Best credit cards for 2019

sourced from: https://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/blog/best-credit-cards/

I’ve shared my favorite personal banking tips with you in the past.

Today, we’re going to talk about credit cards.

Let’s get to it.

When my book was originally published, I named names. This is why some banks will never, ever partner with me. Oh well!!

My old favorite credit card: Citi PremierPass card

Anyway, in the first chapter on credit cards, I shared the details of my favorite credit card at the time: the Citi PremierPass card. In fact, I had used it as my primary credit card for several years and recommended it to hundreds of thousands of people.

That’s changed now.

Citi tightened up on its credit-card lineup, dropping several of their most compelling rewards. This was highlighted in a devastating column in the New York Times.

Hilariously, Citi actually mailed out a note to cardholders trying to spin the reduction of benefits into something like “exciting new features” — but it was obvious to anyone with a pulse that the most compelling rewards were being removed.

And so I began an exhaustive search for a new credit card. Because I spend a significant amount on my credit card, I expect significant rewards. Also, I consider it a fun game to find the 99.99999th percentile best card in the world.

Today, I’ll share my new favorite credit card. I consider it the best credit card on the market — even better than my old Citi card — and in addition to using it myself, it’s the card I’m recommending to my readers.

First, 6 rules about credit cards

  1. Interest rate doesn’t matter if you don’t carry a balance. The interest rate is irrelevant, as long as you’re paying off your entire balance each month. Don’t keep a balance, please – if you are, stop reading now and read our article on crushing debt to get it down.
  2. Use a rewards card. The vast majority of people should use a rewards card. If you’re already spending money, you should be rewarded for it. Exceptions are people who can’t qualify, who should instead use a secured credit card.
  3. Travel credit cards are better than cash back. Most people would benefit more from travel rewards than from cash back. I describe the details of why travel credit cards are better here. For some reason, people get really mad when I make this recommendation, but I don’t care.
  4. General rewards cards are better than airline-specific cards. Unless you fly a majority of flights on the SAME airline, I prefer a general travel card instead of an airline-specific card (like a United card). For example, I fly JetBlue and Virgin a lot, so I want a travel card that I can redeem on multiple airlines, not just one.
  5. Annual fees are not Satan’s spawn. I know it may be blasphemy to personal finance “experts,” but I’m willing to pay an annual fee for my credit card! OMG! This is why you can call me RTR: Ramit The Rebel. In some cases, there are no-fee versions of the card, so you should always calculate if you spend enough to justify it. Still, $65/year is just not that significant to my financial situation anymore.
  6. I am merciless about using my credit card perks. Credit card benefits can easily be worth $1,000/year. DO THIS.

Bonus: Want even more great advice for money management? Check out my new Free Ultimate Guide to Personal Finance.

What I want from the best credit card

My bottom line is this, the best credit card is the one that gets you the most free flights and free hotels. For example, I want a card that rewards me when I go on vacation, travel for friends’ weddings, or travel between NYC and SF.

Alternatively, I want to upgrade to business class when I travel abroad.

And I don’t want to be nickel-and-dimed for idiotic things like blackout dates, penalties, and fees.

So with that in mind, here is…

The best credit card for 2019

The best credit card for 2019 is the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Credit Card from Chase.

This is the best travel card on the market in 2019. Here’s why:

4 Sapphire Reserve perks that matter most

  1. 50,000 point sign-up bonus: Chase Sapphire Reserve gives you 50,000 bonus points for signing up if you spend $4,000 on the card in the first few months. As my friend Brian Kelly from The Points Guy points out, that’s $1,000 in value — meaning if you can commit to that $4,000 spending amount, the $450 yearly fee pays for itself — twice.
  2. $300 annual travel credit: A lot of travel cards offer travel credits — money they just give you back at the end of the year for spending on travel. At $300, Sapphire Reserve’s travel credit is on the high end. Not only that — it applies to any travel purchase, including airlines, hotels, cruise lines, travel agencies, car rentals, even Airbnb and Uber. (You can find a full list of what Chase counts as “travel’ on their FAQ page here.) That makes it super easy to get that $300 credit, and makes the $450 yearly fee even less of a barrier.
  3. 3X points on travel AND dining worldwide: Chase gives you 3X the points for money you spend on flights, cruises, hotels, car rentals, trains, taxis, and … wait for it … FOOD. If you follow me on Instagram, you know how important food is to me, and you better believe I think this perk is amazing.
  4. No blackout dates or restrictions: Some cards restrict use of their card on certain types of flights or on certain dates (like around the holidays). Not Sapphire Reserve.

Other perks:

  • Chase Unlimited Rewards®. This is Chase’s premier rewards program, which lets you redeem rewards for travel, experiences, gift cards, cash back, and more.
  • Unlimited points. There’s no limit to how many points you can earn, and points don’t expire as long as you keep the card open.
  • 1X points per dollar on all other purchases.
  • Terms and restrictions apply.

A quick note about fees

As I’ve said already, credit card fees are NOT Satan’s spawn, and you don’t need to utter any chants or spells to protect yourself from them.

That said, the $450 fee for the Sapphire Reserve is steeper than most, so it’s worth talking about. If you’re a heavy traveler like me, that’s not a problem, because the rewards you’re racking up will make that fee up in no time. Even if you’re a lighter traveler who only does one vacation per year and flights home for the holidays, you can recoup that fee no problem. Plus, there’s that easy-to-grab $300 travel credit, which effectively lowers the fee to $150 per year.

Still, a fee’s a fee. If you’re not 100% comfortable with a fee that steep, or you’re not sure how much use you’ll get out of it, try the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (mentioned below). It has some of the same perks as the Reserve, but a much lower yearly fee of $95, which you can waive for the first year.

Places to read about this Sapphire card

You should always do your own research. Here are two places to see what others have said, as well as understand the perks/rewards in great detail.

Other travel credit cards I recommend

I know that this card isn’t for everyone.

That’s why I turned to one of my friends, Chris Guillebeau, to get his other top 3 favorite travel credit card picks.

Chris has traveled to 193 countries (yes, that’s every one of them) and he regularly earns more than one million miles a year, with the majority coming through credit card bonuses and other non-flying activity. One reason he was able to do this is because half of his trips were nearly free — all paid for with miles and points from his rewards credit cards.

Here’s everything you need to know about travel credit cards. If you just want the highlights, keep reading.

1. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

First up is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® card, mentioned above.

What Chris loves about this card:

  • Double points on all dining and travel expenses.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • You can get the annual fee waived the first year — so it makes signing up a no-brainer.

If you don’t have it already, now’s the time to get started.

2. The Chase Freedom Unlimited (SM)

What Chris loves about this card:

  • When you spend $500 in the first three months, you instantly get $150 cash back.
  • No annual fee — ever.
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

3. The Platinum Card® from American Express

What Chris loves about this card:

Even though this card comes with a steep $450 annual fee (that can’t be waived), it comes with a TON of great benefits for heavy travelers, including:

  • Lounge access in the U.S. and throughout the world.
  • $200 credit that can be used for airline extras on any carrier.
  • Reimbursement for your Global Entry application.
  • No foreign transaction fees on any purchases.

Want more? Here’s everything you need to know about travel credit cards, or head over to Chris’s site, Cards for Travel, for more info on any of these cards and more travel tips.

Other credit cards I recommend

For cash back, I like the Alliant card and Fidelity card.

Should you keep your old credit card?

My recommendation: If you’re looking for a good credit card, apply for this, and if you get accepted, start transitioning your auto-pays to this card and start accumulating miles. You can close your old accounts or keep a small amount autopaying on it.

If you want my favorite credit card

If you’re interested in getting this card, here’s a link to see if you’re approved.

P.S. I have a few special, obscure tools I use with my credit card to optimize the experience. I’ll write about those in the future.

Tomorrow, the best savings account for 2019.

Bonus: Get more exclusive credit card perks

You can now get a full chapter on optimizing your credit cards from my New York Times bestselling book, I Will Teach You To Be Rich, for free.

It’ll help you tap into even more perks, max out your rewards, and beat the credit card companies at their own game.

I want you to have the tools and word-for-word scripts to fight back against the huge credit card companies. To download it free now, enter your name and email below.

Best credit cards for 2019 is a post from: I Will Teach You To Be Rich.

How To Make Money Online – Your First $100k From Blogging

sourced from: https://www.incomediary.com/how-to-make-money-online

Most people, when they try to make money online, overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.

That is why I often tell brand new bloggers to focus on the first $100 rather than the $100K figure.

That said, how was it possible, that we could create a brand new blog and only 30 days later, have already earned over $5000?

Today’s post will answer that question.

The IncomeDiary Blueprint for Making Money Online

Idea —> Take Action —> Build a Brand —> Create Content —> No Leakage Rule —> Blog Funnel System —> Free eCourse  —>  Product —> Money

All great websites start with solving a problem.

Step 1) How To Come Up With Website Ideas | Solve a Problem

At IncomeDiary we focus on the make “money online niche”.

Making money online is something that interests a lot of people, from many different demographics.

As soon as we started we had people ask us how to start their first blog.

And once they had started their blog, how could they make money from it?

Some even asked us to build websites for them.

There was a PROBLEM that people wanted help in SOLVING!

From the responses we where getting and our own research it was clear there was a demand.

But how do we make money from this demand?

In the case of IncomeDiary we knew a lot of our income would come from affiliate links.

That is where we started.

If you are a first time blogger you will need a domain, hosting, blog design, email list management.

Fortunately there are plenty of affiliate programs for services like this and in any case we needed all these services ourselves.

As an example if someone signed up for a domain, hosting and a blog design through our affiliate links, we would earn $100.

All we needed to do was convince 50 people to follow our advice and we would earn $5000.

Better still we where recommending products and services that we where using ourselves!

In blogging as in all business having a plan is essential.

A clear vision, backed by definite plans, gives you a tremendous feeling of confidence and personal power ~ Brian Tracy

All we needed to do now was estimate / work out how much traffic we would need in order to accomplish our goal for month one!

We are simplifying the calculations here a little – not everyone will need a domain or hosting for example – some will purchase more services, some will purchase less.

But for the purpose of planning these where good starting points.

Of course your niche may be entirely different from Make Money Online – but for just about every niche there is be affiliate programs you can promote to your readers.

As an aside, our sister site – ExpertPhotography.com covers a completely different niche to IncomeDiary – but when it started out, it used exactly the same strategy as IncomeDiary to get its first income – great content combined with affiliate income!

Step 2) To Make Money Online – Take Action

Now that we had an idea, we had to create a website.

This is an easy step, something that only took a few hours. I go over this in detail on this page.

make money online

Step 3) To Make Money Online – Build a Brand

Branding isn’t something a lot of people think much of.

But branding is important. It’s what someone thinks about your website.

When people think IncomeDiary, we want them to think, authority website that teaches people how to make money online.

To achieve this, we did a few things:

Domain Name

You want it to be easy to remember, easy to spell and you want it be a .com.

When I create a website, I don’t begin until I have found a domain that I think is good enough.

Sometimes it makes sense to buy a domain that has already been registered from a Domain Broker.

For example, IncomeDiary.com was bought for $100 from a blogger.

And we paid $2000 for our sister site – ExpertPhotography.com – via a domain broker.

Blog Design

If your blog doesn’t look good, it reflects badly on your brand. I’m not saying you have to spend a lot of money, we didn’t.

We started with buying a premium theme for $80 and getting a custom logo created. We kept the website simple and easy to understand.

It’s also important to pick a good color scheme for your site. When someone sees the green color we use, I want them to think IncomeDiary.com (I also wanted them to think money!)

Create Top Lists (read before you scroll past this)

Now I know most people know what a top list is, but you need to know what posts we created, why we created them and how they influenced our brand.

Some examples of the top lists we created:

Creating these posts, made us stand out as an authority on the subject.

If we are the website to decide which bloggers are the most influential, then we must know a lot about blogging.

Interview Experts

make money online with interviews

Interviews don’t get us a lot of long term traffic.

What they do though, is associate our website with experts in our industry.

We are not going into detail on conducting interviews in this post – but read any of our interviews and you will have interview templates you can follow.

Step 4) To Make Money Online – Create Compelling Content

To make money, we firstly had to get traffic. To get traffic, we had to firstly create interesting content.

We have spoken a lot about creating content.

The strategy for getting a lot of traffic from blogging is simple – create amazing content.

Look at this post as an example:

  • The subject of the post is something people are looking to read about
  • Over 2000 words (average page on first page of good is over 2000 words)
  • It’s easy to read (checked spelling, grammar, post styling)
  • Headline draws the reader in
  • It provides real value
  • Post images add to value of the post

The 10 posts that received the most traffic in the first few months were all top list articles.

Looking back, their was very little traffic going to any posts that were not top lists or interviews.

One big benefit from writing top list posts and interviewing authorities in your industry, is the amount of links and social media shares you get. Often when we write a post saying that someone is one of the most influential bloggers in the world, they want to link to it on their site, because it helps with their own brand.

All these links and shares tell Google that we are a great site and they should rank our posts higher in their search engine.

You can see how our traffic would spike every time we published a top list on our site:

Step 5) How To Make Money Online – The No Leakage Rule

The no leakage rule is when you create a website in a way that either a reader signs up for what you are promoting, or they leave your website.

Let me explain further:

The goal of IncomeDiary is to get people to subscribe to our email list. Now to best accomplish this, we need to keep distracts to a minimum.

That means having no banner ads, no blogroll, no top commenters links and so on…

If a website visitor is leaving our website to look at an advertiser, they are not signing up for our email list.

It’s the same reason we don’t want to link to guest bloggers at the bottom of blog posts, because if our visitors are checking out their website, they are not signing up for our list.

Step 6) Make Money Online – Blog Funnel System

This is all about getting your visitors to go where you want them to go, or shall I say, how to funnel them to your desired location.

The goal of our blog is to get people to subscribe to our email list.

That is how we make the majority of our money.

To accomplish this, we get the majority of our subscribers through a popup using OptiMonk. Read this post on: how we use OptiMonk.

The longer someone stays on the site, the more likely they are to subscribe and for us to make money.

Step 7) Make Money Online – Free eCourse

When we started IncomeDiary, not a lot of bloggers were giving incentives for signing up to a mailing list.

Those that did, often gave free eBooks.

I liked the idea of a free eBook but there was one problem.

I wanted readers to take action and if they received to much information all at once, they would feel overwhelmed and would be less likely to follow my guide.

So instead, we decided to split up what we wanted to teach and give it to subscribers over 7 days.

We called it: 7 Day Free eCourse To Creating Your First Profitable Blog

I would explain to everyone signing up that “You may have to spend some money if you want to make some money” – not a lot of money just a little if you really wanted to be serious about blogging. (Less than $100). I included special offers on domain names and offers on hosting such as get your first months hosting for 1 cent and coupon codes. (People love coupon codes)

This worked amazingly well.

Pretty much one of the reasons it worked so well was because I showed my readers exactly what I’m doing. I was not asking them to do anything that I had not done myself.

It’s also important to point out that I was solving a specific problem. I wasn’t simply trying to help people become better bloggers.

Setting up a Autoresponder

Once people opted in and joined my eCourse, the auto-responder would start sending them an email every day for a week.

The course was very much step by step – “Day One, installing your blog” – “Day Two, adding a theme and customizing your blog,” – Day Three: monetizing” etc

Every day subscribers would look forward to the next addition. Often I would get people email me saying, “Hey, is there any chance I can get Day Two now, rather than wait until tomorrow?”

Subscribers took action straightaway. I told them, “Look, take action on this today, and then you’ll be ready to do tomorrow’s assignment.”

Marketing Your eCourse

Another huge benefit of having a squeeze page, or a separate page on WordPress dedicated to your free course, is people have a link they can share with friends if they wish to recommend it. It is great when people Tweet things like “Check Out IncomeDiary’s Free Blogging eCourse” and link to this page.

This also meant I could mentioned this page in my blog posts – for example if I did a Top 30 Bloggers list I would finish it with a link says: “Follow in their footsteps, check out my free course”.

The signup page became so popular that it was the third most visited page on the site.

Step 8) Make Money Online – Selling Your Own Product

Once someone has gone through our eCourse, we want them to be thinking, WOW, that was amazing, I can’t believe that was free.

If they think this, then when we tell them that we have a paid membership site, they can only imagine how good it must be.

When creating products to sell on IncomeDiary, we think about what our readers most want.

The two biggest struggles of new bloggers is getting traffic and making money.

For us, getting traffic has always been easy. And if it’s easy for us, surely we can make it easy for our readers. So we created an eBook called Traffic Domination which is a blueprint to getting over 100,000 visitors a month from top list articles.

We also use to offer a training program called Site Profit Domination which showed our customers in detail how we were monetizing our blogs.

Step 9) Making Money Online and Reinvesting

The reason for a lot of our success is the way we reacted to making money.

When we make money, we reinvested it. We may have started our blog with a small budget but as soon as we had the money, we made it a lot better.

I was not entirely happy with the blog theme, so I spent sometime customizing the design. This included a big change to the homepage – allowing us to display a large opt-in box.

We also used some custom graphics on the side-bar to direct visitors to our best revenue producing pages.

We even bought advertising for IncomeDiary, which at the time, was not something we would normally recommend with a new blog, but earnings per visitor was so good, we could afford to buy traffic.

One final note on making money online.

I love this quote from Paulo Coelho …

make money online plan

It is essential to know your visitor numbers and your earnings per visitor!

For some, attracting the first 1000 visitors will be the big goal and for others it will be attracting the first 1,000,000 visitors

Set yourself high, but realistic targets and go all out to achieve.

Hoping and Guessing is not a business strategy – but FOCUS and CONCENTRATION is.

What you focus on, EXPANDS!

Take the time to build your brand, build your following and build your website into the premier site in its niche.

Making $100,000 PA is a Big Goal – but it is not an impossible goal.

Believe in you – believe you can do it.

It is also the strategy you need in order to set yourself for the ULTIMATE Pay Day!

That magically day when you eventually sell your business.

Good Luck!

The post How To Make Money Online – Your First $100k From Blogging appeared first on How To Make Money Online.

How to Create Reality

sourced from: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/MrMoneyMustache/~3/SRHhYhIbx0Q/

So a funny thing happened on Twitter this week, which almost changed the world a little bit.

