Month end: December 2011
End of the year—how did I do?
Total passive income for the month of December 2011 was $418.92, and total expenses were $6,545.23.
On the surface this looks terrible, but three things are worthy of note:
- I had a special client emergency, and made several trips upstate which got factored into month-end expense totals.
- A special situation presented itself, about which details are given below.
- The third month of the quarter is always low when it comes to my PI vehicles.
Here are exact breakdowns:
|Food & Dining||$1,727.98|
|Health & fitness||$458.20|
|Public transit & taxi||$396.54|
Okay, the 800 lb. gorilla this month is food & dining. What was I doing, feeding an 800 lb. gorilla? My cost is almost as high, for food, as my previous Upper West Side rent. We’ll get to that.
Also, what is up with the -$75 for investment interest? That I can answer easily and now… for my margin trading account, I am running a slight leverage due to many reasons (a personal loan I made to a friend which has yet to be paid back, and a cash-secured put that went below my desired strike price and resulted in a sale which further increased my leveraged position. I generally recommend not doing either one, but in this case, I do believe both moves will work out for me in the long run).
The other item is my special client request. Between Metro-North trains upstate, taxicabs from the train station to the client site, eating in the cafeteria instead of at home, etc., etc., these items added up to about $500 in expenses, scattered across several categories including dining, public transit, and ATM cash. I also treated myself to a steak dinner and a couple of trips to the massage parlor to celebrate… ultimately I deferred a planned vacation to help somebody out, and make some cash.
Okay, now for the big enchilada: Why did I spend over $1,700 on food & dining? The next-level breakdown was this:
- Restaurants: $1,069.46
- Groceries: $319.45
- Fast food: $152.84
- Alcohol & bars: $125.00
- Work lunch: $38.22
- Coffee shops: $23.00
$320 in groceries is below par, and $150 in fast food can be explained by my Chipotle/Shake Shack addiction. $125 for alcohol can be explained by the fact it’s December in New York, etc. So why a thousand and 69 dollars for restaurants???
I basically met somebody who comes from a very upscale background, and have been spending as much time around this person as I could. I won’t disclose the nature of the relationship (mentor, client, friend, protege, romance) at this time, but it has been necessary to meet this person at such locations to “keep up with” or meet as an equal. This is not the kind of person I would take to Starbucks. However, it has left me with a real dilemma. On the one hand, after spending so many years digging myself out of poverty, I will not throw myself back into it through a reckless spending binge. On the other hand, such a person could literally change the course of my life… in a way that aligns with my life intentions and purpose. Praying for guidance, and looking for signs. To be continued…
That’s the monthly update.. open to suggestions, ideas, feedback and comments.