Guest post from Rachael of Thriving on Thrifty
Every month, I designate a specific amount of our budget for various gifts (i.e. birthdays, Christmas, etc.). While I think it’s great that we have the money saved, I decided that we were spending too much of our budget on this particular area.
Therefore, this year I gave myself a challenge that I hope will inspire some of you as well. I cut my monthly budget by 75% and have found other creative ways to come up with the money.
Here is my strategy to cut my gift budget and put more money to other needed areas:
1. Lower the Amount Spent By Shopping Early with Deals.
I actually started shopping for Christmas as soon as last Christmas was over. I already have over half of my Christmas shopping complete and probably spent less than half of what I would have normally spent on these items by shopping clearance items and deals.
2. Use Money-Making Apps and Websites to Earn Gift Cards.
Here are a few that I have been using so far this year to help pay for my gift budget:
- Swagbucks: I have been a member for at least a year but just recently found a way for me to make Swagbucks without spending a lot of time. I downloaded the SBTV app and try to hit my daily goal of 50 swagbucks by watching videos. I also do some Virool videos on the Swagbucks App as they become available and do the daily poll each day.
- PerkTV App: I just recently started using this app. I am able to run continuous videos and earn points which can then be redeemed for various gift cards.
- ChatAbout: I just signed up for this site and really like it so far. It doesn’t take me too much time to reach my daily goal of 55 points by chatting about various topics and taking their daily poll. I have already redeemed twice for a Paypal redemption, and I just got started a couple of weeks ago!
- Viewpoints: This site allows you to review various products in exchange for points. These points can then be redeemed for gift cards.
- ExpoTV: This site offers points in exchange for video reviews. I have redeemed several times off of this site since I started using it last year.
- SavingStar: I use the cash back that I get through shopping with the SavingStar App to cash in for my gift fund.
- Ebates: I use Ebates when I shop at various stores online to get a percentage of my purchase back. When I get my rebate check each quarter, I plan to put this in my gift fund.
Creatively Use Freebies and Rewards Programs.
Each time I find a freebie deal either online or in the store, I try to think about how I could creatively use these items as presents.
Also, many stores have rewards programs for purchases or occasionally offer free credits. Even if they aren’t huge credits, you can usually shop in the clearance section to find great deals.
How do you stretch your gift budget? I’d love to hear!
Rachael Lachniet is a stay at home mom who enjoys learning ways to save money for her family and tries to share these ideas with others on her blog, Thriving on Thrifty.