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Interest and Extra Money

December 8th, 2018 at 07:02 am

I like to report the amount of interest we earn each month. This is the quick breakdown for November.
Navy Federal CU $20.97
FNBO Direct $89.18
Total $110.15

I redeemed my 300 points with Pinecone Surveys over a week ago for cash and have yet to receive my Paypal deposit. Usually it is the next business day. Maybe the move and change of address are factors?

We usually get some cash back back from USAA for our insurance. They call it a distribution from our Subscriber's Savings Account. This year the amount we received was $82.83. We will take whatever they want to give back, and yes, it has been added to the Big Goal.

I did get my $10 Amazon gift card from Swagbucks. I expect I have a little more online shopping to do for Christmas, so that will reduce the final amount I spend.

I hit the $20 threshold with Ibotta. I hadn't been using it much this year, but with a little effort was able to apply some rebates for things I had already purchased and meet the minimum. I'm debating redeeming now, or waiting until the end of the year. Anything over $20 can be redeemed, but once you redeem back to zero, it takes awhile to get to redeem the next $20. I guess in the end it's all the same!

Redeemed MyPoints

December 4th, 2018 at 08:56 am

I redeemed 3950 MyPoints for a $25 Google Play gift card. I was originally going to buy it but happened to notice the balance in my MyPoints account. I had plenty to scoop up the gift my daughter wanted without an additional cash outlay.

I'm close to having 1000 SB that I can redeem for $10 Amazon gift card. I'm not in a big hurry and have not been doing Swagbucks for months. I think I was reminded of it when i received an email from Swagbucks with my Birthday bonus.

Today, I finished sewing the pajama pants for my two nieces. I had them all done except for the elastic. I also made doll sized pajama pants and a plaid poncho for their American Girl dolls (I think they have the knock off versions). I spent nearly $30 at Joann's for fabric and elastic. I did buy nicer quality flannel and probably didn't hit the best sale, although it was 40% off. I did find an Ibotta coupon that will give me $4.50 back on the purchase, so now closer to $25, which is really good for two gifts.

At this point, I just need more stocking stuffers for the girls, buy a gift for my husband and decide what to get my parents. I already sent my mother in law a check to get whatever she wants. She's 82 and seems to like to get a pedicure from us. So it's just easier to mail a check, since I'm nowhere near there to buy a gift certificate.

Today, I'm baking some Mint Chocolate cookies for the holidays. I will eat one or two and freeze the rest until needed. I have a couple other recipes to make, but have plans to do them over the next two weeks.

Positive Money Flow

September 25th, 2018 at 03:35 pm

Our vehicle registrations came in the mail this week. Last year we paid $276 to register both vehicles. This year just $102. This is the advantage in some states as your vehicle gets older the less you pay! Nice surprise to have our van drop to just $50 a year, just like the truck has been for a few years. I'm going to move that extra $174 to our Big Goal savings fund.

I sold an Oak Lane Cedar chest that my parents gave me in the early 1990s to a woman today for $50. She has two for her daughter's and needed one for her son. I'm not sure if were him, I'd want it, but it's what she has in mind. Smile

I cancelled our Ooma phone that's been our landline for about six years. It was the kind that works over the internet. It was nice having a house phone for just a few dollars a month, but we rarely give out the number and only my mother in law calls us on it. She will be notified to call us on our cell phones. We did give her a heads up a few weeks ago. So now we save $60 a year going forward. I may be able to sell the actual Ooma on eBay as the company gave me a reactivation code to use if I gave it away.

There was a little outflow of cash yesterday, when my husband found my van tire completely flat when he pulled in the garage. He had it fixed for about $12 at Pep Boys within about an hour. A little disappointing to have a relatively new tire need a patch already, but it happens. Very thankful it could be repaired.

Sold

September 22nd, 2018 at 06:19 pm

I sold the box to my Apple Computer on eBay today. All my listings have sold or I have ended them. No more active listings at this time, and probably not until after the move. Although as I write this I can think of two things I should try to sell before we move. Hmm...

The exciting news is I sold two outdoor table sets today. One was a three piece set...super faded and in need of a makeover which I sold for $30. I would have given it away!! The other was a seven piece set, six chairs and a glass table. I sold it for $100 after originally asking $150. Considering I listed the latter last night, I'm definitely satisfied!

