FPT Gift Box is a social enterprise project that’s all about “The FPT (5+2) Model.”
What is “The FPT (5+2) Model”?
The “FPT” which stands for “Five Plus Two” alludes to the story of how Jesus fed 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish. Jesus also told a story about three men and what they each did with their five, two, and one bags of gold, respectively. The man with the five bags and the man with the two bags doubled their gold. The man with the one bag buried it and did nothing.
To put the two stories mathematically:
- Example 1: 5 + 2 = 5,000
- Example 2: 5 + 2 = 14
How exactly do you “feed 5,000 people” with 5+2 of something? How do you double your money? Well, one thing for sure — don’t bury your “talent” (pun intended) and not do anything with it!
Inspired by these stories, FPT Gift Box is about one person’s journey (my name is Susan) of trying to figure out how to turn 5+2 into a significantly larger number than 7 in today’s economy. This blog is about my experiments and attempts to turn limited resources into abundance and blessings.
A different kind of creative outlet
Entrepreneurship, financial acumen, and love for travel run deep in my blood. My grandmother (who was illiterate) was a savvy business woman who traveled around the world. My mother (who did not have a university degree) was also a savvy business woman and traveled around the world. Me? I’m attempting to follow their footsteps.
Buying and selling has been a hobby of mine since I was a kid. I was always selling something or finding creative ways to pay for or acquire something I needed.
In college, I majored in economics and day traded the stock market to pay for tuition. It was easy money until the market crashed in 2000. At least college was all paid for and I graduated with no loans.
My first job out of college was working for a startup in China. The job paid peanuts, but after 6 years, my IPO stocks amounted to about $30k. It wasn’t much considering I was among the first few employees, but I cashed out and used the money to buy a home that was built over a rice patty field. It so happened that the real estate market took off in this part of the country soon after. Years later, I sold the place for over 10x ROI and repatriated to the US. With the money, I bought 2 homes in the Bay Area – one in the heart of SF financial district, the other in the heart of Silicone Valley. The rest was put in investments. The timing couldn’t have been better. It was shortly after the real estate and the financial market crashed in 2009. Everything took off again from that point on. All of this from a job that paid $25k/year.
A few years ago, I tried extreme couponing and generated lots of free groceries and household supplies. I got more than needed so donated the rest. It was great but I found clipping coupons to be too time consuming as a working mom so I stopped.
Around the same time, I set out to start a non-profit helping people increase/maximize their charitable giving and tax refunds via donor-advised funds. I had investments that had multiplied and somehow figured out how to multiply that even more by donating them. The project by no coincidence was called “Five Plus Two.”
Later, when I discovered the world of credit card churning, manufactured spending, and gift card arbitrage, I realized that money does indeed grow on trees if you shake them hard enough.
Suddenly, the lightbulb lit up inside my head and I merged all my ideas, interests, hobbies, skills, talents, and vision into what is now called “FPT Gift Box.”
By taking advantage of various credit card & bank offers, online deals, store discounts, gift cards, coupons, shopping portals, and promotions, I turned my 5 “talents” and 2 wallets (my husband and mine) into millions of miles & points from various rewards programs.
Through manufactured spending, stacking discounts, and reselling, I also generated countless gift cards and goods (e.g., iPads, laptop, movie tickets, LEGO sets, gas, Disneyland tickets, etc.) at a serious discount, if not free. Many of these items I’ve either sold, given away, or used to acquire more gift cards and goods.
Sometimes banks give me free money for moving my money around, so I attempt to multiply that by trading the financial market (e.g., stocks, options, commodities), then donating to areas of need. Sometimes $1 becomes $12 through various trading, giving, and tax strategies.
Feeding 5,000 people
FPT Gift Box’s vision is to use the proceeds from the reselling and churning to “feed” 5,000+ people — e.g, giving away free gas and groceries, sponsoring kids in developing countries, sending books to Africa, fundraising for local schools & communities, sending terminally ill kids (and their family) to Disneyland, helping a neighbor in need, feeding the homeless, supporting various causes, and other creative ways of paying it forward.
In addition, I hope people can learn “how to fish” by following or coming up with their own 5+2 model.
If you’d like to learn more about FPT Gift Box, want to help out, need help with purchases or booking hotels/flights, know of a terminally ill child who wants to go to Disneyland, or have any questions, feel free contact me. I love hearing from my readers!
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