Level 152: Using our Costco card as a debit card

and a hat tip to ibotta.

First, yesterday I had one more ibotta rebate that put me over the $20 threshold to withdraw more cash. They transferred $21 to my PalPal account. I keep checking for ibotta for available rebates. They don’t have many I can use but when there’s something I can use, I grab it. Every time my balance is $20 or more, I can transfer it to PayPal. The rebates really do add up over time.

Consider using my affiliate link to join ibotta. You’ll get started with $10 and I’ll get $5 at no cost to you. You’ll download the app on your phone, scan bar codes for rebates you want to use and snap a picture of your receipt. There are rebates for groceries and other stores. A new one just popped up for Best Buy and I often see Kohls, JoAnn’s fabric and World Market. My only caution is to buy things you were going to buy anyway. Grab the rebates and watch them grow.

You can earn $10 just by signing up and using
ibotta here.

Second, our Costco rebate check hit our mailbox today. It adds $472.85 to today’s deposit completing Level 151. We get a healthy rebate on our spending so we use it as a debit card. Costco partnered with Visa and they do allow us to make a payment every day. I track it in our “You Need A Budget” (YNAB) software so that all purchases are deducted from the appropriate spending category. This counters the common argument that if you use a credit card, you’ll spend more.

We get two rebate checks a year (the second comes in July if I recall and is usually a smaller check based on the rebate offered to executive members.

Level Completed: 152 out of 251
Amount Deposited this month: $816.45
Total Balance: $8,553.63
Our Money Game fund has increased 10.6% so far this month.

$174.73 is needed to reach the next level

New? Start here …

Google Doc spreadsheet showing all 250 levels of the Money Game

A power up and an update

I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching asking myself why I’m blogging. As our Money Game fund continues to grow, I see others who are struggling and it bothers me. Since I haven’t hit on any sure fire ways to quickly make money, it’s starting to feel like I’m just bragging.

I honestly thought by now I would have a system down for using our Money Game fund to make more money. That hasn’t happened yet. Anyway that was my intent and as my efforts aren’t producing (instant) success, I’ve been discouraged about writing.

I thought it would be so cool to start with a sum and just grow it on purpose. To just make it happen. It could be a tool to teach and inspire others that you have more than you think. You can do this.

It bothers me to see great people struggling. I know moms who want to be home with their children and who want to help their family’s finances. I know some gifted and talented people who I think could earn way more and be happier than they are working at a minimum wage job. I know some others who just long to leave to cubicle life. I know some people who lost their jobs and are struggling to find another. We all know these people. Many of us were or are just like them.

Though I haven’t found that formula yet, I’ve realized some things.

  • If you set this goal and then journal as work on eacch level (it can be private or public), it helps you make more progress.
  • This process helps you respect your money. More starts to come to you. This isn’t “magic” or “new age”. It’s not the “law of attraction”. It’s not a secret. It’s the same money that’s always been around you. You just figure out how to put it to better use.
  • I still think I’ll figure out a way to use our growing fund to make more money. It may be a year or so down the road when we start buying real estate or it may happen sooner.
  • Staying under budget won’t get us all the way there but we won’t get there if we can’t control our budget. This hasn’t been a waste of time and it won’t be for you either. This was one of the unexpected lessons. Getting through all 250 levels of this game will take controlling expenses AND learning to make more.
  • I enjoy writing and I especially enjoy interacting with people here. I’ve missed it. I’m going to resume posting and I’m going to try to stay on topic of saving and making money grow.
  • I’m going to keep reporting our progress in hopes that it will inspire you (especially if you are one of my kids or grandkids) to play along. I sincerely hope you find something that helps you get there faster and make enough to buy the freedom you want. I hope you leave me behind in the dust!
  • I’d love to see people come up with ideas and share them here. I definitely will be trying things and I’ll share what is working (and not working).

State Farm handed us a nice power up today. We try to drive safely and it paid off with a lower bills for my car over the last six months. Today’s deposit is $35.31. With these power ups, I hope they help you see how quickly they add up. It’s hard to beleive we are working level 152!

Level Completed: 151 out of 251
Amount Deposited this month: $322.60
Total Balance: $8,059.78
Our Money Game fund has increased 4.2% so far this month.

$252.95 is needed to reach the next level

Level 151: Leveling up with some catch up reporting

Winter is such a struggle for me.  For one, we definitely eat more. It’s been a struggle to keep the food budget under control.

I do have some progress to report though so here goes:

$1.25 Interest

$2.10 I balanced the Pay Pal account and more in the account than I realized

$3.42 Came in under on the internet/cable category (we increased our service to a higher internet speed and I misjudged how much more we needed to budget)

$237.23 January expense check

$46.64 Came in under for fuel two weeks – this is the sum total left over

With these deposits, we cross the $8,000 mark.

Level Completed: 151 out of 251
Amount Deposited this month: $287.29
Total Balance: $8,024.47
Our Money Game fund has increased 3.7% so far this month.

$288.26 is needed to reach the next level


I read the One Year Bible each day adding the year under each day’s heading as I complete it. It fascinates me how new things stand out to me as I read the stories year after year and see my notes from previous years.

Recently Matthew 25 came up. This chapter includes the parable of the ten talents. I’ve heard it said that this is the only place where the words “well done, my good and faithful servant” were used. Two years ago, I noticed that the faithful servants had doubled the money “after a long time”.

I wondered how long “a long time” actually was and looked up the rule of 72. I jotted down a few examples. For instance, money growing at 12% a year would double in 6 years.

So when I read it again this year, I thought of our Money Game fund and wondered how it stacked up.  One thing I learned – if you play the Money Game your money will double every 14 times you level up.

I also learned that we doubled our money 10 times last year.

Do I think I’ll hear the Lord say “well done thou good and faithful servant?” I think it depends on how we use this money.