Time the market? I use timing to pay my bills

by Rocket Finance

At our house, we try to make extra money wherever we can. Bank bonuses and credit card bonuses made us almost $3,000 last year. A much riskier strategy, credit card arbitrage, made us another thousand dollars. I admit that making money this way is not for everyone. I don’t plan to always use these methods indefinitely, but the strategies helped us balance our budget last year. So far, the only bonuses I’ve picked up this year are the Revolution Money Exchange $25 and Lending Club $25.

Another way we make a few extra bucks each month is with float interest. Here is how it works:

Last month, I payed several bills totaling $345 with my Chase Freedom card on January 14th, the first day of the statement period that will end on February 14th. The payment for those charges is not be due until March 3rd. I have already budgeted the money to pay these bills. It is sitting at FNBO at 3.85% right now – unfortunately FNBO’s interest rates have come down from 5.05% at the beginning of January, but we are still making money. I pay my credit card bill using online bill pay and schedule it two days before the due date. The money will have earned 47 days on interest for a total of $1.71.

Okay, $1.71 is nothing to get excited over, but multiply it by 12 and it starts to get more attention – especially if you snowflake. And most people can find ways to charge significantly more than $345 in the course of a month. Remember, and this is important: only charge items that are already a part of your budget. Float interest is not a reason to buy more stuff! Float interest is not earned by spending any more money than you usually do, but by controlling when the money is spent.

We also get another 3% cash back from our top three spending categories in these areas:

  • Gas Stations & Convenience Stores
  • Grocery Stores
  • Quick Service & Fast Food Restaurants
  • Utilities (Gas, Electric, etc.)
  • Drugstores
  • Cable/Satellite TV & Internet Providers
  • Department Stores
  • Pet Stores & Veterinarian
  • Phone/Cell Phone Bills
  • Movie Theatres
  • Gym Memberships
  • Beauty Salons & Spas
  • Movie Rentals
  • Dry Cleaners
  • Local Commuting

We will get 3% cash back from the entire $345 amount. So by using a credit card, online savings account and timing things properly, we were able to come up with an extra $12.06. Not worth the trouble you say? Well, when Mrs, Rocket regularly feeds our whole family with this amount of money for a whole day – it’s worth it.

  1. 7 Responses to “Time the market? I use timing to pay my bills”

  2. By SingleGuyMoney on Feb 11, 2008 | Reply

    Rocket – Great post. I totally agree about all those small savings adding up to much larger savings.

  3. By rocketc on Feb 11, 2008 | Reply

    I have observed, that when we are careful with small amounts like this – we actually start to stumble across bigger amounts of money.

  4. By Plastic Rewards on Feb 11, 2008 | Reply

    $3,000 in a year? That’s a sizable chunk of money you made back. I really like the idea of keeping your money in a high-yield account unitl the credit card bill needs to be paid. Make extra money wherever you can.

  5. By tehnyit on Feb 13, 2008 | Reply

    Interesting concept about the float interest. Wouldn’t it be better to not spend the $345? Just playing the devil’s advocate here.

    Great post by the way. I totally agree with you that every cent counts, especially over a 12month period.

  6. By rocketc on Feb 13, 2008 | Reply

    I wish I did not have to spend the $345. . .but they were regularly scheduled bills.

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