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Getting the Chase Sapphire Preferred

November 21st, 2013 at 10:18 pm

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 07:51 am

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 21st, 2013 at 10:11 pm

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 12th, 2013 at 11:01 pm

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 02:33 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 01:51 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 01:26 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 03:28 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 02:03 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 20th, 2012 at 10:07 pm

$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 15th, 2012 at 05:37 pm

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 01:27 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 8th, 2012 at 05:37 pm

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.