Had some extra spending this month on travel due to my sister visiting me for a weekend, as well as purchasing plane tickets and airport parking for my annual trip to visit family. I paid cash for 2 of the 3 flights because I found a good deal on one of them and the second one wasn't really expensive enough to justify using points, as well as the lack of seat availability since it was the holiday season. I did redeem points for the 3rd flight because Southwest had a sale and thus had redemptions available for a good price. Besides this, my expenses for this month were fairly ordinary.
My newest credit card reward scheme which I put into action this month was inspired by this post over at the Wealthy Accountant. This month, I made an estimated federal tax payment for 2017 of $3,000 over at Pay1040. This allowed me to meet the first tier of minimum spending on my BA card (earned me 50,000 British Airways miles, cha-ching!) a month early, as well as get me a head start on the 2nd tier of minimum spending for the card ($10,000 total spent in the first 12 months) which will earn me another 25,000 miles. And all it cost me was $56.10 in fees and an interest-free $3,000 6-month loan to the federal government, which I value at about $12.60 in lost interest (after tax). Seeing as I likely wouldn't be able to achieve the final tier of spending goal ($20,000 total spending in first 12 months, earning another 25,000 miles) without this trick, I am essentially buying BA miles at about 0.25 cents each. Since I value them at about 1.7 cents each, this is highly profitable. Just goes to show how valuable credit card sign-up bonuses can be! I intend to do this trick again for the 4th quarter of 2017. The downside of this is it makes this month's numbers look especially bad, since I have to front the cash for the deal and it greatly reduces my after-tax income for the month.
Anyway, here's my spending for the month: