What Happened to Ebates?

What Happened to Ebates?

If you have an Ebates account, you may have noticed something new in the banner area –

Ebates is now Rakuten

Ebates Is Becoming Rakuten banner

Why Did Ebates Change its Name?

According to the Ebates/Rakuten website, “taking the Rakuten name most accurately reflects who we are today: a company that gives you all the Cash Back you’re used to, with even more opportunities to save.”

Frankly, I’m surprised it didn’t happen sooner!

Disclosure: This post contain a referral link, which means I’ll be receive a monetary bonus should you choose to sign up. For more information on my policies and disclosures, visit this page.

What is Rakuten?

Rakuten is a Japanese marketing company that acquired Ebates in 2014, but it wasn’t until the 2019 Superbowl that they began to really publicize the merge.

I’ve actually been a part of Rakuten for nearly as long, as it’s one of the ways I make money with affiliate marketing.

Rakuten itself was originally Buy.com (founded in 1997) but they were then bought out by the Japanese company in 2010 as an attempt to enter the American market. They actually became a very close competitor with Amazon before the buy out!

Not only that, but if you were someone who made money selling on Ebay around 2008, you may very well remember Buy.com. They formed a partnership with Ebay and quickly became their top seller, but were not charged listing fees – something that angered a lot of independent sellers.

Maybe this is my nerdy side coming out, but I find the growth of this company to be fascinating (all the more with their Ebates merge, too!)

How do You Pronounce Rakuten?

It’s certainly not as easy to say as Ebates, but it’s still just as easy to use!

Is Rakuten legit?

Rakuten is truly such a great way to make money!

If you’re new to Ebates (or Rakuten), it’s a site that allows you to earn cash back if you click through their links before shopping. Even better, they’ve recently added an “in-store” option!

The best part is that you don’t have to do anything special, you just click through and shop like you normally would.

How to Sign Up for Rakuten

First, create an account by clicking HERE! By signing up through this link, you’ll earn an automatic $10 after your first $25+ shopping trip – not bad for 30 seconds of work, yeah?

How Does Rakuten Work?

Rakuten incentivizes shoppers to go through their platform by offering a certain percentage back on their purchase. While this may seem nonsensical on the surface, it’s actually a win-win for everyone.

A customer may not be set on buying anything today, until they see that the shop is offering 8% back through Rakuten today only – a win for the shop as the buyer is now all the more eager to buy.

Then not only does the buyer earn that 8% back, but Rakuten will get a small commission from the shop as well.

Using Gift Cards with Rakuten

If you’re planning to do a lot of shopping, this is my top tip (it’s the best way to save during the holiday season!)

If you know ahead of time that you’ll be shopping at a certain retailer, be on the lookout for discounted gift cards through sites like Raise.com. Even if you don’t do a lot of online shopping, be sure to check out Raise.com – if you know you spend money on a regular basis somewhere (like a certain gas station!), why not buy gift cards for yourself and save even more?

For example, I recently purchased a $50 Kohl’s gift card for $41.90. Then I made a purchase through Rakuten for $53, using mainly that gift card and earning myself a nice $4.24 back. So instead of spending the full $53, I’m actually only looking at a total spent of $37.66.

More Rakuten Tips and Tricks

how to make money with rakuten

First, make sure you’ve got the Rakuten extension downloaded for your browser!

Just check out the bottom of the Rakuten homepage to download. This way you don’t even have to worry about going through the site first when you’re browsing your favorite shopping site – seriously, could it get any easier to make money with this?

Also, if you can behave when using credit cards, another “must do” with Rakuten is to have the Rakuten Cash Back Credit Card.

Just check out the footer on their homepage for more information, but basically it allows you to earn even MORE cash back (typically an additional 3%). So in my above gift card example, if I used my Rakuten card, I could’ve only spent $36.07 on a $53 purchase. LOVE IT!

