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Ally Cash Back Credit Card Bonus

August 16th, 2016 at 05:11 pm

Well, I have earned $105.04 in credit card rewards from Ally. Choices to redeem are a deposit to my Ally account (with a 10% bonus) or a statement credit. I chose the statement credit, then afterwards received a message that I will receive the credit in 1 to 2 billing cycles. I should have taken the deposit, but I haven't had any money in Ally in a long time and I am not able to log on without calling them first, so I thought the statement credit would be simpler. I should have endured calling them and collected my extra $10.51.

So, I have to pay them $252 for my electric bill, then wait a month or two, and then...what? Pay my electric bill again I suppose, or maybe a medical bill.

SB and I have been kicking around the idea of taking a short cruise in the early fall. There are some 4 day cruises (they don't count the day you disembark, so 4 nights and 3 full days) which can be had for $334 per person, including port taxes. That would be a nice, although too short, break from everything. SB would be paying, so he has the final say.

I want to go Pokemon hunting in San Francisco, perhaps this coming weekend. I hear Golden Gate Park and Fisherman's Wharf offer prime Pokemon collection opportunities. I have just been having a ball with this Pokemon Go; it's amusing and a great incentive to get out and walk.

Bill Fixer Results; Cash Flow Bottleneck

July 18th, 2016 at 08:29 pm

Bill Fixers was able to reduce my internet bill by $13.96 per month. Not much, but something. I have to pay them half of it, so I am ahead $6.98 per month.

In other budget news, I cancelled my gym membership. A payment was due in July, and that is that. So, there is another $19.99 per month ahead.

I have added dvd service to my Netflix, and will probably keep that for a few months. Our list of movies we wanted to see which are disc only grew to the point it made sense to restart that service. I got the first month free, but afterwards will pay $12 per month.

So as you know, I recently switched to cash only for groceries, gas, and personal spending. Since I had previously used rewards cards for those things, in July I had to pay some of June's charges, plus pay as I go for July. (For budgeting purposes, I count spending when I make a charge, not when I pay it.) As it turns out, I am also parting with the cash for two electric bill payments in July*, which is further impeding my cash flow. It is a temporary bottleneck and will ease next month. However, July's savings account deposits are very anemic.

* My electric company bills me around the 5th or so, and I need to pay by the 20th or so. Usually, I use my Citi DoubleCash MasterCard to pay the electric company. The Citi billing cycle cuts off around the 6th of the month, so I typically charge the electric bill on the 10th. When I get paid on the 15th, I pay the charges which appear on Citi's statement from the 6th. In practice, I don't part with the cash for June's electric bill until July 15th. Which I have just done.

In the pursuit of credit card rewards, I have recently applied for and received the new Ally Visa. The sign-up offer is to spend $500 in the first 3 months and receive a $100 bonus. Since my electric bill is $252 per month, I decided to use it twice to pay my electric bill, thus I don't need to bother with it further. So, I used it this past July 10 to pay July's electric bill. And then the statement cycle closed, and I need to pay by August 12th. A bit inconvenient as that's 3 days before payday. So, I just paid it tonight. That $252 is coming out of my planned savings account transfer.

I will use the Ally card for August's electric bill and pay that in August too.

In September, I will go back to using Citi DoubleCash and won't need to pay that statement charge until October, thus picking up a bit of extra cash flow to throw into savings.

So there you have it. Other than that, just plugging along as usual here at Chez Petunia.

Check Out My New Credit Card Balance

January 7th, 2016 at 11:30 am

Don't see it listed in my sidebar? I don't either! What a great way to begin the new year. Smile

I am waiting for the last of the money I am owed to transfer in. When it does, it will go into savings.

I redeemed my first bit of credit card rewards in 2016, a whole $169.51. I have already applied it to my car loan. I ended up redeeming $611.84 in 2015, and I didn't even try very hard. I am sure I can beat that this year.

Today I filled out a new W-4 and increased my Simple IRA per paycheck contribution. I cancelled my monthly automatic Roth contribution. Everything on track with those plans.

I will be having my surgical procedure next Wednesday the 13th, saying good-bye to the lump under my arm at last.

Car Fund Update

October 15th, 2014 at 05:05 pm

Today is payday, so my scheduled savings transfers are happening any minute now.

I have made another $20 from a payday loan. The co-worker keeps insisting, so I take it. I have been trying to talk her into opening a savings account for YEARS now, but so far she has not. I have been regularly giving her loans "until payday" for about 6 months now. She always pays me on payday, but a week later asks for another loan. Most recently, I loaned her $160.

I just redeemed $62.36 in rewards from Capital One Quicksilver. I charged the cruise tickets, so that is why it was more than usual. (Even though my mother is paying for our cruise, I charged the tickets to earn rewards points. She has already reimbursed me, and I have already sent the payment off to Capital One).

