Not a whole lot particularly stands out this month in my spending. The only real thing of note is the somewhat higher travel spending. This was partly due to taking a weekend trip to Minneapolis for the GoCurryCracker FI meetup. I spent about $100 on the roundtrip flight and used points for hotels rooms, so the trip itself was fairly cheap. While I’m traveling, I also include any restaurant spending in the travel because I consider restaurants to be part of the trip, and because I rarely eat at restaurants when not traveling, I want to track them separately. So the whole trip ended up costing only about $183.42 (but who’s counting?).
If that’s the case, then what explains the rest of the travel spending? The answer is that I also include all extra costs associated with earning points or cash for future travel. So, $95 of it is my annual fee on my new BA card. In addition, Chase had a promotion in August where you could receive 10 Chase points per dollar spent on walmart.com for purchases up to $250 when using Chase Pay to checkout. Naturally, I took advantage of the promotion to purchase Visa Gift Cards, which are almost as good as cash. Because of this, I only counted the activation fees for the cards, which was $10.82. I also purchased a discounted $50 Hotels.com gift card for $40, which I will definitely use on my next trip to Japan. Finally, I came across a deal with an Irish newspaper which offered 18,000 BA miles for buying a year’s digital subscription for 160 euros. At current exchange rates, that came out to 1.05 cents per mile, so of course I bought it. I value BA miles conservatively at about 1.7 cents each, so I expect to profit about $117 from that transaction once I spend those points. Unfortunately, as of yesterday that offer has been cut down to 9,000 BA miles, so it is not nearly as lucrative. Just goes to show how if you see a good deal, you need to grab it before it is gone.
Anyway, here’s my spending for the month: