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Archive for June, 2016

Don't Just Do Something, Stand There!

June 28th, 2016 at 11:42 am

Over the weekend I visited Costco for the first time since they stopped accepting AmEx and started taking Visa only. DH has an airline rewards Visa that I borrowed.

Our AmEx Blue Cash pays 6% cash back on groceries and 1% cash back on everything else. We use it for groceries and we used to use it at Costco. For everything else, we use our Citi Double Cash back card (2% cash back on everything). On our latest AmEx Blue Cash Preferred statement, there was a notice that the annual fee is increasing from $75 to $95.

So, it was time to research credit cards and think about changing things up.

I pulled up our 2015 spending totals on the AmEx card. Assuming our spending patterns for 2016 are similar to what they were in 2015, we are still around $100 "ahead" by keeping the AmEx, using it for groceries only, and paying the $95 annual fee. So we're keeping it instead of cancelling.

As far as Costco, we need to decide between continuing to use DH's airline reward fee or getting the new Costco Visa (which pays 2% cash back on Costco purchases. DH is our household's "mileage guy" so I'm going to let him make that call. He asked for one day to think about it.

Looking Ahead At the Next 2 Years

June 19th, 2016 at 10:56 am

It looks like the next 2 years are going to involve some kind of big financial moves, and will involve quite a bit of spending, so I've decided to briefly document my top 5 financial goals from now through the end of June 2018.

1. Continue to maximize tax-deferred contributions to 401Ks and IRAs. This is not new, but must remain the number 1 priority above all others.

2. Purchase condominium for in-laws? I ended the preceding sentence with a question mark because it is something that we are going to look in to but have not yet decided on for sure. For over a year we have known we want and "need"to do something to help out the in-laws (and have already made one small cash contribution), but it's only recently that we hit on this idea as a possible solution.

3. Purchase replacement vehicle for DH. At 17 years old and with a needed repair that would cost more than its value, this one has moved from an "if and when" to a "when and with what" question.

4. Replace carpet in main living areas with tile.

5. 25th Anniversary Trip: Due to items 2 & 4 on this list, plans for this trip may be revised from a cruise or "overseas other than DH's homeland" trip to a nearby weekend getaway while the tile is being installed plus a condo-buying overseas trip for DH.