Previous Car Fund Balance: 1,388.80
Budgeted monthly deposit: 170.00
Payday loan: 20.00
CC rewards: 62.36
New Car Fund Fund Balance: 1,641.16

And credit card rewards are up to $996.33 for the year! Yes, I will definitely make 1k in rewards this year.

Car Fund Update; Personal Stuff

August 8th, 2014 at 08:43 am

HauserNet coughed up $4.25 for decoy mail in January.

I redeemed $23.90 in credit card rewards from Capital One Quicksilver.

Barclay's paid a whole 12 cents in interest.

And we are up to $407.62 in Car Fund.

Also, redeemed credit card rewards for the year is up to $919.41.

J has one more driving school session, and it culminates with a trip to the DMV for his behind the wheel test. Yay! And then my car insurance will skyrocket. Boo!

BF has been at my house all week, and we are driving to his house this afternoon. J will be going too, as he will spend the night at his friend's house (the friend lives in the same town as BF). I think I will just let J drive. Wish me luck!

I took J shopping for school clothes a few days ago. He got 3 pairs of jeans, 4 t-shirts, 1 real shirt with buttons, collar, and sleeves, and a package of socks. It came to $211. School starts Monday.



Net Worth 7-31-14

August 1st, 2014 at 11:41 am

Cash is down. Frown
Debt is down. Smile
Investments are down. Frown
Home value estimate is up. Smile




Car Fund Update:

I received $4.25 from HauserNet and added that to car fund. With that deposit plus yesterday's interest, it is up to $383.72

Credit Card Rewards Update:

My Wells Fargo Home Rewards Visa still gets some use. It automatically redeems in increments of $25. When the billing cycle closed last week, sufficient rewards were available and so $25 was applied to my mortgage balance. So, I made another mortgage chip despite myself. Smile

Redeemed Discover Bonus

April 25th, 2014 at 01:46 pm

My Discover statement closed today, and I had used the card enough to redeem my $150 bonus. So, I applied an extra $150 to my mortgage principal, and should receive a direct deposit from Discover within 72 hours. Smile They will only redeem in increments of $50, but I had $158.04 in rewards. They will just have to sit there waiting for a good 5% bonus category. Otherwise, I won't be using Discover.

Now I am on the lookout for my next bonus offer.

So far in 2014, I have redeemed $328.11 in credit card rewards and applied every last cent to mortgage principal. I wonder if I can make it to 1k this year? I would need some more sweet bonus offers to make that happen, so we will just have to see.

Approved for Discover It

February 2nd, 2014 at 07:52 pm

I was just approved for the Discover It spend $750 in the first 3 months and get a $150 bonus. That will make a sweet little mortgage chip, whoo hoo!

BF had a realtor and a house flipper guy to his house today. The flipper is a licensed electrician, but knows how to do other work around the house too. They are working on a plan to have the house listed in a month. Think happy thoughts, cross your fingers and toes, make your pet cross its toes too! Oh please, list that house already!


Coughs and Chips

January 17th, 2014 at 10:06 am

I don't think I have talked about it much, but I suffer from a recurring cough. This has been going on for about three years now. I start getting a little coughy for a week or so, then it develops into a full-blown deep, hacky, unproductive cough. I cough day and night. It lasts 2 - 3 months. It starts in late summer and continues until mid-October. It starts again in January and lasts through late March. (Yep, I am coughing now). I have seen my GP, a pulomonologist, an ENT, and am currently seeing an immunologist.

While I am coughing, I often cough until I feel light-headed and disoriented. Sometimes I cough myself into a pounding headache. Sometimes I cough so hard I trigger my gag reflex and vomit. It is exhausting to cough so much. I don't get enough rest because I wake up coughing through the night.

Yesterday I picked up yet another new Rx, and my share of cost was $180! It does seem to be offering some limited relief, so I'm not going to complain about the price.

This week I received $3.50 from Hausernet for decoy mail, and netted $7 from a wallet sweep. Both sums have already been sent off to the mortgage.

I qualified for my latest $100 credit card reward bonus and have ordered the check. It has not arrived yet.

Catching Those Credit Card Reward Snowflakes

January 4th, 2014 at 10:37 am

The reason I make an effort to earn credit card rewards is so that I can throw them at my mortgage. Last year, I didn't do a good job of catching them all. Some of them "melted". This year, I want to do much better; I want to catch them ALL.

This morning I logged on to my Capital One Quicksilver account and saw that I had $8.64 in rewards. I applied them to my balance. Next, I logged on to Wells Fargo's site and transferred $8.64 from checking to my mortgage.

I plan to make a habit of doing this once per month.

I am also planning to track my credit card rewards total in 2014. How much can I manage to earn? We will see.

YTD Credit Card Rewards: $8.64