summary:  For 3 days in Vegas, I paid $160 for flights, $200 for gambling, and $93 for a rental car.  There was also the speeding ticket, two movie tickets, meals and gas.  Our hotel was comped.  Were you to include my partner's winnings, our trip was nearly free.
  • I attended the Biglari Holdings shareholder meeting in San Antonio.  This increased the food budget and the rental car was more expensive than usual, increasing the Auto category.

May Expenses:  $380 

includes tax refund and home escrow refund

$1,890 Auto (service, gas, insurance, AAA, etc.)
$0 Bank Fees (annual fee on Chase Hyatt card, trustee fee for Self-Directed IRA)
$90 Clothing/ Personal Care
$1,024 Fun (vacations, movies, gambling, alcohol, concert tickets)
$875 Food
$217 Health and Dental
+$3,394 Household/Home Repairs (income this month)
$0 Unreimbursed Job Expense
$40 Reimbursed Job Expense
$0 Interest Expense
$44 Miscellaneous
+$2,288 Taxes (income this month)
$658 Utilities