Someone sent me a beautiful 3-D mockup of a fictional, car-free city of 50,000 people, set in the scenic nook of land* between Boulder, Colorado and Longmont, where I live. It came complete with street plans, detailed descriptions and dozens of cool photos, both real and computer-generated, showing how it would feel to live there. They called it Cyclocroft, in honor of the generally pro-bike stance of Mustachian culture.

This was not out of the blue: these plans came from some long-time readers, who have heard me muse about better cities in the past. Over the last few years, I have come to realize that the fastest way to get my fellow Americans into healthier, wealthier lives is probably just to change the way we lay out our living spaces. Instead of wasting trillions of dollars on separating and isolating ourselves just to accommodate giant racetracks for our gas-powered wheelchairs, we could make everything about 75% less expensive (and many times more fun) by making cities that work without cars.

So anyway, these architects sent me the plans, and I put them up on Twitter with a comment about how they’re fictional but boy wouldn’t this be a nice way to use a single square mile compared to what we do right now.

One square mile of suburban Detroit. Note the amount of space wasted on accommodating cars. Without the cars, you could house AND employ about 50,000 people with this much land.

I thought that would complete my social media indulgence for the day, but NO, things were just about to get interesting.

That night, an MMM reader who also happens to write for Forbes, wrote to me asking if he could do a story about Cyclocroft. He also pulled in the designers Tara and John from B4Place. And the next day, this rather racy article showed up in the news:

Whoa there, Forbes!

While the story was technically accurate, calling me a “Wealth Guru” instead of an “Early Retirement Blogger” definitely amped the intensity. And words like “Plans” and “has teamed up with” made it sound like things were very imminent and real, rather the just a set of pretty pictures I was happy to share.

But the world started to react as if Cyclocroft really were real. Twitter responses and emails started coming in from people who would buy properties and move there, if we really built it.

Even more notably, my email inbox and even the voice mail of my supposedly private mobile phone, started filling up with notes from news agencies and big players in finance and real estate, asking if they could do news stories and/or help get involved in building Cyclocroft.

Forbes – Wealth Guru Plans Dutch-Style Car-Free Bicycle-Friendly City Near Boulder, Colorado

Curbed – Could a car-free, Dutch-style city work in Colorado?

The Real Deal – Imagine a city with no cars, free bikes — and 50,000 people in one square mile

Boulder Daily Camera – Mr. Money Mustache has no formal plans to build dense, ‘car-lite’ city between Boulder, Longmont

The Chief Marketing Officer of the nation’s largest mortgage providers (who I was surprised to learn is also a longtime Mustachian) came to my coworking space and we talked for two hours about whether we could make it a reality. Because, aside from the potential to improve world through better design, residential housing is the world’s largest market, worth trillions of dollars.

Now, just in case you have any illusions about Mr. Money Mustache’s superpowers, it is important to remember the real story. I am a retired, stay-at-home Dad who occasionally types shit into the computer, and that’s the end of it. On the average week my biggest “business” meeting is a Tuesday morning workout in the back yard of the HQ for some squats or deadlifts with a friend or two.

Actual day of work. Does this look like a City Developing Wealth Guru to you?

Now, this Cyclocroft bonanza is still cause for celebration – all this attention and energy will definitely not go to waste. I really do plan to nudge this country towards its rightful status as a Badass Utopia – it’s a lifelong project for me, and we are only about eight years in. It’s just that Starting a City right now does not play well with my other project of Raising a Boy, a contract which still has about five years left on it. I’m not a great multitasker so anything outside of that job has to be low-stakes and with complete flexibility.

But there’s still is a heck of a life lesson in this story, that can help all of us change our lives. It’s on par with the lessons of the Optimism Gun, and the Circle of Control.

The lesson is to Begin with the End in Mind – and Start by Painting a Beautiful Picture of that end  destination.

It’s the technique at the core of the world’s best marketing and negotiation strategies, and it works so well because it short circuits the human brain into making everyone – including you – see things in the desired way.

I’ve known this for a long time, and applying it is the reason for most of the successes I’ve had in life so far. Yet I still sometimes get sloppy and fail to use it, and sure enough many of my failures can be tracked back to that sloppiness. Let’s check out a few examples of Painting the Picture in real life so you can see exactly how this works and how powerful it is.

When I started this blog in April of 2011, I didn’t just start rambling about interest rates or student loan debt. And I definitely didn’t mention carbon footprints or get into environmental guilt-tripping. The first sentence of the first post is “What do you mean you retired at 30?”

Retired. At. 30.

It was a simple picture of a very clear end destination that automatically got people’s imagination running and filling in their own details.

Everyone knows that a 30-year-old is a fairly young adult with lots of promising life ahead of them. And everyone knows that “Retired” must mean some unusual financial accomplishment was involved, which makes them imagine what their life would be like with that sort of money.

In retrospect, that marketing decision was the main thing that has made the MMM blog catch the attention of newspapers, which in turn brought in the readers, which in turn kept me motivated to keep writing it. So painting that initial picture was an amazingly big leverage point.

And Cyclocroft worked in exactly the same way. You’ve heard me harping almost daily about “live close to work and ride a bike”, but this produces only small changes in the world. You are still fighting the car-based design of your city, your car-loving spouse, and all of the excuses that pop up from looking at the small day-to-day picture.

But Tara and John bypassed all of those arguments by sharing a simple, beautiful picture of the end lifestyle, with just enough detail to provide a framework that got everyone’s imagination running.

Car-free city. Next to Boulder. 50,000 people.

People read these key points and see the pictures, and in their minds they are already nestled into this bucolic town in the Sunny Western US at the base of the Rocky Mountains. For most people, the sale is already made and now they are ready to hear the details – most importantly “How can I get you my money?!”

Once you go looking for this pattern, you see it everywhere, especially in the most successful bits of persuasion in the world.

Tesla almost completely took over the coveted luxury car market with no paid advertising, even while its competitors fought tooth and nail with their old ads, by painting a clean-slate picture: clean, beautiful, prestigious cars that are the fastest in the world. They were introduced to the world as if they were movie stars, rather than squeezed out through the crusty sphincter of an old corporate marketing department as most cars are. They can even make a commercial hauling appliance into a rockstar that has everyone waiting breathlessly for its world-changing arrival.

So How Can You Use This Amazing Power on Your Own Life?

