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Archive for May, 2015

Lifetime Gold

May 28th, 2015 at 04:46 pm

Status, that is. DH finally earned it with Marriott.

Now, presumably he will be gold elite for life.

Right now, he has been making platinum every year for close to 10 years, but since he stays in cheaper properties when travelling for business, it is hard to get to lifetime plat points-wise.

It is kind of nice to know, that even if/when his travel stops, he will still have some status and we can have free breakfasts/upgrade opportunities and earn point bonuses when traveling for leisure.

This has some value.

Very high-spend day - new bedroom for DS (pics included).

May 26th, 2015 at 09:36 pm

I finally bit the bullet and bought the stuff.

I was putting it off for months, but DS is now really growing out of his toddler bed and needs a twin bed (which will hopefully last him into adulthood).

He is going to kindergarten this year, and the room has to change from being a baby room to a boy room.

Since this is a very long term purchase, I went with a neutral and clean-looking bed from RH.

Of course, I also needed mattress, duvet covers, sheets, side table to the bed (so that he can have a lamp and a place for his water/book).

After all said and done, close to 2.5K.

But, it is either IKEA, or this price range, as all other furniture besides IKEA are not cheaper than this.

I also would like to re-paint the room from sunny yellow to a calmer tone (specific shade of light blue). I wish I knew how to do it correctly so that we could do the job ourselves to save the money. He will also need a bigger desk and some shelves at some point. *Sigh*

extra income = EXHAUSTION.

May 24th, 2015 at 04:17 am

Both DH and I were working like crazy this month earning extra income.

I have been working overtime at my job (that is not really to earn extra income, but because I needed to get job done, as another colleague was transferred out). Waking up at 6:30 every day and getting home by 8 is not fun.

DH had finals, and had to write and grade massive pile of finals. (not done yet with that).

We both are just completely exhausted with 5-6 hours of sleep every day this last week and juggling everything. (I only got some sleep this night, on weekdays just not possible).

And this weekend I have 3 social dinners planned. And we will bring our toddler who is going through the "Dinosaur" stage with us to all 3. (That stage involves pretending he is a dinosaur and making scary faces with roaring sounds whenever he gets stressed).

So between DH's teaching job, his travel and my overtime, we made $4,300 in extra income this month. Plus I also earned 2 extra days of vacation time to take later.

Vacation fund is reimbursed now (we had to raid it to pay 2014 taxes). But man, we are working hard for this money.

Another kind of savings

May 12th, 2015 at 04:48 pm

Other balances I keep track of is points balance.
I am also slowly working towards these goals.

This summer I want in first class to Shanghai on Cathay Pacific (this is the most luxurious, fantastic service first class product out there, preferred by many travelers even over Singapore air or Etihad), than on to Sichuan and Singapore, and than DH and I came back from Singapore in Business class (fully flat seats, but after first class it was hard to come down).

Anyway, I used up all my points, even had to buy $200 worth of them to get my awards, so I started anew.

I don't travel for business, so all my points are earned now by credit card.

So this month I got:

1,460 From spending on AA card
1,000 bonus from AA card
1,000 points for watching video (AA promo)
3,900 points from aa shopping portal (now I check every time I want to buy something if there is a link through the portal)
1,000 points bonus points for shopping over 300$ through shopadvantage.

So, I will be earning $8,360 points. Which is not an insignificant percentage of 67,500 points needed for MileSaver first class award to Asia (hard to find, but I did it few times before already).

New miles balance - almost 32,000 points. By the end of the year, I should have enough for a one way first class ticket.

DH has enough miles in his account for 2 more first class tickets (earned for opening aa card with a special promotion of 100,000 for spending 3k a month for a number of months). So we are on the way to getting 3 tickets one way. At least this is enough for our family to go one way first class to Asia, in a relaxed and enjoyable way.

This year, we are flying to Scotland and Iceland, in economy, paid with money. But suffering 9 hours to Scotland and 5.5 from Iceland is better than 16+ hours to Asia. We will save our miles for that trip instead.

8 roommates

May 11th, 2015 at 01:32 pm

While in a retail store in Williamsburg (a hip area of Brooklyn) I overheard a clerk telling his colleague about an argument between roommates regarding roommate responsibilities. From this, I learned that the guy has 8 roommates in their apartment. Not sure if it is a 2br or 3br, but they all share rooms.

This explains how people live on retail wage in the city. But they all also want to be here. It is a fun place for young singles - with plenty of inexpensive party digs in the outer boroughs and a night scene for all budgets.

Registered son for school

May 7th, 2015 at 05:11 pm

It is pretty depressing. The school condition, the cafeteria, the teachers lounge... Everything screams "there is no money" and nothing was renovated since the school was build and feels kind of dirty. And the process of registration, with their outdated badly copied paper forms(how hard would it be to provide them online, so everyone can come with everything filled out?), waiting forever when staff goes some place else...

And this is one of the better schools, the "desirable" public school in the area.

I have not got to meet any of the teachers. I know this is the part that matters, but the whole public education system, now that we are going to be directly impacted by it, really raises a lot of concerns.

Our son tested into the New York City's "Gifted and Talented" program, but even for those who tested in, there is 1 spot for 3 applicants in the G&T program in our school, so he is unlikely to make it, even after after testing in.