Top 7 Shopping Rebate Programs to Save You Money on Your Purchases

It’s pretty well known that no one ever turns down a chance to save a few bucks. . Luckily for all of the money saving lovers, the surge of internet and mobile technologies has made it extremely easy to access rebates, coupons, and killer deals! Not everyone knows this, but there are actually tons of apps and online programs out there that will help you save tons of money on your everyday purchases. Here’s a list of seven of some of the best shopping rebate programs you can get involved with!

  1. One of the most famous and popular rebate programs has got to be Ibotta. It’s so widely-used because it’s straight-forward and pretty user-friendly. Instead of having to scour the Internet and advertisements for rebates on your products, this one severely cuts the process down! Pretty much, you download the app, take a picture of your receipt, confirm your purchases, and then get money back! The app gives you access to all sorts of rebates that are available without you having to go out and find each one individually. Once you’ve reached the $10 minimum, you can get the amount on a gift card or deposited into a participating account. Simple and so easy to use! There’s also a group feature on this app, so you can save money with friends and family!
  2. Another pretty popular rebate program is Ebates. While this is only limited to online purchases, it’s still a very preferred program because of the vast amount of rebates it offers. Ebates is affiliated with 1,700 online stores, so you’ll definitely find a few that offers products you already buy. Not only that, but it claims to have given out $325 million dollars back to all of its users since it began in 1998; that’s pretty impressive! Signing up is really easy—just create an account, go shopping, and then the rebates are applied to your account. Every site is different, so make sure you do a little looking around to secure the best deal. Because it’s so easy and pain free, there’s really no reason to get some cash back from all your online shopping.
  3. Checkout51 is a recent program that has actually been gaining quite a bit of traction lately. A really handy feature of this app is that it doesn’t base it’s rebates off the store but off the product. That way, even if you live in the middle of nowhere and don’t have any big brand stores, you can still get money back from the included products in Checkout51’s database. Another nice feature of this app is that it’s updated on a weekly basis. So if there’s something that you want to buy this week but doesn’t have a rebate, it could very well be on there the next week!
  4. You’ve all probably heard of (and used) Groupon, but did you know they have a rebate program too? It’s called Snap by Groupon, and if it’s anything like its parent company, then I’m sure it has great deals and money saving opportunities. This works much like the other rebate apps we’ve talked about so far, but I’m sure it’s got a database with a few different offers than the others. Something nice about Snap is that it has highlighted weekly offers, so right away you can know what products will give you the most money back. This app is said to have higher payouts than most other apps and also has multiple to unlimited redemptions on certain products.
  5. This next app has the most honest name I’ve seen so far: Rather Be Shopping. Isn’t that great! The awesome thing about this app is that it combines online coupons with in-store coupons so, no matter how you like to shop, there’s something on this app for you! The creator of this add suggests doing research before you go out and shop and use this app. First, decide where you want to go shopping and then find coupons that that store is offering. Make sure they’re downloaded or up on the phone so that, when you do go to check out, you don’t have to be fumbling around on your phone, but they’ll be right there.
  6. Saving Star is a unique take to the whole rebate game and offers a few perks that the other apps don’t (at least not yet). The most unique thing about the Saving Star app is that you can link it to your store loyalty cards. This makes using the app and keeping track of your money back and rebates way easier than other programs! If you are doing online shopping with this, then you have to make the purchases through the Saving Stars website and the appropriate rebate will be applied. The amount of cashback ranges from 1.5% to up to 5%, depending on the retailer and the product.
  7. Shopium is another rebate program that is a little different than the rest of them. It follows the same overall process (buy items, scan receipt, get money back, repeat), but it’s offers are solely exclusive to the users. That means it has rebates and offers that other programs and apps don’t have, which is always a plus! Shopium is a great complement to the other apps and can be used together to make your savings even bigger!

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Top 7 Shopping Rebate Programs that Will Save You Money

15 Mistakes People Make When Paying Off Debt

Paying off debt is going to be unique for each person and situation, there isn’t one right method that will work for everyone. However there are definitely some universal methods that will help anyone get out of debt, if followed.  Avoid these 15 mistakes when trying to pay off your debt, and you’ll be debt free before you know it!

