Can you believe Summer is almost over? You don't have to spend any money to enjoy what's left of summer. If your budget is tight and you still want to feel like you're on a mini vacation or staycation, keep reading! Here's 10 of my favorite ways to have a fun, fabulous and free ways to enjoy the remainder of this summer season!
It really is possible to make an extra $25, $50, $100 a month or more in your down time! You can even make $200, with a little more effort, of course.
There's a fun, easy and completely legitimate way to do this. You can do this in your spare time, the more you do this the more cash you can make.
I've been making money with Swagbucks for almost a year now. My favorite ways to earn are... watching movie trailers (before they hit the theaters) and answering interesting surveys & polls! But there are many more ways to earn. Here's how...
What is Swagbucks?
Swagbucks is an online rewards and cash back program. Simply do the things you'd normally do online, such as search the web, answer surveys and polls, watch videos, play games, and shop; you'll accumulate digital SB points (swagbucks) that are quickly redeemable for free gift cards, PayPal Cash or pre-paid cards from Visa. It's completely free to join!
How to get started?
1. Go to Swabucks.com and click the "Join Today" button.
2. Fill in your information on the form.
3. Validate the email you receive from them.
4. You are on your way to earning SB points!
More ways to earn SB Points
In addition to the ways to earn listed above, there are other ways to maximize your earnings:
1. Refer your friends to join and earn 10% for life! You get 10% of their SB points.
2. Take a chance by entering one of their Swagstakes. Entries are made with SB points.
3. Add a SwagButton Chrome extension on your browser. It automatically notifies you if the website you are visiting offers SB cash back for shopping.
4. Enter a SwagCode. After downloading the extension, you'll be alerted on where to find the Swag Codes. It could be on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.. Enter in the code and redeem for SB points.
5. Download their mobile app and earn while on the go!
How to redeem SB points
Once you've collected enough SB points, the fun part is redeeming them! Here's how...
1. In your account, click on Redeem your SB / Rewards.
2. Based on your SB point total, choose your preferred gift card(s).
3. You can also redeem your SB points towards charitable donations. Click under "Do Good" for a list of charitable categories.
4. Once you've selected your reward, click on the "Snag This" button.
5. Verify your reward selection in the email you received. Make sure to do this or else it won't be valid.
6. In about a week, you'll received confirmation that your Swagbucks gift card is ready. Click on the link in the email to activate your digital gift card. It's that simple!
Swagbucks.com is the leading destination for earning real rewards through online activities you already do every day. At home or on the go, you can conveniently earn Swag Bucks when you: Shop your favorite stores, Search the web, Answer surveys; Discover great deals; Watch videos; or Play games.
Swag Bucks (SB) can be redeemed easily for cash or gift cards to your favorite stores. With over 13 million members, Swagbucks has awarded over 85 million dollars in real rewards. Always free to join, Swagbucks is the smartest and most rewarding way to spend your time online. Start earning cash today.
Click here to get started.
Disclosure: I receive a small commission when you sign up using my link.
Want to pay off your debts faster? This post from Phil Bradford shows how to do it.
When getting rid of painful debts is your prime concern, you have to be frugal; otherwise, you won’t be able to stick to the debt repayment plan. No matter what debt relief plan you're following, you have to be consistent on it. For this, you need to embrace frugality. Don't worry! Frugality doesn't mean depriving yourself of things that make you happy. Being a frugal person means you need to make mindful choices. Frugality is spending money to get the maximum value.
By embracing frugality, you can save more dollars. Saving more money means you can pay off debt faster. Initially, following a frugal life can be a little difficult task. But, once you understand how to cut expenses in different areas, it will be easier for you to be focused.
How to master the frugal skill
Frugality is not as scary as people think. You just need to understand when to spend and when to save. For this, you have to create a budget based on your total income. Following a budget helps you to stop overspending and saving a certain amount each month. Following a budget will help you to live frugally.
Here are some frugal living ideas that help to save money to make your debt payoff journey easier.
Cook food at home instead of hitting restaurants
We all have to eat to live. Not knowing how to cook can't be an excuse or hitting restaurants can't be a solution. If time is the issue, then you have to plan your meal in advance. To do so, you have to be sure about the meals at the beginning of the week. Just make a list of the dishes you're going to eat for the whole week and shop accordingly. Cook all the dishes when you’re free.