We still need to sell a plasma television, a dollhouse (and accessories), a three year old stainless steel fridge, a cedar chest, an armless chair and a couch (which I love, but have no room for on the other end). I have some decor items for sale but those can be donated if they don't sell.

I gave away five terra cotta pots and two hanging plant holders to a neighbor today. I can tell there will be at least two more Goodwill runs, and a drop off electronic items to Best Buy before the move. I might find out that there is even more, but I'm doing my best to declutter and sell on this end rather than the other end.

Oh, I have found THE BEST way to sell items is on Nextdoor.com. I choose to sell to neighbors near me, not all over town. Amazingly, they all show up on time when they say they will, which I love!!

Did you sell anything this week? If not, do you have things you could sell for cash? It is Sell Your Stuff September! Get in the game and sell. Send that money to pay off debt, start your emergency fund, or put toward that savings goal you are working on.

Sell Your Stuff September

September 18th, 2018 at 05:57 pm

I guess some people on YouTube are doing a Sell Your Stuff Stuff September. I didn't know about it until today, but we sure have been selling things. Only two small things since my last report. I sold a computer box and some Box Tops for Education on eBay. Those net proceeds came to $24.92.

I also redeemed some American Express rewards in the amount of $59.85. I'm sure a result of all that summer spending. Wow!

I'm hoping to sell some more furniture items this week and weekend. I know people in our state are still suffering from the effects of the storm, so it's hard to know if there will be people buying.

Snowflakes

September 13th, 2018 at 10:32 am

Nearly all snowflakes (extra or found money) go towards our Big Goal.

I transferred $24.39 from PayPal earlier this week that accounted for a couple small eBay sales.

I redeemed $38.88 with Chase Freedom rewards, and $29.29 from US Bank rewards.

And our furniture sales add $355 to the total.

The money adds up!

P.S. Sunny here and a bit breezier than normal. We aren't expecting the worst until tomorrow morning, which for us may be 50mph winds and lots of rain. Our biggest concern is that the power stays on, but we are prepared if it doesn't.

Sold Two Couches

September 12th, 2018 at 10:16 am

It's the final day or two before the storm hits our area, and I just sold two couches! These were hand me downs from my parents, but I sold them as a set for $150. Two young ladies seemed quite happy to have picked them up. I'm super pleased too, since they were in our garage...and that meant my husband was parking in the driveway. We were about to bring them back inside in to avoid any water damage from the storm. Now we don't have to. Very happy about this unexpected sale in the midst of storm preparations. And this, of course, is very helpful with our downsizing.

Repairs Update & More

September 6th, 2018 at 06:24 am

The carpet repair is happening right now at our home. The estimate was $200. Ironically, this is what we were paid by our landlord to show the house to two potential renters a couple weeks ago. So it is sort of like we were given the money for this repair. Easy come, easy go.

Update, the actual charge for carpet repair was $175. Smile

Our refrigerator was repaired yesterday for $125. It needed freon. There were two leaks. I asked why a four year old fridge would leak. Apparently the sealant they use on these new fridges isn't high quality...very annoying. A fridge should not leak that early on.

We sold a metal cabinet we had in our garage yesterday for $60.

Need to pay my oldest daughter's housing payment in the next six days. Grateful to have the money ready to go. Once again, no loans!

August Interest

September 3rd, 2018 at 05:23 am

Interest for August on our savings came to $105.78.

We are earning 1.85% on a majority of it.

The CD that expires in March is earning 2.23%. I think I could actually transfer money in our money market into the CD so it could earn more. When our last CD expired in June, I didn't know what we were doing for housing for our next move. There's always a chance we would buy a home. But since we are living on base, we will not need to put any more down on a home.

It's not a lot of passive income, but it is appreciated and it adds up.

Sold Some Furniture

September 2nd, 2018 at 08:39 am

We are downsizing our belongings in preparation for the move. We have sold two twin beds, the frames and headboards for $30 each and an entertainment center for $40. We have two desks and chairs listed, as well as a cedar chest and a metal storage cabinet.

It feels good to have let go some of it. We aren't super hung up on the money aspect, as much as getting rid of it. At some point we will see if we can get a donation truck to come by and pick up what doesn't sell.

Rewards & More

August 27th, 2018 at 06:08 pm

As you can imagine with our recent travel (away 13 days) and all the college dorm spending, we have spent quite a bit of money. I'm not going to go into the nitty gritty, but simply share that we used several of our credit cards and earned 5% cash back at restaurants (Discover) and gas stations (Chase Freedom). We used our American Express for everything else (6% on groceries, but 1% on the rest).

I redeemed our rewards tonight from those three cards in the following amounts:
$32.00 Chase Freedom
$35.50 Discover
$62.35 American Express

Earlier in the month I had redeemed US Bank rewards for $8.31.

Total credit card rewards earned $129.85! I think that is the most ever earned in one month just on spending. I'm excited for the money back in our pocket, but boy not a fan of all the spending. However, I am grateful we do have the cash to cover what we want and need to buy.

Other cash came in from Ebates, selling a textbook, a calculator and one other item on eBay for $74.81.

We banked that $200 payment from our landlord and I saved the entire travel per diem my husband received from a recent trip, which was $261.92. He only spent $80, which I just covered out of our regular budget. It rarely turns out to be a money maker, so that was a nice surprise.

We'll add interest on our bank accounts later this month, but we definitely made a big deposit into Big Goal with all the extra cash flowing in.

$200 For Two Showings

August 24th, 2018 at 05:26 am

Last night our landlord paid us $200 (by Zelle, direct into our bank account) to show our rental home on Sunday to two potential and vetted renters on Sunday. One will arrive at 1pm and one at 2pm.

I was so conflicted about this additional duty, but once I texted the landlord my concerns, he completely understood and was quick to clear up what he expects and offer $200 to have these two showings in a limited time frame. If one of these two do not sign, there is the potential for additional showings, but he would pay us again for those showings.

The fee was in line with what I was wanting to ask for, but I did not want to offend him. The truth is the fee is worth it to them being unable to get here to show the house. And obviously, the less time the home is vacant the better for them.

I'd love to make a few more hundred dollars, but at the same time, I hope one of these two potential renters signs a lease, so that we can enjoy the home in the remaining weeks we have left here. Smile

Later today, I have to have the windshield on our van replaced. We hit a rock on the first day of our road trip earlier this month and boy did it crack! Two cracks, one around 15 inches, and another probably 24 inches. Using Safelite through our insurance would have cost us between $300-$360. I found a local glass place that will charge us $196 out the door with a warranty. We used them before so feel confident in the quality and service despite the lower cost. They get the glass from the same place! I guess our showing fee covers that cost. Smile

More on moving details soon, although I do have to be vague on where we are going and exactly when for security purposes.

How Much Do We Ask For?

August 22nd, 2018 at 06:03 am

So our landlord who lives out of state and does not have a property manager locally. Because we are leaving this fall, they are looking to rent the property again. They are asking if we would be willing to show the property to potential and interested renters for payment in return for giving our impressions on their level of interest. And they are asking what our asking price would be.

I'm fully aware that legally (and according to our lease) the owner has the right to show the property to a potential renter. I'm perfectly fine with that, but I never expected that I would be asked to do an additional duty of being available to show the property and report back our impressions.

I would need to clean, make time in my day, spend however long talking to the renters (we were here nearly an hour when we visited the first time), and then analyze in my mind what my impression was and report back. That is definitely worth something!

I feel like the number needs to be significant enough that the landlord doesn't send everyone over. That the money they would outlay would make them vet the renter to some degree.

The landlord is currently taking classes in one state and his wife works and lives about four hours away in another state. It would cost them at a minimum gas, food on the road and time off work (and maybe a hotel) if they were to drive here to show the house to a potential renter.

How much should I ask for? I have a number in mind, but wonder what others think.

Can I put stipulations on this? Such as only during X hours, when my husband would also be home?

Usually I'm all over making some extra cash, but this one is throwing me for a loop!

Snowflakes and More

August 21st, 2018 at 05:52 pm

Through Facebook I helped my daughter sell her graphing calculator to another student via his mother. She was asking on a parent's page, so I offered my daughter's up for $40. She jumped at the chance! I have the money in my PayPal account and the calculator has been delivered to the student.

