Monday, March 30, 2020

Bored at home? We've got another discounted activity for your enjoyment!

My Dear Reader,

Are you enjoying your time at home??

I hope you are.

But if you're not... Have you ever thought about learning Mandarin?

I made a friend when I went to Beijing, China. She was our tour guide for about half a day, if I am remembering correctly. She's an amazing businesswoman, and even came to live in NYC for a short while.

She's starting a brand-spanking-new business and I've got a discount just for YOU!

It's a whopping 15% off!

Her nickname is Sunflower, and here is her website: 

The discount code is Dim Sum. Unfortunately, when you register, it won't say you have 15% off, but Sunflower has promised me if you use the discount code, she will get you your 15% back that you pay afterwards. She's very trustworthy, don't worry. :)

Good luck with your Mandarin studies!

Ever yours,
Into the FIRE

Friday, March 27, 2020

Stuck at home? Try this!

Hello Dear Reader,

First, please note any links are affiliate links and therefore I may get a small commission, but there will be no additional cost to you.

Second: are you stuck at home due to the coronavirus pandemic?

Why not try watercolor painting?

Here is what you need:
HB pencils and eraser
Small and medium round painting brushes
Watercolor Set of Paints
300 Gram Cold Press Watercolor Paper

Note: you don't have to buy the products linked exactly above, but you should follow the objects listed.

Second note: if prices do not increase, you will have spent a grand total of $27.97 for perhaps an hour or two (or more) of pleasure! So that is nice.

Now, what if you're a total newbie?

Here is where my good friends Lago Artes come in! Lago Artes is a small, family-run business that teaches watercolor painting in person and virtually.

Now, normally they charge 25 euros per person, but for Few and FIRE Between readers, you can get a huge discount and only pay 15 euros per person! Now, you ask: what if I want to pay in USD?

Don't worry, you can pay 20 USD per person! The euro price may be a better deal, but since we don't know how the exchange rate will fluctuate, these are the prices they agreed to offer our dear reader. Also, if you pay in euros you may be subject to the exchange rate.

So how do you get this great deal? You need the promo code: ITF2020 . You can pay them through PayPal: . In the message, just mention my handle (Into the FIRE) and the promo code (ITF2020). You should also mention that this is payment for the virtual watercolor class, and how many people the payment is for.

Here is their Facebook page to make your reservation:

I recommend you contact them for availability before paying so that you can ensure that their schedule matches up with yours!

Note: I do not get any commission from Lago Artes. I only receive a small commission from the Amazon links for the products listed above (but again, at no extra cost to you!).

Thank you for reading and happy painting!

Ever yours,
Into the FIRE

Friday, March 20, 2020

Opportunity to win $25,000! (Either mail-in for free or invest $500)

Hello Dear Reader,

It's your favorite FIRE blogger, Into the FIRE (just kidding ;P - there's plenty of FIRE bloggers out there much cooler than I am ).

Anyway, I wanted to share with you this opportunity I found today to win $25,000 from Wealthfront.

Here are the official rules.

Note, I get no affiliate benefit from sharing this with you! :). Just sharing out of the goodness of my heart.

A few key excerpts: You do not need to invest to win. If you do not wish to invest, you must mail in to enter.

