Okay here is my post I promised you (One of the reasons I started a blog) on how one of my idea has really helped me! “Saving Money for Christmas” I am so happy when my ideas pay off!!
Yes before you know it “Christmas” will be here! I really would like to tell you that every year that I am ready for the holidays! But that would be a really big lie! Each year as the years before Christmas sneaks up on me and “BAM” “POW” it hits me like a ton of bricks and I am broke and going crazy trying to get it all done! So I had an idea, that I wanted to be ready next year for the Holidays in more than just having some shopping done. I did not want to dread the Holidays rather enjoy them! I wanted to have the money set aside for shopping for holiday dinners and gifts and just those little things that always seem to pop up. So here is what I started in January and what a difference it is already going to make and it is only end of July! But also only 4 more months till December!
I hope this may help you and let me know if you have any other creative ways to save $$ and be ready for that Holiday season!
So here is where I started…..
- First thing I did was to check with my bank to see if they had a Holiday Savings program. Which they did, so got the information and took it home to look it over. If you are like me we live from pay check to pay check and not really any give or take. But I deiced that if I packed my lunch for work instead of eating out and cut down my Starbucks run that I could afford at least $25 or more every other week. (When I have had extra I have put a little more in the account). After I while I did not miss it and I loved having the little extra money in my pocket and money to put up! (Total for the end of July is $775.00) and I am still adding extra when I can! But paying for college and girls in general.. you know how that goes!
Then the second thing I did was searched the web and found a few good programs that allowed me to earn points to redeem gift cards. I found a few good ones and a few that well did not work. Here are the ones I found that worked for me.
**But note I did open up a separate email account just for this, so my main one did not get hit hard with junk mail **
Here are my top picks for sites that really do pay off!
SWAGBUKS . You can read emails watch videos and search using their search engine to earn swagbucks. Then you can turn them in for gift cards to use online. Some do not like the way they do their gift cards are, I don’t mind. Most of them when you have enough points to redeem they send you an email with a code of like Amazon or Walmart. I do most of my shopping online when do so it is easy for me. They have a great list of gift cards to choose from in increments of $5, $10, $15, $25 and $50 etc. Some of the cards are VISA, Kohls, Walmart, Target, Amazon and so many more to choose from. (Note Yes you need to spend a little time on this each day by clicking on links, watching video and taking a few surveys) But to me they are fun and I learn a few things and you can even earn points for shopping on the web or cutting grocery shopping coupons and using them.
EBATES – If you do a lot of your shopping online you will love this site. You get paid any where from 1% to 6% or more cashback for shopping thru their site. Like if you wanted to order something from Kohls or Target online you click the link to the store’s website and you can get 6% cash back from Kohls or 3% cashback from Target. The %’s do change and sometime they double. And they have deals of the day and hundreds of Websites to shop from! They will also let you know if there are coupons for that site. You get paid every three months as long as you have over $5.01 they will either send it to your paypal account or send you a check. It is a Win Win….. Ebates even features Groupon with 6% cash back. (I have not tried Groupon but I have heard from a few you can find some good deals). Plus most of the time they have signup bonuses to get you started off like a $10 gift card.
Walmart Savings Catcher! – Yes I Love shopping at Walmart! I am lucky enough to have a Super Walmart near so I can do all my shopping in one place! One of the sales clerks told me about Walmart Saving Catcher program. You shop at Walmart then scan your receipt into the Savings Catcher app on your phone. Then they go out and compare price with other competitors and if they catch the price lower at another competitor you get the difference. You can then save up your savings and transfer them to a Walmart Card for a Bluebird Card. I was also lucky when I signed up they had a deal that if you signed up for a free BlueBird card (you can only use this card at Walmart and it is sponsored by AmercianExpress) you get double your savings. For a limited time. (It was free and no hidden charges). Also what is really great is your Walmart Cash does not expire! So I am still saving mine and putting the savings I get on my BlueBird Card and can’t wait to go shopping.
MyPoints: There are several ways to earn from MyPoints, Clicking on emails, taking surveys, clipping coupons and also shopping online. They even give you large amounts of points for purchasing gift cards thru their site. It does not get any easier than this. I tend to do the emails about once a week, it only takes me a few minutes to open them and click the links. If I have time I will take a survey they send to my email and earn points for taking it. When I shop online I will either go thru MyPoints, SwagBucks (sometimes they don’t always have the stores I want) I always use my EBATES!!!!
SurveySavvy : This program so far has worked for me. They email you surveys or you can download an app that will let you know when they have surveys available. I started in January with this on and so far I have over $100 in my account. When you are ready for the money you just request a check! Also they have weekly and Monthly drawings for $$ prizes!
So for the first idea I have been able to save $1286.64 in 6 1/2 months for spending on Christmas, Holiday dinners (those grocery trips add up), those extra gifts you always forget about, lunch out with my girls and even a movie. I am hoping to bring back more of family time and enjoying the “Reason for the Season”!
I have also come up with a few other ideas that will get me a little ahead of the gifts for family and friends which is my homemade jellies, jams, salsa and green beans. My gifts from the heart!
Now if someone can just tell me how to add more time to the Holiday Season! LOL Guess I need to start thinking about an Idea for this! Can’t wait to see what this Next Year will bring! Good luck all!
P.S. My Oldest Melinda has joined me on my ways to save this year for Christmas idea! Can’t wait to see how well she does!