When I confirmed the payment I noticed I had a payment from Ebates for $7.63. Nice surprise!

I have a few items on eBay for sale, one has a bid and will sell for several dollars.

The spending for our trip put us over budget by $750! Luckily we did get paid since then and have covered those expenses. It will be a bit tight through the end of the month however.

So now the real fun begins...time to start prepping for the move that will occur late fall. We are downsizing our space so will need to sell some major furniture in the process!

Big Goal Update

July 25th, 2018 at 07:49 am

Jenn asked how the Big Goal was going after I made a reference to adding more money to our Big Goal fund. So here's a quick update. I'm doing it fast, so I think it's accurate, but possibly missing something.

I found in our second checking account we have stashed away $1057 since the beginning of the year. There was big $515 travel reimbursement that helped make a difference in that account.

In our main checking account I show that our current Big Goal funds equal $2927.32. Now this amount would be larger if I hadn't moved $877 in June out of there to cover some medical expenses. I should make a point by the end of the year to add this back in.

I'm not sure if I've been consistent at adding interest we have earned on our CDs and money market accounts to the Big Goal, but I will report the amount of interest earned through June.

First National Bank of Omaha $125.33
Navy Federal Credit Union $454.83

And because I just looked at Navy Federal, I remembered that we have $131 from my husband's paycheck deposit there each month towards the goal. $131 x 6= $786

Total year to date towards the Big Goal is $5,350.48!

I'm actually surprised! I really only notice the total in the YNAB account and forget about the rest most of the time. Last year I reported our full contributions to this goal to be $6,836.39. So if we can keep up the good work we are already accomplishing, we should exceed last years savings.

The ultimate goal is $200,000. We started with $40K at the end of 2016. $46,836.39 end of 2017. And now mid year 2018 we are at $52,186.87. So I guess we are are at 26% of goal.

I'd love to add a ticker for this goal. But this site no longer supports them well. Eventually I can look into another way to graphically represent the progress.

We've been super busy this summer, so other than paying bills and credit card charges (before interest accrues), I haven't had much time to tweak the goals. Something to look forward to when things calm down.

Edited to add: The monthly average we are saving is $891.66. That just floors me!

Found Money

July 22nd, 2018 at 05:25 pm

I'm not sure what compelled me to check my PayPal account, but I'm glad I did. I found $100.27!

My sister sent me $98 to cover groceries during our trip last month. That money has been there since June 20th! The remaining $2.27 was from a very small eBay sale on the first day of June.

For now, I will put this towards the Big Goal. It may need to cover some travel expenses next month, but for now, I'll stash it aside and try to make those things work with money we will get next month.

I have claimed some credit card rewards in the last few days, which I put towards our Big Goal fund also.
US Bank $25.80
American Express $26.69
Chase Freedom $9.76

If we had debt, you know I would be tossing these funds right there. Now for the most part we save our found money and credit card rewards. They do add up!

Snowflakes As of Mid May

May 15th, 2018 at 09:22 am

Yesterday, I noticed we had received our $150 statement credit from American Express. They do it very strangely though were it looks like the credit is from a recent merchant you did business with. An online search did confirm this was our credit card bonus for spending $2K in 90 days for opening the Blue Cash Preferred account.

We received $48.74 from Chase rewards. This is higher than usual, but I expect that is because we are using the card at Grocery stores which is offering 5% cash back for the second quarter.

We received $16.39 as a statement credit with US Bank. We charge our cell phone and electric bill and receive 5% cash back on each of those.

I think I mentioned this before but I did add Ibotta and Ebates proceeds to our snowflakes or Big Goal balance. Those together were $48.84.

I also made a small sale on eBay, so will add that into snowflakes once I know the net proceeds.

Overall, it looks like for half the month we have accumulated over $250 in snowflakes to save towards our Big Goal. Not shabby at all. Have you found any snowflakes this month?

Ibotta

May 7th, 2018 at 07:45 am

I just cashed out at Ibotta again. This time the amount was $20.96. It seemed to take about three months to accumulate that cash. I really only buy what we normally would. Only occasionally am I influence to change brands due to the rebate. Some weeks I only have enough on my receipt to redeem for $0.25 on an any item rebate. But as you can see it does add up.

