GI Jane Finances

September 4, 2010

Travelling Jane

This month I plan on going home to Chicago for about 10 days.  I cashed in 20,000 miles and purchased 5,000 additional miles to upgrade one way.  I have flown in business class before for about 2 hours–but never for a 12 hour flight.  I do have about 2 layovers: one at Narita and the other in Minneapolis.  On the way back, I will have only one layover.  I also have two one-day passes for the Delta skylounge.  The additional perk is being able to breeze by the line, check-in and board the flight early. 

I also booked tickets to see Billy Elliot with my mother.  We really wanted to see the Lion King.  However, it does not begin until Sept 29…a couple of days after I leave.  A long-time friend of mine will be coincidentally home while I am there.  Oh, I rented my Hertz car from Hotwire for $300.  I cashed in some additional points for a $100 voucher…so it will end up being $200 for a car.  Very impressed with Hotwire.  You do not know what company it is until the transaction is paid for and confirmed.  Without Hotwire, a Hertz car on Expedia was like $99 a day.  Hotwire uses the same model as Priceline apparently.

Last weekend, I went a sojourn to Mt Seorak, Nakasan Temple and the East Sea coast.  It was gorgeous.  I also climbed several hours to reach a Buddhist cave.  A very good workout.  The scenery was just breathtaking.  I would love to head back to the Naksan temple area and spend more time at the beach.  My co-worker told me that there is a popular outdoor spring and hot sauna there.

On the money front.  My retirement accounts increased by $44,000 since last August.   Woo hoo!  I will update my networth once I receive rent and pay the rental mortgage.  On the bus ride back from the trip, an Airman (I think Staff Sgt) said that he socks away $1700 a month in savings.  He said that he will have about $50,000 saved after living here for three years.  I was very impressed with how money savvy he is…and it turned about he worked in finance.  Good for him.  I extended partly for that reason as well.  I would have to pay out-of-pocket for rent and utilities in the states.  Plus moving costs money and start-up stuff you need to be situated is expensive.  I bought a brand new LCD Sony Bravia, Blue ray, sound system and a used Kia when I moved here.  I purchased furniture and artwork since.  If I lived in the dorm like I did in Japan, there would have been very little money spent.  I only bought four Oriental rugs in my last assignment.  But lost thousands in selling my money pit.  I actually got to enjoy my money here.


GI Jane



  1. I am consistently impressed with Hotwire. I used their hotel search feature and even their 2 1/2 – 3 star hotels are incredible, usually going for around 35-40 dollars depending on location. I haven’t used them for anything else but would highly recommend using for lodging….I wish more Army enlisted would adopt that Airman’s mentality of realizing a great money saving opportunity when it presents itself.

    Comment by Brian S. — October 13, 2010 @ 8:47 am

    • Yeah. I was annoyed that I couldn’t use my Hertz $100 voucher after it was booked. Lesson learned.

      Comment by gijanefinances — October 13, 2010 @ 4:55 pm

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