The Lady reflects on her week. From tackling taxes to organizing travel rewards, this week centered around organization and trying to avoid another brain implosion. The most profitable things aren’t always glamorous…but it’s a matter of perspective.
The 3 Most Profitable Things I Did This Week
Week Ending July 20, 2017
Made Baby Steps On My Tax Debt
If you are familiar with my tax situation, you know it’s my personal demon and the primary source of my debt. For those who need the background, I suggest your review my tell-all post about managing my tax debt.
This week, I did 4 things on my new-plan checklist; picked up my 2016 returns from Block Advisors (paid $1000 in prep fees), cleared necessary security red tape to file 2015 return (expecting a $1000 refund), scheduled two in-person appointments with the local IRS branch, and got my 2017 estimated tax payment coupons.
By the way, if you are thinking of going into your local IRS branch, you MUST call ahead of time and schedule an appointment. And expect a 2-3 week waiting time.
Long story short, my tax debt just got reduced by another $1000.
All in all, I consider each of these as small steps forward and represents me actually working “the plan.” Yay me.
Conducted a Forensic Audit on My Travel Rewards
On my recent flight to Cabo with my friend, she showed off her nifty organized portfolio of travel-related cards. Frequently flier cards, car rental and hotel loyalty cards, etc. I had organization envy. Then I started noticing all the “save on travel” posts on some of my fellow blogger’s pages. The last straw was me realizing how many emails from my travel accounts that I was deleting without reading. The Universe was obviously talking to me.
I dug up some old files/paperwork and sorted through organizing these accounts. I documented the account numbers, phone numbers and any “points” balances available to me. I also discovered some dead accounts. Apparently, I’m no longer Hertz Gold…which is fine. I don’t think I ever remembered that I was! Some are missing. I could have sworn I had a JetBlue account!
This was a good first step. The next step is to put an intentional strategy in place. In my opinion, having loyalty accounts across 3 or 4 airlines doesn’t get your very far. (Ha! See what I did there?) I did find that Delta SkyMiles never expire. That’s persuasive argument on their behalf. I’ll look into signing up for a credit card eventually for bonus miles but will NOT do that for a while. (Refinancing my car is priority and I still think credit cards are the devil on Earth.)
I’m going to start research (eventually) with these sites:
- US News and World Reports: Best Airline Rewards Program (spoiler: Alaska Airlines tops the list)
- The Simple Dollar: Best Frequent Flyer Programs of 2017
If any of you have posts on this topic, please send them my way via DM.
Obviously, there’s still a lot to do on this front. But now is the time to get a plan in place since future dreams involve a lot of cross-country travel. The whole “plan” thing seems to be working for me on other fronts. Who knew?
Took A Mental Break
Last week, I published 3 posts (Kids Talk 2, Lady’s Room 1, and my tax Full Monty) and was so exhausted that I couldn’t even publish a weekly Memoir. Honestly, I think I fried my brain. Stimulation overload is a real thing for me. It leads to anxiety and then swoops into mild depression.
This week, I knew my day job was going to be super busy. So, I gave myself a break. This week’s post count: 2. And I’m ok with that. If you aren’t convinced on the benefits of relaxation, check what Mental Health America has to say:
“While there are no specific guidelines for how much relaxation a person should incorporate into their lifestyle, making time to unwind and enjoy life is an important part of maintaining good health. Deep relaxation, like meditation, when practiced regularly not only relieves stress and anxiety, but also is shown to improve mood. Deep relaxation has many other potential benefits as well—it can decrease blood pressure, relieve pain, and improve your immune and cardiovascular systems.6
I also splurged on dinner out and a movie with a friend and my daughter. It was a splurge, to be sure, but it was also a lot of fun. Part of living a profitable life in the yellow (the “present” in my Traffic Light model) requires spending–even some excessive spending in order to enjoy the moment and build memories for the future. Wonder Woman with my 9-year old daughter was worth every penny!