I have few final snowflakes to report for 2018. A full tally coming soon!
$100 Christmas gift from my parents
$24.81 Ibotta proceeds
$1.89 Starbucks (Amex reward offer)
$5.00 Hulu (Amex reward offer)
$2.91 Verizon (Amex reward offer)
It's been a good year for snowflakes (extra money)...all have been added to our Big Goal. More about that on the sidebar and an update soon.
Happy New Year, Saving Advice bloggers and readers!
Viewing the 'Sales, Surveys, Rebates' Category
I have few final snowflakes to report for 2018. A full tally coming soon!
Today was payday!
I paid off all the credit card balances, which is my usual routine twice per month. I also balanced categories in YNAB back to zero and then added in money to flush those categories out for the rest of the month spending. I'm guessing with our girls home visiting for the next three weeks to a month we will be spending more on groceries, dinner and likely some paid activities, although I'm hoping for free!
I finally received my $3 Pinecone Research payment. I had to send an email and the next day I had my payment. Apparently they were having some issues with their normal process.
I redeemed $7.44 in Chase Freedom rewards. These went into our Big Goal Fund! I will do a wrap up of our progress at year end.
We also received an extra payment for housing for our oldest daughter's Post 911/GI Bill benefits this semester. Apparently, they have been underpaying us all semester. I'm actually glad I didn't know until it was corrected. That amount to cover underpayment since August was $286.17.
I received an email from FNBO Direct where we have one of our money market accounts. That account will now be paying 2.15%. I'll take it but I probably need to move some money in there into a CD with a higher rate. I think Beawealthywarrior posted on one of my blogs that PenFed has some good rates. I will look there soon!
I'm always grateful for the money that flows into our lives, as well as the ability to let money flow out for our needs and wants. All of life is a balance that way.
We pay off our credit cards in full every month and never pay interest on a revolving balance. We use them for as many transactions as we can. In fact, we are now able to pay our rent with a credit card, most likely will use our Southwest Airlines credit card to accumulate points for flights.
We redeemed rewards from the following cards this past month.
US Bank $8.31
Chase Freedom $14.70
American Express $50.61
Our credit card rewards are almost as good as the amount of interest we earn on our savings.
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.
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. 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!
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.
I guess it was January when I last made a point of using things up. I was doing an Uber Frugal Month with spending and using things we already had on hand was part of making that work.
I had some diced butternut squash in the fridge that I didn't even get to then! It's almost April! Late this morning, I threw the squash in a saucepan with garlic, onion, ginger and carrots to saute' for several minutes. Oh yes, there was salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. I added some chicken broth (made from bouillon) and simmered for another ten minutes. And then in the end added a cup of milk (I was going to use coconut milk, but it had gone bad, oops!). Finally, blended it with my immersion blender.
My food stores are still pretty limited from the Uber Frugal month. To me this means we are buying only what we will actually eat and use! Far less food waste or extra money spent.
I know it's a holiday weekend for many and could mean more spending on groceries, but be sure to check your pantry before you go shopping. Maybe you already have ingredients you need, or possibly you have something on hand that could be used instead of something you think you need to buy.
Yesterday, I listed six new items to eBay. These were items we found this month to let go. These were ones that may have a chance of selling for a few dollars. I'm hoping for some quick sales!
I hope you all enjoy your weekend! Stay frugal out there.
I cashed out my Ibotta account last night. The funds were immediately transferred to my PayPal account. Just this morning I moved those funds to savings, not sure why I waited! I was able to cash out $41.38.
I also had proceeds from an item I sold on eBay yesterday as well, so I transferred those to savings. In total I added $49.56 to our Big Goal funds.
It does take awhile for Ibotta coupon savings to add up and you need a $20 balance to withdraw, but I find it easier than cutting or printing coupons. If you are interested in saving this way, you can sign up under me [url=https://ibotta.com/r/xjyhxxw]here.[/url]
I received a check in the mail from my claim with Blue Buffalo. Amount of the check is $114.09. It could have been up to $200, but they had lots of claimants. I'm happy either way!
Yesterday, I redeemed Swagbucks for $50 cash through PayPal. I received that money in my PayPal account.
I will add this extra money to our Big Goal!
It's been a good money day!
I am so grateful to live here in the United States that affords me and my family to pursue the life we want to live. I'm also grateful to Saving Advice as a place to talk about my life and share in yours.
I wanted to clue you into a coupon on Amazon.com. It's worth $5 off $20 worth of book sold by Amazon.com. The code is GIFTBOOK17 and is good through November 26th.
I had $47 worth of books in my cart this morning. I added the coupon code and $40 worth of Amazon.com gift cards (earned from Swagbucks and MyPoints) and paid $5.93 after taxes were added in. And these will be shipped free with my Amazon Prime membership.
Okay, back to your regularly scheduled Thanksgiving!!
I sold some Box Tops for Education on eBay today. I will net about $7 for some scraps of paper and cardboard. Easy money really.
We received our electric bill this week and finally it dropped significantly. I'm sure primarily due to cooler weather and having one heating and air unit completely off for a week. It was off because the compressor was bad, thus no point in using it. It has now been replaced. The drop was $80!! I'll make a point to put that money towards our Big Goal.
We went grocery shopping today for our Thanksgiving meal. Our meal itself actually isn't too fancy. I'm making Pot Pies, mashed potatoes (daughter's request), a salad and pumpkin pie. Even that sounds like too much food! I did however buy many of the ingredients we need for our holiday baking. And my husband has a meal at work this week he is contributing to. He bought rolls and I'm making cookies for him to take. We also bought some meat on clearance, coffee filters, and cat filter. We spent $200. I need to see how many Ibotta rebates I may qualify for...for a few more snowflakes.
My birthday was Friday and I received a check from my parents for $100. I added it to our Big Goal also.
Snowflakes add up!
My husband told me today that we will be getting about $105 from his recent travel reimbursement. This was the trip where he bought some friends dinner to the tune of $140. That meal isn't specifically being reimbursed, of course, but it will offset that expense a bit. I didn't think he was getting anything extra.
Our college daughter was home for spring break last week, so we did a little clothes shopping, went out to eat a couple times, and celebrated her birthday with cake from a bakery. And now the funds left that we budgeted through the end of the month are getting slim.
I did jump ahead in the budget a bit and bought tickets for my husband, daughter and I to see a local Sherlock Holmes play in early April. Those three tickets were $55 total. And we will be seeing Beauty and the Beast in the theater this coming weekend. This much more than we usually spend on entertainment in a short period of time. But thankful that we can afford to do so when we find something that is of interest for all of us.
I listed four CDs on eBay today in a lot. Not sure if they will sell or not. I think I may have listed them for sale in the past, but I don't have a record of it on my account any longer. So if I did it was more than two months ago. I figured I would try one more time.
I've been doing pretty good at accumulating Swagbucks, but I'm going to need to spend my time getting my garden planted soon. I'm going to do zucchini, summer squash, tomatoes, lettuce, snow peas, onions, cucumber and strawberries. I'm going to do the strawberries in a pot on our screened in porch to keep the birds away! I'm not real optimistic about them, but my younger daughter insists since she didn't like them when she was younger and didn't get to eat any!
Oh, I thought I'd ask those of you world travelers what you think about exchanging currency before a trip? How much of the total expected costs would you want to have in the foreign currency? 20%? 50%? The teacher leading the trip can exchange for a lower fee at her bank. We know some cash is likely a good idea. She would need pounds for the two days in London, and euros for the remaining ten or eleven days. She also has a no foreign transaction fee debit card that she will likely use as well. I think we may also add her as an authorized user on one of our credit cards, as an extra back up option.