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Why Cars Often Delay Financial Independence

life hacking Jul 18, 2024

I drive a 2012 Toyota Tundra with 140,000 miles on the motor and I love it!

I sent my Dad a video the other day of a Toyota Tundra that made it to 999,999 miles on the odometer before the owner finally decided to get a new one. I told him that was my goal too!

These Toyotas can go forever!

My previous car was a Toyota Camry. And before that, I had a Toyota 4Runner.

All bought used, with cash, with quite a few miles already on them.

Only reason I didn’t drive them forever is because someone hit me in the 4Runner and totaled it & we sold the Camry so my daughter would have a larger car to drive for her first car.

I learned early on in our financial journey that cars are a terrible investment & can crush all of your financial dreams if you buy them the wrong way. LOL!

Dave Ramsey has joked that driving cars, especially new cars, is like driving around with your window rolled down & throwing hundred dollars bills out of it.

And, while most people probably know cars...

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The Potential For 500,000+ Points!

travel hacking Jul 11, 2024

My email has been flooded over the past few days.

Many of the travel hackers I follow are sending out red hot alerts about this new card bonus.

And they aren’t exaggerating.

It really is amazing!

It’s the highest welcome bonus ever for this card.

120,000 points for $8,000 in spend over 3 months with a $95 annual fee.

It’s the Chase Ink Business Preferred Card.

Now, don’t immediately write it off because it’s a business card.

Hang with me for a second.

You may be thinking, “But I don’t have a business, are you sure this applies to me?

Are you sure you don't have a business?

Do you know how these card companies define a business?

Do you make any money on the side? If so, you have a business.

Do you plan to make money on the side & you’re just getting started? If so, you have a business.

The definition of “business” for these credit card companies is quite expansive.

You don’t have to have an LLC or be...

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Fleeing a Hurricane

travel hacking Jul 04, 2024

I wrote a newsletter recently about our upcoming summer trip to the Cayman Islands.

Well, if you’ve been watching the news, you’ve probably heard about Hurricane Beryl.

The hurricane developed in the eastern Caribbean a few days after we arrived in the Caymans.

As each day passed, the hurricane grew in strength and the locals expressed to us great concern that it could be like the devastating Hurricane Ivan that flattened the Caymans in 2004.

We knew we needed to make plans to leave early, especially before the last minute panic that would likely ensue if we waited until the hurricane got much closer.

I was so thankful for travel rewards!

Our plan was to book an additional flight the day before our scheduled departure flight. Then we would watch the weather and determine if we should leave a day early or keep our original flight.

I had originally booked with American (via British Airways) but I couldn’t book another flight the day before because it had pretty...

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Cheap Medical Insurance for Travel

travel hacking Jun 20, 2024

Our family is excited to be leaving the country soon for a summer trip to the Cayman Islands.

Often, when people spend quite a bit of money on a trip, they’ll purchase travel insurance in case something comes up that interrupts the trip.

Travel Insurance will typically include medical insurance which covers you if you’re traveling to an area where your health insurance wouldn’t cover medical costs. But it can come at a high cost.

When you book with points, you’re not as concerned about comprehensive travel insurance because you didn’t pay much money for the trip to begin with. And, often, you can get your points back if you cancel ahead of time.

But, what about medical costs? What if there’s an emergency and your medical insurance won’t cover it? That could set you back thousands of dollars. And if they need to evacuate you to a place where there’s better medical care, that could be tens of thousands of dollars.

Enter GeoBlue Travel...

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Why I Like Vanguard

life hacking Jun 13, 2024

Vanguard is the largest provider of mutual funds in the world.

And their index funds are world-renowned.

In fact, it’s commonly said that the first index funds available to individual investors were created by the founder & former chairman of Vanguard, John Bogle.

His followers, who are avid index fund investors, are often called Bogleheads.

Warren Buffett has famously said that upon his passing, his wife would do well to be invested primarily in an S&P index fund at Vanguard.

Since I was a teenager, I remember my Dad recommending to me that I invest in index funds at Vanguard.

Me and my wife both have personal IRAs at Vanguard along with our taxable brokerage account.

We’ve invested there for years.

Vanguard is unique in that it is owned by the mutual funds it manages, and therefore owned by its customers.