Optimize entertainment costs
Entertainment is another tricky area where you can make a lot of changes to save money. Now, people shop to entertain themselves, which is a blunder. Shopping, catching the latest movie, attending every concert, and video games are some entertainment options that cost you dearly.
But, there are many other fun ideas that can make you equally happier. For example, playing with kids, hiking, cycling, enjoying time with pets, catching up with friends, hitting nearby parks or beach, arranging yard picnic, gardening etc. Even a simple evening walk with whom you love most can be a mood enhancer. So why waste money on those costly entertainment that give you momentary enjoyment?
Learn home maintenance and automotive skill
Owning a home and a car can cost you big on maintenance time to time. But you can tackle issues related to your home and car repairing easily. How? Just browse YouTube to learn basic home and car repair methods. Why hire experts when you can manage issues like caulking, fixing a drawer, unclogging drains, repairing leaky faucets, cleaning gutters, changing oil or batteries.
Celebrate no gift festivals or exchange DIY gifts only
Festival time is the ultimate budget buster. People love to exchange pricey gifts starting from Mother's Day to New Year’s Eve. Birthdays, anniversaries are add-ons. Why don't you experience a no gift celebration? You just need to inform your relatives or friends “regarding no gift idea” in advance.
If you can't think a celebration without gifts, then consider DIY gifts instead of store bought products. Make cookies, cards, poster, winter clothes or scented candles to make your dear ones happy. Homemade gifts will make them more happy than ever.
Saving money on day-to-day living can help you to save a lot of money. Having enough money will effectively help you to get rid of financial obligations. The add-on benefit is you'll master the skill of living on less to make a big difference.
Don't forget to share your experience after applying any of these frugal skills to save money.
Phil Bradford is a financial content writer and a web enthusiast. He has expert knowledge about personal finance issues. His passion for helping people who are stuck in financial problems has earned him recognition and honor in the industry. Besides writing, he loves to travel and read books.
Here's a guest post from Christina Methew with Coral Homes, the article below provides some helpful tips on moving that will help make your move smooth and easy!
Moving into a brand new home is an incredibly exciting time for you and your family, and with the right preparation, an easy and enjoyable experience.
Often moving into a new home is perceived as being a bit stressful but we are here to tell you it doesn’t have to be. We have some great advice and tips that will help to make your move as smooth and easy as possible.
By organising your packing in advance, you will be saving a lot of time closer to the move. The best way to organise your packing is to think about anything you won’t need from the time you pack to the time you unpack and taking care of that first. Think of items like books, CD’s, smaller pieces of furniture or accessories - these are a good place to start as you can probably do without them for a bit.
Keep all the essentials you will need from the day you move in grouped together in boxes like towels, linen and toiletries so you can start organising as soon as you move in. This will help you get settled in your new home sooner. Start organising your clothes as early as possible and put aside what you are most likely to wear regularly until you move and pack the rest. You will be surprised how much this helps closer to the move.
There are some really important things to remember when you move into a new home, one of these is notifying certain companies & organisations that need to have your correct address. These include your car insurance/registration provider, bank, electoral roll/voter registration and superannuation/retirement providers.
Another really important thing to organise when you move is your house and contents insurance to make sure you’re covered throughout the whole moving process. Your current policy should end the day after you move out and your new one should begin the day before you move in.
Making sure your internet and utilities are organised early is vital as these providers are often booked a few weeks in advance, particularly internet, so make sure you contact your provider as soon as possible and get this organised. Builders like Coral Homes have a group of highly experienced professionals that are there to assist you throughout the whole building process so if you have any questions or concerns regarding your initial set up.
Last but not least, keys! As soon as you are given the keys to your new home, we suggest you go and get copies so you have a spare set of keys there from day one should you need them.
I was so excited to discover NEW ways to save money -- thanks to this great article from AARP Money. I picked my 13 favorites from their list of 99 ways to save money on everything! Please let me know if you have any new ways you'd like to share :) Check out my top picks below...
1. Last Minute Deals
The mobile app - HotelTonight finds big discounts on hotels without having to book ahead of time.
