By: Revanche

Oops, he won!

September 14, 2010

Oh so very randomly, except for the bit where he entered on purpose, PiC won a giveaway for a free entry to the Chicago Marathon.  I’m told that registration runs a bit over $100, and it’s one of the races he’s always wanted to run, so I was willing to support his desire to go. In spirit.  To complicate matters, though, because our friends have moved out of the Chicago area, he wouldn’t have anyone to stay with so he wanted to make a weekend of it with me.  Oh, the nerve of him, wanting to spend quality time together! 😉

Financially, I was hesitant. We have very different saving and spending styles, so if the Travel Fund doesn’t support it, I’m usually less in favor of taking a trip. He, on the other hand, regularly saves a big chunk every month sight unseen and says that’s good enough – the rest is for spending.

Leave it to a giveaway prize to reveal our money philosophies, yet again!

My compromise was this: Given the potential cost of a marathon weekend out of town, I’d be willing to consider going if we could keep it under a certain amount.  In the meantime, however, I would check hotel points and other airline points/miles/reward options to see if we could creatively fund the trip.  Between a Southwest reward flight and Hilton points, I was seeing the budget drop to less than $400 for transportation.  Clearly, I was Olly-olly Optimism.

Alas, Southwest’s Standard rewards were already all booked out, leaving me with only the Freedom reward.  For those who aren’t familiar, that’d call for using two 1-way tickets to equal an unrestricted free 1-way flight. Not exactly worth it in this situation.

A sale came up and PiC jumped on it during the work day, but I’d rather he didn’t yet tell me how much we blew my second estimate out of the water (I’m guessing airfare was about $900 for both tickets, *cringe*); meanwhile I’ve finally put my hard-earned Hilton points to good use and booked two nights for free at a downtown Hilton hotel.  I’ve been using the Hilton Platinum American Express for six years, charging only post office, cell phone and restaurant bills for a 5x point return to earn enough points for two nights in a decent hotel. Call that dedication to the financial cause! 🙂

It’s a bit stressful doing all this last minute planning for a trip in early October, and all the while wondering if he’s going to be physically prepared for the race because I can’t carry a full grown man to the airport on my back if it comes to that.

We set up the reservations so that I could back out up to the week before without any real financial repercussion and he wouldn’t lose the hotel room as it’s booked in both our names. Well worth the 10 minute phone call to the Hilton reservations line!

Speaking of giveaways, here’s hoping my luck is as good as PiC’s but costs us less money in the following!


My thanks …..

to Danielle for hosting this week’s Carnival of Personal Finance and for including my post Forebearing Fridays:  Warning Signs During an Interview.  Be sure to submit to next week’s Carnival!

Giveaways are being hosted by …. 

Couple Money: Celebrating their first anniversary, Couple Money is giving away a new laptop to a lucky winner!

Out of Debt Again: is hosting one of those monster celebrations for her 3 year anniversary with over $800 in prizes!

7 Responses to “Oops, he won!”

  1. Isn’t it fun being a couple? My husband is content to let me handle our finances for the most part and isn’t a crazy spender but he seems to have a lot easier time parting with our money without all that hassle of looking for the very best deal. I hope you get to go, it’s all about making memories as my MIL says. 🙂 Thanks for the mention of my 3 year blogoversary and I also wanted to share that Kevin at is having a six month blogoversary celebration with a few cool prize packages. Thanks again!

  2. Oh, Chicago is a wonderful city! The Art Institute, the ethnic restaurants, the architecture….have fun.

  3. Penny says:

    It might be $450 for a flight from CA to Chicago? That sounds so… expensive. Hoping he booked it more cheaply. But perhaps you could use the getaway… if you would enjoy it and can get away from work, I say go for it.

  4. Nicole says:

    Have fun!

    $450 sounds about right to me. Flights have been more expensive recently which makes me want to travel even less.

    And yeah, hit the Art Institute– I think that’s the best part of Chicago.

  5. Chicago is a great city, so make sure you take enough time to enjoy the city!!!

    Good luck to PiC!

  6. Christine says:

    Granted, financial considerations play a big factor. But have a wonderful time. Enjoy it. Start bulking up to carry Pic back on the plane. 😉

    funny, i hated Chicago at 19. Went back for a visit at 25 only to love it. Go figure.

  7. Nice! I’m running a marathon the same day, but not that one. A whole crowd of my friends will running in Chicago, though.

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