Monday, February 16, 2015

Money Saving Monday: Bing



Have you all heard of Bing? It's basically Google but instead it's Bing. I've been using Bing for a couple years now along with Google. You might ask yourself, why in the world wouldn't I always use Google? Good question my friend. The answer is Bing gives me gift cards for using them!

Right now I'm sure you are thinking what's the catch? Nothing. Really. Every morning when I need to Bing something I just visit Bing.com and type my search terms in the box, exactly like Google. It spits backs a ton of answers, just like Google. For each 2 items I "Bing" I earn 1 credit up to 15 credits per day in basic searches. Then I can Bing on my phone and earn an additional 10 credits and they always have at least one freebie of the day like a trivia question (that you can Bing for the answer).

By now I'm sure you are thinking that it must take years to earn enough credits to redeem for a gift card but that is not so! In fact, you can realistically earn a $5 Amazon credit every month without much problem at all.

Let's do some math…

30 searches a day on a computer = 15 credits
20 searches a day on a phone = 10 credits
1 (minimum) freebie search a day = 1 credit
Total = 26 credits a day!

I'm currently a Gold Member which is nice because it means I get discounts on rewards.

A $5 Amazon gift card costs a Gold Member 475 credits and a non-gold member 525 credits.

A handful of different gift card options available.
So 475 credits divided by 26 credits a day is roughly 19 days of searches. Which means, if you do as many searches as allowed every day, you will be able to have a $5 gift card every 19 days. Not too bad since you are probably Googling stuff every day anyway.

I don't normally Bing 50 different options a day on my own so what I typically do is click through the basic story headlines on the homepage. You don't have to do anything but click on each one. Takes maybe 2 minutes to click on enough to earn all your credits for the day. I also don't do a lot of bing searches on my phone (not convenient so I don't waste my time) so it does take me a little longer to earn the gift cards but not too much longer.

At this point I have redeemed for three $5 amazon gift card codes and I currently have enough credits for two more $5 codes.

Are you going to get rich with Bing? No. You will earn a few gift cards every now and then though for doing something super simple that you probably do daily anyway. Seems like a no-brainer to me!

Does anyone else Bing? What do you think of it?

P.S. I do earn referral credits if you click one of my Bing links above and use it to earn credits. No pressure… ;)

(No I'm not a sponsor of Bing, I just think it's pretty cool)

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Things I'm currently loving...

Anything and everything gold!



The beautiful flowers my husband sent me for no reason on Tuesday.



The Maroon 5 song Sugar. It's so good!!

Gas prices. I can't even believe they are so low. Hopefully I'm not jinxing it.

(Okay, so maybe I used some fuel points on this one.)

Peeling wallpaper. Oh wait…I HATE that. 

Giant greasy hamburgers. Not sure why but almost everyday I want to eat a hamburger. (Don't worry I don't. Sadly.)

My husbands butt in these jeans…

American Sniper, the movie. It was really good and super intense. Makes you appreciate our freedom and what soldiers do for our country. You know it was good when the theatre is dead silent as the credits roll until people start clapping. Check it out. 

The lovely free printable Meal Planner I made for all you lovely readers :) You can find a downloadable file of it on my Blog BFF Kala's page My Breezy Room!


Have a lovely weekend!!



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Monday, January 19, 2015

Money Saving Monday

I've realized I have about a million little tricks and tips for saving money. Since I'm pretty sure everyone loves to save money I have decided to do a little series occasionally called Money Saving Monday



With this series I will share ways (that I actually use) to save myself and my family money. This ranges from making freezer meals, to couponing, to using certain websites or apps to earn things like gift cards, cash and magazines!

If there is something in particular you are interested in saving money on let me know in the comments below. 

To get started…here's a link to a post I did a few weeks ago. I have currently earned approximately $70 in gift cards just from this app. (Hint: If you use the link I provide I earn bonus points and so do you!)


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Thursday, January 15, 2015

I'm not a failure

(I bet that title made you click, huh? I'm not a failure at my non-resolutions that is!)

My New Years goal to Simplify my life is going pretty well. Am I an expert at it yet? Not even close. Here's a few things I have done so far to help me get the process going...

I cleaned out a few kitchen cabinets that were literally overflowing. I purged a bunch of food that was expired or that I realized we will never eat and reorganized to make things easier to find. Now I don't dread opening up my cabinets. Win!

I set up a second checking account with automatic transfers from our regular checking account. A small amount is transferred each Friday (Seth's payday).  This money will be used on household projects such  re-roofing and re-siding our house. Which will help avoid the, "oh shoot, that's a lot of money to come up with" Yay!

I have continued to write my to do lists in my planner and then try to get through the items on my list each day. If I don't complete the item I move it to the next day. Re-writing the same thing over and over from day to day seems stupid to me so I just get the item done so I can check it off. I love checking off lists!


It might only be the second week of January but hopefully I will be able to stick with it. Wish me luck!

How have your resolutions or non-resolutions been going so far?? Any tips or tricks?

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Monday, January 5, 2015

A New Year Without Resolutions!

It's already the 5th of January and until I started writing this post I was feeling slightly overwhelmed and like I already failed at the New Year. I decided to not make formal New Years Resolutions this year and I was a little worried about it because who doesn't like starting a new year with a long list of to-do's? 

I think it's my indecisiveness and moderate ADD that make resolutions overwhelming to me in general. I have so many ideas, hopes, dreams, that just thinking about them all makes my head spin. And then writing them down scares the crap out of me. 

Instead of year long resolutions, that usually end up forgotten by February, I have decided to try and have a general focus for the year. 

