Monthly Archives: October 2012

How my trip home went from $300 to $500 and then down to $150

When I thought about going back to CA for a week to visit family, I had come up with the $300 budget based on what I thought was an educated guess. The flight usually costs ~$350 but, since it would be somewhat last minute booking, I upped that to $500 and I had $400 worth of credits via American Airlines. I doubt I would be eating out very much but I do like to take my parents out for dinner or cook for them and I would need some gas money as I plan on visiting family and friends nearby.

Boy, did I suck at estimating or what?

When I actually started to look at flights for my specific dates, the cost was ~$750! Even after the $400 credit, it was too pricey for one week at home. But, I haven’t been home in over a year now and I really don’t know when I will be able to visit again. I need to put my family first so I decided to bite the bullet. In my overanalyzing style, I decided to put the ticket on a 24 hr hold (free if you are current AAdvantage member).

So, how did the budget deflate again to $150? Next night, as I was on the computer to pull the trigger, I saw my total miles.  I had over 270,000 miles and I only really use miles to get upgrades from economy to first class. I decided to see how much it would be to cash in my miles. I could spend 12.5k to CA on economy direct flight and 25k back on first class with connections for additional $7.50. To me, losing 37k miles and paying $7.50 was much easier to stomach than the $350 just on the flight alone after using $400 credit. So thanks to the miles I have been hoarding, now I am looking at a budget of just $150 total for my visit home.

Now that the flights are booked, I am just busy finishing up errands around the house. I want to make sure that everything is in place and I can just focus on beginning my new job when I return from my trip. For me a new job always means some additional expenditures and tasks and I do hope to review that soon with you, as well as what I have learned in my one year of working at a small start up and why I am choosing to leave.

Hope everyone has a great day!

Blogroll

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Thanks!
Caitlin

Accepting You Can’t Change Others

Thanks everyone for your wonderful feedback on my “to vacation or to not vacation” dilemma. I appreciated everyone’s support to spend the money to go and got really excited about the trip. Fortunately, S, who has been extremely unhappy with his job, had his first round interview at a promising company. Unfortunately for me, they are asking him to come in next Friday and they like to give “assignments” to their potential hires, so we have decided that San Diego will have to wait until another time. I am still going to leave for CA to see my family sometime next week and will spend a week there. Although I was really looking forward to the beach weather, I am somewhat glad that this came up as I realized I still had not made housing plans for a wedding I am attending later this month. Thanks everyone for your feedback, I really appreciated your support to spend the money, especially because the San Diego trip felt somewhat frivolous.

I had my exit interview with my boss today. I went back and forth for days on whether I should be brutally honest with him on my feedback of the company and risk jeopardizing my relationship with the boss (he is known to take criticisms poorly from anyone, even if you present it as an opportunity) or if I should just gloss over it in order to maintain a good relationship with him.  I was hoping that being honest in my feedback may help my colleagues with things such as quicker responses from management, more strategy in marketing, etc. I asked several friends for advice and no one had a good answer.

Just minutes before my meeting with him today, while bouncing ideas off with a friend who will also be leaving her company and has had similar problems with her management, we both came to the realization — our feedback won’t change anything. I am not saying that I don’t think bosses ignore or take offense to areas of improvement suggested by employees, just that our specific bosses would. Knowing nothing would change, there was no reason to risk burning the bridge. So with that, I had a nice conversation with him, discussing some of the issues I have run into while working there (some of it outside of his control) and reiterating some issues I had previously raised.

I do feel somewhat guilty towards my current coworkers since I think if he were to listen to my suggestions and honest feedback, it would have assisted them the most and made the rest of their time at the company easier.

Have you been in a situation like this? If so, what did you do? If not, what would you have done in a similar situation?

Should I spend or save?

I am still stuck in the endless debacle of background search. Seriously, I have gone through an FBI background search before for an internship before and even that did not take this long.

Anyway, one of the big things I am looking forward to is taking a break between work. My immediate and extended family live in California and I haven’t seen them in over a year. Since then my dad has battled cancer successfully and my cousin had the cutest chubbiest baby. I am excited to spend some time with them and my dog that my parents have kidnap and won’t give back. Then, S and I are planning on going to San Diego for a long weekend to relax. 

Technically, this is a frivolous spending, especially the long weekend in San Diego. I anticipate my visit to my parents will cost me about $300 (flight + food + gas) and San Diego will cost about $1,250 for both of us (flight + hotel + food + entertainment). This is money we can put towards the mortgage or to finally cap off the emergency fund. But, at the same time, I think it’s important to be connected to my family and also take a little breather between jobs. I will be “under review” for the first 90 days after the start of the employment, which will mean it will be difficult to do this trip except around Christmas.

What would you do if you were in my shoes? Currently I am $1000 or so short of my 6 month minimum EF and I am going to receive a healthy increase in salary with the new position but I do feel like $1500 is a lot of money to spend in one month. Your advice would be greatly appreciated…