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Wealthy Wednesdays: Week 1

Another day another dollar. Every Wednesday we'll compile our favorite purchases from the week. It may not be super exciting, but we have a system that helps us save money or bank points to take baller trips we couldn't otherwise afford. Follow along if you'd like. Learn. Share your savings. We love hearing how others manage their savings budget!

We don't know if we can call this week a "savings" week per se, but we did manage to sneak in some good deals. Here's  how the week stacked up for our penny jar. 

Our Savings Strategy:

  • Whenever we make purchases, we decide what credit card is offering the best points earning potential for us given the merchant and type of spend.
  • If dining out, remember to check dining portals for additional point earning opportunities.
  • From there, check out CashBackMonitor. CashBackMonitor will track the portals that have the best earning rates for the store you are interested in spending money at. Personally, we will typically use Ebates for cash back, or the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal to load up on rewards points. The AAdvantage shopping portal is our second choice, since American is our preferred airline.
  • If the purchase is large and not urgent, we'll venture over to CardPool to see if we can snag a discounted gift card to make our purchase. You'll earn base rewards points on the purchase, but you will probably come out ahead on the cash back savings. It'll take a bit of math to work this out.

Amazon was our frenemy this week. The Penny Jar West office is currently undergoing some renovations and required hardwood floor. Amazon isn't the first store that comes to mind when it comes to hardwood shopping, but sure enough, the online retailer pulled through. 30 boxes of hardwood flooring came in at about $2,600 or $3.40 a square foot. Not bad, plus the color was exactly what this dump... trash heap ...West office needed. Plus Prime came with free delivery so the stuff arrived at the front door. Score.  Here's where the magic happens. 5% cash back with the Amazon Prime card netted an additional $130 in cash back, plus shopping on Amazon through a JetBlue offer added an additional 7,800 JetBlue points to the purchase. That's about $93 in value towards a flight later. Not bad. 

The second major victory was on an Amazon Fire purchase. Amazon was running a promotion for $15 off Fire 7s and $25 off Fire 8s. There is also an American Express offer to save $40 off of a Fire tablet if you use Membership Rewards to pay for part of your purchase. This brought the cost of a Fire 7 with promo offers down to around $15. I opted to get a Fire 8 without ads. Using one Membership Reward point from an American Express Premier Rewards Gold card triggered the $40 savings. Coupled with the $15 off sale, the Fire 8 cost a cool $42.88 after taxes. Not bad for a tablet. Oh, then there's the 126 Jet Blue points as well for another $1.50 in value.

One other minor savings from the week, but one worth sharing, was $2.25 in found money from Acorns thanks to needing new razors. Dollar Shave Club is our jam. It also just goes to show that small savings matter. $2.25 is more than most people will make in a year with cash sitting in a savings account. We just got $2.25 for making a purchase we would have made anyway and that money is sitting in an investment account we don't have to touch.  It just accumulates money from our everyday spend.

That's it for us this week. We look forward to running these in the weeks to come and propping up a place for you to tell your stories. Now it's time for this Wealth Wednesday to become a Wine Wednesday.