Saturday, April 5, 2014

Double A Penny

Wanna make a quick $10,000,000? Just start with a penny and double the amount each day for 31 days!

I stumbled across this incredible calculation in an article by one of my favorite finance bloggers:  
Plug it into a spreadsheet.  
See for yourself
>$10,000,000 MILLION
Wow! Incredible!

Personally, I would hit a wall mid-month with my ability to double the previous amount.  Where would your path to $10,000,000 end?? 
Do you even have a savings account? 
Or is your income fixed?  Maybe unpredictable? 
Do you want to save, but have nothing left at the end of the month? 

Where could I find extra cash without busting my budget? 
What's out there right now that could help people on a 'fixed budget', ie college students sock away a few extra bucks?  
Maybe you can't get to $10M in a month, but with a little (untouched) savings in your twenties, time could transform even a small amount into a tidy sum without much more effort on your part--just like that little penny, doubling it's way to $10,000,000!  

Well, there's a whole world out there! has been a tremendous resource on tips and ideas to raise extra cash for savings without sacrificing your budget.  

1. Open a savings account

--deposit anything--$2, $3, $4, or $5
--set a reminder to make a deposit, any amount, monthly
--compare rates, deals and incentives for college students
--just get started!

2. Make a budget

--look at your spending over the next 30 days
--a rough outline of your major necessities (ie clothing, food, bills, supplies)
--deposit another $2, $3, $4, or $5
--need help?  

3. Raising Cash--In Small Measures

(Adapted (and supplemented) from

a. Coupons: The key to coupons is only buying what you actually use and need. (some of these give you bonus, but only after a purchase)
'Deals' Smartphone App (lists local restaurant, retail offers)
'SnipSnap' Smartphone App

b. Surveys: These come in a variety of options.  Why not? If you commute, have downtime, easy way to add a few dollars to the bottom line. 

--downside to these surveys: endless data entry on your name, address, date of birth
--increased amounts of spam / junk email

c. Scan: Scan your grocery receipts instead of clipping coupons. (not store-specific) (store-specific)

d. Memberships: If you shop frequently at a grocery or drug store get the membership for discounts.  This can be especially effective if your coupons are featured at your store--double score!

--Grocery stores
--Sports Authority / Dick's 

e. Testing / Tasks / Trials: Sign up to test apps, ads, review various things for different sponsors, even head into McDonald's / Chipotle to document price listings!

--'Rewardable' Smartphone App

f. Gift Cards: If you are disciplined and have a good sense of your budget, purchase discounted gift cards for all your necessitiesi.e. like groceries, clothing, supplies, toiletries. 

--Your $100 grocery budget may just cost $86. $14 to save right there.
--Your $50 clothing budget may cost $45. Shop at a discount retailer and save more.  (great site) allows you to buy and sell gift cards.  

g. Cash Back Credit Cards: If you have any trouble with discipline, do not go here. You must be disciplined to consider this option.  If you don't know or trust your spending habits, skip this suggestion!

I only recommend this if you have the cash in your account, understand how credit cards work, and are 100% committed to immediately paying off the credit card after purchase.

--Get your cash-back reward. Log-in. Pay off. Do not delay!
--multiple cards exist with cash-back awards. Make sure it is 'NO-FEE'.
--buy your discounted gift cards with your cash back credit card--2x savings
--use those discounted gift cards with coupons--triple savings
--use at your discount retailers (like Marshalls / TJMaxx)--triple savings

h. Purge
--get rid of stuff. Say NO to hoarding!

4. How Far Can You Double Your Penny?

--try your luck
--what's to lose by trying?
--you'll just have more money?

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