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Getting the Chase Sapphire Preferred

November 22nd, 2013 at 06:18 am

Last night MonkeyMama posted a link to a link for 50,000 points on a Chase Sapphire Preferred once you reach $3k spending in three months.

I went right ahead and applied and was approved last night.

Some thoughts on how to meet the spending requirement:
Our car insurance is due next month. I have been paying it once yearly and have the cash in savings, so that will go on the card.
Groceries.
Utilities like cable, water, garbage.
Vacation spending.
Motorcycle registration renewal w/DMV.
AAA membership in January.
If need be, DS's monthly preschool tuition (2% fee).

All spending was/is planned spending. Nothing is being charged that can't be paid in full.
(I need to copy & paste CCFree's wonderful "disclaimer" outlining CC rewards here Big Grin)

Financial This 'n That

November 9th, 2013 at 03:51 pm

Called our cable provider for a lower rate. We have TV, internet and home phone bundled with Comcast.
I was all set for a tough negotiation and threats of leaving. Didn't need that at all! The CSR was super nice and I was all set less than 15 minutes later. Smile
Kept our same package and services for $120/month for two years.
A savings of $55/month compared to their *regular* rate! ($16/month less than the *low* rate we had been paying.)

DD lost/forgot her debit card. (While walking home with a friend she stopped for a fast food snack.)
An hour later our bank called - her card had been brought in by a good citizen. Big Grin
A good lesson learned.

Our gas and electric bill last month was the lowest it has been all year (I think?) $80. Such mild days and nights in September/October we didn't need the heat or the AC.

Had to reorder checks. Totally ran out right before the first of the month. Rolleyes
Last time I bought them was March 2012.

It has been slow at work, so this past Tuesday my boss reduced my schedule back to a half day on Tuesdays again. (He is a total dork, but that's a different post.)
Darn it - I was liking that bit of extra income.
The silver lining is that I work in the morning, pick up DS from preschool in the afternoon and get home well before dark.
My work schd is pretty sweet: full day, half day, full day, half day, full day, weekend.

Might be able to switch DH's iPhone to Ting at the end of this month.
(Shhh..I got an email about beta testing..)
That could save us an easy $40 to $60 each month! Very excited!

Had a 0% balance transfer offer come up. A bit of quick math and I figured the upfront transfer fee would "pay for itself" after 3.5 months. We would not have the balance paid off by then. Prepaying a bit of interest now to reap long term 0% benefit will pay off in the long run.

I am continuing to earn $80/week with my quick, 30 minute, twice weekly trip to give an old cat fluids.
I also earned $140 by pet sitting some other cats five days last week.
This extra cash has been so awesome! Big Grin

Wednesday Doings

August 22nd, 2013 at 05:11 am

Today was DD's first day of middle school. The lazy summer mornings are gone now Frown Darn it!
Next week I add dropping DS off at preschool to the morning routine. I know it will be worth it. He is ready for more stimulation and he is very excited to start "school". Smile

In the extra income side of things: I received my quarterly check for recording some of my works' inventory usage to a research company. It pays $20/month. So my check was $60. Smile

Unfortunately, I saw an unauthorized charge on my AmEx card this evening. $85.xx. I submitted a dispute form online and fingers crossed it gets cleared up quickly. And no more funky charges!! Argh!

Didn't Close the AmEx

February 13th, 2013 at 07:01 am

I called AmEx to cancel the card and the CSR told me if I'd like to keep the card he was happy to waive (refund) the yearly membership fee.

I figured what the heck I'd go ahead and keep it. It is the only cc that we can use at Costco - where I fill up at the gas station at least weekly and shop in the warehouse about every six weeks. If I didn't use this card I would have to use our debit card and I wouldn't "earn" any reward points. We always pay this card in full every month so it is not costing us anything to keep it. Quite the opposite when I can redeem points for free dinner or clothes. Smile

Speaking of gas prices, they've been steadily climbing here. My last visit to the pump it was $3.82/gal. Many of the big name stations I pass each day are pushing $4/gal.
Diesel is well over $4/gal - $4.25/gal the last I looked?

Not liking this steady increase especially when we are still months away from the usual summer increase.

Sick this Weekend

February 9th, 2013 at 10:33 pm

It is a beautiful, sunny, blue sky day here.
I am sick and pretty much staying inside trying to rest up. I started coming down with it on Tuesday, it is not the flu or really bad, but I want to kick it as fast as possible.

This weekend I am going to finish updating my cc information with the last few auto-pay accounts. I am also going to call AmEx to cancel. I should call to see if two other cards can give me a better APR now that they have adjusted up from 0%.

