I’ve heard people – many people – complain about wanting more money, not having enough money, and wishing they could make more money. But many of them ignore easy money that’s available to them. One example popped up in my mind today. A year or two ago, there was a lady I knew who complained about money, like most of us do. She and I both wear glasses. Somehow the topic came up, and I mentioned about sending the reimbursement paperwork in for my eyeglasses to our insurance company. She made a comment about how she didn’t want to bother. I remembered this today because I finally made the time to send in another reimbursement request for this year. I thought about the lady’s comments from the last time I sent in for reimbursement while I worked on it this time. The entire process of submitting the claim took maybe 10 minutes. That included finding my insurance card, creating an account online (which is an option now), and submitting the information they requested. The last time I submitted a claim, I received a reimbursement of ‘only’ $34.00. But think about it. The place that provided my eyeglasses already has my money. If it only took me ten minutes to do what I needed to do to get that amount of money back, that’s the equivalent of earning $204 an hour. I was able to do it when it was convenient for me (obviously, since the receipt is dated in October), and I was able to take care of it in the comfort of my own home. I just wish I had more of the same type of tasks, to make up the rest of that hour, and maybe add another hour or two!
Then I was thinking about all the other ways people don’t free up more of their money. One thing I read about was returning items. Most people buy things and sometimes later change their mind about some of those items. I often forget to return the items the next time I go to that same store (the best way to do it since you’re not making an extra trip), but I try to remind myself so that I do eventually return them and get my money back. It gives me more money, and I also get back the space where the unwanted item was sitting.
Coupons are another thing. I had some family members comment that coupons are a waste of time or that they make you buy things you wouldn’t otherwise. I suppose for some people that would be true. But, if it’s something you would buy anyway, why not spend a few minutes with a pair of scissors and cut it out? Coupons are often free, and you can save on things such as your grocery bill, clothing, or meals at restaurants. The time to make sure you have the coupons and use them when you make a purchase is often more than worth the time investment. This is especially true for coupons for large purchases, such as car repairs or home repairs. Nowadays, it’s even easier, since in many cases you can scan with your phone to save money.
I was surprised to see that companies still offer rebates. Some of them are for small amounts, but are still worth considering. Others are for much more significant amounts. I remember seeing rebate forms in stores years ago, but haven’t seen any in a long time. There are many manufacturers who provide offers online – both coupons and rebates. Many are for in-store purchases, but there are also many for online purchases. There are also quite a few websites that offer online discount codes.
I know that time is precious. But, sometimes a time investment is worth it. I like to use ‘down’ time sometimes – for example, by using my computer while watching tv. I think the trick is to figure out which time investments are worth it to you. I’m sure I could save even more money than I do if I spent more time on it, but I also like to think about what my time is worth to me, and how busy I am at any given time. That eyeglass reimbursement was totally worth it (I worked on it while waiting for my lunch to heat up), and next time it will be even faster and easier, now that I have an account created and the link saved.
What are your money saving/creating hints?