1. Not creating an accurate monthly budget.

We all know and have heard how crucial a monthly budget is when wanting to pay off debt (and it is), but we often make the mistake of creating an inaccurate budget. Figure out what you are actually spending and go from there.  Decide what you should be spending or what you want to be spending.  Creating a budget isn’t necessarily just writing down what you spend each month, although that is a great place to start.  You need to make sure that you have a very realistic budget, and have a plan for the money that is planned to be left over each month.  If you don’t have a plan to “save” or invest it, or to use it to pay off other debts, often it will just get sucked into the abyss of extra spending to never be heard from again.  Be sure to budget for life.  This means that budget for birthday gifts, car repairs that might happen, etc.  If you never allow for anything extra, you will continually get frustrated when those expenses come up. Remember, those “unexpected” expenses, are actually “Expected” in life. 2. Not Using a Debt Snowball A debt snowball is when you take your smallest debt and pay as much as possible to that debt, while still making minimum payments on other debts, until it is paid off. Then once that debt is paid off, you take the amount you were spending on it each month and add it to the payment of your next debt. This will give you the confidence of getting rid of your debts one at a time, and help you to pay more than the minimum payment.  This is tried and true and works for many reasons.  First, it gives you momentum and takes the “guess” work out of figuring out how much to pay on each thing.  It will also reduce the amount of interest you spend overall, because the sooner each debt is paid off, the sooner you are no longer paying interest on that card. 3. Using your Debit Card For Everything I know that debit cards are much better to use than credit cards, but there have been studies that show that we almost always overspend when we use a card vs cash. This doesn’t mean you need to cut up your debit card and never use it, but find those areas of your budget where you tend to overspend and create a cash envelope. Groceries are usually at the top of the overspending list. If you take a cash envelope with your allotted grocery budget to the store, then you can’t go over what you have planned.  If every time I wanted to go out to eat, I brought cash, I would probably order differently.  Truth. 4. Paying the Payment It’s easy to set up automatic bill pay, and pretend like those debts aren’t there. If we only pay minimum payments, with interest accruing, it will take years to pay off even the smallest of debts.  Find ways to pay more than just the minimum amount.  Work a side job or make money online from home to allow yourself some extra money to knock out the loans or debts.  Minimum payments are what make credit card companies rich. 5. Losing Momentum. This happens to everyone.  Getting out of debt is hard and it can take time.  Sometimes, we lose momentum and the motivation to stay on top of it.  I know for my husband and I, when we were paying off our debt, we had to still allow time and money for some dinner dates and a few other extras or we started to get crazy.  We also found that after a really long “financial fast” we would binge-buy something unnecessary.  It was an emotional response to feeling trapped.  What you need to remember is that debt is the trap and you are actually working toward freedom.  Track your progress, write down your goals, and consistently talk about your goals and work toward each milestone. Consider creating a debt sheet, and cross off the payments made, or the accounts that are paid off. The debt snowball is another way to stay motivated as you see your debts disappear one by one. Find something that works for you. 6. Forgetting to cut lifestyle expenses. Budgeting is more than just knowing the amount of money you are spending in each area of your life. We actually have to cut back on our expenses, if we want to meet our debt goals.  Stop eating out, go on free dates, create a limit on birthday and Christmas gifts, etc. That extra money to pay off debt is not going to come from thin air…you have to create it by spending less.  If you have to go out to eat, consider sharing a meal (this works at some places, not others) and order water.  There are ways to cut back on expenses without being miserable.  Find a balance. 7. Wasting food. This may seem silly, but grocery bills add up quickly. If you are smart with meal planning and buying, you can save so much money! Be smart with that food you buy…don’t buy too much of things that will go bad, freeze what you can, EAT LEFTOVERS!! Any time you throw away food, you are throwing away money.  There are a lot of recipe websites that will give you new ideas for leftovers, which are pretty cool!  Use up your extras by making it into new things.  Use the rest of your roast and make beef tacos the next day, etc.  This takes a little bit of planning, but once you are in the habit of it, it makes dinner easier, because half of the work is done! 8. Adding to your debt. This is an easy mistake to make. We are excited to put extra money on the credit card and we pay all of our bills and are left with… not enough money to live on the rest of the month.  Enter: credit card.  Don’t do this!  If we are trying to get out of debt, don’t even use your credit cards.  It is a slippery slope and a dangerous habit. Don’t leave yourself without the money that you need each month, or you will find yourself charging things again to pay for your basic needs. 9. Not Setting Goals I am in love with goals. Without goals, I would be nowhere.  I set goals and make task lists and it is what keeps me going.  If you don’t have goals, you don’t know where you are headed.  IF you don’t know your destination, you won’t know what path to take.  It is simple, but life-changing.  Set debt goals.  Maybe you want 2 store credit cards paid off by the end of the year.  Maybe you want to pay off your car by your birthday.  Set clear, specific, realistic but uncomfortable goals and lay out a path to get there.  If “I want to pay off my car by my birthday.  In order to do that, I need to pay ($fill in the blank$) amount each month until then.  I don’t have that much extra money each month, so I need a side gig to make some extra cash.” We need to think about our long term goals and plans, so we know where we are headed and we can track our progress along the way.  This is extremely motivating and will keep you on the right path.

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10. Paying bills late.

Be sure that you are still paying minimum payments on time as you pay off your debts.  Don’t focus so much on one debt that you forget about the due dates on the other ones.  Late payments create late fees and increased interest rates.  Whenever possible try and set up automatic bill pay to ensure that you are always on time. 11. Taking the saving too far. Now I mentioned earlier about “really cutting back” but I also want to give a word of caution about this. Yes, cut back but be realistic as well. If you cut back too much then it won’t take long for an explosion to happen. It’s like when someone goes on an extreme diet, and they do good for awhile, but pretty soon they can’t take it and they splurge on an entire chocolate cake. Instead it’s better to live in moderation. 12. Forgetting that this is a team effort. If you are married, or in a relationship where your finances affect each other, then you cannot do this alone. You need someone to support you and keep you accountable to your goals. You also want to be there to encourage each other and get excited about your progress.  You also need to be on the same page with how much you are spending and where. So talk together and figure out a plan of attack that you are both okay with. 13. Having a good reason to be debt free. This comes back to goals.  Why are you getting out of debt?  Is it to live life more freely?  Is it to prepare for retirement?  Is it to reach your next set of financial goals?  We all know that being debt free is good, and that we should do everything we can to pay off debt. You have to find YOUR motivation for being debt free. What motivates you? When it becomes a big desire that you have and not just “what you should do” that’s when the real changes are going to happen. 14. Not using extra money. Chances are you’ll eventually get a tax return, a raise, birthday money, etc. So, you can go out and spend the money, or apply it to your debt and pay it off that much faster! The choice is yours.  No judging here 🙂 15. Forgetting to enjoy the journey. Finances are stressful… and they can be really stressful. It is so important to be smart about your money and budget, and pay off debt……but you still need to live.  Find joy in the journey and be happy.   You can find joy in life even when you’re in debt believe it or not! So be creative with your saving and frugal living and make it enjoyable!

