I am so grateful to live here in the United States that affords me and my family to pursue the life we want to live. I'm also grateful to Saving Advice as a place to talk about my life and share in yours.
I wanted to clue you into a coupon on Amazon.com. It's worth $5 off $20 worth of book sold by Amazon.com. The code is GIFTBOOK17 and is good through November 26th.
I had $47 worth of books in my cart this morning. I added the coupon code and $40 worth of Amazon.com gift cards (earned from Swagbucks and MyPoints) and paid $5.93 after taxes were added in. And these will be shipped free with my Amazon Prime membership.
Okay, back to your regularly scheduled Thanksgiving!!
Viewing the 'Sales, Surveys, Rebates' Category
I sold some Box Tops for Education on eBay today. I will net about $7 for some scraps of paper and cardboard. Easy money really.
We received our electric bill this week and finally it dropped significantly. I'm sure primarily due to cooler weather and having one heating and air unit completely off for a week. It was off because the compressor was bad, thus no point in using it. It has now been replaced. The drop was $80!! I'll make a point to put that money towards our Big Goal.
We went grocery shopping today for our Thanksgiving meal. Our meal itself actually isn't too fancy. I'm making Pot Pies, mashed potatoes (daughter's request), a salad and pumpkin pie. Even that sounds like too much food! I did however buy many of the ingredients we need for our holiday baking. And my husband has a meal at work this week he is contributing to. He bought rolls and I'm making cookies for him to take. We also bought some meat on clearance, coffee filters, and cat filter. We spent $200. I need to see how many Ibotta rebates I may qualify for...for a few more snowflakes.
My birthday was Friday and I received a check from my parents for $100. I added it to our Big Goal also.
Snowflakes add up!
My husband told me today that we will be getting about $105 from his recent travel reimbursement. This was the trip where he bought some friends dinner to the tune of $140. That meal isn't specifically being reimbursed, of course, but it will offset that expense a bit. I didn't think he was getting anything extra.
Our college daughter was home for spring break last week, so we did a little clothes shopping, went out to eat a couple times, and celebrated her birthday with cake from a bakery. And now the funds left that we budgeted through the end of the month are getting slim.
I did jump ahead in the budget a bit and bought tickets for my husband, daughter and I to see a local Sherlock Holmes play in early April. Those three tickets were $55 total. And we will be seeing Beauty and the Beast in the theater this coming weekend. This much more than we usually spend on entertainment in a short period of time. But thankful that we can afford to do so when we find something that is of interest for all of us.
I listed four CDs on eBay today in a lot. Not sure if they will sell or not. I think I may have listed them for sale in the past, but I don't have a record of it on my account any longer. So if I did it was more than two months ago. I figured I would try one more time.
I've been doing pretty good at accumulating Swagbucks, but I'm going to need to spend my time getting my garden planted soon. I'm going to do zucchini, summer squash, tomatoes, lettuce, snow peas, onions, cucumber and strawberries. I'm going to do the strawberries in a pot on our screened in porch to keep the birds away! I'm not real optimistic about them, but my younger daughter insists since she didn't like them when she was younger and didn't get to eat any!
Oh, I thought I'd ask those of you world travelers what you think about exchanging currency before a trip? How much of the total expected costs would you want to have in the foreign currency? 20%? 50%? The teacher leading the trip can exchange for a lower fee at her bank. We know some cash is likely a good idea. She would need pounds for the two days in London, and euros for the remaining ten or eleven days. She also has a no foreign transaction fee debit card that she will likely use as well. I think we may also add her as an authorized user on one of our credit cards, as an extra back up option.
Scroll down two posts if you missed the post were I linked to some free debt pay off and saving charts.
My daughter signed up for two online summer school classes. Remember she's a non resident student. And her scholarship helps a lot during the fall and spring semesters, but will not be applied during the summer. In order to graduate with two majors in 4.5 years she needs to take summer classes. Those two classes will cost $3,470. I was expecting this but didn't put a lot of planning thought into it. But now I am!
She still has cash in her Educational Savings account. My current plan is to the money in that account but only for half. The other half ($1,735) I hope to cash flow. I have until June 12 to come up with those funds. Three months! This is $578.33 per month. I'm going to attempt $300 each pay period.
