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Paying for my trip to Germany

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This is the third year that I have kept track of coupon and other various savings or unexpected sources of income.

The total savings were more than enough to finance our trip to Germany this fall - see http://www.fodors.com/community/europe/black-forest-bodensee-and-rhine.cfm

The past two years totals can be found at
www.fodors.com/community/fodorite-lounge/finding-extra-money.cfm
www.fodors.com/community/europe/how-we-paid-for-the-trip.cfm

The items listed are either ones that I have to take an action to realize the savings (redeeming coupons, selling on ebay, etc.) and totally unexpected windfalls (class action lawsuits I knew nothing about until receiving a check, gifts, etc.)

It does not include savings from buying items on sale and does not include the value of airplane trips paid with frequent flyer miles.


coupons - 794.86
Gas savings - 721.13
ebay - 393.40
reward programs - 146.94
class action suits - 102.35
yard sale - 42.50
book sale - 8.00
Craigslist - 50.00
gift cards - 25.00
Missing money.com - 100.00
misc. discounts - 15.20
Free food - 14.55
re-issued check - 47.94
insurance refund - 681.24
change found - .53
Birthday gifts - 220.00
sale of car - 1000.00

Coupon savings were about the same as the past two years

Gas savings (Safeway and Kroger supermarkets)
For the second year in a row, the gas savings increased. Again this was by paying more attention to the promotions that improved the payout such as giving 4 times the normal gas points. One time there were two promotions running concurrently giving 5x the points.

Ebay sales were again much lower than 2 years ago. Most of my good stuff has been sold. Hint - most books have very little value on Ebay or at used book stores.

I sold my 25 year old Bronco for $1000.

I received an insurance refund on the house I sold last year. I thought that the insurance had been canceled during the escrow process. Wrong. Only because I was talking to the insurance agent when paying my mother's insurance did she find out that I had sold the house and the insurance had not been canceled.

I received $100 from www.missingmoney.com, My son received a letter from them saying that he had some unclaimed money. I thought it might have been a con, but in looking it up, I found it was legit. He had a paycheck that was due him. So I entered my information and found out there was $100 for me. I received the money. I have no idea where it came from - the check stub made no sense to me.

There were some unusual gift cards. I attended an open house and the realtor sent me a $10 gift card for attending. Paying my newspaper bill by automatic bank withdrawal resulted in a $10 gift card.

Senior citizen savings were again small. I think I will try to improve this next year.

Money found on the ground was again less than $1.00.

Each of the years there have been checks arriving from some class action suit. This year there were 3 such checks totaling $102.35.

I had lost a check but several months later, the company contacted me to see what happened. They re-issued the check.

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