Mar 28 2008

Snowflakes for March–look at what I found!

I’m really amazed at how many “snowflakes” we were able to round up in March. Every little bit of discovered, unexpected or extra money went straight into our emergency fund. At first, I wasn’t sure if $3 here or $15 there would make a big difference, but it really does add up! Give a purpose to those snowflakes, and you’ll find yourself beefing up your emergency fund or paying off debt faster than you thought possible.

Savings account interest $5.22

Pinecone research $6 (two surveys)

Rite Aid rebates $4.05; $14.46

Loose change from piggy banks, car $15

Sold a bag of books to Half Price Books $6.50

Online purchase refund (order mix-up. I used a $10-off coupon for the order, and they refunded the remaining coupon value as well) $6.99

ING Direct referral bonuses $30 (Thank you, whomever you are!) If you’d like me to send you a referral link, I’ll be glad to do so. When you open an account and deposit $250, you’ll get $25 and I’ll get $10.

Indiana state tax refund $111 Will this be the last time we file taxes in Indiana? I hope not…

Ebates check $143.47 I wasn’t expecting a check until May, but this showed up in my mailbox the other day. (!) I’ve gotten quite a bit of money back from referral bonuses and my own purchases. Check it out, already!

Total: $342.69 or 3 percent of our completed emergency fund!

Gift cards

OK–technically gift cards can’t be put into our emergency fund. However, we can use gift cards to supplement our regular purchases, so that leaves more money to save.

$10 Target gift card from debit card points program
$10 Target gift card from MyPoints.com (This is the second gift card I’ve earned since January! I love it. Let me know if I can send you a referral link.)

I’ll combine those gift cards with another $10 Target card from MyPoints and take that $30 and go swimsuit/beachwear shopping.

$25 Amazon.com gift certificate from one of the last credit card rewards I’ll ever redeem (I hope!). I combined that with $40 more in Amazon.com gift certificates and use that $65 to buy wedding presents, a book I’ve been wanting for several months, a juicer, and other things for our home.

Ideas for next month

Of course, I won’t be able to get another tax refund, and I’m not going to get another check from Ebates until May or so. So, what else can I do to get a sizeable snowflake to throw into the emergency fund?

  • I’m going to put an old digital camera, iPod, and some graphing calculators on eBay.
  • I’m considering repurposing some blog posts to sell to Associated Content
  • Do you have other ideas for me?

I like keeping track of the smaller amounts of money I’ve scrounged up, and I plan to do it again in April.

P.S., visit Crystal’s blog for more posts on Frugal Friday!



14 Responses to “Snowflakes for March–look at what I found!”

  1. It’s sad that you got so many more snowflakes from spending ($4.05 + $14.46 = $18.51 Rite Aid Rebates + $143.47 ebates + perhaps $6.99 refund) than from saving ($5.22 interest + perhaps $15 loose change).

    In other sad news, I don’t have any more ideas for you.

  2. P.S. I’ve been keeping track of my snowflakes for this month, too, and they don’t look as good as yours.

    $0.72 – found change
    $2.51 – extra interest from putting part of my money in a CD, over what I would have gotten in my online savings account
    $0.25 – bringing my own grocery bags to stores that give their customers credit for doing that
    $22.00 – sold a box of books and games to Half-Price

    Total: $25.48

    But then, in snowflake-melting land, I forgot to bring my ID one day and so had to pay $0.50 for a bus ticket.

    Real total: $24.98

  3. Hey Debbie–

    I don’t think it’s sad at all. I’ll take what I can get!

    I should probably clarify a few things: First, I didn’t have to spend any money for the Rite Aid rebates. I had a $30 store gift card that I got when I transferred a prescription. So, the rebate money was money I didn’t have to spend in the first place.

    Second, most of the Ebates check was referral money. About $17 of it came from rebates on stuff I bought.

    The $6.99 victoria’s secret refund was money I didn’t spend, either. I had a $10 gift coupon thing, and I bought things that cost $11 total. Minus the $10 coupon, I was at $1 out of pocket. But, one of the items I ordered didn’t come in, so they refunded the $6.99 item, even though I didn’t have to spend my own money on it in the first place.

    The “saving” snowflakes don’t include the mega savings that are coming from my husband’s paychecks and my freelance writing projects.

    These snowflakes are just the little things aside from those.

    Thanks for commenting!

  4. My hat’s off to you for finding those snowflakes to put towards savings! Many people would take that “found” money and treat themselves to something special.

    :)

  5. Associated content is a great idea. I’ve had my blog since Jan. 1st and I’ve made 79 dollars from AC. I don’t bother selling a lot of posts – because they don’t like lists and certain topics are too broad for them. Once you start doing it, you’ll figure out which ones are easy to sell and which ones are not.

  6. It’s true, we really don’t count these small sources of money coming in like we should. Way to have a post celebrating them!

  7. I nearly jawdropped at your snowflaking and did an outloud wondering of how much I had in potential snowflakes.

    Going backwards, I took my net income, subtracted out my bills, and…came up with nearly $1000 a month that I am somehow frittering away.

    Time to begin Operation: Find the Money! AGH!

  8. I absolutely love ING and MyPoints. They are fabulous.

  9. I might be interested in buying some graphing calculators for my future classroom. Drop me an email if you are interested in selling directly rather than through ebay.

  10. Hi Kacie!

    I’m posting here since it’s the most recent post (this question is totally unrelated, sorry). I have 2 wedding-related questions:
    – Do any of you budget for future weddings (friends’ weddings, not your own)? I’m specifically thinking about ones that will require air travel, hotel, etc. Any tips are appreciated.
    – Any gift-giving tips? My fianc√© and I usually try to stick to the couple’s registry (neither of us is particularly crafty) and have set a budget/gift. However, I try to use store credit if I have any, 20% or competitor’s coupons, or other good deals (I saw a promotion for Amazon for 1000 AMEX points for $50+ instead of the usual $1/point so we did that since we plan to cash in those points towards our future honeymoon).

    Thanks!

  11. That’s awesome!!! I’m getting serious about snowflaking. I’ve been putting all my extras ($$ from surveys, etc) straight into our regular account but no longer. I’ll be putting it straight into our emergency fund from now on. =)

  12. Just remember to thank the Lord for your snowflakes!! All provision comes from Him.

    Mike and Charlotte

  13. RME and Obopay are big snowflakes for me right now.
    You and your husband can get $60 ( $25 sign on bonus, $10 for referring spouse, $25 sign on for spouse ) free in about 3 days from RME and $25 free from Obopay ( $10 sign on & transfer $1 bonus…refer spouse…transfer $ to him, $5 referral then, have him sign up & transfer $1 to someone..anyone…gets another $10 ) in about a week.
    Plus, refer it to others and you get $10 per referral for RME and $5 for Obopay. I have made almost $400 in about 1 1/2 months on these 2 programs.
    Plus, I try to encourage all my eBay buyers to pay me through one of these 2 methods ( since I don’t get charged fees ).
    Both of these programs are paypal competitors. They are trying to break into the market. You can read reviews from USA Today, etc that I have linked on my site as they are legitimate sites.

  14. It DOES add up. I was reminded of that yesterday when the “Fishy” banks came home from Church to raise money for our Church camp. The kids quickly discovered several dollars worth of change hiding around the house. A great illustration of this “found money” strategy are these two blogs–which just profile the money their authors find on the street…
    http://changequest.blogspot.com/
    http://foundmoneyjar.blogspot.com/

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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