Those of you that have browsed my site will know that I am a big proponent of the various avenues available to bring in extra money. Those of you that have not browsed my site, need to browse my site so I can tell you of the various avenues available to bring in extra money.
Now this extra money comes in two forms:
- Rewards: Money from credit cards or cash-back websites are considered “adjustments to the purchase price” per IRS guidelines and are classified as discounts rather than income. This form of extra money does not need to be reported to the IRS.
- Income: Honorariums from participating in medical surveys are classified as income by the IRS. Even if you don’t cross the $600 threshold which necessitates a 1099, you still need to report this money as income.
Here is an update from my latest quarter:
Ebates: All of my internet purchases go through this website first, the cash back varies depending on the online store
Mogl: Luckily I live near a few restaurants that participate in this program. I get 10% back instantly as long as I use a credit card that I registered on their site
Citi Bank Double Cash: my default credit card as 2% back on every purchase is as good as it gets
$309.22 (card rewards)
$40.01 (price rewinds)
Chase Freedom: the Q3 categories for this card were Restaurants/Movie Theaters so I used this card only at these places
Chase Business Ink: I never pull this card out of my wallet, instead I’ve set up automatic payments from this card for my internet/phone/cell/tv services which nets 5%
US Bank Cash Plus: I’ve set up my 5% categories for fast food (rarely eat aside from the occasional In-N-Out or Chick-fil-A) and clothing stores (mostly for the kids & wife)
Total medical survey compensation, includes a telephone interview which pays much higher than computer surveys.
Total Extra Money Earned in Q3: $638.05!
Again, aside from the surveys which require a little bit of time, it’s pretty effortless to take advantage of these cash-back opportunities. You just have to know which card to use where and funnel everything through a cash-back site like Ebates to maximize your returns!
100% of this money goes into an investment account with Vanguard in which I invest in diversified, passively managed index funds.
Now, if you were really good at math and wanted to calculate my monthly expenditures based on my known cash-back rate, you probably could do that and find out I spend a decent amount each month. First off all of my purchases go on to credit cards(sorry Dave Ramsey) which I pay off each month. Also, there are many expenses that are business related for which I get reimbursed by our corporation. Lastly, California is indeed an expensive place to live.