There seems to be a lot of talk lately about Minimalism.
I have my own thoughts and techniques to add to the discussion.
Money and Credit Cards.
From a minimalism standpoint, making them work FOR you. This works outside the realm of minimalism, too. Fact of business, it will just make good fiduciary sense. And, it can be quite fun.
Case in point – My flight out to Salt Lake City, Utah at the end of September for the MG Village-by-The-Lake Meetup is free. Well, okay, I had to pay the Early Bird fees out of my own pocket, but other than that, the roundtrip flight is costing me nothing.
Many of you already do this, however for the majority of you who do not, this will be gold
Air travel can be costly, right?
Not if you fly utilizing points. You know. Frequent flyer points?
For every flight you purchase you get points. AND, if you have a credit card issued by that airline/bank, then you can link it to your airline account and when you make a purchase with that credit card, typically each dollar spent is a point.
Oh no, Vincent! Are you really advocating we use a credit card? Absolutely. Having one for emergencies is practical AND making that card work FOR you is genius.
I’ll give you my own real world example.
I signed up for a Southwest credit card last year, issued by Chase, and then linked it to my Southwest account.
The initial offer for signing up for their card was this – spend 3K plus dollars on the card within 3 months and get 40K free points. So, depending on your travel destination, that could mean almost 2 FREE roundtrip tickets, right off the bat.
This is cake. What you do, for any purchase, say, over one hundred dollars, you pay for it with your card – Rent/mortgage, groceries, utilities, cable bill (if you’re foolish enough to still have one), car payments, etc.
That all adds up and means potential points.
If you have a mortgage that does not accept online payments, no worries, do this – credit card companies can issue you checks you can use to be drawn on your line of credit. The same as an ordinary, standard checking account. Order those and pay your mortgage with that.
Thus, in three months time, you have satisfied the 3K requirement (and probably more) and received your 40K airfare miles.
Keep doing this every month. Let the points rack up. Keep careful track of your expenditures and where your dollars are going.
At the end of the month, (do not carry a balance on your card), pay off the card. Your credit score stays high and fresh and you’re on your way to free domestic travel.
This can also be done with international flights, too.
And that is my next endeavor.
So, to recap. My travel costs out to Utah are nothing. I’ll be crashing at Rob’s house, too, so I have no hotel or AirBnB costs. Now, having said that, I am a GUEST at Rob’s. This means, most of the time, I will be paying for Rob’s meals and drinks. This is what the Gentlemen MG does. Remember – Thous Shalt Not Be a Cheap, Ungrateful Bastid. Mark this well.
Travel more, Gentlemen.
Now, get moving.