I really like shopping online. I love the convenience, the ability to do an instant price check without wasting gas, and I don’t have to time my shopping trip in between naps, feeding children and the dozens of other things I do on a normal day. One of the beautiful things about shopping these days, but particularly online shopping, is that there are so many ways to earn back the money you would already be spending in a store, you’re really saving money if you do it right. More importantly than just saving money in the long run, I am using these rewards and rebates to get my family out of debt faster. I’ve been rehabbing my credit score and now I’m super motivated by the progress there to make even more progress on my debt snowball. I’ve calculated that with all of these things, each month I’m earning back about double what my minimum payments are, so I’m getting out of debt even faster than I would have without them!
Most of my commissions and income come through Paypal, so we either end up spending money on the PayPal card or transferring it to our bank account. Instead of transferring money to our bank account I have started using my PayPal debit card (they do offer a credit card, but this is a debit card) card to just pay a bill or make a debt payment. I earn 1% back which is really not a ton of money, but it’s money that I wouldn’t have had otherwise! When I get my cash back, I’ll go and make a payment for that amount, no matter how small it is. It’s kind of funny to see when I make $4.23 payments on a loan that the balance is over $11,000… but I know that every dollar and every payment helps!
So, if you have hung out here on the blog at all, you know I’m an Amazon junkie. I usually make a pretty big order once a month and I just love how convenient it is to use Ebates and get a percentage back on the stuff I’m already buying to prepare for baby, have in our stockpile or just run the house in general. Ebates sends out quarterly checks that get applied straight to my student loans. I average $70 on the low end each quarter, which is a little less than the monthly payment for my loans.
I wrote a whole post about the craziness involved in doing grocery rebates, and how I do it even when I’m buying mostly whole foods. That part is really important to me, because while I don’t mind getting special things for the occasional road trip, but I’m really not
While UPromise is really for college savings and it won’t bring us any benefit immediately, I really don’t do anything to maintain it and it’s very simple. All I did to use it was register my debit cards (yes, including my PayPal debit card!) and I am just letting it go from there. It looks like they have a lot of the same deals that SwagBucks and Ebates have, shop through them and get credit, but I’ll think about that more when I’ve taken care of my own debt before I worry about the kids’ college.
I do a lot of shopping online. A lot. So when I do my shopping, I usually do it through either Ebates or SwagBucks. I use SwagBucks for Amazon because most of the purchases I’ve made through Ebates haven’t been in an eligible category to earn a rebate, which is just frustrating. I actually wrote a post about how I maximize my SB earnings through smart math (not by watching hours of videos and doing a million surveys- that’s boring.)
Ohmygosh. If you haven’t heard of Paribus, then go right now and make yourself an account. They are the best thing that’s happened to online shopping since Amazon decided to have free two day shipping for Prime members.
So, I used to be really concerned with how much I spent on Amazon. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I still have a budget, but I used to be really worried about buying an item I knew wasn’t the lowest price. What if I needed something now, even though I knew the price was due to drop with an upcoming sale cycle? Paribus takes care of that! All you have to do is login and give them access to your email where your Amazon receipts are shipped and they will automatically file a claim for you to get a refund for the lower price if the price drops after you’ve already bought the item. At first I didn’t get any refunds because I had been so careful to watch the sale prices, now I just go ahead and buy things as long as the difference isn’t huge. Paribus takes care of the rest. Yeah. You’re welcome!