What if you could not only save while shopping but make money? Keep reading to learn how I changed my shopping habits for good…
If you’re like me, you love to shop. What I didn’t love was the credit card bill that came weeks later reminding me how much above my means I had spent. I tried shopping less but when I saw something I had to have, I couldn’t resist. This cycle would continue to repeat itself and continue to leave me with buyer’s remorse.
Then, after making these easy changes (and sticking to them), I not only began saving money when shopping but actually started making money. My hope is that by sharing the process I follow, you too will shop smarter. Now, let’s go shopping…
When I first started to change my habits, I knew I needed to figure out exactly how much I was spending (as painful as it is). After looking through the bills I determined I was spending over $800 every month on stuff I wanted, not needed.
Most of that spending was online and when I started looking for ways to still shop but spend less, I came across Ebates. They’ve given their members over $325,000,000 in cash-back for shopping at the stores they already do. Now when I shop, they deposit my cash back directly into my account. It’s actually that easy.
While Ebates gives me cash back for most of the stores I shop at, I didn’t find absolutely everything. Any by everything, I mean shoes. Yes, I too have a shoe addiction and I needed to find a smarter way to buy them and other stylish pieces.
Before, I was spending almost $50 for a new pair of shoes. Not only was it an expensive habit but I wasn’t even happy with the shoes I was buying. When I became a VIP Member with JustFab it was the best of both worlds. Not only did they completely customize my online shopping experience but I started spending 50% less on a pair of shoes.
It was so easy to get started, all I did was answer a few questions about the styles I like and instantly got access. Plus, they gave me a Buy 1 Get 1 Free coupon, free shipping & exchanges just for signing up.
When I set out on this journey I was only interested in saving money on my “wants”, I didn’t even think about my “needs”. After some trial and error, I realized there were plenty of ways I could reduce spending on “needs” which gave me more for my “wants”!
At first, I tried my local dollar store. Some of the things I found were good but most of it was garbage and I ended up having to buy from the full-price places anyways. When I discovered Hollar.com is when the serious savings started. Not only do they offer Free Shipping but they have $1 stores for almost every category with name brand products that I actually use.
I realize that for some, in order to shop smarter you need the resources to do it. There have been plenty of times where I’ve been short on cash and shopping wasn’t even an option (or put me further into debt). As a college student, in between jobs and plenty of other times I had to be resourceful not only in saving money but making it too.
In the past, I would look for jobs around town but it was almost never worth the effort. One day while on my computer I found Swagbucks.com and signed up. I’ll be honest that at first I was very skeptical but after I started completing some actions on their site, I was receiving “Swagbucks” right away. In the first day I made 500 Swagbucks and received a $5 Amazon Gift Card! Now whenever I’m a little tight on cash and want to shop, I just spend some time on Swagbucks.
If you’re anything like me, you have days when you go to Target for toothpaste, and walk out with a birthday card, a dress, a few groceries, throw pillows, a small area rug, a nightstand, and completely forget the toothpaste! One day the cashier pointed out how much I could be saving if I opened a Target REDCard. REDCard holders save 5% on all purchases – which would have equaled $13 that day (the day I decided a nightstand, rug, and all the other items in my cart were must-haves). Add that up over the years, the savings are immeasurable. I signed up instantly and my savings to date equal $228.63!
On top of the 5% savings every day, I now receive Free Shipping on all online purchases, as well as 30 extra days for returns. This really helps for my impulse buys when I just need to have that top!
There’s something else you don’t know about me. I. Love. To. Travel. And while the steps above are great for you day to day shopping needs, you need to be finding those great deals when you get the travel bug.
Last year, I took the most amazing trip to Mexico. The kind of trip I never thought I would have the chance to take. After spending hours each day trying to find the best deal (while coordinating with 3 other girls) on hotels and flights, a friend suggested downloading the Priceline app.
I know what you’re thinking and yes, the same Priceline with William Shatner and the silly tune. Believe me though when I say, I have never been on a trip like that while paying as little as I did. With the Priceline app, it not only made it easy to book everything but the savings were incomparable. If traveling is anywhere on your horizon or you just want to look at the options out there, I promise you won’t be disappointed with what you find on Priceline.
One final note before I get going: The one mistake I made through this all was never really getting started. I dabbled into a few of these options but never fully embraced it. Don’t let that happen to you, get started right now, no excuses!