Every now and then I like to total up our Found Money. The last report I did was on May 1 of 2018 so this covers the fifteen months since then.
First, a couple of notes:
- If you’re new to Found Money or these reports, you can read more about them here.
- It’s important to give Found Money a job. Currently, we’re using Found Money to add to our emergency fund. Our daughter is recently engaged so we’re also stashing as much money as we can for a wedding! Previous jobs included paying off debt and helping pay for our kids’ college.
Now, onto the report. Here is where we found money from May 2018 through July 2019:
$2299.16 Credit Card Cash Back
This was the cash back for one year of spending on our main personal credit card, the Costco Anywhere Visa and our business card, Chase Ink. We put everything we possibly can on these cards and pay them off monthly.
$1707.49 Mr. Rebates
I get a payment every month from Mr. Rebates. I go through Mr. Rebates to earn cash back on much of my online shopping. For this report I’ve earned cash back for my shopping at Home Depot (2%), Bed, Bath & Beyond (4%), Minted (2%), Orvis (4%), Soft Surroundings (3%), GoDaddy (12%), Target (2%), ProFlowers (20%), and Vistaprint (5%).
Most of my payments from Mr. Rebates, however, consist of referral bonuses. I get these even in the months when I’m not doing any shopping through Mr. Rebates. The referral program works like this: each time your referral gets cash back through Mr. Rebates, you get a bonus equal to 20% of their rebate at no cost to your referral. (If you’re interested in ways to earn passive income, opening a Mr. Rebates account and referring others is definitely something to consider.)
Over the years, I’ve referred a lot of people to Mr. Rebates so each month I earn a number of these 20% referral bonuses. (Note: If you sign up for Mr. Rebates using the links in this post, you’ll be one of my referrals. You can use the site to get cash back for a lot of your online shopping and, if you like, refer others to the site as well.
This is interest earned from the savings account that our Found Money is deposited into.
Our parents on both sides have the generous habit of giving us cash for Christmas, our birthdays and our anniversary. I, in turn, am in the habit of treating these gifts as Found Money and depositing these checks into our savings account.
Reimbursements can come in many forms. This total includes a reimbursement I received for a work expense, a dental insurance reimbursement for a visit that I paid for upfront, a reimbursement for overpayment for a disability policy we canceled, and a reimbursement from my mom for some Christmas gifts I bought for the kids on her behalf. Occasionally I need the reimbursement to cover the expense you originally paid for, but more often than not we’ve absorbed the expense by the time we get the reimbursement and so I can treat it as Found Money and put it in savings.
$77.93 Blog Income
Even this sorely neglected blog earns a little income through the Amazon affiliates program.
$34.76 Missing Money
Last spring I checked MissingMoney.com for any money we might be owed, and it turned up this amount that (my apologies!) I can’t for the life of me remember what it was for. In any event, the process for claiming it was simple and when the check showed up I treated it as Found Money and put it in savings.
Ebates is another site similar to Mr. Rebates. It’s also free to join and, you will earn a $10 signup bonus after your first $25 purchase. When I’m ready to shop online, I check to see which site – Ebates or Mr. Rebates – has the best rebate for where I’m shopping. This amount is for my online shopping through Ebates.
Found Money Total for May 2018 – July 2019 = $6309.71
As always I’m amazed at how these individual sources of Found Money add up. Capturing them and putting them to work is a little habit that has done big things for our finances.
Are you using Found Money to help reach your financial goals? What job have you given it to do?