Money Train of Thought

moneytrainofthought

Choo choo!

When I started my blog about 6 months ago, I never really expected to expand beyond WordPress.  I’ve been really itching to make some money from my blog lately.  I know in order to do this I should have my own URL without the .wordpress attached to it.  The debtperception.com domain is privately owned but is for sale.  I’ve inquired about the cost of this particular domain with BuyDomains.com but it’s been several days already.  I imagine this private owner will want a hefty price for it.  I wish I would have considered that when I picked this name to begin with!  I really like Debt Perception, I’ve got some great ideas for it in the future and I just don’t want to start over with a different name.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed this privately owned domain won’t cost a fortune!

UPDATE:  I was finally emailed back from BuyDomains.com and this is what debtperception.com would cost:

domain

I had a good laugh at that price.  But obviously this is never going to happen.  I’m not sure where to go from here.  I pretty much have 3 options.  1) Forever remain debtperception.wordpress.com.  2) Choose .org or some other variant ending.  3) Come up with a new name entirely.

Would love some reader input!  What would you do?

Thinking about the cost of purchasing a domain and web hosting (I need to get my portfolio online again!), I wondered how much I’ve made from surveys and other rewards since I started my blog back in December 2012.  Since I have a horrible memory, I can’t even make a guess at this.  I decided to create a spreadsheet to track my cash reward values.  I’ve been slacking on surveys lately but creating this spreadsheet has reminded me that I can make decent cash Sallie Mae rewards, especially from eRewards, by far my favorite survey site!  Hooray for some motivation!

incomespread

And then the wheels kept turning on the subject of extra income…

A friend shared this information with me about a Capital One 360 account.  If you open this checking account and make a total of 3 purchases within 45 days of opening they’ll give you a $50 bonus on the 50th day.  While I don’t generally need another checking account, I couldn’t pass up a free $50 reward!

Then I got to thinking about credit card rewards.  I only have one card that has rewards and after July 15th, I can make 1.5% cash back on every purchase (My HSBC cc is moving to Capital One).  I’ve been wanting to get a credit card with air mile rewards for some time now but I’m wary about the effects it may have on my credit score.

However, I don’t expect to be doing much in the future that will be influenced by my credit score.  We were considering refinancing our auto loan but since we got a 1.9% interest rate, I don’t expect us to be able to refinance at a lower rate.  Our credit union would only be able to offer a rate between 1.79-2.99%.  Since I’m only the co-signer and my husband’s credit isn’t great yet, I doubt they’d be able to offer us a better rate. So opening a new credit card shouldn’t hurt my decent score too much.

And then that got me thinking about churning credit cards.  I’d honestly never heard of the term until I read Club Thrifty’s post about churning for the rewards from back in May.  Basically, some credit cards offer decent rewards if you make so many purchases or spend so much money within a given time from opening the account.  The idea of churning is to take advantage of these rewards and in most cases, close the account after getting the rewards and moving on to the next one.

That leads me to the question whether or not I can responsibly use my credit cards for every day purchases and pay it off without accruing interest.  I still do have credit card debt but since I’ve paid off my HSBC card, I’ve only used that particular card for two purchases I knew I could pay off instantly.  I know, I know, a whole two purchases paid off before interest doesn’t make me 100% responsible with credit cards…but practice makes perfect, right?  I think as long as I stick with using the churning cards for budgeted items (groceries, gas, etc), I should be able to keep away from interest.  It’s definitely something to consider.

I think, for now, I should practice with the 1.5% cash back I’ll be getting on my HSBC/Capital One card and use that for every day purchases.  I’m sure once I get out of credit card debt and can prove to myself I can use my credit cards responsibly, I’ll consider churning for higher rewards.

Have you ever churned credit cards?  Did it work for or against you?

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9 thoughts on “Money Train of Thought

  1. We play the credit card rewards game but as you noted the key is to always, always pay off your balance so as never to incur interest charges. I remember reading in Bertnstein’s book that reward and risk go hand in hand. You can never have one without the other. Credit card rewards are pretty nice but they do carry the risk of finance charges should you ever slip up. With these rewards programs, I think the juice is worth the squeeze, so to speak, but I’ve read some interesting evidence to the contrary:

    http://pocketmint.net/2012/10/the-credit-card-rewards-system-is-gaming-you/

    • Thanks for the comment. I’m not sure I agree entirely with that author. Sure, there is proof that credit cards, even debit cards, lead to more spending, but as long as you use the cards for budgeted items, I think the rewards are worth it.

      • I disagreed as well in the comments, but then I read the book she suggested (You are Not So Smart) and I am leaning more her way these days. Humans are not very good at evaluating their own decisions and behavior, establishing a baseline, parsing out what influences our behavior, etc.. That is to say, when we tell ourselves “I would have purchased this same basket of goods no matter what the payment method,” we are probably just guessing, and almost surely unaware of any effect the plastic is having upon us.

  2. I opened up a chase checking account last month and as long as I keep 1500 in it I don’t have any fees, and I got a $200 bonus! Something to look into maybe. I did sign up for a southwest credit card last year and got 50,000 points which was great. I’ve since put all major expenses (like my car repairs) on it to get more points and I pretty much got three domestic flights this summer. You just have to be VERY aware of your purchases and stay on top of paying them off.

    • Wow, great deal! I wouldn’t be able to open up an account that required that high of a minimum…maybe some day! I would love to be able to get free flights. It would make visiting my family so much easier!

  3. Pingback: Domain Poll | Debt Perception

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