We can see how this works by painting a few pictures of our own:

You want less money stress in your life:

Describe the picture of your ideal financial life. Your house is paid off, the kids are well cared-for, and you think about money no more than you think about tap water. It’s just there, so instead you spend your time figuring out how to get more fulfillment out of each day.

Then to get there, you suddenly feel the motivation to streamline your spending (and perhaps optimize your earning) today. It’s no sacrifice to skip over a car upgrade, if it rockets you towards this clear picture of your future life, right? And conversely, making the car upgrade is suddenly less appealing if it means you will be extending your time on Cubicle Lockdown by three more years and pushing off the beautiful picture you have painted for yourself.

You wish your spouse was on board with more frugal living:

You won’t get anywhere by nagging your partner that she needs to take shorter showers or telling him to give up his Porsche convertible. The only hope of teamwork is to agree on the end goal: do you want financial freedom more than you want the Porsche, or not?

Well then, what does financial freedom look like? Perhaps it includes being able to stay home to raise children, or to have more time to travel together, or to pursue part-time meaningful work instead of full-time-just-because-I-need-the-money careers. Or something else you can both agree on. This article on Selling the Dream describes a case study where this method worked beautifully for a couple.

Once the dream is there, the daily steps that move you towards it become easy and obvious.

You want to earn your dream job 

Rather than sucking up to the company or stepping through your individual qualifications and acronyms of all the programming languages you know, begin your campaign as though you’ve already won.

Describe (with beautiful pictures of your past work and future proposals if appropriate), the way that things will work, once you are working with the company. The ways you are excited to build the culture of the group you will be joining and managing, and why that is destined to influence the entire company over time. This vision of you excelling in this job needs to become a crystal clear anchor in the company manager’s mind, that lodges itself in as the way things are going to be. From there, it becomes difficult to dislodge.

These same principles work in both large and small situations, for persuading any range of people from just you up to the entire Human population. From getting into better physical shape to winning an election.

My own Failures to Paint the Picture

When I look at my own areas of less-than-satisfactory performance in recent years, they all carry the hallmark of scraping along from one daily hardship to the next, while neglecting the big picture.

My former wife and I did not keep our own marriage alive, and it may be partly because we didn’t think of what we wanted a good marriage to look like. We just reacted to the ongoing realities of daily life, doing more damage as time went on.

My son copes with some anxiety and can tend to be an extreme homebody, avoiding all new situations if not challenged to do otherwise. But if you work at it, you can get him out for adventures, and he always has a great time. And his Mom has shown much greater skill than me in making these things happen.

But far too often during our days together, I will make a few offers to go out and do things together, then give up and feel deflated when he rejects them. And I come back the next day and try the same thing, and I usually get the same result.

But if I paint the bigger picture well in advance – for example of a two-night camping trip with his favorite friends and their dads and kayaks and sand dunes – the chance of a breakthrough greatly increases.

The recipe for change is right here in front of all of our faces. It’s up to us if we are bold enough to paint the picture, and then do the work that will become obvious once that picture is hanging on the wall in front of us.

Okay, but When Do We Get To Move to Cyclocroft?

I am happy that this big, beautiful picture of the future of North American city planning is now out there, creating an anchor in the public mind that is bound to stick. That alone is an amazing accomplishment.

For my part, I’d love to help out in many ways. But at the same time, the picture I have painted for my own life does not involve being a property developer. I’ve done that on a small scale in the past and learned there are other people that thrive on the phone calls and meetings and contractor cat-herding much more than I do. So as much as I’d love the results, I’m not willing to do the workAnd this is a great thing to know about myself, because chasing accomplishment and prestige and things that seem “important” is not necessarily the path to a happy life, if you don’t enjoy the work along the way.

But with the right group of people working together on the aspects they truly enjoy, it really could happen. Tara and John like designing spaces. I like describing things to the world, but also solving physical and engineering problems. You might like running a restaurant or a bike shop, or playing in a jazz trio. It takes all sorts of people to build a new city and change a culture, but as long as we are all working on the same end goal in mind, we will definitely get there.

——

 

* Never mind that this particular chunk of beautiful land is currently a NOAA facility! The real point is that when you only need one square mile, you can fit a world-changing city almost anywhere, including into the corner of an existing large family farm.

PayDrill Review – Smart Data Analytics for Paypal Sellers to Make More Sales

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How To Slow Down Time and Live Longer

sourced from: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/MrMoneyMustache/~3/-CKMCt_VYjs/

“They sure grow up fast, don’t they?”

“The older you get, the faster time flies.”

“You can’t slow down time, so treasure your days because they’ll be gone before you know it.”

We’ve all heard these thoughts, often from the parents of grown children. If you’re part of the older and wiser population, you may have even spoken similar words yourself. And if you’re younger, you may have felt fear well up in your heart as your elders dropped this bit of Bummer Wisdom upon you. The Inevitability of Life Racing By.

But your fear is unfounded.

Related imageBecause somehow, I seem to have stumbled upon a workaround to the problem of life being too short, and instead I find myself existing in a different universe of Vampire-like perpetual renewal and the feeling of youth. While other parents of almost-thirteen-year-olds claim the time has gone by in a flash, I feel I’ve had my own son for at least 30 years.

And those same thirteen years since I retired from real work have also been packed with an almost inconceivable variety of experience. Adventures in business, travel, relationships, weddings, funerals, adventures, injuries, growth, definitely at least the recommended minimum dose of pain, but a much bigger amount of joy.

Reflecting back on it all always leaves me shaking my head in a smiling disbelief and muttering at least one involuntary “Holy Shit.” I feel like I have lived an entire human lifetime, or maybe even more than one, in just the years since I hung up the keyboard and walked out of that cubicle.

I look at this strange development with great gratitude. After all, if we are going to assign any purpose to our lives, it’s probably something like “Make the most of the time you are here, and try to do some good while you’re at it.”

So if I feel like I’ve already had a spectacular amount of time and Made the Most of It, you can imagine how lucky I feel to still have so many more decades worth of it potentially still in the tank!

What do you think could be going on here?

As it turns out, I am not the first one to wonder this. And there is some real science that connects a Mustachian Early Retirement to a life that feels much longer and more full, even before we get into the reasons you will probably literally live quite a bit longer as well. The key to this is in the way we perceive the passage of time.