2. Get Cash Overseas At ATMs
On average, you pay 8 percent for foreign cash at an ATM. At currency exchange booths, you tend to lose around 15 percent.
3. Book Last-Minute Hotel Rooms Via Your Smartphone
Rooms will be cheaper than reserving through a personal computer, as hotels deeply discount a few days in advance to lure in mobile guests.
4. Know The Best Time To Buy Tech
TV's, Blu-ray players and cameras go on sale during the year-end holidays. Computer prices drop in late spring. Older Apple products often get discounted when new versions hit the store, usually in the fall.
5. Know The Retail Seasons
January is the time to buy furniture and linens. April brings deals on gardening supplies and outdoor decor. May is the month to purchase mattresses. The best time to buy a grill is after Labor Day. Shop October for appliances and November for cookware.
6. Reduce Your Auto Insurance
As your car ages, the maximum payout for an accident (calculated by subtracting your deductible from the car's value) steadily decreases. Crunch the numbers to see if the price of collision and comprehension coverage is still worth it.
7. Sign Up For Their Email
Say yes when a store you patronize asks to send email promotions. You'll get discounts that other shoppers don't see. Create an email account just for purchases made online so sales offers don't clutter your personal email.
8. Check The Unclaimed Property Sites
Check every state where you have lived, they might be holding a dividend check in your name, money in a savings account that you forgot or an un-cashed refund check. To check, go to naupa.org, find your state and enter your name.
9. Let Dry Shampoo Do Many Jobs
Forget buying mousses, gels or creams. Dry shampoo works as a second-day hair freshener, adds bulk to thin hair and won't leave hair greasy or sticky.
10. Use All Your Food
On average, 25 percent of household food and beverages are tossed out, often because people buy ingredients to make a single recipe and throw out the excess. Instead, develop a meal plan to use all your food purchases over several days before they go bad.
11. Create A "Cuisine Club" With Friends
The group selects a type of food for the evening's dinner -- say Greek or Thai -- and then each person contributes a dish. It's less hassle for the host, and it's cheaper than if the group went out to a restaurant.
12. Spend A Day At A Luxury Hotel
More luxury and resort hotels offer "intra-day stays" which allow guests the use of a room and all the hotel's amenities -- pool, restaurant, spa, sports center or private beach -- for eight or so hours. Discounts can be as much as 70 percent off the price of an overnight stay. Find hotels at hotelsbyday.com and between9and5.com.
13. Use Free Fitness Apps
Apps are available for yoga, walking, running, calisthenics and almost every type of exercise. Plus, you can easily take these workouts with you when traveling.
To read the complete list of 99 Ways to Save Money on Everything, click here.
I've been a huge fan of coconut oil for many years. What's great about coconut oil is it's many versatile uses. It's all natural, it smells great - it reminds me of being on a beach vacation - and it's very inexpensive!
BellaSugar.com wrote an article of the many beauty uses for coconut oil. It's available at most health food stores. Oh, and it's great for cooking also!
I would like to share my top 10 favorite ways that I've personally used coconut oil.
1. Makeup Remover - Use on a cotton pad and gently remove eye and face makeup.
2. Body Lotion - Mix coconut oil with your favorite body moisturizer.
3. Lip Balm - Great for chapped lips and it's all natural.
4. Under Eye Cream - Use a dab to help smooth bags and fine lines.
5. Body Scrub - Mix half a cup with some coarse salt or sugar and use as an exfoliate.
6. Frizz Control - Tames and smooths flyaway hair. It can also double as a leave-in conditioner.
7. Massage Oil - Just add a few drops of essential oil, like peppermint for a soothing massage mix.
8. Shaving Treatment - Use in the shower for a close shave, plus it's an instant moisturizer!
9. Itch Reliever - Soothe burns, bug bites and bruises.
10. Body Oil - Slather on after a shower and smell great.
Summer is in full swing, and the long 4th of July weekend is almost here! How do you plan to celebrate this year? Although you don't need to do something extravagant, it's patriotic to celebrate our country's independence the way most Americans have done for so many years... with fireworks, BBQ, hot dogs and an overall good time! I've listed a few frugal ways to celebrate the 4th of July weekend festivities! Enjoy the 4th and have a blast :)
BACKYARD BBQ - If you are hosting a 4th of July party, make it a potluck event. Have you friends bring other food or drinks that you won't be serving yourself. For instance someone can bring the appetizers, while another bring the drinks, another can bring the dessert and so on. You can get creative with the food, like flag inspired pies or cakes, even hot dogs! You can also serve food that's already red, white or blue - like watermelon, whip cream topped dessert, and blue colored drinks (or blue M&M's)!!
