Blog Posts

The Importance of Slack

As an Optimizer, engineer, and someone who grew up poor, I have a tendency to try to squeeze the maximum value out of everything. Case in point. Back in 2012, when we went on vacation to London for the first time, I was so excited I made a schedule that broke each day up into 30 minute-1 hour increments. I then assigned an activity to each block like an obsessive little micro-manager, trying to squeeze maximum value out of our 2 weeks. Every minute was accounted for. No museum, castle, or pub was safe from my tornado of efficiency. I […]

Let’s Go Exploring! The Magic of Porto, Portugal

There’s something magical about Porto, Portugal. And I don’t mean it in a ham-fisted “woo woo” kind of way. I mean it in a Harry Potter magical spells kind of way. Literally. Picture this. I’m sitting in a quaint little café beside the serene Douro river, biting into a flaky Pastel de Nata (Portuguese egg tart) with fluffy melt-in-your mouth egg center. As I reach for my decadent cup of foamy cappuccino, I see a black cape out of the corner of my eye, and what I think is a group of wizards turn out to be Portuguese university students […]

Unexpected Income: Are We Un-Retiring?

A few days ago, FIRECracker and I emerged from our AirBnb blinking in the sunlight after having been holed up in our rooms writing for 5 days straight. The two of us no doubt must have looked like zombies, stumbling down the sidewalk in our unwashed MadFientist t-shirts. As we sat down at a nearby cafe for a much-needed coffee, FIRECracker turned to me and asked “Hey, did we just un-retire?” It’s a legitimate question. When we started this weird little blog of ours, never in a million years did we think it would turn into anything big, and the […]

Reader Case: Living Big in the City

It’s Friday, so you know what that means: Time for another Reader Case! Today’s reader case is from a reader case alumni: MontrealDilemma. Way back when, MD’s employer asked him to move to Toronto, and was wondering what to do with his condo: Sell it or rent it? We mathed-shit-up and realized that after costs, the rent he’d be getting would have sucked compared to investing, so we advised MD to pull the ripcord and sell that sucka! Well, a year and a half later, here’s what he’s been up to.. Hi Firecracker, Last we spoke, I asked you to […]

How to Avoid Paying Bank Fees While Traveling

Have you ever come back from vacation, checked your bank accounts and credit card statements, only to cringe at how much you’ve forked over in foreign transaction and ATM fees? I mean, a $5 ATM charge here and there didn’t seem so bad when handing over your hard-earned money for that once-in-a-life-time gondola ride in Venice or that oh-so-divine meal in Paris, but man does it feel shitty to realize you’ve lost hundreds or thousands of dollars to bank fees afterwards. Is this you? If so, you’re not alone. One of our most frequently asked questions in our e-mail is […]

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