Figure 1: Some of Eagleman’s Intriguing Books I’ve read (click for more.)

A few years ago, I stumbled upon the work of the modern-day Indiana Jones neuroscientist/author/adventurer David Eagleman, immediately developed a Man Crush and started working my way through his books and interviews. It was exactly what I was looking for at the time: a bigger picture on why our brains behave the way they do in many different realms of being alive: emotions, decision making, happiness, and of course our perception of time.

Like many people who were born with an engineering side to their brains, I sometimes feel like I’m standing with half my body outside of the human species, observing with Vulcan-like amusement how crazy we all are, and the other half firmly inside it, being whipped around by all the same joyful and tumultuous and passionate and irrational emotions as everyone else. So it can be very satisfying to try to put it all together, by embracing all that humanity but also understanding it from a bigger perspective.  Books like Eagleman’s are a lot of fun and useful in that regard.

So by reading books like Incognito and The Brain (along with this interesting profile on him in the New Yorker), I was able to learn a lot more about the nuts and bolts of my own existence as a creature, which I find is a very useful antidote to prevent me from taking myself and my moods too seriously as a person. And it also helps me get the most of the gigantic arc of a human lifespan with all of its details, without getting too hung up on whether I’m “doing it right” or fussing about our inevitable mortality.

Image result for brain

This is your brain on MMM

That compact but powerful brain of yours is more than just your thinking appliance. It’s your entire world, because it controls every bit of your interaction with the world, plus the way you feel about it. And one of its trickiest roles is in sucking up and storing every experience you ever have, and filing those experiences away so that you can recall the most important ones, all while leaving you able to focus on immediate tasks without becoming completely batty from this ever-growing pool of past experiences.

So the brain uses a few tricks in order to keep you sane. And the best way to sum up its approach to things is this:

To focus on the novel and important-seeming things, and mostly ignore everything else.

We’ve already covered the remarkable subject of human habits, where we learned that our brains tend to click us into little autopilot routines whenever possible to avoid the strain of puzzling consciously through every single moment, of every single day.

So an average person might go through routines like …

  • “get out of bed” 
  • “make some coffee and breakfast” 
  • “get dressed up and drive to work”

… in an almost unconscious fashion.

Habits like these are convenient, but they can also compromise your full enjoyment of life. Because when you are running on autopilot, you are not forming nearly as many meaningful memories. And if you do it long enough, your brain will also start clumping entire phases of your life into individual thoughts:

  • “my childhood”
  • “high school”
  • “the college years”
  • “those years I worked in Des Moines as a fertilizer salesman”
  • “the baby-raising years”
  • “my 25 year career as a Middle Manager in Megacorp”
  • “my golf-and-TV retirement to a Florida condo”

If you look back at your own phases so far, which ones do you remember being the longest and most vibrant?

For most of us, it ends up being the ages from about 6 through 21, because these were the times of greatest change, learning, and new firsts in life. Then as we get older, we lock ourselves into family and work routines, including the most time-compressing of all: a multi-decade period of having the same house and the same career. The years go by, but significant new experiences become more and more rare.

Mustachianism (even if you are a long way from early retirement) is thus the perfect antidote to this, because I am always encouraging you to try new things and maintain an eye towards constant optimization.

With practice, you will let go of your natural fear of failure, and start thinking of everything as an opportunity for an experiment. Or as the great Bob Ross would put it, “There are no mistakes in life, just happy accidents.”

Although you will be fighting the very core of your Human nature with this activity, it’s a fight worth picking, because you are immediately rewarded with a life that is wealthier, more satisfying, more interesting, and one that feels much longer.

To put this philosophy into practice immediately, all you need to do is start throwing some changes into your daily routine. A few ideas ranging from beginner to expert:

  • Take a different route to work than you usually do, and a different route home. Pay attention to the new experiences you have on this journey.
  • Shop at a different grocery store and get ingredients that you don’t usually get, in order to eat different meals than usual.
  • Try breaking your usual morning routine by going out for a short walk before you have your breakfast and sit down for work. (I happened to do this today, and it led to me feeling great, and my walk turned into a run, and the added energy from that led me to sit down with inspiration to write this very article for you.)
  • Find a way to meet a new person every week, or at least every month. People are the most powerful gateway to new memories and a longer, richer life.
  • Switch roles in your company, or switch to a new job.
  • Remove TV, news and social media from your daily routine or limit them each to five minutes per day. Then when you feel the inevitable pull to check in, use this as a “keystone habit” to grab your paper to-do list and start working on something from the list – even if it’s just ten push-ups, or picking up an old-fashioned paper book you are working through.
  • Move to a new apartment or house that is closer to work and to worthwhile amenities like public parks and waterfronts.
  • Start your own small business and begin building it up, embracing change and setbacks until you find something that is truly rewarding.

All of these things will shake up your life for the better, and they will restart the flow of new memories, waking your brain back up and extending your time of really being alive.

For my part, life keeps getting more varied with each passing year, and time keeps getting slower and slower. Here’s to you and I clinking our glasses together in the distant future, after several more centuries of the joyful Vampire-style youth that is early retirement.

 

In the Comments: what have your experiences been, with periods of your life where time has flown by, and others where your memories are particularly rich and detailed? And if you’re an early retiree, what has your experience been with the flow of time since you pulled the plug?

 


Selected quotes from the NY article that I liked: 

“Clocks offer at best a convenient fiction, he says. They imply that time ticks steadily, predictably forward, when our experience shows that it often does the opposite: it stretches and compresses, skips a beat and doubles back.”

“When something is new or more emotional, the amygdala seems to kick into overdrive, recording every last detail of the experience. The more detailed the memory, the longer the moment seems to last. “This explains why we think that time speeds up when we grow older,” Eagleman said—why childhood summers seem to go on forever, while old age slips by while we’re dozing. The more familiar the world becomes, the less information your brain writes down, and the more quickly time seems to pass.”

Four Ways We Can Hang Out

sourced from: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/MrMoneyMustache/~3/uucr0gEF6L8/

A recent campfire at in the back yard of MMM-HQ coworking space.

Hi there.

Don’t get too excited, this isn’t a real blog post. But there were enough things worth sharing that I thought it would be worth sending a little mid-month Hello.

