Credit Card Spending Gone Overboard!
Shoot, I’ve spent too much on my credit card at a time when I shouldn’t because I got less of a 2011 bonus than expected. January’s statement reminds me how easy it is for people to spend freely only to feel regret one month later.
January saw the first huge storm that dumped 2.5 foot of powder in Lake Tahoe. As a storm chaser, I just had to go last minute because there’s nothing quite like riding on 2+ feet of powder. You’re floating on a cloud as you barrel down the shoot without a fear of crashing because everything is so soft. I stayed at my place and spent around $150 on gas and another $100 on food for a couple nights.
I also took full advantage of a ridiculously low airfare by Hawaiian Airlines and booked a round-trip ticket for only $360 after taxes and fees just 7 days before departure! Originally, I was going to go from Saturday to Saturday, but due to the storm up in Lake Tahoe, I decided to go from Tuesday to Saturday (Tahoe Sunday Monday). It was quite surreal going from powder to the beach the very next day.
Of course, once in Hawaii, I met up with friends every other night for dinner and drinks. The Korean BBQ and Hawaiian food are incredible there! I guess things could have been worse since I didn’t have to pay for lodging for a week.
JANUARY 2012 CREDIT CARD STATEMENT
|JANUARY 2012 CREDIT CARD STATEMENT|
|Alcohol||Wine for a house party||$32.54|
|Banking||Refundable application fee for home refi||$765|
|Dentist||Deductible for work at Dentist||$168|
|Dinner||Dinner at Duke’s in Waikiki. Great venue, but food sucks||$57|
|Dinner||Dinner at 12 Ave Grill, Honolulu (overpriced!)||$93|
|Farmer’s Market||Pumelos, vegan crepes, dried cherries||$33|
|Hardware||Metal fences for trees to avoid dog poop||$13|
|Insurance||Home, auto, life, personal prop||$228|
|iTunes||iPhone Game, Sentinel 3!||$1.99|
|Lunch||Indonesian food for two||$30|
|Lunch||Old world Italian seafood for three (reimbursable client lunch)||$199.98|
|Lunch||Chinese food takeout for two||$19.53|
|Lunch||Assortment of sushi and veggies||$8.83|
|Lunch||In N’ Out Burger||$3.45|
|Lunch||Vacation lunch in Lake Tahoe||$22|
|Lunch||Filipino food for three in Honolulu||$35|
|Lunch||Korean BBQ for three in Honolulu||$39.88|
|Tennis||Can of balls||$3.91|
|Tennis||Client tennis (reimbursable)||$85|
|Travel||Rountrip ticket to Hawaii||$361|
|Travel||Taxi to airport||$54|
|Unknown||Unknown, but probably lunch or taxi fare||$51|
Typing up my credit card report makes me realize how much I love to eat all sorts of food! I love South East Asian food and could eat Indonesian and Malaysian food every day, all day. Cambodian/Thai food is also quite tasty, and a number of new such restaurants have popped up.
I can’t believe I’m refinancing just 4 months after I refinanced already! I couldn’t pass up a 2.625% 5/1 rate with costs fully baked in. I just had to pay the up front $765 application fee.
Moose’s gas bill is expensive due to my trip to Lake Tahoe. Usually I spend about $50 a month, so this January I spent triple.
Finally, my minimum monthly recurring cost for tennis is around $200 due to club dues, food, tennis balls, and strings. Things add up if I’m not careful, so I plan to demo a lot more new racquets to increase the longevity of my strings, and also have fun with new technology.
My January 2012 credit card spending makes me a little ill. I realize I will get credited back about $1,000, but there always seems to be SOMETHING “one-off” that keeps popping up. I need to get my CC bill down to about $1,200-$1,500 for me to feel comfortable again because spending $3,000 feels too much.
I will pay the bill in full as I have always done. It’s time to ratchet down my spending and live more frugally. I will still save 100% of every other paycheck, but it looks like for this year, the maximum after tax income I can save is around 60%, and not the 70-75% that I was shooting for.
CREDIT CARD RECOMMENDATION
If you are an avid traveler and looking for a travel rewards credit card, you can sign up for the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard with a $89 annual fee for double the points on all purchases and 40,000 signup miles ($400 value) or the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard with no annual fee with double the points on travel and dining and 20,000 signup miles ($200 value). I’m going with the version with the annual fee because the first year’s fee is waived. You can read a more detailed review I wrote of the Barclaycard Arrival here.
Photo: Our cruise ship tendered at Korcula, Croatia 2011. SD.