From September through December, we have two birthdays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. No matter how intentional I try to be, I never seem to have a handle on creating a budget and putting gift money aside throughout the year. So I decided to be more intentional about keeping that money out of our checking account and save it elsewhere, like in an app somewhere to only be taken out to use for gifts. It has worked out so well for us I had to share!
Whether you have a string of birthdays in a row or you’re just looking for a no-effort method to save up for gifts, here are five easy ways to earn some extra cash.
- Swagbucks-This is the original money saving program I started using. You get points (Swagbucks) back for things you buy online, taking surveys or doing other tasks within the website. You can read more about it in my post here. Without putting any effort into earning more points through surveys or other activities unless I’m really close to another gift card level, I usually get $500-200 back each year. Sign up now with my referral link and get 300 Swagbucks automatically!
*Insider Tip – Swagbucks allows you to link your credit cards to Swagbucks! Then you can clip an offer before you go shop in a store and it will give you money back on qualifying purchases! This is awesome for people who prefer to do their shopping in person.
- Ibotta-I joined Ibotta a long time ago, used it for a few weeks and gave up on it. Then a friend mentioned it to me again a few months ago and I’ve been using it again. Just in the past three months I’ve gotten $48 back from grocery store purchases. I just recently discovered you can also get cash back from online purchases similar to with Swagbucks so I compare the two when I’m online shopping to see who has the higher rebate percentage. I like to plan my snacks around what I have coupons for and a lot of times the items will be both on sale in the store and have an Ibotta coupon so you end up saving money both ways. They even have coupons for homeopathic medicines and grassfed beef from time to time! Payout starts at $20 (I average around $12-16/mo) and deposits right into your PayPal (which is where I keep my holiday/gift budget now).
- Checkout51 – This is a lot like Ibotta but usually for different products. I don’t use this quite as frequently as Ibotta but I do check it regularly. They don’t tend to have quite as many organic/whole-foody type products as Ibotta does but they do have a pretty wide variety of standard products like marshmallows, graham crackers, paper towels, kleenex, etc. They also pay out at $20 but I think it is a little harder to get there. However, their referral program is awesome so if you start using it and have lots of friends/family who start using it, it can definitely be a huge help.
- Rakutan (Ebates) – Ebates was actually my gateway into refund-type sites way back in college. Swagbucks ended up being a bit more on top of technology changes which is why I switched but now Rakutan is making a comeback. It’s another place to check and see what the rebate percentage is when you are buying online and it also has a nice referral program if you have friends/family who don’t already use it. Get $10 automatically with my referral link!
*Insider Tip – You can get refunds on orders made to places like Kohls, Children’s Place, Carter’s, etc. that allow you to buy online and pick up in store so you don’t have to pay for shipping or spend more than planned to qualify for free shipping.
- Shopkick – This one is a little different than the others but is kind of fun! You get “kicks” for checking in at certain stores, scanning items’ barcodes and purchasing items. There are also ways to earn a few extra kicks by watching videos, etc. and by referring friends.
I hope these help! How do you keep your gift budget in mind throughout the year?