Never Pay Retail Again

Never Pay Retail Again
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In the final months of each year, the Big Sales come out in force. Black Friday! Cyber Monday! Singles Day! (China)

Retailers need to make their sales numbers, and they offer all kinds of bargains* and discounts to get people into their stores. It’s like a circus, a sporting event, and an IQ test all rolled into one.

I can certainly appreciate the desire to pay less for something, assuming you were going to buy it anyway. Personally, paying retail is against my religion.

In this post I review how we routinely get discounts on everything from clothes to coffee to hotels, at a time and place of our choosing. It’s all part of a master plan to Never Pay Retail Again.

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Posted in Finances | Tagged , , | 44 Comments

Everyone Should Blog

everyoneshouldblog
4 years ago we stepped off the employment treadmill and stopped into a life focused on travel and family.

Originally this little blog was simply intended to be a way for friends and family to see what we were up to. When people starting asking how we could be so financially secure at such a young age, I started writing a bit about money. Then we got some press, and the number of friends and family following along exploded.

The results have been life changing. So much so, I think everyone should blog.

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Posted in Life | Tagged , | 45 Comments

Write it All Off

Depreciation for Side Hustlers

A Fully Depreciated Asset (photo credit)

Bloggers, digital nomads, side hustlers, and business owners have more opportunities for tax savings than the average employee. One of my favorites is the ability to turn stuff you already have or were going to buy anyway into beautiful tax deductions through depreciation.

Have an extra room in your house? Write it off. That computer you once used for Facebook but now use to write blog posts and manage investments? Write it off. The smartphone you use to populate your Instagram feed? Write it off. The new SLR camera and lenses you plan to use to share details of the nomadic lifestyle? Write ’em off!

There is nothing better than having Uncle Sam help pay for the stuff you need for your business.

Naturally this ability to write it all off is a superpower that is rife for abuse, so the IRS has a whole mess of rules to follow. But as with all rules, there are always ways to optimize to your advantage. In this post I walk through the opportunities, gotchas, and strategies for depreciation write-offs using some common side hustle tools and equipment.

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Posted in Finances, Taxes | Tagged , | 41 Comments

Uncle Sam Helps Pay Our Rent

Office Space

Have you seen my stapler? (photo credit)

After visiting 16 countries in 16 months we are back in Taipei, Taiwan for the next year or so. A rental property we stayed in awhile back was available once again and the landlord was happy to have us move back in. It always pays to be a good tenant.

Even better news, this apartment has a room we used only for storage. So I turned it into a tax deduction.. err, I mean a home office.

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Posted in Finances, Taxes | Tagged , | 48 Comments

The Earth Awaits

The Earth Awaits ReviewGCC: Before we retired I looked long and hard for International cost of living/travel data. What I found was limited, vague, or outdated. Since then many sites and blogs have offered new data or a new approach.

Recently I found a new favorite… The Earth Awaits. Others like it too;  it is currently featured on BBC’s The Travel Show.

In this Guest Post, see what the Frugal Vagabond has to say about his creation:

A Labor of Love

I love the world, and think that travel makes us better, more thoughtful, and more charitable with each other. In a world that seems to be turning inward, we could all use a little more of that.

Back in July, my wife, my father-in-law, and I sat down to a delicious Indian dinner. Dinners like this are always a little bittersweet— my wife’s mother passed away early last year, and her dad misses his wife terribly. Without her, he has an understandably tough time finding things to look forward to. Seeing his struggle with this loss always reminds me that time is our most precious resource.

As we ate, my father-in-law casually mentioned that his youngest brother had retired, making him the last of his siblings not to have done so. “Someday,” he said, “they’ll find me dead at my keyboard, I guess.”

I glanced at my wife and saw that she wore an absolutely miserable expression. She wants her dad to be happy, but doesn’t know how to help him look forward to anything.

“Hey… you’re collecting your Social Security, right? How much is that check every month?” I asked.

“About $2,300, why?” he replied.

Looking back, that was the moment that The Earth Awaits was born.
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Posted in Travel | Tagged , , , | 58 Comments