Friday, January 8, 2016

2016 "Found Money" Challenge

After seeing everyone else's "found money" totals for 2015, I got inspired to actually track mine this year!

What am I considering "found money"?  Here's my list (subject to change of course!)

Consignment earnings
Loose change collected from our house and elsewhere (ie sidewalk)
Any money that happens to be "found" in the washer or dryer (if you left it in your pockets, all bets are off!)
Cans/Bottles Return money

I have a separate checking account in my name only (I used to use it as a place to keep track of my "fun money" way back when) that has a very anemic balance currently.  I don't have the statement readily available (translation: I am too lazy to get up and grab it) but I know the balance is under ten dollars.  So, this seems like the easiest place to let it all collect for the year.

At the end of every month, I will do a quick update post on how much I accumulated for the month. I am actually pretty excited about seeing how well I can do with this! 

What do you considered "found" money?  How do you like to track yours?

Happy Friday!


  1. Good idea! I count as Found Money any of the money I earn from rebates (apps, mail in), that I earn as rewards either in cash/gift cards (credit cards, Bing Rewards, Swagbucks) or in kind (freebies from RaceTrac, Murphy USA, Dunkin' Donuts, Panera, Starbucks, Subway, among others), as well as the money I find on the ground, throughout the house or in the laundry. I keep track of it in an Excel spreadsheet that I have the grand ambition to update every night (I have a Google calendar reminder emailed to me every evening). The cash will be kept throughout the year and if I have enough, used to buy a gift card from Coinstar at the beginning of the following year. I need to do that with last year's change. The money I get back in Rebates gets applied back to my checking account.

    1. I love using CoinStar too. Part of the reason is because my dexterity can truly suck sometimes (thank you MS) but also because I am truthfully too lazy to sit and roll ooins!!! I know they have a gift card option but I never looked to see what types were offered. Normally I would redeem the slip and use it to supplement payment on my groceries (since that is where my CoinStar is). But, I am thinking I will probably just drive literally across the street to my bank and deposit the money in my account.
      I do plan on keeping track of my Swagbuck earnings - if I can ever qualify for a survey Grrrr!.
      As for coupons/rebates/etc, I think I will leave that just as part of keeping my grocery costs down to meet or come under budget.
      I love that you have spreadsheets for all this - I don't think I am Excel savvy enough to even attempt it! The only spreadsheet I am using is to tally grocery totals.

    2. I think the options for the gift cards depend on the individual machines. If you check their website it should tell you which gift cards are available at the machine you plan on using. Last time I used it (over a year ago), I picked a Lowe's e-gift card because I didn't have to pay a transaction fee if I picked an e-gift card. My machine is located at Winn Dixie but I don't shop there very often at all. I'm going to see what my choices are nowadays. If the only grocery store option is Winn Dixie, I'll use that (they supposedly lowered their prices on lots of stuff, according to a message they sent me), otherwise I'll do the Lowe's card again and use it for gardening supplies. I don't think I have all that much, but I do put whatever extra change I have in my purse in there too so sometimes that adds up although I almost never use cash.

      My bank (USAA) is in TX and doesn't have local branches so I do all my banking online. I've lived in the USA for 27-28 years and I think I've only set foot into an actual bank the first year that I was here as a college student! (Then, until online banking became prevalent, I did all my banking via ATMs.)

      I'm far from being proficient in Excel. I looked at some templates for budgeting stuff and a couple of them are gorgeous and I wish I could make mine look that way. But mine are boring, just cells with numbers and text and I know how to do a few formulas, but I do love using them instead of keeping track of all that in a notebook because it calculates stuff automatically and I don't need to worry about it (as long as the data I put in there is correct!).