Thursday, October 22, 2009

Off to a great start on the Vanguard Star Account! Maybe you can save a $500 a day!

Through a series of happy coincidences, known as serendipty, my Star account is off to a roaring start. Today in the mail, we received $200 from Greg's uncle as a thank you for some football tickets we'd gotten for them. They were meant as a gift, but his uncle and cousin sent a note insisting they wanted to show how much they appreciated their 50 yard line seats!

Then Greg and I were finalizing our plans for our short November trip that I mentioned earlier. We had planned to go to Los Angeles over the Thanksgiving holiday because there was a client Greg needed to see. Since his air fare and hotel were already going to be paid, we decided I would go too and that would be our winter vacation. Greg's family were thrilled to get the kids for the four day trip.

And we were just finalizing the flights when it occured to me that maybe we should "staycation" instead and Greg could reschedule his client meeting. He was not a hard sell on this. The savings involved are considerable. My flight at the cheapest was going to be $240. Since this was going to be our vacation, we were staying four nights instead of the two planned for client meetings. At a minimum, this is easily another $300, at $150 per night for an L.A. hotel.

Some of the savings will be offset by two round trip 320 mile trips to Iowa. We now plan to go there to celebrate Thanksgiving (which we will enjoy) then drive back that night and let the kids stay until Sunday, when we will pick them up. So 640 miles at the AAA quote of 52 cents is $332.80. We were originally going to meet halfway the day before the flight - 160 miles so $80 and my awesome beyond belief mother-in-law was planning to drive the kids back Sunday so Kirk wouldn't miss school on Monday.

Then there was my email reminder today from Amazon that the sale of DVDs meant $52.19 would be deposited into my seller's account. I paid eight in shipping so that leaves $44.19 in profit (less than the $50 I'd estimated).

So my Star account looks like this:

$200 unexpected payment for tickets.
$240 flight we will not take
$300 two nights of hotel we won't use
$ 44.19 Closet items
LESS -$252.80 extra driving costs
$531.39 toward Vanguard Star Account.

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