Cash Money: How I Made $883 This Weekend

I'm addicted to free money.....

I’m addicted to free money…..

Good morning, Club Thrifty enthusiasts!

Another beautiful weekend has come to an end and it’s Monday.  Again.  This Monday is particularly brutal for me since Greg is out of town for four days on a cross country adventure with my brother.  Anyone want to guess where they went? Don’t worry…I will definitely update you on their little trip in a few weeks!  Regardless, his absence means that I’m all alone with the kiddos for the week.  Luckily, I have a ton of work to do to get caught up before we go on vacation to Mexico the following week.  And don’t worry, we have several awesome guest posts lined up for when we are gone.  We’ll probably post some pics of Mexico while we are there…so make sure to check in to see if we’re having an awesome time!

Speaking of Mexico….I’m a little worried.  We are going to stay a week at the Viva Wyndham Maya in Playa del Carmen and the resort isn’t getting the very best reviews this week.  Here is one of my recent faves:

“Places like Walmart, Golden Corral and Wyndham Resorts serve an obvious and valuable purpose in today’s economy, though one that may quickly remind you of all the things you don’t have and think you can never afford. The apparent Wyndham business model “Live like the rich on $89 a day, all inclusive!” involves more smoke and mirrors than Walmart has smiley faces. With blocks of buffets that may give you the motivation to finally start that dreaded diet, food at the Wyndham Maya is reduced to mere fuel, cell gas, better suited to sustenance than to pleasure. And with repeated reminders –both written and verbal- of what you will pay if you steal or break something you might just be tempted to slip a plastic cup in your suitcase to not disappoint the management’s expectations. Having lived and travelled in 35 countries (with 40+ visits to Mexico over 40 years) I know I can do better, and so can you. For a few dollars more ($200 a week for the family) you can trade the general indignities of the Wyndham (the afternoon of my arrival during a scheduled dance number around the pool one member of the “animation” crew simulated a n sexual act, unmentionable here, to the cheers and ogle’s of boys with their telephoto lenses) and their particular brand of customer service (the hotel requires and retains photocopies of your passport and other confidential travel documents) for the warmth and hospitality of authentic Mexico. Who knows, that hotel may even call you by name.”

– Traveler from Seattle, Washington

So…..yeah.  A little scary.  At the same time, I know that all Tripadvisor reviews should be taken with a grain of salt.  Some people just love to complain about everything and we are generally pretty easy to please.  We’ll see how it goes and I will definitely write a review when I get back!

So, how did I make $883 this weekend?

I started by taking advantage of two Chase banking offers that I received in the mail.  Here are the basic details of the sweet offers that I scored:

  • Open a new Chase savings account with a $10,000 deposit and you’ll get $150 when you maintain a $10,000 balance for 90 days.
  • Open a new Chase checking account and earn $125.

Of course, there were some other requirements that had to be met.  Here is what I found in the fine print:

  • I had to keep both accounts open for at least 6 months or they would subtract the bonuses from my total when I closed my account.
  • I had to maintain a $1500 balance in my checking account in order to avoid the monthly service fee.

So, I went ahead with it.  Since I had some money sitting in a regular savings account earning less than one percent, I decided to move part of it to Chase in order to score $275 in free cash moneyWinning!  I almost feel bad for it, too.  Almost.  If you’ve read my posts about credit card churning, (you can find them here, here, and here) you know that I frequently get cash bonuses, travel rewards, and gift cards from Chase.  In return, I never pay them any interest.  It’s awesome.

Where did the other $508 come from?

I had a garage sale this weekend and was able to rake in $508.  How did I do it?  You’ll just have to read my upcoming post about the whole ordeal.  Considering the fact that I only made $68 at the last garage sale I had a few years ago, I am very, very happy with the outcome this time!

Did you make any cash money this weekend?  Or, did you just spend it?





    • says

      I know. I have never made that much. It helped that I had several big ticket items including a chest freezer that I sold for $125!

  1. says

    Wow, $500 at a garage sale is pretty awesome. Definitely looking forward to it. My only experience with an all-inclusive package was in Mexico for spring break my sophomore year of college. It definitely wasn’t fancy, but it was fine. We still enjoyed the beach and the pool, so if that’s what you’re going for than you’ll probably be fine. I was also a sophomore in college on spring break though, so my perception at the time may have been a little different than yours now, haha.

    • says

      Well, we’re going with my best friend and her husband so it will probably be a “party” vacation for us. It’s not a luxury resort and we didn’t pay enough to get luxury. I just hope that it’s clean and the food is edible.

