No-Spend February - Finance thread

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You ready? You look ready.
When you have expenses and live paycheck to paycheck you don't have the luxury of paying in full. And I refuse to live like a monk. I've made my peace with interest.
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"This is that human freedom, which all boast that they possess, and which consists solely in the fact, that men are conscious of their own desire, but are ignorant of the causes whereby that desire has been determined." -Baruch Spinoza



You ready? You look ready.
Yeah, but you’re smart enough to be a homeowner.
I think you mean I'm lucky enough to be a homeowner. Because that's precisely how I bought the house. Sheer, dumb luck.

Now I will tell you what's smart: paying an extra $35 towards the principle every month. I'd pay more if I could afford it.



For me, coffee is also a social experience as I usually go and chat it up with people I know, hence why I said I won't be giving this portion of my no spend up. But just on my working days.
Same for me. Dunkin on the corner of my street has good coffee. I know everyone who works there by name & quite a few of the customers. It’s a short respite from the worries of the day.
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I’m here only on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays. That’s why I’m here now.



A system of cells interlinked
I never pay late. Always on time because I don’t do interest payments. And my city card is one of those Double Cash ones.
Please link me to this card. Thanks!
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“It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance.” ― Thomas Sowell



You ready? You look ready.
Please link me to this card. Thanks!
they probably just meant THIS card, i assume.

it’s no better than the standard cash back cards (unless yours has a limit). just pays the cash back differently



A system of cells interlinked
they probably just meant THIS card, i assume.

it’s no better than the standard cash back cards (unless yours has a limit). just pays the cash back differently
TY. I will have to do some math head to head with this card vs our AmEx Blue for annual grocery cash back. The Blue card is 3% back on groceries up to 6K and then drops to 1%. I have a feeling the net over a full year would be around the same, but I will do exact numbers later.

OK everyone: Put your pick in the hat for best overall cash back cards!



they probably just meant THIS card, i assume.

it’s no better than the standard cash back cards (unless yours has a limit). just pays the cash back differently
He’s right. @Sedai



I've paid off my credit card in full ever since I got one. (And I now have the Bank of America Rewards card.)

For some reason, a lot of people don't understand the basic psychology of credit cards. It is very enticing to pay a minimum each month. It FEELS like you're not paying much, but that is the exact opposite feeling of what is really happening - with the interest accumulating over time, it is literally like paying double for everything you buy...
Carrying a credit card debt and paying that interest is like going to Vinny the loan shark and getting a cash loan




The Chase Sapphire gets a lot of good reviews. The flexibility of hotel choice is a big plus.
I have the Chase Sapphire. There are two versions, one with a very high annual fee, the Reserve, and the other with one that is around $100 a year that has fewer benefits. I find that having a travel rewards card, if you don't travel more than once or twice a year, and if you don't stay in many hotels, likely isn't worth the up front cost. I'm not losing money on it, because there are a lot of benefits, but I also don't feel like I'm gaining that much either, and find that many benefits that are offered I simply don't use that much. I think to maximize the benefits of a Travel Rewards card, you really need to be a frequent traveler, like someone who travels a lot for work, or who flies and stays in hotels many times a year. If you do want to get a travel rewards card, I'd suggest getting one with as low an annual fee as possible, and if you can find one with no fee, that may be even better for your personal circumstances. I've considered cancelling it because I don't travel enough. The ones with high annual fees do have a lot of good benefits, but the up front cost every year feels like a lot to pay, and many benefits you likely won't use all that much if you don't travel much (like the free entry to travel lounges at the airport or the TSA pre-check credit that they offer, for example). There are also lower fees for things like Door Dash, but again, I don't order Door Dash that much.

Also, I've found that the points are often worth less when you use them to book travel at the Chase Rewards site, than if you would have used the same amount of points when booking with the individual airlines. The costs are also sometimes higher as well for the same flights through Chase as they are when booking through the airline websites as well, but the best way to accrue points is to book through Chase and not the proprietary websites, so it's a bit of a catch 22. You can transfer the points to the airline, but there are restrictions and doing that for every flight, for different airlines, is a bit of a hassle. Chase is not very transparent about either when you talk to them about the card benefits. If you travel a lot it is a great card. I know people who love it for that reason, but if you're considering it, I'd research what benefits both tiers of the card offers, compare them to how often you think you will use those benefits compared to the annual fee, and then make your decision.



_____ is the most important thing in my life…
We don’t travel for work or take expensive vacations (overseas, etc).

We do a lot of, “go to a show, get a hotel room” type things. We’ll take a trip or two but they’ll be close, so we can drive. Charleston, the mountains, nothing with airfare. Plus, we *cough* like to bring our stuff 😏.

I’m sure that even with fees and my practice of putting everything on my credit card, I would come out better than $200 cash back. Her IHG card is great, the one night free pays for itself. Plus, they will waive fees at hotels because of having points, etc.

Our thought is to have another card, instead of two IHG, so it gives us flexibility.

My sister is big on the CS card. The main catch I see is the $4k a quarter spending. I guess I spend that much, but it would defeat the purpose if I missed the spending requirement. And apparently paying my tuition doesn’t count the same as regular purchases 😝



You ready? You look ready.
@doubledenim: the real question is where do your hotel allegiances lie? if you want to cover your bases get a Marriott credit card since they are the largest chain.

or, if you don't mind the skeeves, you could always go Best Western

EDIT: we stayed at Best Westerns driving back from CA and, if you never venture far from the interstate, they are everywhere in America's interior. and they ain't that bad, especially the freshly remodeled ones.

EDIT 2: and you don't need to be a traveler to maximize your benefit from a hotel rewards card. i used my card in town to rent a car three times last year and used it for online purchases originating overseas (travel cards don't have Foreign Transactions fees and have better currency exchange rates). i don't vacation often, but when i do all the perks keep from sucking ass when traveling.

EDIT 3: be sure to keep in mind Chase's 5/24 rule



2022 Mofo Fantasy Football Champ
It's early but I've followed my rules so far. The biggest rule for me is no random food stops or food buys. Being more strategic with grocery shopping when we go to prevent any of that from happening



I actually cooked food recently. That is big change for me. It's not for No-Spend February. I am trying to change my diet so I can get off my anti-depressants. I would love to not go to the doctor anymore.
I am mostly pretty frugal except for eating out.



_____ is the most important thing in my life…
I actually cooked food recently. That is big change for me. It's not for No-Spend February. I am trying to change my diet so I can get off my anti-depressants. I would love to not go to the doctor anymore.
I am mostly pretty frugal except for eating out.

I'm not gonna be that "food guy", but that's great to hear! It may not make you feel like a superhero, but you will feel better in some way.



A system of cells interlinked
It's early but I've followed my rules so far. The biggest rule for me is no random food stops or food buys. Being more strategic with grocery shopping when we go to prevent any of that from happening
This was a big one for us a while back. I also found that if I went grocery shopping instead of my wife, I saved about $50 per trip!



Tip for the Day: Cut driving distances and save on gas

I doubt many here have the option to give up their work commute and work at home but if you do have that option even if it's for only part of the time it's worth exploring.

True story, when I met my future wife she was commuting to work 2 hours each way, that's 4 hours on the road! And in heavier traffic days it could be 5 hours of driving time! She had a decent paying job but the hours was really hard on her.

When we first start dating one of our dates was car shopping as her old car had too many miles on it and had stop running. She put 50,000 miles on her car every year and so had to buy another used car every several years. I figured out how much she spent yearly for gas, for tires/oil changes/car repairs and how much she spent to replace cars. I deducted that from what she made and the end result was she spent so much on money on gas, cars etc that she would've made more money quitting her job and working flipping burgers somewhere close by. I suggested she just quit her job which she did, but no flipping burgers.



Today was the day I officially did not fully participate in this because I just bought some lamps on Facebook Marketplace.

Re: interest rates. Yeah, we bought out house in late 2021 and very nearly hit the bottom, which is nice. But it's led to the utterly bizarre situation where I actually shouldn't keep paying my mortgage down further beyond what I have, which is not a situation I've ever been in before.



A lady I work for asked me to throw out her Christmas wreath.
I looked at it and it was still as fresh and colorful as the day she got it.

I said I'd take it and hang it on our back gate (who says a pine wreath with pine cones HAS to be for Christmas? Why can't it be a "winter wreath"?)

When it starts to turn brown we will take the wiring off and recycle, re-use the bow for decorations next year, and compost the pine cones and pine branches.

A beautiful, outdoor, winter decoration gained: amount spent: $0.00



2022 Mofo Fantasy Football Champ
I accidentally screwed up last night at work. Forgot snacks from home, so I did buy a can of Pringles that cut me back about $1.78. A little disappointed but it was bound to happen.



Made the mistake of putting $20 on PayPal. Trying to get any money back from there takes an act of God falling on a leap year.