Following up on my troublesome predicament regarding the $5,200 upgrade, I’ve been reflecting on ‘how’ I could pay for this, if I were to…. I particularly enjoy the way that my brain wants me to believe something, and the effect that has on decision making.
After writing the original post, I wandered to the mailbox, pondering how odd it felt to have a series of positive people and comments, since recently there’s been too many weirdos hanging around the site.. when I arrived, I found a ‘Big Fat Check’ from Ebates for $461. <insert Ebates link and promise that you too, can get rich here, lowly intern>
This got me to thinking, does this mean the upgrade now is really only ~$4,700, because of this free money? This is a slippery slope, and taking it a step further, if the check was valued at exactly $5,200, would that make it free to upgrade?
That’s how a lot of the travel community thinks about income and expenses. I see it a lot with things like ‘I get SPG points for free because the fee is $10 and I get 2% cashback on $500 so it is zero’.
The reality is that you spent the $10, and then you decided to replace that $10 with money that you earned. No difference from spending the $5,200 on the upgrade, and then replacing it with real money, money earned from Ebates <$$$ Link> or from a side gig.
Another reminder here, in that income is income, expense is expense. It is very easy to blur lines when transactions create income and expense at the same time, but they must remain delineated.