Monday, July 2, 2018

saving for disney update

I continue to slowly tick away at my Disney vacation savings goal. I estimated it will be around $4000 for everything (3 days of park tickets for 5 people, parking at Disney, one week car/house rentals, spending money--airfare will be covered by our Chase Southwest credit card). For those of you unfamiliar, I have made it my mission to pay for this vacation (which isn't for another 2 years!) by using various apps and money-making websites and not having to worry about it coming from our already tight monthly budget. As of this week, here is where I am at:
So far I have saved $1450 towards our trip. I would honestly be right around $2000 if I hadn't been taking a lot of my Swagbucks earnings lately and putting them towards unexpected expenses that popped up (a large vet bill and car repair come to mind). So how does this break down?

+$940 from Swagbucks
+$92 from Ibotta
+$100 from Pinecone
+$25 from Shopkick
+$10 from Achievement
+$100 from garage sale profits
+$10 from Receipt Hog
+$125 were gifts
+$36 from Dosh
+$11 from miscellaneous change

In addition to saving for Disney, Jon and I were determined to find an easy way to budget for birthday/Christmas gifts since all of our birthdays fall within 4 months of December. We've been doing this 3 ways:

+every time we get a promotional Target gift card (think buy 2 get a $10 Target gift card type promos) we set the gift card aside to use for birthdays/Christmas
+I use the Fetch Rewards app. (To get 2000 bonus points on your first receipt scan, use referral code FB2WH when prompted) It's super simple (and free) - you just upload photos of all the receipts you accrue and you get points that can be cashed out to gift cards--Target, Amazon, etc. 
+We use Bing to search. You can sign up for a free live.com email account and if you use Bing to search / do their daily extras each day, you can earn about $5 in gift cards every 11 days.
By using these 3 methods, we have over $200 saved up for birthdays and the holidays this year.

I know this seems like it would be totally overwhelming, but all the apps I use regularly take me about 5 minutes a day to use. My method is like this -
1. If getting groceries, check Ibotta and add any rebates I'd like to my list.
2. When I arrive at the store, make sure Shopkick is open to get walk-in kicks where applicable. If I have time, scan a few items to get additional kicks.
3. Either while Jon is driving us home or right when I get home, snap a photo on Receipt Hog. Then snap photos for Ibotta (when applicable) and Fetch Rewards.

Achievement is a passive earner - it just syncs with my Fitbit app every day, so I do nothing with it. Pinecone will email me when surveys are available and those take 5-10 minutes to do and pay out around $3/survey. Dosh just rewards you when you use your linked credit card at eligible merchants. Once you build the habit it isn't a big deal to use these at all and it has totally added up for me.

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