My man JP and I went to NY state last weekend to watch the Cult play live AGAIN, for the second time in the same week. The band’s name is very fitting for fans like us who obsessively follow them. It was so worth it as the lead singer, Ian Astbury, tossed me his tambourine!
For this trip, we had two free nights at a hotel, paid for by gas points collected on our credit card. The whole trip, including the concert tickets, cost us very little. For years, I’ve joined points programs to get money off my purchases or money back; now it’s more of a joint effort between me and JP and it’s really paying off. This year so far, we received from reward points alone the following:
Rogers Bank Mastercard: $158 cash back, applied to our credit card balance
Cineplex Scene Membership: Seven free movies
CIBC Mastercard Petro-Canada Points: Three free nights in hotels
PC Membership Points: $20 off our groceries
JP and I recently signed up for the PC Financial Mastercard to really up our game in getting more off our groceries than what our basic membership points card could get us. Of course, this is all worth doing if you pay off your balance each month. It’s also extremely useful and more effective to have a good tracking system. There are some really savvy consumers out there (like Mommy Points and The Points Guy) who really know how to maximize their purchases and rewards points usage and do amazing things like fly the world, stay at hotels, and eat in nice restaurants for free or for very little.
We’re a two-person household. Between the two of us, there are multiple bank accounts, investment accounts, trading accounts, credit cards, and reward memberships. I won’t pretend that I’m on top of keeping track of it all since in the last year, I’d become more focused on writing and marketing my book. We have to pool our efforts. I’m quite lazy with tracking all our rewards points, but thankfully, JP is a whiz when it comes to price comparison on everything we buy and how much our points accumulate. I’m the one who ensures all the bills get paid on time and that we’re within our budget range.
A few years ago, we made it our goal to reduce our monthly expenses to as little as possible, and we did. Last year, we made it our goal to become more aware of how to get rewarded for what we actually spend. This has not only made life cheaper, it’s made it more fun!