7 more ideas for your arsenal!


Got a bunch more ideas for your wallet – and life – today, courtesy of some really good looking and smart people – you all :)

Hope you find something worth trying out!


#1. Double checking all scratched off lottery tickets you find on the ground –> “I don’t spend much out of pocket, but I always check the ones scratched off and on the top of the trash (gross, I know) or on the ground. When I was pregnant and VERY broke, I walked by one on the ground right outside of my car. A few minutes later, my client walked in with it and it was a $1,000 winner! I check them all the time now. Most big gamblers will throw them away or on the ground even if it’s a $2 winner. Then, I always get another ticket with the winnings – but just one and I keep the rest of the winnings as cash. Last month I made an extra $7 this way.” – Jessie

#2. Using all bonuses/raises to get a “free” mortgage! –> “Wanted to share a story that I’m sure you will appreciate… I’ve been very fortunate with my move to GA – love the area (and not having to shovel snow) – along with having received multiple promotions and raises over the past 4 years since I moved here. My father made an interesting statement that put it into perspective – He commented that I now have a free mortgage – meaning, my raises have covered what I pay out for it! I went searching to see what I was making when I moved here, and found out that these raises indeed cover the principle and interest portions. I’m now opting to put my extra money towards paying off that mortgage even sooner now – hopefully getting rid of it in another 7 years and turning a 30 year mortgage into an 11 year. Now I’m as “broke” as I was when I first moved to GA!! 😂” – LeeAnne

#3. Using random boxes to shield your gifts –> “My grandma, who is always worried about package theft, sends our presents for Christmas and birthdays in a random, empty box from around the house. One time recently, she sent my birthday present in a box of low-fat/sugar Swiss hot chocolate mix, and even left a packet of the hot chocolate for me to enjoy along with the gift (others have been in empty cereal and granola bar boxes, but never with any leftover snacks). She then wraps *that* box with the paper bag and ships it that way :). Her strategy is would-be package thieves will be deterred by the lame box inside the paper bag, and move on without opening it and discovering the good present inside the box. 😂 I’ll definitely be trying the straight paper bag wrapping in the future!” – Brittany

#4. Doing one-on-one trips with your kids before they get too old to care ;) –> “My daughter and I got back from a week long road trip from Omaha Nebraska to Raleigh North Carolina. It was a ton of fun. My son and I leave for Philadelphia next month to do a historic tour for a week. I try to do these 1 on 1 trips with them every year while they still want me around. Ha!” – Pi Lady Fi

#5. Being a good Samaritan to baristas and the environment –> “If you really want to over-achieve on your coffee endeavors (and you’re not going to take your coffee to-go), buy two mugs from a local ceramic artist and take them with you to the coffee shop. If the barista says they like your mug, give it to them and use the second mug you have to get your coffee. This will make the barista’s day, help to support local artists by purchasing from them and advertising their business, and, again, help keep to-go cups out of the landfill.” – Tobezors

[Personal update on this – AFTER TWO MONTHS OF FORGETTING, I finally brought my own mug to Panera and it worked beautifully! Not only did I save on a cup + top + sleeve + straw from going into the landfill, but I even got it for free as they never charged me! Woo! We’ll see if it was a fluke or if they were just mesmerized with my new mug’ing ways, but either way it’s a great start to a Better Me and I thank y’all for the prompts over the weeks ;)]

#6. Using scratchers as a festive center piece –> “I usually spend $30 at Christmas time when we decorate our small tree with lottery tickets for a center piece for dinner. Then we all take part in scratching together!” – Lisa O.

[Editor’s Note: I find lotto tickets also make for great (and cheap) stocking stuffers! Which people will actually *use* compared to other nonsense tchotchkes!]

#7. Implementing High Five Fridays –> “Our local elementary school counselor implemented “High Five Friday” where groups/businesses from the community come on Friday morning to simply give High Fives and encouragement to students as they enter the building. Our company did it this morning and it was so fun, made a difference to the kids, and cost us nothing but 15 minutes of our time. Such a great idea! (She got the idea from a nearby (challenging) school where they found attendance actually INCREASED on Fridays due to that tiny piece of human interaction kids are craving. It’s #onegoodthing that I hope grows!” – Working Mom


And if you ever find yourself negotiating a professional sports contract, do your best to follow in the footsteps of one-time great, Bobby Bonilla:

“In 2000, The Mets bought out Bobby Bonilla for $5.9mil. Instead of cash they agreed to 8% interest w/ payments beginning 2011-2035. Bonilla’s check comes every July 1st. $1.2 Million every year. Adds up to $29 mil when all is said and done. He hasn’t played since 2001.” – @johndelizondo on Bobby Bonilla Day


j. money signature

For previously shared tips:

(Visited 21 times, 1 visits today)

Get blog posts automatically emailed to you!


  1. Victoria B. July 2, 2019 at 7:00 AM

    I’m so glad you finally started taking your own mug to Panera. It also works for their cold beverages as well. Bring your own cup and straw and ask for a travel refill iced tea, lemonade, coke, etc. Not only are you saving the planet and sea turtles one cup and straw at a time, you’re also getting a discount on your drink: win-win!!

    1. J. Money July 2, 2019 at 8:03 AM

      Totally, haha…

      So mad at myself for not thinking of this earlier!!

  2. Rho | Their Money Goals July 2, 2019 at 7:53 AM

    I love the gifts hidden in mundane boxes haha! High Five Friday really warms my heart. :)

    1. J. Money July 2, 2019 at 8:06 AM

      I’m already starting to store my granola bar boxes ;)

  3. LeeAnne July 2, 2019 at 8:06 AM

    I love Brittany’s grandmother – brilliant idea!!