Rakuten earnings

In-Store Shopping with Rakuten

Something else you can do to make even more money back is to choose to “pick up in-store” while still shopping online. This is especially great if you’re prone to impulse purchases at your favorite store or if you want to save time when running errands. Not only will you earn that cash back you wouldn’t otherwise, but you can run in, pick up your stuff, and get on your way!

Coupon Codes with Rakuten

Another great thing about Rakuten is that you can combine the cash back you’re earning with any coupons available. They even have coupon codes right there for you – no need to hunt down a mailer you got or sift through e-mails. It’s especially easy if you’re using the mobile app or the browser extension.

How to Refer Friends to Rakuten

Finally, you can of course refer your friends to Rakuten. By just referring THREE friends, you can earn $75! How awesome is that?

It Pays to Share Refer a Friend earn $25 at Rakuten

Rakuten Proof of Payment

Just in case you’re still not totally sold on Rakuten, check out just how much money I would have otherwise lost out on last quarter were it not for shopping with this cash back app:

Proof of payment rakuten ebates

So to re-cap:

  • Rakuten membership is free.
  • There’s no limit to how much Cash Back you can earn.
  • There are no rebate forms to mail in or points to count— they just send you your Cash Back, no strings attached.
  • Literally everyone should sign up!

Despite the new name, Rakuten is Ebates and there’s no catch here – so sign up today!

15 Seemingly Weird Ways to Save Time & Money!

15 Seemingly Weird Ways to Save Time & Money!

When it comes to saving time and money, everyone has their own little rituals and tricks that work for them. Whether you clip coupons to save money or pre-pack your gym bag and keep it by the door to save time, you’ve surely got a couple of these rituals yourself. Surely everyone shares some of these habits – they’re pretty commonplace.

What about the more fringe time or money savers, though? I’m not talking about re-using paper towels or renting your dog out as a clown (talk about frugal horror stories!), but what about never buying kids’ clothing from department stores? Ever considered raising worms to recycle your produce and make some top-quality fertilizer? Does it get weirder? Read on to find out some of our best-kept secrets for saving time and money and please note that the links below may be affiliate links, which means I could earn commission should you click through to make a purchase.

Unique and Interesting Ways to Save Your Family Money

Interesting ways to save money

Create an easy meal plan

Creating a meal plan is of course one the best ways to save time and money, but you can take it one step further by stacking the meals together so that one rolls into another. Monday evening roast a whole chicken with potatoes and onions, maybe some carrots and then use the leftovers. How, you might ask? Simple! Prep the leftover meat for enchiladas or fajitas the next day, and then take the leftovers and make bone broth. With a little pasta and some veggies, that’s 3 meals from one chicken.

Meal plan stacking is taking one great meal that has leftovers and making another great meal from them. Did you have shrimp tacos for dinner Tuesday? Make gumbo on Wednesday. Big pot roast with tons of leftovers? Toss it into the crock pot with some adobe seasoning and peppers, and have carnitas the next night. It will save you money and time AND be delicious!

Vinegar Uses

Vinegar has literally dozens of household uses, and at about $2/gallon, it is one of the best investments you can keep under your sink.

vinegar bottle aldi

Of course you can use vinegar in cooking but if you take an empty spray bottle and fill it with 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water and add some citrus peel or tea tree oil, you’ll have a cheap, incredibly effective cleaner and disinfectant. Most of what you’d buy in the store is about 5% acetic acid (white vinegar), which will kill most germs, but if you really want to be sure, you can look for something a bit more powerful. Health food and green living stores will often sell stronger vinegar.

Cleaning fruit with vinegar is also a great way to remove the waxy grossness from apples and a lot of the pesticide residue from both apples and strawberries. Considering both the aforementioned fruits routinely make it on the dirty dozen list for most contaminated foods, giving them a quick wash in a 3 parts water to 1 part vinegar solution can really decrease the pesticides your family ingests. Vinegar will also help your strawberries stay fresh longer!

Invest in a Water Cooler

We bought a water cooler when we had our son because we wanted an easy source of distilled water. Flash forward four years and we’re still using it daily.

