Welcome to Money Metagame!
Money Metagame focuses on how to optimize your finances using retirement accounts, credit cards, gift cards, and more. Everyone from frugal minimalists to big spenders traveling the world should be able to find value in the different financial topics this blog covers. Taking extra vacations for pennies on the dollar and retiring decades before the traditional retirement age are possible for almost anyone and Money Metagame will dive into the details on how to make your money work for you.
As for us, my wife and I are currently pursuing financial independence, or the ability to quit our jobs and live entirely off of our investments, and are on track to get there before 40 years old! Despite that short timeline and aggressive savings, we are still living it up in the present with plenty of travel and adventures, partially thanks to large credit card signup bonuses we take advantage of by signing up for dozens of new cards each year. In fact, we recently started a Gap Year of no work and lots of travel that began in early 2018! Feel free to follow our journey here on the blog and check out the many great posts and resources with more information below. Cheers!
Where to Start?
I encourage you to check out some of the introductory posts and if you like what you see, please consider Subscribing.
- The Money Metagame: An Introduction
- Credit Cards: An Introduction
- Financial Independence: An Introduction
Want to keep reading and get into more detail? These are some of the best posts that have been written so far:
- The Value Of An Extra $100
- How To Hack Your Mortgage Into a High Interest Savings Account
- Should I Pay It Off Early For A Discount?
- The Case Against Front Loading Your 401k
- Is Anyone Actually Saving Money By Travel Hacking?
- Early Retirement Cash Flow With The Roth IRA Conversion Ladder
- The Ultimate Movie Theater Discount Hacking Guide
- Optimizing Taxes Over A Lifetime
- Gift Cards: Useful For Way More Than Gifting
- The Math Behind Paying Down a Mortgage with PMI
- One of Life’s Little Inefficiencies: Travel
- Tracking and Understanding Your Credit Score
- My Latest Get Rich Slow Scheme: Gift Card Arbitrage
- Investing Efficiently: Which Accounts To Use First
- Churning, Earning, and Burning: Balancing The Equation
- Tax Implications of Reselling and MS
- Comparing Medical Plans and Using the HSA choice as a Free Raise
- Shopping Portals: How to get a few extra % off almost everything you buy online
- Your Credit Score Might Not Be As High As You Think
- Everyone Knows You Don’t HAVE to Manufacture Spend… Right?
- How Much Did That Tax Refund Cost You?
- Tax Benefits for Unmarried Home-Owners and The Marriage Tax Penalty
- Hiking and The Journey To Financial Independence
- Addition By Subtraction: We Love Getting Rid of Stuff!
- What Over $2,000 in Annual Fees has Earned Us This Year
- Meet Your Goals Efficiently By Tracking Them
- How to Remove Escrow From Your Mortgage and Save Hundreds Each Year
Want to read about some of the trips we’ve taken with points and miles and how we booked them?
- How We Spent 8 Days in NYC for Less Than $255
- How We Booked 4 All-Inclusive Nights in Cancun for $160
- Using British Avios to Book 2 Flights to Hawaii for 50k Miles and $22.40
- How We Booked a $14,000 Fiji Honeymoon for Under $400
- How Flexible Award Bookings with Alaska, American, and IHG Saved Our Upcoming Trip
- How We Booked Our Trip to Spain with Points, Miles, and $465
- A Cabo San Lucas All Inclusive on Points, Miles, and $164
Want to know more about us? Here are some recap posts that cover our spending and financial plans:
- 2014 Recap – Let the Money Metagame Begin
- Our Financial Independence Plan: FI By 40
- 2015 Mid-Year Credit Cards Report Card
- 2015 Mid-Year Financial Independence Report Card
- Financial Beginnings, A Shift In Travel Strategy, and My First “Premium” Credit Card
- Our Side Gig Successes In 2015 – Credit Cards, Arbitrage, and More
- Reviewing Our 2015 Expenses
- Mapping Out Our Financial Rube Goldberg Machine
- Reviewing Our 2016 Expenses
- 2017 Mid-Year FI Report Card: Things Are Going Quite Well
- Reviewing Our 2017 Expenses
Need even more? Be sure to SUBSCRIBE and be the first to know about new posts and tools to help optimize your finances. If you want to take it one step further, be sure to check out the different ways you can Support Money Metagame.
The Origin Story
From a young age, optimization and efficiency have always been at the front of my mind, and anything from homework to video games was often broken down as far as possible to find the optimal strategy for completion. While the amount of time spent finding the optimal strategy didn’t always pay off, I really enjoyed the process of diving into a complex problem and trying to fully understanding the mechanics behind it. I was able to put this interest in problem solving to good use throughout college which led to accepting a job offer to work as a Software Developer in a big tech company right after graduation.
After settling into a new city and starting the new job, my paychecks started to accumulate in my checking account. I’ve never been very interested in flashy clothes, high-end restaurants, or most other things that people spend money on, so saving a good amount of my paycheck came naturally. As I began researching the large world of personal finance that I recently became a member of, I noticed that almost everywhere I looked yielded very different advice, strategies, and opinions on how to handle your finances. I read as much as possible on the subject in various websites, books, blogs, and forums which led to a pretty good understanding of what was going on, but it was only after discovering the ideas of financial independence and churning that I really became obsessed with my own finances. The idea that I could retire in my 30s or take free vacations around the world without any drastic lifestyle changes really blew my mind.
As I dove into my own finances and shared my discoveries with friends and family, I realized how many common misconceptions exist in the world of personal finance and how relatively unknown some of the deeper concepts are. So I created this blog as a way to organize my own research on the subject, educate others, and maybe make a little money on the side.