Million Miles, Jelly Beans and San Diego

Hey! It's me.

I know it's been a while.

To be honest, I just didn't feel like writing in December. Then in January, I felt bad for not writing for not posting that long… so I didn't post. And then again in February…

But enough of that. I'm back (I think). And here are some crazy things that have been happening in the mean time.

Million (and a half) Miles

TopCashBack has been running some good cashback deals for American Express gift cards this winter so I bought quite a few. I'm also a regular at a couple local Walmarts, CVS stores and grocery stores taking advantage of a few other deals to bank lots and lots (and I do mean lots) of miles, hotel points, and cashback. I finally gave in and signed up for AwardWallet to keep track of it all - it is similar to Mint and helps keep tabs of award account balances as well as expiration dates for most programs out there.

My AwardWallet summary

Once I gathered up all my accounts, even I was surprised to see that there was well over a million miles and points "saved up". And that's after I made a few redemptions worth a few hundred thousand points for potential travel later this year.

So where am I going with this?

Well, I could brag about it (I think I just did). But what I find really interesting is that I don't really feel the urgent need to use these anymore. Having a cool million and a half points and miles means I could travel anywhere I want on this planet tomorrow, essentially for free. Yet I am not doing that. I find it interesting how having the ability to do this almost kills my desire to do it.

I'm not saying I'm not gonna use these at some point - I will for sure. I just feel like my wanderlust for travel has been more than satisfied in the last couple of years. So while I will still be taking some trips this year (more on that soon), having a verity of points in the "bank" allows me to dream up some pretty crazy itineraries taking advantage of various quirks in each program.

In the meantime, I have been helping my sister and some friends with their travel plans. And debating starting my own award booking service. Again…

Jelly Beans

I wish I had another pudding story for you - earning millions of miles buying jelly beans! But this is not it and has nothing to do with with earning miles.

Another thing I recently became obsessed with interested in is selling stuff on Amazon. And I don't mean a book here and some other random stuff around the house there. I mean actual volume selling.

That's where the jelly beans come in. 162 bags of them, to be exact:

jelly beans for sale on Amazon

After listening to Pat Flynn's Smart Passive Income podcast interview with Jessica Larrew, I decided to give Fulfilled By Amazon, or FBA, program a try. Essentially, it allows sellers to ship their inventory to Amazon where it is stored until someone makes a purchase. After that happens, Amazon takes care of fulfilling the order - packing, shipping and providing customer service. Not having to store the inventory or making daily trips to the post office is liberating, but the real advantage of the FBA program is that orders fullfiled by Amazon are eligible for its free shipping policies (Prime as well as free shipping on orders over $35+).

These reasons are apparently enough for some people to purchase two bags of jelly beans for $15.95 while I got them for $3 at Walgreens. And I can vouch it is true  because I just sold two two-packs last night.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Back to the podcast:

Jessica started out selling a few things on eBay but now she is mostly using the FBA program to replace the income she lost when she was furloughed from her job. In fact, she is doing so well that her husband quit his job and they now both work a few dozen hours a month and earning handsome returns. The kicker for me thou was the fact that she is not pushing to go big. In tune with Pat Flynn's message, these folks figured out how to make enough money so they can live the lifestyle they want.

Will I get there with jelly beans? Of course not. Looking back at it, it was a pain an adventure to get it all packed up and ship out (and those beans are heavy!) so no more jelly beans for me. But I have been clearing my local Walgreens, CVS and few other stores for other items to sell. We'll see how that goes.

Boxes of jelly beans ready to go

San Diego

Lastly, if all goes well, I plan on spending this coming weekend a weaken in April in San Diego. I've only been there once a few years ago and, as luck would have it, it was the weekend it rained for the first time in nine months. So I didn't get to do much. Any suggestions? Anyone going to be around? I am looking forward to some fresh sushi!

Friendly giraffe at San Diego ZooFriendly giraffe at San Diego Zoo

Well, that's enough for today. Stay tuned for more :)