February 21, 2018

Introducing Swag IQ! (US Only)

Disclosure:  Links to Swagbucks in this post are my referral links.  

Thank you for using my links.  I also earned SB for sharing this promotion.
Want to earn money while answering fun trivia questions? SwagIQ (available for iPhone and. Android) is a live, multiplayer trivia game show you play from your phone! 

Each weekday, Swag IQ broadcasts a live game. Simply tune-in at the appointed time by launching the SwagIQ app and log-in with your Swagbucks account credentials. If you don't have a Swagbucks account, you can sign up for one here and then download the app!

Our game show host will then ask a series of multiple-choice trivia questions. You’ll have 10 seconds to answer each one. Get it right; you get SB and move on. Answer them all correctly and you can win a grand prize! If more than one player wins, the winners split the grand prize. 

Get it wrong; still play along. Some questions have an SB award attached to them. If you answer those questions correctly, you get those SB, even if you’re out of the running for the big money. And, if you’re in a groove but miss a question, you’ll have the option to rejoin a game by redeeming a few SB. 

The first public game is today at 4PM Eastern Time/1PM Pacific Time. So, tune-in then win up to $1000 playing SwagIQ. The host will review how to play before the game starts!

Check out more ways to earn at Swagbucks here:  How to Earn Free Gift Cards and Cash at Swagbucks Series.

Disclosure:  Links to Swagbucks in this post are my referral links.  Thank you for using my links.  I also earned SB for sharing this promotion.

January 22, 2018

Simple Savings Plan: $1378 in One Year

How to save $1378 in one year.

If one of your New Year Resolutions is to save money you may want to check out this simple method to get started.  I came across this interesting plan on how to save $1378 in one year.  Basically you save $1 the first week, $2 the 2nd and so forth until you reach $52 the last week.  The blogger is calling it the 52 Week Money Challenge.  She offers charts you can print off to guide your savings.  One starts the year with $1 savings and the other reverses it starting with the $52 saved the first week.  Follow her plan and by the end of the year you will have saved $1378 not including any interest earned by depositing it in an interest bearing account.

January 12, 2018

Watching Free TV

We recently had a financial set-back and decided we needed to cut out cable and paid for TV entirely, at least for a while.  We wondered what we'd be able to watch.  We don't have a digital antenna, and where we live I doubt we'd get many if any channels anyhow.  Which is annoying because we used to get at least a dozen.  And so began the adventure of finding something to watch for free.

First thing we did was connect the old DVD player, and pull out our DVDs, not many, but a start.  We also plan to check out our local library to see what have to offer.  We may also ask friends if there's something specific we want to see.

I also pulled out an old laptop computer (it needed replaced because it was overheating, and the screen would cut out if at the wrong angle, but was fine sitting on a cooling rack next to the TV).  Then began the search to find free, safe, and legal things to watch off the computer. I found if I cooked up a wireless mouse, I can sit on the couch and still control the computer (pause to talk, close windows, etc.)
  • First thing we stumbled on was that at the CBS website you can watch like the last 5 episodes of all current shows, as well as a few of classic shows.  You have to watch commercials, but it's kind of like going back to broadcast TV...but on your schedule!  This may also be true of other networks, but we mainly watch CBS shows.
  • Then, of course, we headed to YouTube.  I'm still trying to find what all it has to offer. For comedy we like to watch Studio C skits and those who like to watch late night comedy shows will find many clips of them on their YouTube channels. For a cross between comedy and making us think Blimey Cow  is fun.  We also enjoy watching historical things, and found Periscope Films that has a lot of newsreels and old info films. Plus, there are live-streams...maybe not something to just sit and watch, but when I'm working on my blogs in the evenings, I like to check in on Horseshoe Curve.  I'm sure there's lots of other great stuff, but it'll take some time to find it!
  • We plan to do free trials of Hulu, Sling, Netflix, etc. one at a time as needed to see specific things or pad out our other watching options.
  • Sports is what we'll really miss as we're a sports fan family!  How we hope to still keep up with some of that is:
    • I believe Hulu and Sling have some sports, so during those trials we'd have some.
    • While whole games are not available on YouTube (well...there are some, but I'm pretty sure they break the rules about distributing the games broadcast by a network), but I found there are some highlights.  For instance The Big Ten Network Channel currently has 2-5 minute highlight videos of basket ball games and what appears to be much of wrestling competitions.
    • During MLB season, Yahoo often has a free game of the day or week you can watch.  
    •  I just saw a post on Southern Savers about a Yahoo app offering free NFL playoffs, but I haven't figured out how to hook that up to our TV yet, but I know there's a way.
So, I'd love to hear, how have you found to watch TV for free?

January 6, 2018

January Swago Board at Swagbucks ~ January 8 thru January 15, 2018

Disclosure:  Links to Swagbucks in this post are my referral links.  
Thank you for using my links.  I also earned SB for sharing this promotion.