It is really hard to save 'extra' for my long term goal while paying tuition, but I am going to remember that we will have the GI Bill benefits starting this fall. And it covers the full tuition cost, $1000 towards books AND nearly all of the housing costs. I just figured out the housing costs and our actual out of pocket costs will amount to $2208. That is far less than we have been paying. We do have to pay the full amount upfront and then we are reimbursed monthly. Luckily we have the cash and this will work out just fine.
I added two more items to eBay this morning, and I have four more that I hope to add as soon as possible. These won't amount to a lot of cash, but each dollar counts. These items are easy to mail, too.
It's just my daughter and I here at home this week. I went grocery shopping for just the two of us and spent $52. I'm very excited about that number! The truth is we just eat a bit simpler without my husband. One night we are at an event at school where we will be served pizza. I will be giving a donation to a scholarship fund with a chance to win some prizes, so not exactly free, but a good cause to donate to.
My net proceeds from selling 11 items on eBay recently came to $145.33. Not bad for stuff we aren't using! This could probably be considered the first money for my new BIG goal.
Flute lesson was cancelled last week because the teacher got ill. Luckily she was able to tell us before we made the full trip all the way over there. Turns out she won't be available to teach this coming week either, so I have a $50 credit that will be applied next month.
I'm working on getting more Swagbucks. I have an item to buy from Amazon that is just under $12, so I'm aiming for a $15 gift card. This item is reusable and will save me about $60 a year by using it. So now I'm realizing I need to see what else I could replace to save. Another option would be to eliminate something I use because it is unnecessary. I have one idea, but I need to try it for awhile to know for sure. That would probably save me $40 per year.
I did a little online research and found that we could likely move on post in Summer 2018 (assuming availability) to an 2 bedroom apartment. The cost would be $1250, and include ALL utilities, cable, internet and trash. I figured that would save us nearly $910 a month or $10,920. And actually would save us even more as my husband would be blocks from work, so could probably walk. I would be driving less without a child at home. I sure like the possibility of saving some serious cash! Not sure what my husband would think of an apartment, nor do I know that we would still be living in the area next summer.
Good news! My husband actually was reimbursed for providing coffee to the Generals in the office last week. It's done on a donation basis. He scored $15 in cash for providing the coffee, creamer and sugar.
I've also sold four items on eBay since Sunday. I have one that has not paid yet. This always seems to happen when I accept a Best Offer. I'm almost to the point of not offering that, but I do like to make sales! This was just agree to last night, so the buyer isn't really late in making payment at this point. I would just like my money, so I can ship the items out!
I've been decluttering lately at our home. If you stopped by, you might think I barely have anything compared to the average American, but yet there is still stuff we don't use. I have been showing a bag of decluttering on my blog Your Organized Friend for the last week and there is more to come.
The decluttering has produced several items worth trying to sell. I'm not sure that they all will sell, but if I could get some money for most of them I would be happy. I have three items in the $40-30 range, and two items listed in the $8-10 range. I have one more item I'm washing first and hope to list it later tonight for at least $40.
I also came upon a few movies that might be worth listing, but I will need to find appropriate packaging for them first.
In other news, we had my van in for repair late last week. I had a situation where I went to pick up my daughter from school and went to start the van again and it wouldn't turn over at all. I was able to start it an hour later without a jump start. The repair shop eventually recreated the issue. It was the alternator that was bad, which then caused the battery to go out prematurely. We did get a free replacement battery as it was still under warranty. With military discounts an alternator with a three year warranty and labor cost us $530. We do have the cash to pay it for which I am thankful. I also feel much better knowing that I won't have a problem starting my van again in the future!
I've sold a few more items on eBay. I netted less than $15, but that is money in and stuff out, so I'm happy. I have eight more items listed. I'm not sure they will all sell, but if they end without interest, then they will get donated.
I haven't had a Pinecone survey lately. Although, I know I've done some of the household questions. I decided to log on to their website. I found I had $3 that I could cash in. Nice surprise!
I'm transferring more money from our money market account to Navy Federal Credit Union. We had a certificate mature and they now have an offer of 2% for 20 months, up to $20,000. I decided that 2% is better than .95%, so I'm going to maximize the amount we can invest.
My daughter did get marching band changed to zero credit. The other one credit needs to stay as it is. She has 13 credits officially, we will pay about $3300 out of pocket, after scholarships for the tuition and fees. Total for books and supplies will be known shortly. She has to order a specific dress for choir, not sure yet on it's cost.
