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.