1. Happy 2 Years! That’s amazing!! If your travel hacking card was a Chase card – consider pairing it with a Chase Freedom card for one year. That’s a no fee card that has great 5X categories to earn Ultimate Rewards. Just a thought 🙂 We happily pay our $95 fee each year for the 12+ flights/car rentals it helps us get for only the taxes. I’ll play along – Finally nailed not going back to work! But our fail is holding way too much cash in money markets and not investing more…Guess we’ll be ready for a downturn – if it ever comes!

  2. Jover

    I believe you’re referring to the Chase Sapphire Preferred card? You should call and downgrade it to the Chase Freedom Unlimited for 1.5% cash back, if you’re getting out of the travel hacking game. You also should be able to get the annual fee reimbursed if you’re within 30 days of it being charged, or ask about a pro-rated reimbursement.

  3. I love how you don’t apologize for the things you love to spend money on! That rocks. 6 figures as a teacher? I’m moving to your state! Oh, but we don’t have sales tax, or income tax, in NH, so maybe not… 🙂 Congrats on 2 years of blogging and your 262 posts!

    I have forgotten to cancel a travel hacking card meeself, and called and asked for a reprieve, and got one, so I think you’ll be ok. They usually give you another year on the card for free, or downgrade you.

    My money truth: we pay for a cleaner. Even though I’m only a part-time teacher and could clean myself. I’m really bad at cleaning, and Mr. ThreeYear goes postal when the house is a mess. So we shell out for a cleaner to come.

    • My district pays quite well when you’ve done 20+ years (for now…knocks on all the wood!). My husband’s district is another story. It’s definitely a perk to living in a high COL suburb — those sky high property taxes fuel at least a teeny slice of my salary!

      (We have a cleaning service, too. $100 a month. Not apologizing, no way, no how.)

  4. Great post, Penny! The 403b options are terrible at our schools, as well, so we don’t know what to do. My husband is contributing to one, but it has such high fees that I want to get his money out of there and have him contribute to a 457b instead, but unfortunately that’s not an option at my school. My goal for this year is to figure out what the least painful option is, and start contributing. Ideally, I’d love to have some numbers on a piece of paper and arm myself with the NY Times article about the predatory practices of 403b administrators and storm into the Superintendent’s office to demand better, but as an untenured teacher I’m a little hesitant to rock the boat too much. We’re already maxing out Roth IRAs, so I know we need to get going with other investments.

    • We actually opened a taxable account because our options are so bad. I’m hoping to figure something out this year, but I didn’t want to totally stall out in terms of investing. Still, I would love to be able to lower our taxable income amount! And I’m with you on not rocking the boat. I wish it was more of a priority in my district, but most of my colleagues seem to be fine with the fees (or oblivious to them).

  5. Congrats on two years!

    I’ve done that before with a travel card… It was Capital One and with a phone call they were very nice to waive the fee and credit my account. It’s worth a try, but even still the travel card was probably worth it.

  6. This post made me smile the whole time. Thank you for telling it like it is! Never apologize for living your life the way that works for you. And bless your heart it seems like you are still LIGHT YEARS ahead of 99% of the world, while still living it up in the areas you value (wedding, cars). You may have just made my top 10 idols list.

  7. Congrats on two years and also for sharing this post!!

    We also had an expensive wedding and honeymoon. It was absolutely unbelievable in every single way. I owned a bar/restaurant at the time so the alcohol was luckily a minor expense, but the venue, food, and our amazing trip to Turks and Caicos were worth every single penny. I will have only one marriage and honeymoon so I was happy with spending the money, especially because we didn’t go into debt to it.

    I also have spent lavishly on sporting event and concert tickets. I rarely go, but I want to enjoy the experience and atmosphere when I do. I loved finding a low level ticket to a New York Ranger game when I was in New York for work. I was finding paying $11 for a beer at every intermission and cheering on my team in the word famous Madison Square Garden.

    Those types of experiences are what I am perfectly happy splurging on!

    • I would love to go to Madison Square Garden one day! I’d also love to go to Turks and Caicos. I honestly don’t might spending on experiences if they’re meaningful for me. We tried to let our values (namely taking care of our guests) drive our wedding planning rather than Pinterest pressure. And it worked out!

  8. Congratulations on two years!

    I could (and might) write a whole post about my money confessions. Some of my worst have been 1) not filing my tax return for four years when I was in medical school and 2) forgetting to cancel my internet when I moved to a different province and not noticing that I was still paying it for a long, long time. So much money wasted…

    • It’s terrible to say, but I LOLed at the internet story…only because it’s something I can imagine doing! I would love for you to write a post like that.

  9. Ahaha! Well happy two years of blogging. 🙂 And congrats on that little half Penny too!

    Okay, so we also bought a new car and … I don’t regret it at all. The interest rate was ridiculously low, we did a trade-in to decrease the cost, and it’s a reliable frickin’ car that we’ll drive into the ground.

  10. Happy blogoversary! I love your brags and your confessions. I also love the fact that you’re doing this all as a two-teacher household. I wish you were going to be teaching my kiddo one day (although we’ll never leave NC any more than you’ll leave IL.Beaches, mountains, barbecue, and the best college hoops in the nation :))

    I adore the new car I bought a few years ago (and it has several dents, thanks to a renegade deer a few weeks ago). I paid in full, it’s comfy and safe. And while we do some things pretty cheaply, I still love my only-slightly-off-peak beachfront rental weeks too much to give it up or move back a row, and I can’t seem to get our grocery bills much lower than $500 a month for 3 people.

    • Oh, boo! Never move the beach front rental back a row. That sounds so un-beach like! I’m glad that I’m not the only one that has these money confessions to make!

      And I would love to teach Little Bit one day. She seems like THE BEST!

  11. Congratulations! Haha- I loved this post… going into labor without realizing it made me laugh!

    I’m impressed that you have been saving in your ROTH since such a young age… I’m hoping to educate our son so he does the same!!!

    • I have my dad to thank for that! It was only going into a bank CD for the majority of the time, and I definitely didn’t totally understand what I was doing. He just kept promising me that one day I’d be really happy. He’s not wrong!

  12. Happy two years my bloggy friend!!!! <3

    What comes to my mind whenever you confess about your splurges is, "She's really got her financial priorities figured out." I think you've found a really good way to make your money count, whether it's a trip to Vegas or paying ahead on your mortgage. You're making the right decisions for YOUR unique happiness. I'm always so impressed by your mindfulness and balance with money. Keep up the good work 🙂

    • Thanks so much, Harmony! I’m glad it comes off that way. We are definitely still figuring things out, but I’ve gotten so much better at spending on what actually adds value to our lives. I’m learning!

  13. That post should come with a spew warning. Seriously funny stuff. Glad I wasn’t drinking coffee when I read it.

    Congratulations on your 2 year blogging anniversary. I also congratulate you on your personalized style of FIRE. So much of what is written these days makes it seem like you are a moron if you haven’t retired by the time you are 26. What about those of us who like to work? Anyway, I really liked this post. Keep ’em coming.

  14. Happy blogiversary! I share two truths with you (sort of). I love my new car…well ok, it’s 3 years old now, but I still love it as much as the day I bought it new. I share it with my wife and we’re planning to keep it for a long, long time. Also, we’re not moving anytime soon. NJ is terribly expensive, but family and friends, along with several other reasons, keep us in the garden state. Anyway, good job on your “nailed it” and your “wait I did what”. Knowing when to spend and when to save is the key.

  15. Yeah!! Happy 2 years!!! ???

    I have not yet tried travel hacking or card churning becuae I am afraid to forget to cancel the card and get tat silly fee! I still think it’s worth a shot to call and see if they will waive it. Surely 5 min is worth $95? Well, maybe not if it’s 5 min away from HP!

    Like you, I have hoarded tons of arcade tickets only to never use them. Ever! Haha – it feels so much better hoarding cash. 😉

  16. Secret Retirees

    Happy 2 year anniversary Penny. It’s been so much fun following you the past couple years. You and Mr P seem like the nicest people on the planet. so great that you’ll make 6 figures at 40. That’s a big accomplishment as is paying off your house early. I’m one of your biggest fans.

  17. Congrats! I’m from New York, so I’m not sure what pizza you’re talking about – oh – do you mean that casserole of cheese and sauce? Got it. I know what you mean. Good luck not drowning in that…

    I’m sure my blogging partner Don (from Illinois) is shaking his head right now.

    Anyway – again – congrats. Buying a new car and driving it till it’s dead can definitely make sense. We’ve been there and have yet to regret it. Who cares about the depreciation when you’re going to sell it for next to nothing when it’s finally unsafe to drive or unreliable enough that you can’t count on it?

    We look forward to more posts!

  18. Happy Anniversary! Congrats on getting to make 6 figures by the time you’re 40! That’s cool to know and being able to plan that far out.

    I’ve also bought a brand new car. Not once, but twice, wait 3 times if you count Mrs. SSC’s car in the mix! Once even after we’d been blogging and opened ourselves to the ire of the PF community, lol.

    The first new car – they didn’t have what I wanted on the lot or in nearby states, and the Camaro’s had just started production, so I literally ordered it from the factory and when I picked it up a couple of months later, it was like heaven. 🙂 No F’s given here. 🙂

  19. Congrats on two years!

    I know that once I get to live with my girlfriend, we can and will pay for a cleaning service. We are both professionals with nice enough salaries, but it will also help prevent one partner overdoing it. My girlfriend has a disability and I don’t want her hurting herself so we can have a cleaner place, but I also don’t want to do everything. So a cleaner should solve that “problem” before it can occur.

    I don’t regret the enormous student loan balance I have. I would not have the career and the life I have without it. I would not be in the city I am now. The city that helped me come out. The city where I met my girlfriend. Nope, I don’t regret that at all.

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