creative money-making

I just opened another checking account.

Keith has been out of work for two months, and this has given me a great incentive to find new money for us. I’m normally pretty frugal, but I haven’t actually created something out of nothing before. So imagine my excitement over a new discovery in the easy money category.

A sidebar on my online Chase account offered us $125 for setting up a new checking account through WaMu. We already have one there, and we wanted to get another one anyway (our old account was based in Utah), so we went for it. All we had to do was drag our sleepy baby with us into the local branch, sign some papers, and set up direct deposit. The $125 will magically appear in our new account sometime in the next 4-8 weeks. 

This happened a few weeks ago. The other day, I stumbled across an offer for $75 to anyone who has an existing credit card account with Bank of America and chooses to open a new checking account online. Easy peasy. I made a deposit and should soon have an additional $75 in my new account to show for my fifteen minutes. Once it appears, I’ll withdraw it and close the account. Not bad, eh?

Another WaMu offer came to us in the mail, so I’m going to take advantage of this one too when I get a chance. Open a new checking account, use the debit card five times, and they’ll give me $100. Shoot, for that kind of money, I’ll just buy five chocolate bars in five separate transactions. And then close the account.

What with applying for these accounts, switching funds around online, making a few transactions with the last account, and then the upcoming task of closing two of them, I might spend as much as three hours on this project. That’s probably why more people don’t exploit these offers; they’re too busy. Obviously, these banks are hoping for me to deposit money and leave it with them to earn interest, not take their money and run. But three hours of my time – and $3 for five chocolate bars – over the course of a couple months seems like a worthwhile trade for three hundred tax-free dollars, does it not? I suppose I could have invested $4000 at 7.5% and achieved the same results, but this seems easier to me.

Now comes the hard part: deciding whether to put my new cash toward debt or toward the snazzy stroller I’ve been wanting for Rilla.

Published in: on April 21, 2009 at 10:26 am  Leave a Comment  

a blog is born

It’s about time.

I’ve had it in mind to start this blog for oh, a year or two now. I’ve written innumerable entries in my head, but that storage space is running out of memory. It’s time to get going on this thing.

My husband and I have spent much of the last two and a half years dedicated to working with a company called United First Financial, which helps people to get out of debt years ahead of schedule. We have also spent a great deal of time working with our own personal finances and discovering innovative ways to save. Thus, this blog is designed to serve two purposes.

First, it should be a resource to other UFirst agents who are working through the issues associated with selling the Money Merge Account program. For us, this has often meant learning to respond graciously to friends who doubt us or colleagues who view us on the same level as juice salesmen (and therefore try to entice us to become juice salesmen).

Secondly, this is a chronicle of personal tools and techniques used on our own road to financial freedom.

Why combine the two topics, you might ask? Well, the first reason might be obvious… nobody is reading this yet, so it doesn’t really matter much what I do. But the second reason is that after struggling through a few years of trying to appear carelessly, wealthily professional, we have realized that to be simply salesmen just isn’t our thing. We do believe in the Money Merge Account program, and we do believe that it has the power to do for careless people what frugal people can’t do with all their striving; in other words, it works wonders that mere frugality just can’t. To share the Money Merge Account program, we feel increasingly that we must share ourselves. Our own struggles, our own victories.

I don’t know how this thing will go. I just know that I have stuff to write about and so I need a place to write it. If this blog is helpful to others in some small way, so much the better.

Published in: on April 20, 2009 at 9:17 am  Leave a Comment