We did the math and the water cooler was cheaper over the expected two years of needing bottles than filters for a faucet-mounted system. The trick is after using the jugs (we bought them at Lowes), instead of swapping them out for new filled ones ( at $6.99/apiece!) we disinfect them with vinegar and refill them at about .25c/gallon at a local grocery store.

The cooler we bought also has a tap for hot water, which makes it great when I’m in need of my daily matcha tea fix or just a nice cup of chamomile before bed!

Make Notes on Your Food

This one sounds ridiculous, but consider the number of times you look at something in the fridge and simply can’t remember when you cooked/opened/bought it. We realized we were throwing out stuff that might still be good, so we bought a Sharpie specifically for the kitchen. We glued a magnet to it so it sticks to the fridge and whenever we have leftovers or open a container, we date it. This makes sure we know when things are still good and when we should actually toss them.

Because my husband follows a keto diet, we also tend to have at least three containers of heavy cream in our fridge at any given time. It can be incredibly frustrating to have to open two containers only to realize its the third one that’s already open. It’s a simple thing, but marking the cap with an “O” really helps save time each and every day!

Vermiculture – Yes, We’re Talking Worm Farming!

If you’re unfamiliar with vermiculture, you’re likely not alone. It’s a fancy word for “worm farming” and it’s a really interesting way to reduce your food waste. It’s surprisingly simple to raise worms, and though they’re not cute and cuddly, they DO provide some fantastic benefits for growing your own garden.

Essentially the worms break down organic waste like apple cores, vegetable scraps, etc. into nutrient-rich castings which you can use as a fertilizer. They also produce a sort of waste fluid called “worm tea” that is a wonderful addition to plants, making them healthier and more vibrant.

blonde boy smiling brown hair girl smiling worm farm

We set up our worm farm using a couple totes, but you can also buy relatively inexpensive ones online if you don’t have the desire to DIY. 

If you DO want to DIY, you’ll want to check out this post on how to start your own worm farm.

Vermiculture is great because it helps you reduce your food waste while also making your garden significantly healthier, and if you don’t already garden, it’s a nice extra bit of encouragement.

Toilet Paper Tube Projects

Got some kids stuck in the house all day with nothing to do? Toss some art supplies at them and give them toilet paper tubes!

Ok, maybe that alone won’t help, but toilet paper tubes are very versatile pieces of cardboard. Some ideas include:

Poke two holes in the top (opposite each other) and run a string or piece of yarn through them. Smear peanut butter around the outside of the tube and then roll them in birdseed, and voila! You have a quick, simple bird feeder that will absolutely attract some feathered friends to your yard.

Decorate the outside of one by gluing on a strip of leftover fabric and use it to hold your excess extension cords, or when you store them!

Fold the undersides in at one end and fill them with soil, and use them as seed starters in the late winter to get a jump start on that garden!

Stuff them with dryer lint to use as campfire starters!

Use your imagination for a variety of artistic endeavors – their shape lends itself well to making candle holders, for instance. With some interesting decorations you can have a spooky candle holder for Halloween, a cheery one for Christmas, or a turkey for Thanksgiving. Of course use battery operated candles!

Encourage your children to use their imaginations and you’ll be surprised at what they’ll come up with. My kids love to create monsters with lots of googly eyes, of course!

Garage Sales

As long as we’ve had kids, we have been very intentional about buying presents and clothing ahead of time. Every time we’re at a garage sale, if we see something that will fit them, we typically pick it up if the price is right. I’m honestly not sure if our kids have ever had brand-new shoes, and that’s 100% fine with us.

If you have kids, trust me – you will WANT to sell all the clothes you get, and you’ll feel WAY less bad about selling them for .50c apiece if you bought them for .50c apiece.

garage sale

The “Present Tote”

Another way we make use of garage sales though is by taking a look at what toys and games our kids might eventually like. When they’re really little this is especially easy, but basically just buy up any cool toys or games you see that are super cheap, and store them in a “future presents tote“. For instance, we found about $50 of Play-doh toys and accessories for $5 a garage sale, and it happens that our kids love the stuff. Boom, big Christmas gift, bought and paid-for.

