Before I started budgeting, I was horrible with money. I had a minimum wage, part-time job, and was living paycheck to paycheck. I also got help from my parents with tuition and some living expenses. But, I still wasn’t making any progress in my financial situation, as my checking accounts always dwindled back down to zero at the end of the month. I couldn’t build up any savings or emergency fund, which was horrible since I couldn’t come up with the funds for an emergency root canal.
Recently, I made $500 from opening bank accounts with Bank of the West and Monifi. I’m still waiting on $600 from two more bank accounts. Here, I’ll go over the easiest money I’ve made by taking advantage of bank signup bonus offers.
Last time I wrote about credit card churning. I want to go over the credit cards we use for cash back and how we optimize their usage to get the most discount. By stacking these with cash back portals and discounted giftcards, we’ve been able to get almost 25-30% discounts on our recent purchases.
I occasionally churn credit cards. Mostly for the sign-up bonuses, but also for the ongoing cash back deals. These sign-up bonuses are not taxable as they’re seen as rebates by the IRS. Last year, we got $750 in sign-up bonuses. It supplemented our meager income during gradschool, and even earned us some free trips.
When I first arrived to the US as an international student, I didn’t have any credit history. This made renting an apartment really expensive. My then boyfriend (now husband) and I had to pay two months rent in advance, and also put down a two months security deposit. This also made getting loans impossible without a cosigner.