Here are a few other related posts to getting out of debt:

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15 Mistakes People Make WHen Paying Off Debt

15 Money Mistakes to Stop Right Now!

We’ve all struggled with money. Even if you haven’t, you’ve probably made a decision or two in which you were throwing your money away. It’s always a good idea to evaluate and analyze your cash flow every now and then to make sure you’re getting the most bang for each buck. Here are some money mistakes that we all make and that we should stop making right now!

Not Having a Budget. If you don’t have a budget, create one.  Without a budget, you won’t know what you’re spending your money on, and knowledge is power when it comes to finances. Look at your monthly income, and make categories that fit all your wants and needs (cutting any wants, if necessary).

Using Credit Cards without Paying Them In Full. When possible, only use your credit on things that you can pay off in full. Having a credit card is a good idea because it builds credit and you can get some nice rewards, but don’t max it out just because you can. Instead, buy things on your credit card, but pay them off in full before the deadline—this will prevent unneeded interested accruing against you.

Not Having a Savings Account or Emergency Fund. Having a savings funds or emergency money is great, but don’t just store away all your cash like that. This makes your money become stagnant, making it less valuable as inflation increases. Instead, put some money aside for emergencies, and then invest the rest in stocks or something similar.

Buying Expensive (new) Cars. If you’re out looking for a car, consider looking at a used model. Even a car that’s a year old is going to be a much better deal than this year’s newest model. Cars can never increase in value, they only depreciate, so buying a new car similar to throwing money out of the window.

Spending Too Much on Food. Food can be a huge hidden expense. Try to sit down and make a meal plan for the week. This will keep you focused so that, instead of buying a $10 meal at lunch, you can pack your own for a fraction of the price. Over a year, this can save you thousands of dollars.

Not Setting Financial Goals. To get your financial life on track, it’s important to set financial goals. This are things that you can work towards so that your money is being spent or saved with purpose. Make some financial goals and then stick to them!

Not Discussing Finances as a Couple. If you’re married, then sit down with your spouse and talk to him or her about your finances. I cannot stress how important this is! Not only will it help your marriage, but you’ll see your money start to bulk up. There are 6 Critical Financial Discussions every married couple should have. Once you’re both on the same page, there will be less frustration between both of you and you’ll have twice as much energy and will power to reach your goals.

Not Paying off Debt in a Smart Way. Debt has a nasty way of sticking with us and ruining any happy financial prospects we may have. If you have debts, don’t spread your money across all of them, but focus on the smallest one until it’s gone. That way, you won’t be paying interest on it anymore, which gives you more money to throw at your larger debts.  This is called a debt snowball and it really works.

Being Complacent at Work. We live in a very competition driven world these days. That can sometimes be frustrating, but it can also work to your advantage. If you feel like you deserve a raise at work, then talk to your boss. One huge money mistake we make is not being aggressive enough in the workplace.  If you are worth more than you are being paid, talk to your superiors. If you aren’t satisfied with your pay, look elsewhere for work that will pay you what you are worth.

Focusing on Everyone Else’s Finances. It’s way too hard to work on your own financial goals while you are working hard to “keep up with the Jones’ is probably the least productive thing you can do with your time and energy.  Everyone’s life is different—that’s a fact of life. So trying to compete with someone else is only going to make you upset and, probably, in debt. Focus on yourself and your situation and do what works for you.

Spending too Much on Gifts. You don’t need to spend tons of cash to show your friends and family that you love and appreciate them. It might be tempting to buy a really nice present or gift for a loved one, but don’t do it if you can’t afford it. Showing love in a different way for them.

Not Investing in Your Retirement. Start now, no matter how old you are, to invest in a retirement plan. You’ll want to make sure that you have enough money when you’re older to actually support yourself when you stop working. The way you choose to invest your money now can greatly affect how happy and stress-free your life down the road will be.

Buying Things at Full Price. Whenever possible, don’t buy things at full price. That’s not always going to be the case for everything, but you can often find great deals or gently used items that are much more cost-savvy than brand new ones. Even if you have to wait a few weeks for something to go on sale, it will be worth it in the long run.

Not Being Able to Say “No.” Remember that it’s okay to say “no” sometimes. If you don’t have the money to invest in your best friend’s new business or you can’t afford a nice vacation this year, that’s okay. Financial situations change, and be honest and upfront with yourself and others (when necessary) if some cuts and changes need to be made.

Your Happiness from Relying on Money. Lastly, remember that money doesn’t equal happiness. Don’t get so wrapped up in your finances that you forget to enjoy life! Yes, it’s important to have a plan for your money, but that doesn’t need to consume your life. Be responsible with your money, and then focus on what makes you happy.

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35 Things You Do if You Want to Save Money

No one is ever going to say no to saving and having more money. And, believe it or not, you don’t have to stop having fun or doing things you like in order to store up some extra cash. There are small but effective ways that you can save money, and here are just a few of them!

35 Things You Do if You Want to Save Money

Budget

If you haven’t already, make a budget for you and your family. Budgets help you know how much you are making and how much, in general, you should be spending in every area of your financial life.

More Energy Efficient House

This may cost some money in the beginning, but it will save you money in the long run. Invest in energy saving appliances like a dryer, washer, or fridge that will cut your utility bills in half!