    I agree – the lottery centerpiece sounds like a fun idea. Scratch off tickets are usually a popular gift (meaning they get “stolen” numerous times) at my family’s yankee swap party. The centerpiece would give all a chance to get in on the fun.

    1. J. Money July 2, 2019 at 8:08 AM

      I want a pic when you make it happen!

  4. Slackerjo July 2, 2019 at 8:29 AM

    The high five thing works. I used to work for a cleaning company for the Canadian government and you get to know everybody and some days I would be walking by someone I knew and shout out “random high five!” and we’d high five. Even my dusting mitt Fred got high fives (he’s way cuter than me!).

    Good times. I can’t wait to leave my current job (in a few years, I have a passive income plan) and go back to cleaning part time.

    1. J. Money July 2, 2019 at 10:17 AM

      I want to meet Fred!! :)

  5. Joe July 2, 2019 at 10:38 AM

    Cool tips. Unfortunately, I’ve never seen a scratcher on the ground here. People should pick them up and put them in the trash can anyway. :)

    1. J. Money July 3, 2019 at 11:13 AM

      Haha, there’s that too – yes.

  6. Nita July 2, 2019 at 12:22 PM

    I can’t believe people throw away winning scratchers… I’ll be looking, honestly!
    Love the centerpiece idea: I might be trying that for Xmas as well.

    1. J. Money July 3, 2019 at 11:15 AM

      I never knew that myself until reading it!! Will have to do it when my kids are not looking or else all my “don’t pick up trash!!!” talks will be thrown out the window, haha…

  7. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life July 2, 2019 at 2:17 PM

    I love wrapping boxes in brown paper but never thought about it as a theft deterrent. Now I want to hear from porch bandits, what really deters them??

    1. Laura July 2, 2019 at 3:05 PM

      Just FYI: the USPS doesn’t like packages wrapped in brown paper. From their website: “Paper wrapping is not recommended; it can catch and tear off in mail processing equipment.”

      1. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life July 4, 2019 at 12:12 PM

        Dang indeed! I never noticed that before! But I always did make sure to tape all edges down really securely so hopefully I have never caused one of those incidents.

  8. Martinus July 2, 2019 at 6:25 PM

    Ah yes, lottery tickets. At Christmas one year I distributed fake lottery tickets. Each one was a $10,000 winner (or something like that). The back of the ticket explained that they were getting “nuttin’ for Christmas”.

    Or, as Tom Waits put it, “the large print giveth and the small print taketh away”.

    My brother in law liked them so much he distributed a few in random mail boxes in my area.

    Those were the best lottery tickets I ever bought! They are easy to find and buy if you’re looking for a gag (a little mean, yes, but funny as hell – if you’re on the giving end).

    1. J. Money July 3, 2019 at 11:18 AM



      You ever send me one of those and I’m blocking you from the blog, haha…

  9. Stephanie July 2, 2019 at 11:52 PM

    Hi J$; read every day but rarely post. I picked this up from an old post of yours, but the idea is often repeated. I went on a no-spend June. Paid my house payment, power, etc BUT no going-out, entertainment, wander through the mall shopping. I filled up my gas tank of June 1st, bought some fresh fruits & veggies, eggs, and milk, and decided what I COULD spend on that month.
    Milk, eggs, fruits, veggies-all okay. Otherwise, very little. I raided my freezer, pantry, friends’ brains for bright ideas, and spent less than $100 on food for the month. Sadly, I can do at least another month like this because my pantry AND freezer are still full. Walked a lot, read a ton of books, took advantage of free wi-if; stuff like that. Paid cash when I went to the grocery/farmer’s market.
    What it boiled down to was…I learned that I can comfortably live on a hell of a lot less than I’ve been spending. *shudder*. And my budget needs some tweaking, so I redirect those $$ where they will be working for me.
    Like I said, I’ve been reading your blog for a long time. I’m grateful for the kinda oddball ideas you collect from all over, along with your own. I can’t tell you what motivated me to do a no-spend month but I can tell you, it was well-worth the education. Thanks again for keeping the fire burning; I’m working toward improving my finances every day!

    1. J. Money July 3, 2019 at 11:26 AM


      That’s what it’s all about right there – learning and growing and then repeating!

      Huge huge congrats over there – so happy to hear this :)

      Please keep coming back and sharing your updates with us!! It’s so inspiring!

  10. Eric (TacticalFinancials) July 4, 2019 at 5:44 PM

    Great ideas! That Bobby Bonilla piece is definitely unique and something I hadn’t heard of athletes doing before. Future thinking at its finest.

  11. Chris @ Mindful Explorer July 5, 2019 at 11:27 AM

    I would love it to see more mindful consumption discussion and reflection with your articles. We are in an environmental crisis where our actions and choices continue to cause havoc on the world we live in. Tough action needs to be taken on how we make things, what resoures are used, what powers that process….then to what we buy….and ultimately how we discard things.

    I heard a great quote yesterday, we need to stop being “consumers” of things and become “owners” of things.

    All this from you posting about not using a single use coffee cup :)
    Cheers brother

    1. J. Money July 8, 2019 at 10:36 AM

      haha… I need all the reminders I can get, so keep them coming!!

      I just unpacked my long forgotten compost big which i’m 1,000% excited to use again :) in fact, our yard is so big I can literally just bury it all in the earth and help the food cycle continue!

  12. Sj July 17, 2019 at 11:22 PM

    I like the idea of taking one on one trips with your kids while they still want you around. Mine are in college so they don’t want me around anymore…unless I’m paying for All Inclusive trip somewhere tropical, then they’ll come! I guess we parents gotta do what we gotta do!!


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *