Today I have Miranda from The Millennial Wife sharing her tips for saving money for Christmas. Miranda is this month’s featured sponsor and I’m really excited about that because I know you all will love her! If you love this article-and you will!-then hop on over to The Millennial Wife and show her some love!
Have you ever met someone that does all their Christmas shopping in July? I wish I were that prepared! But quite often, every year, the holidays roll around and we find ourselves at a loss at how we’re going to pay for Christmas.
It’s okay. You’re human and only have so much you can handle as a mother right now. It’s tough.
What I’m going to share with you will guarantee that you have enough money for Christmas. Mind you, this secret takes some time. And you’ll have to start now in order for it to work perfectly in time for next year. But getting started is the key.
So what’s this secret?
The Secret’s In Your Smartphone
Your handy-dandy little smartphone is a powerful tool. You can download a number of free apps that will literally pay you to use them. We’re talking about free money! How does this work?
Every time you go to the store you get a receipt. Every time that you shop online you get a receipt. Those receipts are worth a lot to some companies running certain smartphone apps. They can collect data from all of your receipts and pay you in the process.
You simply take a photo of your receipt. It only takes a couple minutes each week. Then you can accumulate points or dollars that can be translated into gift cards or paypal deposits. Isn’t that awesome?!
As a mom, you’re inundated with receipts and groceries and shopping, right? You can turn those slips of paper that you’re already getting into a savings pile each year. Let me tell you which apps I use to do this.
There are two different types of apps that work for this. Some give you cash back for certain items that you purchase at the grocery store and other retailers. Others just want you to scan your receipts, no matter what they are.
Grocery & Retailer Apps
Ibotta is the most popular app. You can go in and select your favorites stores you always shop at. Then select what items you are going to buy that week. Then you scan your receipt with the specific item, and you’re rewarded with a cash amount depending on the items you’ve bought.
I’ve had my Ibotta app for about a year now and have earned over $70 altogether. They have other bonus things that you can qualify for each month as well for extra earnings.
Mobisave is another grocery app. They don’t nearly have as many options for items to purchase. But I just stick to the generic things available like bread, milk, eggs, etc. The great thing is that you don’t always have to expect to buy high priced name brand items. You can just focus on the plain and simple necessities.
I’ve had Mobisave for about 10 months or so now and have earned about $25 altogether. Mobisave will also automatically deposit your earnings the same day you redeem it. There’s no minimum threshold of $10-20 like most other apps.
Another app that’s great is called Saving Star. It works very similar to Ibotta. But what I love about this app is that what items you can redeem are most often on sale that week in major grocery stores!
I’ll often get dollars back on cereal and granola bars with this app. After having had it for a year, I’ve earned around $35.
Plain Receipt Apps
The favorite app that just takes receipts no matter what is Receipt Hog. In exchange for scanning your receipts you are awarded coins. Then you simply redeem coins for a payout.
Receipt Hog often has bonus things each month with a theme that you can earn extra for. But I don’t usually pay attention to those. It also has a little slot machine game where you can win extra coins, but it’s no big deal. After having this app for a year, I’ve earned $23 in cash.
My favorite app because of its simplicity and functionality is Receipt Pal. You don’t have to worry about as much bonus stuff or technical things with it. Plus it allows you to count your digital receipts too.
You just scan your receipts, or forward your email receipts to their designated email, and you accumulate points. The more points you get, the greater value of turning those points into cash. After having this app for around a year, I’ve earned just over $38.
The last app I use is called Yaarlo. It’s not my favorite because it has more ads than the others. But it’s really fast for scanning the receipts. It pays out up to 2% of the total dollar amount on your receipts.
Yaarlo doesn’t have any rules about how many receipts you can submit per retailer during a certain time period like some of the other aps do. So that’s nice. After using it for a year, I’ve earned about $33.
Let me share another secret app with you. And this one doesn’t even require much at all! Screenwise Trends Panel which is owned by Google, simply tracks data from your phone. Data like searches, web browsing, nothing personal at all, no location tracking either.
And they will pay you $1 per week, per device! I have this app on my phone, laptop, and iPad, so I make $3 a week. That amounts to $156 per year for doing absolutely nothing! They don’t have ads, it doesn’t slow down your phone.
All you have to do is just open the app once a week and tap the button to confirm that your connection is good. It takes five seconds.
How Much Christmas Savings?
I’m sure you’ve already done the math, but let’s add all this up. Now, remember, this is just from my own personal use and history with these apps. I hardly ever purchase name brand items. So if you do, you likely would earn even more than I do.
Ibotta = $70
Mobisave = $25
Saving Star = $35
Receipt Hog = $23
Receipt Pal = $38
Yaarlo = $33
Screenwise = $156
Total = $380
What could you do with $380 at Christmas? Because you’re an intentional mother that doesn’t want to waste her time or worry about things, I know you’ll make smart decisions.
Using these apps is a great way to “save” up money for Christmas without hardly even working for it. There are plenty of other apps that will do similar things. But I’ve settled on these because they’re easy to use and worth what little time I do spend on them.
I know that making your motherhood experience a little easier goes a long way. These have certainly made my life a little easier. How are you going to save money for Christmas?