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Great Month of Snowflakes

May 30th, 2014 at 07:13 am

May turned out to be a great month for snowflakes mainly because of the refund I got from the IRS for my 2010 amendment. This is the second highest month so far this year! Only $1755 to go before I hit my $10k goal!!

Pinecone: $12
$1 bills: $30
Kohl's return: $111
Ebates: $14
Tax refund/job bonus: $1121
KMART GC: $10
AMEX: $10
Capital One: $108
T-bond interest: $214

Total Snowflakes: $1,629

Friday Finances

May 23rd, 2014 at 03:08 pm

A couple weeks ago I posted that I got a large snowflake for an amended tax return I had filed. Well I took $103 from that and finished off the 52 Weeks Savings Challenge. I will use $750 of challenge money for Christmas and not quite sure what to do with the rest just yet.

I know I also posted that I was done with the CC rewards game but Navy Federal currently has an offer where you spend $1500, you get $100. Well I applied a week or so ago and got my card today. I immediately charged $1400 of my tuition to it and only have $100 left to spend which will be taken care of with no problem.

Finally, I cashed in a Treasury bond that I bought a couple years ago to take advantage of higher rates. I've since earned $214 in interest and will now use that principal to buy a CD at Navy Federal. It's a one year CD earning 3.5% This month is turning out to be the second highest snowflake month of the year so far and I'm well on my way of meeting my $10k snowflake goal!!

Navy Federal Credit Union Offers

May 14th, 2014 at 05:49 am

First off in order to join the credit union, you have to be a associated with the military someway. Whether its active duty, guard, reserve, retiree, dependent, etc... Well I guess its Military appreciation month and they have a couple great offers. First, yesterday I opened up a 1 year CD that they're offering paying 3.5% with a 5,000 max. Last year I took advantage of another 1 year offering that was paying 3%

Second, if you do want to join they are offering $50 to join for you and the person who referred you. If anyone reading this do decide to join and doesn't mind using me as a referral that was would be greatly appreciated.Please contact me for my personal info.

Lastly, once you're a member you can apply for their cashreward visa card where they are offering $100 reward for spending $1500 in the first 90 days.

If you do decide to join, make sure you read the fine print about the requirements. The below are the requirements about the CD

"Limit one Military Appreciation Certificate per member. The Military Appreciation Certificate has a $25 minimum balance and a $5,000 maximum balance. Additional deposits are allowed at any time. To maintain the special offering rate for the 12-month term, certificate owner(s) age 18 and older must have Direct Deposit of Net Pay, minimum $300 per Direct Deposit (excluding allotments) and a Navy Federal Active Duty Checking Account within 90 days of the certificate issue date. If these requirements have not been satisfied by the 90th day, your Military Appreciation Certificate dividend rate will be reduced to the prevailing dividend rate of a standard EasyStart Certificate for the remainder of the certificate's term."


other info can be found at https:https://www.navyfederal.org/military/?intcmp=hp|hero|1|milit...

Large IRS Snowflake!!

May 12th, 2014 at 01:47 pm

As I posted before, this year I took a class in order to become a part-time tax preparer. Well one of the things that I learned was that I should have been taking depreciation expense on my rental property. I normally do my taxes myself online so I don't know if the tax software didn't prompt me or maybe it did and I didn't understand what it was asking. So while working, I amended my 2010 tax return to claim the expense and today in the mail I got my big fat check in the amount of $718!!! I waited to mail in my amendments for 2011-2012 until last week because I wanted to make sure 2010 process first so that will be more IRS snowflakes in the future Smile

The class has really paid for itself many times over seeing I only had to pay $37 for the books and the knowledge I've gained is priceless! I'm taking $103 of the funds and finish off my 52 Week Savings Challenge(another post coming)and put the rest on the mortgage!!!!

Saturday Snowflakes

May 10th, 2014 at 05:45 pm

This tax season I worked for the first time as a part-time tax preparer. Well today they reimbursed me for a test I had to take ($64.25) and they paid us our bonuses which came to $338.62. So that's $402.87 in snowflakes today!! I will put the $64 towards my 52 Week Savings Challenge and the rest to the mortgage!