Price Check Your Rates

Spend some time looking for new insurance when it’s up for renewal. We often stick with bad rates and high costs because we’re familiar with the company and our policy. However, doing just a little bit of research can save you hundreds of dollars throughout the year.

Plan Meals

Take a few extra minutes every week and plan out what you will be eating. This will stop you from buying things on the go and prevent food from going bad that you never eat.

Plan Holidays and Vacations

It may sound silly, but planning vacations and holidays around free events and good deals is a great way to save money and still have fun! You’d be surprised at how many great deals are around tourist areas if you just put in the time and effort to find them.

35 Things You Do if You Want to Save Money2

Don’t Waste Food

Whether there’s a lot of people living in your home or it’s just you, evaluate how much food you’re buying and wasting and then adjust accordingly. If you find that you throw away 50% of your fruit before you eat them, then buy less fruit! It’s that simple!

Sell Old Electronics and Unused Items

We all have that closet that’s got boxes of unused items stashed away, or that drawer that houses our old and abandoned electronics. Take some time to clean them out and sell anything that you think other people would want to buy.

Use Household Products

You don’t need to go out and buy expensive, store bought, chemical cleaners. Instead, just use items you already have around the house. For example, you can clean a lot of surfaces with baking soda and/or lemon juice. Find some ideas online and save some money!

Do Your Research

Before you make any big purchase, do your research. Read online reviews, compare prices and quality, find different vendors, etc. This may take some time, but it will save you in the end, plus you won’t be frustrated with buying a bad product since you’ll know it’s good quality!

Wait if Needed

Try implementing the 30-day rule. Pretty much, if you want to buy something on an impulse, wait 30 days. If you still want/need that thing after 30 days, then you can consider buying it. This will whittle away at those things that you actually don’t need or want in your life.

Solar Panels

It may sound a little extreme, but if you have a bit of extra cash, install solar panels on your home. In only about five years, you’ll start making money off your investment. Not only that, but if there is ever a power outage, you can program your solar panels to power your fridge, freezer, or other essential items that need electricity.

Credit Card Rewards

Lots of people will tell you to shy away from credit cards if you want to save money, but that’s not always the case. If you’re smart, you can actually make money off of using your credit card because of all the perks and rewards they offer. Find a credit card that has deals you like and go for it!

Spend Less than you Make

However, make sure to live within your budget still. A good rule of thumb is to not buy anything that you won’t be able to pay off within the month. That way, you won’t have any interest building up against you, but you’ll still get all the perks and rewards!

Avoid Gambling

Some people win big from gambling, but most people just lose money. I would suggest not trying to press your luck and win the lottery. Instead, take that money you want to spend on a scratch ticket and invest it in stock or put it towards your savings.

Learn Basic Home Repair

By teaching yourself how to fix a leaky pipe, change a tire, or unclog the shower, you can save hundreds of dollars every year. Hiring someone to do maintenance is a costly expense, and most of the basic fixes they do you can do yourself!

Yard Sale

Round up all the stuff you don’t need or use anymore and have a yard sale! Not only will this get you money, but it will also help you remember what stuff you and your family doesn’t use. For example, if you’re selling your treadmill that’s never been touched, don’t go out and buy a new one in a few months!

DIY Projects

DIY projects are both fun and cheap! You don’t have to spend nearly as much money as you would on an already-made product, plus you get to put your own style and touch on the craft!

Entertain Children Cheaply

There’s really no point in spending hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars to buy your kids the best toys or go on the craziest vacations. Kids can be entertained by a box, so reign in your elaborate presents for them and they probably won’t even notice!

Avoid Fast Food

I know it seems convenient (and sometimes tasty), but fast food is NOT a good way to save money. Plus, it’s not really ever good for you. So, do your wallet and your waist a favor and stop getting fast food.

Stop Smoking

If you smoke, then quit right now! The habit isn’t just dangerous for your health, it’s also bad for your cash flow. Seek help and medicine if required, and you’ll see an increase in money, for sure, even if the cost up front is more than a pack of cigarettes.

Replace Your Car Air Filter

By replacing your car filter, you can increase your gas mileage up to 7%! That’s pretty crazy, if you think about it in the longrun. And changing your filter is super easy and doesn’t take much time a tall.

Limit Subscriptions

While it might be nice to get your favorite magazines in the mail or those subscription boxes that you love, but are they really worth it? If you want to, you can keep one or two subscriptions, but try to get rid of the rest. Over time, they eat up a lot of your money.

Buy Used When Possible

Most items work just as well, even if they’re used. Cars are a huge thing that you’ll want to buy used, since it doesn’t really make sense to buy a new car. You can also buy used clothes, books, toys, etc.

Buy Generic

Believe it or not, name brand and generic items are almost equal in quality (if not actually equal). When you pay all that extra cash for name brand, you’re just buying the label, not better quality.

10-Second Rule

Whenever you go shopping, try to follow the 10-second rule. Every time you pick up an item or product that you don’t need, ask yourself, “why am I buying this?” If you can’t come up with a good reason within ten seconds, then don’t buy the item.

35 Things You Do if You Want to Save Money6

Creative Gift Giving

Instead of spending a fortune on presents and gifts, trying giving creative gifts this year. You could do homemade objects (like soaps, crafts, lotions, candles, etc.) or even give the gift of labor! You can offer babysitting to new parents or a free car tune-up, for example.

Rent Out Unused Space

No point in letting all that empty space in your home go to waste. If you have an extra room, or even a whole floor that’s not being used, considering renting it out or at least doing a program like Airbnb.

