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Optimize Your Finances!
Many of you know you can optimize your life in many ways, and that includes your finances!
Below are some of the products/services I use to help me save money or get cash back. Please note I may receive a small bonus from these companies, however I would not recommend anything I do not use or like:
American Express Blue Card
I started using this card earlier this year after baby #2! There is no annual fee, and you can get rewards and benefits such as 3% back at supermarkets, 2% back on gas, and 1% back on everything else! You can apply the rewards directly to your balance to reduce your payment, or you can select gift cards and other options.
As of this writing, you will also receive $200 back after you spend $1,000 the first 3 months (perfect if you know you have a big purchase coming up)!
To see more details, please click here.
Ebates is connected to many stores online, so if you’re about to do some online shopping, make sure you sign up and get the $10 bonus they will give you just for signing up!
This is how it works:
- Go through Ebates and select a store you would like to shop from (or use the browser button or app; to get started it may be fastest to go the old-fashioned way through the website).
- Shop at your selected store after Ebates redirects you using their referral link.
- As you make a qualifying purchase, you can use any of the coupons/codes you selected during the process on Ebates (or the current offer via the link).
- Following your purchase, your cash back will be posted on your Ebates account.
- Your cash back will be accumulated over a quarter, and you’ll receive a check in the mail quarterly with you cash back earnings!
To learn more, please click here.
Phones and Phone Plans:
Previously I paid $199 monthly for a 30-month plan through AT&T for my iPhone and my husband’s Samsung phone. The monthly plan covered both the service and a 0% phone financing plan.
Over the summer, I heard about Google Fi service and decided to switch — and it was the best decision I ever made! I got 2 brand new phones – 1 Pixel and 1 Pixel XL – for an estimated 24-month plan of $122/month. I don’t always pay $122 a month, though. I receive a credit if we don’t use all our data!
Take a look at the screenshot below (reverse chronological order; bottom is July 2017) to see how much I have actually paid. Please note that by using a referral link, I saved money upfront plus adding my husband to the plan also saved me, which is why the August bill was so low!
If you’re a huge iPhone user and can’t imagine switching, it may not be for you. However, if you love all the services through Google (i.e. docs, sheets, etc.) and like the idea of everything being integrated in your phone, I highly recommend it. For instance, I pull up docs I’m using very easily through the apps, and the voice-to-text option works great.
If you’re interested in learning more, please click here.
(Please note if you are still currently on an active contract or plan with your old service provider, you may have to research any fees or phone plan payoffs required. In our case, we were towards the end of our plan, so I paid off the phones and then sold them on Gazelle.com).
If you’re an avid reader but want to save money on your reading habit, I recommend trying Kindle Unlimited. The number of available titles has increased over the years, including traditionally published books such as Harry Potter, The Millionaire Next Door, and The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. The great thing is that you can read an unlimited number of books each month. Click here to learn more!
Side note: In general I recommend saving money by reading digitally if you’re comfortable with it. You can do that by using the Kindle app on your personal device!
Reading – Audiobooks:
An alternative (or addition) to Kindle Unlimited, Scribd.com offers a unique service: access to 3 book titles a month plus an audiobook! It also features unlimited access to news and magazine articles, sheet music and documents. Additionally, there are a number of titles in their unlimited catalogs. I have found that Scribd sometimes offers traditionally published titles that Kindle Unlimited doesn’t have (and vice-versa). Therefore, I save money by using Scribd instead of buying a digital title that is priced over $8.99 (especially if I read more than one title and listen to an audiobook that month!)
To try a free subscription, click here.