Finding Extra Money Using Snowflaking

Finding Extra Money Using Snowflaking

When you're on a tight budget, finding extra money for things you want but don't really need is increasingly difficult. But there are many methods to accomplish it. One such method is called snowflaking and it seems to be gaining popularity.

No, snowflaking does not involve prancing around while wearing a white, ruffled outfit complete with a feather boa "“ even if it may sound like it. The snowflake method is an analysis of your own everyday spending habits to find money that is usually spent but for whatever reason goes unspent regardless of how insignificant the amount is.

Still confused? It's actually very simple. For example, if you go to the grocery store and the milk you usually buy is 50 percent off, the money you save on that is the money that goes unused. Now, this unused money can be put toward something else, whether it's savings or debt payment.

Here are some other examples of when you can apply snowflaking:

  • Whatever money you save when you use a coupon. [Note: The second you clip that coupon, though, your soul dies a little inside.]
  • The money you save by getting drunk earlier going to happy hour and taking advantage of the drink specials.
  • The money you save on "buy one get one free" specials. [Note: This only applies to you if the special is for something you buy all the time.
  • The money you save on switching to cheaper brands. [Note: You will start feeling like a coupon-clipping soccer mom at this point. Just resist the urge to buy a new mini-van or a pair of Crocs.]
  • The money you save when someone buys you a drink or a meal. (Warning: Ladies, there may be some ulterior motive to this gesture if it comes from a dude. But, either way, you're not paying for it, so enjoy the savings!)
  • The money you save starving yourself fasting for a day.
  • The money you save by not doing your laundry and reusing your dirty clothes.
  • The money you save when your parents pay your rent.
  • The money you make by recycling the three years worth of beer cans you had stored because you swore you'd make into a couch one day, but eventually gave up once you started buying bottles. (OK, maybe that's just me).
  • Any money you make in your night job performing Barbara Streisand covers on stage as "Snowflake" while wearing a white, ruffled outfit complete with a feather boa.

This method takes time and, depending on the amounts you're saving, can be very tedious. It helps to keep track of your snowballing "“preferably on a spreadsheet "“ and moving the money monthly to a savings account, debt payment or just blowing it on the upcoming Jersey Shore soundtrack. (After all, we all need some motivation when we're tanning or doing steroids or both.)

With enough practice, you'll be able to master this method in no time. Just remember, if the Jersey Shore soundtrack is marked down, those savings also count.