See here:
(b) Entry Without a Wealthfront Cash Account: If you do not have an active Wealthfront Cash Account, you may enter each Applicable Sweepstakes for free by mailing a 3×5 card containing (i) the “Code” listed in Table A that corresponds with the Applicable Sweepstakes to which you are entering; (ii) your first and last name; (iii) phone number; and (iv) email address to: Wealthfront Sweepstakes c/o Sync Marketing LLC, 3905 State Street #7 Box 506, Santa Barbara, CA 93105-5107. Upon Administrator’s receipt of your 3×5 card, you will receive one (1) entry in the Applicable Sweepstakes. You must send one (1) 3×5 card for each Applicable Sweepstakes you wish to enter. Limit: one (1) 3×5 card per entrant per Applicable Sweepstakes.
3×5 Card Entry Details: The Administrator will discard any 3×5 cards that (i) do not contain all required information described above or (ii) contain more information than is required by these Official Rules. Discarded 3×5 cards will not receive an entry. 3×5 cards for each Applicable Sweepstakes must be postmarked on or after the Applicable Sweepstakes’ start date and before or on the Applicable Sweepstakes’ end date. All 3×5 cards for an Applicable Sweepstakes must be received by the Administrator on or before the third business day that follows the Applicable Sweepstakes Sweepstake End date as listed in Table A below in order to be eligible.
Now, if you do invest to win:(a) Wealthfront Cash Account Entry: If you have an active Wealthfront account (i.e., account is open and funded) in good standing as of the end of the Applicable Sweepstakes Period, you will automatically receive one (1) entry in the Applicable Sweepstakes, subject to the entry limits below. Limit: one (1) entry per person/account holder per Applicable Sweepstakes. If you do not wish to participate in all Sweepstakes, you can opt out by sending an email to
The minimum investment is $500. Personally, I don't like investments such as these. Wealthfront takes a small fee for robo-investing, but it's still a fee for something that I could do on my own.
So if you do enter, I'd suggest mailing in. $25000 for a $500 return sounds great, but remember you are competing with everyone who has an active Wealthfront account.
So, your odds aren't that great, but it's better than playing the lottery (probably).
If you do mail in, I've copied the table from the official rules below:
Applicable Sweepstakes Periods and Approximate Winner Selection Dates
Applicable SweepstakesSweepstakes StartsSweepstakes EndsWinner Selection
(on or about date)
Sweepstakes 1
March 20, 2020March 26, 2020,
5:00 p.m.
April 3, 2020
Sweepstakes 2
March 27, 2020April 2, 2020,
5:00 p.m.
April 10, 2020
Sweepstakes 3
April 3, 2020April 9, 2020,
5:00 p.m.
April 17, 2020
Sweepstakes 4
April 10, 2020April 16, 2020,
5:00 p.m.
April 20, 2020

Best of luck to you! And please stay safe and wash your hands in these trying, crazy, coronavirus times!
Yours truly,
Into the FIRE

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Really cool opportunity to win $10,000!

Dear Reader,

I’ve found a very cool opportunity for you to win $10,000! It also relates to travel hacking - so a double win!

So, MIT has come up with a really cool travel aggregator (with some sweet bonuses like weather and points of interest). It’s called Escape.

Right now, they’re running a promotion for you to get $10,000 if you can plan the cheapest around the world itinerary.

Here’s my referral link (no cost to you, and it gives me no money, but another entry into the competition if you use my link): 

I’d really appreciate it if you could use my referral link in thanks for me informing you about this.

Even if you don’t want to enter, just check out the cool tool MIT has put together. Who knows, maybe you will plan your next flight with their tool!

Good night, 
Into the FIRE

Thursday, February 20, 2020

ChooseFI Documentary Search!

Dear Reader,

Exciting news! You can apply to be part of the ChooseFI Documentary Search!

Here is the link.

There is an in-depth written portion and a video portion.

They also require you to sign a video waiver.

Yours truly, Into the FIRE, actually applied but I didn't submit the video waiver. There were portions of it that didn't exactly feel right to me. I've submitted an email requesting clarification and I'll keep you updated on the news!

I heard they will be following 6 families on their FI journey.

This seems really exciting and fun.

If you apply, I hope you get picked!

Into the FIRE

Disclaimer: The above link is not an affiliate link and I do not get any kickbacks. There should be no application fee. If at any point you are asked for money or payment, you have clicked on the wrong link. Thank you :)

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Financial Freedom Blog Post #9

Dear Reader,

In this post, we will go over Grant's 11 questions that should be applied to every purchase.

Note: all links in this blog post are Amazon affiliate links. As such I will get a very small amount from your purchase if you click on any of these links and buy the product, but your price will not be increased. Here is the book again: Financial Freedom: A Proven Path to All the Money You Will Ever Need

Here I've made a very handy chart for you:

VacationSnackFast FoodMeal OutGift
1How happy will this purchase make me?108101010
2How much money do I have to make to afford this?$3,000.00$10.00$15.00$100.00$10.00
3How many hours of my life am I trading to afford this?145.42 hours0.48 hours0.73 hours4.85 hours0.48 hours
4Can I afford it?Yes, if I save.Sort of.In short, no.Occassionally.Yes.
5How do prices compare in terms of percentages?$3,750.00$12.50$18.75$125.00$12.50
6Can I get it for less or trade for it?Depends.Sometimes.Yes.Possibly.Sometimes.
7How much am I spending on convenience?Not a lot.90%90%75%25%
8aHow much will this cost me each year?$6,000$100$100$500$500
8bHow much would this cost me for the rest of my life?$420,000$7,000$7,000$35,000$35,000
9What is the per-use cost of this item?N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
10How much will this money be worth in the future?$12,000$200$200$1,000$1,000
11How much time (freedom) is this buying me in the future?1 year and 60.3 days7.2 days7.2 days36.1 days36.1 days

Let's break it down.

Question 1: I rated on a scale of 1-10 how happy these purchases make me. I tend not to spend money on things that won't make me happy.

Snacks are a lower score (8) because sometimes I buy snacks that end up tasting bad. You live and learn!

Question 2: these are rough estimates.

Question 3 builds on the previous action item from Financial Freedom: A Proven Path to All the Money You Will Ever Need . You need to know your effective after-tax rate. As a reminder, mine is $20.63 . Since I spend about 46.5 hours per week on work items, a $3,000 vacation costs me about 3.13 weeks of work.

Question 4: Vacations should be saved for unless you are wealthy. Snacks seem low-cost, but there is a danger to your health. Fast food is incredibly bad for your health. This isn't something I recommend anybody partake in. Meals out are expensive, but worth it. I can usually afford something like that. Gifts are almost always worth it.

Question 5: This is the price after tax. It is alarming that vacation gets almost a third of the price added to it!

Question 6: I imagine you could barter sometimes for a vacation, but bartering, say, a flight to Japan is probably very difficult. Snacks could probably be bartered. Fast food you can definitely get for less (right now, anyway) with all the fast food apps they are releasing. Similar to snacks, you could probably barter meals out. Gifts can sometimes be bartered depending on where you get them from.

Question 7: Making your own vacation is very difficult. I can't pilot a plane to Japan (nor anywhere else). I could make a staycation in NYC, but I don't think that answers the question. The other percentages are rough estimates. Snacks I could prepare at home and bring around. Fast food - I could make a burger at home. I think it'd be more money (though it'd probably be healthier). You can't beat the convenience though. Meals out - sometimes I could attempt to copy this at home (badly), and sometimes I can't. Gifts - I'm limited to making only certain gifts.

Question 8a and 8b: These are rough estimates.

I just want to take a quick interlude to say I've got this song on repeat: Boy & Bear . It's by Pogo , who is this amazing artist.

Okay, back to the questions.

Question 9: So, you could argue vacations, meals out and gifts are multi-use in terms of 'memories,' (I mean theoretically we could do this with anything, like snacks and fast food too, right?) but I don't think it's legitimate so I just said "Not Applicable" to all of them.

Question 10: At a ROI of 6% and inflation calculated at 2.5%, numbers will roughly double in 12 years (how fast I could probably retire). All in all, I'm pretty happy with these numbers! Though if we go back to 8b, man, that is a killer! Almost half a million going forward? But you know what? I would say it's worth it. I really feel like I've lived, you know? :) I mean, I've seen the pyramids in Egypt, ridden in a hot air balloon over the Valley of the Kings, I've seen Abu Simbel, I've seen the Great Wall of China, gone to Machu Picchu, hugged a llama. I've eaten snail soup in Beijing, stayed out all night in Tokyo, eaten early morning sushi in Tsukiji, scuba dived in Thailand and Okinawa, eaten soup curry in Hokkaido, thrown Bizen pottery in Okayama, loved and lost, loved and gained, eaten KBBQ and cold noodles in South Korea, eaten special medicinal chicken in South Korea, made mosaic art in Heyri Art Village, thrown pottery in Korea, made glass marbles in Corning, cut flip flops in Okinawa, blown glass in Okinawa, gambled in Niagara Falls (that was actually incredible - 10/10 would do again), gambled in Las Vegas, seen the Golden Gate Bridge, seen the Grand Canyon, seen the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame and the Louvre in Paris, eaten cheese in Paris, eaten crepes in France, eaten gelato in Florence, Italy, been to Venice, Milan, Turin, eaten a danish in Denmark (it's delicious), seen the Northern Lights in Iceland, spent Christmas in Norway, gone above the Arctic Circle in Tromso, eaten mangoes and dumplings for breakfast in Taiwan, eaten Din Tai Fung in Singapore, been credited in a movie, made gelato, made chocolate in Peru, made dumplings in China, seen BTS live in concert, seen Phoenix, Skrillex, Björk, Electric Six, Feist, Marina and the Diamonds, the Weakerthans, Tycho, Run River North, so many musical artists live, God, just so, so, so much stuff. I think it's all worth it. Keep living. Keep experiencing.

Question 11: Seriously? No regrets. See above.

Phew. I'm exhausted!

Thanks for making it this far.

What are some things you've done that have made you feel alive?

Was it worth the money you spent on it?

What's one thing you regretted spending money on?

Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Good night.

Until next time, I remain:

Your faithful,
Into the FIRE