  2. says

    I just finished the most expensive vacation of my life and I didn’t go anywhere or do anything. 2 car repairs and broken tv and I suddenly have an $800 Visa bill with no idea how I will pay it.

    Definitely a failed financial week for me which will have repercussions for months to come.

  3. says

    Oh dang if you made over $500 at your garage sale that’s pretty dang good! Getting rid of crap is always a great way to make some extra money haha. We are now listing stuff on Craigslist and eBay that we didn’t sell at our garage sale. Also donated some for a tax write-off. So nice to see the mountain of stuff getting smaller and smaller.

    • says


      Everything that we didn’t sell got taken to Goodwill. And since I had a bunch of expensive business clothes, the tax write off I took will probably be more than I would have made selling them anyway. I’m so glad to have gotten rid of some stuff!

  4. says

    Wow, $500 off a garage sale…that’s killing it! We FINALLY sold our beast of a double stroller about a week ago on CL and was glad to make a little off of that. Nice work on the free cash…I just finished completing my spending for my latest churn over the weekend which’ll give us what we need for our trip in January. :)

    • says

      Sweet John!

      I am also trying to sell an armoire and television on craigslist. Hopefully somebody will buy this thing!!!

      Are you going to write about your last churn?

  5. says

    I really think that my wife and I need to have a garage sale. I think we could make about $500 just from old books and DVD’s – we seriously have so many and we almost never get to read or watch any of them anymore since having a child.

  6. says

    Yea, I’ve noticed that a lot of commenter only focus on their percieved negatives. They’ve probably never written a positive review in their life. As long as you focus on having a good time, i bet it will be a blast! Thanks for mentioning that Chase savings account trick I might have to try that.

  7. says

    Awesome! I have been getting things ready to have a garage sale. I just cleaned everything from top to bottom and have so much more stuff to get rid of than I thought. It would be fantastic to make $508

  8. says

    Congrats on the extra cash money Holly! Always finding a way to make that money. I need to get the wifey to get some of this stuff out of the house. I hate clutter and we still have boxes that need to be moved out of the house. I agree with those comments on Trip Advisor some people are just out to complain. I am hoping my new site will compete with them. Maybe I can take over the travel niche…lol

    • says

      Yes, please. Have people write reasonable reviews where they don’t complain about running out of wash cloths or it being too hot.

  9. says

    That is a hell of a weekend and an epic garage sale, Holly! Damn association won’t allow garage sales here. Makes me sore.

    • says

      Hey, CJ ~
      My HOA has strict rules about garage sales, too; but we *have* done a Neighborhood Sale, a couple of times – lots of folks doing it, all on the same day, and they (the HOA) collected a couple bucks from each of us to cover the ads…
      Perhaps they’d be open to the idea, if they had some “control”?
      ~ Karen

  10. says

    That’s a pretty good amount for a garage sale. I think I need to have a yard sale soon but I don’t have enough to have one myself, so I need to recruit some friends. I did a chase thing a couple months ago where I opened a checking account and the bonus was $200! I love those deals!

    • says

      My mom did the garage sale with me and she also made $200! I think it helps to collaborate with others so that you have more stuff to offer.

  11. says

    Not bad! I actually did the Chase savings as well. Was there dropping off loose change and noticed the bonus for the savings account. I ended up doing the $125 bonus because there’s no requirement for maintaining the $10,000 balance after receiving the bonus. Still have to keep it open for 90 days though

    • says

      Read the fine print! Mine says that if I close the account before 6 months are up that they will deduct the bonus from my balance. (Your offer may be different than mine)

  12. says

    I got $200 for opening the Chase checking last year. I think you should be able to find a slightly larger bonus for next time. The $200 bonus was a mailer, but is hard to find. Some people sell them online too. Just curious, do you close the Chase account online or at the bank. When I closed the account, it was quick. But when my wife went, they tried to push her to stay and kinda implied that she opened for the bonus…maybe it was just that customer service rep who was being a pest?

    • says

      I looked for the $200 mailer for a while and never came across one.

      I will probably close the account at the bank. I don’t care if they accuse me of signing up just for the bonus….they would be right! =)

  13. says

    Wow, you are really resourceful when it comes to earn money. While us, we spend our weekend to spend. My wife bough five pairs of curtain and others home stuffs. We cannot take advantage the Chase offer because Chase is not available here in my country of residence. I’ll try to look for local bank here maybe they have the same perks or promotion.

