Collecting Debt "Snowflakes" in Second Checking Account

A local bank was recently running a promotion where new customers could sign up for an interest-bearing checking account with no fees, free checks and a check card. I decided to open an account and designate it my “debt buster” account. In this account I accumulate any “found” money throughout the month. At the end of the month I write a check to make an extra snowball payment on my debt with the lowest balance.

Some people refer to this method as “snowflaking,” and it is a great way to make small debt payments add up over time. I took this original concept and tweaked it to use the dual checking account system. Here are a few examples of the “snowflakes” I managed to accumulate last month:

  • CashCrate - By participating in daily surveys, and taking advantage of CashCrate’s lucrative referral system I was able to add $21.10 to my “Debt Buster” account in February.
  • Cash4Books.net – If you are a regular reader here at Frugal Dad you know I am on a pretty aggressive reading schedule (52 books in 2008). To fund this reading hobby I sell back old books from around the house on Cash4Books.net and eBay. Last month this yielded $32.00 in snowflakes.
  • Rolled Coins – Back when I used the debit card (or credit card) almost exclusively, I didn’t generate much in the way of coin change. Now that we are using the cash envelope budget system we manage to fill the coin jar with several dollars worth of change over the course of a month. Last month we cashed in about $8.00 in change.
  • Donations/eBook Sales – My eBook wasn’t available until the very end of February, but I still managed to make two sales ($3.28, after fees). Someone was also kind enough to “buy me a cup of coffee” which resulted in another $1.64 contribution to PayPal.

The $66.02 I “snowflaked” throughout the month resulted in a healthy extra payment to my credit card with the lowest balance. Holding the money in a second checking account keeps it from getting spent as part of the daily expenditures associated with our primary checking account. It will also help me reconcile income from various sources for tax purposes at the end of the year. If you are interested in “snowflaking” I highly recommend the programs I’ve listed. Other options include picking up some traditional part time work, working overtime at your current job, using coupons whenever you have to shop or having a yard sale to generate some quick cash.

Comments

  1. Congrats on your snowflakes! I have an extra checking account that is linked to paypal. Anything I sell on ebay is kept separate and I can save it up for something special. I works out nice.

  2. I’ve been doing something similar for a while now by putting “found” money–rebates, credit card rewards, etc., into a special savings account. It’s surprisingly nice to see how that money can accumulate. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  3. When we bought our first computer we did basically the same thing. Everytime we used a coupon at the grocery store we would have the clerk subtotal the total and we would write our check the larger amount then take the coupon savings in cash. It was surprising how quickly just grocery savings added up. Thanks for the reminder we need to start doing that again.

  4. Great job on your snowflakes! That is wonderful!

    We got our credit card statement and I have $300 left to go (from when my husband was unemployed). We will pay that next month and FINALLY be credit card free. I am planning a big party for our family :) Less than a month to go and we will no longer have that weight on our shoulders- whoohoo!

  5. One of the ways we save (not terribly original) is to keep all our change and use it as snowflakes. Bank Of America recently (few months ago) initiate a service called “Keep the Change” in which they round up any transaction made using our debit card to the next whole dollar and once-a-day transfer the day’s roundings from our checking into our savings account. They have a promotion right now that they’ll match 100% of the first 3 months roundings (up to $250/account annual max) and they regularly match 5% of the annual total. Even more snowflakes!

    -Matthew

  6. To maximize your changes of getting highest paid surveys more often you better register with as many survey companies as possible. You can check around and see which ones offer highest paid survey deals. Many forums and discussion groups dedicated to the topic will help you find the survey companies that offer good money. B very careful though as high rates are sometimes used as a hook for people hunting for the highest paid survey. Check that you are dealing with respectable and credible company to avoid disappointment.

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