November Income – $3592.30

Here is a breakdown of my income for November.

Interest$3.08
Amazon FBA$0.67
Job$1374.23
Cashback$114.51
Dividends$36.59
Ebay/Other Selling$1547.08
Class Action$146.14
Bank Bonuses$370
Total$3592.30

November was a solid month for income.

I made $146.14 from the GM ignition switch class action settlement. This was unexpected. Apparently, I had two qualify vehicles for this settlement.

My Amazon FBA side hustle made a profit of $0.67. I only sold one item for a tiny profit during the month. I’ve mostly abandoned Amazon for eBay and other selling platforms.

Dividend income came in at $36.59. I’m adding a little every month to my stocks and slowly increasing the dividend total. If you sign up using my Robinhood referral link we will both get one share of free stock. Thanks to anyone who signs up using my link. Every little bit helps.

I made $1547.08 selling stuff on eBay and elsewhere. I was once again pretty lucky at flipping some hard to find items.

I received $114.51 in cash back income. If you sign up for Rakuten using my referral link you can start earning cash back too and I’ll get a small bonus for referring you. These little bits of referral income help me keep the blog going.

I received $3.08 in interest.

I received $1374.23 for working a doc review job during the month. There was only one week that they had a full 40 hours of work for me, but I earned a little during a couple of other weeks.

I’m now in Thailand and will be staying here for December and January. That will keep me from earning much in those months. How was your month?

September Income – $308.05

Here is a breakdown of my income for September.

Interest$12.08
Amazon FBA($0.02)
AZ Merch$8.96
Cashback$50
Dividends$39.71
Ebay/Other Selling$197.32
Total$308.05

September’s income was very low, but it wasn’t quite as bad as it looks.

I made $8.96 from Amazon Merch.

My Amazon FBA side hustle had a loss of two cents. I didn’t have any sales during the month and had a two cent storage fee.

Dividend income came in at $39.71. I’m adding a little every month to my stocks and slowly increasing the dividend total. If you sign up using my Robinhood referral link we will both get one share of free stock. Thanks to anyone who signs up using my link. Every little bit helps.

I made $197.32 selling stuff on eBay and elsewhere. I spent some time buying stuff from garage sales and flipping it online. I enjoy doing this and I’d like to eventually turn it into a full-time income.

I received $50 in cash back income. If you sign up for Rakuten using my referral link you can start earning cash back too and I’ll get a small bonus for referring you. These little bits of referral income help me keep the blog going.

I received $12.08 in interest.

September’s income was down since I was hiking the Camino de Santiago in Spain most of the month. Although my income was low, my actual cash flow was decent. I sold an item that I paid for in April for a $1450 loss in September. That sale for a loss reduced my net income for the month quite a bit but it added about $800 cash to my bank account. Even though my expenses were quite a bit more than my income in September I actually ended the month with about the same amount of money.

There won’t be any big losses this month and I’m hoping I will have some job income as well. This month should easily be better than September. How was your month?

How I Lived on $13,526.69 in 2020

My annual expenses for 2020 were about $3000 less than the $16,826.37 I spent in 2019. I spent $17,433 in 2018. It is good to have a downward trend in spending. My annual expenses for the past few years were $13,697 in 2017, $16,431 in 2016, $16,999 in 2015 and $15,775 in 2014. My annual spending seems to stay in the area of $15k a year. I expect my spending in 2021 will be a little higher than in 2020 since the pandemic kept me from spending as much on travel and some other stuff as I usually would.

Rent/Mortgage$4397.17
Utilities$198.99
Miscellaneous$1257.02
Laundry$38.5
Gas$815.36
Car Maintenance$1451.93
Rideshare/Public Transportation$4.64
Car Insurance$454
Groceries$542.90
Restaurants$1063.56
Clothing$0
Phone$374.72
Travel$1163.09
Movies$145
Other Entertainment$233.31
Gym$21.7
Meds/Vitamins$67.71
Doctor Visits$533
Health Insurance$46.27
Student Loan$345
Gifts/Charity$372.82
Total$13,526.69

The above table provides my annual expenses broken down into 21 different categories. For 2021 I will tweak the categories so that Miscellaneous isn’t such a big category. Other than the too big Misc. category, I think the table provides a good detail of my annual expenses. Further explanation for each category is included below.

Rent and mortgage was what I paid for rent before I bought the house with my mom. Mortgage, is of course the mortgage I paid after buying the house. This will stay about the same unless I am able to travel to Thailand and rent an apartment there for a few months. Any extra mortgage payments I make I count as savings and won’t be included in my annual expenses since I don’t consider saving to be an expense.

Utilities was low because I mostly didn’t pay utilities. I won’t pay any utilities at all this year unless I rent an apartment in Thailand and pay utilities there.

The bulk of the Misc. category was for my annual bar fee and paying for siding on my mom’s former home. This year I hope to have some relevant business income to use the bar fee as a biz expense against. Business income and expenses aren’t included in my annual expenses. This category will be much smaller this year.

