fire

Tag Archives for fire.

My Audacious Plan to Increase My Net Worth to $500,000 in 5 Years – November 2019 Freedom Update

I’ve been wanting to talk about personal money stuff for the longest time. After all, my tagline has always been “Investing. Positivity. Oh, and travel.

Fear held me back because I didn’t want to sound like I didn’t know what I was talking about. I was afraid of impostor syndrome. And revealing financial details can introduce shame because you’re officially throwing out your yard stick for everyone to see.

But you know what? I started this blog over six years ago before I knew what I was doing with miles and points and learned as I went along. I got a lot of stuff wrong, things changed, and I grew. I was scared then too. But also:

  • YOLO
  • Eff it
  • Jump in both feet first
  • Learn as you go
  • Start somewhere
  • Do it ugly
  • Nothing is ever lost by creating

The biggest point of contention was that – I’m 35 now – a strapping young buck to be sure, but when I see other financial bloggers retiring at 30 and I still have student loans and credit card debt I’m like… feeling so behind.

This is me 10 years ago in LA. I wish I’d done more to help him (he wasn’t thinking about FIRE) – but I can start helping future me right now

But by what measurement? I can’t – and shouldn’t – compare someone else’s end point to my in-process. Although I wonder… what the hell have I been doing for the last 15 years? 😵

In the spirit of starting somewhere and being where you are, I want to keep myself accounted for and confess my dirtiest financial deeds.

November 2019 Freedom update

Read More

STOP Leaving Your Money in Checking Accounts! Make It Earn FREE Interest Instead!

When I pull cash out of an ATM, the receipt always says I have something like $100 in my account. Yeah, in my checking account.

The truth is I keep my checking account balance low on purpose. Because money in a checking account ain’t doing nothing but sittin’ like a bump on a pickle (#SouthernSayins).

I want my money to work for me. Every day, for years. Compound interest is a wonderful tool that can work for you – or against you. So make it work FOR you!

At the very least, keep your money in an interest-bearing savings account. Pay your bills from checking, then transfer the excess to a high-interest savings or investment account.

earn free interest

Compound interest is one of the most powerful forces in the universe

Whatever you do, stop using checking accounts to park your money!

Get an interest savings account and/or an investment account to earn free interest

Read More

How I Made an Extra $60K from Airbnb in 2015

Also see: 

Side hustle of the millennium

Side hustle extraordinaire

I’ve written a lot about my side hustle with Airbnb a lot in the past. So I thought I’d follow up, because side hustles are a big part of my FIRE, and a great way to dig yourself out of debt – or earn more income.

In my Q2 update, I estimated I’d make an extra ~$31K off the endeavor in 2015.

I took some knocks here and there, but doubled my original projection. All told, I earned an extra ~$60K from Airbnb in 2015. And most of it went toward debts. In 2016, I’ll earn less but hopefully knock out my student loans once and for all.

asd

Good vibes

Here’s how I did it.

The numbers

Read More

Out and Out’s Best Posts of 2015

Wow. Out and Out made huge strides in 2015. A lot happened – and even more will happen in 2016.

Blog traffic tripled this year. In fact December 2015 is the biggest month ever for the blog (and it’s not over yet!). I’m thinking of how to improve things around here even more, and celebrating every step of the way because I couldn’t grow without your support.

Celebrate!

Celebrating!

You guys are awesome. I love my readers!

I’ve ironed out many ideas on here and found solid resolutions thanks to tons of community-focused comments. And meeting new peeps at the regular Reach for the Miles meetup has been fantastic.

I hope to continue the momentum and keep improving.

But first, I want to take a moment to pause and look back at where we’ve been this year.

Best of 2015

Read More

Come in Houston, er, Dallas: Buying a House and a Move Toward FIRE

Also see:

Alternate titles for this post: Airbnb helped me buy a house in Dallas.

Most of y’all know I run a few Airbnb properties here in NYC.

