Once a month my credit card statement drops on the mat, and I get a chance to peruse my spending that previous month. Actually, this month’s spending was quite minimal and mostly anticipated.
(All Currencies: NTD).
First, we had a nice meal at the beginning of our annual break. That came in at $1518 for two, including a buffet, a nicely prepared main course, and 10% service charge. The restaurant is called Dante’s and is located inside the campus of Taipei National University of the Arts! They serve Italian, French and American style cooking with fresh local and imported ingredients. On Saturdays, they are SUPER busy, and the staff need a bit of politeness training… but we go for the food anyway! We’ll go there if you visit me in Tamsui!
Second item on the list was an odd one: a 2-year domain purchase of my business site in Chinese. This was provided by UnicodeDN and cost me the grand sum of $1314. I’m now thinking of adding another with another variation of our company name.
Third is our regular payment: a combined life insurance and investment product from Cigna. I counselled my wife NOT to buy this, but she didn’t buy it for the obvious reasons. She felt that she was helping her sister go through a rough patch! And indeed her sister has done fabulously and gone on to become a local financial adviser, having passed some tough exams (and that’s one thing Taiwanese are good at: setting exams!). We are definitely not making a lot of money out of this one, as in general, such products don’t offer good value: there are just too many ways to take commissions, including a standard commission, unit transfer fees, I’m sure there’s a currency commission, and, most certainly, there is a credit card fee, of course! In fact, once you consider all of this, I’m surprised that we don’t OWE Cigna money for this product.
Fourth and Fifth payments are for two nights in different hotels while we had a three-day trip to some of the mountains around Lala Mountain in Taoyuen County. I’ve included a You-Tube video for you to get some idea what the area is like. Though the first night we stayed at a hotel near the Yi-lan, in a tourist zone area. Quite pleasant on the East Coast overall, I have to say. Then we drove up to the LaLa Mountain area where we stayed at another hotel called MingChih National Forestry Resort. Neither of these was particularly cheap. But getting a chance to stay there was wonderful, and we were lucky to get a vacancy on the spot. We had a little cabin with NO airconditioning… it was VERY cool outside, in fact about 21C, compared to down on the plains where the temperature and humidity were much higher. Total cost: $6170 for both nights.
There were no penalties or interest charges to pay off this month, either. That left us with the grand total of $11,002 to pay on our credit card, or we could pay the minimum balance of $1100. We also earned 551 bonus points to add to our total. Naturally, we paid it off entirely. A quick look at the calculator below showed us why: we saved about $606 doing this, and it would have been paid off in a year exactly.
How was your August Credit Card spending? Did you spend wisely or blow your budget? Did you pay it off at once or slowly? Use the calculator to find out how much you would spend. Don’t worry, you can simply ignore the British Pound sign and assume dollars or euros.