thank you

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Booked: How I used points to save $2,000+ on five days at FinCon 2020

fincon 2020

Dang, conferences are expensive these days! Especially if you’re paying for it yourself and not getting reimbursed from a job. But FinCon is one I’m happy to self-finance.

I’m genuinely interested in the content, meeting like-minded peeps, and immersing myself in a world of ideas about money. Now that I’m FIRE-ing up my efforts more than ever and missed last year in DC, I simply had to go. But I didn’t want to pay the piper.

So I burned a batch of old Marriott points for a five-night stay only four minutes from the conference hall, plus a few Amex Membership Rewards points. And used Citi ThankYou points and statement credits to fly there and back. The only thing I’ll pay for is food, rideshares to/from the airports, and dog boarding. 💥

fincon 2020 points

There’s yours truly among the revelers at FinCon

All told, I think I paid ~$100 for the flights and hotel. FinCon, here I come!

FinCon 2020 with points

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Gratitude / Life Changes

The times, they are a-changin’ (aren’t they always?).

Ah, the open road...

Ah, the open road…

Thank YOU!

I’m having a great time keeping up with the points and miles community here, and hopefully adding helpful information where I can. So I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you to everyone reading.

thank-youI’m continually blown away by the kindness of my readers and how many awesome people there are who are as into points and miles and credit cards as I am.

My links

Also wanted to say thanks for hitting up my referral links lately. They’ve been there for a sec, kinda hanging out in the sidebar. I was accepted into the referral program – which is awesome because I don’t have to swear allegiance to any card(s) in particular. Most of the good ones are there, though. So thanks for clicking when you’re considering opening a new card. It’s a nice bonus for sure, and I appreciate the support!

Oh, and I have a page of Services I Like, too. I do posts from time to time about a cool service (like Paribus or Evernote), then I’ll post the referral link. I only add services I really love, so thanks for using those links, too!

Life stuff

Sunset in ABQ

Sunset in ABQ

So this kinda goes hand-in-hand with the call-out of the referral links. I’m slowly but surely doing these things with my life:

  • Building up this blog
  • Doing more freelance writing
  • Slowly making an NYC exit plan
  • Paying down my debt and saving up for a house simultaneously

These past 6 months, I’ve had to get a lot of different projects off the ground by leveraging my own money (See Smart Debt: Is carrying a balance ever a good idea?). I’m happy to report that these projects are going well. There have been some hiccups and unforeseen stuff, like there’s supposed to be with new ventures, and I plopped down my credit cards to keep the momentum going.

Sure, I earned some points in the process. But it was mainly a gamble. And I straddled the fine line between Smart Debt and plain ol’ Dumb Debt. So I’d like to ameliorate that.

Then, I’d like to save up a nice down payment for a house somewhere that’s… Not New York. I was thinking a cabin in the woods in Vermont, or a little house in northern New Mexico, or… I’ve been tossing around a few places.

Mountains and lake in Vermont

Mountains and lake in Vermont

I’d like access to American Airlines at the nearest airport, an easy mortgage, and enough services that I can still do my art projects on the side. So that could be a lot of places. Definitely a small to mid-sized city. That’ll be a huge and welcome change.

Future travels

Getting back to travel, I’d like to focus domestically this summer. Yeah!

I was thinking of visiting Chicago, and/or flying into Vancouver, and making my way down to NorCal with stops in Seattle and Portland. It’s been far too long since I’ve visited Chicago, and I’ve never been to Oregon…

And this winter, I was thinking of an extended visit to Central America, a region I’ve never explored.

In general, I’m assessing my priorities and figuring out what I can do with this writing and blogging stuff. I’m working to fit everything in and to grow everything together.

Bottom line

So that’s it. Just wanted to say thanks for using my links – it’s been a real boost and a great support for me these past couple of months, especially as I figure out what’s next and how to grow from here.

Thank you – one of the most powerful phrases there is!