I've written on previous years that I try and use gift cards or bonus bucks/cash in the same way as I would use cash. Rather than use for extra items, I try and use them for buying things our family already needs or put towards gifts. I haven't physically converted them to cash by taking out the equivalent as I spend it down, but I think I might as a way to jump start this side fund and see how much a difference it makes. Does anyone do that-physically cash out your bonus bucks and earned gift cards? I'd really be curious how that works for you. Another area of savings, at least for DH is for him to start taking the surveys on his sandwich receipts and getting the promo codes for a free one. Not that I want to encourage him to eat more fast food, but if he is going to, he might as well reduce the price a bit.
I commented on Abigail's blog,I pick Up Pennies: 7 Ways to Manage Money Anxiety, about the anxiety I am feeling facing four years of college tuition and room and board. It is real. I guess having a little puddle of money on the side feels like it is another way to lessen that anxiety. How about you? What motivates you to earn a little bit on the side or maximize your savings into real cash? Do you feel your efforts help you feel more in control of your financial life?