T Nation

Personal Finance Thread




I recommend it to anyone that can fight the urge to overspend.

Also, if I were a traveler (or less of a Costco cult guy), I would probably do this on a miles card instead of cash back. Iirc if you will actually use them, miles shake out to being more valuable as they get deals with the airline companies.

I ran numbers once with a guy I worked with and some of the better miles cards shake out to like 2.5% “back”


Great thread! Just found it!

I believe any methods of generating passive income are huge components to growing wealth. My primary occupation has been a composer, and while I am paid to write commissions each year, I’ve setup a solid business model to make most of my income passively through my online store front.

More recently I’ve gotten heavily involved in Real Estate, and am focusing most of my energy in that aspect. My father and I have accumulated 15 units here in NJ, and over the summer will be moving to Austin, TX, to pursue our investments there, and also open a brokerage with some partners.

If you’re not into investing in rental properties, there are still plenty of ways to invest in real estate. If you’ve got some money saved up in a savings, or IRA, or preferably self-directed IRA, becoming a private lender for an investor you know and trust is a fantastic, much more secure way to get a great ROI, compared to typical stocks or a laughable percentage in a savings account or CD.

Some have mentioned Bigger Pockets, definitely recommend soaking in as much info there as possible!


absolutely not once never no how.

I honestly don’t understand how people let the cc companies do that to them, it’s financial suicide.

I typically review my cc statement every month to see where I could’ve spent less money to take an extra step forward. It’s rare that a cc bill exceeds about 80% of my bi-weekly paycheck.


Is there any benefit to doing this vs paying it off before the month ends? I never carry a balance from one month to another, therefore I am never charged interest, and never penalized. So what would I gain from paying it off every week?

This is actually for @pfury


Your fico will rise faster if you leave a small balance. Quite a bit faster if that’s the goal.

That being said, anything over 740 is the same number. Every lender I’ve ever heard of uses 740+ as the top tier, meaning 740 and 840 guys all get the same rates.

There’s not a ton to gain tbh, I just have it set to pay off every Monday so I’m more easily able to track weekly expenses without having to dick around with my credit card statement.

As long as you pay it off before the billing cycle ends there’s no difference between what you and I do.


Yup, I pay all my households bills and expenses with my CC which has miles rewards. Pay it off a few times per month with my debit card, I’ve never carried a balance. The only activity on my debit account is my mortgage, payments to the CC, and transfers from my GF for her half of the monthly expenses. It would be stupid to use anything else for payments.

It works out to free airfare once a year for a big couples trip, or a few smaller trips. Last year went to US Virgin islands, this year Chamonix, next year either Japan for skiing or the tropics again.

My problem RN is i have too much cash on hand, but I’m also semi seriously looking at buying a house if the right deal happens so I’m stuck not earning what I should on that money in exchange for the instant liquidity I may or may not need.


Yes, up to around 4%. I pay 3.4% to swipe credit cards at work. I’m sure large vendors pay less, but they definitely make money on both ends.

At home we use a credit card for all of our day-to-day spending and keep it/them paid off. Given that the interest doesn’t compound it’s a small gain, but at least it’s something. We’re meticulous about money stuff and debt-averse, so it goes well for us.

We also used a couple of their cash offers for our renovations - the checks they occasionally send? It allowed us to borrow money (I think altogether around $22K split between two cards) for 18 months each for one-time 3% fees. Had we charged on either of the two cards we used or failed to complete repayment on time, we’d have paid full interest on the total amount. We just put the cards away until they were paid off.

The cards can be a good tool, but yeah, there’s the risk. Once you start sliding down the slope you can pick up speed quickly.


Don’t start a T-shirt business, lol… :money_mouth_face::astonished::frowning::disappointed::sob:


Who has ever read the intelligent investor? I have the book but when I read it my 18 year old brain can’t understand it all. I understand the unpredictability of the market, but there’s just more I feel like I need to know before understanding the book. Can anyone summarize the main points?


The main premise is that you should never forget that a share of stock is ownership in a real live company that makes earnings. Buying a share of stock in a business is tantamount to “purchasing” the future earnings of that business.

As an intelligent investor you should ignore the irrational exuberance and pessimism (Keynes’ animal spirits) of the markets and buy sound companies only when they are trading at prices where you’re buying those future earnings at a discount or a deal. He goes on to define how to calculate that.

Usually the time frame for holding securities for Graham is decades. So we’re talking about playing the very long game with only very sound and proven companies.

There’s many more concepts, but that’s the core.


Also if you like the intelligent investor I highly recommend reading all of Berkshire Hathaway’s letters to investors. They’re free. Buffet is a student of Graham, but way easier to understand. Those letters are like an MBA in Finance in my opinion.


No, nor obtain a master’s degree in social work… :money_mouth_face::astonished::frowning::disappointed::sob:


Credit cards can provide enormous value if used properly. Basically that means never pay interest or pay the balance in full each month. Here’s the line-up I use:

Target Red Card - instant 5% savings on every purchase
Amazon Prime Card - 5% statement credit on all purchases
Costco Visa - 4% back on gas and 3% on dining. Issued as a Costco gift certificate annually (you get cash back if you don’t use the entire amount of the certificate on a purchase)
Citi Double Cash card - 2% statement credit

Last year I saved about $1500 between all of the rewards, not counting the Target discount.

None have annual fees, except Costco does charge an annual membership fee.


Hey guys, how are your assets divided percentage wise?


Divided in the sense of long/medium/short term? Or do you mean by type of investment?


Type of investment.

Personally, I’m massively overexposed in real estate and I’m currently thinking about further diversifying my assets.


I’m only 28, all of mine is 401k status while I pay off debt. In about 4 years I’ll be starting with rental properties. Still maxing 401k every year, but the ‘retire easy’ money will be real estate.

How massively? Not super well read on the EU market, but in the states it’s still pretty close to peak ‘selling’ times.


I’d have to dig in to see where as a percentage, but everything is split between: 401k (which is pretty diverse also tied to retirement), stocks, real estate, gold, crypto and I’m trying really hard not to dive into international real estate. But damn, Thailand property is ridiculously inexpensive and I have family there that can manage my rentals.


80% of my assets. I have several rental properties but recently I’ve started worrying about liquidity and the effects of the next big financial crisis. The rest is diversified.

The same is in EU. That’s the reason I’m contemplating selling - from these highs it can only go down.

Be careful, many have lost money playing the international real estate market.