Miller is a credit-card churner, one of thousands of people who pry travel, cash, and other perks from credit-card rewards programs. Their common traits are a keen eye for deals and an obsessive determination not to pay when they can make somebody else pay for them. They meet up online to share strategies, including in a Reddit forum with 42,000 subscribers, double the number a year ago, and contribute to dozens of blogs on the subject.
Churners can be secretive about their hobby, worried that its growing popularity will cause the card companies to turn off the flow of freebies. “There’s a fear that the more people who know about it, the sooner the deal is going to get killed,” says Miller, 40. But the basic idea is to take out credit cards simply for their rewards, squeeze as many perks as possible out of each one, and then move on to the next, often accumulating dozens of cards in the process.
At first, I was skeptical. Sharing my time and space with perfect strangers seemed like an odd and even dangerous way to make a buck. However, with newcomers exploding onto the scene all the time, changing the way we do business with each other, it started to become financially irresponsible not to at least dabble. These days, harnessing the sharing economy is my primary way of saving money when I travel, which is 365 days of the year.
Here are some of the most clever ways to utilize the sharing economy before and during your travels to save money for your trip, and once you’re on the road.
A lot of people think they need a university degree to get a job as a software engineer.
A few days ago, I published a post called “Learn to Code: 13 Tips that Could Save You Years of Effort”. Tip #1 was “Forget university programs.”
Here’s the full tip:
Forget university programs. Unless it’s from Stanford or MIT, your degree will mean a lot less than having some apps to show off. In fact, most university programs struggle to keep up with changing technology. A degree will buy you a few thousand dollars more for the first 1–3 years. After that it makes exactly zero difference. Unless you like flushing time and money down the toilet…
I’ve talked about this a lot, but I’ve never written a detailed, data-backed blog post on the topic. If I’m gonna make a strong claim like that, I’d better back it up.
Here’s reality. (Data from the 2016 Stack Overflow survey of 56,033 coders):
Dodging firewalls and masking your IP address usually requires firing up separate—often paid-for—software or plug-ins while you’re browsing. Now, though, Opera has its own free VPN baked right into the desktop browser.
The new feature is available in the latest developer version of the Opera browser for Windows or OS X. You just go to Settings on Windows or Preferences on a Mac, then toggle the VPN on in the Privacy & Security section. Bingo, you’re browsing over a virtual private network and you mask your IP address to dodge firewalls so that you can view content that you’re unable to from your current country or office. As well as all the other responsible things that a VPN can help you with.
Chelsea Workman went to Ohio State University because it was her cheapest option. But she still had to take out student loans and work to make ends meet.
By the middle of her sophomore year, she’d had enough. She dropped out and moved to Germany to finish her degree where college is free.
Hunter Newsome, from California, decided to go to college in Estonia rather than the University of California, Davis — at the very last minute. He’s saving more than $10,000 a year on tuition, and he’ll earn a bachelor’s degree in three years rather than four.
There are at least 44 schools across Europe where Americans can earn their bachelor’s degree for free, according to Jennifer Viemont, the founder of an advising service called Beyond The States.