040 | Take a Gap Year | Money Metagame

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Today we have Noah and Becky from Money Metagame on the podcast to discuss their story, their upcoming ‘Gap Year’ of travel plus an incredible college hack they used to get full-tuition scholarships.

1500 days
In Today’s Podcast we cover:

  • A discussion with Noah and Becky from Money Metagame
  • Noah and Becky’s history behind their path to FI
  • Travel Rewards was what initially got them into the world of Financial Independence
  • How Noah introduced this idea to Becky originally
  • Becky was originally hesitant but after seeing some stress in their lives became more open to it
  • How the personal finance and financial independence sub-Reddits became Noah’s go-to sources for information
  • The story behind the name Money Metagame
  • How Noah and Becky both got full-tuition scholarships to Purdue University through the Evans Scholars program
  • How they found out about this program to get these college scholarships
  • The background on how others can benefit from this scholarship opportunity
  • What was the thought process behind them buying a house in Seattle upon moving there?
  • The mortgage on their house was actually less than what they were paying in rent
  • What was the process behind them getting rid of PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) on their home?
  • After they found the concept of FI they started maxing out their 401ks, HSAs and Roth-IRAs, plus regular brokerage accounts
  • Their savings rate went from 6% in 2014 to 58% in 2015 after finding FI. It has since gone up from there
  • Becky wasn’t happy in her job and that gave them the push to quit their jobs and take a ‘Gap Year’ to travel around the United States
  • They are past “Half FI” on the list of FI Milestones
  • What do they plan to do with their home in Seattle?
  • What did the conversation look like when they told their family and friends?
  • Could Becky dial back certain aspects of the nursing profession and only focus on the parts of the job she loves?
  • Noah’s decision to leave his particular company and job
  • What do they have to consider when embarking on a trip like this?
  • There is room for FI optimization since they’ll have minimal income in 2018
  • How does the interplay work between realizing “income” through capital gains and getting subsidized health care
  • What does their trip look like in general and what are their plans for the actual travel?
  • They will be focusing on lower level redemption hotels through Hyatt, Starwood and IHG
  • How will they get their mail while on the road?
  • What scares them about this trip and experience?
  • This was all possible because they found FI
  • Information on their honeymoon to Fiji as their best travel rewards win
  • Does it make sense to use miles for business class or first class?
  • Hot Seat Question

Links from the show:

8 thoughts on “040 | Take a Gap Year | Money Metagame

  1. I used to go to house parties at the Evans’ scholars house at the University of Minnesota. Those guys were very generous with the drink tickets — probably because they got such a great deal on their scholarship. Smart hack, Noah and Becky!

    Cheers!
    -PoF

    • That’s awesome! I’m always surprised when people have a small connection to Evans Scholars like that because so many people have never heard of the program. Definitely have to thank our parents for setting us on the right track for this one.

      Cheers,
      Noah

  2. Loved this episode and love the podcast! I will be very curious to see how their year turns out. My husband and I did this around their age and it changed our lives. We saved up $20,000 as my husband was going through school with the intent to take the summer off after he graduated. The “summer off” turned into 2 years living in a van traveling around the United States and Thailand! It was the best thing we ever did. Not only did we meet some of the greatest people in the world it also taught us the value of money. That was 13 years ago. We started working to save and do it again. We pulled the plug once again 4 years ago but panicked not having income coming in – so back to work we went. That’s when I discovered the FI world and we saved approx 85% of our income and FInally we can officially pull the plug for good! If anyone has ever had any interest in living on the road – do it! You will not regret it. PS – you can buy the biscoff cookies at World Market too 🙂

    • Thanks for the kind words, sounds like you have a lot of experience with a trip like ours! I’m sure we’ll learn and experience more than we can even imagine, there’s just so much to see and do. Glad to hear you were able to find FI and set yourselves up to pull the plug for good, a 85% savings rate is amazing.

      I’ll let Becky know that she should check out World Market, I wonder if it’s cheaper than Amazon?

      Best,
      Noah

  3. Noah and Becky,
    I am seriously impressed by your plans. I am 27 and have no financial plans. I am focusing on paying off my graduate school loans. Your lecture definitely has inspired me. Keep it up!

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