05 Sep
No Spend September

September No Spend Challenge: Clothes Shopping

No Spend September

On days when you can’t find enough money to pay your bills or you find yourself wallowing in guilt over an expensive impulse purchase, it’s tempting to swear off spending forever. It’s an easy promise to make and a difficult one to keep. I’ve failed at it more times than I can count!

That’s why I’ve decided to tackle my own financial pitfalls by singling out one category each month that repeatedly hits my wallet hard. By focusing my efforts on my biggest impulse purchasing categories one at a time, I hope to better manage my budget and build more responsible spending habits.

September’s no spend category is: clothing. (more…)

22 Mar

How to Save Money at Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World

Photo courtesy of my handsome husband Alex Opalinski

To say I love Disney World would be an understatement. My husband and I got married there after all! You can blame his family for giving me Disney fever. While a trip to Disney is never a steal, there are plenty of ways to cut costs at the world of the Mouse. Here are my favorite ways to save money on a Walt Disney World vacation:

BYOP – Bring Your Own Ponchos!

Many convenience items, like ponchos, have huge markups in the parks. Stay dry and save major moola by buying your own $1 ponchos and stowing them in a pocket or purse. This is crucial during the rainy summer and early fall seasons! I recommend stashing a few per person. They come folded into ridiculously tiny squares and you can toss them at the end of the day instead of trying to re-fold.     (more…)

04 Oct

Earn $5 Amazon Credit Instantly

Earn $5 Amazon Credit

Want to earn the easiest $5 you’ve ever made? (Not counting all those times your dad shoved money into your hands when your mom wasn’t looking.) To promote their mobile app, Amazon is offering a $5 credit for new app users who sign up through a friend’s referral code. And it just so happens that we’re friends! Or at least we are now. Wouldn’t you want to be friends with someone who gave you $5?

Visit this Amazon App link on your mobile phone to download the app and earn your money.

The Fine Print

To save you the hassle of reading through the Terms & Conditions, here are the most important requirements for receiving your $5:

  • You must be a new app user who hasn’t made a purchase through the Amazon app in the last 12 months and who hasn’t already received this promotional offer.
  • You will need to install the latest version of the Amazon App and verify your phone number.
  • $5 promotional credit applies to orders of $10 or more.
  • Only items sold by Amazon.com are eligible. Gift cards are excluded. Amazon may exclude other products at their discretion. Buyer pays any applicable shipping, handling, and tax costs.
  • Cannot be combined with other offers.
  • Valid for 90 days from the date it is added to your account.

Still have questions? See the full Terms & Conditions on Amazon’s website.

21 Sep

How to Save Money at Starbucks 

Save money at Starbucks

1. Bring your own cup for 10 cents off. Sure it’s only 10 cents, but every little bit counts! Not to mention you’ll help reduce the waste of a paper cup. Just make sure your mug is large enough for the size you want!

2. Earn free drinks with the Starbucks rewards program. Membership is free and purchases earn you stars toward free drinks. I get 2 or 3 lattes in an average week and have already redeemed 2 free drinks in just a couple months. Download the smartphone app and link your debit or credit cards (and your spouse’s!) so you’ll still get points no matter what payment method you use. Watch for mobile alerts on special offers that earn bonus stars. Double star day is a great way to earn extra stars on your morning coffee. Plus, you’ll get a free drink for your birthday!

3. Earn $10 with Visa Checkout. While this offer seems to come and go, I’ve used it two different times for an instant $10 gift card. It will be promoted on the website or on the mobile app whenever they run this promotion. If you don’t have a Visa Checkout account you’ll be asked to register and link any Visa card. Then load at least $10 (Starbucks minimum amount) onto your account to score your extra $10.

4. Split a venti with a friend. Craving the same drink order as your hubby or BFF? (Or the stranger behind you in line? Maybe you’ll make a new friend!) Order a venti and pour half into a separate cup. It’s like two tall drinks for less than an actual tall! Plus fewer calories than drinking a single venti and you won’t explode from caffeine overload.

Bonus Tips

If Starbucks isn’t in the budget this week, there are a few alternatives you can try. Making your own lattes costs 1/3 of a Starbucks brew and lets you control exactly what goes into your coffee.

No time to whip up your own drink? McDonald’s offers surprisingly good lattes and frappes with a lower price tag. Just make sure to specify 2% milk to cut back on calories and let them know if you want whip cream added! (The answer is yes, yes you do.)

11 Aug

Earn Money From Your Receipts

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Paper receipts may feel like nothing more than a lot of extra clutter in your purse, but you can turn those currently useless slips into a little extra cash to pad your wallet for your next shopping spree. Here are my current favorite money making services for submitting your shopping receipts:

1. National Consumer Panel

Because you need to scan almost every item you purchase, National Consumer Panel (NCP for short) is not only a great way to earn rewards, but also a good way to track your cash flow. The recent addition of their mobile app makes it easier to track you purchases and lets you redeem your points instantly for gift cards. Surveys and bonus points for submitting at least once a week help you reach your goal faster. We’ve been using the app for a little less than a year so far and just traded in our points for a $25 Amazon gift card.