Over the past 4 years my husband and I have accrued 300,000 miles on Alaska Airlines so we can take a first class trip to Europe. To do this we have learned to charge EVERYTHING... coffee to groceries to gas to utilities to insurance, etc. It was especially thrilling when we made big purchases (appliances, etc.). We have been very disciplined about paying our bill in full every month. The problem is that we have gradually lost an awareness of how much we spend. We have often had to dip into our cash savings to sustain our expenses. We decided that we have the miles we need for the three of us to take sabbatical in Europe next summer, so the credit card miles are no longer needed.
Beginning today we will attempt to live on cash and a heck of a lot less. Our proposed monthly cash budget is about 50% of our average credit card bill over the past year.
Can it be done?
I spent $2.81 yesterday (4 pieces of whole nutmeg to make snicker doodles and an orange to make old fashioned cocktails - thank god we already had bourbon!). My frugal husband spent $42... crisis ensued when his mother insisted that he attend a family wedding in Austin, TX. Hours into our new plan and we are already faced with a $300 airline ticket!!! Fortunately we were able to use some airlines miles in our United account so he could avoid a family crisis!