Here's my link, if you want to try it out.

I'm sending this money to our Big Goal. In the past, when we had debt, this would be the kind of money I would send to the current debt we were paying off. Any extra you can find and use to pay down debt helps!


Ebates Money

May 6th, 2018 at 12:17 pm

It looks like I'm scheduled to get an Ebates payment tomorrow in my PayPal account for $27.88. This is the cash back from the purchase of our daughter's Dell computer. I'm socking it away in the Big Goal fund.

I've made two recent purchases using Ebates for cash back. One for the purchase of flowers I ordered my mom for Mother's Day. I don't always send her flowers or even a gift for that matter. Total for delivery of 15 tulips, a vase and a small box of chocolates was $35.97. I will get $4.80 back from using Ebates. The second purchase was for my husband's vitamins that he likes to get from GNC. I linked to GNC through Ebates which gave free shipping on the order, I applied a 15% off coupon code and will get 5% back on the order, approximately $3.00.

The cash back is paid out quarterly, so I will have another rebate to look forward to in August, which I will also set aside into our Big Goal fund. Smile

Do you use Ebates? If you are new and want to use my link to sign up, you can do that here. I receive cash back if you use my referral and spend $25, and you receive $10. I'm sure not encouraging you to spend, but if you do anyway and want a discount Ebates is easy to use.

Big Goal Savings: April

May 1st, 2018 at 05:26 pm

After writing my two previous posts about interest earned and snowflakes saved in April, I wondered to myself how much we had saved in total to our Big Goal this month.

Interest $101.24
Snowflakes $209.20
2017 Raise $131.00
2018 Raise $216.00
April Big Goal Savings $657.44

Not every month is as fruitful for snowflakes, but if we could save this every month, we would save nearly $7,900 per year. That's not chump change!

If we didn't have college expenses, we could definitely save even more, but we are committed to the least amount of student loans as possible. So far we are on track with zero! Smile

April Snowflakes

May 1st, 2018 at 05:14 pm

Extra funds we find I call snowflakes.
This is the total breakdown for April.

$_43.73 eBay proceeds
$100.22 Gift
$_10.00 Claim settlement
$__3.93 USAA rewards and rebate
$__8.33 US Bank Rewards
$_22.99 Chase Freedom Rewards
$_20.00 Amex Boxed Reward
$209.20 TOTAL

All snowflakes have been saved towards our Big Goal.

I Sold A Box

April 28th, 2018 at 09:12 am

Did you know that empty boxes for electronics and other collectibles are bought and sold on eBay? I just sold one for a console game. My net proceeds are $8.27 for something that was taking up room and I was considering recycling.

I know some people who buy and sell would say to keep the box, but honestly, we keep electronics so long that by the time we are selling for a few dollars the box isn't going to make a big difference in the price we gain.

I decided this one was taking up too much space and since I have no idea when we would sell or get rid of the actual electronic game, it was time to go.

More money in my pocket!

A Gift and an Injury

April 21st, 2018 at 06:44 am

My parents send my husband and I a $100 check every year for our anniversary. This year was no different. We usually save the money, rarely making a purchase. So yes, we deposited that money into our savings account to count towards our Big Goal.

As far as other snowflakes, I redeemed Amex rewards equal to $25 this week. I also transferred $3.49 from a small eBay sale to our savings account. I have two items I need to list to hopefully bring in a few more dollars.

I got a call from my oldest daughter yesterday with concern she may have fractured a bone in her foot. It was a goofy thing where her foot got trapped between her chair and her desk, so a bit crushed on the side of her left foot. She iced it and went to bed. Woke up and found it very painful to even walk. Somehow she managed to hobble around campus, and late in the day went in for an xRay. Luckily no break or fracture, just a bone contusion. So she has instructions to rest, ice, and elevate. My mom gave her some Ace bandages to use for compression. And the doctor said she could take up to three ibuprofen for pain. My daughter was shocked at the dosage suggested. She is one to stay away from all drugs as much as possible.