That's a First

May 9th, 2014 at 08:16 am

The other day I applied for the Wells Fargo American Express. I thought it was strange when it stated my application was pending because any other time I'm approved right away. Well that is not the case this time. I called today to check the status and they told me my account had been disapproved because I've had too many inquiries over the last 24 months. I guess all of the credit card rewards are starting to take its toll. Oh well this just makes me get off my butt and close some of those accounts and stick with just one card. I guess I better start looking for snowflakes elsewhere Smile

Snowflakes are Falling

May 7th, 2014 at 07:45 am

The month of May is starting out pretty good. Yesterday I returned a juicer that ordered from Kohl's at the beginning of the year because it stopped working. Since I paid via giftcard, they issued me a store credit of $111. I also purchased a $50 Lowe's giftcard to take advantage of the AMEX offer, so I got $10 back. Finally those morning I awoke to an email saying my Capital One Quick Silver reward had posted since I spent $500 to met requirement. So I applied the $107.50 reward as a statement credit. So that's $229(rounded up) in snowflakes in 2 days!! I'm putting $121 towards 52 week Savings Challenge and $108 towards mortgage. There's a few more flakes in the forecast as well!!!

I'm off to apply for that Wells Fargo AMEX that MonkeyMama posted about Smile

Mortgage Milestone

May 5th, 2014 at 08:08 am

I now own my 4 walls!!!!

Mortgage Progress 2014

May Flurries

May 2nd, 2014 at 07:24 am

Like CCF, I too have a few snowflakes for the month already. I received $14 from Ebates and I finally cashed in $12 worth of Pinecone survey payments. So I will be adding that $26 to my 52 Week Savings Challenge which now sits at $1,014!! Stay tuned for another post regarding another mortgage milestone I will hit this afternoon!!

April Snowflake Total

May 1st, 2014 at 08:54 am

Well April turned out better than I thought due to some last minute snowflakes. My total for the month was $320. That brings my yearly total to $6616 which is 66% of my goal.I already have some May flakes in the works but that's for another post.

April Snowflakes
Swagbucks: $10
$1 bills: $40
Discover GC: $5
Chase savings: $200
Vicky's taxes: $40
Target GC: $10
Kmart GC: $5
AMEX rewards: $10

Discover Surprise Snowflake

April 30th, 2014 at 08:57 am

Yesterday in my mail there was a pretty plain envelope which didn't have a return address or anything. Good thing I opened it because it was a $5 Starbuck gift card from Discover!It stated they were sending it "just because", well heck I'll take it!!

I need to deposit my $1 bills today in order to tally up my monthly snowflake total! Make sure u check your mail for unexpected snowflakes!!

End of Month Snowflake

April 29th, 2014 at 02:16 pm

At the beginning of the year I opened up a Chase savings account that offered $200 reward.Well I just checked my account and it has posted. Actually it posted last week but I'm just now looking at the account. If I'm not mistaken I have to leave the account open a few more months or the reward will be forfeited but I will double check for sure. This will be going straight to the mortgage!!

Another credit

April 25th, 2014 at 05:47 am

I took advantage of another AMEX offer. I bought a $25 gift card from PetSmart and got $5 reward. I love how Amex rewards the credit right away, so that's $10 so far. I still need to take advantage of the Lowe's and Sweet Tomatoes offers. I will probably just buy gift cards at both. I also got an email from Petco saying that shipping is free today with any purchase. Well Amex has a offer where if you spend $25 you get $5 so I might check out dog food. I normally buy dog food at the commissary because its much cheaper but I will see.

That Was Quick

April 23rd, 2014 at 04:10 pm

I just applied for the Quick Silver card on the 19th and I got it in the mail today. I think I will just charge $500 of my tuition on it and be done Smile

I also bought $6.99 download from ITunes to take advantage of AMEX and the $5 rebate has already been credited to my account. Will count that as a snowflake.

CC Reward

April 19th, 2014 at 01:35 pm

After reading Keeping it Frugal's post, I looked up the Cap One Quicksilver card. It's currently offering a $100 reward when you spend $500 in first 3 months. I can make that easy so I applied and was approved. YAY for more snowflakes Smile

AMEX Offers

April 12th, 2014 at 05:45 pm

For some reason I decided to log into my AMEX account to see if they had any good offers and sure enough they do.