Life has been busy around here, drunkenly walking that fine line between the zones of

“Exciting and stimulating and action packed!”

and

“Way too much overflowing action, how do we turn off this firehose?!”

It’s one of the core Tenets of Mustachianism that too much of a good thing can become a not-so-good thing, so I have been working on stepping back and focusing on the smaller and more personal things with the people who are close to me, even if it means turning down bigger, “important” sounding things out there in the world.

If you are an overdriven and success-oriented career person, you can take the same lesson: your PERFORMANCE out there on the business stage is a lot less important to the world than you imagine it is, so now is a great time to lean back and take a few breaths and turn down that extra work assignment so you can spend Saturday just digging in the sand at the playground with your kids.

Okay, so with that take-it-easy warning aside, here are a few things that have been keeping my local gang and I busy recently:

1: We have expanded the MMM HQ

MMM watches as Alan Donegan’s Charisma steals the show at September’s Pop up Business School

Some adventurous friends decided to dive in with me and team up to buy out the other side* of the building that houses my little coworking space in downtown Longmont. As a result, we have now quadrupled our interior space and are looking for new members!

In the spirit of adventure and growing the community from the current 50-ish to a new goal of two hundred, we are no longer limiting it to people who live right in Longmont – you can be the judge if it’s worth $52 per month to be part of our growing entrepreneurial gang.

You can join here immediately if you are super confident,

or read more about it at mrmoneymustache.com/hq/ or even stalk us by following the new MMM-HQ Twitter and Instagram feeds.

2: I started a YouTube channel with my son!

Over the long holiday season, my 12-year-old son and I were spending a lot of time together. He has become a prolific music composer and video editor and posts something to his own channel almost every day. So he often ribs me about my own neglected MMM YouTube channel, with just a few halfhearted construction videos I had thrown up to illustrate certain things as part of blog posts.

Long story short, we just turned on the camera and started recording some Question and Answer shit and putting it up there, learning as we go. So far, it’s a “He’s the DJ, I’m the Rapper” situation, but I hope to get him to come out from behind the camera one of these days too, at least for a cameo.

The result, our first six figuring-it-out-episodes, is here and we definitely plan to do more:

The MMM Channel on YouTube

It has been a lot of fun so far, and an incredible bonding experience for the two of us, to be working on something difficult together. I’m even paying him for his work and we will also split any resulting revenue from YouTube (currently a not-too-bad thirty bucks in the first month!), as I think this is a great way for a kid to learn more about money.

3: I’m part of The FI Summit

One of the members of my coworking space is an enterprising dude named Sean Merron, who also runs a podcast called 2 Frugal Dudes. Over the past year I’ve come to respect his work, so when he invited me along with some other very genuine financial independence writers to join a little online course they are running in March, I was happy to accept. I am going in as a newcomer to such an experience, so it’s an experiment.

The event takes place live on March 5-7, with course material and replays available afterwards.

You can join us (and read all about it) at https://fisummit.2frugaldudes.com/ and get 10% off with their coupon code MMM.

4: Mustachians are Uniting

This isn’t just a website or even a ‘movement’ anymore. There are real-life friends, and potlucks, hikes, local and international trips, and even romances going on out there and I have had great fun watching them all develop over the past few years. A few ways you can get involved in real life:

Camp Mustache was the original meetup – About sixty people in a beautiful rented lodge in the rainforest outsid of Seattle. Five years running now, it is small and well established, so it always sells out much quicker than any resonable person could be expected to buy tickets. It is the only event I’ve attended every year. But it set the stage for its international cousin …

Camp Mustache Toronto is a similar but more Maple-flavored event, also in a lakeside natural area far enough from the concrete jungle that it feels like a genuine camp. This year’s event is in September. But Camp Mustaches are just the start of it all.

Camp Fi is a more ambitious string of events, spawned by an unstoppably friendly and optimistic guy named Stephen who liked Camp Mustache so much that he decided to adopt the principles and take it from coast to coast. They have run something like a dozen already, and there are more coming up on the calendar.

The NoCo Mustachians Meetup Group is a 400-strong club of fun and FI seekers in my own area. There is a nice, sociable overlap between members of MMM-HQ and this larger group, so they often use our building to host their larger events.

The ChooseFI Meetups: if my hobby of “Financial Independence Guru” were an actual business, I would never tell you about this, because these guys would be my toughest competition. Growing from nothing to hundreds of thousands of followers in just the last few years, I have heard about more Choose FI meetups than Mustachian ones in recent times, and some existing MMM groups have even been so bold as to rename themselves from my silly (but more fun) terminology to adopt some version of the more bland and sensible “FI” branding.

Fine, have it your way, FI people – your ability to get together and have fun in the real world is way more important than appeasing Mr. Money Mustache’s ego, so I encourage you to get out there and enjoy it all.

And with that batch of suggestions, the clouds have suddenly cleared up outside my own window, so I am going to fold up this laptop and head out on the town myself.

Have a great week!


*People familiar with the project may be asking “What about the Mud and Madder soap and handcrafted shop that was there before this?”

The answer is that the ladies who owned that side decided to close up their retail experiment and return to the more efficient model of online Etsy-style sales. They offered to sell me their side, so I gladly brought in three new friends to become partners in the newly expanded coworking venture.

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The end of the road: Preparing to buy a new car

sourced from: https://www.getrichslowly.org/preparing-to-buy-a-new-car/

Yesterday, Kim and I joined my cousins for an afternoon trip to the Oregon Coast. Our aim was to harvest a bounty of clams. We came home with zero. We managed, however, to harvest a bounty of mussels. Plus, the dog had fun.

Duane, Kim, and Tally at Cannon Beach

My cousin Duane carpooled with us to and from the beach. We rode in Kim’s car: a 1997 Honda Accord that’s showing signs of its age.

“It’s a little warm in here,” Duane said about ten minutes into our drive. “Would you mind turning down the heat?”

“Well, I can’t turn down the air,” Kim said. “It’s stuck on high. But I can turn down the temperature.” She laughed as she demonstrated that the knob for the air volume has broken off at the post. The vents now permanently blow at full force.

“This car is falling to pieces,” I said. “Literally.” As if to prove my point, a bit of molding fell from a roof handle. I picked it up and wedged it back into place.

“I like my car,” Kim said. “I have an emotional attachment to it. But I’ve come to the realization that it’s time to start searching for something else.”

