This was a very frugal month for us as we entered our first foray into the double comma club. Our actual living expenses were $595 this month which is really low even for our standards for a family of 3. My side hustle alone this month almost covered for that. I guess as long as Airbnb is stable, we can technically FIRE, how’s that for a daydream!
This month’s report is a little different. I figured out the TablePress plugin on WordPress so I’m testing out how this flows. Everything is in pretty tables which should get easier to input from now on since I already made the templates.
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To avoid any confusion, here’s the rest of our income report from previous months (in their old format):
Now let’s take a look at our income and expenses for the month of November.
|Premise||We are a household of 3 grown adult & 1 dog. We run Airbnb full-time that counteracts the mortgages.|
|Paycheck||$7,451||Take home after retirement. This was a 3 paycheck month. Well deserved for a nightmare-ish on call.|
|B&B||$4,326||Typical winter. As expected. December is looking to be even slower. Summer is the time to make your money, winter is for relaxing.|
|Side Hustle||$587||Dog sitting and selling things have been really fun. We have a nice tempo going. I get to play with a pupper, declutter and blog on my own terms.|
|Retirement||+/- $5,000||Retirements contributions are automatically reserved and then invested. It's usually around $5,000/per month.|
You can’t hate the 3-paycheck months! Airbnb had an occupancy rate of 85% and it grinds at me. Nothing is more costly than a vacancy. Looking around, it seems to be a simple demand issue, not a pricing issue. Only going to get worst from here until March.
I started dog sitting for a former client of mine. It’s part-time and it’s really easy because the Shih Tzu pup is so mellow. For the same work I put in with Grace, I take their dog along too. They socialize, keep each other entertained and nap by my feet for the rest of the day. I’m definitely digging this setup and want to continue this. I started selling using the eBay auction format and they’re really fun. I mark everything for 99 cents (+shipping), close my eyes, and see where it lands.
|Category||Budgeted For||Actual Spent||Notes||Rollover (YTD)|
|Groceries||$350||$286||For 3 people with random snacks and premade foods, we did great this month.||$2,002|
|Dining Out||$150||$23||This isn't completely accurate; we got food at the food court but they were charged as groceries. It is a really frugal month for dining out due to the bad weather.||Combined with above.|
|Transportation||$100||$20||Just reloading my bus fare money.||$515|
|Personal Care||$100||$69||I finally decided to start seeing again.||$914|
|Entertainment||$25||$43||Two rare books off eBay for this nerd! 🙂||$375|
|Home Maintenance||$300||$0||Goose egg.||$4,152|
|Misc. Expenses||$100||$2||$2 at Dollar Tree.||$267|
|Pets||$50||$58||Dog food + grooming.||$361|
|Mobile (AT&T)||-||$34||This is for just my phone. I get unlimited talk and text with 1 GB of data. Hubby's sponsored by work.||$221|
|Vacation + Travel||$50||$0||Current rollover to date is $473 dollars. That is our Christmas budget.||$473|
|Internet||$60||$60||It's employer sponsored but we still pay it before they reimburse us.||$0|
|Electricity, Gas, Water, Sewage, Trash.||$350||$0||For both rented properties. It is charged every 2 months. This month we didn't have to pay. Next month will hurt! :O||$1,068|
|Mortgage, taxes, etc.||$4,500||$4,132||No utilities charged this month. Airbnb covers this.||$1,239|
|Spending Total||$595||Out of pocket living expenses for the month.|
We’re eating the same things as usual since my father does 70% of the cooking and grocery shopping. Chicken drumsticks have been the only protein being served this month. I don’t know why. Has pork prices gone up in winter? Anyways, I treated myself to ahi tuna and some other fun things to break the monotony of chicken and zucchini being served constantly. I don’t know how he can eat the same things day in and day out.
If you’re wondering how we keep our grocery costs so low for 3 adults, read our grocery guide:
So every weekend has been stormy and cold. We didn’t feel like going anywhere in the rain. The biggest downside to living car-free is being limited when the weather is bad. We kept putting date night off until it just became nights in.
