“Hey man, it is all well and good that you guys lived like paupers for a decade, but you have to admit… that was totally unsustainable!”
The popular corollary to this statement is, “I don’t want to live like I’m poor forever. I want to live a little.”
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard this line of reasoning, I could probably afford to retire, or something.
Or maybe the correct pronoun is they.
Rainbow of Credit (photo credit, badumtss)
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A little over a year ago, with much fanfare Chase launched a new travel oriented rewards credit card, the Sapphire Reserve.
Despite a seemingly steep annual fee ($450), we were eagerly among the early adoptees.
After a year of card use, did the benefits exceed the cost? Let’s check (hint: yes, they did indeed.)
FinCon or Bust
It’s that time of year again, when the world’s financial bloggers converge to communicate, collaborate, and carouse, aka FinCon.
We will miss out since we are back in Asia, but hundreds of others will be converging in Dallas this week. As with any gathering that involves travel, there will be airplane tickets and hotel rooms, a bit of dining, maybe a car rental or Uber, and perhaps even an alcohol related expense or two.
Sounds like a great opportunity to use credit card reward points to get some free travel, right?! Several people on Twitter were considering last minute trips and trying to decide, cash or points.
imho, cash. Every time. Twice on Sunday.
That Time I Intentionally Overdrew Our Bank Account (photo credit)
An important principle at the heart of successful financial management is “don’t spend more cash than you have on hand.”
Cash flow is important. Run out of cash and bad things can happen… banks charge overdraft fees / businesses charge late fees & interest / Uncle Vinny busts your knee caps…
Why then did I overdraw our bank account this month? On purpose. Twice.
Personal Capital – Free Financial Management Tools
Since my college days of living hand to mouth, I’ve tracked every penny I’ve earned and spent. It was a bit necessary if I wanted to have more month than money. At first I used pencil & paper, then a spreadsheet, and eventually Quicken.
Years later, after reading Your Money or Your Life, I began tracking passive / investment income with focus and determination. I added more calculations and pages and charts to my spreadsheet, and eventually started using Mint.com.
I credit this practice of tracking all income, expenses, and investment activity with our ability to optimize our spending and grow net worth. It is hard to overspend or buy frivolous things when the numbers are staring you in the face. There is no pretending and no hoping for the best.
It really doesn’t matter which method of tracking you use, as long as you do so…
After 20+ years of practice and experience, I now rely primarily on Personal Capital to do it all for me. It does everything that my old spreadsheet did in a fraction of the time. It’s great… plus, you know… free.
Disclosure: GCC is a Personal Capital affiliate. If you start using Personal Capital from a link on this page, we may receive compensation. Opinions are my own, and also free. For all of our International readers, sorry, PC is currently US only.
Philadelphia (photo from visitphilly.com)
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Recently I mentioned that our upcoming visit to Philadelphia will earn us a few free hotel nights. Several people wrote to ask how that works. Sorry for being too vague.
Thanks to the quarterly IHG Accelerate promotion our 3 nights in Philly will earn over 62,000 IHG Rewards Club points.This is worth over $400 or somewhere between 2 and 3 free nights.
Here are the details: