One of the most important things to consider when approaching the financial snowball is that you (and your spouse if you’re married) are committed to doing everything possible to get rid of the looming black cloud of debt. We have read and heard many stories of couples that were working against one another. One would be so enthusiastic to get rid of the debt while the other would want to keep spending without a care and not take the snowball factor seriously. If either one is not on board then the entire debt elimination is going to be impossible, both must be in this together to see real results.
Whenever Jason first told me about getting rid of all the debt we so carelessly created, I was both excited and scared. I was excited to finally get a much better grasp on a healthier financial life but at the same time, I was scared because I really wanted to see results and not lose hope. We both prayed for guidance, wisdom, patience and our love to grow closer. Daily we are seeing improvement and it is all up to us now on what choices we make.
This brings us to the next step of Fighting Debt on the Home Front.
Legitimate Survey Moneymaking/Free Product Websites
For the past year, I have been exploring different sites to find ways to make some extra money for those little expenses that seem harmless but add up quickly. Those expenses would include the following:
-Infrequently Purchased But Costly Household Supplies
-Basic Clothing Needs (Socks, Undergarments, Etc)
-Social Eating Out (Holidays or Birthdays)
-Special Occasion Gifts
These little things add up when we don’t even expect them to. We were reading “Dave Ramsey’s Complete Guide to Money” and this was a piece of the book that really stuck out to me…
” If you don’t make a plan for your money, someone else will. Let me tell you how it happens. Say you fight to pull your $1,000 emergency fund together this month. You take that $1,000 to a bank and open up a new account. By doing that, you have turned the key on the most sophisticated and well-funded marketing machine in history. That machine is called the financial institution. They spend more money promoting their product than any other service or product in history, and they do a very, very good job selling their stuff.
After you open that new account, you can expect to see a brand-new Visa card magically appear in your mailbox. It will probably come with a note that says something like, “Welcome to the family! We’re excited about building a strong relationship with you!” Just what you want, right? A relationship with a bank. No thanks.
You look through the paperwork and see that your new card has an 18-percent interest rate on purchases and you say, “Nobody lends money at 18 percent! How stupid! They must be crazy to think I’d borrow their money at 18 percent.” And if you’re like most Americans, you’re saying this as you put the card in your wallet. And you think, What a dumb idea. I’ll tuck this plastic away in my wallet, though, just in case there’s an emergency.
And then over the course of the next month, the car breaks down. Emergency! And then the kids are screaming for pizza. Emergency! And then you realize that your children grew over the summer and need some school clothes. Emergency! And then some kid has a birthday and needs some hunk of plastic from the toy store or he won’t feel loved. Emergency!
All this stuff just rolls over and over, and a month later, the bill comes in the mail and your jaw drops. You yell through the house, “Who put $1,000 on the Visa? That’s just for the emergencies! What did we spend $1,000 on?” You look around, but you don’t see a new HD television or a new computer. You don’t have a new wardrobe, and you didn’t take an exotic vacation to Hawaii. That $1,000 just disappeared. Life happened, and you didn’t have a plan
Guess who had a plan? Visa.
-Complete Guide to Money by Dave Ramsey Page 21-22
To avoid these sudden surprises with add-on expenses like mentioned above, we decided to put a place in our budget for the “random” expense category. This got me thinking how annoying it was to even have this section in our budget. I started to feel like this money could be going somewhere else if only we could reduce the going out expense to half or even better to nothing at all. That is when I discovered the following sites listed below to where now we are able to get our items with no money out of pocket!
Today I’m going to introduce each of these sites and the benefits of using them for you and your home.
My rule of thumb ALWAYS creates a separate email account for any survey or couponing sites so they are not mixed in with your other important emails (family, work, etc…) This is an important way to get organized so you will not miss any offers, which trust me you don’t want to miss!
1. Shop Your Way
You can learn more about Shop Your Way HERE.
With Shop Your Way you can earn points with the Shop Your Way app/website or by earning points daily by entering sweepstake entries.
Play Instant Wins online in your browser or by downloading their Shop Your Way SPIN IT app daily for extra points.
Here are few items I’ve been able to purchase for $0 out of pocket the past year.
2. One Opinion
One Opinion is a great site to earn money! It takes time and patience but it really pays off whenever you can go on a romantic date with your spouse or celebrate a special birthday all by taking daily surveys! I usually do my surveys before bed or early in the mornings after breakfast or when I sit down to eat lunch. The point system goes as follows
**You also receive items in the mail to test and get paid for your opinion.
I was also able to test the following
***No picture provided due to the privacy agreements for the companies.
– 1 Large Pizza
– A Woman’s Razor
– Eye Mascara
– Bubble Gum/Candy
I’ve written an article on Crowdtap in one our articles before, so you can read it HERE.
Items purchased $0 out of pocket last year by using Crowdtap!
**Crowdtap also sends you samples to test out for $0 to give your opinions. Below are the current items I have received.
This is by invitation only. Once you sign up you fill out an application on the floors in your home. I was able to review this vacuum and keep it for $0! We were in need of a new one since our previous apartment had stinkbug issues and that permanently stunk our old vacuum up horribly.
*Does not pay money but saved us from having to purchase a vacuum!
With Smiley360, you sign up for free and fill out your profile. The answers to your profile will filter into missions that you qualify for. Once qualified, you complete the mission so you can then be entered into your next mission.
** Does not pay money just products to review
Some item’s I’ve received (Did not receive the cute doggy…. just the food he is admiring)
(just got started and loving it!)
Be Prepared. This one you have to mark on your calendar otherwise you will miss the sample days. They go out every other Tuesdays at noon. You need to log in quickly and fill up your box with the samples available otherwise you will miss them within 5minutes. I have missed a few myself from not writing it on the calendar. Once you receive your products you review your thoughts to receive more and better items! I have received gift cards for Shutterfly with these boxes also!
I get paid to test and keep McCormick products in my opinion.
**Pictures not included for Privacy of the Company
9. Bzz Agent
Very similar to Smiley360. You set up a profile and answer survey questions to be selected for certain products to review based on your response.
A few products received since joining.
I have had people tell me they would never have the patience to do any of these. I would have to say that when I started, neither did I. I stuck it out and worked hard for a year with each of these sites and each and everyone impressed me and paid off. Yes, when I first started it was frustrating to keep up with everything. My advice if you really want to try, keep at it and keep organized! As mentioned before I work on each one before bed/early in the morning and between lunch/daily chores. The more you effort you put on them the more familiar you are and the faster you become. I look forward to completing my missions and surveys daily its fun and exciting! Nothing is free! So you have to put time and effort into each one but the perks are being able to do them from home and not take out of your family income for the little items that add up. Also, being able to test out products for your opinion is pretty awesome!
If you have any questions about any of these sites, please feel free to leave us a comment and I’ll do my best to help you along!