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Tuesday, January 4

My Frugal Miser - December 2021 Expenses


  • I spent more on gas as I visited family in Alabama for Christmas.  I also replaced my tires - the second time in 2021.  I did put quite a few miles on my car in 2021, but having to replace the tires seemed premature.  For some reason one of the tires was constantly leaking air, even though a leak couldn't be located.  The others had quite a bit of wear so I decided to bite the bullet and replace them all.
  • Spending on food benefited from the week we worked in Atlanta (we received a generous per diem).  I also did a no-spend challenge starting on the 16th where I decided not to buy more groceries the rest of the month and instead deplete everything we had in the refrigerator and freezer.
  • The per diem while we were in Atlanta exceeded our spending on food, so there is income in the Reimbursed Job Expense category.


We love adventures.  Spending on experiences makes us better humans.  

  • I paid the balance for our end of November cruise.  Even though I gambled a fair amount, I managed to break even in the casino.  All I owed was for gratuities, a few drinks and a couple of days of Internet.  Our drinks in the casino were free.
  • I booked a "bounce-back" cruise for the end of December.  It was a 3 day cruise from Long Beach, CA.  We combined this with my visit to Alabama for Christmas by flying from Atlanta, stopping in Phoenix (my partner's family lives there) before continuing to Long Beach.  Most of the flights were paid with points.  I needed to use the rebate certificate from Hilton from the August timeshare presentation so I paid out of pocket for a hotel which will be rebated later.  I also had a $200 rebate offered annually on my Platinum AMEX, so I booked two nights at a really nice hotel in Atlanta.  
  • I paid $149 for another year of Frontier 100K status through a status match offer.  Our Southwest companion passes expired at the end of the year so we may use Frontier more for leisure travel.
  • We treated friends to drinks and meals for the holidays.

December Expenses:  $5,469

$742 Auto (service, gas, insurance, AAA, etc.)
$203 Bank Fees (annual fee on Platinum AMEX card)
$112 Clothing/ Personal Care
$2,161 Fun (vacations, movies, gambling, alcohol, concert tickets)
$427 Food
$172 Health and Dental
$1,053 Household/Home Repairs
$352 Unreimbursed Job Expense
($12) Reimbursed Job Expense (income)
$0 Interest Expense
$159 Miscellaneous
$4 Taxes
$95 Utilities 


  1. You're doing great. Your income was well above your expenses even with all of the travel. I hope everything stays open this year so you can still travel and work your meeting jobs.

    1. Thanks, Andy! Been following your adventures on Facebook and sounds like you are having a fun time in Thailand. The meeting industry is crippling along - my Dallas meeting on January 7th became a virtual one but I've been asked to come anyway. Not sure why, but at least I'm still getting paid. Some of our future work and leisure travel is questionable. Not sure we will be able to do the Australia cruise in May, for example.