November Income – $2481

Here is a breakdown of my income for November.

Interest $1.95
Amazon FBA $-198.14
Cash Back $24.04
Online $169.43
Job $2483.72
Total $2481.00

 

November’s income was okay. This is roughly what my income will be in a two paycheck month where I don’t make any money from my side hustles. Although I did make a little money from my blog and cashback that was negated by a loss from Amazon FBA. I had a return of an over $300 item. I usually avoid buying these more expensive items due to the risk of a costly return, but I took a chance on this one since I got such a great deal. I should still be able to sell the item as used this month and make up the loss.

It should be a good month for FBA with all of the holiday shopping. I just need to get some inventory sent in. Other than that I don’t expect much change in my income this month.

 

November Expenses – $1055.78

Here is a breakdown of my expenses for November.

Household $17.16
Rent $435
Entertainment $51.16
Transportation $65.46
Food $193.41
Travel $52.53
Phone $27.06
Health $214
Total $1055.78

 

November was a another good month for expenses. I would have made my monthly goal of $1000 if it were not for the $111 doctor bill I paid during the month. When I switched to employer insurance in September my deductible reset which was bad for me since I had already met the deductible on my marketplace plan. If I still had my marketplace insurance the doctor visit wouldn’t have cost me anything. Even before meeting the deductible on my marketplace plan doctor’s visits were a set $35 a visit.  On the plus side, my employer insurance is an HDHP which will allow me to open an HSA and put some money in there before the end of the year giving me a tiny bit of tax savings.

My monthly food expense was way too high again. If I had kept that expense to a reasonable $100, I would have made my $1000 goal. I ate out nearly every day and sometimes twice in a day. My plan was to cut back on my food expense in November. Obviously, I didn’t follow through on that. I’ll make that my plan again for this month and I intend to actually follow through on it this month. I don’t have any travel planned this month and I have a fair amount of food in my apartment so it would be easy to keep my food expense low if I just don’t go out to eat too often.

I had a little bit of travel expense this month due to my four night trip to Las Vegas. I had already paid for one night hotel.  This month I paid for another hotel night and had two nights comped. I also had a Lyft ride to the airport, a bus pass from the airport, and paid to select my seat on my Spirit flight to Las Vegas.  Added to the expenses I previously paid I still paid well under $100 for four nights in Vegas, including round trip airfare from Kansas City.  I won about $40 gambling so the trip ended up costing me about what I would have spent if I had just stayed in KC during that time.

How was your month?

MoviePass $89.95 Annual Plan Limited Time Offer


movies
A couple of months ago I signed up for MoviePass when they came out with their $9.95 a month offer. The basic idea of MoviePass is that allows you to see one movie per day at the theater each day of the month. Since I’m a movie fan it was easy to see that this would be a good deal for me. After a couple of matinees or just one evening movie visit I save money compared to buying tickets individually.

MoviePass wasn’t prepared for how popular their offer would be and it took over a month for me to receive my card. There wasn’t much communication during that time either. I had a negative perception of the company before I received my card. Since receiving my card everything has worked great. I hope things continue to work since I don’t have a lot of faith in being able to get help if something goes wrong.

To use MoviePass you have to download their app to your phone. When you arrive at the theater you have to check in and then choose which movie you want to see. The app will then authorize the purchase of the ticket and you have 30 minutes to purchase the ticket. The app uses the location on your phone to make sure you are within 100 yards of a theater. I haven’t had any problems using the app or debit card yet.

I haven’t used the card as much as I thought I would. I’ve only been going to a couple of movies a month. I plan on going more often during the holiday season. I’m still coming out a little ahead of what I would have otherwise spent  on movie tickets.

MoviePass is now offering their plan for $89.95 for the year. That bring the monthly cost down to $7.50 a month.  I’m strongly considering switching to this option. I am a little worried about MoviePass going broke before my plan year is over since I am sure they are losing a lot of money on this deal.  I think it might be worth the risk.

If you want to sign up for the plan you can do so at MoviePass.com.  That isn’t a referral or affiliate link. I just think this is a good deal for some people and wanted to share it.

October Income – $3122.32

Here is a breakdown of my income for October.

Interest $1.55
Amazon FBA $521.63
Bank Bonus $50
Credit Card $350
Cash Back $18.94
Online $82.5
Job $2506.15
Total $3530.17

 

September’s income was pretty good. My job income went down quite a bit, since October had the usual two paychecks rather than the three I got in September. I was able to make over a $1000 from my non-job sources of income which helped get my income almost back to September’s level. I won’t complain. Having income that is about three times as much as your expenses is pretty good. Although I’m not including my house purchase expenses in my current expenses, when you add those in the reality is that I’m spending all of my income and then some. Once the house purchase is through I will have an actual surplus again.

 

October Expenses – $1059.57

Here is a breakdown of my expenses for October.

Household $35.88
Rent $435
Entertainment $16.45
Transportation $107.53
Food $176.93
Travel $0
Phone $23.93
Health $263.85
Total $1059.57

 

October was a fairly good month for expenses. I would have made my monthly goal of $1000 if it were not for the two dentist appointments I had during the month.

My monthly food expense was way too high. If I had kept that expense to a reasonable $100, I would have made my $1000 goal. Since I ate out about 25 times during the month it is no surprise that my food bill was high. I plan to cut the food budget way back this month. I’ll do a post about that next week.

I also have spent about $1000 on an appraisal and inspection of the house I’m buying. I’m leaving those costs out of the monthly budget since they will skew the numbers. The closing costs and down payment I’ll have to pay later this month will also be left out of the monthly budget. Once the house purchase is complete I will have high expenses for the next few months as I buy stuff for the house (I’m living in a 120 square foot apartment right now so I don’t have much stuff) and do a little remodeling. I think those expenses will be worth it. Once I’m a homeowner the $1000 monthly expense target will no longer be realistic so I’ll adjust that accordingly.

How was your month?

Three Ways to Live Cheap and Achieve Your Dreams

Have you ever dreamt of retiring before 40? Or maybe your dream is to take a year off and travel the world. Whatever your dream life involves, living frugally can help you get there that much sooner.

Cut housing costs

Housing is one of the biggest expenses people have. Instead of living in a two-bedroom apartment, consider getting a one-bedroom or a studio. How much time do you really spend at home anyways? Spending 30% or 40% of your income on a place to go fo a few hours a day and to sleep is not wise. Reducing your housing costs can go a long way towards meeting your financial goals.

Take the bus

If you can, move into an apartment on a bus or subway line and give up your car. Not only will you be saving hundreds of dollars a month by not having a car payment, you’ll save on insurance, registration costs and gas. Plus, using transit means you won’t be stuck behind the wheel of a car, giving you an opportunity to walk to and from transit (hello gym membership savings!) and to listen to music or podcasts while being transported.

Get out of debt

Debt repayment is another large expense that takes up a lot of most people’s disposable income. Rather than wage war against your credit cards with sky-high interest rates, look into consolidation loans or personal loans. Using the money from these loans, you can pay off your high-interest debt and have manageable monthly payments. Paying off these monthly payments reduces the debt, saves you on interest costs and, more likely than not, raises your credit score which allows you to get even cheaper debt in the future.

Life is pretty hard. If you’ve got big financial dreams you might look around and wonder how some people can seem to afford everything while you can’t afford anything. Their secret is living frugally. By maintaining a frugal lifestyle with regards to your housing, transportation and debt repayment expenses, you’ll find yourself with lots of disposable income to put towards your financial goals. With so much disposable income, you might even decide to treat yourself to a luxury or two along the way to your financial dreams.