Home > Archive: March, 2014

Archive for March, 2014

Just applied for a credit card with a $450 annual fee.

March 29th, 2014 at 05:04 am

I think it is a good value.

Really. 100K AA points.
The requirement is to spend 10K in the first 3 months.

That gets you to 110K.

You can get either one round-trip business class ticket to anywhere in Asia(on a low price award, of course), or 2 one-way ones. That is an awesome value (you can't even get a coach seat for this amount of money).

Planning ahead.

Eating out on vacation - "eating out" or "vacation"?

March 26th, 2014 at 03:56 pm

Those who track, how do you count it?

Very cheap way to mini-vacation for me!

March 17th, 2014 at 07:46 pm

4 nights in the Ritz-Carlton in DC.

Where I get to sleep in, work out, wander the city and shop for things I planned to get anyway, but now will have time to look and try them on without any time constraints.

How is it cheap?

DH is going to DC for work. So his hotel will be paid for. I will take a bus to DC for $15 to $30 to join him. (I don't want to use to many vacation days, so I will only join him for half his trip).

He gets paid daily sum for his food/travel expenses. Sure, we will need to add some money to pay for food, but overall, we will be close to breaking even considering the cost of buying groceries and lunches at home.

That is a very nice arrangement - while he is working during the day, I have time to explore and shop and do things he would not enjoy, and in the evening we get to go out together.

It is almost a stay-cation, but better!

Cheaper outings

March 17th, 2014 at 04:54 pm

Thursday, after DH gave a midterm, we went out to celebrate him getting through teaching half a semester.
To Virgils, as usual.
Normal price tag ($65, that's with 3 drinks)

On Friday, we were both in the city, and I was in the area of Hell's kitchen (I was hoping to win "The Book of Mormon" cheap tickets by lottery, but that did not work out.)
So, since I was right there, we went out to a little hole in the wall place for Thai food.

It is a good place if you know what to order - half dishes suck, half of them very yummy. Luckily I know what to order now.

vegetable steamed dumplings with peanuts - Yum.

The whole bill with tip was under $40.

And on Sunday our friends invited us for brunch at their house. Good company and delicious very healthy food. Free.

So, 3 full meals out for less than $103.

If every week was like that, we could easily stay under my eating out budget target.

How much do you think this apartment cost?

March 11th, 2014 at 10:06 pm

Sometimes I daydream about getting a 2br in Manhattan so I occasionally browse the listings just to see where the prices are going (always UP).

How much would a coop 2br apartment like this cost in your area?

Craigslist people.

March 4th, 2014 at 04:57 pm


People seem to think that used furniture is of such high value that it is non-negotiable.

I found one coffee table that was suitable for a DIY project, the seller wanted $60. I wrote that if they can do $40, I can pick up right away. Reply "no thanks". No counter, or conversations, just a reply that invites no other communication. OK.
(I think I'm being reasonable by negotiating BEFORE I arrange to go to their house, so not to waste anyone's time).

So I see this guy trying to sell that coffee table over and over for now 3 months. One would think he will realize by now it is not priced right, but no. Got the same reply.

I see better and cheaper ones out there, but unfortunately they require driving to Long Island or Ct, which I don't really want to do for something like that.

Also, the amount of people who think their stuff is "vintage" is incredible.
Vintage or not, I don't see the value in these:

February results - if I did not track, I would not believe it!

March 3rd, 2014 at 08:31 pm

I started out so well. Took so many lunches to work. Made my own coffee. Got many free meals... And was doing much better than last months, I though.
I did not go shopping...

If I was not tracking, I would have sworn that we had a very frugal month. But in reality, it was worse than the previous month. Almost 2K over the budget. I can't believe it!

It was only due to large amount of extra income from DH's overtime and side job that we did not spend more than we brought in this month.

Seems now matter what we try, we end up in the same place.