This year my focus is going to be:
SIMPLIFY


To me, Simplify, can mean a lot of different things but I think it can be pretty well summed up by saying: 

Figure out what's important to you, and get rid of everything else.

Can you tell I'm currently loving gold and polka dots?
Here's my plan of action:
1. Clean out my closets and cabinets and get rid of things that I don't need or use.
2. Plan ahead for things like birthdays, meals, bills, etc. using my planner.
3. Set up automatic banking transfers to save money for home improvements
4. Spend less time looking at screens which will create extra time
5. Fix problems instead of creating work arounds
6. Clean out unneeded digital data (photos, files, emails, etc.)
7. Buy less and use what I have
8. Add in extra time to avoid being late
9. Spend 15 minutes a day cleaning (laundry, dusting, sweeping) to avoid a weekend of cleaning
10. Focus any extra time on relationships. 


I realize this may look like a long list of resolutions but I would like to argue that it is different. This list is by no means all inclusive but it does help to give me a starting point and a direction for where I want to go this year. I'm hoping that by keeping it simple (aka: Simplifying) all I have to do is ask myself, "Will ________ help to simplify my life?"  The answer to that one little question should help me to focus on what really matters. 

January is filling up!

Do you have New Years Resolutions? Do you stick to them? I want to know what you think!

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Sunday, December 7, 2014

How I Make/Save Money with my Phone


Aren't cell phones amazing?! They are basically tiny little computers that fit in our skinny jeans and save us money!

I thought it might be a good idea to share a couple of my favorite apps that are super simple and have saved, even earned, me money.

My favorite money making app is Shopkick.

All you do is open the app when you walk in certain stores such as Target (where we all shop), JcPenny, Best Buy, Wal-Mart and more. When you open the app you typically get anywhere from 30 to 100 kicks (sometimes even 200). In some stores you can scan certain products to get you additional kicks. Many times these range from 10 to 100 kicks per scan. Once you have accumulated enough kicks you can cash them in for gift cards. Using Target as an example: you can cash in as few as 500 kicks for a $2 gift card or 6250 kicks for a $25 gift card.

I have earned a total of 14,500 kicks which is equal to over $50 in gift cards. I have cashed in enough of my kicks to equal $35 worth of gift cards at JcPenny and currently have 5,750 kicks I can use whenever I want. The gift cards are codes that pop up almost instantly on your phone when you redeem them. You show the cashier the code which they enter as a gift card and ta-dah, free stuff!



How cool is that?

I'll do a follow up post to discuss a couple of the other apps I use to save money. What are your favorite money saving apps? Tell me in the comments below.

Enjoy and happy Shopkicking!


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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Hate Mail: Dear Verizon

We have switched phone carriers from T-Mobile to Verizon and it has been the biggest pain in the ass hassle. My mom and I went into the Verizon store on October 13rd to start the process and order our new phones (3 hours). After going around and around and around with everything we finally got new phones way later (November 15th to be exact) than promised because of Verizon's ridiculousness. 

I have summarized a few, not all, of the main issues below in an email I so eloquently drafted to Shahrukh after he emailed me in regards to the customer satisfaction survey I filled out. Please note that when I say eloquently drafted I really mean typed incredibly fast and angrily while punching my poor keyboard as hard as possible. I had no regard for punctuation, grammar or run on paragraphs because I was blinded by anger and wanted to get my point across, so don't judge.  I have added in the sections in red for your viewing pleasure and because that's what I really wanted to write but I didn't think they would take me seriously.

Verizon - If you would like to contact me, you've got my number ;)

And without further ado:

Hi Shahrukh (the guy that emailed me from Verizon),

I just wanted to let you know that so far I have not been happy with my service at Verizon. It has honestly been nothing but a nightmare (literally, I dream I'm on the phone with them) with one problem after the next. I have spent 10 hours, at least, on the phone with Verizon, including over 3 hours in one day (207 minutes to be exact). I have been bounced from one person to another! I have talked to Wendy, Amber, Franklin, Quint, John, Julian and more and that was in ONE DAY!! I have been in 3 different Verizon stores to go over things with employees there. My orders were cancelled 3 times (get your shit together)!!!!! They shipped me an extra phone and billed it to me! (Oh, and the extra phone was delivered to my husband, at my house, WHILE I was in VERIZON.  Is this real life? Am I being Punked? Where's Ashton?) They still have not adjusted my data plan and now are telling me they can't do it until the extra phone, that was wrongly sent on Verizon's part, returns back to Verizon. (So I get to call again? FML) We switched for reliability and so far we have had multiple dropped calls on the road where we have never before dropped calls with our old provider (granted they got dropped many other locations with them). We have dropped phone calls inside our home. We can not pull up the internet in the parking lot of a local gas station….does that sound like reliability to you???? Heaven forbid I'm stranded on the side of the road! Multiple times when I called Verizon for help I was told a Supervisor would return my call and it was not returned. Is that customer service?? I think not. (Dis-service? Yes)

I'm not happy. If you want to do something to make it right I will listen, but until then I guarantee you that I will not be singing Verizon's praises. Instead, I have been telling friends, family, coworkers and anyone (and I mean anyone) who will listen how dis-satisfied I am with Verizon. I'm an easy to please kinda person so I hope you understand how unhappy I am at this point. (Even though I sound like a raging lunatic at this point because that's where you've pushed me).This is not how customers should be treated and Verizon should be ashamed of themselves!

Unhappy Customer,
Julie 

(P.S. I will not be thankful for Verizon on Thanksgiving.)


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