About two weeks ago, we realized our daughter was dropped from our insurance because she turned 21. Luckily we got right on it and updated her information to show she is enrolled full time in college. But then yesterday, I questioned my husband that it really did take effect. Initially, it seemed that no it had not. He did some sort of online enrollment and then did get a letter emailed to him before she arrived at the clinic. The visit is free at the University Health clinic (up to five per year), but the xRays will need to go through insurance. She has a $150 deductible so that will need to be met before insurance pays. It is worth it for piece of mind, knowing she didn't break it...just felt like it!

It's a beautiful day here, were going out for a hike! Enjoy your weekend. Stay frugal and healthy.

Another Scholarship!

April 17th, 2018 at 06:24 am

My oldest daughter has a four year scholarship worth $14K per year, along with a $500 Honor's Scholarship. She also had another scholarship her freshman year (worth $1-2K). These have helped tremendously the first two years since we pay out of state tuition. This year, her third year, the Post 911 GI Bill has paid the difference after scholarships, along with a book and housing stipend. We have paid very little out of pocket this year. I need to do an update on that here soon.

We have been notified she is receiving an art scholarship next year worth $1500. This will be divided in half, so worth $750 per semester. This is most significant for the spring semester, as she will not have Post 911 GI Bill benefits to use, thus everything after scholarships is ours to pay.

We expect our daughter will be going an extra semester (Fall 2019) because she is a double major. That semester will be the most expensive, or possibly the least expensive. Scholarships will have run out (unless awarded a new one), thus the entire out of state tuition will be on our shoulders. She has been averaging 17 credit hours a semester, so the cost could be almost $20K. We do not have the money now and expect her college funds to be depleted by then. We are starting to think it would be in the best interest to move more of my husband's Post 911 GI Bill benefits to our oldest daughter just in time for her final semester. And then that benefit covers the entire tuition!

Our youngest daughter will be receiving in state tuition. Yes, her college is in another state. Smile Her tuition after scholarships is $3500 PER YEAR for the first two years, for 12 credits or more. The remaining two years will be higher as an engineering student, around $1500 per year, or $4500 TOTAL per year. Again, this is not including housing. Honestly, we can totally cover tuition out of pocket for her even in those higher cost years.

Our thinking now is to move more of the GI Bill benefits to our oldest daughter because the benefit to us financially is much higher.

At any rate, just excited our daughter was awarded a scholarship! Part of it will benefit our us directly, the other benefits the US taxpayer...paying less out of the GI Bill funds to the university.

In other news, received $10 Diamond Class Action settlement. Apparently enough leftover funds from several years ago to make another payout! I also sold a book on eBay last night, so few extra dollars there.

I sort of felt like a money magnet yesterday!

Rewards, Sale, Savings

April 16th, 2018 at 04:39 am

I've added some more cash to our Big Goal. Our plan is to add $108 per pay period. I keep forgetting when I do our budget in YNAB, so then I have to go back in and make adjustments for it to work! This is money from my husband's raise this year. We also save last year's raise. So we are still living on 2016 income!

I think I will switch this to an automatic savings transfer, then I can have automatically set up to record in YNAB as well. I can't let this money disappear into our spending!

I made an eBay sale last night. Net proceeds about $11 on something we no longer need or use. It had been listed for awhile, but I was okay waiting for the right person to come along.

I redeemed $22.99 from our Chase Freedom account. Cash will be deposited into our bank account in the next day or so.

Happy to have cash flowing in and the ability to save it.

March Snowflakes

April 10th, 2018 at 04:54 am

I just reviewed the snowflakes we received in March. Here's a breakdown:

$3.53 eBay proceeds (our portion, daughter received more)
$25.00 Amex reward
$20.00 Amex offer
$18.00 Rooms to Go settlement
$66.53 Total

Not much but it does add up!

On that Amex offer, we made a purchase at Boxed.com and received a credit on our Amex statement. I simply moved money from the Household Expenses category that would have been spent without the offer and put that money in the Big Goal category.

For anyone new, snowflakes is just a term for extra money. Since many people snowball their debt payments, finding extra money to add is a like adding some snowflakes to the snowball. We are debt free, so we simply add our snowflakes to our savings goals.

My Blogoversary

March 27th, 2018 at 12:39 pm

A few random updates.