While you shouldn’t just buy anything all the time “because it’s on sale”, if you get a really good bargain on something you know your children will love, it will save you money in the long run. 

Multitasking Hurts

The single biggest time saver (and mind saver) you can invest your energy in is to avoid multitasking. Multitasking simply doesn’t work! There may be a few exceptions to the rule, but we’re essentially single-core processing units; undivided attention to a single task proves much better results than trying to do multiple things at once. Not only will you have better results, you’ll also get it done faster and more accurately, and then you can move onto the next task with undivided attention!

Make Use of In-Store Pick-Up

This one is two-fold — first of all, using in-store pick-up will help you avoid impulse purchases while also better ensuring you don’t forget something on your list because you’re too busy minding the kids to remember you need dish soap. It’s also a huge time saver, but did you know it can also save you money? Whenever you do in-store pick-up, check with Ebates first and you may very well earn a percentage back on your purchases (meaning FREE money!!)

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

Using Gift Cards through Ebates

Speaking of Ebates, this is a great way to stack up your savings.

If you know ahead of time that you’ll be shopping at a certain retailer, be on the lookout for discounted gift cards through sites like Raise.com. Even if you don’t do a lot of online shopping, be sure to check out Raise.com – if you know you spend money on a regular basis somewhere (like a certain gas station!), why not buy gift cards for yourself and save even more?

For example, I recently purchased a $50 Sears Gift Card for $41.90. Then I made a purchase through Ebates for $53, using mainly that gift card and earning myself a nice $4.24 back. So instead of spending the full $53, I’m actually only looking at a total deficit of $37.66 – a savings of nearly 30% and that’s just on one purchase!

Sign up via my referral link for Ebates and you’ll earn an extra $10 back on your first purchase! Worried about a catch? There is NONE! Check out my Ebates review to learn more.

Use Bubble Wrap on Windows

Seems silly, yeah? Heh or maybe you’re like me and think it just seems fun! When I first heard about this trick, I was skeptical. I’m a fan of using shrinkwrap packs to insulate my home against the winter cold, but when you have bubblewrap for free thanks to holiday packages, I figured I’d give it a shot…and it worked! Click to learn more about how to use bubblewrap on your windows as insulation.

Winterize Your Home: The Bubblewrap Method

Winterize Your Home: The Bubblewrap Method

No Inside-Out Clothing!

This one might seem a little neurotic but I consistently demand that no one throw inside out clothing into the wash. While it might only take two seconds to flip the clothing right-side out, those seconds certainly add up when you have to do it as you’re folding an entire load. Make laundry easier by asking your family to right their clothing before it goes into the wash.

Six Smart Tricks to Tackling Laundry, Make Doing Laundry Easier and Faster, Do Laundry Quicker, Spend less time doing laundry!

Click to read more laundry hacks!

Sell-By Dates

It’s not secret that we love Aldi, and one of the things we love is that they drastically mark down their meat when it’s close to the “sell-by” date. Without getting into food waste politics and such, I will say that food doesn’t magically become inedible when it’s passed it’s “sell-by” date.

When you see great prices on food at your grocer, pick it up and freeze it, or work it into your current meal plan. Obviously use common sense when it comes to food, but don’t consider food automatically spoiled just because it’s 12 hours past the sell-by date.


Invest in Amazon Prime

One of the best ways to save time and money is to shop online. I do believe in shopping local whenever possible (particularly at our Farmer’s Markets) but I’m a work-at-home mom with two very young children – I’m lucky if I remember to brush my hair every day, let alone have the stamina to leave the house. Amazon’s reach is wide, and it makes getting what we need fast and affordable. Prime does that to the next level – offering free 2-day shipping on almost anything you buy from Amazon is a huge deal. The price is $99/year if you elect to enroll annually, or $12.99/month, and while that might seem steep, it does offer a great amount of discounts, including the free 2-day shipping which will pay for itself. You can check it out for yourself with this free 30-day trial!