DD has a friend staying over tonight. They are going to cook dinner for us (and maybe dessert too). Cheese stuffed turkey meatballs, tomato sauce, noodles, French bread. DH just left to run them to the store - needed breadcrumbs and pasta sauce for this dinner. Milk, bananas, tomatoes needed for the week and I wanted more ice cream. Smile

DH was instructed to keep it under $80 because I know he and DD will buy more than what was on the list I sent them with. This is fine because they need stuff for their lunches and what they pick out they will use up.

Before I Close the AmEx...

January 23rd, 2013 at 09:51 pm

Next month the AmEx card I opened for the $250 rewards last year will be up for it's annual renewal. The first year had the membership fee waived. If I chose to keep the card it would be $125/yr. Of course I will not be keeping it.
We had a good run, but now it's time to say goodbye. Wink

I was just on their site and redeemed points for a $50 card to the Cheesecake Factory (never been) and a $50 card for V. Secrets (bras for me!! Yay!). I still have a bit over 500 points and I am hoping that I can redeem the points I've "earned" this month right before I cancel the card. I should have enough for a $15 reward, I'm thinking Old Navy and use it as a gift for DD.

I am really looking forward to surprising DH with a dinner out to the restaurant either for V. Day or when we go for a SF Giants game in a few months.

CC Payoff Progress

November 18th, 2012 at 09:26 pm

All the CC payments have posted for the month.

Big news for this month is that the card with the highest balance just dropped below $10k with November's payment. Smile

Unfortunately, I will not meet my goal of getting the combined debt balance to $13k by the end of December. It looks more like $15k.

It Never Hurts To...

November 8th, 2012 at 11:28 pm

On a whim I called my bank where I have a cc to inquire about any special promotions for my account. I was offered double points on all purchases for the next two months. Smile

Guess what card I will be using to charge Christmas on? (Of course paying it off with the cash we are setting aside.)

By getting double points on this card I will easily earn the $250 cash back I've been working towards before the end of the year. Big Grin

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I am entering a drawing each day to try to win a trip to the fancy Disney resort in Hawaii. It doesn't cost anything to do it. It is through our cable company, so I didn't have to provide personal information because they already have it.

Cross your fingers for us!

Not Working Today

October 11th, 2012 at 09:03 pm

I took the day off work so I could drive DD to and from a school field trip. It is to a close regional park for a fall festival. Her school does not have buses, so if they take a big trip they have to rent them. That means at her school most field trips require parent drivers. I don't have the increased coverage needed to drive other kids, but I can drive DD.

This worked out great for today. Thursdays are a half-day at work and I was able to be home to see the SF Giants win their playoff game. Whoot! Big Grin

Our pot roast was so tasty last night. Little DS really ate a lot of the meat.

I agree that the slow-cooker is great all year round, as many of you commented. It's especially nice to use when it's hot during the summer and you don't want to use the oven or stove. I haven't made any desserts in mine, so that's something to try one of these days.

This morning I scheduled payments for the rest of the month. Unfortunately, our cc balance increased this month. There is no avoiding it. These were the charges from last month when DH went to Alaska and he wasn't home earning money. There was also a medical bill I had paid finally.

I am really feeling discouraged. This year will be over in a blink and so much I had hoped we'd accomplish has not been done. This increase in the debt sucks. The somewhat silver lining is it is on a 0% card.

CC Payoff Progress. Other News.

September 21st, 2012 at 05:07 am

$16,921 - Previous Balance
$16,898 - Current Balance

Yeah, as predicted I couldn't put much of anything toward pay down. I paid the amount that we charged on the cards this billing cycle. I paid the interest to the one card that accrues interest, plus a tiny bit more. No lost ground, per se, but this is not how things are going to get paid off either.

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Trimmed the nails on a friend's cat. She is paying me $15 each time I do it. I figure that will be every six weeks or so. She thinks she will want me to do it every month.

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I filled up on Tuesday night and it was down to $3.99/gal.

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My new cell phone arrived Tuesday and I am officially switched over to Ting. More on that later...

Sunny Saturday. Budget Juggle.

September 16th, 2012 at 12:37 am

Right now I am sitting in the backyard. It has been a beautiful day today. Really, the whole week has been wonderful, mild weather. Still not having to use the AC or heat. Smile

I worked this morning for my co-worker who is sick. I don't mind working Saturdays occasionally because I get a few more hours on the paycheck, don't have to pay for childcare and don't have weekday traffic to deal with.

I decided to treat myself to Starbucks this morning and used the drive-thru. When it was my turn at the window they told me their system was down so they couldn't take my money, so my coffee was free! Smile

Free coffee was a very nice way to start my day.

