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The Financial Benefits of Cats

Now that we are firmly in the dog days of summer (as I write and published this, not as you are probably reading it) it is time to turn our attention to how pets actually make us richer in so many ways, including financially. And since it is the dogs days of summer we will focus on cats. This isn’t to take anything away from dogs and dog lovers (we always had a dog on the farm growing up). Dogs are cash machines, same as cats. It’s just that your favorite accountant currently lives with two cats.

Now I can hear some folks out there taking exception to my premise that pets are a cash machine when pets actually cost money. Food, litter, toys and vet bills add up. A few years back a blogger in the FIRE community let the world know pets were a frivolous expense and in no way frugal. I disagreed then and now. Unless you have a herd of animals in your home, pets increase your health and wealth in many ways. And our furry family members do it in such a stealthy way.

Of course I’m biased. I enjoyed cats in the home since high school. We always had a dog or two around the farm when I was growing up. A farm dog is a great help when getting the cows in at milking time. They are also a great companion when working in the barn and fields. There is a wealth beyond financial that friendship brings. And cats take care of important business, too.

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Tradelines: The $1,000 an Hour Side Gig

Remember all those credit cards you acquired to earn out those bonuses and eventually canceled? You’re going to wish you hadn’t done that.

Credit cards are one of the most powerful wealthy building tools in existence today when used properly. They get a bad rap because irresponsible people rack up massive quantities of high interest debt and spend decades digging out if they ever get out. Still, credit cards can put a lot of ka-ching in your pocket if you understand the rules and never run a balance on the card.

If you are in the accumulation phase of your wealth building cycle, looking for a high income compared to the time invested or love gaming the system (your favorite accountant is guilty as charged), then you need to learn about tradelines.

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The Cost of Coupons

A winter wind whips out of the north, sleet pelting the windows, as Mrs. Accountant quietly organizes her cache of coupons at the kitchen table. She has turned couponing into a science of savings. She uses Swagbucks and other vendors to supercharge her coupon values; she gets an additional ten cents (or more) back in cash from Swagbucks for each coupon used. Her coupon book is an old photo album converted to money-saving use. As I walk past Mrs. A and head to the barn to take care of the animals it does not seem so cold for a November afternoon in NE Wisconsin.

There is something intoxicating about coupons and the potential savings they promise. I don’t use coupons myself and have had a love/hate relationship with the scraps of paper over the years. It is much easier with many coupons in electronic format today; just load and use.

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