How to Earn Free Plane Tickets and Cash Back by Shopping Online

When my husband and I went to Italy in 2006, we spent $2500 on plane tickets. We're planning to spend much less for our next hop across the pond because as of this month we have over 80,000 airline miles — just enough for two tickets to Europe.

I used to think frequent flier miles were only awarded to, you know, frequent fliers. Or people who use an American Express for big company expenses. I certainly didn't think little ol' me who gets on a plane maybe once a year would be able to rack up enough miles to matter.

Then I stumbled upon Free Frequent Flyer Miles, a guide written by Gary Steiger, air-mileage earner extraordinaire. I couldn't believe there were so many ways to earn miles. Soon after, I learned about sites that offer quarterly cash rebates. From these two discoveries, my online buying process developed. Continue reading...

More about...Travel

Freedom from Mindless Spending

"People's complex attitudes toward money often defy economic theory." — Drazen Prelec, associate professor of marketing at the Sloan School of Management

There was a time not so very long ago that I didn't pay much attention to where my money went. I always paid more than the minimum on my credit card, but I still wasn't making significant progress in debt reduction.

For many people, it simply isn't enough to have a tactical plan to pay off debt. We know we should spend less than we earn, but as Drazen Prelec noted in the quote above, people have complex attitudes toward money. When emotion and logic are at odds, emotion usually wins.

In retrospect, there are five phases I went through to change my relationship with money. Note that my process wasn't this linear. In fact it was quite messy, sometimes moving two steps forward and one step back. Continue reading...

More about...Psychology