005 | Ready, Set, Gap Year! | Noah & Becky @ Money Metagame

005 | Ready, Set, Gap Year! | Noah & Becky @ Money Metagame

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How to Get a Full Ride to College

Noah and Becky worked as Caddies all throughout high school, making a good amount of money during the summer, but most importantly earned a full-ride scholarship (The Chick Evans Scholarship) to Purdue University (tuition and housing).

This set them up to graduate college without debt. Because of the intentionality of both Noah and Becky and their parents they started their career at a zero net worth vs a negative six-figure net worth like most couples today.

One too Many Promotions

After graduating and finding the concept of FIRE, Noah and Becky saved diligently, because they wanted to be responsible with their money.

Their saving and investing really found purpose when work became so stressful. Becky had risen up the rungs of the corporate ladder, and found herself feeling very stressed.

This is when FIRE became a logical alternative. Build up enough cash reserves to walk away or take a Gap year, which they are doing at this point.

The Gap Year FI

After coming up with the plan to take some time off, Noah and Becky begin to take action toward realizing that goal.

They liquidated everything in their house and began renting it. They got a storage unit to shelter some of those important keepsakes, and then they hit the road in their Mazda 3 Hatchback.

Noah and Becky are traveling the country together, with a very modest amount of items, but most importantly they are having the adventure of their lives together, seeing these amazing sites all through the country, but also stopping to spend time with friends and family along the way.

Funding the Gap Year

Noah and Becky made the plan to fund this trip without drawing down on any investments. So in the months leading up to taking their gap year, they saved cash outside of retirement accounts, specifically to fund this trip.

They racked up a ton of travel rewards, which has helped them supplement their trip. Back in Seattle Noah and Becky were spending somewhere around that $60,000/year threshold, now they are traveling the country full time, having the trip of a lifetime, and only spending $40,000/year!

75 Credit Cards to Free Travel

Noah and Becky discovered travel hacking on Reddit. They quickly implemented the strategy, churning credit cards (opening new credit cards for the sole purpose of banking introductory signup offer).

With each card having a $500-$1000 value introductory offer, they have earned approximately $50,000-$100,000 in travel credit to make travel more affordable and enjoyable.

Anybody can repeat this strategy! You can get started with your first card today by applying through our travel rewards partner.

What could you do with $50,000 for travel?

We know this is an awful lot of money, but this strategy is not so difficult to implement. It’s about making the intentional choice.

What about your Credit Score?

Most would assume that Noah and Becky would have taken huge hits to their credit score by applying for 70+ plus credit cards….. But the opposite has actually happened.

Their credit scores continue to go up as they have more accounts, all having on-time payments. They have found their scores in the 800’s now because of it.

The Ultimate Redemption

For their honeymoon, Noah and Becky traveled to Fiji and New Zealand. Spending about a week in New Zealand and 2 weeks in Fiji, having an absolutely amazing time, but only spent about $500 total for the trip.

The actual retail value for the 3-week trip that they took, would have cost about $14,000, yet they managed to do it for only $500.

This is the power of travel rewards!

As incredible as this sounds we all can implement these strategies, simply by starting to take action today.

Fitness and FIRE

Noah and Becky are very interested in physical fitness, as money is not the most important thing on this journey, it is important to stay on top of health and fitness.

Noah has competed in the World’s Toughest Mudder, staying up for 24 hours doing these amazing tasks.

They are both very active and prioritize staying healthy even while on the road. Fitness should be a cornerstone of our FI journey.

Join the Community

Thank you so much for joining us for another episode of the FIRE Below Zero Podcast. Here are some awesome ways to say in touch, and always have these ideas and strategies at your fingertips

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Links from Today’s Episode

Money Metagame (Noah’s Blog) | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Cody and TJ’s Recommended Credit Cards

Caddie Scholarship

Reddit

Mint

Personal Capital

Fly to FI (Cody’s Blog)

Half Life Theory (TJ’s blog)

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