The $23 was for Peruvian/Mexican food on the one day that we went window shopping on Black Friday.
We ordered food delivery once this month through Eat24, waited over an hour, then phoned in to ask where our order was. The restaurant never got the fax and by then we just canceled the whole order and resorted to eating at home.
I just refilled $20 on my bus card for the month.
Notable memory: a meth head with bleeding needle holed skin asked me for money at the bus stop. That bus stop is ground zero for this kind of activity and I ride that bus several times a week so I’m used it. She was very persistent and started to follow me and didn’t take no for an answer, so I got annoyed and pulled the “我不会说英语” (I don’t speak English); like usual, it worked.
Well, it would have been $0 but my husband reminded me that I was blind and needed glasses. My old pair broke when the mini hinges and screws flew loose.
I’ve been needing glasses my entire life, never got them, got used to not seeing things, now I don’t care and walk around blind 24/7. I’m not a detail-oriented person most likely because I walk around -4.5 blind in both eyes. I like living in my own world and subconsciously I decided I didn’t need glasses. I’ve lived the vast majority of my life without them and I never slipped on a banana peel or flunked a class.
Jared’s like “you can get glasses now, we have insurance and it’s kind of ridiculous that you don’t want to see.”
Cyber Monday rolled around and Bonlook had some stylish, cheap frames for $29 (regularly $99). I snagged up the cheapest pair of frames that would work which is a mauve pink one. My entire order total including special high density for my mad blindness was only $69 + an optometrist to vouch for you. It will arrive by Christmas and I’ll be able to see clearly again.
All me! I bought two rare, used books from eBay. I’ve been stalking both books for a while. When eBay sent me a coupon for $15 off $50 on Cyber Monday, I jumped on it. Both books I purchased are limited copies so that’s why they’re on the expensive side for consignment books that no one has even heard of. Both of these books are the first failed creations of what people consider as famous writers today.
The first book is a coffee-stained, unproofed copy. Unproof copies are what publishers send out in its rawest form to booksellers, notable writers, book reviewers in an effort to generate feedback and drum up publicity on the possible value of the book.
Unproofs copies have not been edited. That’s the copy the author wrote in its purest form, before any kind of editing by the publisher. Unproofs are not as valuable as first editions because they are printed on the cheapest quality paper. They’re meant only to be given away as drafts.
This is going to sound so hipster...
I like unproofs better. I don’t want the edited, primped, leather-bound copy – I want the content in its raw form, grammar errors, mistakes and all. Editing or omitting a word could change how the entire sentence is read. Since the subject is historical, the first person details are more important to me than grammar.
The second book is something only a creep (me) would buy. The author (now famous for another work soon to be a TV series) publicly denounced it a few years ago. He wrote his badly disguised memoir long before he became famous. That’s why the author’s completely embarrassed and happy it’s out of print. Naturally, I HAD to buy a copy! 🙂 There are not many copies left floating out there. First editions go for $150. I snagged a regular copy. Its still in transit but I’m prepared for a really bad, corny read.
I have a growing wishlist of rare books I want to collect but I just haven’t committed to buying them. It’s not like a stock. I can throw thousands into the Robinhood brokerage and feel nothing but books are guaranteed sunk costs items. Am I coming off a little crazy?
Dad spent $2 at Dollar Tree. The only Black Friday thing tempting my husband was Google Home. But he didn’t get it, it sold out before he decided. We didn’t participate on Black Friday much unless you count I spent $1.98 on a roll of invisible clothing tape.
We bought 84 lbs of dog food for $36. That’s the best deal per pound of dog food we have ever scored. It’s the American Journey brand on Chewy which has a 4.5/5 on Chewy and 3.5/5 on Dog Food Advisor. I couldn’t it pass up for the price. It’s still better than the Alpo and Purina stuff but a small notch down from Grace’s usual food. I doubt she would know the difference. I give her salmon oil and coconut oil every meal to keep her coat shiny. The other expense was Grace’s nail trim for $14 and a treat following that in an effort to calm her down.
