I do a handful of small financial hacks that don’t justify their own threads, and would have been helpful to have figured out sooner. I’ll start with a few of my own and invite others to do the same!
Prepaid Visa/MC Gift Cards
I very briefly did manufactured spending a few years ago and realized I hated waiting in the poor people line at Walmart’s Money Order counter. But I still love using 5% office supply credit cards to buy VCGs for fee-free during the regular 4 to 6 week sales at Staples and Office Max.
I just use these for groceries, takeout dining orders, or anything else I buy in person and can swipe a card. Effectively turning my 5% Office Card into a 5% anything in-person card.
If there’s not enough money left on a prepaid card to cover a transaction, most point-of-sale terminals lately support partial purchases and splitting payment and do so automatically. Do not mention it to the cashier, they’ll get confused. Swipe your VCG with $2.13 on it, and it will deduct $2.13 from the total and present a new screen with the new total for you to swipe a second card.
If I’m buying something like dental work, I have asked the front desk person to bill me in $200 increments and swiped multiple cards. They don’t care because they waste a ton of time chasing down deadbeats who don’t pay, that they’re more than happy to spend an extra minute splitting your $1150 dental bill into 6 VCG swipes, that you got 5% off on.
Rewards Checking Accounts
I used to struggle with the minimum debit card transactions each month until I realized I could easily split my eBay seller account bill down into 10 to 15 charges of $1 to $1.50 each. I regularly sell small things on ebay and generally have at least $20 due in eBay seller fees each month.
I set up my Debit Card as a payment method and I tell ebay to charge me $1.03, then do another payment of $1.04 or something random in that range. I do this 1 to 3 times a day for the first week of each month and there is my 10 to 15 monthly transactions.