Tentmaking Tips

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Free Flights for 2 Years for 2 People

travel hacking Jan 27, 2023

Southwest Airlines notified me in early January that I had earned 163,000 new Southwest points & a Companion Pass for the next 2 years.


Between my wife and I, this is the 4th time we’ve earned the Companion Pass.

The Companion Pass allows you to take a “companion” with you anywhere you travel on Southwest, free of charge. Well, nearly free. You still have to pay their taxes, which ends up being around $11 for a round trip ticket. But it feels like free for sure!

So with all the points you rack up from earning the Companion Pass plus the Companion Pass itself, you & a family member or friend can take a bunch of nearly free trips together over the next 2 years.

I posted about this on Twitter recently and I had several people asking questions about how we earned it and how they can earn it as well.

I’ll share in this week’s newsletter the questions that I answered.

What is the Companion Pass?

For those that haven’t heard of it, the...

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How to Save Thousands When You Sell Your Home

agent hacking Jan 20, 2023

If you’ve been reading this newsletter for long, you already know my preference for how you should go about selling your house so you make the most money. I’ll rank the options from most ideal to least ideal:

  1. Try to sell it FSBO (For Sale By Owner) first & pay $0 in commissions.
  1. If you want MLS exposure, hire a Real Estate Agent from a Discount Brokerage who will charge you a flat fee, like $500-$1,000, to list your home.
  1. Ask an Agent for a discount on their commission to list your home.
  1. Use an Agent and pay full price.

I’ve already written about #1 and #2, so I’ll focus on #3 today.

If you are determined to use an agent from a traditional brokerage, I’d encourage you to ask them for a discount on their commission.

Remember this: The commission that you pay the brokers is negotiable!

Most people don’t know this. And there’s a reason you don’t know. Agents would like to get paid full price, which is totally understandable....

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$23,637 Profit - Student Deal Highlight

flip hacking Jan 13, 2023

Every few months I highlight one of our student’s deals in the Flip Hacking Course & Mastermind. I hope these highlights give you an idea of how Flip Hacking could help supplement or replace your ministry income.

If you missed the first three, here they are:

$140,874 Profit - Student Deal Highlight

$13,000 Profit - Student Deal Highlight

$26,000 Profit - Student Deal Highlight


The student in today’s deal highlight made $23,637 on this particular deal (after closing costs). He contracted the property for $92,000 and he sold it for $118,200. He listed the property for $99,000, received 8 offers, and accepted the one for $19,200 above his list price. He didn’t have to come up with $92,000 to buy the property or go into any kind of debt to do this deal. People often assume you need a lot of money or debt to flip houses, but not with a “quick flip.”


The student found this deal through a list of Absentee Owners. These are people who own a...

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10 Advantages of Tentmaking

general tentmaking Jan 06, 2023

While some might see being a tentmaker, bi-vocational, or co-vocational as less than ideal, there are actually many advantages.

So many, in fact, that perhaps you will find it could be preferable to full-time paid ministry in some cases.

Here are 10 advantages (in no particular order):

  1. Reduces church budget

    Especially when you’re planting a church or serving in a small church, the salary of the pastor can be a significant percentage of a budget. And even if you serve in a larger church, the salaries collectively are likely a large percentage of the budget. If you were to remove your salary, or even part of it, that could greatly lessen the strain on the church budget.

  1. Sets an example of hard work

    Paul gave this as a reason for tentmaking when he was working among the Thessalonians (2 Thes 3:7). There was a laziness problem in the church and he wanted to set an example for the church of what it looked like to work hard in order to honor God.

  1. Not a hindrance in any way...
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Pay Yourself Back for Airbnb Stays

travel hacking Dec 30, 2022

Our family is in the process of planning and booking a family trip to England next summer for nearly free using points!

Because we plan to stay for several weeks, we’ve found that renting an Airbnb will use far fewer Chase Ultimate Rewards points and put us in a better location than booking 17 nights at hotels in London, Bath, Windsor, and the Cotswolds. Plus, if you’ve been to England, you know most hotels only allow 2 per room. So, our family of 4 that usually books 1 room in US hotels, would have to book 2 hotel rooms and cost us double the points in England.

You may be thinking, “Points for an Airbnb stay? How is that possible?”

Usually points are redeemed for flights and hotel stays but the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal gives you the opportunity to “Pay Yourself Back” by redeeming points for a statement credit against a cash purchase in certain categories.

