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Let’s face it. We are facing unprecedented times in our country. The recent pandemic has caused panic, stress and fear in our lives. Many people are losing their jobs while others are not sure when (and if) they may return to work.
Since many people are facing layoffs and budget cuts, it is important now more than ever to stretch our hard-earned dollars. There are a few things that we can do in the coming months to put money back into our wallets:
Coupons– Even though couponing is nothing like it used to be, you can still save money by clipping coupons from your Sunday paper or from online. I find that there are still great coupons available for items like toiletries and household essentials. A few dollars here and there adds up after awhile.
Money-Saving Apps– One of my favorite ways to save money on each grocery trip is by using money saving apps. Even if you don’t use coupons, consider using money-saving apps. It takes very little effort to use these apps and the benefits are very rewarding! And, you can use these apps in conjunction with each other to really speed up the earning process! I have 3 top money-savings apps that I recommend and use each and every week:
Fetch Rewards– This app has to be the easiest way ever to earn money! Just scan and earn! Yes, it is that simple! Sign up HERE and use my referral code K3DEH. After you scan your first receipt you will get 2000 points! That is almost enough for your first gift card!
With Fetch Rewards, there are no specific products to keep track of. You simply scan your receipts each time that you shop and the points add up. If you really want the points to add up, there are bonus products that you can purchase which will earn you more points each time that you shop. In addition, purchases from Amazon and other online stores will also count. Simply scan your receipts each time that you shop and watch the points accrue in your account. AND, it only takes 3000 points to earn your first gift card to places like Amazon, Dunkin’ and Target. Save up your points to earn even larger gift cards! GO HERE to sign up for Fetch Rewards and use code K3DEH.
Shopkick– This app allows you to earn kicks which are rewards points that can be use towards digital gift cards to your favorite stores. Earning kicks is super easy, and this app is one that you can have your kids help you with! It is kind of like a scavenger hunt as you go through the store scanning products to get kicks My boys love to help me with this!
There are six easy ways to earn kicks while you shop:
- Walk into stores.
- Scan barcodes of selected products.
- Purchase items and submit your receipt.
- Purchase items with your linked card.
- Make online purchases.
- Watch videos.
Ibotta– With Ibotta, you can earn real cash back every time you shop online or in-store. Simply check Ibotta before you shop in-store or online, travel, dine out, or make a purchase and you can get rewarded with cash back and gift cards to your favorite retailers. Ibotta works with leading brands and retailers to help you save money without the hassle of traditional coupons, or promo codes.
And, now, earn with their newest feature, you can pay with Ibotta, too! When you use Pay with Ibotta, you can pay for your purchases right from the app, and earn cash back on your entire purchase, instantly. GO HERE to sign up for Ibotta.
Stockpile– I cannot stress enough the importance of stockpiling. I am not talking about hoarding.My general rule of thumb is to have enough items (like canned goods, pastas, etc…) in my stockpile to last for several months. This was especially helpful to my family and I when my husband lost his job several years ago. We were able to live off of our stockpile for several months.
One of the ways that you can stockpile is by shopping the BOGO sales at your favorite stores. When items are on sale, buy extra as your budget allows and those items into your pantry.
Another one of my favorite ways to stockpile is by purchasing reduced meat at the grocery store. I find that stores like Target, Walmart and Winn-Dixie will mark down their meats in the morning or late afternoon. Thanks to these sales, I always pick up several packs each time that I shop and add them to my freezer. This is especially helpful in situations like right now when there is hardly any meat available to the public.
Cancel Gym Memberships– If you don’t use your local gym more than once a month, evaluate whether or not that is a good investment. This may be a great time to cancel your membership for the time being and to find other free options and apps for exercising.
Grooming Services– Consider doing your own hair and nail services right at home. If you cut your spouse’s and kids’ hair at home think of the money that you could save during the month! Invest in a clipper set to start cutting their hair this month! You may be surprised at what a great job you can do! When it comes to your nails, there are so many great at-home gel kits available. By doing these two services at home, you will put a decent amount of money back into your wallet each month.
Sell Unused Items– During this time while we are home, go through your closets and cabinets to see what items that you can sell. Places like Facebook Marketplace, Ebay and Poshmark (for clothing) are great places to make extra cash from items that you have right in your home.
Student Loans– Due to ongoing circumstances, student loans will be deferred for the next 60 days. (at least, maybe longer) without interest or penalties. Check into this as soon as possible if you are a student.
Mortgage Payments– Contact your mortgage lender as soon as possible to see if your payments can be deferred. For many Americans, housing is one of our largest expenses. If you have lost your job or are facing a layoff, this is the number one issue that needs to be discussed. Many mortgage companies may defer payments or offer mortgage forbearance.
Spending– Track your spending. You will be surprised at how much you spend on things that you really don’t need. Things like daily coffee, trips to Target, etc…can put a generous amount of money back into your wallet each month. Start tracking today and save for tomorrow! I have a feeling that once you start track your spending you are going to be surprised at how much money that you were spending each month on these things!
Change the Due Dates of your Bills– Consider asking your creditors to see if you can change the due date of your bills. If you get paid towards the end of the month, see if your credit card companies and utility providers will work with you and let you pay those bills at that time. In addition, see if you can negotiate for a better deal. You may surprised at what one quick phone call will do!
These are some of my favorite tips and ideas for helping us to get through these difficult times ahead. Please remember above all to stay strong and positive!