Good afternoon!  The Husband and I went on an excellent run this morning.  He starts off slow, but he ends up being SO fast!  He was bookin’ it by the end, and I struggled to keep up.  My legs still feel a little tight from Sunday’s 20 miler.


Here are our statistics:


  • Distance: 3.0 miles
  • Duration; 28:01
  • Mile 1: 9:34
  • Mile 2: 9:26
  • Mile 3: 9:00 (fastest pace: 6:15!)




Then I made a yummy lunch.  Beans, beans – they’re good for your heart!


I just love Vegetarian Baked Beans (from the can!).  So delicious.  Reminds me of summertime.  I went a little overboard on my portion, but I took one for the team and ate it all.


Plus, a hummus and sprouts sammie on an Arnold Sandwich Thin.


And a Clementine:


Chocolate orange for dessert!


Responsible Spending Challenge Tip!


Last night, I called my credit card company and politely asked for a lower interest rate.  And guess what?  They GAVE me a lower rate without a fight!  If you’re carrying a balance on your credit cards, definitely give your company a call and ask for a reduced rate.  You may be surprised.


Also, I finally cashed in my “Rewards Points” on my credit card.  I had accumulated more than 20,000 points!


I was tempted to use my points to get a Target gift card, but then I realized I don’t need more clothes – I need money for necessities!  I cashed in my 20,000 points for $200 in gas station gift cards – cha-ching!


Considering that we spent more than $400 last month on gas and tolls, this “free money” will go to good use!



  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is December 1, 2009, 12:45 pm

    That is a great idea to cash in the points. I love getting gas gift cards!

  • Tina December 1, 2009, 12:45 pm

    My CC rate just increased from 8.99 % to 18.99%! So annoying! I should call them.

    • Kara December 1, 2009, 1:44 pm

      Way to go…you’re already making so much progress! I definitely need to call my credit card company…my rate recently increased and for no apparent reason (I’ve never been late or missed a payment, etc.)!

      • Foy December 1, 2009, 2:56 pm

        Come January a bunch of new laws with go into effect that make it a lot harder for credit card companies to change your interest rates. So many of the companies are lowering limits, upping interested and cutting down on points programs and such in preparation. Changing the interest is/was one of their main money makers.

  • Katie (Sweet Tater) December 1, 2009, 12:46 pm


  • legalstyle December 1, 2009, 12:48 pm

    such a good idea! wow!

  • Kelly (the Running Phoodie) December 1, 2009, 12:49 pm

    Wow, you’re really doing great with this money challenge. Suze Orman would be impressed 😉

  • Estela @ Weekly Bite December 1, 2009, 12:51 pm

    Gas gift cards are AWESOME!

  • Jordan @ Salt Sweat Sugar December 1, 2009, 12:52 pm

    Wowweeeee, congrats Caitlin! =] Use that gas to get your butts up to St Augustine =]

  • Britt - Runnerbelle December 1, 2009, 12:53 pm

    What a fabulous idea! I was good/bad and just traded in some of our Amex points for plane tickets. Better than buying them, but still probably could have used them towards a necessity like you did.

  • Teacherwoman December 1, 2009, 12:55 pm

    How awesome are you! Lower interest rate and cashing in your points for $200! Wahoo!

    BTW, I looked into last night, for myself, and think I am going to try and use that to help myself with my spending/savings issues! Thanks for the info! I look forward to learning more through your posts!

  • Leah @ L4L December 1, 2009, 12:55 pm

    I seriously need to call my credit card companies and try and get lower rates too. Were you seriously just like, “I’d like a lower interest rate, please!”?!?!?!

    • Caitlin December 1, 2009, 12:57 pm

      yea, just say “hi, id like to inquire about getting a lower interest rate, or i may be canceling my account.”

      • Kristie Lynn December 1, 2009, 2:48 pm

        Does that work even if you have a high balance on the card? I feel like they would just laugh at me and be like “good luck paying your $3500 first!”

        • Caitlin December 1, 2009, 2:53 pm

          i had that much on my card when they lowered it.

  • Mel @ She Runs Brooklyn December 1, 2009, 12:55 pm

    ha awesome. i love free money! I get points from my citicard and am able to cash in about $50 a year. although… they keep raising the interest rate. Last year it climbed from 15% to 20%, then i got a letter saying they had to move it to 25% as of 2010. Adios CitiCard! I already ordered a new Card at 13% APR… and I will be cutting up the other.