I sold another item on eBay. Net profit $6.74. Less stuff, more money! I will put this in savings.
I've been motivated by my daughter going back to school to sell some things, just to help offset costs. In no way does it cover the cost, but every little bit helps!
I need to get on the ball and get more listed. Tuition and housing are due September 12. I have yet to calculate total bill, but I'm thinking at least $9K for the semester.
I sold two Wii games on eBay this week. After shipping and fees I netted $8.99. For now I'm leaving that money in my Paypal account. I feel like lately my snowflakes just get consumed into our spending. I probably need to be transferring them to our savings account.
Of course, I like all snowflakes...even if they melt once in awhile.
I sold a book and Box Tops for Education on eBay yesterday...and net another $14! The net total is about $187. Not too shabby.
I still have two items listed. I'm not sure if they will sell. One seems like it should, so I'm not quite sure what it hasn't. I may need to change it in some way to guarantee a sale.
I have earned enough to get a $5 Amazon gift card through Bing rewards. I haven't redeemed them yet. I'm getting closer to earning another $25 gift card or cash from Swagbucks, also. These seem to be my monthly averages on these.
I sure do like the small amounts of money that come in! Let it snow. Let it snow!!
It's official. All the items I have sold have resulted in $173.24 after fees and shipping! Some items were from the Wii U lot that I purchased. The others were old military gear.
The money is definitely going to offset the purchase of all the new to us Wii U items, and the gifts we purchased for our adopted family (spent about $250 on them).
I have three items currently listed for this next week. I think I have more I can list tomorrow, but I may be winding down with the sales. It feels good to get some of this military gear out the door. I knew it was worth money, so I lugged it halfway across the country (well, the movers did). It's finally time to get it out of here to free up some space!
So excited that my buyer from last Monday finally paid for their auction. I can get it in the mail on Monday!
I had one item sell yesterday with a Best Offer...but they have not paid. Ugh. I'm not sure if I didn't have that set up right, as I usually require immediate payment for Buy It Now auctions.
I have four auctions ending today and two already have bids. Some of these items are offsetting the cost of the Wii U I purchased for my daughter, so that is also exciting.
I have at least one or two more Christmas themed items I found in our stash that I'm going to put up for sale. If they don't sell before the holiday, they will just be donated?
Are you doing any selling during the month of December?
I'm terrible at remembering we have savings that earns interest. Maybe because it isn't much. One account earned $25, while two CDs earned almost $29 in the month of November. We also deposit $25 into a savings account as part of the agreement on one of the CDs. So we are accumulating $75+ each month. Not a lot but it counts!!
I sold another item on eBay yesterday. Already paid and mailed! That is another $12 added to the $63 profit. If the buyer of an auction that ended Monday would pay I have ANOTHER $12 to add. Hoping the payment is soon. I also have a bid on another item!
I mentioned photo books a few posts back. I did get one complete for my parents. It was $9.99 plus $7.99 shipping. It has photos of the grandchildren. It will arrive in time to wrap and mail for Christmas. I think I can fit it in a Flat Rate Priority envelope, so shipping should only be an additional $6. I debated about having it sent direct, but it seemed less personal. Nice gift for less than $25.
I paid all the current credit card spending. One card had over $1200 on it! But since we use YNAB, I knew the money was there to pay it. Our available spending is a bit sparse for the next two weeks, since there was a little overspending on our Thanksgiving trip. I don't think it should impact us much, since we just plan to stay home and do minimal outings.
I completed a Pinecone survey last week. I was credited today. And since I had 1500 points, I redeemed them for $15! I should have that money in my PayPal account soon. Yes, more snowflakes!!
I'm looking forward to Payday on Thursday. It seems our cash is running out. We should be fine and within budget until then. It's just time for more cash!
I'd like to get some items listed on eBay soon. I have items that should sell. I just need to get it together and done!!
Our moving company sent their insurance company over today to take picture of items damaged and broken during the move. Of course, we already took pictures, but they need their own. Now we wait to hear what they will offer us.
Yippee! My husband is using the YNAB app to enter in his expenses so far this week. He even pointed out to me yesterday that he did so. And I'm not sure that tracking caused this, but he decided to take some coffee from home this morning!