That’s likely why Vanguard has some of the lowest fees in the industry. And fees can eat up your returns in a hurry.

One of their most famous index...

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50k —> 85k Welcome Bonus Increase

travel hacking Jun 06, 2024

The Southwest personal cards have been sitting at a 50k welcome bonus for awhile now.

The reason I know is because one of our host daughters from Afghanistan has been really wanting to get this card. I’ve been telling her to hold out for a higher welcome bonus.

She was so excited when I emailed her this new elevated welcome bonus offer yesterday.

It’s a limited time welcome bonus of 85,000 points on all 3 of the Southwest personal cards.

It expires 19 days from now.

If you’re looking to get the Companion Pass, I’d encourage you to pass on this offer and wait to get this card until later in the year.

But if you’re just looking for a Southwest card with a great welcome bonus, this is definitely a good time to get it.

There are 3 Southwest personal cards offering this bonus: Plus, Premier & Priority

Here are the main differences:

Plus

  • 3,000 bonus points each year on card anniversary
  • 2 early bird check-ins
  • 2x points spent on Southwest purchases
...
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A Problem Solving Business

flip hacking May 30, 2024

When I first started flipping houses, my mentor would say, “We’re not in the real estate business, we’re in the problem solving business.”

Over the years, I’ve found this comment to be so true.

This week was no exception.

A seller called us a few months ago telling us about her need to sell her house. There was just one problem. A tenant still lived in it and they hadn’t been paying rent.

As we got closer to the closing date, the tenant told the seller they weren’t going to move out unless the seller paid them money. She knew the eviction process would be long and expensive, so she offered them a few thousand dollars to leave the property.

Turns out, after taking the money, the tenant still said they wouldn’t leave. We started to help her walk through the eviction process and a notice was posted on the tenant’s door to vacate.

The tenant eventually said they would leave but not before sending a fake invoice to the Title Company...

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I Booked 2 Free Vacations Last Week

travel hacking May 24, 2024

My wife and I had been talking about booking a summer and winter vacation this year but we were undecided on where to go.

Then we got an email from the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek in Colorado. We’ve gone skiing there over Christmas the last 2 years. We hadn’t planned to go again this year but they made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. :)

They emailed saying if we booked again by May 15th, they’d give us 10,000 points off per night! For our 4 night stay, that’d be an extra 40,000 points saved. Sign me up!

The rooms are typically 45,000 Hyatt points per night because the cash price is so high. Right now, the cash price is $1,026/night. The reason for this is that the resort is ski-in/ski-out right on the slopes.

I then booked 2 American flights to the nearby airport using our AA points and 2 more flights through British Airways (a partner with American) so I could use my Chase points.

This is a great hack to taking more American flights on points. Transfer...

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Two Great Books on Financial Independence

life hacking May 17, 2024

Most people I talk to are interested in financial independence.

And most of them would like to be financially independent before retirement age.

They just wonder if that’s even possible.

Financial Independence (FI) is simply where your investments will cover your living expenses in perpetuity.

JL Collins is one of the bloggers who first started writing about FI.

His Stock Series became so popular that he eventually turned it into a book, along with other financial principles that have contributed to his financial independence.

This is a book I often recommend to people as a good place to start in learning about FI.

It’s called The Simple Path to Wealth (JL Collins).

This book helps to simplify the process of becoming financially independent.

Late last year he released another book with 100 stories of people who have gone on a similar FI journey.

I just finished it, and thought it was great, so I wanted to recommend it to you as well.

It’s called Pathfinders...

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Big Bonus on One of the Best Cards

travel hacking May 10, 2024

One of the best travel rewards cards on the market is the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

The welcome bonus is typically 60,000 points after $4,000 in spend in the first 3 months of the card.

They just increased the bonus to 75,000 points.

Those extra 15,000 points could be worth an additional ~$300 in free travel for a total of over $1,000 in free travel through that one welcome bonus.

This card has a $95 annual fee with the following perks:

  • 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Travel
  • $50 annual hotel credit
  • 3x points on restaurants
  • 2x points on other travel purchases

Just the hotel credit & your restaurant spend will likely make this card worth keeping.

Also, this card gives you the ability to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Chase’s travel partners. This is often the best way to maximize the value of each point.

If you don’t have the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, now would be a good time to take a look!

And if you decide to get it, here's...

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