That’s Temporary DutY for you non-military folks. Military-speak for a business trip.
- During his four-week TDY to Texas in August, John spent $1657.98 (excluding lodging).
- His reimbursement came in the next month at $2,300.45 (again, excluding lodging).
A difference of $642.47, obviously in our favor. This is pretty good considering a core requirement of the class he was attending seemed to be the socializing that went on after-hours. Oh, and also that the $1657.98 included $243.52 toward a new car stereo– so yay, for him!
Seriously, I’m not being sarcastic or begrudging him or anything. His car radio was just one of many things that has been falling apart in his 11-year-old Toyota 4Runner, still running strong though not without quirks that come from racking up some 144,000 cross (multiple-) country miles.
And about to rack up many more. How many miles between Ohio and northern California? I should look that up.
August was pretty tight financially, what with John’s TDY and the kids and I going to Maryland to visit friends and our nation’s capital. A whopping $85.01 went into our savings account that month. Seriously. When the $2300.45 travel reimbursement hit the account in September, every penny of it went into savings. It really annoyed me: I mean, we basically gave Uncle Sam a free loan for the month of August.
We’ve Resurrected a Credit Card
First, for the times when John is traveling and we’re footing the bill for weeks at a time before he has a chance to file for a reimbursement.
Yes, John has a government credit card. But don’t even get me started with the problems we’ve had with their inept billing and accounting services.
But I’ve also gone a step further: I’ve started using that same credit card again for regular purchases: mainly, fuel; groceries; and other regular, unavoidable, monthly bills.
Yea, yea, I know what they say about using a credit card…
…you use more than you would pay with cash. That’s why I am purposefully only charging purchases that I would be making anyway. Also. I’m paying off those purchases on a weekly basis instead of waiting for the credit card payment due date.
I got that idea from a reader comment (and I am so sorry I’m not taking the time right now to look again for which one of you made that comment. But if you recognize yourself when reading this? I thank you! And feel free to remind me of yourself and to take credit in the comments below) and I really can’t believe I never thought of doing it that way before. Paying off your credit card purchases as you make them totally takes away the mentality (for me) of putting off the purchases until the next month, but still gets you the rewards for using the credit card in the first place.
My goal? To rack up enough reward points to finally get my DSLR I’ve been jonesing for for oh, so, so long. Call it what you will: I want me my Nikon.
(And if you have a DSLR recommendation? Please comment away.)