PARTY SUPPLIES - For you party stuff, go to your local dollar store and pick up a few 4th of July themed party supplies and decor. Or you can simply group together items you already have that are red, white & blue or stars & stripes and display them on your food table or around the area where your guests will be hanging out. You can also use red, white & blue bandanas as pennant decorations, as in the photo above.
THE BEACH - If you aren't in a party mood, you can always head to the beach. There's usually some 4th of July festivity going on. The beach will most like be crowded, park your car a little further away to avoid paying for expensive beach parking. Pack a light lunch, so you won't be tempted to buy food there. Sit back, relax and sink your toes in the sand.
PARADES & EVENTS - There are several cities and towns hosting Independence Day parades or other related events. Check your local listings for one near you. Most of the parades are usually followed by a fireworks display. Again, park your car a little further away to avoid expensive event parking cost.
FIREWORKS - Check your local listings for free fireworks display. They are usually held by the water... the beach, the bay, the marina, etc... Or, you might be lucky enough to live somewhere where you can see the fireworks display from your own backyard.
MUSIC FESTIVALS - There are some free music events and concerts you can attend on the 4th of July weekend and all summer long. Check your local listings for one near you.
For more frugal things to do this summer... check out my post about 10 Frugal, Fun and Free Things To Do This Summer!
Here's a great article from AAAP Money about the power of frugality that is far greater than having a large income. It examines the question... Earn More or Spend Less? I try to do both!
The purpose of money
Time on this planet is our most valuable and finite asset, and we all want to make the most of it. Money is simply a means to that end. Think of it as the stored energy that gives us the freedom to do with our lives whatever it is that will bring the most meaning and happiness. That may translate to more leisure time, family time or even volunteering time.
And there are two ways to get this financial freedom:
Certainly, people who reach financial independence do a combination of both, but spending less is more powerful because of the "Two T's" — taxes and time.
The simple math of the Two T's
Let's take an example of a 55-year-old woman. According to the Society of Actuaries, she can have a life expectancy of just under 30 more years. Let's also assume that she wants to retire in 10 years at age 65, and that a third of her earnings will go to taxes (federal and state income taxes and payroll taxes). Finally we will compare earning $10,000 a year more to spending $10,000 a year less, with both increasing at the rate of inflation.
If she makes $10,000 more a year and puts what's left after taxes into her savings, she will have $66,667 more in today's dollars when she wants to retire in 10 years. But if she learns to live on $10,000 a year less and continues to do so for the remainder of her life, she will have saved $300,000 more in today's dollars. That's because she spends $10,000 less for 30 years.
So in this example, spending less was 4.5 times more powerful than making more. Though that number can change based on current age, desired retirement date and life expectancy, spending less always has a greater impact than earning more. Or, to put it concisely, spending less buys us more time than making more will.
Spending more money is not going to make you as happy as you think. Get off that hedonic treadmill of keeping up with the neighbors. Saving more money is not only good for your bottom line, but also for your health. We should all attain financial freedom, allowing us to pursue whatever we want with our life.
Once you own a home, it can be difficult and costly to make and keep everything looking just so. Home improvements, home décor, cleaning and gardening can all add up and put a strain on your budget. But it’s the time of year for getting our houses in order and enjoying both our indoor and outdoor space. How can we do this whilst still being frugal?
The great news is, there are plenty of things you can do to improve your living space even if you’re working to a tight budget. We’ve scoured the dollar stores and pound shops to find 50 (yes, 50!) spare change home improvements that will cost you less than 1 British Pound or 1 US Dollar. Skip your trip to the coffee shop in the morning and you could make a couple of small home improvements instead. Miss that meal out and you could tackle a whole lot of the list below. And when you’re finished, your efforts will make your home a more pleasing place to be every day.
Are you ready to improve your home with the spare change you’ve got in your pocket or your money box? Take a look at the infographic below to get started. You can read the original article here.