Visual Debt Reminder

Make a visual debt reminder that will help you see how much money you owe. That way, when you’re tempted to buy a new TV or something you don’t really need, you can look at the debt reminder and remember what’s really important!

Swap chores

You can also considering setting up a services swap with your friends of neighbors. Pretty much, you often to pay each other in services instead of money for things you need done. You can offer babysitting, yard work, house repairs, etc. It’s a great way to make friends and save some money.

Keep Leftovers

I’m so surprised at how many people just throw away their leftovers, even from restaurants! You can still be classy and get a doggy bag, I promise. Or, even at home, save the leftovers and use them for lunches. It’s cheap, tasty, and saves you money.

Public Transportation

Depending on where you live, this can be a great way to save tons of money while also not having to worry about things like car insurance and auto loan payments. You save money and are hassle free because you don’t have to park or worry about other car-related problems!

Carpool

If you really want to keep your car, then use it smarter. Carpooling is a great way to help the environment and you’re wallet! Find people at work that live nearby who you can start a carpool with so it’s cheaper for all of you.

Buy a Deep Freezer

This is an expense at first, but it allows you to stockpile in bulk, which saves you money in the end. Just make sure you log what’s in the deep freezer and how long it’s been in there so you don’t have chicken nuggets that are six years old. Yuck!

Cheaper Place to Live

Some cities or parts of cities are just ridiculously expensive and not even worth it. If that sounds familiar, then consider moving. I know it can be a lot of work, but if you can pay less in rent/mortgage or get more bang for your buck, then it’s definitely a smart investment.

Community Calendar

Most cities and towns have a community calendar that list all of the free activities that they’ll be throwing that year or at least within the next few months. Check it out and find some activities that you and your family can enjoy together…for free!

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12 Surprising Ways to Save Money

You don’t need to cut coupons or stop going out to eat in order to save money. While those are all good ideas, there may be other ways to cut your monthly expenses while still enjoying some of the things you like.  Some of these ideas might actually surprise you!

Shop Your Insurance

You can change your insurance carrier (in most cases) any time you want.  There is no contract with insurance so shop your rate!  I didn’t realize I was paying too much, until we decided to get other quotes and we were accepted by one of the very best auto insurances out there, and our premium was half of what we were paying.  That is a big savings!  You could be leaving money on the table by not shopping your rates.  Shop your car insurance rates, homeowners insurance rates, life insurance rates and any other policies that you may have out there.

Be Savvy

Once upon a time, we purchased a pergola for our outdoor patio.  We found one we loved and we didn’t even look around.  We had found our one and only and we paid for it and anxiously awaited it’s arrival.  Fast forward a year, and we see an identical pergola at an outdoor show.  For $3,000 less.  We spent thousands that we didn’t need to, by not shopping prices and getting quotes.  We are usually more savvy than that, so it took us both by surprise.  We blew it and it cost us thousands.  Don’t get impulsive and purchase based on emotion.  You will always pay more by going with the first option you find or not shopping around.  This goes for home decor, contractors (landscaping, plumbing, electrical, drywall, etc) and even purchases that you may not expect.  I am continually surprised to find out (thank you, husband!) that you can negotiate prices on many things that you wouldn’t expect.  Also, read reviews and be sure you are comparing apples with apples.

Beauty Budget

Cut the beauty budget!  I love getting my eyebrows waxed and tinted (I am a super blondie.) It is expensive and a recurring cost.  One trip to the beauty supply store, some Youtube videos and a few experimental eyebrows later… I do it at home, on my own time and it saves me money and time.  The few times I paid for it, it was $40+ and it took time, planning, babysitter for the kids, and it was a hassle. Pedicures are an extra expense that some may spend that can easily be cut out and done at home.

Subscriptions

Sometimes those 10$ a month subscriptions sneak up on you and add up.  I am not saying to cancel everything, but look over your expenses and see if there are subscriptions you can do without.  Magazines, gun clubs, Pandora (do the free version?) car wash passes, etc.  If you are trying to save money, it may be time to reduce the extras or see if you can do without things you are used to paying for.

DIY Items

Save money by making your own homemade products! You can do DIY soap, shaving cream, lotions, etc. Not only do you get customized products to your liking, but you also save money by making them at home.  Usually, these products are made with things you have at your home already.

Cut Coffee

This may be hard for you, but just imagine how much money you’re spending on coffee everyday. Let’s say you buy a cup of coffee for $4 at your local coffee store 5 days a week. That’s over $1,000 a year just on coffee! Cut coffee out (or at least partially) and you’ll see some extra cash coming in. *Dodging virtual tomatoes that are being thrown my way by the coffee addicts of the world.*

Community calendar

If you’re trying to find fun activities to do while also saving money, then turn to your community calendar. There are so many fun things in the community that are free.  Also, take advantage of “kids eat free on Tuesday” type of events or festivals that are free and entertaining.  Saving money doesn’t have to be a drag.  In fact, if you get creative you will probably go places and do things you wouldn’t have normally known about.  It is an adventure!

Treat yourself (sparingly)

We all get that itch to spend money.  While saving money is a good thing, and we should all be doing it, be careful about still allowing yourself to splurge once in a while.  Treat yourself every now and then so you don’t explode! Give yourself a small monthly allowance or implement another system so you spend money while still saying within budget.  If you budget for extras as much as possible, it will prevent binge spending and it will keep you from really blowing the budget after working hard to save.

