Aloha Uncle Sam

Moana Surfrider Hotel, Oahu, Hawaii

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It’s that time of year again, when households across the land are excited to fill out their tax forms. Yeah for Tax Day!

Goal #1 is of course to minimize tax burden using the numerous options available. Be sure to contribute to those deductible IRAs and 401ks!

Some households will have a zero or even negative tax burden, but most will have a tax obligation for the year. This is usually paid at least in part through paycheck withholding or estimated tax payments.

This is also the case for us since we pay Self-Employment tax on blog income. (But… plans are in motion to reduce/eliminate this.)

And I don’t know about you, but if I have to pay some taxes…. I at least better get a ridiculously cheap trip to Hawaii out of the deal.

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Credit Card Minimum Spend Strategies

Rainbow of Credit (photo credit, badumtss)

Rainbow of Credit (photo credit, badumtss)

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In the last year or so we’ve opened 9 new credit card accounts, 7 in my name and 2 in Winnie’s. We have plans to add several more in short order.

Many of these cards have great benefits in their own right, but the primary appeal is the generous signup bonuses which saved us nearly $10,000 on our recent trip to Europe.

Normally the signup bonus is dependent on spending a minimum amount within a specific time period, e.g. “Spend $4,000 on the new card in 3 months.” Our 9 new accounts came with a minimum spend requirement of $23,500, no small amount.

How does one meet these minimum spending requirements without breaking the bank? Inquiring minds want to know.

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The Credit Card Annual Fee Debate

It All Becomes Clear

It All Becomes Clear

I’m a big fan of financial efficiency. If it is possible to get a discount on something I’m going to buy anyway, I’m all for it.

So it isn’t a big surprise when people inquire about call me out for paying annual fees in comments and email.

“Why would you pay a credit card company just for the privilege of making them money?”

“Isn’t it a waste to pay an annual fee when there are so many free credit cards out there?”

“Why would you pay a credit card annual fee? That is just dumb.”

I can certainly relate to the sentiment behind these questions. But if we strip away the emotion and just use the cold hard reason of accounting, it all becomes clear. We pay a fee now with the expectation that we will get something of equal or greater value.

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Retire Early.

Travel the World.

Let's do this.

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