- last updated on JAN 20, 2018 -

This second part of my financial summary will be about my expenses, side hustles, etc. The first part is here, and that covers everything from 2017 regarding my investments.

To be honest, I don’t track my expenses super closely like most FI bloggers do. I just try to live as frugally as I can without jeopardizing my happiness. Thankfully, I’m happy with not much.

My big recurring expense is the maintenance and utilities for where I live. That costs me $850 every month, but it was about $900 for the past few months and will be until next June. My dad and I own the place outright, so there’s no mortgage or rent. If you want to own property in NYC, the Bronx is cheap. My commute is long though. Subway fare is actually another recurring expense, but it’s taken pre-tax from my paycheck. When you account for taxes, I end up paying less than the normal $121 for 30-day unlimited. Other monthly expenses include the Internet, which has slowly risen from $45 to $75 for our place this year. I’m working on cutting that expense down by looking to switch from Optimum to my only other option Verizon. Optimum doesn’t offer a plan with anything less than 100 Mbps download speed, but Verizon does. I don’t think the the three of us need much in our apartment anyway. I split Spotify Premium with friends, so we only pay $2.50 each per month. I also split my mobile phone service with a group I found here on Reddit, so I only pay $20 per month on Cricket Wireless! I get 5 GB of LTE data every month with unlimited everything else, so it’s pretty much the best deal ever.

I still eat out for lunch unfortunately, and that probably costs me roughly $40 on average for my work week. I don’t eat out much besides that. On the rare occasion I do go out with friends, I tend to have only 1 drink on the night. Bars are expensive!

I keep large purchases to a minimum, and I always try to find the best price possible. I think the steal of the year was probably the MacBook Air with AppleCare+ that I’m currently writing this post with. I got it on eBay for $680 and picked it up locally to save on shipping. The previous owner included the receipt, so I saw that I got this computer used for around 9 months at literally half of what she paid. I then sold my almost unusable MacBook Pro on eBay for $315, but I did get less than that after fees. I always try to get value out of anything I don’t or can’t use anymore.

The biggest splurge was also Apple related. I paid a little over $810 after shipping for an iPhone 7 Plus with AppleCare+ from eBay. Don’t worry. I’m hoping to use this phone for a very long time. That’s why I went with the max storage capacity of 256 GB. Unfortunately, I had to pay around $100 for a replacement phone through AppleCare+ after water damage in Mexico. I also spent a little over $170 after tax on new AirPods. I ended up giving my old iPhone 6 to my dad. I also bought my mom a refurbished iPad Pro this year from eBay for $380.

I’m pretty proud that I made three H&M jackets last for 4 years. I finally went ahead and recently bought two Alpha Industries jackets at crazy price drops on Amazon. One is a bomber jacket priced $51 at the time, and one is a parka jacket that’s keeping me warm during this brutal winter for $72. They’re both very stylish. I never had anything like them before! I found the deals here on Reddit and snagged immediately. I donated two of the old jackets and a bunch of other clothes to someone in need. I’m really not much of a shopper and don’t typically splurge, but it’s amazing how stuff piles up. I hate wasting resources, and I hate unnecessary clutter. Please donate anything you don’t need, people! Don’t throw it away if someone can still use it.

I wasted a lot of money by losing contact lenses this year. I have special ones and stockpiled a few pairs over the years. Each pair costs over $500. I haven’t had to get a new pair for a few years, but I got one this past August and proceeded to lose a lens almost immediately. I’m down to my last mismatching pair. Thankfully, my vision in each eye is about equally as bad. I don’t want to keep wasting money on this though, so I may eventually just switch to glasses.

However, the biggest waste was the $3,677 that I lost in daily fantasy sports this year. Even with that, I was still up about $2.5k over the two years that I played. I decided to finally retire this year after a few devastating losses. DFS definitely toughened me up in dealing with losing lots of money. I’ll definitely need those nerves of steel during stock market downturns, but the market always having recovered and rebounded also gives me assurance.

Another big waste was over $1k this year after buying 12 pairs of a certain shoe and selling them at a loss. Although, I also resold 5 pairs of an Adidas Yeezy shoe and made $860 profit off each. I’ve sold many other shoes this year, but none made profit close to those particular Yeezys. I’ll continue to resell from time to time, mostly because it makes reaching minimum spend for credit card bonuses so much easier.

I took a few vacations this year and definitely spent quite a bit of money there, but I also saved a lot through rewards from credit cards. I didn’t pay for a single flight this year, and I even helped my parents get flights too! That includes me traveling to Thailand and Mexico this past summer. Check out the credit cards in my resources page. I used those to get where I am, and I plan on continuing to get more. I don’t want to pay for a flight ever in my life.

I ended up getting 8 credit cards this year. I opened 6 in 2016, and that was my first year of even having my own credit card. I’ve earned hundreds of thousands of points and miles over the past two years. I’ve also cashed out plenty to put more money towards my investments.

I also opened up a ton of bank accounts for myself and my parents with their permission. Aside from a few small bank fees and money to buy some offers from others, the grand total from those bonuses was $8,745. My parents and I will have to all pay taxes on this money separately, but most of the money is from accounts under my name. The banks will issue a 1099 to the three of us respectively for each bonus. I started opening bank accounts for myself last year and earned $1,150 off just 5 bonuses.

My biggest expense coming up is my tuition for Fullstack Academy. At the same time, I consider it an investment in myself. It’s $15,680 for the part-time program. I’ve already paid $2,650, and the rest is due on the second week of January 2018 when I start classes. If everything goes right though, I’ll get my investment back and a lot more throughout my working career.

Well, I think that wraps up just about everything financially related in my life for 2017. I hope I didn’t bore you too much. I have big moves coming up in 2018, and I hope it’ll be a good year. I wish you all a happy New Year!