This site is all about tactics you can use to capture and create value.  For those tactics to be effective, they have to fit into an overall strategy.  They also need to adhere to a set of principles.  This strategy and principles need to be customized for each person.  You may have different personal ethics than I.  You may have different goals, abilities, and resources.  On this page I will outline my personal strategy as an example.  Yours will be different, but hopefully by showing my thought process, you can get some ideas about what to consider in your own quest to capture and create value.


I think the principles are more important than the strategy, because these principles can be applied even if conditions were to vastly change.

  • Find value anywhere you can.
  • Getting something for free which you would have paid for anyway is the same as getting free money.
  • Preventing interest to accrue which would have certainly been acrrued otherwise, is the same as getting free money.
  • Find all the ways possible to utilize and maximize reward programs, credit card bonuses, membership benefits, etc., but never try to cheat or scam the system.
  • Just because others say a particular tactic is not worth the time and/or effort doesn’t mean it’s not worth it for you.  The reverse is also true.
  • Opportunities for creating and capturing value come and go.  Don’t expect any particular tactic to work forever, and don’t mourn the ones no longer available; instead, adapt.
  • “Your mileage may vary” is a true and wise motto/disclaimer.

I have found all these principles to be true.  But, according to the last one on the list…well, you get the idea 🙂


With those principles in mind, Here’s a breakdown of my overall strategy:

  1. Use my credit score to my advantage
    a. Keep a 0.0% interest promotional card open until my old outstanding balance is paid off.
    b. Work my way through all the ‘premium’ credit cards to accumulate points and miles in leaps and bounds.
    c. Stagger ownership of certain cards with my wife to maximize our continual access to certain benefits (e.g. free checked bags with co-branded airline cards).
  2. Find deals and opportunities with local retailers.
    a. Continue to get free stuff at Menards as long as it remains profitable.
    b. Stay vigilant for one-time offers for free stuff (e.g. NAPA coupons)
  3. Look for ways to save money on necessities.
    a. Use the appropriate credit card for each purchase (category bonuses).
    b. Save hundreds of dollars per year on gasoline.
    c. Actively monitor family income and expenditures
  4. Keep eyes and ears open for new tactics.
    a. General awareness of value creating and capturing opportunities.
    b. Keep on top of similar blogs, and rely on VT reader tips and experiences!

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