Wednesday, January 11, 2012

How I'm Saving - And Earning Money

I mentioned that I wanted to expand my blog to include some of the ways I save money.  I have been a stay at home mom for 19 years.  I know that many women haven't had that choice - and I am very grateful.  Although I wouldn't change it for the world, it does present challenges.  We are completely dependent on one salary.  My husband works very hard to support us and I work very hard to stretch the money coming in.  We are very fugal.  Every purchase we make is thought out and planned.  So, it is very difficult for me to spend a small fortune at Christmas.  I don't over-spend and I pay everything off right away (I don't like paying interest).  But I still want to find a way to give without the anxiety.  I set a new goal this year to do my Christmas shopping for free. I came up with this idea in December - and I have figured out some ways to make it happen already.  This is one of my favorite goals ever.

So how am I going to get free stuff?  I have a few different ideas.  Today, I want to share my love of Swagbucks.  Swagbucks is a search engine (and more) that pays you to search the web!  I started using Swagbucks about three years ago.  I was skeptical at first.  I mean, why would someone pay me to search the web?  I didn't understand - or believe - that this would work.  But I gave it a try anyway.  And after a few weeks, I had earned enough Swagbucks to cash it in for a $5 Amazon gift card.  For doing nothing.

Over the last couple of years, I've told my friends about Swagbucks and some of them signed up - and loved it.  So, when I decided to put ads on my blog a couple of months ago, I looked for Swagbucks.  Because I already use them.

Which is part of my plan to spend nothing at Christmas.  I am letting my Amazon gift cards add up.  It's just free money anyway.  Then I'll be able to make more purchases in December - without having to pay off a lot of bills in January.  Yay!

Why am I telling you about this?  Well, I think everyone should take advantage of free money.  :-)  In full disclosure, I make a nominal amount of money if you sign up through my blog.  But, more importantly, I think once you see how easy it is to use, you will be hooked. And, if you refer your friends, you can earn more Swagbucks!  You don't have to have a blog to see these add up (remember, I've been using them for years).

And here's a little tip for you - I love free stuff and deals and coupons.  I set up a separate email address just for these deals.  And with Swagucks, I have never received an email other than gift card confirmation (and a Happy Birthday email - with 50 Swagbucks attached!).  So you don't have to worry about your inbox getting filled with spam - you can use your regular email address.

Next week, I'll share some of my couponing secrets.  And how I get more stuff for free (like shampoo, toothpaste, dental floss, body wash and razors).  They don't call me Coupon Kristen for nothing...yes, that's what some of my friends call me.  I think it's a complement.