 

What are some weird ways YOU save time and/or money?

Comment below and let me know!

Ten Quick Steps to Finally Change Your Finances

Ten Quick Steps to Finally Change Your Finances

If you’re cursed with indecision and you’re having trouble starting, sometimes a concise list of important steps on the journey can be all you need.

When I was thinking about quitting my job to become a WAHM (and run a blog full-time), one of my priorities became paying down debt and getting an even stronger hold on our finance – you may remember my series on how we paid off $10,000 in debt in two months (while only netting $40k/year from our office jobs!)

Consider this blog post a quick cheatsheet for improving your finances in the long run so no matter your goal – working from home, getting out of debt, having extra spending cash each month – you can get there sooner rather than later.

Start a Budget

Knowing how much money you have right now, what your expenses are, and what’s most important is the foundation of getting financially fit. If you don’t yet have a budget (or you have one you don’t follow) then PLEASE develop one! I know it can seem overwhelming at first but you have no idea how much stress you’re carrying around by NOT having one. Read more about how to start a budget here!

Identify Your Debts, Highest Interest to Lowest

A lot of advice you’ll see about finances suggests paying off your lowest debt first and then applying that payment to others, but I’m not a fan of this sort of expensive motivation. Instead, aggressively pay from highest to lowest interest rates. This way you’re saving money that would normally wrack up over the year. A 22% interest rate $1,000 loan is $220 a year – that’s an INSANE amount of extra money paid!

Get a Cash Back Credit Card

Whether you have great credit, terrible credit, or no credit, having a cash back card is a great way to always save money (but ONLY if you can use it wisely!) Most cards offer up to 5% cash back (with a limit usually) on certain times and then 1-2% back unlimited on everything else. This is key because the economy right now isn’t offering a ton of savings account rates even approaching 1 or 2%. With the wealth of credit companies out there, most people can get a small line of credit with has cash back. Personally, I recommend the Discover Card – they give you an automatic $50 just for signing up if you click through this link!

 

Advice on how to get out of debt and achieve financial freedom

$250 in six months – money lost without Discover!

Put Your Card and Budget Together

Take a look at your budget and highlight the things that you pay on a regular basis – gas, electric, garbage, groceries…. Seems silly not to try and save as much as possible on those, right? So why not make it a set-in-stone priority to charge recurring bills to the credit card and then immediately pay it off each month. As long as you never charge up more than you intend to pay off and NEVER carry a balance, you’re literally getting paid by the credit card company to buy stuff you would anyway. Pretty amazing, no?

Find a Side Gig/Hustle/Part-Time Job

Budget in the money you get from your primary income source and stay on top of it, then make a plan to pay off even more. No matter how much time you have left in your day, there are ALWAYS ways to make extra money each month to apply towards debts.

Check out these articles on the best ways to make extra cash online:

Make $2,200 Just Using Your Phone!

How to Make Money with Affiliate Marketing

10 Ways to Make Money as a Stay-at-Home Parent

Get Paid to Lose Weight!

Declutter

Almost everyone has a basement/closet/garage full of stuff that’s literally doing nothing but collecting dust and taking up space. Not only can you easily sell this stuff, but having clutter around can impact your mental health, too. Check out this post on how/why to declutter today!

Make the Most of Your Cash

There comes a time in your life when you realize that what you think is important really isn’t, and one of those things is name-brand anything. Aldi is my favorite grocery store, but even if you don’t have one in your area, there are always options to save money outside your big box store (like Walmart…ick…) Shop online, visit your local farmer’s markets, and reduce your grocery budget as often as possible! Be sure to use Ibotta to save even more (because seriously, it’s free…you like free money, don’t you?)

Make money online with these ten amazing money-making apps!