I returned an item I bought last week to Walmart. It just didn't work like I thought it would. That put $3.94 back in our pockets, which I probably did really spend again, because I needed several things while I was there. And I also bought my husband Star Wars, Last Jedi that came out today on Blu Ray. I lucked out that he never paid money to see this in the theatre, so only buying the movie is a win! Sometimes it seems we have to do both. Ugh!

I earned $5.10 from Ibotta this month. Not a lot, but I don't buy many of the things they offer.

I have not been doing Swagbucks much this month. I have 1490SB currently. I'll just keep accumulating them when I feel like it. I also have almost 2500 MyPoints, which seems to be owned by the same company as Swagbucks!?

We had our daughter home for Spring Break last week. We did some extra eating out as a result, which I expected and planned for. And guess what, next week is my younger daughter's spring break!? I don't think it will cause us to eat out more, but I'm thinking we may do some shopping for clothes, or even some college dorm room items!

Budget is getting a little tight as we near the end of the month, but payday is Friday, so I expect I can stay within the budget we put out for March.

I missed my TEN year Blogoversary earlier this month on March 12. I'm quite shocked I have stayed at it this long. It's been fun, and very rewarding to reach towards our goals, andcheer each other on in this community all while creating a log of our financial happenings!

Next Quarter Cash Back & Upgrade

March 20th, 2018 at 08:04 am

I was reviewing next quarter's cash back offers. Chase Freedom and Discover have 5% cash back on Groceries. I'm not sure I will be using them though because I have upgraded our American Express Blue Everyday card with the Cash Preferred (I think that's it) which will offer 6% cash back on groceries, and 3% on gas and department stores.

I've known about this card for awhile...but with all the churning of card offers over the years I just didn't dip into this one most likely due to the annual fee. I try to avoid those, but sometimes in the end it is worth it!

American Express made it easy to upgrade. My account numbers are the same. We will get new cards. The annual fee of $95 is waived the first year. If we spend $2000 or more on the card in the first three months we will get a $150 statement credit. I do not expect this to be a problem.

We've been averaging earning $25 statement credit each month just using the card for purchases at grocery stores. At 6% cash back, I expect we can double this amount. And I think there is a limit to the amount you can spend and still get the 6%. Eventually, we may need to turn to another card. We do have another Blue Cash Everyday card in my husband's name so we could at least get 3%.

Now I'm starting to wonder if I should use the 5% back on Chase and Discover for the second quarter. That would help me not meet the maximum for grocery stores so quickly on the American Express. I guess I have a little more to ponder, as I would still need to spend $2000 to get the statement credit.

I'll get it figured out eventually! Smile

Oh, I did change our Electric bill to be charged to our US Bank Visa for 5% cash back. All set for next quarter...and hopefully all quarters following.

Rewards & Spending

March 19th, 2018 at 11:57 am

In the last week, as I have paid our credit cards in full, I found that two of them had rewards I could redeem. I redeemed $22.11 in cash from our Chase Freedom account. We have been using that card for fuel, cable, phone (Ooma) and Netflix purchases this quarter to earn 5% cash back.

Our American Express card had earned another $25 in rewards. This is applied as a statement credit, but I did put that same amount towards our Big Goal.

Today was a little spendy! My husband is home from work while our daughter visits. We ran to Target to pick up a sympathy card, light bulbs, shaving cream and packing tape. We decide to make this our day out to each lunch. We will eat at home the next few days, with more eating out to celebrate her birthday later in the week. And finally, we picked up some hair product our daughter uses from Ulta (did have a coupon). That was $83 of spending! I'm glad I added extra to our budget accounts.

My husband is going to get the oil changed in my van tomorrow. We have been saving for car maintenance, so no worries about finding cash for that! We are set.

Tonight I'm making this for dinner. Some of us will add chicken. I'm also going to use some hamburger buns to make a garlic bread. I've made that recipe with green beans instead of asparagus with good results...even more frugal.

$18 to Big Goal

March 15th, 2018 at 05:22 pm

Are you signed up to receive notices about Class Action Lawsuits? I get my notices from Class Action Rebates. It does pay off.

Today we received a claim check for $18 from a class action suit with Rooms To Go. We had purchased furniture with them and qualified as a claimant. We do not file claims that we have not purchased since that would be illegal.

This money is going to the Big Goal. Cash adds up!


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