A couple of weeks ago I took advantage of a targeted offer to rake in a $250 cash bonus from Sharebuilder. (I used Sharebuilder Promotion code SB250.) Normally I would not partake in this promotion given the high opening balance requirement of $50,000. But the terms required that I only had to maintain the deposit at the bank until the bonus hit, which turned out to be 2 weeks.
The terms for this promotion stated that the earned bonus is not available for withdrawal for 90 days, but there was no such time requirement for my initial deposit.
So, given the low interest rate environment, short-term funding requirement and easy way to get cash, I jumped on the Sharebuilder deal.
You know the saying, “It takes money to make money”. To a certain extent this is true, I was able to capitalize on this offer because I keep a healthy balance in an account that I call my ‘money maker account’.
I didn’t always have a special account for this purpose. After college I slowly grew this account from a zero balance to where it is now. I no longer studiously put the bonus money into this account. Now the bonus money usually goes toward enhancing our family life – from topping off travel reward accounts for a free airline ticket or luxury hotel reward to funding education and retirement accounts. (Sometimes purchasing a ridiculously priced Blueseventy swimsuit is a perk from bonuses.)
With a little creativity anyone can develop cash resources, and then have the opportunity to take advantage of these types of promotions. Here are a couple of ideas for thinking outside the box:
Think Outside The Box: Resources to Get Bonuses
- Family and Friends – Borrow short-term from family and friends
- Pool and Share – Combine money with family and friends, then share the bonus. Make whose name is on the accounts receives a little extra money from bonus to offset paying taxes.
- Peer to Peer Lending – Obtain funding from peer to peer lending sites such as Lending Club and Prosper. First crunch the numbers to make sure earnings from the bonus is greater than interest payments.
- Crowdfunding – Raise money or ask for donations through crowdfunding sites. (Read an earlier post on crowdfunding with Crowdtilt.)
- 0% APR Balance Transfers Credit Cards – Creatively get cash from credit cards that have no fee and charge no interest rate for transferring balances.
- Credit cards with 0% APR on Purchases – Obtain cash from credit cards that charge no interest rate for purchases. Discover cards are known for this feature. (Check out Discover card promotions by clicking this Resources tab.)
An argument can be made for investing my ‘money maker account’ in stocks and bonds. When I can earn a decent return on my money with nominal risk and a small amount of effort, I more often than not jump right in. Opening a deposit account has no adverse impact on your credit history and little, if any, downside.
Anyone can open a Sharebuilder account to get a $50 cash bonus with low funding requirements by clicking this link: ShareBuilder.com and use promo code 50LS12.
Reader Input: It’s your turn. What is your idea to develop cash resources? Leave a comment or send me an email. I’ll publish an updated list with ideas from everyone.