Be More Mindful

This goes hand-in-hand with reevaluating your dedication to name brands, but consider everything you buy as a chance to exercise free will. Every minor purchase – a coffee in the morning on your way to work, for instance – can and does add up over the course of a year. A grande drip from Starbucks, for instance, is $1.94 around here, and if you get one even 3 times a week, you’re looking at about $300/year, just in coffee. If you take that $6 and buy grounds that make 30 cups of coffee, and invest in a modest coffee maker at home, you’ll save AT LEAST $200/year!

The problem is, however, that the saving are small and need to compound to see the difference and that’s where mindfulness comes into play. Being aware of your money makes you less apt to waste it. Try thinking of going out to eat in terms of how many hours you have to spend at your job to pay for it, and you’ll see what I mean.

Establish Goals and Timelines

Set a goal and your project will grow to meet that goal. Yes, I said grow. While I’m all about setting realistic goals, don’t give yourself so much space that you procrastinate on getting control of your finances. Make a clear goal (pay off X credit cards this year, save $1000 for a down payment on a home, etc) and stick to it. If you’re a visual person, grab some markers and poster board from your local dollar store and create a chart. Or if you’re more of a internal motivator, plug shorter term goals and reminders into your digital calendar. Whatever your route, make it one that stays in front of you constantly.

Stack Your Money (in Your Favor)

If you’re already using your cash back card, websites like Ebates are a great way to establish multiple streams of discount/monetary rewards for buying things you already planned on buying. You can read more about how I make $1,000+/year with Ebates in this article here. Again – it’s FREE MONEY! No reason to procrastinate on this any longer!

Make money online with these ten amazing money-making apps!

And don’t forget about discounted gift cards! Shop through a company like Raise.com and buy discounted gift cards for things you’re already spending money on anyway – gas, groceries, clothing, the options are limitless! Click through this link to get $5 off your first $25+ purchase!

It’s time to get your finances under control and you can start TODAY. Kick the excuses to the curb and recognize that you do in fact have the power to get through this and find the financial freedom you’re so eager for.

So how about it? Are you ready to get started?

Comment below and let me know what your first step will be!10 Quick Tips to Get out of debt fast

(April) Fool Yourself Into Saving Money

(April) Fool Yourself Into Saving Money

Saving money tricks are everywhere and let’s face it – you want to save month every month but you don’t. Just like starting that diet or cleaning out that junk drawer, you put it off and think it’ll somehow magically be easier next month.

Newsflash: it won’t get easier until YOU make it a HABIT!

Habits are tricky beasts, though, aren’t they? The bad ones are awful to let go of, the good ones are seemingly impossible to start.

So rather than trying to force yourself into saving money, how about we try fooling you into do it instead?

Here are six “tricky” ways to get into saving money that, when done, will leave you thousands of dollars richer each year and you won’t even realize you’ve done it! Disclaimer: there are affiliate links below – meaning I may make a commission should you click through and invest. This is no way impacts my recommendation of services or products, but it may help fund my coffee addiction.

Do a Savings Challenge

There are a number of different ways to challenge yourself on a regular basis when it comes to saving money. You can adjust any sort of challenge to suit your needs and goals, depending on how much “extra” cash you have each month and how much you want to end the year with. My preferred method is to save $.01 for whatever day of the year it self – i.e. the first week of the year, you save $.28, the second week would be $.77, etc. By the end of the year, you’ll have nearly $700!

I prefer this method above the others because it allows you to start later in the year without your bank account taking a serious hit. For example, even if you started halfway through the year, you’d only need to set aside about $160 to get on track to hitting the year-end goal!

Savings Tracker Worksheet



 

Get a Piggy Bank

Okay, so you don’t have to have an actual piggy bank, an empty mason jar or water jug will do, but let’s face it – if you’re like me, a cute piggy bank (like this insanely adorable Panda one!) will make saving money just a bit more fun. Whatever you decide to use, make sure you actually use it! The easiest way to make this happen is to use cash whenever possible. Not only will the act of using cash help you save money in general – physically giving away cash makes you MUCH more aware of your spending rather than swiping plastic – but you can easily toss all the change you get into the savings vessel of your choice.