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Trying to juggle the budget because of the lower income due to DH being gone. He did get some of his time off as paid vacation. Even so, we are about a third short of what he would have made had he been home. In addition to lesser income he spent money while he was gone. A double whammy.

He has $800 coming to him from his side work with the fire department at the raceway, so that *will* help *when* it shows up. Until then I am dipping into the EF to cover the shortfall. Phooey!

Cutting back on the grocery spending is going to be essential now. There also won't be much progress on the CC repayment this month. Frown

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DD had her first 4H meeting on Thursday. It was $33 for the yearly enrollment and another $32 to buy presale tickets for the fundraising BBQ. She has signed up for four projects. Her first project meeting is 'Canning & Preserves' and it meets tomorrow afternoon.

CC Payoff Progress

August 29th, 2012 at 08:27 pm

Even with the new cell phone purchase I still managed to get the total balance down a wink. Small progress is still progress. Smile

$17,387 Previous Balance
$16,921 Current Balance

Dead Cell Phone

August 9th, 2012 at 12:37 am

It's funny how things turn out sometimes.

As some of you might have read before I have been thinking of switching my cell service to Ting.

Well, this past weekend I set my cell in the cupholder of our truck before I realized the cupholder was full of Gatoraid! The "guys" (DH, groom, and two friends) had ran some errands in the truck and spilled it. They didn't have anything to dry it up with and by the time DH came back to the hotel he had forgotten all about it. I thought after the phone dried out it would be fine. But no; it is not turning on or charging. I don't know if it fried the inside or maybe fried the battery. I don't care, because I'm taking this as the sign that it's time for me to buy a Ting phone and switch. I am really going to splurge and buy a fancy smart phone. Running the numbers last night I figured my new phone will pay for itself after nine months. I plan to have this phone for many years. I am still a bit tempted to go with a less costly phone, but I want something I will be happy with for a long time too. I plan to pay with a 0% cc so I don't have to touch any of the EF. I know, I know, adding to the cc debt, is Frown , but I feel better using that than taking from the savings. The phone will be paid for before any interest rate kicks in.

What I really hope is that DH will see how GREAT my phone is and how CHEAP it is to use and he will want to switch. That would really end up saving some serious dough. Smile

I just love that my phone died (lol! Who ever says that!) and opening me up to buying a new phone and switching providers.

Monthly CC Payments

June 16th, 2012 at 03:59 am

Made the usual monthly payments.
I was able to chip $46.75 more from redeeming reward points.

$17,940 Previous Balance
$17,387 Current Balance

Cool Beans (coffee beans that is..)

June 7th, 2012 at 10:17 pm

Just a few days back I got a $15 Strbks card as a reward in the mail. And I wrote how nice and easy it was to earn.. Well, I just got another email from BoA to do the same thing. Big Grin

Just a few quick clicks through the email link + pay our cell phone bill in a few days with that card = A second $15 gift card.

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Beautiful weather here. Nice and mild at about 75F. Going to have BBQ chicken breasts, baked sweet potatos, corn on the cob and maybe a few other fruits/veggies that need eating tonight for dinner. Once I finish up on the computer I am going to get a bunch of strawberries cut up for strawberry shortcake for dessert. Smile

I see a few posts about grocery spending. Well, I just checked Quicken and we spent a whopping $1005 in groceries last month! That is much higher than usual. I'm going to look through it and see when I spent all that. Our chest freezer and fridge/freezer and pantry are all FULL so we have something to show for all that spending.

Attempts to Maximize Rewards

June 2nd, 2012 at 11:18 pm

My $15 Starbucks gift card came in the mail today from BoA. It was a reward for using that cc to pay our cell phone bill. I hope I get more email offers like that ... SO easy to "earn" free treats! Smile

I treat myself once weekly or less. I have been taking advantage of special offers and Free drink coupons from a client at work the past few months. I've only spent $12.30 in the past three months. $10 of that was to buy a $15 giftcard using a grocery store promo. I used my empty Stbks ground coffee bag to get a free drip coffee while I shopped today.

Speaking of grocery store promos; Safeway is doing the spend $75 & get $10 promo this weekend. I went to the store this morning. I am thinking I will go again tomorrow and buy a gift card for groceries to earn another $10 reward. Provided I can do that.

At some point this month I will probably buy some gc for groceries just to 'max out' on my 5% back on grocery store spending. June is the last month. Until I started reading posts here I would never have thought to do that. Smile


CC Payoff & Other Goals

May 27th, 2012 at 06:06 pm

Made the CC payments this week.
$18,385 - Previous Balance
$17,940 - Current Balance

Slowly creeping downward....