We've been have problems with any mail being forwarded from our old home to our new rental place. It worked for awhile when we moved to the apartment AND from the apartment to the rental. But nothing direct from the house...and it was requested and input THREE times! Today we finally got a bill in the mail from the old house. It was for that darn mold test. Just $50, instead of the $75 I remembered. At least mail is coming our way.
Most everything we get mail for has been updated as much as we can, so we haven't been too worried, but there are things that come through that we don't have any control over.
Turns out I have a buyer returning an item they bought last week. They are stating it doesn't work. I know I tested it before I sent it off. And another buyer is having trouble paying me through PayPal for another item. A bit frustrating!
I'm should be able to cash out my Bing Rewards tomorrow for a $5 Amazon gift card. After that one, I will have $41 in gift cards. I'm hoping to get $60 so I can make a 'want' purchase.
I claimed two offers on Ibotta today for grocery shopping done yesterday. Once those posted, I was eligible to cash out. I picked PayPal and my $10 was sent immediately. I love how quick it was.
I'm currently $1 away from cashing out my first $20 with Checkout 51. I'm not as much of a fan of this site, but I'm determined to get to the cash out amount and be done with them.
I washed the sheets on our master bed today. When I pulled them out the fitted sheet was ripped in the middle. I knew they were getting close to the end of their life span since the elastic was getting loose. I didn't really want to buy new sheets this week. And I really don't HAVE to, as we have extra set for emergency situations such as this and there is a set on our guest bed. However, I am having guests early in October, so I think I will need to buy new soon! For tonight at least the emergency set will work so I have a little time to look for a deal.
Where do you buy sheets? Do you have a thread count or style you like? Do you use Ibotta or Checkout 51?
It is payday today. The market was up. And I sold another item on eBay! And the weather was a 10 out of 10 in my book. It's like all of the stars aligned and angels are singing. At least it sort of feels that way!!
I'd pay bills usually, but DH is not available to work on YNAB until Thursday, so we will wait. I can probably start on it a little tomorrow, but I want him to learn along with me, so if I do too much it won't help him.
I think ten minutes after I returned from mailing the eBay item I sold yesterday, I sold another item. I promise to ship the next business day following payment so it's not a big deal. If I had waited a bit I could have mailed them at the same time. But of course, I didn't know!
As far as the stock market is concerned, I still haven't sold any shares from my daughter's college account. I'm watching the markets to see if they get closer to break even for the year at least. I would like to sell as few shares as possible. The lower the share price the more shares it will take to come up with the dollar value I need.
I also lucked out getting a big survey completed on Swagbucks today for 175 SB. I had a 50SB one as well. Even after redeeming nearly all my Swagbucks yesterday, I already have 535 again tonight. Moving right along towards my snowflake goals.
How was your day? Did the stars align and angels sing?
Oh, wow, it has finally cooled down a bit here in the Southeast! The humidity has dropped dramatically. I mowed our lawn for the first time (DH has down it all the other times) today and really enjoyed being outside. Exercise, fresh air and a trimmed yard all at the same time. And no money spent!
I have a couple transactions to put into YNAB today. We spent $30 at the football game (we basically ate dinner there). There was Walmart trip that night, too. And then yesterday my husband needed to withdraw cash for his trip. I guess I can't really record that yet since I don't know what he is spending it on.
I've been reading some ten day email subscription from YNAB that I signed up for. Today is Day 5. It's about budgeting with your spouse. I found a PDF of the entire series here. It's probably all worth reading, but I particularly liked how the author wrote about budgeting with a spouse. I know it can be hard for many couples. We don't really do it and we are after 19 years of marriage finally going to take a stab at it. I sent the email to my husband to read before we start working on our next budget for this next paycheck.
I'm working feverishly to accumulate Swagbucks and Bing points so I can buy some wants on Amazon. I'm a bit out of practice and things have changed at lot since I was doing it on a regular basis. Any tips on how you like to accumulate your SBs is appreciated. I do have over 1800 and I'm looking to get 2200 to get a $25 Amazon gift card.
I've done two Pinecone surveys recently, but I'm just at 900 points. I like to wait until I'm at 1500 to cash out for $15. Fingers crossed I can get a two more surveys before the month ends!