After we held a garage sale this summer, we had a lot of change left over – about $60 worth! While it was tempting to take it to the bank with the rest of our profits, I used it as an opportunity to start my own savings bank. Near the end of the year we decided to finally take it in and we ended up with nearly $300 (!!) Talk about a great Christmas bonus!

Don’t Cash Out Constantly

If you use money saving apps like Ibotta, why not actually SAVE that money? With Ibotta specifically, you can’t cash out until you hit $30 anyway. So why not wait and only cash out once a year, putting that money immediately into your savings account? And if you’re not yet familiar with Ibotta, it’s a great way to earn cashback on your groceries – it’s FREE to sign up and you’ll get an automatic $10 back by signing up through my referral link.

Likewise, if you earn cashback on your credit cards, don’t apply it to your card balance! Instead keep it on your card account and when you do cash out, put it in savings.

Personally, I have a Discover IT card because I’ll get DOUBLE all the cash back I earn in the first year but I definitely encourage you to shop around and find a card that best suits your needs. If you’re a hardcore Amazon shopper like I am, the Amazon.com Rewards Visa Card might be a better option for you (both offer a $50 sign-up bonus!)

Provided you use your card wisely, you’ll see a great amount of money suddenly adding up without any extra effort on your part.

Most cards are 1-2% back on everything, and then somewhere between 3% and 5% back on random specific things, like Amazon purchases.

So let’s say you have an Amazon.com Rewards Visa Card like I do and you use it each month to pay for the following bills and purchases:

  • Pet food/supplies, diapers, toilet paper, dry groceries – all Amazon purchases: $200
  • Gas/Transportation: $100
  • Trash Collection: $20
  • Electric: $100
  • Groceries in-store: $400
  • Car insurance: $70
  • TV (hopefully just Netflix/Hulu and not cable!): $15

Provided these are all in your budget as they should be, you will earn nearly $25/month on expenses you had to pay anyway! That’s easily $300/year in your savings!

How to Trick Yourself Into Saving Money

saving money tricks

Round Your Bills

Hopefully you’ve already created a budget. It’s really easy to then go into your budget and round up one or two of your bills. For example, we pay between $96-$180 on our electric bill each month (depending on the season). Rather than trying to guess what our electric bill each month, I budget out $200 for it. Once it’s paid, I then transfer whatever is left into our savings account. This quickly adds up to hundreds of dollars automatically saved every year without having to specifically budget for it.

When you do this with your own budget, limit yourself to just one or two bills that you’ll round up – especially if you have a lot of debt you should otherwise be paying off. Try it with your mortgage or car payment to start!

Buy Gift Cards

If you’re not yet buying discounted gift cards, you NEED to start today. This alone will save you SO much money. Personally I love Raise.com for this. I buy gift cards for gas stations, department stores, restaurants – basically for anywhere I’d be spending money anyways – and automatically save anywhere from 4-10%! Since these purchases would already be in your budget, take the savings from the gift cards and actual save it!

Pro-tip: Use Ebates to save even more! Check out my post on how I’ve earned over $1,000 EASY thanks to Ebates!

Work More

Duh, right? But I don’t necessarily mean get a second job! There are hundreds of different ways to earn a few extra dollars each week and those extra dollars can certainly add up fast over the course of a year. Whether you’re earning via websites like SurveySavvy or InboxDollars, or trying your hand in affiliate marketing, you should save at least half of what you earn. I believe in treating yourself well, so if you are working on a “side hustle”, you don’t have to save it all. As with anything of these tips, use common sense and smart budgeting practices, but don’t be so strict that you cause yourself to splurge.

What ways do YOU save money? Share with me in the comments below!

How to Make Money Using Ebates

How to Make Money Using Ebates

Looking for the best ways to earn cashback with Ebates? Look no further! Ebates is by far and away one of the best ways to make money, especially if you shop online like I do!

