8 Great Money Earning Tips That You Can Use Today

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On this blog, I am always talking about ways to save more money or make more money. Since I’m a big believer in doing more with less, here are some great tips on how you can save and make more money with minimal effort. A lot of these suggestions on my list may not afford you a new Rolls Royce, but utilize these strategies over time and you will start seeing all the extra money you may currently be missing out on.

1. Earn Free Gift Cards on Swagbucks.com

amazon gift cardSwagbucks is an awesome site that I’ve been using for a long time to easily earn free gift cards for doing things online. You can earn gift cards from major retailers like Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Target. I personally like the option to get Amazon gift cards, as I make the majority of my online purchases on Amazon.

The way it works is Swagbucks rewards you with Swag Bucks for doing online tasks such as taking surveys, shopping online, watching videos, playing games, searching the web, etc.. The Swag Bucks can then be redeemed for gift cards or other rewards. If you’re online a lot (like myself) then it’s pretty easy to start earning rewards. I have a few friends that have payed for their Christmas presents entirely with Swagbucks gift cards. You can check it out over here: Swagbucks

You can check out my more in-depth review over here: Swagbucks Review

2. Earn Extra Cash By Taking Surveys

If you have extra time and want to earn some extra money, there are quite a few online companies that pay you for taking surveys. These surveys will vary by size, topic, and payment, and you have to qualify to take the surveys. Surveys pay out from $1 to $25 depending on the length. To maximize your earnings, sign up for several of these.

Here are a couple of my personal favorites:

My Survey - Very easy surveys with quick payments. One of my favorites.

Only Cash Surveys – Many short surveys that pay $2.

3. Shop and Earn Program

If you haven’t heard of Shop and Earn programs yet, you should definitely try it out. I’m disappointed that I waited so long to join because it’s basically free money. Shop and Earn programs allow you to earn a percentage of cash back from your online purchases. The amount varies from merchant to merchant. All you have to do is sign up to a Shop and Earn program and do your regular online shopping! Below are a few of the more popular and profitable Shop and Earn programs I’ve found:

Swagbucks

TopCashBack

You really start earning when you combine multiple ways to save. For example, let’s say you want to buy a new TV at Walmart. Get 4% back at Swagbucks, plus save 2% using a rewards earning credit card. That’s 6%. Not huge but it adds up!

4. Sell Old Electronics on Gazelle

Gazelle allows you to turn your old cell phones, iPods, iPads or other electronics into cash. It’s pretty easy: find your gadget, answer a few questions, ship it in (free if its over $1), get paid via check or PayPal. I looked up my old iPhone 3Gs and found out that I can get $37. Use this link and get an extra $10 for any trade-ins worth over $25. Gazelle

5. Call to have your current interest rates lowered on Credit Cards

credit cardsAsk and you will be given. Call your current credit card companies and just ask if they can lower the interest rate. They won’t always do it, but they will grant your request for a lower interest more often than you think.

6. Rent Out Your Home on Air BnB when you’re out of town

I have a friend who makes upwards of $50,000 a year renting out his home in Amsterdam when he’s traveling. You can especially earn a lot if your home is in an area that is highly visited by tourists.

The reason I love this is because you get to charge hotel rates for renting out your home. And if you aren’t even going to be at home, then I see free money!

Worried about people damaging your home? Air BnB has you covered with their 1 million dollar insurance policy. Plus when someone rents through Air BnB, a lot of personal information is required, which makes it highly unlikely that someone will damage your home.

7. Use Coupons

coupons  Most stores nowadays will adjust their prices to compensate for coupons. So if you aren’t using coupons, you are actually losing money in the long run. But no worries, you can find great coupons all over the Internet now. Just do a quick search before your purchase.

Here are a couple of popular coupon sites that can get you started:

www.couponmom.com

www.retailmenot.com

8. Use Store Loyalty Cards and Debit Cards

store loyalty cardsLastly, utilize store loyalty cards and debit cards. You don’t need to get a card for every single store, but just the few that you visit regularly.

Stores will usually give you rewards in cash back or gift certificates based on the amount you spend. If you are going to buy from these stores anyway, might as well get extra rewards.

Many stores now also provide a free debit card, which basically just connects onto your bank account. This also doubles as a reward card but the rewards are usually a lot better than if you just had a loyalty card.

Here are a few rewards I get for linking my debit card to a store’s loyalty card:

Nordstrom – Gives you a free $100 in Alterations a year, plus sends you Gift Certificates based on your spending

Arco – Arco waves the .35 fee they charge when you pay using a debit or credit card at their gas stations

I visit both these business very often, so it’s pretty much a no brainer for me to sign up for their cards. Both are also very easy to sign up for. I just filled out a quick form in the store and they mailed me my card.