I'm also listing at least three items on eBay today after I get my cleaning tasks done. If those items sell they will help me purchase some of these wants!! It sure helps to have a goal to spur me on to earn a little cash. That and I finally have some time to do so.
What financial goal are you primarily working on? If you don't have one, what would it be? Do you budget with your spouse? How often?
For the first time I have sold some of our household items on Facebook! I made $33 selling a patio umbrella with stand, a leaf blower and a push broom. It appears I have another possible sale tomorrow night that should net another $10 for a dresser.
The cash from all these sales should get the balance on the Citi card from January finally paid off.
Selling on Facebook is still just as difficult as selling on Craigslist. People are still flakes about committing to an item. Don't say 'interested' if you don't at the same time tell me when you might want to pick it up!
I've given myself a limit of a week to get some of these items sold. If the items do not sell, I expect to donate or possibly trash the items. I don't want to move things I don't want anymore!!
Do you have any tips for getting people to commit with Facebook sales?
We are getting closer to selling our home. We had a talk with a realtor nearly a month ago. We decided to wait to commit to her, but as of this week we felt confident she was the right gal for us.
The plan is that we will have pictures taken right after Easter with the hope that the grass is greener. We will sign the listing agreement later that week and by early the following week (mid April) the home will be on the market! We would list right now, but we don't want to close until mid June at the earliest, and with our neighborhood being hot we don't want to put it out there too soon and then have it look stale just because of our closing date being farther out.
The realtor is going to start talking about our home and asked if we were willing to show it before we list. Ummm...yes! I'm ready to show it and happy we have a clear plan on where we are going from here.
Is anyone else, besides LAL, selling a home this year? Anyone buying?
My daughter's band trip to Orlando Florida is over. She returned with a smile on her face. It seems it was a really good time and I think she learned some things musically and socially.
I'm secretly thrilled that she returned with some of the cash I sent her with. She took $200 and came home with $121.84! She spent her $78+ on three souvenir pins (one given to her sister) plus water, snacks and a couple meals (most were included in the trip cost).
I can't really call the return of my money in this case a snowflake, but I will be putting it towards some recent costs, such as two new pairs of glasses (one for each of my daughter's) that were charged on a credit card.
In other news...we contacted the realtor we spoke to nearly a month ago to let her know we are ready to start moving forward. She and I are going to talk more tomorrow.
I made another eBay sale. Item was $32.95, so my proceeds will be less than that. We also found a toy in my daughter bedroom to list online. I hope to make at least $10 on it. I might also have two skirts I could sell as well. I haven't decided on those yet though.
I took advantage of a couple Target offers this week that provided $5 gift cards. There is an offer to spend $20 on various health care type items, such as hair care, razor blades, lotion, sun care, soap, deodorant and more. Over two days I bought $40 worth of items, using $13.50 in coupons and received $15 in gift cards. In the end all the items cost me $21.50, and actually probaly even less since I used my Target Red card for the 5% off. I love it when deals, sales and coupons align!
My husband has been fully reimbursed for his portion of the move. We received one payment for the actual travel entitlements which amounted to $628.29. I used about $128 to reimburse cash taken out of our savings account, the remaining $500 went to cover some of the clothing purchased for my husband, gas for travel, and the one night in a hotel.
We received a second travel payment which was for moving some of our household goods. It was primarily all of his clothes and army equipment. It is a taxable payment and was reduced by 25% for withholding. The net amount was $365.90. I will also use this money to pay off some more money we have recently put on credit cards in the last couple weeks.
I feel better when money is flowing in!
I had five auctions end on eBay last night. Three sold, two did not. The gross sales were $67.50. I plan to donate one of the items and hold the other for a better time of year. I still have one item listed which I will maintain as a Buy It Now sale for another three weeks. If it doesn't sell in that time I will take it down for awhile.
My PayPal account is getting fat with these recent sales, a Swagbucks deposit as well as a pending Pinecone deposit. I hope to get all the money transfered and sent to the Wells Fargo Amex card by the end of the week. I'll let you know what my final snowflake total is then!
I'm on a pretty active sales page on Facebook for my area. I can see that if I listed some items there I might get some takers. I'm not ready to do that yet, but I'm thinking about it.