Laundry was for the laundromat when I lived in an apartment and for the month I stayed in Cancun. The amount I spend on this category this year depends on whether I’m able to travel.

There were some months I spent hardly anything on gasoline. I expect this category to go up this year. I’m hoping car maintenance will go down. I’m considering buying a new car this year which would create a new category and would of course result in quite an increase in my annual spending.

Rideshare and public transportation were low since I didn’t travel much.

Car insurance will probably stay about the same level.

This year I intend to increase the grocery spending and decrease the restaurant spending. My overall spending on food is pretty low, but I need to start eating healthier food.

I included the clothing category of $0 just for fun. I did buy a pair of shoes last year that I included in the miscellaneous category. Perhaps, I should have included them in clothing. I’ll probably spend something on clothing this year.

My phone is with Google Fi and it should cost me about the same this year.

Travel was actually kind of high considering I didn’t travel much. I spent a week hiking in Shenandoah and a month in Cancun. Although I suppose some people would spend more than $1163 just on a one month trip to Cancun. I have two international flights booked for this year that have already been paid for, but there is a good chance I won’t be able to use them. I’m hoping I’ll be able to get vaccinated and travel later this year, but I’ll have to wait and see what happens. If I’m able to travel this expense will go up.

Movies and other entertainment were not too expensive since I mostly stopped going to the movies after the pandemic started. This expense will probably be about the same.

I paid for 2 months gym membership at the beginning of the year. This expense will be much higher this year since I now have a new, more expensive gym membership. I really want to get in much better shape this year.

Doctor visits and health insurance will be much higher this year. My ACA subsidy doesn’t completely cover the cost of my insurance like it did last year. Also, I have a low deductible this year so I’m going to try to get several health issues addressed.

I wasn’t required to make any student loan payments last year. The amount I did pay was because I use any money made by this blog to pay the student loan.

I should probably be more generous with my giving. I’ll make it a goal to increase spending in this category this year.

That is how I spent $13,526.69 to live in 2020. I think I had a pretty good quality of life for the year and received great value for the money spent. If you have any questions about any of my spending, let me know. How was your year?

December Income – $2651.76

Here is a breakdown of my income for December.

Interest$22.81
Amazon FBA($13.58)
Swagbucks Deal$68.77
Job$2183.89
Cashback$236.58
Other Bonuses$97
Bank Bonus$50
Dividends$6.29
Ebay/Other Selling$0
Total$2651.76

December’s income was pretty good since I was working at my doc review job most of the month.

I made $2183.89 from my doc review job. Although there were three weeks with reduced hours, the fact that the month had 5 paydays helped make up for that.

My Amazon FBA side hustle lost a little money since I didn’t do any selling during the month, but still had some expenses.

I made $50 from a bank bonus and $97 from other bonuses.

Dividend income came in at $6.29. Not many of the companies I own payout dividends in December. There will be a lot more dividends this month. If you sign up using my Robinhood referral link we will both get one share of free stock. Thanks to anyone who signs up using my link. Every little bit helps.

I made $0 selling stuff online and eBay since I couldn’t sell stuff while in Cancun.

I also received $236.58 in cash back. This relatively large amount is mainly from buying stuff online to resell.

Lastly, I received $22.81 in interest and $68.77 from a Swagbucks deal. I’m a little peeved that the bank I opened an account with three months ago cut their interest rate from 3% to 2%. I only opened the account with them due to the higher interest. I’ll have to reevaluate whether it is worth jumping through the necessary hoops to earn the reduced interest rate.

How was your month?

One Week of Travel Spending

This is what I spent during one week of travel. My travel didn’t go exactly as planned . Two days before I was set to travel to Thailand to get some dental work done and visit my Thai girlfriend, the dentist contacted me and stated that my scheduled appointment dates would no longer work. They offered two new times for appointments and stated no other times would be available during the time of my Thailand trip. This led me to have to change my travel plans and cost me money in the form of two new airfares that had to be purchased. Also the new dates required me to make two trips to Pattaya while in Thailand when I previously could have gotten all the dental work done during one trip to Pattaya. This did not make me pleased with the dentist. I will be asking for a discount on the remaining dental work, but I doubt I will receive any compensation for my inconvenience and additional expense.

To make things worse one day before I was set to travel my girlfriend told me that she would not be able to visit me in Pattaya as planned. This didn’t cost me any additional money, but it did mean that the two air fares I had purchased for her would go unused and be a waste of money. This wasn’t a great start to the trip.

Sunday 9/29: The day started with a $1.50 bus ride to the airport to catch my Southwest flight from Kansas City to Chicago. This required taking two buses and quite a bit of time. While I was waiting to transfer to the second bus I realized I had forgotten my water bottle. I had time to walk over to Walmart and purchase a bottle of water for 50 cents. The second bus ended up being a half hour late. I had plenty of cushion built in to my arrival time at the airport. Still, I was about ready to call an Uber when the bus finally showed up.

