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How I Track Snowflake Money

February 20th, 2013 at 03:18 pm

It's come up on the blogs recently about how to keep snowflakes separate from your regular income so they don't melt while you are saving them for a particular goal. So I'll share mine. It may be too complicated or simple, but it works for me. Smile

I have a running total in Excel of snowflakes by month and source. It looks like this:

When I receive a Pinecone Payment I simply increase the amount by the amount of the payment, which is always $3 in the case of Pinecone surveys. I do the same with the other lines of the spreadsheet as well.

I keep all physical gift cards in an old bank deposit bag that I keep in my desk at home. I also include physical cash here as well.

My Amazon.com gift cards are kept in my Amazon.com account! I usually get these from http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/creditcardfree and simply copy the gift card code to my Amazon account for safe keeping.

I have earned and redeemed Swagbucks for electronic gift cards. I keep these in my Swagbucks account until I'm ready to print them for use. I only print if I'm taking them to a physical store or giving as a gift.

I don't keep money in my PayPal account for more than one month. I do this primarily so that if I buy something using my PayPal account, the money I've earned from Ebay sales, Pinecone surveys, or Swagbucks does not get spent. This means this money actually ends up in our checking account along with spending money. Doesn't sound like a good idea does it? Especially, since I save my snowflakes for Christmas.

However, I do actually keep my money there. When I look at our checking account balance I don't just see a balance that can be spent. I see a total of about four different pots of money, which are Christmas, escrow, emergency fund, and spending money. I could say I have a fifth pot, but it really is just money sitting there ready to be pulled for an automatic bill payment.

I keep track of how much money is in each pot. I've done this with pen and paper, spreadsheets, a sticky note on my computer and they all work. I update them anytime a balance changes, which is generally on payday twice per month.

Every once in awhile I will make sure my Christmas fund money is correct. I total up cash and gift cards on hand, money in my PayPal account if any, e gift cards in my Swagbucks account, and the cash I have in our checking account. If it all matches my spreadsheet total, I'm good. Occasionally it is not correct. Usually this is because I forgot to add something in. I may have received a rebate in the mail, deposited in the checking account, but did not register it on my Christmas/Snowflake register. If I can't find it I just adjust the cash in my checking account, usually up, to agree with the balance I'm tracking on my spreadsheet.

Oh my...does that sound complicated? It can be. Another way to handle it, would be to try to convert all extra dollars to cash as soon as possible. Spend that Target gift card on something you buy anyway, but withdraw the same amount from your checking account and save the money in an envelope.

Do you have a nifty way to track your snowflake money? Comment here, or post your explanation on your blog.

1 Responses to “How I Track Snowflake Money”

  1. MissAngel Says:

    As of right now, I track my extra money in an excel spreadsheet similar to yours. It will list the date, then what kind of extra money (Amazon gift card, for example). I total it up and it has a place on my summary monthly excel spreadsheet as "extra money." I just haven't quiet figured out how to "use" the extra money so my budget has a 0 balance at the end of the month.

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