Keep Utility Bills Lower

I don’t know what it is about children, but they are almost incapable of shutting a door (is this just my kids?) and we finally changed the hinges to our exterior doors to self-closing hinges.  This has helped a bunch with our AC bill in the summer.  You would be surprised how much money you can actually save if you use energy efficient bulbs in your home, keep doors closed and open windows to cool things off if you can.  Also, unplug unnecessary appliances or power cords, keep lights off, etc.  If you are consious about saving energy, you are doing not only the world a favor, but your pocketbook.  Don’t run unneccsary water and keep your blinds closed on hot days.  All of these things will help you keep your utilities lower and help you save money.

Library card

Instead of buying every book that you like, (thanks a lot, Amazon Prime) get a library card so you can read the books for free! Yes, Libraries are still out there and they are great!  How often do you go back and read the same books?  Almost never.

Shop Classifieds 

You can find a lot of the things you “want” or even “need” that are slightly used or in pretty good shape on the classifieds.  This can help satisfy the needs you have, while not costing a fortune.

Make Goals, Budget and Keep Focused

Ultimately, if you don’t make goals, you won’t know where you are headed.  If I can emphasize one thing on Flipping Pennies is that the most important thing in changing your financial situation is to set goals.  Be clear, specific and outline a path to get there.  Be realistic, but give yourself a reason to push you out of your comfort zone.  There is great strength and confidence that comes from self-control, working hard and reaching your milestones.

Sometimes, the answer is to make more money.  If you get creative, and are hard-working and resourceful, there is no shortage of side gigs or things you can do from home (on your own) to make money to ease the financial burden a bit.  Check out some of our articles about making extra money or working from home:

How to Make Money Blogging

How to Budget When You Don’t Make Enough Money

50 Ways to Earn Extra Money on the Side

Top 54 Side Hustles to Make Extra Money on the Side

8 Legit Ways to Make Money From Home

10 Ways to Earn a Living on the Internet

12 Surprising Ways to Save Money

How to Become an Amazon Product Reviewer

Set up your profile

You can’t become a product reviewer if you don’t have an account set up, right? So, get an Amazon account and then go to amazon.com/profile and you’ll go to your profile page. Keep this professional looking and up-to-date, because this is where people will go to contact you and see your reviews.

Join a reviewer website

There are a few out there that you can get involved in. iReviewHome and Reviewso are just a few. These websites get you access to products and promo codes that usually discount the item by 50-75%. You need to be a part of these sites because it gets your name and profile out there so you can have access to more deals and products.

Stay on top of your reviews

Don’t buy or get a product and then wait 2 months to put up a review. This sets a bad standard for your work and will also repel future companies from you that are looking for product reviewers. Usually a time span of about 2 weeks is ideal to get the product, use it enough, and then provide a decent and well-thought review.

Be Helpful!

Putting a star rating on Amazon and then just having text like, “it was good” or “it didn’t work as well as I thought it would” is not helpful! Tell them what you liked and didn’t like about the product, how you most effectively used it, and it what sort of situations it’s a good buy or bad buy. The more helpful you are, the more people who will follow your reviews, which means the more products companies will want you to try out for them.

For Other Ways to Make Money From Home, See These Other Related Posts:

Top 54 Side Hustles to Make Extra Money on the Side

How to Start a Blog

How to Make Money Blogging

8 Legit Ways to Make Money From Home

10 Ways to Earn a Living On the Internet

50 Ways to Earn Extra Money on the Side

7 Serious Ways to Add $500 To Your Income

How to Become an Amazon Product Reviewer

Top 20 Highest Paying Jobs when You Don’t have a Degree

Lots of people these days will tell you that you need a college degree to get a good job. Some say that the bachelor’s degree is the new high school diploma. While that may be true in some fields and careers, not all jobs require a degree. In fact, quite a few well-paying jobs don’t need one. Here are just a few high paying jobs that no college education are needed for.

 Loan officer

This job just requires a high school diploma and on-the-job training, but no college degree needed! Your responsibilities are to evaluate and authorize loans that people and businesses want to take out. The salary depends on where you work, but the average pay is around $56,000.

Fashion designer

If you have an eye for fashion and a creative side, then you could possibly make your mark as a fashion designer. There are schools and courses you can go to to get better at fashion design, but none of them are necessary for the position.

Gaming manager

They actually offer college degrees in gaming and casino management, but it’s not a requirement to become a gaming manager. If you have skills in math, customer service, and hospitality, then this could be a great job for you.

Commercial pilot

I’m a little surprised that you don’t need a college degree to be a commercial pilot (it seems so complex!). But as long as you have good vision and a drive to be a pilot, you can start your career as a commercial pilot!

 Firefighting manager

Have you ever wondered who helps the firefighters stay organized and trained in order to fight all the fires? While this is a job that’s probably best to work up to, you can still get it without a degree. You’d help manage all aspects of the firefighting process, which could be pretty exciting.

 Elevator installer/repairer

Whenever you use an elevator, you probably don’t think about who installs them or takes care of them. But, you can actually make a pretty decent living doing just that! The salary for an elevator installer and repairer is around $58,000.

 Funeral director

It may sound strange, but a funeral director actually pays pretty well, especially for a non-degree job. You can make around $80,000 a year as a funeral director, did you know that? I think that’s pretty impressive, seeing as none of that money would go to paying off pesky student loans. Obviously, you need to be okay around the deceased, though.

 Dental Hygienist

Again, this doesn’t require an actual college diploma, but you do need to have training. Dental hygienists can usually get a job in any city, and you can make around $60,000, which isn’t bad at all!

