Free Money

Money-supplyImage via WikipediaI know what your thinking - "money ain't free". I not talking about a handout. What I mean by "free money" is unearned money; obtained through means other than my paycheck. I guess you could call it random passive income. I always seem to get some free money here and there, whether it be a rebate, a class action settlement, or selling something on Craigslist. I wanted to know how much free money I received, so I started tracking it in 2010. I created a Google Docs spreadsheet to do so. The total free money amount for this year is a whopping $1337! About half of that came from a contest I won which had an approximate retail value of $598. I won the Redskins "AAA Ultimate Fan Zone Sweepstakes" for the Sunday night game against the Colts back on October 17. The prize included: 2 suite tickets to the game, 2 passes to the AAA Ultimate Fan Zone pre-game hospitality area & 1 FedEx Field purple parking permit. Although technically not cash, I didn't pay for it out of pocket and is in essence free money so I'm counting it. The second biggest amount was $200 in Southwest Airlines credit we got for a long delay coming home from Louisville, KY for Lebowski Fest a couple years back that I used to purchase my flight to the National Beard and Moustache Championships in June. Rounding out the top three is $101.65 in oil royalties. My wife's family owns a small stake in land leased for obtaining oil in Texas. The smallest amount is $.59 which was another oil royalty. We actually cashed a $.59 check. It probably cost more to drive to the ATM. But every little bit counts.
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