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?

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Elise April 8, 2015 at 9:35 am

I love Costco, too!! I used to coupon, but to be honest, I like getting things in bulk rather than saving a few pennies (and the cash back makes it almost even!). Awesome job with your found money! I like designating one place for it rather than reabsorbing it into the budget! I am going to start throwing our ‘found money’ into a brokerage account we are using for a down payment on our next house!

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Julie April 10, 2015 at 10:18 am

Love your approach to shopping, Elise. Congrats on the house fund. Exciting goal!

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Melissa April 8, 2015 at 5:38 pm

These posts are so inspiring! I love assigning money to a job; otherwise, it’s so easy to just blow it. By assigning one of my freelance jobs the job of paying for the first half of my son’s braces, I was able to get the money together much sooner than I had thought!

We shared this post at 1099 Mom.

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Julie April 10, 2015 at 10:20 am

Thank you for the share, Melissa. And I love your story of using an income stream to fund your son’s braces. I forgot about the days of braces. Expensive times.

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