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Thursday, March 31

Selling the BNB, What I'm Reading, Increasing Passive Income

2022 has been an incredible year so far.  I'm writing this blog from the Gaylord Rockies outside of Denver, where I just wrapped another meeting job.  This is #2 of 4 back-to-back meeting jobs I'm doing.  Things don't appear to be slowing down.  I love to travel, and it's great being able to make money while honing new skills.

One minor downside to all the work I am doing is that it's easy to let everything else overwhelm me.  This is just another reminder about why it's important to simplify my life.

Selling the BNB

This one was difficult.  As I quickly approach four years as an Airbnb host, I've decided to take advantage of the hot real estate market and sell the house.  I was contacted by an agent in March who was engaging and full of energy.  I usually ignore unsolicited offers from realtors, but this guy got my attention.  He had neighborhood comps that suggested my home would sell for healthy price.

I've been thinking about selling for several months.  When I was planning my 2022 goals, selling one of my rental properties was Goal #1.  I had a different property in mind - and am still strongly considering selling it.  So there is definitely a possibility of selling two houses this year.  The plan for the BNB is to list it in early May.

The Intelligent Investor

I'm talking about the book by the father of value investing, Benjamin Graham.  I aspire to make intelligent decisions about my investments, so I redeemed a Barnes & Noble gift card I was given for Christmas to buy this book.  Graham was Warren Buffett's teacher (literally), and this is considered the Bible of Value Investing.  If I am successful at selling the BNB I'm going to have a windfall of cash to deploy.  There's so much noise in the stock market these days.  A lot of what's happening is irrational, and markets eventually become rational, every time.  I hope that The Intelligent Investor will make me a more successful investor.

Increasing Passive Income

I've been actively working to increase passive income for years, but have put this into high gear these last few months.  I've purchased a number of bonds, most of them at distressed prices.  One of my favorite investments right now is a bond issued by the theater chain AMC.  It matures in 2025 and is the next substantial debt to come due for the company.  The meme-gamblers are responsible for a lot of the noise in the markets today.  These kids aren't buying based on fundamentals but instead on the greater fool theory that someone else will be willing to pay more than they did for a stock.  Why does this matter?  AMC took advantage of this noise by raising a ton of cash last year by selling overpriced shares of stock.  This gave the company a substantial war chest.  I think the odds are good that the company will honor its debt obligations, at least for the next few years.  I've bought a substantial amount of AMC bonds for less than 80 cents on the dollar.  If all goes as expected, I'm getting a 15%+ annualized return.

AMC is just one example of where I am growing my passive recurring income.  I've bought other bonds at similarly attractive prices.  I've also been investing in income properties on Realty Mogul.  Eventually I will set an annual income goal with the intent to earn enough passive income to pay all my bills.

The most important benefit to all this will be more freedom to do things I enjoy.  Owning an Airbnb has been one of the best financial decisions I have made.  But along with these golden handcuffs comes a lot of responsibility.  We have to plan our lives around the house.  I've tried multiple housekeepers, and am not satisfied with their attention to detail.  I would LOVE to be able to take a vacation and not have to think about some issue arising at the house that will require my attention.  Sure, I could put more effort into making this a truly passive source of income by hiring a management company.  But home prices are so high that, with a bit of effort, I think I can earn close to the same amount of income in a totally passive way via Realty Mogul or stock investing.

Friday, March 4

My Frugal Miser - February 2022 Expenses

February was quite reasonable when you compare spending to income.

  • Spending on my car was low.  There was no maintenance, and because I was out of town for work, I spent less on gas.
  • I paid the annual fee for my Chase Sapphire Reserve card.
  • Food was also low.  In addition to being reimbursed for or provided food when we work meetings, we have started eating more "regular" food (versus low-carb), which is less expensive.


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

  • I received the refund for taxes and fees for the canceled New Orleans cruise.  We decided to work a meeting in Boston instead.
  • Our Australian cruise was canceled, but I am still waiting for the refund.  Carnival is taking its time to process it.
  • I booked and paid for an Alaskan cruise.  Alaskan cruises generally cost more than Caribbean cruises, but I was offered a decent price.  I paid $350/each for a balcony stateroom plus taxes/fees for a 7 night cruise at the end of May.  One of the days includes crossing through some glaciers, and I thought it was a no-brainer to have a balcony where we could marvel at the sites.  It worked out to under $200/day.  Not bad considering a hotel room alone would cost more than that, while a cruise includes our food, entertainment, and drinks in the casino.
  • I decided to splurge on our flights to Seattle for the cruise.  I used points to book first class seats on the way, and took advantage of my annual travel credit on my Capital One Venture X card by booking first class seats back on American Airlines.  I was pleasantly surprised by how little the difference between first class and economy were and took advantage of what I thought was a mispriced ticket.  The difference between economy and first class was less than $200/ticket.  For that, checked bags, meals and alcohol are included - not to mention better seats and no one in the middle seat, because there isn't one!

February Expenses:  $3,686

$150 Auto (service, gas, insurance, AAA, etc.)
$550 Bank Fees (annual fees on credit cards)
$78 Clothing/ Personal Care
$2,013 Fun (vacations, movies, gambling, alcohol, concert tickets)
$372 Food
$143 Health and Dental
$1,214 Household/Home Repairs
$75 Unreimbursed Job Expense
($1,358) Reimbursed Job Expense (income - my provided per diems were much more than I spent)
$0 Interest Expense
$407 Miscellaneous
$82 Taxes
$39 Utilities 

Wednesday, March 2

My Frugal Miser - February 2022 Income

February was one of the best months ever in terms of income.

I worked 5 meetings jobs.  Two of those were single day gigs and another, a 7-11 Grand Opening Event, was two days.  The 7-11 was a brand ambassador job, but I include that income in the meeting jobs category.  I also received the cancelation fees from two February meetings.  Both paid 50% of the amount I would have earned.  This was a nice double-dipping opportunity since I was able to do other work in their place.

Since I was mostly working meetings, I didn't have a lot of time for Amazon routes.  I still managed to make over $600 from the 4 days I worked.

The Airbnb was booked every single day.

Rental income was solid.  All three tenants paid rent, plus I received two dividends from apartments I own through Realty Mogul.

February Income: $15,983

$0 Mystery Shopping/ Merchandising
$7,607 Meeting Jobs
$14 Gig Apps (Rideshare, Food Deliveries, etc.)
$623 Amazon Deliveries
$3,930 Rental Income (Rental Expenses:  $715)
$3,754 Airbnb Income (Airbnb Expenses:  $791)
$8 Interest Income
$47 Other Sources

Investment Accounts Change in Value:  ($1,927)

My investments were down, but continue to outperform the S&P 500.  It was another down month for stocks, but I still think the market is overvalued.