Debt Snowflake Challenge #7, Use “Found” Money

Welcome to week seven of the Debt Snowflake Challenge.

We are in the midst of income tax season.  Millions of Americans get a tax refund every year.  If you will be getting one, what do you plan to do with your refund?  Treat yourself to a vacation or a night on the town?  Pay for a new purse or new shoes or an accessory for your car?  Rather than using it for consuming goods, why not use it to become debt free?

The average American gets a tax refund of $2,913, according to CNN Money.  Sure, it may feel painful to apply the entire tax return to your debt, but think of the effects of that snowflake.  Every payment you make after a huge snowflake has more power; because you have lowered the principal, you have reduced the amount of interest you must pay monthly meaning that each payment you make going forward will make a greater impact on reducing your debt.

Beyond income tax returns, you may “find” money a variety of other ways.  For the first time since I went on my leave of absence, we have a flexible spending account.  I will pay medical and child care expenses out-of-pocket.  When I am reimbursed, rather than absorbing that money back into my budget, I will snowflake it.

If you take advantage of a rebate and get a $10 check in the mail 8 weeks later, snowflake that check.

What are your suggestions to  “find” money?

Our Progress

This month I probably won’t be able to snowflake as much as I would like.  Next month we are traveling for one of my husband’s conferences.  The majority of expenses will be reimbursed, but we need to have the cash upfront to pay for it, so this month most of the money I would normally snowflake is being set aside for the trip.  Then, when I receive the reimbursement check, I will snowflake that.  Still, we did make some progress.

I turned in our change (excluding quarters, which we save for our coin operated washer).

Spare change: $19.28

We were able to snowflake $19.28 since my last report a week ago. In the last seventeen weeks since we have gotten gazelle intense, we have “found” $5860.73 to snowflake!



  1. That reminds me… I’m expecting a rebate from my sweetie’s new phone.

    Snowflaking this week:
    11.12 left over after rounding off bonus check
    $11.12 into grad school fund

    184.00 federal tax refund
    $184.00 into computer replacement fund, and I’m going to stop now because the balance is high enough that it might cover a new laptop, or I could pull a little out of the emergency fund if my lappy dies sooner than expected

    And I’m putting the bulk of my annual bonus that was deposited this morning toward my Roth IRA.

  2. Debt snowflaking is such powerful stuff!

  3. Forgot to add that “found money” is one of my favorite ways to snowflake. We’ve used gifts, rebates, “missing money” found through our state’s website, and even jury duty pay! I love looking forward to where the next amount of found money will come from.

  4. This is our second year of having a flexible spending account, and I’m finally just using the reimbursement money as snowflake money. Usually by the time I get around to filling out the reimbursement form and sending it in, we’re in a new pay period and our budget has rolled over anyways. So why not go ahead and put that money to good use? 🙂

  5. I really enjoyed your e-book! It inspired me to make use of some coupons we have. I was able to take a short survey for Cici’s Pizza and get a kid’s price for an adult buffet saving us $1.50. And I just took another Cici’s survey so we can save $1.50 on our next visit too! Plus we have 2 coupons for free frozen yogurts at Your Way Yogurt that I think we’ll use tonight. Since there’s only 3 of us, we’ll be able to get 3 yogurts for the price of one! 🙂

  6. Melissa J. says:

    This week I snowflaked $86.46. I did however become slightly discouraged by my progress. However, I repeating to myself that November truly isn’t that far away, and how thrilled I will be when I can send that last payment to the one particular debt that I am trying to eliminate. Through the elimination of just that one debt, life will be so much easier and less stressful! I can’t wait until November!!

    • I am discouraged this month too, since I can’t snowflake as aggressively as I would like. However, keep in mind that each extra payment that you make gets you one step closer to eliminating the debt permanently.

  7. Melissa J. says:

    This week was better. I was able to snowflake $212.87 due to being paid for some training at my school. I also received a $10 rebate that I had forgotten about.

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