1. Spend $5 at ITunes get $5 credit
2. Spend $50 at Lowes get $10 credit...I'm going to purchase gift cards
3. Spend $25 at PetSmart get $5, wish I would have checked yesterday because I just took my dog to the groomer. I will get gift card for later use

I think all offers expires 30 Apr so I will take care of things this week!

Target Snowflake

April 6th, 2014 at 08:14 pm

Today I went to Target to take advantage of the deal they had on Cottonelle toilet paper. Basically I bought 2 30 double rolls which equals 60 that was on sale for $15.99. In return a got a $10 gift card which basically makes it $11 each. Not too shabby, so I'm counting that gift card toward my April snowflakes.

March Avalanche!!

April 1st, 2014 at 07:47 am

March was a great month for collecting snowflakes because it turned into an avalanche. Granted the bulk of it came from my tax return but at least it went towards killing my mortgage which will hit another milestone this month(will post later when it happens)

My grand snowflake total for March is $4394!! That puts me at 63% of reaching my $10k goal for 2014!!

Snowflakes:
Tax return: $3721
Southwest CC rewards: $500
CC Annual fee refund: $99
ShopatHome rebate: $27
Wal-Mart returns: $24
$1 bills: $13
Swagbucks: $10

Annual Fee Refunded

March 29th, 2014 at 11:32 am

YAY!! I got the refund check for the annual fee that I was charged for the Southwest CC. I will apply it to my 52 Week Savings Challenge!

Quick Update

March 25th, 2014 at 11:02 am

I realized that I posted about ordering my $500 in giftcards from Southwest promotion but never posted when I received them. Well I got them in the mail a week or so ago. Once I received them, I sent an secure email via the website requesting the account be closed and that the $99 annual fee be refunded. I'm happy to report that I've already requested a check for the refund. So more snowflakes on the way!!

I must admit that I'm happy that I'm currently not working on any spending requirements for cc cards at the moment. Don't get me wrong, the snowflakes are great but its nice to not have to worry about spending so much for a while(or at least to the next offer comes along Smile

New 2014 Snowflake Goal

March 8th, 2014 at 11:10 am

Before I announce my new goal, I want to give a quick update on March snowflakes thus far. Earlier this week I received a tax refund of $3721 of which I threw at the mortgage. The main reason I believe it was so high is because of the education credit that I qualified for since I'm a full-time student. Yesterday I returned some items to Wal-Mart to the tune of $24 and today I got a rebate check from ShopatHome for $27. So that's $51 that will be going towards my 52 Week Savings Challenge. So as you can see March is more like an avalanche versus snowflakes Smile

Since I have already surpassed my initial 2014 snowflake total of $4000, I'm officially changing my goal to $10,000!!! My yearly total is now sitting at $5674, so I'm 57% there already!!! Here's to the power of snowflakes Smile

Another Mortgage Milestone

March 6th, 2014 at 05:50 pm

I now own 75% of my home!! Only 25% left and 16 blocks to fill four walls!!!!!!

2014 Mortgage Progress

Gift Cards Ordered

March 4th, 2014 at 08:11 pm

A couple days I posted about receiving 50,000 reward points($500) from my southwest card. Well the only option was to order gift cards, so I broke it down as follows:

4 $50 WalMart cards
3 $50 Amazon cards
4 $25 Kohl's cards
1 $50 JcPenny

I will probably use the Walmart cards to offset my grocery budget and the other cards mainly for Christmas. So instead of using $750 of my 52 Week Savings Challenge towards Christmas, I now only need to use $450. Since my current challenge total is already up to $702, I can officially say that Christmas 2014 is officially funded!!!

February Flakes and More Rewards

February 28th, 2014 at 01:42 pm

My monthly snowflake total is $805! The majority of that came from CC rewards but that's the plan right. Speaking of CC rewards, I received the 2 $50 Kohl's gift cards that I ordered from my Discover account. My statement from my Southwest card closed and I've been awarded by 50,000 bonus points which I have to redeem via gift cards. That will go towards my March total because I will figure out what to order this weekend so I can eventually close this account and hopefully get the annual fee reimbursed. My 2014 snowflake totals thus far is $1902. Like CCF my initial goal was $4000 but that will get reached as soon as my tax refund hits. I will sit down this weekend and come up with a new snowflake target Smile

Feb snowflakes: $805

Swagbucks $10
$1 bills: $20
Cell phone reduction: $23
Under budget: $51
Ebates: $101
Discover rewards: $150
Navy Federal rewards: $450

3-way Split

February 23rd, 2014 at 11:27 am

I previously posted about the options to use the rewards I recently earned from my Discover card. Well here's how it ended it. I actually had $157.69 in rewards:

2 $50 Kohl's gif cards: $90(u get a $50 card for $45...I'm counting the $10 bonus as snowflakes Smile

$50 statement credit..u can only redeem in $50 increments

Remaining $17.69 will be spent at Amazon...yes there's an option that allows you to use your rewards toward Amazon purchases.