 Sales representatives

It seems like one of the most booming jobs nowadays is a salesperson or representative. You don’t need a degree for this job, you just need great people skills and the ability to sell a product. This job’s salary varies depending on your skills and position, but it can make quite a hefty dollar.

 Private investigator

Put those stalking skills to the test and become a private investigator. You’ll obviously need to do this legally, though, so make sure you aren’t just randomly stalking people around the city.

 Model

I know a lot of people make fun of models, but hey, if you can do it and make some good money, then I say go for it! You’ll have to spend quite a bit of time and energy on getting your name out there and auditioning, but once you get your foot in the door, it gets a little easier from there!

Air traffic controller

If you love airports, then this is the job for you! You can become an air traffic controller without further education PLUS you’ll get discounts and specials deals from the airport that you work at. Making around $100,000, being an air traffic controller is a pretty sweet gig.

 Language teacher

If you’re a native English speaker, then you can actually make quite a bit of money with just that one qualification. Lots of companies (both local and online) hire English speakers to be tutors and teachers of English. If you speak another language, you can probably find a few places for that language too.

 Real estate agent

You do need some sort of education for this (usually a state run real estate course) because you have to get a license, but you don’t need a college education. Now, a degree in economics, construction, or interior design may be helpful, but it’s definitely not required. If you have a passion for good property, then try this out!

 Journalist

I’m going to tell you right now that this job is a LOT easier to break into if you have a degree. However, that’s not always necessary, especially if it’s for a smaller newspaper. However, if you want a good paying job in this field, then you’ll have to work yourself up without a diploma. Don’t let that deter you, though, if you want to be a journalist!

 Computer technician

This is one of those jobs that doesn’t technically require a degree, but the diploma definitely helps. However, if you’re skilled with computers and know how they work, you can usually get a job in this field just because of your skills.

 Non-retail manager

This is a job that you’re (most likely) going to have to work your way up to, but it pays pretty well for a non-higher education position. Some positions let you make around $60,000 a year!

Blogger

I can’t write this article without mentioning being a blogger. If you love writing and have an eye for advertising and online marketing, then you can make some pretty good money at blogging. There are a few coveted bloggers that are making six figures, so that could be you!

 Operations manager

This is sort of an ambiguous career, but it’s one that needs to be filled and that companies are willing to pay big money to fill. In essence, for this job, you operate all the functions and processes in a factory, company, or other business entity. Some operations managers make up to $130,000 a year, so it’s a pretty sweet gig.

Insurance appraiser

This job requires a keen eye and a good understanding of damage sources, but it doesn’t require a college diploma. At this job, depending on the type of appraisal you do, you would go to homes, cars, or other places and determine how much damage was caused. The average salary for this job is around $60,000.

If you are interested in making money from home with no degree, here are some other related posts:

How to Make Money Blogging

How to Start a Blog

8 Legit Ways to Make Money From Home

20 Ways to Turn Crafts into Profits

15 Legit Ways to Make an Extra $1500 a Month

Top 20 Highest Paying Jobs When You Don't Have a Degree

How to Budget when You Don’t Make Enough Money

Learn to Cut Back

Make a list of the money you have flowing out into different expenses. If you have cable, or streaming networks you pay for, such as Netflix or Hulu, put those on your list next to how much money it costs you each month. If you have smartphones in your family write those down as well. List magazine subscriptions, gym passes, art classes, or anything that comes to you as a regular expense. Then you need to look at your list and decide how to cut back. Maybe you can just eliminate a few things, or maybe you need to cut it all out for a little while until your bank account becomes more stable. There is no point in paying for a huge cable bill, or random magazine subscriptions that you never read, while you’re struggling to make ends meet. The more you cut the better off you will be.

Get into Survival Mode

Don’t spend money on things you don’t need. You have to get into a survival mode and focus only on the essentials. Avoid eating out, shopping sprees, going out to movies or events, or anything that is unnecessary. If you can control your spending habits and you can cut back on these things, you will be amazed how much money you save. It doesn’t mean you can’t have fun though. Start making a fun meal plan with ingredients you already have at home, look online for free date ideas that can still get you out of the house, and find ways to mix and match pieces in your closet to wear them in ways you never have before. Overall, just make sure you are only spending money on the things you have to have to survive.

Make More Money

To help you feel more fluid in your budget, you’ll need to find ways to make more money so that you can attack your financial situation from both ends. There are a lot of ways to make money from home on the side.  You can pick up extra shifts at work, or get resourceful and see if any of these 50 Ways to Make Money on the Side are good options for you.  If you don’t have a job that pays well enough and you are having hard time getting ahead, consider finding a new job, improving your skills or even getting educated in a new trade or field to improve your quality of life.

Related Posts:

How to Start a Blog

How to Make Money Blogging

8 Legit Ways to Make Money From Home

Top 54 Side Hustles to Make Extra Money on the Side

Prioritize Your Bills

If you have a lot of bills to pay, make sure you decide which ones have to be paid off first. Hopefully you cut back on everything from the list you made, but now it is time to sort through what important bills are MOST important. Take care of things like your house payments and energy bills first and then keep moving down through the things that are most important for you to keep surviving and having your basic needs met.

Keep a Positive Mindset

Overall, remember to stay positive. Of course this is easier said than done, but it is so important when trying to get out of a financial bind and start to plan effectively. Negative thoughts are destructive and won’t help you moving forward. Try to think each day about good things that happen to you, opportunities that come your way, connections you have with other people that could help, and really anything that keeps you positive and focused on your ultimate financial goals. If you can’t master a positive mindset, you other strategies could fall apart.