  • Stephanie J December 1, 2009, 12:56 pm

    I think the appropriate response for this is “booyah!” Awesome on the money stuff!!!! Feels good, doesn’t it?

  • Lauren December 1, 2009, 12:57 pm

    Love when that happens. I have Chase too. But I have the rewards money instead of points. I love is literally like free money. Can’t beat that!

  • Anne P December 1, 2009, 12:57 pm

    Isn’t it annoying how boys are just normally faster runners without doing training??

    That’s pretty awesome on the cashing in points. I should get a credit card that does that. How long did it take you to accumulate that much!?

    • Caitlin December 1, 2009, 12:59 pm

      oh, like three years.

      • Laura December 1, 2009, 1:12 pm

        I have a Chase Freedom credit card (that I pay off in full each month) and I earn roughly $150 in cash back each year. I’m super frugal (I get a thrill out of saving haha) so if you’re a bigger spender you’d earn even more. You get 1% cash back on all purchases and 3% cash back on your top three “categories” (it chooses categories for you).

        • megan December 1, 2009, 1:22 pm

          I have that card too and love it!

  • Sana December 1, 2009, 12:58 pm

    Go youu! That target gift card sounds super temptinggg!

  • Chrisitne December 1, 2009, 1:00 pm

    Mmmm I love beans! “Beans beans good for the heart. The more you eat the more you fart” lol. Used to love that growing up.

    Wowza, I’ll have to call my CC company tonight. Hopefully I don’t have to argue with them either! Thanks for the tip 🙂

  • Christie @ Honoring Health December 1, 2009, 1:00 pm

    man, you are so brave. I would have totally taken the target cards 🙂

  • RhodeyGirl December 1, 2009, 1:01 pm

    Congrats on the gas cards lady! That is AWESOME!!!!!

  • MelissaNibbles December 1, 2009, 1:01 pm

    Great job in taking control and being proactive about your finances!

  • alli December 1, 2009, 1:03 pm

    great run! 🙂
    i want a credit card for that reason, i just haven’t gotten around to doing it.

  • Sarah @ The Foodie Diaries December 1, 2009, 1:03 pm

    That’s such a good idea!

    And those beans.. I love!! They are so summery 🙂

  • Mama Pea December 1, 2009, 1:04 pm

    I think most people would be surprised about what companies will do if you ask. They want to keep your business. I’ve gotten cell phone charges waived, price matching and coupon prices when I didn’t have one, just for speaking up! Being extra nice and batting eyelashes helps too…

  • Andrea December 1, 2009, 1:04 pm

    I use my Chase debit card’s 25 bucks to get the card that accumulates points, but I’ve gotten well over 150 dollars back because I’m not a cash carrier.

    This is awesome when your in school and your parents are helping you and you don’t want to let them in on how you have 7 bucks left for groceries..cha ching, cash in my points and I am good for another week!

  • Sarah @ See Sarah Eat December 1, 2009, 1:04 pm

    Sweet, you are really doing everything you can, that is awesome. Plus I think it’s great that so many people will read this and do the same for themselves 🙂

  • Shannon (The Daily Balance) December 1, 2009, 1:15 pm

    nice work, chica!

  • Linzi December 1, 2009, 1:18 pm

    Way to get creative! I love that you are finding money in such unique places. You haven’t even left your house yet! Right on!

  • Erica December 1, 2009, 1:27 pm

    Great run and lunch! BUT more importantly, thanks for the tip, and mostly, the REMINDER to use my reward points! I have been meaning to use them for awhile now but keep forgetting. Here’s to the goodies I will find this afternoon!

  • Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers December 1, 2009, 1:27 pm

    way to go! look at that initiative! a target card would be hard to resist! 🙂

  • ms December 1, 2009, 1:27 pm

    hey caitlin. i’m a fellow orlandoian (or whatever the term would be) and just thought i’d let you know i drove by royal thai (for the first time ever) today and thought of you!

    • Caitlin December 1, 2009, 1:31 pm

      YAY Royal Thai!

  • brandi December 1, 2009, 1:32 pm

    that’s awesome that you got the lower rate AND got those gas cards! What a great way to use those points – at least you know you guys will use that money!

    I love those veg baked beans, too! they’re my favorite 🙂

  • Mica December 1, 2009, 1:33 pm

    Aww, I bet you and Hubby running down the street were the cutest UK-US couple ever!

  • Jenna December 1, 2009, 1:37 pm

    glad you got some gas money!

  • Good Taste. Healthy Me December 1, 2009, 1:40 pm

    Yum I do love beans haha.