I mean seriously – how great is it that you can get money for doing something as fun as shopping? And sometimes – when done well – you can even MAKE money using Ebates (especially on Black Friday, when I was basically paid $5 to buy a crockpot, griddle, and waffle iron from Kohl’s!)

How to Make More Money with Ebates

How to earn even more money with ebates and get the cashback you deserve

Disclosure: This post contain a referral link, which means I’ll be receive a monetary bonus should you choose to sign up. For more information on my policies and disclosures, visit this page.

What is Ebates?

Ebates is a site that allows you to earn cash back if you click through their links before shopping. Even better, they’ve recently added an “in-store” option! The best part is that you don’t have to do anything special, you just click through and shop like you normally would.

Does Ebates Cost Anything?

Not a dime. Ebates costs you NOTHING and I can’t think of a single reason why anyone would hesitate to sign up with them.

How Does Ebates Work?

First, create an account by clicking HERE! By signing up through this link, you’ll earn an automatic $10 after your first $25+ shopping trip – not bad for 30 seconds of work, right?

And if you are living an EXTREMELY thrifty lifestyle, unable to make a $25 online shopping trip, make sure you check out these posts:

How I Made $2.168.47 in One Month

50 Ways to Make Money From Home in 2018

How to Make Money Through Ebates

Obviously, if you plan to do some shopping online, go to Ebates first to see if that store is a part of their program. You should also keep an eye out for times when Ebates is offering extra cash back to your favorite stores – they did 16% back at JcPenneys recently!!

Coupon Codes with Ebates

Another great thing about Ebates is that you can combine the cash back you’re earning with any coupons available. They even have coupon codes right there for you – no need to hunt down a mailer you got or sift through e-mails. It’s especially easy if you’re using the Ebates mobile app!

Pick Up In-Store with Ebates

Something else you can do to make even more money back is to choose to “pick up in-store” while still shopping online. I do this all the time whenever I need stuff from Lowes! Not only do I then earn cash back through Ebates, but I can pick up my stuff quickly, rather than having to walk through the store to grab it all myself and risk buying additional stuff I didn’t actually need.

Using Gift Cards through Ebates

If you’re planning to do a lot of shopping, this is my top tip (it’s the best way to save during the holiday season!)

If you know ahead of time that you’ll be shopping at a certain retailer, be on the lookout for discounted gift cards through sites like Raise.com. Even if you don’t do a lot of online shopping, be sure to check out Raise.com – if you know you spend money on a regular basis somewhere (like a certain gas station!), why not buy gift cards for yourself and save even more?

For example, I recently purchased a $50 Sears Gift Card for $41.90. Then I made a purchase through Ebates for $53, using mainly that gift card and earning myself a nice $4.24 back. So instead of spending the full $53, I’m actually only looking at a total deficit of $37.66. Pretty sweet, right?

How to Make Even MORE Money Through Ebates

First, make sure you’ve got the Ebates extension downloaded for your browser! Just check out the bottom of the Ebates homepage to download. This way you don’t even have to worry about going through Ebates first when you’re browsing your favorite shopping site – seriously, could it get any easier to make money with this?

How to make money with Ebates, make money easily, work from home, make money shopping

Also, if you can behave when using credit cards, another “must do” with Ebates is to have the Ebates Cash Back Credit Card. Just check out the footer on the Ebates homepage for more information, but basically it allows you to earn even MORE cash back (typically an additional 3%). So in my above gift card example, if I used my Ebates card, I could’ve only spent $36.07 on a $53 purchase. LOVE IT!

Finally, you can of course refer your friends to Ebates. By just referring THREE friends, you can earn $75! How awesome is that?

How to make money with Ebates, make money easily, work from home, make money shopping

At the time of writing this post (November 2017), I’ve earned $134 and counting. That’s over a week’s worth of food for my family! All thanks to Ebates and all in exchange for my doing something I would’ve done otherwise.

[Oct 2018 Update: I’ve now earned back well over $1,000!!]

Don’t forget to use my link if you want that extra $10 back on your first purchase!

Have YOU signed up for Ebates yet?