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The Complete Illustrated Beginner’s Guide to Manufactured Spending *

*According to Shaun, 10 years old.

*According to Shaun, 10 years old.

How NOT to Do Manufactured Spending

    1. Follow one big blog that spells out every detail.
    2. Have one MS avenue that works but you have no idea how or why.
    3. Have your MS tool break due to overexposure.
    4. Be this guy:THE END IS NEAR

Some more serious MS dos and don’ts:

Like Shaun said, go to the store. Keep an eye out for ‘stuff you can turn into money’ wherever you go. Buy something small. Liquidate it, once. You don’t need to get rid of $5,000 in cards the first time you try. Increase scale as needed once you become comfortable with it.

All MS is local. Nearly all MS is store-specific and cashier-specific. The gas stations near my house with a big ‘V’ outside will sell Vanilla Reloads with credit, but 90% of their cashiers won’t. No blogger can tell you what will or won’t work at your store.

There is no right or wrong amount of MS, except more than you can track and handle.

Someone else is MSing where you live, and they would love to have some company! Look for a get-together thread on Saverocity ForumsTravel Codex Forums, or Flyertalk Community Buzz. You will learn more of what works in your area in an hour and a half with local fellow travel hackers than you will in a week of poring over Flyertalk threads. And it will be a lot more fun. Or start a get-together, if you don’t see one in your area.

Get comfortable and read a few threads and posts on Why you shouldn’t leave money in reloadable card accountsLosing cash equivalents, and Depositing money orders at banks that give you rewards. Take your time, it’s worth it.

Get an Old AMEX Blue card already if you don’t have one. Don’t be the one person at Milemadness 5 who thought they would never need a 5% cashback card. It’s free!

Do not deposit large amounts of money orders at banks that give you rewards! Maybe I already said that. Do I need to say it again?

Never, ever, ever be this guy. Be this one instead.

DO earn lots of cashback and points!

Do I need to learn to MS? I get by just fine on signup bonuses!

Remember that class you took in college that you thought would be a total waste but wound up teaching you skills or knowledge you use all the time? I don’t, I went to work full time at 16 and am only now in college. But learning to MS is similar to that class, whatever it was: it might take you out of your comfort zone but will give you the opportunity to take advantage of awesome deals that would have otherwise been out of your reach.

Disclosure: If you apply and get approved for the one credit card referred to in this post, I get nothing. But if you pay interest on it, ever, I will be very sad.

– Kenny

{ 19 comments… add one }
  • Nicole June 20, 2014, 6:18 pm

    Love it. You have a fantastic writing style, Kenny. Thanks for sharing. Oh, and the diagram is perfection. Love it too!

    • Kenny June 20, 2014, 6:26 pm

      Thanks Nicole! We had a lot of fun with this one!

  • Ivan June 20, 2014, 9:22 pm

    Great post Kenny!

  • Elaine June 21, 2014, 2:27 am

    I am loving your blog, Kenny. Happy Weekend!

  • Linda June 21, 2014, 7:33 am

    Love the process flow! Great post Kenny. Come visit DFW on July 12 for MS meetup if u r free.

    • jackie August 20, 2015, 12:47 pm

      Dear Linda,
      Where in DFW you guys have MS meet up?
      look forward to it.

  • Kenny June 21, 2014, 9:05 am

    Thanks, y’all! @Linda unfortunately I have to work that weekend.

  • Linda June 21, 2014, 9:24 am

    I’ll let u know when we have a date in August

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