More and more, it looks like our vehicles have reached the end of the road.

The End of the Road

Kim bought her car 22 years ago at a model-year closeout sale. It’s lived with her in Minnesota, Arizona, California, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. In that time, the Accord has logged nearly 250,000 miles and never given her any major problems.

Kim's Honda Accord

For a decade, I’ve been driving the 2004 Mini Cooper I bought as my first exercise in saving after I paid off my debt. In the ten years I’ve had it, I’ve put 90,000 miles on my Mini (bringing its total mileage to 150,000). We even took the Mini with us on our 15-month cross-country RV adventure!

My Mini Cooper in Monument Valley

Until the past couple of years, the Mini was trouble-free. During the RV trip, however, the fuel pump died. Then, when we got home, I funneled about $4000 into several repairs over a twelve-month span.

This winter, the Mini developed another problem: The sunroof began to leak (and in a big way). This isn’t good during rainy Oregon winters. In fact, it basically means my little yellow friend is unusable until things dry out.

Meanwhile, the old reliable Accord has developed an oil leak. The leak is dripping onto the fan belt. Our mechanic says Kim’s car needs about $1500 in repairs. That’s not too bad, but it’s more than the car is worth. Plus, we suspect that’s just a small taste of what’s to come.

Because I could see the writing on the wall — and because we need something to haul Big Stuff at our country cottage — I picked up a 1993 Toyota pickup at the end of 2018. I love it. (Seriously, I do. I just bought Taylor Swift’s latest album on cassette so that I can make use of the tape deck, which makes it even more fun.)

My 1993 Toyota Pickup

The tape deck in my Toyota truck

But the truck is a stop-gap measure. Kim and I feel like it’s time to pick up a newer, more reliable vehicle. Neither of us relishes this idea, but that’s where we are. Last August, I asked you folks which new car I should buy. You offered a lot of great suggestions. But by purchasing a used pickup, I’ve put my own car dilemma on hold — for a time, at least. Kim’s situation, however, seems pressing.

Fuzzy Math
I found it surprisingly difficult to decide whether or not I should buy a 1993 pickup with 211,000 miles on it. The previous owner is a friend and colleague. I trust him. He says the truck runs great. And, so far, it does. But it’s 25 years old! I worry.

I paid $1900 for the truck. How many miles and/or how much time do I want to get out of it before I consider I got my money’s worth? I’m not sure. I paid $15,000 for the Mini and have driven it for ten years (and 90,000 miles). That’s roughly $1500 per year and 17 cents per mile. Using these numbers as guidelines, I guess I hope that the truck will last a year or two, or that it’ll get me 10,000 to 12,000 miles.

On the other hand, I just bought brand-new 45,000-mile tires for the truck, so maybe I’m hoping it’ll last me for several years!

Kim’s Car-Buying Priorities

Before the Accord started showing its age, Kim’s plan had been to sell the car to a couple of young women we know. They’re in the process of getting their driver licenses and will soon be looking for a cheap car. We thought the Accord was perfect! Now, though, we’re not so sure. Is it really fair to sell them a car knowing it needs $1500+ in repairs? (Maybe we should just give them the car and tell them about its issues?)

Regardless what happens with her current car, we both agree that it’s time to accelerate her timeline for buying a new vehicle.

“What are your priorities for a new car,” I asked last week.

“Well, I want something that fits our lifestyle,” she said. “Apparently, we take the dog everywhere, although I doubt they make dog-specific cars. I want something that lets us haul the kayaks and the bikes. I want to be able to make long road trips comfortably. Ideally, I’d buy an electric car or a hybrid.”

“Anything else?” I asked.

“I want heated seats,” she said. “And a place to put my sunglasses and chapstick.” (If Kim could only take one thing with her to a desert island, it’d be chapstick.)

“Because our cars are so old, any reasonably new vehicle is going to seem like a massive upgrade,” I said. I’ve spent approximately thirty days in rental cars over the past year. They all seem like they’re from the future. (And my friend’s $150,000 Mercedes S550 I rode in last spring? Totally the Enterprise 1701-D!)

“What’s your budget?” I asked.

“I have $16,000 in a targeted saving account specifically for a new car. If I sell my motorcycle, that would probably give me about $5000 more. So, I guess I’m looking at somewhere between $20,000 and $25,000.”

Preparing to Buy a New Car

Between us, Kim and I own three vehicles. Their average age is 21 years and their average value is maybe $1750 each. Obviously, we’re not car people. We place no value in having the latest, greatest vehicle. Neither one of us is looking forward to the car-buying process. It sounds like an ordeal, not something fun.

Fortunately, we know better than to visit dealers until we’re absolutely ready to purchase. (And truthfully, Kim is more inclined to buy a used vehicle from a private party.)

Kim had planned to put off buying a new car until sometime this summer. Now we suspect we’ll have to make the move sooner rather than later.

To that end, she’s started doing research. She asked her Facebook friends for their recommendations. I polled the people who subscribe to the weekly GRS newsletter (and received some terrific response!). Kim has been reading about different cars online. And soon — maybe next week — the annual Consumer Reports car-buying issue will land in our mailbox.

Over the past thirteen years here at Get Rich Slowly, I’ve shared many articles about the car-buying process. Here are some of the most useful:

It’ll be interesting to see which car Kim chooses and how we end up buying it. Deep down, I know she longs for a Tesla Model 3 but at $35,000+, they’re far outside her budget. I suspect she’ll end up with a Subaru Outback or something similar.

Maybe the next time we take Duane to the coast to dig clams, we’ll ride in comfort…and actually catch some clams.

Ironic Footnote
As I was writing this article, Duane phoned me. “Can you pick me up and take me to my oncologist appointment?” he asked. “My car just died.” I spent the next three hours helping him get things sorted.

My post about our dying cars was delayed by Duane’s own dying car.

“Maybe I should buy Bob a new car,” Duane said as we waited for the tow truck to arrive. It was a morbid joke. Duane has terminal cancer. Bob is his brother. If Duane were to buy a new car, he wouldn’t have it long. It’d soon get passed along to his Bob. This adds wrinkles to his own vehicle dilemma.

The post The end of the road: Preparing to buy a new car appeared first on Get Rich Slowly.