Well, I’ve been ferreting away the earnings for a long while.

I’ve been using my Fidelity Cash Management account as a defacto business checking account, and my Aspiration Summit account to save up a down payment (and an AMEX personal savings account to pay Uncle Sam) because it has a sweet 1% interest rate.

My new empire state?

My new empire state?

I haven’t posted my Dallas hotel reviews yet, and I haven’t meant to be not as chirpy as usual, but here’s what’s been up.

Way back in August, I flew down to Austin (and actually posted my review of my Austin hotel, go me) for a work meeting. On the way back, I tacked on a few days in Dallas and started shopping for a place in Oak Lawn/Uptown.

Why?

Read More

ABC + FIRE! (In which life is all acronyms.)

Also see:

I’ve been looking forward to writing this post for a few months by now. Now here it is!

Yesterday, I made the final payment on my credit cards. Now, I don’t owe a cent of credit card debt!

As you guys know, I charged those puppies up to:

There was a point, a real and scary one, where I felt I’d certainly overleveraged myself.

I wrote about the feeling in Smart Debt: Is carrying a balance ever a good idea?

Side hustle of the millennium

Side hustle of the millennium

And I definitely felt I’d nearly crossed the line into plain ol’ dumb debt.

Digging out of credit card debt is by far one of the most psychologically strenuous exercises I’ve faced. And that moment where I saw the interest get charged felt so wrong, my stomach turned. But I knew I could shoulder a couple of months of interest to make it all back, plus more.

Still, it sucked.

And today is the official turning point where I go full-force into FIRE.

What is FIRE?

Read More

SmarterBucks & Radius Bank Unlimited 1% Cash Back Toward Student Loan Debt

In my exploration of new MS techniques, I stumbled across something else that could be potentially useful for some.

I’ve written about the whole PayPal debit card/My Cash/RadPad combo.

As you guys know, the PayPal Business Debit MasterCard earns unlimited 1% cash back in your PayPal account. It does work with RadPad and does NOT work with Evolve Money (in the sense that you’re charged a 3% fee for using it).

But some peeps don’t like the PayPal-ness of it all, as they’ve been known to shut down accounts after sending warning emails.

So enter…

SmarterBucks and Radius Bank

Read More

Is Living In Cities Worth It?

I recently discovered a blog called Financial Samurai that got me thinking. Particularly the articles about living in cities:

I’ve mentioned before that living in New York forever might not be in the cards for me as part of my path toward FIRE.

It’s simply a shift in priorities.

The Good Things About Living in Cities

Read More

A Few Apps + Sites I Like to Save Money

Also see: 

I’ve been posting these piecemeal but wanted to get them all on the same page.

save money with apps

Yep, save real money

As you guys know, I’ve been getting into FIRE (financial independence, retire early) and am try to cut costs wherever possible.

So I’ve been exploring new websites and apps beyond the usual points and miles stuff, and wanted to share them.

Ibotta

Read More

In Praise of Humble Beginnings

I was reading an article called “How to invest even if you’re treading water financially” via Get Rich Slowly and a certain part jumped out at me (bolding and links mine):

“Don’t despise small beginnings.
The first steps in any endeavor are humble. Gustave Eiffel, famous today for his tower in Paris and the Statue of Liberty, started as an unpaid assistant in a foundry. Setting aside $10 a month might feel meaningless: “What difference can that ever make?” That’s wrong. It makes a difference in many ways:

Start somewhere

Read More

Getting FIREd Up

Also see: 

This is an out-of-control flaming emergency, according to Mr. Money Mustache

I have an out-of-control flaming emergency, according to Mr. Money Mustache

I recently wrote about life changes that I thought might happen… soon.

Well, even though Mercury was retrograde, nothing stopped chugging along. In fact, everything got a swift kick in the butt. And now life is different.

I’ve been getting used to the new rhythm. It feels so different. And it’s given me a chance to review where I’m at and how I want to move forward.

What is FIRE?

Read More