The holidays are over and we’re making a final push to get all of our non-mortgage debt paid off in 2012.
Enter the return of found money.
Since the first of the year, we’ve received two rebates totaling $140:
- A $40 tire rebate for a new set of tires we put on my van last fall.
- A $100 Apple rebate from the new computer I bought right before Christmas, when my laptop died in a most spectacular way.
And last week I sent $140 to our home equity loan as an extra payment.
How to Turn Rebate Cards into Extra Debt Payments
Rebates are one of my best sources of found money. But they don’t always come in the form of a check.
More and more, I’m getting rebates in the form of a card, like this Visa debit card we got for our tires. And you can’t exactly send one of these in as an extra payment on your credit card, mortgage, or home equity loan.
But here’s what you can do:
- Use the rebate card on something you would have bought anyway (i.e. groceries or gas).
- Send the amount of the rebate as an extra debt payment.
The mechanics of it aren’t hard. The keys are seeing the card as a debt snowflake (and not an excuse to splurge on something unplanned) and then following through on sending the extra payment in.
Once you’ve committed to do those things, you will probably find yourself searching high and low for rebates and other sources of found money. They can add up to big things.
Honestly, it’s a little embarrassing how excited I get when these bits of found money find their way to me and I know I get to make an extra payment.
Are you addicted to debt reduction (or saving)? Do your rebates have a job? Talk about it in the comments.
This post is linked to the Debt Snowflake Challenge @ Mom’s Plans.