Making Money, Personal Finance

Small Money Amounts Matter

debt snowflake

I have always been one who believes that it’s important to get all the big personal finance issues in order before you start looking at the small stuff. If you are losing several hundred dollars a month paying too high of an interest rate on your house payment and decide to spend your time trying to earn a few extra dollars in other ways instead, you have your money management priorities a little out of whack. That being said, once you have taken care of the big stuff, I believe that saving those small amounts is important. Earning small amounts is often referred to as snowflaking and the ways that you can go about creating these income streams is limited only by your imagination.

While many people focus solely on the amount of money, they often forget about the psychological benefits that saving small, additional amounts can have. Most people have all the money in their budget accounted for, so being able to earn small amounts outside their regular income streams allows them the flexibility to tackle the money goal that they have their sights set on. Whether it’s paying down credit card debt or building an emergency fund, being able to add more (even if it’s a small amount) than budgeted provides confidence and motivation to get to that goal that much more quickly.

While I have a number of ways that I snowflake, the one constant seems to be finding coins while I walk. I find over $100 a year on the ground. This most certainly isn’t the typical way that most people snowflake, but it seems to work for me and it’s a wonderful example that shows you are only limited by your creativity when it comes to this exercise. I encourage you to enter this contest, I truly hope it gives a bit of inspiration to help you think about other ways that you can possibly put a few more dollars in your pocket than expected.

To help with that creativity, one of the ways to enter is to explain one of the ways (feel free to share more) that you snowflake. I think by getting people to share and to see the wide variety of ways that people are already doing this, it can help get your creative juices going that much more. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how motivating it can be when you get into the habit of snowflaking in your spare time, and all those little triumphs of paying a little more against debt or toward the emergency fund will make the personal finance journey that much more enjoyable.

If you’re a blogger and you would like to participate in these no cost giveaways in the future like all those in this one, you can get more information here.

17 thoughts on “Small Money Amounts Matter

  1. I find even when we have all the money accounted for in our budget, we can still go into ‘super saver’ mode.

    Maybe we normally would spend a certain amount for groceries, but by streamlining the list and choosing less expensive options, we don’t spend the whole amount and have the surplus to spend in another way.

    The same can be applied to other areas of the budget too. We’ve had to do this for a year with unexpected high medical bills, but also for a bigger vacation one year (a far more fun way to spend the money.)

    The easiest and quickest way for us to accumulate more money is working overtime. Time and a half adds up faster than any other way we could do it otherwise.

  2. This may not be a popular answer, because it involves using a credit card… but I use my Chase Rewards card for purchases I’m going to make anyway and pay it off each month. I pay no interest, but accumulate rewards & Chase sends me a CHECK for the amount owned whenever I request one. It really adds up! I also save change & pick up change from the ground.

  3. I am currently trying to fund as much of Christmas as I can through giveaway entries and such. I read an article about it on another blog and I’ve had a lot of “downtime” due to a light workload and some other issues. Might as well make good use of it!

  4. Selling unused and outgrown clothes helps declutter and save money. Investigate ebay and craigslist, but also consider holding a group rummage. Specialty items like like skates, snow pants, and baby needs tend to go fast on craigslist.

  5. I am more in the camp of making “big” moves to save money because I think focusing obssessively on the small stuff will be a distraction from more meaningful ways to spend your time, BUT of course if you’re the frugal type, you’re frugal across the board.

    I guess my snowflake efforts are more a mentality when it comes to my freelance clients. While I charge the going rate forcorporations that I know can afford to pay me, I don’t turn away small-time clients who would not be able to afford to pay that much, either, sometimes because they’re paying me out of their own pocket.

    For instance, i’ve had one client for over a year now who for most of that year, gave me maybe $20 max of business on any given week, editing his work emails, believe it or not. he’s a successful guy in his field, but writing is not his thing; perhaps he has dyslexia…not really sure.

    But my point is, I always welcomed his work even though I was charging him an infinitely small amount based solely on the time spent editing his emails, which was usually a 5 or 10-minute deal.

    Last week, he finally had something more substantial for me, editing a report for which I was able to charge quite a bit more.

    So it pays to cultivate relationships, no matter how insignificant they may appear to be. That is how my small snowflakes grow bigger over time.

  6. I don’t shop a lot, so I am not in the habit of using coupons. OFten when I shop online I see the “coupon code” box and that is the reminder for me. & it happens enough it has become more habit to look up coupons before I make an online purchase. But, anyway, I had to hit a couple of physical stores last week (prepping for vacation, etc.) and I figured I better check for coupons. Spending one minute online to check for coupons netted me about $5 in savings. It could have added up to *a lot* more if I was spending more than a few dollars here and there. I found a 15%-off coupon for one store and a 40%-off at another store.

    Anyway, I was thinking I should start a coupon snowflake challenge to get me in a better habit of *always looking for coupons.*

  7. I save $5 a week every week in an ING account that I got $50 to open. Talk about snowflake.. but at least its not going to some expensive morning beverage

  8. One area of savings for me is at the self-check out counters. Recently, someone left a few automated coupons and one was for $1.00 off on my next purchase from the purchase of buying Gerber foods. Didn’t belong to the guy in front of me because he didn’t have any baby food or baby article. I took it to the courtesy counter and they gave me the dollar back. I have also found oodles of money in those change back slots. People are in a hurry and forget to get their change as well. Of course, there is always money on the ground somewhere. A couple of months ago, I found two 20’s and a 1. bill next to my car. A total of $41.00.

  9. ask your doc for meds that can be cut in half and a script for double doses. twice as much for half the price.

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