Ways to Fund Your Christmas Without Breaking the Bank

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Due to the popularity of last year’s Christmas article on having a great holidays while still staying under budget we decided we’d come back this year with even more great ways to have a frugal Christmas without sacrificing the quality of your holiday experience.

Even though the holiday’s season should be a time of joy the extra expenses occurred along with the added anxiety of tightening finances can put a damper on a person’s Christmas spirit.

Lucky for you we’ve put together a few ways you can get some extra income so you’ll have an awesome holiday without breaking the budget.

1. Earn Free Gift Cards to Your Favorite Stores with Swagbucks

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Swagbucks is a great site that allows you to earn free gift cards for doing things online. You can earn gift cards from most major retailers like Wal-Mart, Target, Starbucks, Amazon, and many more. What’s great about gift cards is you can give them away as gifts or you can purchase things you need with them.

The way it works is Swagbucks rewards you with Swag Bucks for doing things online like taking surveys, shopping online, watching videos, playing games, searching the web, etc.. The Swag Bucks can then be redeemed for gift cards to your favorite stores. Check them out over here: Swagbucks

2. Get Extra Income by Taking Online Surveys

If you have extra time and want to earn some extra money they’re quite a few online companies that will pay you for opinions on popular brands and products. The amount you get paid will vary depending on the size and topic of the survey. You will also have to qualify for which surveys you can take, but surveys can pay up to $25 depending on how long they are and the survey topic. Take a couple of the higher paying surveys and you’ll have all the Christmas presents paid off in no time. To maximize your earnings you should sign up to multiple survey sites since they’re literally hundreds of them.

Here are a few that I personally use and recommend:

My Survey – Very easy surveys with quick payments. One of my favorites

Only Cash Surveys – Many short surveys that pay $2

3. Sell Your Old and Used Electronics on Gazelle

You’ve probably got a few old used cell phones, iPods, and other electronics laying around your house. Gazelle allows you to mail in your old electronics, and once they inspect it ,they send you money for it via check or Paypal.

Before you start mailing in your old electronics you can check on Gazelle how much they will give you for your item. I looked up my old iPhone 3Gs and they are paying $37 for it. For an extra $10 in any trade ins over $25 use this this link – Gazelle.

 

4. Use Credit Cards with Cash Back Rewards

Credit cards with cash back rewards pay you a percentage every time you use them to buy something, possibly hundreds of dollars a year. The cards with the top rates pay 1% cash back on everything and 5% cash back on certain categories. By making big purchases or even the combination of all your small purchases on these type of credit cards you can use the money earned to fund your Christmas. 

The Discover it® card is a great one for cash back credit cards that offer 5% cash back in certain shopping categories and 1% cash back on all other purchases. On top of that they offer an 0% Intro APR* on purchases and balance transfers for 14 months, plus no annual fee. You can get more information here: Discover it®

5. Rent Out Your Home on Air BnB

9This option isn’t for everyone but I thought I’d put it up there because of how much I love Air BnB. If you own property in a popular tourist destination this could be a great option for you.

I have a friend who rents his apartment in Amsterdam to tourist and gets anywhere from $2000-$5000 per 2 week rental. Obviously your location is going to play a huge part in getting tenants, but if your one those with a place in a popular vacation spot than Air BnB can be a potential cash cow for you.

Worried about people damaging your home? Air BnB has you covered with their 1 million dollar insurance policy. Plus the fact that when you rent through Air BnB you have to give a lot of personal information, makes it highly unlikely someone will damage your home.

6. Sell Your Stuff on Craigslist

Go through your home with a box and put things you don’t use any more in the box such as electronics, clothes, appliances, and furniture. Once you’ve compiled all your junk start posting them up on Craigslist. You’re most likely not going to get as much money as you paid for the items, but since you weren’t going to use them anyways it is basically like free money.

An added bonus is you will have cleared a bunch of clutter from your home. I do this a few times a year just to get rid of items cluttering my home and make a few hundred dollars as a bonus.

7. Save Money by Using Coupons

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A penny saved is a penny earned.

An easy way to save a couple dollars is to use coupons to lower the cost of your purchases. Whenever you are planning to buy something simply do a Google search for that item + coupon. If there any coupons for that item they will show up in your search and you will save!

The savings won’t be huge but they will start to add up and you’ll be able to buy Christmas dinner or presents with what you saved by using coupons.