And, even better, Chase is currently running a special where you get 25% more value...

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How I Came Off the Church Payroll in 3 Years

On February 17, 2017, I sent a letter to our Board of Elders asking them to cut my salary $25,000 effective immediately. I told them my desire was to continue to ask them for salary reductions until my salary was $0.

2 years and 9 months later, I asked for the last reduction all the way down to $0.

I was off the payroll and it was a dream come true!

You’re probably thinking, “Are you crazy?”

Haha. Yes, a little.

Our church was doing fine financially during those years. The elders were glad to continue paying me full-time. Other staff continued to get paid full-time.

But, in the Feb 2017 email, I gave the elders 2 reasons I wanted to come off the payroll. It was a long e-mail, but I’ll share a little of what I wrote to them here:

  1. “We are beginning to cast the vision for ordinary men & women to start making disciples & planting churches themselves. You heard me talking about this in our Meltdown series (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) & you...
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Get More Cash Back With Rakuten

life hacking Dec 15, 2022

Have you heard of Rakuten?

I just recently heard about it from a blogger that I follow.

It’s really cool!

You get cash back at many of the stores you already shop at when you buy through the app, their browser extension, or their website.

And they’ve got a great referral program where you & the person you refer get $30-40 when they spend their first $30-40 on the app.

I clicked on my friend’s referral link a few weeks ago & they had a $40 bonus at the time.

I’d been wanting some snow boots for our upcoming ski trip to Colorado (here’s the article I wrote about how we’re going skiing for nearly free).

The boots my wife showed me were like $200. I was thinking, “No way!” haha!

But, about a week later, they ran a Black Friday Sale for $150.

The Rakuten app gave me $40 to spend & also 15% cash back at the store where they were running the sale.

If you’ve been Travel Hacking for long, you know that good cash back cards...

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How My Neighbor is Making an Extra $2,500/mo

house hacking Dec 09, 2022

My wife and I enjoy keeping track of the houses in our neighborhood that are going up for sale. We live in a historic neighborhood so we like to see what updates people have made to the houses and what price per foot they list & sell it for.

A home built in the 1930s just hit the market. The owners haven’t done many updates to the inside but they converted one of the detached garages to an Airbnb. They’ve had it listed on Airbnb for the last 18 months and they attached an Excel spreadsheet to the listing with how much they’ve made per month.

Guess what they are averaging per month?


I’m sure that covers their mortgage and then some!

What could you do with an extra $2,500 per month? Cover your mortgage? Cover your utilities? Cover other payments? I’m sure you could think of something!

What did they do to generate this extra income that they’ve made consistently for the last 18 months?

Honestly, not much!

  1. They bought a house with a...
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How to Make Your First $1,000 Tentmaking

general tentmaking Dec 02, 2022

A few weeks ago I talked about how you can overcome the fear of tentmaking. You can read that blog here.

I encouraged you to focus on just making your first $1,000. I want to share a number of ways you can make your first $1,000 tentmaking.

  1. Redeem Credit Card Rewards for Cash

    I wrote a PDF guide which explains this process called "Make an Extra $1,200 Quickly" that you can download here. The gist is that you’ll apply for cards with high welcome bonuses, earn those bonuses in the first three months, and then redeem the points for cash. I think this is likely the easiest way to make your first $1,000.

  1. Earn Checking Account Sign-Up Bonuses

    It’s common for banks to offer cash rewards for setting up a checking account with them and completing certain qualifying activities. You likely won’t get all $1,000 by setting up one account but if you set up accounts at multiple institutions, you could likely come close. For example, right now at Chase, they are...

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$26,000 Profit - Student Deal Highlight

flip hacking Nov 11, 2022

Every few months I’m highlighting one of our student’s deals from the Flip Hacking Course & Mastermind. I hope these highlights give you an idea of how Flip Hacking could help supplement or replace your ministry income.

If you missed the first two, here they are:

$140,874 Profit - Student Deal Highlight

$13,000 Profit - Student Deal Highlight


The student made $26,000 on this deal. He contracted the property for $115,000 and he sold it for $141,000. He didn’t have to come up with $115,000 to buy the property or go into any kind of debt to do this deal. I mention this each time because most people assume that to “flip” houses, you have to have lots of money or access to lots of debt. That’s a myth.


The student found this deal using a list given to him by one of his cash buyers. His buyer had a list of leads that he had pursued before but had never panned out. He told the student that he could send marketing to this list again...

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