I just wanted to put a disclaimer before I got this topic going. I’m not trying to brag or show off. But I do want to answer a frequent comment that I hear: “Matt, I don’t know how you do it” (i.e. the miles and points game).
You have probably seen lots of blogs posts and videos mentioning “top habits that rich people do or don’t do” lately. So I thought I’d write a post with a similar theme.
Initially, I was going to write a more generic post about what I thought the top 5 habits were, but it can be very different depending on where you live and what your personal goals were. So instead, I am going to list out my personal top habits.
Below is a list of my top 5 habits in order of priority. I will elaborate below.
5) Shopping Portals
Ideally, I want to earn as many miles and points with the least amount of spending. Often times, zero extra spending. So this is why I put shopping portals as the lowest rank. I rather not have to spend money. If I can get something by redeeming miles and points instead, I always prefer that option over spending my money.
But I don’t have enough miles and points to live on, on a daily basis, so I do need to spend money. So if I am going to spend money, I want to get the most amount of reward possible.
Online shopping has probably revolutionized the way we shop, with retail stores becoming more like a product display centre to help us make our decision on what to purchase online.
One of the many benefits of online shopping is earning bonus miles and points through portals that you cannot other earn if shopping in person.
4) Being updated on bonus offers
Bonus miles and points are another great way of boost your account balances. The reverse is also true, discounts when redeeming our miles and points for a reward.
This is where double and triple dipping comes in. By making it a habit to be updated on the latest promotions, I can earn more and spend less, which increases the value of our rewards.
3) Staying on top of Credit Card offers
It is no secret that credit card sign up bonuses are a great way to boost your loyalty accounts in a hurry. Credit card bonus offers are usually for a limited time, so it is important to stay updated on the offers so that you catch a certain sign up bonus within the available time frame.
Keeping track of offers has become a habit of mine. It’s like keep up with the news or keep up with sports standings and statistics. Same habit, different topic.
2) Seeing miles and points everywhere
Seeing miles and points everywhere has become a way of life for me. Every where I go, I see an opportunity to earn or redeem miles and points.
The idea is that I am either going earn for spending money or redeem for something I want. Either way, it has become a habit of mine to associate money to miles and points. They go hand-in-hand.
1) Always wanting to improve my skills
I think my most valuable habit is that I am always looking to improve. Nor matter how good I get, the industry changes all the time, so it requires me to stay as updated and willing to change.
For some, improvement feels like “a lot of work”. I hear that a lot when I explain to people what I do in the miles and points world. But it is not a lot of work if it becomes a habit and you get rewarded (pun intended) for that habit.
More specifically, I would like to improve my skills listed above even more so that it becomes even more of a habit. For example, a shopping portal multiplier bonus may only run for a few days, so I would like to get better at tracking which items I want to buy ahead of time that I do not need right away to catch the bonus.
I’m not perfect at tracking all offers and promotions, so there is always room for improvement.
Anything new can feel like work when trying to convert it into a habit. But once it becomes a habit, it becomes fun, rewarding and best of all, it no longer feels like work to me!
Sometimes people feel that what I do is a waste of time. What I usually ask people is: “If I generated $10,000 in value for travel in a year, spending 10 hours per month, would the work seem worth it to you?” Yes, that comes out to $83 an hour ($10,000 / 10).
At the end of the day, if the reward doesn’t feel worth it and the process to get there is not fun, then no problem. There are many other things to do in life. I think for me, I am fortunate that I found something that I enjoy doing, which is why all of the above became a habit, rather than work.