Yep that title reads correctly. With a little work I was able to come up with over $2000 out of basically thin air. Finances and future planning have been a big topic in our household since Chuck and I have gotten married and combined everything. We have a lot of dreams and being financially stable is the only way to successfully achieve them. In all of these conversations I could not help but think that there had to be more optimization possible. Meaning that I knew there were more ways for us to save/make money than we currently were. I gave myself a challenge to come up with as much money as possible by the end of March (this started in the new year), and was pleasantly surprised at how much I was able to come up with on my own. While the tips and tricks below worked for me they may not work for everyone so keep that in mind as you read through.
- The most obvious thing that I did was sell a bunch of stuff on Craigs List. We had a bunch of appliances and items that we simply weren’t using so I sold them, getting nearly $1000 in just a few weeks.
- Called my car insurance company and was able to get $35 immediate return plus $10 a month going forward for discounts that I had not previously been signed up for. One of them was simply by being married! Once I finish the defensive driving course I will receive another discount going forward.
- In January I participated in a no shopping month – usually we budget $50 a week each for random spending (include lunches out) so this month when I got the cash out each week I put it in my piggy bank instead of my pocket. Also this month I did the slow carb diet, which ended up saving us a bunch of money on groceries.
- I looked into my current health insurance and and found out that I can get up to $300 back from participating in certain events, like annual physical, health assessments, and more I was able to make $100 in a few hours of filling out forms. I’m hoping to cash in the other $200 soon.
- Checked with my energy company and signed up to receive rebates for things we were already doing. I’ll post a more in depth explanation of this after we finish a few projects but many energy suppliers will give you significant rebates for switching to more energy efficient equipment. Some of the changes we had already made upon moving into the house, it was a nice surprise to find out I could get paid for them.
- A surprisingly rewarding effort was collecting and rolling a bunch of spare change I found around the house. I made nearly $100 from this, and rolling it myself saved me the fees from using coin star. It took less than an hour while I was watching TV one evening. #worthit
- I cancelled an old credit card that I never used anymore (we switched to a cash back rewards card instead). When I canceled I also cashed in all the points that had added up over the years and it ended up being worth over $300. Again it was a nice surprise. If you use a credit card I strongly suggest getting one that you get cash or another reward from, otherwise you are missing out!
- At the beginning of the year I got a small raise. I did the math and took all the extra money I was earning this year out of our savings. I know that this might be frowned upon, since the money isn’t physically in our account yet but I’m not worried about it. I would rather have that extra money working for me now than waiting.
- I did a few odd jobs. Running errands for work, babysitting, dog watching, etc. are all little jobs that can really add up. Other things you could try would be mystery shopping, filling out online surveys, etc. There are a million ways to make a little extra money.
So now the question is what do I plan to do with this money? Some people would argue that I should treat myself for all the hard work, but I don’t think this is really the best idea. If we were in debt or didn’t already have a cushy emergency fun I would dump it on those. Since we are set in that department I plan to invest it all. Hopefully in 10 years that money will more than double it will help us come one step closer to early retirement, because that’s the dream around here.
Do you have any ideas that I didn’t cover here? I’m definitely interested in making and saving more!