Here a couple of popular coupon sites you can get your coupons:

www.couponmom.com

www.retailmenot.com

8. Get a High Interest Saving Account

Everyone has a basic savings account and most don’t care to look at the interest rates they are getting because it’s pretty minimal (savings interest rates are usually in the range of .2 – 1 percent) , but another extra dollar here and an extra dollar there really starts to add up.

The savings accounts with the highest yields are usually online, so if you can deal with online banking you have a quite a few choices. Here are a few reputable ones you can look into:

Ing Direct – .75% Interest Rate

Ally Bank – .95%

CIT Bank – 1% Interest Rate

9. Use Store Loyalty Cards and Debit Cards

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There are probably a few stores that you are a regular at and have spent hundreds if not thousands of dollars at already. If you haven’t already you need to utilize those stores loyalty cards and debit cards. You don’t need to get a card for every single store but just the few that you visit regularly.

Stores will usually give you rewards in cash back or gift certificates based on the amount you spend. If you are going to buy from those stores anyways might as well get extra rewards.

Many stores now also provide a free debit card which basically just connects onto your bank account. This also doubles as a reward card but the rewards are usually a lot better than if you just had a loyalty card.

Here are a few rewards I get for linking my debit card to a stores loyalty card:

Nordstrom – Gives you a free $100 in Alterations a year plus send you Gift Certificates based on your spending

Arco – Arco waves the .35 fee they charge when you pay using a debit or credit card at their gas stations

I visit both those business very often so it’s pretty much a no brainer for me to sign up for their card. Both are also very easy to sign up for, I just filled out a quick form in the store and they mailed me my card.

10. Call to have your current interest rates lowered on Credit Cards

Ask and you will be given. Call your current credit card companies and just ask if they can lower the interest rate. They won’t always do it, but they will grant your request for a lower interest more often than you think.

9 Ways to Save Money Shopping


How much money do you spend in a typical trip to Wal-Mart? How about the grocery store? You know what is on your list. It comes to just $25. So, why is it that you simply cannot pull out of Wal-Mart without spending over $100? Spending less shopping is an option. To do so, though, you have to have a plan. Consider yourself a savings warrior. The more you save, the better. Your goal is to buy what you want and need but to pay less for it. You may not have hours to dedicate to clipping coupons, but you can save big.

Join the Rewards Program

Many stores now offer a rewards program. You sign up with your personal information. They give you a card. They use your information to track what you buy and, sometimes, give you coupons for it. Most importantly, they give you a specific discount on some purchases just because you are a member. There is no cost and there is no reason to not join.

Buy in Bulk, Sometimes

There’s nothing quite like going to the big box stores and being able to buy a 10 pound sack of flour for all of your baking and saving 30 percent on the cost. That is until you have to toss it out because you did not use it. Buying in bulk often does save you money (be sure to do the math before you assume this, though.) However, only buy what you can adequately store and use before it expires. It can make all of the difference.

Don’t Just Shop

Before you go to the store, any store, make a shopping list. The list should take you around the store, not up and down every aisle. This cuts out the temptations to buy more than you need to. It also presents an opportunity for you to avoid missing what you need and having to come back to the store more often. You should shop with a list every time you go to the store.

Get Those Coupons Out

Coupons are a good way to save money. You do not have to create a book or elaborate filing system. You do not have to spend hours a week organizing them. Rather, use those that you get in your newspaper and online to help you to save money. A simple way to organize them is in a binder using clear baseball card divider sheets. Organize it by your store’s order.

Match Sales with Coupons

Another way to save money is to match the ads from your grocery store for the week to the coupons you have. For example, the grocery store is running a special on cereal. You get 4 boxes for $12. You have a coupon for $1 off per box. Instead of getting the boxes for $12, you get them for $8, or just $2 per box. Do this with as many groceries as you can. Your store may also give you the ability to double coupons. This means that any coupon up to 99 cents could be doubled to give you even more off.

Don’t Buy Just Because It’s On Sale

A big mistake many people make is to buy just because something is on sale. You walk through the mall and see a shoe sale. Buy one and get one-half off sounds good to you. You walk away spending $40 for two pair. That is great but if you really did not need it, you just threw out $40. In other words, buy what you need and will use but don’t buy just because there is a sale price on the sticker.

Sign Up for Email Lists and Use Social Media

Many companies are realizing the importance of using social media to connect with their customers. Others have email lists you can join. Go to the website of the company and sign up for the newsletters. Like them on Facebook. By doing this, you can learn about upcoming sales and deals that the company is offering. It is the perfect way to get something for really doing nothing.

Ask for a Discount

Did you know you can walk into a store and ask for a discount just because you want and need it? For example, you need to pick up a part for your vehicle or buy oil for the oil change you are doing at home. Visit the store and ask for what you need. Then, ask for any sales or discounts. Are there any discounts available? Chances are good the clerk will have something to offer to you in the way of savings.

