How (And Why) I spent $1,200 This Week

Holy smokes. I just went on a spending spree y’all! One of truly epic proportions. In less than a week I spent the equivalent of an entire month’s living expenses. $1,200 to be exact.

I’m sure most of you out there are wondering if I’ve lost my damn mind. How could I spend so much, so quickly?! WHY would I do that? You’ll be even more surprised to hear that I feel great about spending so much. Proud, even.

In order to understand that I haven’t lost my mind and that I do deserve to keep my pf blogger card, let’s go back to last November. On the recommendation from expert budget traveler and credit card rewards king, Brad from, I opened a Citi/AAdvantage Mastercard in order to take advantage of a super special they were offering. If I spent $3,000 in the first three months I would receive 50,000 miles. But in this special offer, if I opened one up in November and adhered to the same 3 grand in 3 months, I’d get an extra 10,000 points!

One of my big goals in 2016 is to travel more. Of course I will be doing so in the most frugal of manners! Credit card churning falls into that category. With 60,000 points I can get several short domestic flights for free, which just so happens to be exactly the kind of travel I need to do this year!

I’ll be flying back to the east coast twice this coming spring and summer. With these points I’ll do so for free.

The only problem was spending $3,000 in three months. For most people this is probably pretty achievable, but it has proved quite difficult for me. I keep my expenses very, very low and the major ones I do have (like rent) I can’t pay by credit card. So that’s how I ended up two weeks away from my three month limit still needing to spend $1,200 in order to get my points.

At first I thought I had backed myself into a corner. I was a total idiot. I could have just bought the tickets out of pocket for less than I was spending now to try and get the fights for free! I was feeling frustrated and annoyed with myself.

Then I remembered a whole list of things I have been avoiding for months now. Things that I knew I should do but couldn’t bring myself to spend money on. We all know that’s something I struggle with. And here I was with the perfect opportunity to spend, guilt free! It was like the heavens opened up and the universe said unto me, “Go forth and spend.”

Those costs I’d been avoiding? Mostly car stuff. Hot damn is it expensive to be a car owner! So much so that I had several things that were kind-of-pressing-but-with-some-luck-and-low-driving-not-sooooo-pressing. That all changed this week!

Two new tires, a rotation and warranty- $247.27

I have needed new tires for at least 6 months. I’ve been putting it off since it’s a big expense and I only drive about 15 miles a week, but it really was unsafe.

Replacing my car’s timing belt– $410.15

My car manual recommends changing it at 60,000 miles. I’m at 76,000. It was time.

Windshield Wipers- $28.70

The ones I currently have are total shit. They literally do nothing. So unsafe! And I would tell myself ‘Oh this is Texas. It hardly ever rains!’ True- but when it does I can’t see anything!

Lyft– $35.30

This will be reimbursed. My catering company had it’s holiday party last night and paid for all our Lyft’s!

CVS– $42.19

I really needed deodorant and wax. Lady armpit problems.

Rental Car– $260

Incidentally, if you want to factor auto expenses into your budget, has a great posting on how to do this.

I am going to Wyoming in March with friends and they graciously allowed me to put the rental car on my credit card! I will get paid back by them shortly and my portion is only $55.

My astute readers will note that this doesn’t quite add up to $1,200. I’m only at $1,023.61 right now, which means I still need to spend $176.39. Never fear, because I’m going to keep making it rain through tomorrow! I am buying some new home goods (like glass tupperware) and exercise classes off of Groupon. I’m moving in the spring and I’ll need some new things for my new place. While it will probably suck to move them rather than have them sent to the new casa, I’m glad to be spending the remainder on things I need.

In fact, I’m pretty happy about all this spending! I never thought I’d say that. But it’s true! I finally got the kick in the butt that I needed to do some truly necessary things. None of this spending is frivolous. It’s all practical, good for me, stuff. I didn’t go out and buy new clothes that I’ll never wear. I don’t have a new collection of ceramic frogs to scare my housemates. I have a safer car, freshly waxed armpits and a fabulous rental car booked. And now, two free flights home in the spring and summer!

How do you feel about spending a lot in the name of credit card rewards? 


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9 Replies to “How (And Why) I spent $1,200 This Week”

  1. Ha, I’m actually in a similar position so I totally understand — I just got a travel rewards card and have to spend I think $1,000 pretty quickly to get a huge chunk of miles. Which shouldn’t be that difficult, but like you, my expenses are super low, and I can’t pay rent by credit card. But I’m doing my best! 🙂

    1. It’s so hard! Even when I want to spend money I had a very hard time coming up with valid things to spend it on. Thank goodness I thought of my car. Can you do something like holiday shopping now and just hold onto the items for 11 months? 😉

  2. I just spent a little over $1000 last week as well! Unfortunately, I won’t be getting any form of travel points, but I’ve budgeted extensively for the splurge. When I opened my AmEx card last year, I had to spend $3000 during the first 3 months as well but I was lucky enough to be able to pay my rent with the card 😀

    1. As long as you’ve planned for it, I say well done. I can’t believe you can pay your rent with credit! I’m truly jealous.

  3. […] week I went on a mind blowing spending spree. I spent $1,200 in a matter of three days, all in the name of earning credit card rewards. It was actually really […]

  4. Kara,
    I churn credit cards as well. Have earned over $1800 for upcoming trip to Ireland. Instead of trying to find things to spend on, I will do some prebuying. In other words, I will buy discounted gift cards at giftcardgranny for places that I shop each and every month. Arco for gas, Safeway for some groceries (ironically, my husband works in catering, too, so I don’t spend all that much for food–mainly fruit and veggies) etc. I have a big outdoor hiking trip planned this summer so bought REI gift cards to purchase some items. You get the idea. The discounts on the cards can be pretty hefty. Check it out.

    1. That’s so smart! I never thought of it, but will definitely incorporate it next time. Thanks for the tips!

  5. […] I was trying to spend $1,200 in order to qualify for a special rewards offer, I thought a great way to spend a few hundred […]

  6. […] week I went on a mind blowing spending spree. I spent $1,200 in a matter of three days, all in the name of earning credit card rewards. It was actually really […]

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