Related: 5 Frugal Dog Things We Don’t Do
(& yes, she still knows the route and we still have to carry her part of the way there. This dog ain’t dumb.)
Vacation + Travel
Our year to date rollover of $473 will be our preferred budget for Christmas. We have our plane tickets paid for so it’s only a matter of riding and tipping the transit bus drivers. The in-laws insist paying for our food when we go out together so I’m not expecting too many expenses besides thrift store shopping and when we go out alone.
|Total||$1,065,056||💛 💚 💙 💜|
|Savings||$19,175||Banks, PayPal, I-bonds.|
|Brokerage Accounts||$400,523||Need. more. more!|
|Retirement Accounts||$217,825||401Ks, IRAs and a HSA.|
|Real Estate||$427,533||Current asset minus mortgage liabilities. We are using property tax estimates from 2016 instead of commercial home estimates like RedFin and Zillow.|
Not that it matters, but woo, we’re millionaires. It feels the same. The county rejected our square footage claim around the beginning of November. It’s 1) a total plug for more property tax money, I’m just sayin’… and 2) I needed to fetch a licensed realtor to submit the claim and I didn’t do that.
Also, some classic bedtime reading if you missed it…how dumb luck made my husband a rich man.
The thing that blows me and hubby away is that we started this year with $700k in net worth and now it’s over a million. That’s a mixture of house, new stock grants, Amazon and the overall market still going strong.
Reflecting back on when I first took J$’s millionaire pledge almost 6 months ago:
I am a firm believer that anyone can become a millionaire. In fact, I have a pretty good feeling that most people can become multi-millionaires if they tried.
Obviously I don’t feel so optimistic about that now; especially after calculating in inflation.
We are still fully contributing to our retirement accounts and we’re expecting to sink in $5,000/month indefinitely across our 401Ks, IRAs, and HSA. My husband knows more about retirement loopholes, in fact, his manager just sought him out for help with retirement. Hah.
Passive Income Streams
I also need to step up in the passive income department thanks to Passive Income MD who has opened my eyes on the real challenge at hand. 7 streams!
Absolutely am still trying to create as many sustainable income streams as possible.
I am fully behind the mind-set of Rocco’s motto, “just set it and forget it.”
That’s the biggest challenge for 2018. I’m still selling stuff and trying to invest my time wisely. The biggest privilege about financial well-being is being about to afford a delay in getting rewarded. Let’s hope I don’t run out of patience.
Pay The Mortgage
…well that’s even more obvious. What’s the alternative? Going homeless? What was I writing in my second month of blogging…😜
More Credit Cards
Ummmm, we’ve been off the churners game. If it wasn’t for our utilities for both houses, we wouldn’t be able to crack $1,000 in monthly spending. My husband wants to get back to it though.
My sweet brilliant rising star genius angelboy of a husband is next to me and Grace is curled up on the foot of the bed like a snarly toothed angel. What I can work on that has no ambiguity is my love for my two idiots: the hub and the pup.
AWWWWW I said that? Cute!
Things are still going here. Our marriage is pretty solid. I estimate about 95% smiles and 5% fights.
I hate to say it but this guy just might be my soulmate. Oy vey…….maybe I can swap him out for an arcade game when we reach $2 million.
By the way, regarding net worth growth…
It can come down oh-so-easily. We would get kicked out of the double comma club and have to rebuild again. So disclaimer, watch out for the second time we’ll be crossing that line. Because that’s probably the more accurate one. Lol! I crack myself up 😋
We’ll continue living and saving next year like we did this year. We saved six figures this year in pure monies. I mean, there are still areas for improvement though. I want more side hustles and passive income streams. I’m thinking of putting more money in my Robinhood brokerage account. That’s my play money and I like informed gambling I guess…😂