Price Match

Many companies offer great opportunities to save. They want and need your business. To keep you from going to their competitors, they will price match. If you see an ad with something you need priced lower than the place you normally go, ask that location to match the price. For example, some of the large discount department stores will match the prices of the exact same thing advertised.

Why pay more than you need to? If you know these tricks and tips, you can cut your costs considerably no matter what type of store you are going to or what you plan to buy. There is no reason to pay more for what you want and need.

22 Money Savings Tips


Saving money is a big deal. Did you know that more than 78 percent of people say they use coupons to save money? How do you save? In virtually every facet of your financial life, you can cut costs. If you are tired of having no money in your checking account each week, it may be time to look for a new solution. Check out these money savings tips to get you started.

1. Cook at Home

Nothing will save you more money than eating at home rather than eating out. This could cut your food bill in half or more.

2. Car Pool to Work

You should car pool to work with coworkers if you live more than 30 minutes from your place of employment or have to go downtown to work. This will save you substantially on your gas costs, wear and tear on the vehicle and tolls.

3. No Fee Bank Accounts

Switch banks if you are paying fees for checking and savings accounts. The lowest fees are often at credit unions because these are non-profit organizations owned by the users of the facility.

4. Use Natural Heaters

Use your fireplace to heat the home during the fall months. If you have the funds to do so, invest in a pellet stove, which can cut down your costs for heating by 50 percent or more.

5. Monitor The Air in Your Car Tires

Put air in your car tires. Tires inflated properly will require help to lower your gas consumption. You may even find that just getting the oil changed timely can improve gas mileage significantly.

6. No ATM Fees

Avoid using an ATM that charges a fee. Walk into the bank, write yourself a withdrawal slip, and get your money without having to pay a fee for it.

7. Pay Your Bills On Time

Don’t pay your bills late. Those five to ten percent late fees add up. Pay them when they come in instead of paying them at the due date.

8. Unplug Appliances and Electronic Devices

Keep your computers unplugged when not in use. Do this to any appliance or electronic device running in your home. This will cut the costs significantly since even being “off” still uses electricity.

9. Think Over Big Purchases

Hold off on purchasing anything that is over $100 until you have a 24-hour cooling off period. Then, if you can wait up to 30 days, do so. This gives you time to get the best price for it.

10. Don’t Buy New Cars

Buy used vehicles instead of buying new. Did you know that just driving a new vehicle off the lot decreases its value tremendously? Look for a newer used car with fewer miles.

11. Ask Your Credit Cards for a Lower Interest Rate

Call your credit card lenders and ask for a lower interest rate. If you pay your bills on time, chances are good they will drop the rate just because you asked. You may even qualify for a no-fee, no APR period.

12. Borrow Don’t Rent Movies

Go to the library to get movies free instead of using subscription services. Many libraries have modern, updated collections.

13. Ask for a Debt Reduction

If you are in collections with any debt you owe, ask for a 50 percent reduction to pay it off immediately. Most will give you a sizable discount if you pay it off right away. However, you can negotiate the terms as well, including to make payments over a series of months.

14. Drink Water Not Soda

Stop buying soda in your home. Not only is it bad for you, but it is also very expensive. Drink water instead. If your family drinks 4, 24 packs of soda a week, that may cost you $25. That is $100 savings a month on soda alone.

15. Use Coupons

Spend an hour clipping coupons each week. Then, match those coupons to your grocer’s current ad. Buy from and plan meals around these ads and purchases. You could save 10 to 30 percent on your bill and you do not have to be a coupon hoarder or extreme coupon user to do so.

16. Pack a Lunch

Bring your lunch to work. If you spend $7 on a fast food meal every day, you are spending $35 a week or $140 a month on bad-for-you food.

17. Take Advantage of Rewards Program

Sign up for rewards programs at every store you use. This is a fantastic way to save money without actually spending anything. You may even get coupons just for doing so.

18. Use a Programmable Thermostat in Your Home

If no one is at home, allow the temperature to be higher or lower (depending on the time of the year) than you would usually keep it when you are home. Why heat an empty home?

19. Cash Is King

Don’t use credit. Use cash instead. It is a simple and perhaps the most important way to save money. The average interest rate in the US is 16.89 percent. That is nearly $17 on every $100 you spend using a credit card.

20. Ask For Discounts

Anytime you have a contractor come to your home, from a roofer to a plumber, ask for a lower price and a guarantee. You can negotiate pricing with these providers.

