13 Hobbies You Can Start for Free

Clearly, some hobbies are more expensive than others. For example, when I was an ultralight backpacker I paid $225 for a half-zipper, 800-fill down sleeping bag that weighs just 17 ounces. To keep my total pack weight under 12 pounds on multi-day hikes I also had to splurge for a high-tech 13-ounce backpack and a 16-ounce silicone-impregnated tarp. Fortunately not…
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8 Free Things That Are Not Really Free

Free should mean without cost, right? But the word is used rather loosely at times. Sometimes "free" things are not really free. For example, some things are free only if you're very careful, like "free" checking accounts that come with difficult-to-avoid fees and/or tricky and hidden requirements. Consider the M&T Bank fiasco. When 59,000 of their "free checking" customers failed…
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40 Jobs for Animal Lovers

Wildlife advocates Jim and Jamie Dutcher lived with a wolf pack in a 25-acre enclosure for six years. Their home, a large tent near the Sawtooth Wilderness in Idaho, had no electricity or running water. While living with and studying the wolves, the Dutchers made documentaries and wrote books about them. Interesting work if you can get it. Maybe you…
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Maximize Cash Back and Points on Your Credit Cards

Think you've done well with credit card points and cashback offers? A man who calls himself Joe Taxpayer bought $50,000 worth of debit gift cards, in order to take advantage of a temporary 10-percent cash-back promotion on his MasterCard. After paying the purchase fees ($ for each $500 card), he netted $4,500. I made over $2,700 profit from credit cards…
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Have More Debit Card Transactions Without Spending More

Why would you need more debit card transactions? There are two reasons. The first is to qualify for a bank account opening bonus. After collecting $1,600 of these bonuses in 2015, I wrote about how to meet bank bonus requirements. Having a certain number of debit card purchases is a common qualifier. For example, one of the bonuses I'm working…
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Black Friday Is Dead — Or How I Spent $10 on Black Thursday

Thanksgiving is a time of gratefulness, at least in theory. But how grateful are we for what we have if we feel the need to go out and buy so much more a few hours later on Black Friday? Thank you universe (atheist version) for all you have given but it's just not enough. Of course now we don't even…
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This Guy Has 1,497! — How Many Credit Cards Do You Need?

ABC News reports that Walter Cavanagh has 1,497 credit cards, with a total credit line of $ million. Sometime in the late 1960s he and a friend bet a dinner on who could get the most cards by year's end. Cavanagh won with 143, and then he continued with his new hobby (obsession?). By 1971, and every year since, he's…
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