Month: January 2017

The Pink Moustache

Sticking with the side hustle theme from my post on Gift Card Arbitrage a few days ago, here’s my next experiment:

Lyft.

Long story short, I saw a great sign-up promotion, and thought to myself, “What the hell, I like trying new things!”  So here I find myself, staring at the bright pink Lyft app on my phone, and trying to find time to drive a bit more (not something I usually say).

It seems like I’m addicted to sign-up bonuses.  Credit cards, banks, and now this?  Do they have a self-help program for this?

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Gift Card Arbitrage: An Introduction

Welcome to my dirty secret.  I sell gift cards.  Lots of them.

I’m not walking up and down the streets “Geeeeet your gift cards here!”  But I am turning them and making a profit.  When you boil it down, gift card arbitrage (fancy name for reselling them) is commerce at it’s simplest form.

Find something.  Add value.  Sell for higher value.

Although with gift cards, it’s really more like this:  Find a gift card at a great deal.  Sell for market price.  The marginal profit between your buy rate and your sell rate is yours to keep!  I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the ability to earn credit card points/miles on the purchases, as well as the occasional shopping portal pay out!

So, let’s figure out how it works.

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En Route to Costa Rica

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We got the green light!

Had to make sure a few things lined up, but I’m happy to say we’re planning our first international jaunt of 2017.  We’ll be flying down to Costa Rica for a few days in April, just at the end of the dry season!

Hopefully by then we’ll have more trips planned too, but this is all we have on the calendar so far, so I’m extra stoked for this one.  We’re going to try and squeeze another international trip in towards the end of the year if we have time, and I’ve got a few shorter domestic trips on the list for 2017 too.

Costa Rica, here we come!

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2016 Review

I surprised myself with 2016 – happy to report it was a really successful year!

In my 2015 Review post, I went through some of the highlights of that year, as well as some goals for 2016.  I want to take some time and review 2016 now!  Like I said, it was a great year for me, my travelling, the blog, and I’m really looking forward to 2017!

Let’s take a look!

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Points Update January 2017

Second post!

If you remember my post from last month, this will become a monthly item on the writing board.  Rather than just updating my Keeping Score page, I want to explain a few things.  You know, why I do what I do.

If I just put numbers in front of you, I’m the only one that’s going to benefit from it.  If I explain those numbers, I hope it helps you a little bit too!

My goal?

I want to get everyone travelling a bit more, and a bit cheaper, too.

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January Extreme Frugality Challenge!

Happy new year everyone!  I hope 2016 was successful for you, however you define that in our own life.

A lot of folks start off the new year with a “new me” approach.  Some resolutions, a new gym membership, that sort of thing.  While I’m not a formal resolution type of guy, I do have plenty of goals for 2017.  Among them are my current yearly goals.  Every year, my list includes seeing a new country, visiting family, reading more, and volunteering.  In 2016, I didn’t quite hit my volunteering goal, but everything else worked out great!

One of the things on my list for 2017 is to cut back a bit on my spending.  I’m relatively frugal already, but it’s one of those things in my life that’s important to me, so I want to keep getting better.  Every so often, I find myself getting stuck in a consumer whirlpool, and my quality of life decreases directly with the amount of junk I have.  Time for a check up!

If you’re not familiar with the Frugalwoods, they’re very much in the same genre as Mr. Money Mustache, whom I mention from time to time here on the Financial Hippie.  I’ve added their site to the Resources page, so be sure to check them out more often!

They’ve put together a great little challenge, called the UBER FRUGAL MONTH!

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