We’re 12 days into 2016, and as I prepare to embark on my first business trip of the year I find myself reflecting on the year that was almost as much as the year ahead. 2015 will be memorable in too many ways, not the least of which is the fact that “revenue-based” became a likely permanent part of most frequent flyer’s vocabulary. Of course, 2016 isn’t starting off well for those of us who delve in the arena of “manufactured spending.”
I’ll admit that I’ve toyed with the concept of MS over the last few years, but I never really went “all in.” Frankly, I was always concerned that things were getting a little too easy, and in the end, I just wasn’t a true believer. With the demise of “RedBird,” (I can walk to Target, not so much Walmart) I folded and frankly, I don’t miss it, it’s blue cousin, the fallacy of “free” travel, or the drama that comes with it. I always managed to come up with the points I needed when I really needed them before the “bird cards” and I expect that will continue now that they’re effectively dead. Occasionally, I even buy tickets with American dollars (le gasp), but that’s another blog post.
Travel more – fly less. Truthfully, I don’t mind flying. PreCheck is OK. I have all manner of lounge access to make waiting at the airport easier. As long as I shut my eyes during the boarding chaos and no one reclines into my lap, actually sitting on the airplane isn’t that awful either. However, after years of focus on “status” and making sure I hit some imaginary target, I’m finding the idea of worrying less about points and status and focusing on the joy of the journey very enticing.
Save more. By every financial guru advice book’s calculation, I save an above average amount of my income, but I spend a heckuva lot more on frivolous BS than I should. I’m not happy with my cash position at the moment, and the meltdown in widespread manufactured spending only makes it easier for me to refocus on what really matters financially.
Blog it. It’s hard to believe that come August 2016, I will have been penning this blog for 10 years. Suffice it to say much has happened in that time. I have seen some blogs become wildly successful ventures, and I’m very happy for their writers. I have also seen some blogs pop, make some noise, and disappear. I’m still finding my way, but I’m still here, and still grateful for those of you that have been along for the journey. Here’s to a successful 2016 for all of us.
-MJ, January 12, 2016