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.

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

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