Search My Frugal Miser

Friday, January 5

My Frugal Miser - December 2023 Income

December was a lighter month for active income than I would have preferred, but real estate and interest income carried me.  Besides, we made the most of it by taking our vacation during a slow time.  I worked two meetings and one local transportation job - 15 days total.  

I didn't do rideshare but received a decent check from the rides I gave at the end of November.  The $1,141 check included a $700 bonus for completing 60 rides.  Without the bonus, my earnings would have been significantly below minimum wage.  I didn't complete a single Amazon route in December.  Amazon overhired drivers and most of the new drivers are happy driving at unprofitable rates, which I will not do.

Rental income was excellent.  I received rent from both Alabama rental properties and two distributions from Realty Mogul and one from Open Door Capital.  I paid annual property taxes for the Alabama properties.

Open Door continues to pay interest on the promissory note as promised.  I also received a decent interest payment on my Capital One Savings balance.

December Income: $13,525

$5,280 Meeting Jobs
$1,141 Gig Apps (Rideshare, Food Deliveries, etc.)
$0 Amazon Deliveries
$4,598 Rental Income (Rental Expenses:  $3,035)
$2,506 Interest Income
$0 Other Sources

Investment Accounts Change in Value:  $998

My investments were down slightly in December.

Wednesday, January 3

My Frugal Miser - December 2023 Expenses

The majority of my spending in December was necessary, unavoidable expenses.  Strip out those categories and we were frugal last month.

  • I am required to have business insurance for my meeting work and paid $404 for the annual policy.
  • I renewed our homeowner's insurance for 12 months ($1,243).  Because we have a new home in a different part of the city, this is 1/3 what I was paying in Clearwater.
  • I paid $5,000 for quarterly taxes.
  • Bruno Mars announced a new residency in Las Vegas.  A few years ago I was able to resell tickets to his concert at a profit, so I paid $1,311 for two tickets (miscellaneous category) with plans to sell them for more.


We love adventures.  Spending on experiences makes us better humans.  
  • Thanks to a profitable blackjack game on the Carnival Miracle, I won $2,600 gambling, making the Fun category positive for the month.  
  • We spent $50 on an excursion in Cabo.
  • The balance was for our AMC A-List subscriptions, rideshare expenses during our vacation, and a small amount for alcohol.

December Expenses:  $6,698

$90 Auto (service, gas, insurance, AAA, etc.)
$0 Bank Fees (annual fees on credit cards)
$113 Clothing/ Personal Care
($2,279) Fun (vacations, movies, gambling, alcohol, concert tickets) income this month
$418 Food
$111 Health and Dental
$1,243 Household/Home Repairs
$481 Unreimbursed Job Expense
($238) Reimbursed Job Expense income this month
$0 Interest Expense
$1,527 Miscellaneous (cat sitter, gifts)
$5,093 Taxes
$140 Utilities 

Monday, January 1

My Frugal Miser - How I did on my 2023 Goals

 Every year I set a few goals to keep me on track.  In 2023 I published 4 goals:

  • increase net worth by 12%; increase rental income by 15% or sell a property
  • weigh 175 pounds
  • declutter the house by removing 2 items for every new one, keep my inbox clear, stop wasting time doing unnecessary things
  • Limit spending in the Fun category to $5,000
Let's see how I did...

  • My net worth barely budged.  It increased by about $6,000 in 2023.  I knew while setting my goals that I was going to have a big tax burden to pay in 2023, I didn't realize it would be more than $94,000.  I consider the second part of that goal pertaining to rental properties a success.  I sold my last Florida rental property and I increased the rent on one of the Alabama properties by 14%.  I collected 10% more rent from the condo I own in Birmingham.  Real estate syndication income was basically flat.
  • I gained weight.  Fail.
  • I created a system for decluttering the house.  We keep a couple of large boxes in the office to store things that I'll donate, and when full, we take them to a nearby charity that operates a thrift store.  I spent some down time between meetings tackling to-do items that were clogging my inbox.  It feels like a weight has been lifted by finally conquering these procrastinated tasks.  Success.
  • Spending on Fun in 2023 was $4,959.  Success - thanks to a winning gambling session on our December cruise, I just barely made it under my $5K goal.  This is the lowest this category has been in at least 5 years.  Progress.
Overall I feel like setting goals helped me accomplish more than if I didn't have a plan in place.