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Unexpected Rewards Just-In-Time for Christmas


I was just talking about my super tight Christmas budget. I loved all your suggestions for inexpensive gifts and wanted to say a big THANK YOU for all the practical tips and recommendations. I’m totally doing many of the things you’d recommended in the comments.

But even so, I was feeling a little defeated about not having anything “big” for the kids. And I use the term “big” loosely. I’m not talking about an expensive gift worth hundreds of dollars. But I wanted to find something that would be “special.” Something in the range of $25-30 that they’d be excited about. But even a $25 gift wasn’t in the budget.

And then…an unexpected reward showed up in the mail.

About a month after I moved, I got a new cell phone line (removing my line from the old shared/family plan). Apparently there was a promotion where you receive a $100 Visa Gift Card after 3 months of on-time payments. Well, I hit the 3-month mark and guess what showed up in the mail – my $100 Visa Gift Card that I’d totally forgotten all about! WOOOOOO!!!!

I’m definitely not blowing it all in one place, but it provides just a little bit of cushion to get a “big” gift (again – like a $25 price tag) and stocking stuffers (which I hadn’t initially thought to include in my original Christmas budget, but which add up in cost quickly!)

My goal is to keep my spending to $75 or less (approx $25/child + about $25 worth of stocking stuffers) and use the rest of the gift card for some groceries or save for another rainy day.

Pretty excited – it felt like a blessing that arrived at exactly the time I needed it!

Anyone else receive any unexpected (or forgotten) rewards just in time for Christmas or another holiday?

Cashback Savings


I mentioned a couple of times that my only credit card offers cashback rewards. And I have it set up to deposit the rewards into a standalone savings account every time those rewards reach $20.

As I have been working through my plans and budgets, I took a look at how those rewards added up this year.

Not too shabby for a little bit of passive income. I’m not designating it towards anything at this point, just pretty much ignoring it and hoping to be surprised as it grows.

I am also continuing to save my loose change and $5 bills. Gymnast pulled the $5 out a couple of months ago and counted it. It was $120 at the time. But I’ve left it alone since then.

I realize this blog is not about saving, and I am focused on my debt. But these gimmicky savings plans just give me a small piece of added security.

Do you have a passive savings source? Or an account that you just let grow unsupervised?