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Thursday, January 12

My Frugal Miser - 2023 Goals

 Every year I publish a handful of goals.  I usually meet some and fail at others.  Without this roadmap, I would lack the direction I need to achieve anything.  Here are my 2023 goals.


Increase Net Worth by 12%.  Either increase rental income by 15% or or sell a rental property.


Weigh 175 pounds.  


Remove two items for every new item that comes in the house.  Act on emails so my inbox is as close to empty as possible.  Stop wasting time doing things that don't matter.

Have Fun, On a Budget

I will limit spending on Fun to $5,000 in 2023.  Chief to achieving this is reducing my gambling and drinking.

Monday, January 9

My Frugal Miser - December 2022 Expenses

My spending in December exceeded my income.  

  • I forgot to pay quarterly taxes in the third quarter, so I paid two quarters of estimated taxes in December.
  • During the slow season I sometimes work meetings where our expenses are not reimbursed.  We had out of pocket costs for the Las Vegas meeting.  I also paid my 2023 business insurance premium.
  • I was charged the annual fee for my Southwest Business card.  
  • I bought a $500 Amazon gift card (Household) that I haven't used, but am counting the spending in December.


We love adventures.  Spending on experiences makes us better humans.  
  • We spent on excursions and drinks during the Puerto Rico cruise.
  • I paid the taxes, fees and gratuities for a cruise I booked for February.  Even though I didn't gamble on our Puerto Rico cruise, Royal Caribbean offered me another free cruise and I jumped on it.  
  • I bought tickets to see Third Eye Blind in Macon, GA in March.
  • On the last day of our Las Vegas meeting I lost $300 in a casino.

December Expenses:  $17,391

$232 Auto (service, gas, insurance, AAA, etc.)
$199 Bank Fees (annual fees on credit cards)
$36 Clothing/ Personal Care
$1,739 Fun (vacations, movies, gambling, alcohol, concert tickets)
$567 Food
$110 Health and Dental
$2,142 Household/Home Repairs
$955 Unreimbursed Job Expense
$18 Reimbursed Job Expense income this month
$0 Interest Expense
$497 Miscellaneous (cat sitter, gifts)
$9,133 Taxes
$192 Utilities 

Saturday, January 7

My Frugal Miser - December 2022 Income

My December income was only fair.  In addition to income from two rental properties I received two distributions from commercial properties I own through Realty Mogul.  I worked two meeting jobs and I completed a few Amazon routes.  Amazon has overhired drivers and getting a decent route is difficult.  We were out of town for two weeks - a cruise for five days and a road trip to visit family over the holidays.  I probably could have made a bit more working for Amazon if I had stayed home.

December Income: $8,275

$0 Mystery Shopping/ Merchandising
$4,505 Meeting Jobs
$0 Gig Apps (Rideshare, Food Deliveries, etc.)
$306 Amazon Deliveries
$3,450 Rental Income (Rental Expenses:  $1,608)
$14 Interest Income
$0 Other Sources

Investment Accounts Change in Value:  $25,451

My contrarian bets against zombie companies have been doing well.  These are companies that have only survived because of access to cheap financing.  Now that interest rates are higher, my thesis is these companies will struggle and their share prices will reflect that.

Tuesday, January 3

My Frugal Miser - Reviewing My 2022 Goals

 I set 4 goals for 2022.  Here's how I did.

My 2022 Goals:

(Financial) Make investing more passive I want to sell at least one rental property in 2022 and reallocate the money to a fully passive investment.

Status:  Achieved!  I sold two rental properties and so far the timing and results look spectacular.  Shortly after selling, the housing market slowed considerably thanks to higher interest rates.  I deployed the proceeds from the Airbnb into one account and have grown the balance by $58,000.  This is significantly more than the income I would have generated from rent.  I placed the proceeds from the second sale into a different account.  It, too, has increased, but by a smaller amount.

(Health)  I would like to weigh 175 by the end of 2022.  
Status:  Failed.  I gained weight in 2022.  Nearly 30 pounds.  Gotta do better.

(Simplify)  I will eliminate personal belongings that I no longer need.  One of the major personal projects in 2022 is updating our home.  There are several large projects I'd like to do, and getting rid of the clutter around the house will help us enjoy the home more.

Status: Some progress, but plenty opportunity remaining.  I usually keep a cardboard box out and add donations to it.  Then when there's enough to justify the trip, I'll drop the donations off at Goodwill.  In 2022 I made a couple of sizable donations, but we currently live in a small, 1,000 square foot house with minimal closet space.  I basically use one bedroom to store extra supplies and things that don't fit elsewhere, and want to get to the point that I don't need to do this.

(Travel on a Budget) I don't just love to travel; I live to travel.  Inflation and pandemic fatigue mean travel is getting more expensive (just look at airfares!).  I will spend more time learning how to maximize travel programs and loyalty points.  I will research places I'd like to visit, take advantage of deals, and be mindful about how I spend my travel dollar.

Status:  Failed.  We did plenty of travel, but as many of you discovered, inflation hit hard in this category.  I lost money gambling, spent too much on expensive meals, and ended up spending more in 2022 on travel and fun than ever.  This is one category where I usually don't feel bad about spending, as long as it's a good value.  I made a few poor choices though.

So there you have it.  Of the four goals I set for 2022, I exceeded one, did okay on another, and failed at the other two.  I plan to post my 2023 goals this week.