Q&A Thursday for June 21st

A real Q&A Thursday after 3 weeks! I can’t wait for what I got.

Q1. I have a mileage credit card and have had it for a few years with good payment history. But I don’t get as good of benefits as the next card level up. Do I just upgrade my existing account, or cancel my card and open a new one and get the 25000 bonus miles? Will that be bad for my credit?

A. Closing a credit card with a long and good payment history always nicks your score a little. However, if you continue to have a good payment schedule, it will rebound pretty quickly. The first thing I would look into is how many miles you have on your card now. If it’s a lot, call the credit card company, say you want to upgrade but that you want to keep your current miles in addition to getting the bonus miles. Be sure to mention that you’re sort of disappointed with the benefits at your current level so they know that they have to win your business a bit.

If they don’t go for it and you have a ton of miles, find a way to use your miles before you upgrade. If you don’t have a lot of miles, then consider doing the same strategy above so you can hang on to all your rewards, but if they say no, then just go ahead and upgrade. The benefit of canceling and opening a new card is that you usually also get a great interest rate for an initial period.

Let me know how it goes! I’ll post your response anonymously in another Q&A Thursday.

Q2. I have an expensive shirt that says “Dry Clean Only” on the tag. What are the chances it is actually dry clean only? Can I use one of those at-home kits to try and dry clean it in my dryer?

A. I feel like my friend Julie would have the best answer for this, or another costume/fashion design friend. My own personal opinion is that if you describe is at “expensive” I wouldn’t take the risk of not dry cleaning it. Ask around about the at-home kits and see if anyone has had any bad experiences. But I would test it with a cheaper item first. Always take the best care of your clothes if you want them to last a good long time, especially stuff you’ve spent a lot of money on and expect to last longer.

Q3. I have been saving up for an iPad and can now buy one, but I don’t want to buy one if a new model is going to come out really soon. What can I do to ensure I’m getting the best for the money I’ve saved?

A. I think the challenge with buying technology is that it becomes obsolete very quickly. It’s the risk you take especially with a company like Apple who is at the forefront of innovation. If you’re concerned about your iPad being replaced soon, read blogs like Gizmodo to see if there are rumors about a new model coming out soon. If there’s nothing on there or other Apple rumor blogs (seriously, just Google it), then make your purchase and celebrate that you saved up for something before you bought it!

And if a new model comes out, appreciate your old since it’s still an awesome piece of technology.

Q4. Lately, I’ve heard from several sources that, of the 3 qualities; GOOD, FAST and CHEAP, you can have 2 at a time but they will cancel out the third. What are your thoughts on this?

A.  I love this chart that addresses just this question. I think my position as a stage manager makes me uniquely qualified to see theatres try to accomplish just this. My background in production management means that I also know what it’s like to manage those accomplishing this. And I honestly don’t think it can be achieved unless all the elements align and everything runs perfectly. Ideally, we create small budgets with the shortest possible timeline to achieve good work we’re proud of. And working at some theatres where the people get along and have the common mission in mind always, I see this happen. But if one thing is off, then it all falls apart and one of those qualities is compromised.

Fortunately for us the finished product always looks great and the audience rarely knows the difference. The show must go on, even if we are missing a set piece or have to stop during a preview and the crew is in triple overtime.

This is great question. Anyone else in the arts or otherwise have thoughts on this? Post in the comments below.

Submit your questions here for next week!

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One Response to Q&A Thursday for June 21st

  1. Julie says:

    To weigh in on the dry-clean only question: Always go with the cleaning instructions on the label. Manufacturers are required by law to provide care instructions that will lead to the best preservation and quality of the garment. Yes there are situations where you'd be fine tossing it in the wash, but your garment will wear out faster and as the "Banana Republic Sweater Debacle" of 2006 taught me, at home care isn't always advisable. If you really love this garment you're better off letting a professional clean it for you. A dry-cleaning bill is much cheaper than buying a replacement.

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