I consider myself a bit of a rebate hunter. I regularly share rebates I find on a couple of other websites and do a regular rebate round-up at Northern Cheapskate.
So when a friend of mine shared Business Insider‘s story PhD Student Pays Tuition with Mail-in Rebates, I took an interest.
According to the article, PhdD student Jonathan Hood paid his $4,500 semester tuition bill with cash and debit cards he’s gotten from doing mail-in rebates and from selling items he gets for cheap or free after rebates.
As someone who has done a few mail-in rebates in my lifetime, Hood’s accomplishment is impressive. But is it worth it?
In order to get that much money from mail-in rebates, he would need to spend quite a bit of time finding the rebates, purchasing the products, and sending in the proof of purchase. Not to mention that rebates often take weeks or months to come back. He’d also need some seed money to start the process. He also runs the risk of buying things he doesn’t need just to get the rebate.
There are plenty of simple tips for getting rebates out there, but that doesn’t mean that rebates are easy to get. It can be easy to make mistakes that cost you money – like failing to read the fine print of forgetting to send in a rebate. I think it would be easier to find other ways to make money – like a part-time job.
Don’t get so caught up in the art of saving money that you forget to factor in the other costs involved.