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Various Updates (Rewards, 52 Week Challenge, General)

April 15th, 2014 at 07:40 am

Its Tax Day, which means the end of my 60-hour work weeks (yay!) but also the end of my overtime (boo!). Still, I'm pushing my mental and physical limits, so I welcome getting back to my 4-day work weeks, and my annual vacation in a couple of weeks.

We had a fairly major health issue with one of the critters last weekend, requiring unplanned surgery and overnight vet stays. The high end of the estimate was just about our entire emergency fund, but better that than not having the EF! She ended up staying at the vet an additional day, so I was expecting to hit the high end and perhaps go a bit over. Fortunately, I have a CareCredit card, which you can generally get at least six months at 0%; I figured I'd do that and set aside the money to pay it off, rather than depleting the EF and then building it back up. When I picked her up, though, the total cost was less than the low-end of the estimate! So I was able to just cash-flow it, since I have a little bit of overtime coming still. I won't be able to put as much in savings as I'd planned, but I still have the EF and no new balance on the CareCredit card.

The Chase Freedom Rewards points came through today, so I can update that amount. I'm estimating we'll get about $50 per month in rewards; this month was a little higher, $59.26.

Gift Fund
Goal - $500
Balance - $347.70
Remaining - $152.30

Movie Card Fund
Goal - $100
Balance - $0
Remaining - $100

We were planning on going to a movie Sunday, but the scheduling didn't work out, so I've still got $83 left on my current AMC gift card. I am going by myself to a movie on Friday -- one of my post-tax-season treats -- so that will knock it down a bit. I have $10 rewards on my AMC Stub Card, but my membership is due for renewal, so I'll use that plus $2 from the gift card. (I don't usually pay for rewards memberships, but this one truly does pay for itself and then some. My first year of membership was free, so in three years I've paid $24 in membership fees, and between rewards and savings on concessions I've made $127. It helps that my mom goes to the movies with a group of her friends once a month or so, and uses my Stubs card. And of course I haven't really 'paid' the $24, between the rewards and gift cards.)

Finally, it was a pretty poor week for the Savings Challenge. Things were so busy at work I really didn't have time for any side jobs, and no snowflakes spontaneously appeared. I did have a couple of returns and while they're not technically snowflakes, I had already counted that money as spent, so I'll include it here just so I have something!

52-Week Mega Savings Challenge
Week 15 [started late, my week 5]

Snowflakes
CVS Savings: $25
Returns: $41.19
Total Snowflakes: $61.19
Rounding (to reserve): $1.19

Beginning Balance: $410
Deposit: $60
Ending Balance: $470

Reserve: $0.35 + $1.19 = $1.54

6 Responses to “Various Updates (Rewards, 52 Week Challenge, General)”

  1. CB in the City Says:

    Can you explain how the AMC card works? We have AMC theatres around here, and I've been curious, but never really grasped the value of the membership.

  2. doingitallwrong Says:

    With the Stubs card, you get free one-size upgrades on your popcorn and fountain drinks (i.e., pay for a small popcorn but upgrade it to a medium, pay for a medium drink but upgrade it to a large); that saves about $.50-$1 per item, but wouldn't be much benefit if you only wanted the small. (I tend to plan movies around meal times, so the popcorn is my lunch or dinner.) You also get free refills on the large sizes of popcorn and pop.

    Then, for every $100 you spend, you get $10 in rewards. (Paying with a gift card counts, but using movie passes doesn't.) Spending is on tickets and concessions (you don't get rewards for buying gift cards, for example, or passes). The rewards do expire 90 days after they're issued. I first started with the program in August 2011 and I've earned $60 in rewards since then -- and I really don't go to the movies all that often. Of course, tickets are $10+ at night and $5-7 during the day, and concessions these days cost almost as much as the tickets! With the two of us, it's probably $35 if we go at night, so with three trips we've hit the $100 mark.

  3. creditcardfree Says:

    That's great that it worked out to cash flow the vet bills! I hope you pet is feeling better.

  4. doingitallwrong Says:

    She is feeling better (knock wood!), thanks. Smile

  5. CB in the City Says:

    Thanks, DIAW, you've explained it well. As a singleton, I'm not sure I would rack up the points very fast, though!

  6. doingitallwrong Says:

    Yes, might not be of value unless you go to the movies a lot! You do get four cards, though, that you could give to family or friends who would let you have the rewards. Smile

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