$1 a day for 55 days

After two technical posts, I thought it’s about time for a personal story! In principle this could be a third mini-guide, but please don’t. I also realize Elon Musk apparently did something similar, but he did it in 1988, almost 25 years before my attempt, and only for a month. Psh. Lightweight.

To answer the second question that probably comes to mind, it’s because 55 days is approximately eight weeks. I decided to try the titular challenge during an eight week undergraduate research program, one humid summer in Michigan. (The funny thing is, this was probably the most tame of the three summers of financial challenges I imposed upon myself during undergrad. But one story at a time.)

Needless to say, the $1 a day refers only to food expenditures. However, the research program reimbursed my housing and transportation, and the shared house I found included all utilities and incidentals in the rent. In the end, the challenge really was to part with at most a figurative 55 dollars (I had a credit card by then) during my stay in Michigan. Incidentally, the program had a very reasonable stipend, but where’s the fun in using the money you earn to feed yourself?

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Mini-guide: The definitive $0 annual fee cashback credit card lineup of 2018

There are many reasons to be skeptical of best cashback credit card lists, especially if you are coming from the FI perspective: Conflicts of interest from sponsorship; insufficient research in light of the admittedly complex nature of the field; contamination with travel credit cards; and bloggers themselves being “conned” into extra spending by reward programs.

Below is my recommended cashback credit card lineup, carefully crafted to cover most areas of spending. Needless to say, this tiny site is not sponsored by anyone. All the below cards have no annual fee. I also do not discuss signup bonuses, which one should probably approach with more of a travel card philosophy (accordingly, most of the following cards have only minor signup bonuses). I should add that I don’t possess the full array at the moment, but plan to build up to it.

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Mini-guide: Buying laptops on eBay

Having been involved in FI for a while, I’ve found that almost all goods and services are, to some extent, optional. On the flip side, a lot of goods and services can be obtained, at the right place and time, severely discounted or even for free (the small con). But essentially without exception, everyone working toward FI should own a laptop; and essentially without exception, one doesn’t find laptops disproportionately discounted.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve started buying used eBay laptops to address this. I’m not sure how novel an idea this really is, so let me outline the concerns I personally had before I started experimenting in this way.

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Part in-depth strategies, part personal stories, all about financial independence

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