The digital rewards site Swagbucks, where we earn free gift cards and Paypal, is offering big payouts during their January "Swago" promotion starting Monday, January 8th at 9am PT and running until Monday, January 15th! Swago is just like bingo, but in this case you're filling out squares as you earn points on their site for doing things you already do online. If you're thinking of trying Swagbucks, this is a great chance to learn all about how the site works and earn bonus points while doing it, meaning you can get more gift cards faster. Here are a few tips:

  • Each square on your Swago Board will contain an action item to complete. They can be anything from getting a search win, completing a survey, or just visiting one of their popular stores!
  • Once you complete the action item in a particular square the square will change color signifying the action item is complete.
  • You have until 12pm PT/3pm ET on Monday, January 15th to mark off as many squares as possible so use your time wisely.
  • Be mindful of the patterns and their corresponding bonuses located on the right of your Swago Board. The patterns will vary in difficulty and bonus value. Once you’ve achieved a pattern, the corresponding “Submit” button will light up. You can have multiple patterns available for submission, however, you can only submit ONE pattern so choose wisely. 
  • Each activity you successfully complete on your Swago Board will give you anywhere from 1-20 spins on the Spin & Win Wheel. PLUS, when you submit your board for a bonus you'll get additional spins. The number of spins will depend on the pattern you complete. The wheel has all sorts of great prizes that you can win, and each spin is a winner!

The Spin & Win Wheel will be available all throughout Swago and you have until 11:59pm PT on Monday, January 15th to use all your spins.  Spin & Win is my favorite part of Swago!

Fill up your board and then submit your pattern to get even more points - if you can fill in the whole board, you get a 500 SB bonus, which is enough for a $5 gift card from the retailer of your choice.

Click here right now and click "Join" to get started! If you don't already have a Swagbucks account, you'll be able to quickly sign up; PLUS, if you earn 300 SB before the first of January, you'll get a bonus 300 SB!

Check out more ways to earn at Swagbucks here:  How to Earn Free Gift Cards and Cash at Swagbucks Series.

Disclosure:  Links to Swagbucks in this post are my referral links.  Thank you for using my links.  I also earned SB for sharing this promotion.

January 1, 2018

Get Up to $3 Bonus When You Sign up for Swagbucks in January (US) ~ Exp. 1.31.2018

Looking for a way to rebuild your finances after the holidays?  We spend a little time each day earning free gift cards and Paypal thru online sources.  Swagbucks is our favorite by far.

If you haven't tried Swagbucks before, you can earn a bonus of $3 for signing up as my referral during January. Swagbucks is a rewards site where you earn points (called SB) for things you're probably doing online already, like searching, watching videos, discovering deals, and taking surveys. Then you take those points and exchange them for gift cards to places like Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart, or PayPal cash.

When you sign up through me this month, you can earn a $3 bonus! Here's how:

1. Sign up using this link

2. Earn 300 SB total before 2/1/18. You'll get a $3 (300 SB) bonus for it!

3. If you want even more bonuses, you'll get a $10 (1000 SB rebate) bonus for making your first shop purchase! That's in addition to the SB you earn for every dollar you spend. 

That's it. It's super easy, and Swagbucks is free to join and use. I have been using Swagbucks to earn more to give and save for many years.  This year because of unemployment, I am using it to earn grocery money.  Whatever your financial goals are, if you have a little time to spend online each day you can use Swagbucks to help meet them.

Check out more ways to earn at Swagbucks here:  How to Earn Free Gift Cards and Cash at Swagbucks Series.

Disclosure:  Links to Swagbucks in this post are my referral links.  Thank you for using my links it helps me earn extra SB.  I also earned SB for sharing this promotion.

December 30, 2017

Saving on the Tannenbaum

If you're like me, and enjoy decorating for the holidays, the Christmas tree is probably the focal point, and also the biggest expense.  If you're interested in saving money in general you probably already know to save your ornaments from year to year, and not rush out every year for the newest theme at full price.  We've slowly collected our ornaments over the years on clearance (often 90%), as gifts, or at discount shops.  And we've managed to have beautiful ornaments without wrecking the budget.  Plus, it adds sentimentality to the tree.

Then, of course, there's the cost of the tree itself.  Our first family tree was an artificial one bought at a garage sale, then another fake one from a family member.  Then, finally came the year that no matter HOW we used the lights, ornaments, and tinsel we just couldn't make it look nice.  So out we went and got a real tree.  It was beautiful!

Even with a real tree we found ways to save.   Sometimes there were rebates.  We often picked a slightly "sad" tree that cost less for the same size, maybe it had a side that was kind of flat (which we hid by the way we set it up or ornaments) or had a split trunk.  We also were careful to cut the bottom off and put it in water, and carefully kept it watered so we got our full use out of expense with a beautiful tree for a month or so.

A couple years ago we started having allergy problems with a live tree, and decided it was time to go back to artificial tree.  Honestly I was a bit worried how it would look and how much it would cost.  We ordered a sample pack of branches from Balsam Hill, some were really nice, but not that affordable.  Then I started going to all the stores in town to see what they had for what price.  We ended up going with a three piece tree on sale from Kmart, and we've been very happy with it.  It cost more than a real tree, but less than 2 years worth of real trees, and we've had it for more than that now, so it's a savings!!  Plus it saves time as it's pre-lit, and we don't have to water it and "time is money" haha!  Can you tell the tree is not real?  Of course!  But, once you light and decorate it, it is beautiful!  I think one thing that helps with a face tree is having lots of ornaments.

So, if you're trying to save on your holiday budget I would consider a fake tree over a real one, but there are a few things to consider:
  1. Do you have a place to store it?
  2. Is your family united to use a fake tree for at least long enough to make it a savings?
  3. Do you have the money to buy one right off? (it's not going to save money if you have to pay credit card interest on in!)
If you decide to use a fake tree, I would suggest picking one or more you'd be happy with, then watch for a deal on it/them.  I've seen ones at Kmart 90% off before!!  Even if it's not exactly what you want, it might work for a couple years while you save up (from not having real trees) for a better one!

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