One of the most powerful strategies I’ve run across as a Family CEO is using found money to pay of debt and build savings. You can read about it here. I write these reports to let you know where we’ve found money, hopefully to inspire you to do the same.
Here’s where we found money in March:
$885.00 Income tax refund
This was our state income tax refund. We wrote a big check to the Feds (one of the joys of self employment), but I didn’t need this state refund to cover the federal tax bill so I treated it as found money.
$832.34 Credit card cash back
This was the cash back for one year of spending on our main credit card, the Costco Anywhere Visa. This card pays us 4% cash back on gas*, 3% on restaurants and travel, 2% on purchases at Costco, and 1% on everything else. We love this card and were happy when Costco switched their card from an American Express to a Visa, since Visa is accepted at more places. We put everything we can on this card and pay it off monthly.
*Up to $7000, then it’s 1%, although we never hit the $7k.
$49.04 Business expense reimbursement
This was a reimbursement from my job for a business expense that I paid for.
$232.36 Mr. Rebates
Mr. Rebates is a cash back shopping site that I’ve used since 2006. The majority of this was from referral bonuses. I’ve referred a lot of people to Mr. Rebates and, as a result, I earn 20% of whatever they get in cash back, at no additional cost to them. This month’s payment was high, I believe because it covers December when people were doing a lot of online shopping for Christmas. I use Mr. Rebates as a source of cash back for my own online shopping (which is why I can highly recommend it), but their referral program is where I earn the most. You can earn money that way too.
March was a great month for found money, due to those annual hits from the income tax refund and credit card cash back. All of this went into our emergency fund, which is the job we’ve given found money to do for now.
Are you using the found money strategy? What job have you given it to do?