Ben Lobaugh Online

I think, therefore I am. I am, therefore I sail

Category: Schooling

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 Amazon.com 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.

2014 Destiny Graduation!

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Today I attended the graduation ceremony for the 2014 highschool graduates of Destiny boarding school*

Destiny started about 13 years ago. Last year the first group of students graduated, today the second group graduated and I had the honor to be present at the ceremony.

As I listened to the stories of the students I was incredibly moved. Some of the students had parents paying for them to be there but many of them were brought to the orphanage because nobody wanted them. They spoke of the advantages they have been given through Destiny and how they would be living on the streets or dead if it were not for Destiny and the generosity of their sponsors.

These students are now taking tests to get into universities and trade schools and confident that their schooling.

Listening to them caused me to reflect on my schooling in the USA and think about how so many of us take it for granted and even resent being forced to go to school. Here in Uganda there are no government run schools. All schools are private and cost money for the students to enroll.

Destiny has given these kids something precious and they deeply treasure it. 30 kids graduated today and are on their way to universities. The students still need sponsors for university. The cost is about $2,000 per year on average. I already sponsor a graduate from 2013 and after seeing her on Saturday and how I am helping to change her future and the future of Uganda for the better, for what is mere pennies over year, I feel my heart pulled to sponsor another child. If you want to partner with me and sponsor a student for university leave me a comment with your contact info here or in my contact form via the link above.

* Destiny runs an orphanage and a boarding school from the same location. All orphans get the benefit of boarding school

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First Sunday, First Church, Schedule

This is my first Sunday in Nampa and it has been a good one so far. I biked to Nampa First today for an excellent church service. I felt right at home in their gym as a sanctuary!

I’ve still got some freedom left. Classes start on Tuesday. I have been asked what my schedule is a ton so here it is in all its glory….

Calculus I MTWRF 8:00 – 9:00 AM
Intro to CompSci M-W-F 9:10 – 10:10 AM
Intro to Theology -T-R- 9:30 – 10:50 AM
Discrete Mathematics -T-R- 12:30 – 1:50 PM
Data Structures M-W-F 2:00 – 3:00 PM

The transition has begun!

Today is the day! The van is loaded up and the family is about to load up to drive me to NNU. I am excited and not at the same time. The feeling is hard to describe, because it is not that I am nervous or do not want to go. It feels more like this is the natural next step so there is no reason to be worried about it. Maybe it does not feel real enough yet? Dunno, I am sure that on Friday when I am piling everything into my room that it will begin to feel real. My bank account is already telling me it is real :S.

So the fam is off to Portland today. I am going to stop by the Apple store and see if they will replace my iPhone. The backlight is out, the volume up no longer works, and the screen has large portions where it will not touch anymore :(. I have been without a phone for 6 days now! I am worried about the avalanche of texts and voicemails I am going to have when I get the new phone. After Portland we are hoping to do some hiking in the Columbia Gorge. Praying that the weather holds out.

I need to go clean my fishtank. Last thing to do before packing up my Macbook Pro and heading out!

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