5.22.2007

Surprise Money Day

Yesterday felt like a Free Money Day. Do you have those- the days where surprise money shows up, like finding a $20 bill in old jeans or even a quarter on the sidewalk? Yesterday...
  • We got an email saying that our Half.com payment was deposited (~$10)

  • Our 'rewards' check came in the mail from our credit card ($25)

  • A real surprise- a 'dividend check' came from State Farm (~$50)

  • After all of this happened, Josh offhandedly mentioned that he figured out how to get rewards from our debit card as well, and had those deposited yesterday. (~$15)

These are all pleasant surprises. I have emphasized they are surprises. Why? In my opinion, they ought to be treated as such.
  • These things are not in our budget. If we don't expect them, we don't plan on how to spend them, and they go straight to savings. If we relied on income like this and it doesn't show up, we'd be in trouble.

  • Credit cards are dangerous. Yes, we have one. ONE. And we always pay it off, completely, every month. Have you looked at credit card interest rates?! The primary motivation for having a credit card right now for us is to build our credit score. We're still young, and, besides paying bills and one school loan on time, we have nothing to prove to lenders that we're responsible. The credit card seems like the least-risky way to do that, so we can get a good rate on a home loan when the time comes.

  • The Half.com sales are more for de-cluttering purposes than money-making. We're getting rid of books & textbooks we'll never read again. (Check out what's left in our store!)

  • We always opt for cash with the rewards cards. If we want to spend the 'reward' at Best Buy, we will- we don't need a gift certificate. More likely, we'll take the money & save it & spend it on something we actually need, rather than an impulse buy.

Have you had a 'surprise money day'? What kind of things do you do to find these extra bits of cash?

4 comments:

ashley@twentysixcats said...

We got a dividend check from our insurance company too! This one was a real surprise, because we already got one a few months ago. This was also three times the amount. Into the bank it goes! :-)

Oh and other surprise money (I'm trying to look at the bright side here):
- Cheaper insurance due to taking one car off the policy. Also, a bonus: since it was Paul's car, we will be even cheaper than if it was my car (due to him being a male).
- Less car maintenance costs since we only have one car.
- Once I start walking, less gas being bought.
- And possibly we might be able to get a few hundred dollars for selling his car.

All that money being saved will be put into a fund to getting a new car. Hopefully it will grow fast. :-)

Brett said...

Surprise money is great. With the sale of our house we got some of the money we previous spent on homeowners insurance and our association dues back. It was nice to see a couple checks mixed in with the bills. They went directly into savings.

We've struggled with the concept of the credit card. I've had mine since college and Denisa was added to it when we were married. We've always paid it off each month and it's more of a convenience thing than anything else. Recently, though, we've had several conversations about cutting the thing up just on principal. We haven't done that yet but we will see.

We do, however, spring for the bonus gift cards with our Discover card cashback thingies. Typically, it's spent at Kohls on things like baby clothes. Very rarely we'll get it as a Border's gift card. If Discover is willing to give me an extra $5 and it's money I was going to eventually spend anyway, that's fine with me.

beth said...

Oh! I had a "free money" weekend! We went home to visit Josh's and my family, show off Benjamin, and go to a graduation weekend. I was expecting to spend more money on gas than our budget could handle, but we got a divedent check, a card for Benjamin's birthday which contained money, Josh's mom kindly forced gas money into our open palms, and we recieved yet another birthday card for Benjamin with yet more money! (Sorry, Benjamin, good parents would probably put that in some kind of a fund for you... we used it on dinner on the trip home!)

PiggyBank Raider said...

Surprise money almost always goes to bills in my household... although I admit to sometimes using it for shoes or clothes. We also use it for dining out. But mostly it just gets added to our regular bank account and divvied up as if it were income.

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