Once I was in Chicago I needed to take the train to my hotel. This was a bit of journey because I landed at Midway airport and my hotel was near O’Hare since that was where I would be flying out of the next day to Bangkok. This required taking two trains. The total travel time was about an hour and a half. One ticket was good for both trains and cost $3.00. The train ride went smoothly. I did make a mistake in not using the bathroom while at the airport. I assumed there would be one at the train station and there was not. I really had to pee by the time I switched trains. After arriving at the second train stop I needed to take a city bus for $2.25 to travel the last mile to the hotel.

Before checking in to the hotel I bought a $3.33 McChicken meal from the McDonald’s across the street from the hotel. After a couple of hours of watching football I was hungry again. The snacks in the hotel snack bar were predictably overpriced so I ended up having another $3.33 meal from McDonald’s. I had a McDouble the second time to switch things up a little bit.

Total spent for the day: $12.41. That is a pretty low amount for transportation to and from the airport and two meals.

Monday 9/30: I try to eat light or not at all on days that I’m flying. My flight was at 12:55pm so I wanted to eat something before the flight. I bought a pack of mini-donuts for $1.50. That and water from my refilled water bottle was all I needed for the morning and kept me from spending any money on food or drink at the airport. I took a free shuttle from the hotel to the airport. The rest of the day was spent on the plane so I didn’t have an opportunity to spend more money.

Total spent for the day: $1.50

Tuesday 10/1: I was on a plane for most of the day which made it easy to not spend money. Arrived in Bangkok about 9:30pm and took a free shuttle to my hotel. Went to 7/11 to buy a cold bottle of water for twenty cents, then returned to the hotel and slept.

Total spent for the day: $0.20

Wednesday 10/2: This was a very lazy day. I woke up after just a few hours of sleep and was tired all day. Spent $2.02 for some snacks from 7/11 and some grilled meat from a street food vendor for breakfast. Spent $4.66 for more food from 7/11 for lunch and dinner. Spent $39.34 on airfare from Bangkok to Phitsanulok to see my girlfriend the following week.

Total spent for the day: $46.02

Thursday 10/3: Had a free breakfast at the hotel. Checked out at 11am and took the free hotel shuttle to the airport. Bought a bus ticket from the airport to Pattaya for $4.25. Once I arrived in Pattaya I took a mototaxi from the bus station to my hotel for $3.93. Had lunch at the McDonald’s in the mall across the street from my hotel for $4.55. I wasn’t very hungry in the evening. I bought 2 donuts for 65 cents from the Mr. Donut shop in the mall and called that dinner.

Total spent for the day: $13.38

Friday 10/4: I took a baht bus from near my hotel to the Terminal 21 mall. The Terminal 21 mall is an airport themed mall that is interesting to explore. I had a meal a Thai macaroni dish and a soda at the food court there for $1.80. After that I went to the movies and spent $13.12 for the ticket, a large popcorn (it would be a small popcorn at a U.S. Movie theater) , and a bottle of water. That is about what I would pay for a movie and a popcorn in the U.S., so it wasn’t that great of a bargain for me. After the movie I took the baht bus back to my hotel. The baht bus cost 66 cents round trip. During the afternoon I bought a plane ticket for $43.83 from Phitsanulok to Bangkok for the return portion of my trip to visit my girlfriend. In the evening I bought some snacks for $1.15 from 7-11.

Total spent for the day: $60.56

Saturday 10/5: Spent $4.57 for breakfast at Burger King. Spent $6.56 at Carl’s Jr. for lunch. I should really stop eating fast food all the time since it cost more than Thai food and is bad for me. I spent $7.32 at the grocery store in the mall for snacks. This wasn’t a frugal expenditure as approximately $5 of that total was for a bag of cheese curls. I crave my fast food and junk food too much. I broke my reading glasses and bought a replacement pair from the Daiso store in the mall for $1.97. I usually get my reading glasses from the dollar store. Although these glasses are still very cheap they seem to be better quality than the dollar store glasses. I bought a big pork pao for 92 cents from 7-11 for dinner.

Total spent for the day: $21.34

I ended up spending $155.41 for the week. The two plane tickets made up most of that total. I also paid $450 for my October rent and $19.89 for my Regal Unlimited monthly membership fee. I didn’t include those in the total since they had nothing to do with my travel. Spending almost all of one day on an airplane and crossing the international date line helped keep my expenses low. My hotel stays had already been paid using credit card points so there was no hotel expense.

If my girlfriend had joined me in Pattaya I would have spent more money since we probably would have visited some local attractions. My entertainment was mostly limited to free activities such as walking around the mall, walking along the beach, and swimming in the hotel pool. Since I’ve been to Pattaya before I didn’t feel a need to visit any attractions on this trip. The primary purpose for this trip is to finish my dental work and visit my girlfriend. If this trip were for entertainment I would have spent more, although probably not a lot more.