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My weight loss was going great before we went on vacation. Now it has come to a screeching halt. Frown So at the half-way point of the year I've only lost 6lbs. Right before we left I was down 11lbs.

New car savings. Nothing new. This was overly optimistic with the other stuff, but aim high right?

Roof. Hoping DH will swing a few side jobs this summer to round out the roof replacement savings. This is pretty likely - summertime and people want AC.

Life insurance. Have gathered several quotes. Just want to lose the weight to get better prices.

Braces. Lasik. Trust. No action - Yet.

CC Payoff Progress

April 28th, 2012 at 07:56 pm

Made the cc payments this morning.

$18,872 - Previous Balance
$18,385 - Current Balance

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Added to the EF this morning also. (Giants wins while on vacation)
$3,038 - Previous
$3,046 - Current

Happy This 'n Thats

April 3rd, 2012 at 09:37 pm

A bit slow right now at work.
I have about an hour by myself until things pick up again.

I just stepped off the scale.
(Yes, I weigh myself here on the pet scale Smile )
And I've lost another pound! Yippee!

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One of our clients is a manager at Starbucks. Whenever we see her she always brings us free drink coupons and other goodies. She came in yesterday so now I have three free drinks coming and a belly full of coffeecake. Big Grin

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In other news we are going to stay home for Easter. That will save us about $80 because we won't have to buy gas. But because we'll be having a nice dinner at home we'll probably spend about $40. That is still $40 saved and a much more relaxing weekend.
My mom and dad will probably come to our house for the day to see the kids and eat dinner. In-laws are going to be too busy to make it this time. That's fine, less stress.

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I received the official letter from our bank telling us that the fraudulent charge was found to be fraudulent and the matter was closed. Like there was any doubt?

DH also got his new card/number.

CC Payoff Update

March 18th, 2012 at 03:12 am

Made the usual payments to the cards today. I also redeemed points to post as credits. $25 on BoA. $27 on Chase.

$19,408 - Previous balance
$18,872 - Current balance

CC Rewards.

March 7th, 2012 at 04:53 am

Signed DH up for a BofA card with a $100 bonus a couple weeks back. Will get that redeemed as soon as the card closes. Then I'll cancel that card.
Told him he can use that as spending money in Hawaii!

I was offered a $15 gift card for Starbucks if I used my visa card to pay at least one utility bill before April 31. I'm in! Two clicks to sign up.
What an easy way to get a few free treats! Smile

Cashed in $26 from Chase.

CC Payoff Update

February 21st, 2012 at 04:32 am

Last Friday I made payments to the credit cards.
Previous balance $20,204.
Current balance $19,408.

AmEx Rewards

February 20th, 2012 at 09:04 pm

I am at work today, but it is pretty quiet. I think many people just assume that everywhere is closed. DH has the day off and is doing the stay-at-home-dad thing today. I am happy about that. Lots of good one on one with the kids. Smile That and everyone is a bit sick, so it's good that they can all be at home resting.

So, last month I signed up for a Gold AmEx to earn 25,000 worth of points. My plan all along was to use this "free money" to help offset the bathroom remodel costs. AmEx has a feature where you can pay with points directly to Amazon. I also figured I could redeem for Home Depot cards as well.

Trouble is/was that I couldn't get the points posted to the account fast enought to help with any Home Depot spending. And the Amazon thing equals $1 to every 14.2 points. Which would mean that my 26,209 points would get me only $184.57.

I checked into using the points to book our rental car for Maui. Which would be a $1 = 10 points transaction. But, the rentals were thru a more expensive rental company so I really didn't feel like that was the best (highest yielding) option either.

Redeeming for a cash gift card would be $1 = 20 points. Even worse!

Here is what I ended up doing:
The Old Navy GC were a straight up conversion at $1 = 10 points. I bought five $50 cards and one $10 card. The $50 cards I sold to Plastic Jungle for $212. The $10 I will use myself in the store or give to DD as a special gift, or something like that.

The Chase card I'm using to purchase the items from Amazon is giving 5% back.

After all the calculations my "free money" works out like this:
$212 - cash from Plastic Jungle
$ 10 - gift card
$ 13 - 5% Chase reward
$235 total,
which is a "loss" of $25 if I could have just cashed out the 26,000 points to $260. But that's better than the $185 I would've gotten if I had just used the points directly for Amazon.

