When I made the decision to start blogging here at The Family CEO again, I knew that found money would be a big focus. It’s such a little thing to do – capturing any amount of money that isn’t part of your main income stream(s) and giving it a job to do – but it’s done big things for our finances.

Plus, it’s effortless, and even fun.

The last found money update I did here covered a period of time that ended with March, 2015, so I’ll pick up there for this update and tell you what we’ve been able to put away since then, using just this one money strategy.

The total for the 22 months ending with January, 2017 was $7689.89. The job we’ve given our found money right now is beefing up our emergency fund, so that’s where that money went. (Past jobs for found money have included paying off debt, and saving for our kids’ college funds.)

Here’s how the numbers break down:

Rebates, Reimbursements & Refunds

  • $1663 Income tax refund
  • $588 Reimbursements from family for fundraiser tickets
  • $460 Reimbursement from friends for basketball tickets
  • $200 Reimbursement from daughter for iPhone
  • $157  Insurance reimbursement
  • $132.51 Golf tournament reimbursement
  • $80  Reimbursement from family for shrimp dinner tickets
  • $177.67 Property tax refund
  • $49.83 Reimbursement for business expense
  • $44.65 Medical reimbursement


  • $250 Anniversary gift checks from parents
  • $500 Birthday gift checks from parents

Cash Back

  • $2579 Cash back from Mr. Rebates
  • $483.13 Costco Membership Rewards


  • $325 Winning from betting on the Kansas City Royals in Vegas (Tom placed the bet in April…the Royals won the World Series in November!)

$7689.79 Total

A word about reimbursements

There are a lot of reimbursements on the list above. Reimbursements are one of the hardest found money sources to describe. One common source is when we front the money for something (tickets and golf tournament entry fees for example) and then are reimbursed for it. Insurance reimbursements of all kinds (medical, auto, home) also seem to be fairly common in our lives.

Many times when we’re reimbursed for something, we’ve already absorbed the original expense and can treat the reimbursement as found money. Sometimes, however, the expense was large enough or came at a time when we needed to put the money back into our checking account to cover the original expense.

When that’s necessary, I don’t sweat it. But if there’s any way we can do without the reimbursement, I put it in our savings account as a found money windfall.

What’s with Mr. Rebates?

I must tell you that I LOVE Mr. Rebates. I’ve been using the site to earn cash back on online purchases since 2006, so I can vouch for its credibility. It’s free to join (actually it’s better than free… you get a $5 bonus after your first purchase) and it’s easy to use. Ebates is another site similar to Mr. Rebates. It’s also free join and, for the time being, the bonus after purchase is $10.)

I’ll write more on how I use these sites soon, but if you’re interested in found money, check them out. Those are my referral links, FYI, which means that when you use them to sign up make money, I make a little too, at no cost to you.

You can do that too, by the way – refer others to Mr. Rebates and Ebates and use the referral bonuses another source of found money.


We’re continuing to build our emergency fund with other sources of income, including my part-time job earnings. But I love being able to add $7689 to the kitty just from miscellaneous bits of money that found us is amazing.

The found money method continues to amaze me!

I can guarantee that if we had not given this found money a job to do, and had just deposited it in our checking account and gone about our business, there’s no way it would have ended up in our savings account.

Where are you finding money these days? Have you given it a job to do?


Hello Again

by Julie on March 4, 2017 · 11 comments

Tap, tap, tap…is this thing on? Is anyone still out there?

It’s been nearly two years since I’ve written at The Family CEO, but recently I’ve felt compelled to check back in.

When we last spoke, I told you that our family’s finances were on autopilot in the very best possible way. We had paid off a lot of debt, grown our savings, put one child through college without debt, and were working on doing the same for the second child.

Two years later we’re still on track. Our debt remains in check (mortgage plus one car loan), we’ve put more money into savings and retirement accounts, and our second child is finishing his junior year in college and we have enough savings set aside to get him the rest of the way there.

With that last one being oh, so close to being off our payroll, we’re going through another transition of sorts. We’re turning our focus to what we want our life as true empty nesters to look like. Where do we want to live? How do we want to spend our time? How much do we need to have saved for retirement and how will we get there?

So I find myself back here ready to talk finances again. The things that are on my mind right now are:

  • Houses…always houses. We recently did some long-awaited improvements to our house, but we know it’s not our forever house, so I keep pondering what that will someday look like.
  • Found money…I still love this fun, simple technique for paying down debt or saving.
  • Saving and investing for retirement.
  • Intentional spending, which to me means keeping expenses in check while continuing to live a life we love.

So if you’re still out there, let me know what’s been going on in your world since we last spoke.

I’ll be back on Monday with a found money update. Almost two years worth!


That’s a Wrap

by Julie May 20, 2015

Last week I started a conversation with Tom this way: “I need to talk to you about something, and it’s going to sound familiar.” If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, it’s going to sound familiar to you too. The something I needed to talk about was, of course, what to do […]

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Teaching High School Students About Money

by Julie May 10, 2015
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So this is cool. H&R Block, the tax services provider, believes that mastering financial matters is an important adult life skill, but that teenagers aren’t being prepared for the challenge. So the company developed a teen financial literacy program that takes the form of an online game. The game is played over nine weeks’ time […]

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When an Introvert and an Extrovert Get Married

by Julie May 6, 2015
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A number of years ago – ten or more – Tom and I walked into a social function at church. It was either a casino night or a wine tasting (we’re Catholic so those are normal church functions for us), and as I scanned the room I said to Tom, “I don’t see any of […]

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A Family CEO Job Description

by Julie May 5, 2015
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This blog began over nine years ago when I hired myself to make over my family’s finances. My theory was that if I treated our finances like a job, I could make as big of an impact as the real-life, outside the home, part-time job I was considering at the time. My theory turned out to be true. Yet, […]

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April Wrap-up

by Julie April 30, 2015
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There are any number of end-of-the-month posts around the blogosphere with themes like what I’m into, what I’m reading and what I learned this month.  I’ve never participated in them, but closing out the month with a wrap-up post does seem like a good idea, so I’m making this my first. And I’m giving it the very clever […]

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3 Ways to Keep Clutter from Accumulating in Your Home

by Julie April 27, 2015
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Achieving a clutter-free house, room, closet, or drawer is one thing; keeping it that way is quite another. It’s an ongoing process. It’s true that the process gets easier with time, but it’s a process nonetheless. Here are three strategies I’ve discovered to make it easier. Skip the free stuff. Earlier this month Tom and I went to […]

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Found Money Update: Jan – Mar 2015

by Julie April 3, 2015
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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 […]

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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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