First Person: 5 Ways I’m Putting Cash Back into My Pocket

Yahoo Contributor Network

In this economy, every little bit of money helps. From selling items to taking advantage of cash back programs, I like getting some extra money with minimal effort. On the average, if I can "earn" an extra dollar a day, at the end of the year I have a nice chunk of change to use for bills, savings or fun. Last year, I made about $375. Here are five ways I'm putting cash back into my pocket.

Credit Card Reward Programs

I have a credit card from my bank that gets excellent cash back rewards. Each month, I pay off the entire balance. In addition, there are not any yearly fees to be a cardholder. I get 1% back on all of my purchases and 5% back on certain categories each month. I can also shop through their online shopping mall for more cash back. Every two months, I accrue enough to get $20 deposited directly back into my bank account. I don't spend too much on this card because I want to make sure I can always pay off the balance in full. Still, this works out to $120 a year.

Cash Back Shopping Programs

With a click of a button, I am able to get cash back almost every time I place an online order. All I have to do is go to the cash back site, find my preferred retailer and click on a link. After making a purchase, a percentage of the purchase is credited back into my account. I earn an average of 8% back on my purchases. Some sites, like luckymagrewards.com, send me a check in the mail. Ebates.com gives me the option to have the money put into my Paypal account too. Each year, I get an average of $100 back just for shopping for household items, gifts and clothing.

Being Green

Along with helping the environment, being green is another way I put money back into my pocket. When I go to the grocery store, I receive $0.10 back for each bag I bring. I use an average of four bags a week. This works out to $1.60 a month or almost $20.00 a year.

Selling Back Children's Items

I try to keep my baby gear and children's clothing in excellent condition. When the kids outgrow their clothing or toys, I sell it back to a local children's resale shop. The store gives about 10% of the items original retail value. It's not a lot. However, it's a simple process and the money adds up. Each year, I get about $100 for items that otherwise would be collecting dust in the garage.

Using Coupons After Purchase

I'm not into extreme couponing. However, I won't pass up a discount on a big ticket item. During Christmas, I bought my husband a juicer for $150. It was the last one left so I bought it without a coupon. The cashier told me I could bring back my receipt with the 20% off coupon. A few weeks later, I brought back the coupon and received $30.

It's amazing how much money I can put back into my pocket with minimal effort.

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