  14. says

    I love reading the reviews on TripAdvisor. They have been very helpful to us through the years as we have planned vacations. Hopefully that review only represents one person’s perspective of the resort you will be staying at. Enjoy your trip!

    • says

      I agree that they are helpful….and I usually find the extremely negative reviews to be exaggerations. We are pretty easy to please so I’m sure we’ll have a good time!

  15. says

    That’s awesome! I’m not great at following up with bank account opening rewards. I opened a ING account last summer, and don’t think I ever followed up because I got locked out of my account. I need to go back and re open it….

  16. says

    Pretty good for a weekend! We had a somewhat spendy weekend redoing the floors in one of our rental units – it took more time (and a bit more money) than we initially planned on, but they look WAY better than I ever thought they could, so I guess it’s worth it. =).

  17. says

    Sounds like a productive weekend to me! I took advantage of some bank offers last fall and I’m glad I did. It’s just free money sitting out there for you to take. My wife and I didn’t really spend or make money this weekend. We did a lot of relaxing at home, which doesn’t take too much money.

  18. says

    Over $500 is awesome for a garage sale, great job! Playa del Carmen is beautiful (my bro had a wedding there, though I forget where we stayed at) – the water is so warm and all inclusive is so convenient! I agree with taking reviews with a grain of salt and experiencing it for yourself. I hope you two have a blast!

  19. says

    That sounds like a great weekend! We didn’t make any money this weekend, but we are churning the first (of hopefully 2) Starwood cards thanks to your previous post. :)

  20. Sally says

    I also did the Chase savings account deal. While I was there a banker explained that since DH was in the Air Force, we qualified for an upgrade to their Premier checking account. No fees, no minimum account balance! Additionally, since we have a Chase credit card (Thanks to you) we get a 10% end of year bonus on our Chase points! Thanks, Holly!

  21. Brian says

    Just an FYI, Chase is probably going to 1099 for that cash come tax season. Unlike credit card rewards banks tend to do that when opening a new account. Of course they might not. Besides, the bit you pay in taxes is still not so bad to get some free cash from money that was otherwise sitting idle.

    I didn’t make any extra money this weekend because it was daddy and baby time all weekend. That little guy never seems to run out of energy!

  22. says

    Nice work Holly. That is considered a good weekend. I was able to score $100 for opening a capital one 360 checking account. Just have to use the debit card 5 times in 45 days. That is easy enough!

  23. says

    I used hotel vouchers I earned when I took out a Hilton Honors credit card. It had a value of more than $700 for 2 free weekend nights. It was a great weekend and I feel so much more relaxed. Crazy, because I have been on (teacher’s summer) vacation for a month already.

  24. says

    Sweet! I really need to take a closer look at credit card churning. It seems like when done right – it’s a great deal. I’d love to have a garage sale but living in an apartment makes that a bit tough. I going to try Craigslist and hopefully I can get rid of all my junk – I mean ultra high quality stuff – at a good price. I’m a terrible negotiator so we will see!

  25. says

    You had a nice weekend. I can’t wait to see how this garage sale was different from the other one because that was a big jump which is good.

  26. says

    Nice work on getting the Chase bonuses Holly! I actually got the same savings bonus a couple of months ago and then I started looking to see if other banks do these – and they do! So if you want to make more money next week, check out 1. Capital One 360, 2. Bank of America, and 3. Citi. I think they all give you some incentive for opening up a savings account.

  27. says

    Congrats on the successful garage sale! I convinced my mom to have one before she moved but sadly we only made maybe $40. Better than nothing I guess. Looking forward to hearing about it! That sucks that Greg is out of town, hopefully you will be pampered in Mexico :). I get so turned off by reviews sometimes I often wonder if I’m missing out. As you said, some people really love to complain and exaggerate. I’m sure you’ll manage to have fun regardless!

  28. says

    That must have been one heck of a massive garage sale to rake in that kind of money.. yay! If people are offering free money and it won’t affect your credit rating opening new accounts etc then I’d be right in there too! Well done!!

  29. Marlene says

    $154 between mystery shopping and a Saturday gig. Not too shabby. Did the Chase and Capitol One bonuses, will definitely look into the others.

  30. says

    Nice job! I didn’t make any money this weekend haha. I spent too much on brunch instead. :) If I was living in the States, I’d totally be on top of that Chase offer too.

  31. says

    Go Holly! I’d love to have a garage sale by my husband is a hoarder and he’d notice if I had a garage/yard sale it’s much easier to sell things one-by-one without him noticing :)

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