If memory and my notes serve me correctly, we started 2015 with $700 in debt on our Wells Fargo American Express card. It is at 0% interest, but we need to pay it off soon so we can cancel the card and not be charged a hefty annual fee.
I have been making payments all year on the card. With a payment of $109.52 which is all snowflakes/found money(primarily from eBay sales), we know owe just $185.29.
I'll be honest this is getting a bit tedious for me. I may just pay it off next week. I do have some more auctions that could net some more cash, so I will likely wait until after that.
Is it bad to say I'd like to find another $150 to charge to the card before we cancel? I think that amount would get me to the threshold with points to redeem $25. I guess I should start using it for purchases in the next two or three weeks. I'm sure I will have expenses that will add up to that. I already tried looking at our utilities but none of them accept American Express for payment.
That's the status! At least the amount owed is going down. I am looking forward to one less card soon.
I have more eBay sales in the works. One item sold this afternoon and two that currently have bids will end on Sunday. There could be more. I have my fingers crossed that is the case.
I will likely relist any that didn't sell this go around. At a lower price of course! I'm also going to look in my stash of items to see if there are another couple that I could get listed on Sunday. If memory serves me correct, I may have two.
All sales money is going to pay off the Wells Fargo credit card. I was able to make a payment from one of my accounts to the card for about $78. I want to make another payment, but found out I can only make 5 payments in one calendar month, so I'm waiting a bit longer (after the eBay sales end) to make another payment. My current balance on the card is $294.81. I'm getting there!
My husband made it to our new hometown late yesterday. He is on the east coast and made it ahead of all the storm stuff brewing out there! I feel less stressed now that he is there safely. He is now MORE stressed that he is there because of needing to acclimate to new surroundings and people. We will survive.
I haven't checked on his expenses yet. It was one night in a hotel, gas and food. I know he took cash out in case of tolls also. The good news on those expenses they will get reimbursed. Hopefully quickly!!
I had lunch with another soldiers wife yesterday. Spent nearly $20 on lunch and tip, but we hung out at the restaurant for nearly 3 hours! I always love a nice social lunch.
I have an eBay buyer wanting to return an items. They weren't the size she thought they were. It's not clothing and I don't think I had measurements on the listing, but she didn't ask before buying either. I have offered to take them back, she pays shipping and I refund purchase price only. Personally, she would be ahead to try to list them herself for sale. If she returns them to me at her expense, she is out nearly $20 in shipping! And she only paid $11 for the item. We will see what she does!
How is the weather on the east coast for those of you that way? Are you expecting any reimbursements? Have you returned a purchase to an eBay seller before?
I had another eBay sale last night, which I promptly shipped today. There seem to be quite a few people watching items I have listed. I hope more sell over the weekend so I can ship on Monday! I have at least one item maybe more I need to list this weekend as well.
It's payday, but our day has been busy. I hope to get all bills paid tomorrow and pay down more on our credit card debt.
Have a great weekend!!
I listed four items for sale on eBay on Sunday, and then yesterday proceeded to add another 13 items. And as of last night, I sold two items. Gross proceeds were just over $68!
My husband got a speeding ticket yesterday. I had even said, "don't speed" before he left! Ugh. He got impatient with someone going below the speed limit. He went around, but way faster than the speed limit. The ticket is $114.
So I guess some of the sales will help pay off the ticket in addition to the credit cards we are working on (which are at 0% interest). And I just sold another item while writing this email, so make that $76 in sales!
I'm just excited to finally get some of these items listed. I have more, but need to find some big boxes to put them in! I'll check the free boxes at the post office today when I mail the sold packages.
Have you ever had a speeding ticket? Are you selling anything right now?
I earned enough Swagbucks to redeem for $25 in Paypal cash, and it arrived today in my Paypal account. I have already requested transfer to my bank account. This money will go to pay off the Propel Amex card we have a balance on. (No interest is accruing!)
I listed four items on eBay last night and expect to keep adding items everyday this week. Any sales will be considered snowflakes and will help reduce that credit card balance listed above.
I don't plan on opening any credit cards for bonuses until after our move, or at least until we have housing secure. This will likely keep my snowflake progress lower than in the past. At least for the first half of the year. I may also stop working on Swagbucks for a little while,since I have a lot of things to work on getting ready for our move.
Where are most of your snowflakes/found money coming from this month?
|<< Newer Entries||Older Entries >>|