I actually like all the redemption options that Discover allows Smile

Tax Class Pays Off Big Time!!

February 22nd, 2014 at 10:52 am

Happy Saturday everyone! Well I previously posted how I like my part-time job of doing taxes but don't necessarily care for the franchise owners. Well instead of writing a post complaining, I'm here to praise what I have learned to far. Back in the fall I decided to take a local tax class which was free except the books which cost $37. I figured even if I didn't end up getting the part-time job, at least I would learn more about taxes.

Well I did get the job and let me tell you this been a humbling experience. Going into this I have been doing my own taxes for years because I'm pretty good with numbers. Well while at work this week, I was working on my own taxes(free perk of the job), the computer asked me about depreciating my rental property that I own in S.C. I don't every remember the online software of TurboTax or H&R Block asking me this but then again maybe it did and I just said no to the answers, who knows. To make a long story short, I asked my coworker who has worked there for over 10 years and he said I most definitely should be taking the depreciation expense. After running the numbers this increased my refund by $500!!! If that wasn't sweet enough, he also recommended that I amend my prior year returns(another free perk of the job). After completing an amendment for 2010-2012(u can only go back 3 years) the IRS owes me an additional $2000!!!! Amendments have to be filed via paper so I will not mail them in until I get my refund back for this year.

I share all of this with you to say make sure you truly understand taxes and take all of the deductions that are due to you!!! This year I will surprisingly be getting a refund of $3700 mainly because of my school expenses. Looks like I will definitely have to up my 2014 snowflake goal and all refunds will be thrown at the mortgage!!

More Rewards

February 21st, 2014 at 07:35 am

My Discover statement closed last night so my $150 reward has hit. I was going to just take the rewards in the form of a statement credit but now I see they have gift card options and the cool thing about it is that if u go the gift card route, some qualify for a bonus. For example, if I buy a $45 Kohl's gift card, I would get $5 extra so that would be a $50 gift card for $45. Can't pass up free money right? I will sit down tonight and decide which cards I will order.

More Reward Snow

February 6th, 2014 at 05:35 pm

I received $450 reward for spending 3k on my Navy Federal Credit Union card. I'm still working on Discover and Southwest Premium rewards but I hope to have those done this month before the statement cycle closes. My school tuition is what's really helping me meet these rewards early and what makes it even sweeter is that my tuition is coming from my GI Bill benefit Smile

As usual, cc rewards earned will go toward the mortgage.

February Flakes

February 3rd, 2014 at 06:02 pm

I also received my Ebates payment today in the amount of $100.72. I believe that's the biggest payment I've ever received from them and that's due to getting 2 referrals during their holiday promotion which netted me a $50 bonus. So if it were any of you reading this blog, thanks so much and I hope you enjoy Ebates as much as I do.

I also have a Pinecone survey that I will do tonight that will bring in more flakes. So once again these flakes are going towards my 52 Week Savings Challenge which now total $623. I only have $127 more to go and Christmas 2014 will be funded, lets see if I can make that happen this month Smile

Healthy January

February 1st, 2014 at 08:29 am

One of my goals for the year was to eat healthier by eating less meat. So I started tracking every day which meals were meatless. I'm happy to say that out of the 31 days of the month I had at least 1 meatless everyday!! Also 15 days were actually 2 meals that were meatless. Of course my ultimate goal is to increase the number of days of which all 3 meals are meatless(only 1 this month) but I'm taking things slow. Two things that I believe assisted me is that I was participating in the 31 Day Green Smoothie challenge(completed 30 days out of 31) and also the fact that I wrote things down; and I will continue to do so. I also learned as with anything else, success is easier if you're prepared so I have to get better at having meatless meals ready that I can grab and go.

So overall I'm pretty darned pleased with my progress, not perfection Smile


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