    Awesome on the gas giftcards! Those are going to be really good for you guys!

  • Paige (Running Around Normal) December 1, 2009, 1:42 pm

    Woot great job on the run, guys!
    That’s great on the gas cards! Reminds me I need to go see how many points I’ve accumulated.

  • Megan @ Megzz Wins At Life December 1, 2009, 1:43 pm

    GREAT tip Caitlin! I tried lowering my rate and I got no where 🙁

  • Allie (Live Laugh Eat) December 1, 2009, 1:45 pm

    $200 in gas money!? WOW!

    Regarding your last post…I used to run in Hyde Park ALL THE TIME when I was abroad in London. It’s breathtaking!! So jealous of you!!

  • Scorpio Woman December 1, 2009, 1:53 pm

    Thanks for the tip, I’ll try that with both credit cards. It would be great to have a lowest interest rate. That’s great for the 200 $ gas station gift card 🙂

  • FatFitnessFood December 1, 2009, 1:55 pm

    Sounds like a fun run with your husband. Good job on being pro-active with your finances.

  • Yasmin December 1, 2009, 2:04 pm

    Caitlin, I love this new challenge you’ve put up. It is so pertinent, and really a wonderful habit to develop. There is something in it for everyone to learn from. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people either complaining or going above and beyond to make money to maintain their lifestyle, whereas re-budgeting their spending would probably have been more helpful.

  • Joelle (The Pancake Girl) December 1, 2009, 2:04 pm

    Yay for run.. I actually ran today too for the first time in months, and am beyond happy!

    For some reason I just cannot get into eating sprouts.. makes me feel like a cow nibbling grass. 😉

  • Ellen December 1, 2009, 2:09 pm

    Good to know–I just may give my credit card company a ring tonight. I’m always so bad at asking for things like that, but I know I should. Heck, I NEED to!


  • Evan Thomas December 1, 2009, 2:23 pm

    I love baked beans but they make running a little displeasant, haha. And that’s an awesome free gift and a wise choice!

  • laura dishes December 1, 2009, 2:28 pm

    Good tip! I have the Chase Freedom card and love it… I just got $50 cash back and a $25 Target card. Oh, you will feel so good every time you go to get gas and you don’t have to pay!

  • Sara December 1, 2009, 2:30 pm

    Another renegotiating tip: Your cable company/internet service provider! I call about once a year when I notice the fees creeping up. Often they have some great introductory rate that’s way less per month, and usually if you ask for it, they’ll give you that lower rate for a year! I got rid of my landline phone and asked for the cheaper internet/cable package and saved almost $600 this year.

  • Sarah W. December 1, 2009, 2:32 pm

    ooooh cashing in for gas cards IS very smart!

    in April we cashed some of ours points towards the purchase of airline tickets to TX for a cousin’s wedding – it worked out nicely because those tickets would have been astronomically rediculous in price!!!

    We are getting ready to cash in our points towards a $200 gift certificate to DELL so my hubby can get a NETBOOk (>$450) using the gift cert plus the $100 gift cert my parents gave him for his bday and additional money his mother will be giving him for xmas – works out great!

  • Kara December 1, 2009, 2:36 pm

    Amazing job on the run and the CC victories!! I’m going to call my credit card company tonight to try and re-negotiate 🙂

  • Lindsey @ EatReadRun December 1, 2009, 2:37 pm

    Good idea calling your credit card company and negotiating. Most are willing to work with you to help you pay more – they want your money! I try to pay my credit card off in full each month to avoid any charges. That was one of the first things my momma ever taught me about responsible spending. My hubby is super frugal, so he’s always got his eye on me and my sometimes-out-of-control-spending.

  • Nancy December 1, 2009, 2:38 pm

    I’ve been saving my drug store points, and grocery store points and I have an infinite number of “freebies” I can get. But I’m just so stindgy with my points. If there were gas coupons I could trade them in for, I definitely would. I just don’t like buying random stuff and not making a good overall decision, you know? 🙂

  • Amanda December 1, 2009, 2:39 pm

    Awesome job with the credit card – you would be surprised how many companies will lower their rates for you. I called Comcast the other week and threatened to cancel and got about $25/month total knocked off my cable/internet bill.

  • Julie @savvyeats December 1, 2009, 3:04 pm

    $200 for gas is awesome!

  • Ali @ Food, Fitness, Fashion December 1, 2009, 3:05 pm

    WOW!!! That is awesome! I should call and see if they will lower my rate! Thanks for the tip.

    Also, great run! I loooooooove running with Adam! I think it is so great to run with your significant other, gives you time to chat ans do something fun together!

  • Julie December 1, 2009, 3:08 pm

    Wow, good for you! $200 for gas will go a long way.

  • Karla December 1, 2009, 3:11 pm

    What a great idea! I guess you can’t get anything if you don’t ask first right?

  • Ashley December 1, 2009, 3:14 pm

    i LOVE when i get to cash in my points 🙂 any extra always helps!

  • skinnyrunner December 1, 2009, 3:22 pm

    i love those arnold sandwich thins… i just bought a big thing of them from costco… alot cheaper than local grocery stores around here.

    • Kristen December 1, 2009, 5:15 pm

      the ones I get from Sam’s seem fresher also softer!

  • Sana December 1, 2009, 3:22 pm

    Good call on calling the credit card company. I might just do the same this weekend for my mom!!

  • vann @ itsvann December 1, 2009, 3:26 pm

    i never comment and im so sorry- but i read all.the.time! love your blog. i love your money ideas. i am so the same way. im a college student with CC debt and trying to get my stuff together. im DEFINITELY going to give mint a shot! thanks!


  • Lauren December 1, 2009, 3:30 pm

    Wow, nice job on the credit card! That must’ve felt good 😀 I really appreciate that you’re mentioning finances on the blog, because it encouraged me to spend some time looking into financial information and resources yesterday. I’m still in college but I’m determined to save during my 20s. I don’t want to get used to an untenably high standard of living before I achieve my saving goals!

  • Lizzy December 1, 2009, 3:49 pm

    what a great idea! i think i should do that tomorrow! 🙂 thanks for the advice!

  • Brittney December 1, 2009, 3:57 pm

    Awesome that you got to lower your interest rate and even better that you got put your points to good use. It definitely would have been hard for me not to use them at Target 🙂 Target is amazing!

  • Sammi December 1, 2009, 4:18 pm

    Yay for free money! I cannot believe they lowered your rate just like that! Congrats! I know it must have been so hard to pick the gas rather than a shopping spree. You showed amazing willpower by doing that!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) December 1, 2009, 6:34 pm

    Calling my credit card companies for lower rates is on my list of things to do this month for money saving.

  • Lisa M December 1, 2009, 7:02 pm

    Good work girl!
    Just make sure they don’t add a yearly fee to offset the loss on their end.

  • Diana (Mymarblerye) December 1, 2009, 8:07 pm

    Many CC companies won’t argue back with this financial “crisis” right now. Great job with all your clever thinking!

  • maria December 1, 2009, 8:44 pm

    Definite good use of your credit card points. I would have had a hard time turning down a Target giftcard, though!

  • Angie (Losing It and Loving It) December 1, 2009, 10:27 pm

    Great tip about the interest rates. That is on my list! I did however call the cable co. and got our bill drastically reduced as we also did with changing cellular phone companies. Amazing what one phone call can get you if you’re kind to them. Great job on the ‘free money’. I have some My Points points to redeem and am placing an Amazon order with it. Gotta love that!

    Oh and if anyone gets water bottle delivery be sure to check to make sure you are being charged the current rate. I just happened to look one day and found their new rates were $2 LESS than what I had been paying. The driver took care of it right away. So ask your driver instead of calling the company.

    We are looking to sell 2 XBOX systems with 67 awesome games, wireless and wired controllers and DDR dance pads and I’m thinking of trying Craigslist first then ebay. I’m sure we can get at least $500 for it all so I need to get it listed ASAP.

    Once we return from Jamaica, we need to start saving right away for the next trip and pay off credit cards, etc. I look forward to following your spending challenge.

  • Jolene ( December 1, 2009, 10:35 pm

    Nothing better than free money from credit card companies!!

  • Kristen December 1, 2009, 10:53 pm

    Hey Caitlin! I got a Starbucks card from my credit card rewards and found out that’s a great way to control coffee spending. When the gift card’s gone, I’m done for the month!

  • Hillary @ Nutrition Nut on the Run December 1, 2009, 11:14 pm

    I love veggie baked beans!

  • Carolyn December 2, 2009, 10:35 am

    Congrats on the gas cards!! Those will definitely come in handy!

  • Krista December 2, 2009, 3:07 pm

    We always cash in our VISA points for buliding supply stores like Home Depot to do upgrades/small renos on the house. Gas is also a great idea!

Healthy Tipping Point