personal finance

December 6, 2018

I did 5 miles today on my lunch hour. I can tell I’m going to hurt a bit tomorrow, but hell if it didn’t feel great! I am debating if I should get up early tomorrow and ride the opposite direction of my meeting in Portland to do my weight day. It will make for a long one, but I hate it that I’d otherwise have to miss.

Anyway, Shar and I had a bit of a discussion about my airline miles credit card. I paid for my flight (Thanksgiving week no less) with my Delta card because I had accumulated 70,000 miles. Sort of stupid since I was saving up for a trip to Europe, but with the baby coming along, I really didn’t want to spend $700 on a flight to Michigan in November. Anyway, that’s besides the point.

The reason I had 70,000 miles on my credit card is because I spent $70,000 on my credit card. That alone should give me pause. Sure, it was over the course of a year and a half, but still. I pay it off every month, but it’s one of those things where I didn’t really think too much about whether or not I had the money to spend because it wasn’t coming out of my checking account right at that moment. So, I spent more than I should have, consistently.

So I’ve switched over to using my debit card, which in and of itself is enough to curb the spending. When you see your checking account balance, the internal debate is a lot stronger as to whether or not you need a specific item. Most often, the answer is ‘no’. Anyway, I think I’m reigning it in and the spending habit is being curbed. Besides, if you just saved the annual fee you spend on those things, you’re halfway to a ticket right there.

And traveling is something we want to do. Where, no one knows. Neither of us have traveled with a baby before, so that will be freaky. But I know we both need it.

As for work, things are going fine. I just passed my 1 year anniversary in the new role and I couldn’t be happier with the change. It’s sort of strange being slightly lower on the totem pole, but sometimes you have to take a step back to move ahead, and my happiness and fulfillment are pretty high even if I’m not getting rich anytime soon. Of course the benefits don’t hurt - we did the math the other day and it’s going to cost about $600 out-of-pocket to have the baby. Not too shabby if you ask me. Things are cruising.

The interesting and difficult thing will be doing the math early next year. I think a lot of people are going to be shocked when they do their taxes with the changes made to the tax code since Trump took office. Let’s just say I hope you increased your withholdings if you’re the type of person who likes to get money back. Your vacation may be a staycation.

And since it will be the first year Shar and I can choose to do our taxes jointly or apart, that adds another element of difficult. Mostly because both of our student loan payments are based on income. So if we file together, our income is higher, and our payments could potentially go up. We’re both on the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) train and I’m about halfway done with it before the remainder is forgiven. In this situation you want to pay as little as possible. So we may file separately despite the implications for our taxes. I may post a spreadsheet here once I get it figured out just in case anyone else is in a similar boat.

At any rate, I’ve got the house to myself tonight so it’s time to go hit some strings on my guitar. Nighty night.