guest post by my mom
"You guys are just really extreme."
"We're not that desperate."
"We make good money. We're fine."
These are the responses I usually get when mentioning extra ways we earn a little money and stretch our budget. We use things like Swagbucks, MyPoints, Ebates, and InboxDollars. We also collect MyCokeRewards, Huggies Enjoy the Ride, and Pampers Gifts to Grow points. All these things combine to make our budget stretch a bit farther. Did you know you don't even have to buy diapers to join and use the Huggies and Pampers programs? You can find plenty of free codes online (without buying a thing) to earn enough points to redeem.
Who says you have to be desperate to want to make your money go farther?
Let's do a little math and see how extreme this is. Let's say you buy 2 gifts per month over the course of the year and spend $25 per gift--so $50 per month. That's $600 per year. What could you do with $600 per year if you....say.....used gift cards that you earned by using some of the sites listed above instead of using the money out of your monthly budget.
We'll even take it a step farther. What if you used gift cards that you earned from the extreme websites and instead put that $600 into a regular 'ol ING savings account. If you're 30 today, that means that by the time you retire, that $600 per year that you weren't spending on gifts would have turned into nearly $49,000. Can you think of something fun to do with $49,000 when you're retired?
Think about it. That's just a conservative guesstimate. I mean, twelve gifts in a year is a pretty low number. Most people buy that many just at Christmas.
To be clear, I'm not talking about chintzing on gifts or anything. All I'm saying is, if you were planning on buying your mom a sweater from Ann Taylor for her birthday, does she know if you paid out of pocket for it or if you used a gift card you earned for free from opening a few emails? Not unless you tell her.
Or, you know, if she reads your blog.