How to Budget When You Don't Make Enough Money

5 Popular Ways to Make Money From Home with Amazon

Amazon Trade-In Program Amazon has a very long list of things you can trade in, including cell phones, laptops, cameras, books, textbooks, music, mp3 players, and much more. It’s easy to access and the shipping is free on your end. Once you decide to send in your items, they will print you off a shipping label to use. You can see online immediately what their offer is for the items you decide to send in. This makes it convenient to decide if it’s worth it or not to send in the items you have. Mechanical Turk            mTurk is a site that usually offers short tasks, referred to as HITS, that require very little skill or outside equipment besides a computer with internet access. HITS have tasks like transcription, data entry, information verification, etc. The payout is usually less than $1 per HIT, which isn’t much but it also doesn’t require a lot of effort. This work offers a very laidback atmosphere and an ability to work as you please without a big commitment. A site like mTurk List can help you find lucrative HITS. You will get paid through Amazon Payments which can be transferred to your bank account or you can spend on the Amazon website. Customer Service Amazon has many work at home jobs available. They have seasonal, part-time, and full-time employee positions that involve answering customer questions and assisting in the sales process. Amazon hires residents of Washington, Oregon, and Arizona. Amazon Associates If you sign up for Amazon Associates, you can earn 4% or more of a commission from Amazon when you direct people to Amazon.com. This is great if you are a blogger! All you have to do is write about a product you love on Amazon and post a link for people to click on from your site. The more sales you send their way, the more your commission increases. You will also make money from purchases people make if they buy other things after they’ve already clicked through your website because, Amazon keeps track if they bought other things right after visiting your site as an Amazon Associate. Kindle eBooks If you consider yourself a writer, or feel like you have great insights to share, why not publish your work? Instead of going through the hassle of finding a publishing company that will accept your material, you can just publish it yourself. With just a few clicks of your mouse, and minimal investment, you can publish through Amazon Kindle. The best part is, no upfront cost is required to sell eBooks through Kindle Direct Publishing. Once people buy your book you will give a portion of your profits to Amazon in some cases, but you will be paid a royalty of 35% to 70% depending on the price of your book. Overall, you can’t beat Amazon’s built-in customer base and affiliate program. Amazon FBA A really popular form of side income right now is called “Fulfilled by Amazon”, or FBA. How it works is you purchase merchandise at a cheap price, usually through a wholesale company, and then you send it to Amazon to store and ship. You sell the items at a markup price and Amazon will take care of shipping the items to the customer. This process does require an investment, but after you purchase the merchandise and ship it off to Amazon to fulfill the orders while you enjoy the income. There are many people who make much more than just a side income selling with FBA.

If you don’t want to work with Amazon, but still want to make some extra money on the side, check out these articles on other side gigs to earn extra money:

How to Make Money Blogging

How to Start a Blog

54 Side Hustles to Make Extra Money on the Side

How I Make $100K+ Online While Working From Home

25 Companies that Pay You to Work From Home

15 {Legit} Ways to Earn an Extra $1500 a Month

50 Ways to Earn Extra Money on the Side

5 Popular Ways to Make Money From Home with Amazon

What is the Half Payment Method and How does it Help?

The half payment method is where you take a regularly occurring payment you have and you divide it in half. For example, let’s say you have a $300 car payment you need to make each month. Instead of sending in $300 at once, you only send in $150 and then set aside the other $150 (or whatever half of your bill is) at the beginning of the month. You then make the other half of the payment toward the end of the month. By the end of the month, you will have sent in the full $300 by the due date, but you will have been able to break up the payment into two smaller payments. If your creditor allows you to do this, as long as you get both smaller payments in on time, it may be able to benefit you. Here is a break down of how it works if you receive a bi-monthly paycheck (using the $300 car payment example from above): Paycheck #1: $600 Half payment for car payment: $150 Total left from paycheck #1: $450 Paycheck #2: $600 Half payment for car payment: $150 Total left from paycheck #2: $450 What is the purpose behind using this system? Take a look below at what happens when you don’t use the half payment method. Paycheck #1: $600 No half payment Total left from paycheck #1: $600 Paycheck #2: $600 No half payment Full car payment: $300 Total left from paycheck #2: $300 Although you may not think there is much of a benefit from paying the full bill now or doing half payments twice a month, the half payments can actually be really helpful. If you pay the full amount on your payment (like option two above) you have lost an additional $150 from your second paycheck. You can argue that in your first paycheck you would gain $300, but that means there is so much fluctuation in your incoming and outgoing money. When you pay off an entire payment all at once, you are more likely to spend more money because you think you have a lot to spend. Using the half payment method, you would have your car payment taken care of and also not feel like you have to scrape by at the end of the month. Overall, your finances would become much easier to manage.

See Other Debt-Related Posts Below:

How to Budget When You Don’t Make Enough Money

12 Surprising Ways to Save Money

How to Make Money Blogging

50 Ways to Make Extra Money on the Side

7 Easy Ways to Add $500 to Your Income

This system will work even if you are just paid once a month by making quarter payments or small payments every week. It is easiest to start using the half payment method if you start by doing this with your lowest regular payment. Once you have the habit of dividing your payments in half with that item, move on to the next lowest regular payment you need to make and keep continuing with that trend. For information on other payoff methods such as, The Snowball Method, please read this article.
What is the Half Payment Method and How Does it Help