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Monthly Financial Snapshot: January 2018

You can also track my all-time progress on the aptly-named Current Progress page.

January was a really strange month. I deliberately overpaid over $6k in federal income taxes on a credit card in order to trigger a 25k mile spending bonus and set myself up for another 25k mile bonus in another month or two. Since it's just about tax season, I'll be getting almost all of that back as a refund in a month or two, minus the 1.87% credit card fee. Totally worth it for the extra travel I'll get from it.

Speaking of travel, I booked my annual trip to Japan this month using miles, hotel free night certificates, and my massive hotels.com gift card balance that I bought at discount. Booked a round trip to Japan on JAL for 60k BA miles + $178.86 in taxes. In addition, I got a domestic round trip ticket to Kyushu from Tokyo for 9k BA miles + $5.14 in taxes. My Hyatt and IHG cards each got me a "free" night (quotations because the cost is really the annual fee) at hotels worth…

Monthly Financial Snapshot: December 2017

You can also track my all-time progress on the aptly-named Current Progress page.

Pretty good overall for the month, considering the accelerated spending I did on travel. I bought about $950 worth of hotels.com gift cards, some at a 15% discount, and some to earn 10x Chase points during the Chase Pay Best Buy promotion. I value the 8,000 points I earned from that at about $136, so not a bad return on investment there.


CategoryDec-17CommentsRent$768.75$750 for rent + $18.75 Plastiq feesInternet$55.92Internet is kind of expensive.Cell Phone$0.00Already paid for 1 year of service through MintSIM. = $15.51 / month!Natural Gas$19.71Below average. Not entirely sure why...Electricity$24.48About average for the month.Water$36.09Below average. Not entirely sure why...Groceries$129.59Below average. Spent the second half of the month visiting family, so not as much grocery spending.Car Insurance$0.00I pay every 6 months in April and October. Payment went up slightly compared to last time.Gasoline…