21. Don’t Emotionally Shop

If you are shopping just to get out of the house, you need to find a way to do something more valuable with your time that doesn’t bust your budget.

22. Make a Budget and Stick with It.

You need to know where your money is going and what you are doing with it.

Ultimately, you can save money on virtually any purchase you make any day. The key to making this happen is to simply put the time into finding the best opportunity to lower that cost.

How You Can Start Saving Money Today

Saving money is not as easy as it sounds. Like it or not even the most cautious person finds it occasionally hard to match his or her saving goals. This is because the scales always tip dangerously close to rising expenses while the income remains constant. But living paycheck to paycheck is not a solution either. That would be simply existing on the edge when you could do a lot better. Change your outlook. Don’t look at saving money as a boring ‘grandma’ concept. Look at it as your salvation when you want to take off and step away from the grind for a few weeks. Money is not just your means to survive the day but your cushion for a cozy future.

Take a look at some of the best ways to start saving money now.

1. Clear Your Debts

The happiest person is one who doesn’t have debts hanging like an axe over his head. The first step to saving money is to make a list of all your debts and start clearing them off one by one. It may pinch for a month or two and you may have to make do with a limited budget for some time, but once you are done you are looking at a very rosy picture. Chunks of your money are no longer going out of your savings every month. What you earn will all be yours, to invest as well as spend.

2. Set Savings Goals

Saving will be easier when you set down some goals for yourself. What do you want to save for? For most of us simply the thought of saving doesn’t create excitement. But if we are looking forward to something – say a cruise, a new car, or even for a party, is reason enough. In the long run you will get into the habit of saving which will serve you well throughout your life.

3. Don’t Make Impulse Buys

We are our worst offenders when we walk through the stores every time and give in to impulse shopping. Most of the time we end up buying stuff which we either don’t like or hardly use at all. If you are anything like me then you would do well to do what I do when I go shopping. Leave the credit card at home and use either cash or a debit card. That way you only spend what you have.

4. Make a Grocery List

Every week we tend to over spend on the groceries and then shake our heads when we look at the bill. As you stroll through the store you pick out items which seems useful, but do you actually use all of them during the week? Make a list and stick to it. That way you will only buy what you need for the week. Extra items or exotic stuff can be bought when you plan a special meal or a party. And you will also end up wasting less stuff. You will be surprised to see the difference in your bill.

5. Plan Your Spending Before You Get Paid

Make sure your paycheck goes directly into your savings account. Then take a percentage of that money for your weekly or monthly use. Be sure to pre plan your spending before hand. For example take out $100 for groceries, $100 for guilt free spending, $50 for gas, ETC…

Doing this will insure you know exactly where your money is going. If you spend all the grocery money by mid week than you will know you might to revaluate your spending. Whenever you go to the ATM don’t give into your urges and take more money out. In fact do the opposite and take as little cash out as possible. At the end of the month you will be rewarded with a healthy balance statement.

6. Automate Your Bills

Set up all your bills to be paid electronically. Make a list and keep this amount in mind. Add your saving goal amount to it. Once you have this figure you will automatically ensure that this balance is always maintained so that all your bills are paid on time. No one wants to do without the utilities or pay penalties, so this could be a very strong motivation to save.

7. Eat At Home

Do you know how much money we spend every week just eating out? Most of us don’t give it much thought because eating out is easier and more fun. We end up not just spending a fortune on restaurants but also endanger our health by sending so much of fast food and processed food into our system. Who says home cooking means elaborate meals? Just stir in some veggies with your pasta, toss a salad and you are done.

8. Make Your Own Lunch

Continuing the home food thread I would like to point out that we spend more on our weekday lunches than we do elsewhere. You may think you are just spending $10 just when you do the math and reach the cumulative figure for the whole year you will see where I am going with this. Most of the time you opt for a sandwich or a burger anyways, right? Why not pack one from home?

9. Invite People Over Instead of Going Out

We look forward to our weekend plans and the parties that we throw for our friends and family. But come Sunday we also look back and see a huge dent in our savings made with all the party expenses. Next time you can control that dent.

Look up simple but exciting recipes which you can do at home and your food is taken care of. All you have to do is buy the drinks and you are all set. You can even try some cocktails at home, all at half the price that you would have otherwise spent.

10. Save Then Spend

All of the above would be difficult if you didn’t have a master plan. Most of us tend to set aside money that we need to spend and then save the rest. The right way to go about saving is actually the other way around. First set aside a figure that you want to save. If needs be transfer it to a different savings account and let the interests pile up. Now focus on the rest of your pay and plan your expenses around it. In a short time you will find yourself saving even from this expense account that you have created for yourself.