You Win Some, You Lose Some

Graduation leis are a BIG deal here in Hawai'i.
Graduation leis are a BIG deal here in Hawai’i.

I’ll start with the bad news first.

We have the following expenses coming up for WenYu and YaYu in the next few months:

  • Swim team banquet: $80 ($40 each)
  • Track uniforms: $20 ($10 each)
  • Running shoes for YaYu: ~$80 – $90, give or take
  • Sports physicals: $24+ ($12 co-pay each but there’s usually a little more)
  • March track invitational on Oahu: $400 – $600 ($200 – $300 each)
  • AP Exams: $460 (exams are $92 each – 1 for YaYu, 4 for WenYu.)
  • YaYu’s annual eye exam and year’s supply of contacts: $350
  • Unknowns: Don’t know yet if WenYu will be going to prom or not, and we have to purchase lei for her graduation, including a haku to wear on her head.

We’ve already decided the girls will not be attending the track invitational on Oahu in March, and thankfully grad night and WenYu’s graduation paraphernalia (gown, mortarboard, tassel, etc.) has already been taken care of as well as her graduation present, but that’s still a LOT of money going out in a short period of time. Extended family members will help cover the cost of some of WenYu’s lei, and she will also receive some from friends (but then also has to give some to friends as well). YaYu and I are also going to make a couple of fun lei for her.

It’s also looking like YaYu will be attending summer school as well (more $$), so our June trip to Oahu will either be cancelled or get moved to later in the summer.

On the bright side however:

  • Brett got a Hawaiian Airlines Visa card: When we spend $1000 in the next 90 days, he will earn 50,000 bonus miles (!!!), plus, with the purchase of one ticket he will receive a companion ticket at 50% off (and if we buy them using the card we will earn double miles for the $$$ spent). Along with our other accumulated miles the bonus will give us enough to get Meiling and WenYu to and from the mainland twice at no cost, a potential savings of over $2500. There doesn’t appear to be a deadline for the 50% off companion ticket, so we plan to hold off and use that savings for our Japan 2017 trip! We’ll use the Hawaiian card on the Mystery Vacation™ and then pay it off as soon as we’re home!

You lose some, but you win some too.

9 thoughts on “You Win Some, You Lose Some

  1. not sure if I have read correctly re your plan for using the companion ticket, but it can only be redeemed for flights between Hawaii and mainland North America I believe.


    1. You are correct – they buried that information w-a-y down in the rules paragraph. Oh well. We may use the discount though to attend one of the girls’ Parents & Family Weekends at one of their schools, depending on what fares are like at the time. Or, we may just let the discount slide.


      1. We have never ever used the discount. However what we have done with this card is my husband gets it for a year, cancels then I get it for the next year and then cancel and he gets it again and so on. You can get the bonus sign up points multiple times. The other bonus is of course you get a discount on points used for redemptions. I think a normal Hawaii to mainland is 20k in economy but a credit card holder only pays 17.5k subject to avail.


      2. Good to know! We have heard something like this before, but it’s good to hear it from an “actual” consumer. We will still be accumulating miles in the interim as well from flights to and from Japan and neighboring islands, as well as miles earned through Foodland and other sources. We have also bought miles (although not many) before when we’ve needed to “top off” our account to earn a flight.

        If WenYu ends up going to Colorado College she will have to use Alaska Airlines, so I’m going to reactivate that account as well.


  2. I really enjoy reading about your family. Would you be willing to send me the link that Brett used to find this credit card….I am having trouble with that and would really appreciate the help!


    1. Thanks for reading!

      We got our application through the mail, not sure why, but you can go online to the Hawaiian Airlines website and apply through them. I think though you only get 35K miles through the website vs. the 50K you get through the mail offer. 35K bonus miles is nothing to sneeze at though! You could maybe call and ask for the mail offer with the extra miles and see if they would send it to you.


      1. I think we got the mail offer because of my flight to the mainland and back last Fall. They were offering the 50k pitch on the return flight.


  3. Thanks for your speedy reply! I will try that and let you (and others?!?!) know. I still can’t believe all the airlines are still holding prices so high when the cost of oil has dropped. We are getting gas in PA at $2.25 right now. It sure feels better than when it was $4.50! Have a happy Friday!


    1. Most airlines are still using fuel they bought last year, when prices were higher. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we will hopefully see lower prices later in the year and next year after they buy when fuel prices have dropped.


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