“free” money

When Kaitlyn was born, we decided that I’d stay home. And although motherhood has many benefits, none of them pay the bills 🙂 So, part of my quest is to “make” money doing things we already do. Here’s my favorite way to make “free” money…

First let me start with this – if you don’t have credit cards and/or have not been able to pay off your credit cards EVERY month then DON’T get one. It’s better to use cash for everything and never pay a finance charge than to “hope” or “think maybe” you can pay off a credit card at the end of the month just for the cash back advantages.

OR if you are planning to buy/sell a house, car, property, etc. now is not the time to get a credit card because the more open credit you have the worse your report will look to anyone you might be trying to borrow money from (especially in this credit market).

BUT if you treat your credit card like cash, have the money to pay it off EVERY month, track your charges in your check register (or some other form of financial tracking system) and you’re not going anywhere for awhile, here’s some handy information I’ve discovered.

If you have a credit card that does not pay you anything for using it (or charges you an annual fee just to use it), you should consider using one that does. The credit card industry is a multi-billion dollar industry that makes tons of money off of those who do not pay their balance each month. As a result, they are all fighting to get you to use their credit card (and hoping you don’t pay off your balance each month) and are willing to pay you a percentage of the money you “borrow” each month. Because really, if you don’t pay it off…they give you a 3% rebate (average), but charge you 18% interest! Who wins?!! BUT if you pay it off each month, you make 3% and they make nothing (well, nothing from you anyways). So…again, if you don’t track your spending to make sure you have money in the bank each month to cover all of your credit card expenses, DO NOT get a credit card. But if you do, there’s some “free” money out there to be “made”.

My favorite credit card is the BP Visa. The BP Visa gives you 5% back on all BP purchases (inside and outside). They also give 2% on travel and dining purchases and 1% on everything else (rebates are doubled during the first 60 days). Just think….if you’re spending $2.50 at the pump, that’s $0.25/gal you get back! And BP can be found on most corners (even here in good ‘ole Johnston County). Of course if you buy gas at another station and use your BP Visa, you get nothing – fair enough. AND there’s no limit to your annual rebates!! (lots of cards have an annual maximum that you can earn in rebates).

When you’ve earned $25, you just go to your account online and request a check – easy as that. Keith and I recently visited Wilmington and brought $200 cash…from a check that I had cashed from my BP rebate. Can I just tell you how much fun it is to spend “free” money!? I mean I have to buy gas no matter what, right?

There are tons of cards out there – some even give you a “bonus” check after your first purchase and a percentage cash back for every purchase after that. Here are a couple of my favorites:

1. Citicards – you can go to their site, answer a few questions about what you’re looking for and find the card that will pay you the most for what you spend the most on.

2. Chase Freedom – I got $100 when I signed up and it pays me 3% on the things I spend the most on. (Chase also owns the BP Visa that I use).

Got questions? Email me…I love to help others save and “make” money!

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2 thoughts on ““free” money

  1. […] I’m not much of a video gamer, but have found that the Wii has been very fun for our family because it’s a great mix of what the kids like (our attention) and what we like (playing games together). I’m not very good at most of the games – it requires a level of coordination that I apparently do not possess…but it is fun nonetheless (for those who saw my plea for finding a Wii for less than $250, I did not. We got it from Wal-Mart for $249.99 and added Wii Fit for $89.99…all paid for with rebate money from one of our credit cards). […]

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