Saturday Stuff

January 14th, 2012 at 08:41 pm

This morning we went out for breakfast at our favorite hole-in-the-wall cafe. $46.
DH loves their ham and cheese omelets. They have the best Eggs Benedict out of all the places I've been. Their coffee is very good also and the service is excellent.
It was a great way to start the weekend. Smile
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I just applied, and was approved, for another credit card. This is the AmEx that is offering $250 in gift cards after $1k of spending in three months. I am hoping I can find enough places that I routinely use that will take the AmEx. Costco will, hopefully Safeway too. Just couldn't pass up $250 reward.

If I can I will get gift cards for Home Depot, Macy's or Amazon. That way I can use the "free" money for stuff for the bathroom. Towels, towel bars, sink faucet, etc..
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The new shower hardware came yesterday. Fast shipping! It only took three days! DH put it all in this morning and it does look very nice. However, we aren't sure how well the handles are going to work out. You have to turn them off very tightly, otherwise it drips water. Really tightly; like it hurts my hand to try to turn them. Frown

Disappointed about that.

DH is going to call a plumber friend and find out what our options are to correct that.

Such a pain that we didn't know that we should have changed the valves to a single control before we closed up the wall and tiled. Blah!

There is a two handled Kohler set I REALLY like.
Unfortunately -
1. It does not come in oil rubbed bronze.
2. It's about $450.
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The 49ers play the Saints today in about an hour. The afternoon will be spent watching football. Smile
When the 49ers win I will add $20 to the EF.

Go niners!

EF Addition

January 12th, 2012 at 06:23 am

Added $25 to the EF.
New total: $2649

Paid $300 toward the cc debt today also.

Still trying to get an appointment with the city water company so we can get rolling on the toilet rebate. In the past seven days I've left two voice mails and an email. What will it take for an appointment??

Day Off

January 3rd, 2012 at 09:57 pm

I have the afternoon off today. Right now I just finished watching a movie with DD. DS is napping. Going to get some To Do stuff done today. So far I've...

- I cleared the cash out of my purse and deposited $40 to the EF.

- I added DH as a second card holder to my Wells Fargo CC. By doing that I am hoping I'll be able to transfer the points he earned with his debit card to the credit card's point total. They discontinued the points program for the debit card about August and he has enough points to redeem for about $40 worth of gift cards, but there will be points left over. I would really like to combine the two point balances so we don't lose out on any points.

- Cancelled HBO. Our special deal ended. Not paying $10/mo to keep it. I will try to get another deal on it in a few months when "Game of Thrones" season starts.

- Paid mortgage. $1776.

Still need to...

- Buy some TP! Yikes, we're out!
- Donate some pet food I have to the animal shelter.
- Donate two bags of DD's old clothes and my old plate set.
- Un-decorate the tree and remove from the house.
- Call the city water department and set up a "water audit" thing. First step in qualifying for a $150 credit for a new toilet.
- Dishes.
- Wash all the new clothes DS got for Christmas.
- Take a picture of the new tile for you all to see.
Smile

Cashing Out the CC Rewards

December 8th, 2011 at 11:28 pm

I cashed out my rewards from the two new cards.
Chase - $157
B of A - $122.
Add that to the $250 from my other card last month and that is $529 in the last 30 days. Smile

$250 CC Reward

November 15th, 2011 at 04:12 am

Just redeemed points on my WF card for a $250 account credit.
Yay!
Smile

New Credit Cards

November 12th, 2011 at 07:30 pm

I applied for the Chase Freedom card with the $150 cash incentive and was approved instantly online. I was totally surprised by the immediate confirmation. I have decided I will transfer some of our other cc debt to this card because they are offering 0% until February 2013. There is a balance transfer fee that will eat up the cash they are offering. But, it's okay because the balance transfer will save us that much (or more) in interest and it won't cost anything "out of pocket" to do the transfer.

I also applied for the BofA card with the $100 reward. I applied online and after Chase. BofA didn't give me instant approval. Just said something like "we'll contact you". I kept waiting for an email or a letter saying something. Then on Thursday I received the new card from them!
Oh, Okay, guess I was approved then. Smile
Now I have to charge $500 to collect the $100 reward.

Funny that I haven't gotten the Chase card yet. They were so quick to approve me and all.

We're Being Chase-d and BA'd!

November 3rd, 2011 at 09:33 pm

Bet the title made you look.
Wink

Just arrived home a few minutes ago and we have four cc offers from Chase. Two Chase Freedom and two Chase Slate. The Freedom card is offering a $150 cash bonus, 5% on certain purchases (rotates throughout the year) and 0%. The Slate card is just 0%. Neither has a fee.

Hmmm......

We also received three (2 for me, 1 for DH) card offers from B of A. One has a $100 cash bonus.

Double Hmmmmm......


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