Found Money Update: Jan – Mar 2015

by Julie on April 3, 2015 · 4 comments

Found Money Update It’s time for another Found Money Update, and I’m making a change in the way I’m reporting things. Specifically, I’ll no longer be including my income from bookkeeping and blogging.

Here’s why: I’ve had a couple of readers tell me that they don’t view those things as found money, and I can see their point. I’ve always defined found money as any money that’s not part of your regular income stream. Those two sources of income, while not large, are regular. They’re better defined as side gigs.

If you’re curious about my bookkeeping and blogging income, you can find the information in the previous found money updates. Although these two income amounts don’t change much from report to report, which is another reason to stop including them.

So, with all that said, here is the Found Money Update for January through March of 2015, broken down by category.

Selling Stuff

  • $550 Craigslist sale (bedroom set)
  • $100 Craigslist sale (dishes)

Rebates, Reimbursements & Refunds

  • $70 Contact lens rebate
  • $32 Reimbursement check for some tickets bought for a family member

Cash Back

  • $711.73 Costco American Express Cash Back

$3598.79 Total

That’s just shy of $3600 added to our emergency fund, which is the job we’ve given our found money to do. In addition to this total, we added $568.98 to my husband’s business savings account during the same time period, because businesses have found money too.

A word about the Costco AmEx cash back: that’s a year’s worth of cash back from the card we use for as much of our spending as we can.

I love our Costco card, mostly because I love Costco. The only credit card Costco accepts is their own, so having this card is the only way to get cash back for what we spend there.

You may have seen the reports recently that Costco is changing their card from an American Express to a Citi Visa in 2016. I greeted this news with a bit of anxiety, only because our card is working so well for us.

But it occurred to me that AmEx isn’t accepted at as many places as Visa, so we’ll be able to use the new card even more. As long as the rewards (currently 3% on gas, 2% on restaurants and travel, and 1% on everything else, including Costco purchases) are as good or better, I’ll be a happy camper.

Want some more found money inspiration? Check out these reader success stories from Elise and Stacie.

Where are you finding money these days?















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6 Ways to Spend a Tax Refund that You Will Thank Yourself for Later

by Julie March 31, 2015
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“Do something today that your future self will thank you for.” Are you getting a tax refund this year? It’s very unusual for us to get one because we’re self-employed; any refunds get applied to next year’s taxes. But this year, through a very specific set of events, we got a $2000 refund from the state. We […]

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How We’re Cutting Expenses in 2015

by Julie March 25, 2015
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Have you ever looked at a year’s worth of your spending in one place? It’s an eye-opening thing. If you have a system for tracking your money (I use Quicken), you can use the report feature to see what I mean. Or sometimes credit cards will send you an annual statement by category, so if […]

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3 Kitchen Shortcuts to Make Your Life Easier

by Julie March 23, 2015
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We’ve been doing a lot more eating at home this year, especially in the last month, so I’ve been falling back on the shortcuts that have stood the test of time in our kitchen. Here are three of my favorites, and I’ve been using them so long that I don’t remember where I first heard about them. […]

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Talking College on the Couple Money Podcast

by Julie March 17, 2015
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Did you know that podcasts are big now? Like really big. Well, my blogging friend, Elle from Couple Money, started a podcast last year and I completely forgot to tell you all about it. That’s an especially bad oversight since Elle had me on as a guest on episode #4 way back in October. We talked about paying for […]

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Motivation for the Journey and a Few Words about Facebook

by Julie March 11, 2015
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In January I began posting some of my favorite quotes paired with pictures on the Family CEO Facebook page and you guys really responded! Apparently you like quotes as much as I do. Because not everyone sees the Facebook posts, I’m sharing the five most popular quotes here. That’s #5 up above, and #4 through #1 […]

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The One Simple Way We Overhauled Our Finances

by Julie March 9, 2015
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Nine years ago this month I hired myself to make the most of our family’s finances. What does that mean, exactly? Although I couldn’t have articulated it this way at the time, I had hired myself to stop using our income to qualify for payments, and start using it to build wealth for our future. We’ve had a […]

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4 Ways to Simplify Your Finances

by Julie March 5, 2015
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Note: On posts like these I like to restate my disclosure that The Family CEO is for general information or entertainment purposes only and does not constitute professional financial advice. For information regarding your specific situation, contact your financial advisor. Many of us are looking to simplify: emptier calendars and cleaner closets is our battle […]

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One Thing You Must Do if You’re a Family CEO

by Julie February 26, 2015
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Dave Ramsey calls it a Legacy Drawer. My husband, Tom, calls it a Doomsday Sheet. Whatever you decide to call yours, you must have one. I’m talking about a summary of financial info that your family would need if anything were to happen to you. I know you don’t want to think about this. No […]

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Reader Success Story: $10,000 in Found Money in 7 Months

by Julie February 9, 2015
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I love getting comments and emails from you guys about the things we talk about on the blog, and last week I got an email from a reader named Elise, who gave me permission to share her story. Here is what she wrote: I just read your updated found money post and wanted to leave a comment. […]

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7 Simple Things You Can Do This Week to Improve Your Finances

by Julie February 3, 2015
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This post started out as things you could do today to improve your finances. And you could do all of these things today, so if you’re a real go-getter, have at it. But when the number of items turned out to be seven, it seemed like a no brainer to make these things you could do […]

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The Nitty Gritty of Being a Family CEO

by Julie January 24, 2015
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Almost nine years ago I hired myself to make the most of our family’s finances. In that time I’ve tried lots of different strategies, some of which have stuck and some of which have fallen by the wayside. This week, however, I found myself doing some of the things that have become more or less routine in my […]

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For Each Small Business, Choose A Specialized Insurance Firm

by Julie April 3, 2015

The following is a post from Sam Peters. You never know when disaster will strike your business. That’s one of the defining characteristics of disasters, after all–uncertainty. If we saw them coming, we’d get out of the way. If you’re in business, however, you might not see trouble coming, because you might be long gone before […]

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The Benefits of Working with a Local Insurance Agent

by Julie March 17, 2015

The following is a guest post. As vehicle owners shop for auto insurance, many choose to work with a national name. This often means that contacting the company for assistance leaves policy holders waiting on hold or not getting the answers needed regarding policies or claims. You can still have insurance coverage through a national […]

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The Pros and Cons of Selling a Structured Settlement

by Julie March 16, 2015

The following is a guest post. People usually get structured settlements because bad things have happened in their lives. They have become plaintiffs in a lawsuit for one of many reasons. If this sounds like you, you likely are finding yourself more financially strapped than you ever have been before. Many people involved in lawsuits […]

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