Ben Lobaugh Online



Pay off your student loans with IFTTT and Qapital

STUDENT LOANS! The bane of all college graduates are those pesky student loans. When we are in college they seemed like a dream come true to those of us without the ability to pay tuition outright, but they will follow you around for years, irritating you like a pebble in your shoe. Every time you try to move forward they make themselves known again.

If you are like many humans and struggle to smash away those pesky student loans you are in luck! Qapital, a startup that has been around for a few solid years now, has a savings platform designed around saving with automated triggers. You can tap into built in triggers to automagically move money to an account for paying off student loans to dramatically burn down that loan amount.

Here are examples of some triggers I setup to pile up money to pay down my student loans without requiring any tedious action on my part.

  • Set & Forget – Moves $5 each day to the loan account
  • Round-up – Rounds each purchase up to the nearest even dollar amount
  • Each checkout adds $5
  • My favorite local beer and coffee shops add $2 with each purchase
  • Reaching my step goal adds $5
  • 52 week challenge – First week adds $52, second week adds $51, third week  adds $50, down to $1 on the last week of the challenge

Pretty powerful stuff isn’t it? Using this method I will be able to pay down my loans at a bare minimum of $2,800 per year plus any of the dynamic triggers that may be hit!

We can take this even a step further by integrating IFTTT and Qapital. IFTTT is an online service that watches the internet for certain actions and when it sees the action it will trigger another action. In our scenario we could setup a trigger to add $10 each time the Seahawks win a game. IFTTT has a large list of Qapital triggers. Some of the more interesting include:

  • Add money when it rains (Maybe not such a good trigger in Seattle!)
  • Whenever you post a picture of your pet to Instagram
  • Whenever you go to the gym
  • When you get a new Twitter follower

You can use it in the reverse as a way to fine yourself also:

  • If you miss your step goal
  • If you eat fast food

The possibilities are endless.

To wrap this thing up, if you are struggling to pay off a student loan or any sort of debt I highly recommend taking a look into leveraging Qapital to do your saving for you with the built in triggers and the great collection of IFTTTs.

Disclaimer: Neither Qapital nor IFTTT solicited or paid for this review.

Penny’s new medicine cabinet

Walking around in Home Depot recently Alix and I noticed this great medicine cabinet. Always on the hunt to better organize and store things on the boat we went home and measured the head (bathroom). It fit perfect! This evening we installed our shiny new cabinet and added a large amount of new storage in the bathroom 🙂






Working Great!

Working Great!


Pink Boat Regatta 2016

This weekend Zippey and I participated in the Pink Boat Regatta. The Pink Boat Regatta is a fundraiser for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and a fun way to get people out on their boats raising money to save lives.

I have participated as crew for the Pink Boat in the past, however this year Zippey and I wanted a more active role. We entered late but still managed to raise $850. Thank you to all who sponsored!  Altogether the boats raised $60,592!

Weather the day of the race was fantastic…for sunbathers. The race took place on Lake Union in Seattle. There was little to no wind. For crew I had racers AJ and Shane onboard. It was the first time I had sailed on Lake Union, and AJ and Shane had limited experience also. Sailing in the lake is challenging. The wind conditions are ever changing with the hills and buildings around the lake. In a photo below you will notice my sails on port side while the boat directly in front of me was on starboard, and we were both moving forward on the same angle!

Zippey was in the first start. We started pretty well. Zippey is a small boat and slower than most of the boats in her class but she held her own well as we went around the first mark in 3rd place.

As we came up to the second mark the wind died out. It took 15 minutes to get the few boat lengths we needed to round the mark. While we were coming up to the mark the 3 of us had looked around to determine the best tactic for the next leg. It seemed that what wind was available was in the middle of the lake. As we painfully slowly worked our way out there we watched as the entire fleet got close to the second mark and parked. A few of the boats even had to fend each other off with boat hooks because they were simply drifting without wind. It turned into a big party with cheers and singing.

After we had worked our way out to the wind in the middle of the lake it magically disappeared and filled in along the edges. We watched as most of the fleet slowly sailed passed Zippey. The next time around we determined to follow the racers we knew sailed in Lake Union often and went around the edge…the wind died on the edge and filled in the middle!

Zippey had a hard fought battle to get around her 5 buoys but she did it with grace and style. Shane, AJ, and I had a great time out on the lake and were grateful for the opportunity to help out in our small way those suffering from cancer.

I cannot wait until next year and am already starting to plan on how I can dress Zippey up in more Pink!


Colorful sunset


MySQL: Count number of tables in database

If you need to count the number of tables that exist in a MySQL database you can do so with the following query. Just remember to swap out the database name!

SELECT count(*) 
FROM information_schema.tables 
WHERE table_schema = 'YOUR_DB_NAME'

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