Category Archives: Financial

Keep An Eye On Your Bills And Reduce Them Now

I’ve noticed that a lot of people are complacent with their bills. They may just be comfortable dealing with the same company. If anything, they’ll complain that they are going up. And, that’s if they even notice the increases or any extra charges. I was one of those people, for a long time.

Now, every few months or so, I go through all of my accounts to see how much I’m paying. Depending on the bill, I may contact them to see if there’s anything that can be done to decrease it. When I first started doing this, I contacted every company I owed money to. It doesn’t hurt to ask. For some, the answer was no and I would kindly move on. In other cases changes could be made, discounts applied, and even credits were given. Make sure to keep notes so you keep track of what was able to be done.

It’s definitely worth the extra time spent doing this. After a while, you have an idea which bills won’t budge versus which ones can be worked on. For example, I had massively horrible phone service for a few years. They refused to admit they had no coverage in my area, and I was stuck in a contract. So I would often call complaining about this, requesting credits. I got them most of the time.

Another thing I’ve seen a trend with, is that people have a habit of subscribing to multiple things that add up really quickly. This happens a lot when people cancel their cable service. They will often start ordering different streaming services that end up costing more than the cable did.


As always, I hope this helps. I’m not an expert, and I’m not rich. I’m just obsessed with saving money and sharing with others. Please let me know if you have any tips as well. I love hearing from everyone.


Free Items From Test Market

I absolutely love Test Market!

Test Market is a third party site that offers Amazon items from vendors that need to increase their audience. They list the items for sale, along with the Amazon link. All you need to do is apply for an item, order it, then submit your order number. Before you even receive it, you will have your refund.

  1. Check the amount remaining
  2. Apply for the item
  3. Click the button to order on Amazon
  4. Return to the Test Market site
  5. Submit your order number
  6. Receive refund
  7. Receive item

There isn’t a huge selection of items, and they go quickly. Make sure you sign up for notifications. I got lucky and was able to get a few items. I ordered a manicure set, exercise ball, Christmas toys, candy jars, and a back scrubber.

Try out Test Market with my referral link, and I will get $1. Thanks!


Cashback With Ibotta

I just got another $4 from Ibotta!

It was for my purchase of Nature Made Melatonin at Rite Aid. All I had to do was add the offer on the app, then scan my receipt and the item. It really didn’t take long. I’ve already made $43.35 so far with this app. I’ve seen others making a lot of money back, if you do this right.

I have to admit, I wasn’t using Ibotta to it’s full potential. I’ve been a member for years, but wasn’t using it. When I finally started to, I wasn’t paying enough attention or clicking all of the deals. I’m definitely regretting that.

Besides scanning your receipts, you can also get cash back from online shopping and buying gift cards. Gift cards are not just for holidays. You can buy them at a discounted rate to use for your regular shopping.

Now that I’m a lot more active with Ibotta, I’m inviting everyone to join my team for even more savings. You can use my referral link, referral code “n32fq“. When you do, I receive $10. We then work together towards more cash bonuses. Thank you!


Smile, Sparkle, Save!




Credit Basics

A lot of people are really confused when it comes to their credit. They don’t fully understand how it all works. They don’t think it matters that much. They pay all their bills so they don’t worry about it. At some point in your life, you will most likely need to really take a hard look at your credit. There may be things you didn’t realize that may hold you back when you need it most.

A good place to start is by actually checking your credit scores. This gives you an idea of where you are ranked in the financial world. If you haven’t already done this, pull your credit report from a reliable source. You can get your information from Experian, TransUnion, your bank, etc. I use Credit Karma the most. Review every bit of it and if anything is incorrect, you can dispute it. They generally estimate it taking a month to go through the process, but I’ve seen things removed in about a week.

Once you’ve made sure your information is correct, you should keep an eye on it in case things change. I check mine every few weeks, but then I’m obsessed with increasing my credit score at the moment. A lot goes on that you don’t even realize. I’ve seen accounts get removed, then added again later under a different company name. Carefully choose ways to help build your credit, instead of hurting it in error.

I recommend not applying for every card that comes your way. The loans and cards may help at the moment, but you now have additional payments to manage later. If you’re able to, it does help to set up automatic payments. Late payments will only prevent you from catching up, especially if you’re late on more than one bill. It’s also best to keep your charges below a third of your credit. If your balance goes up, try to make an additional payment to bring it back down.

If you are starting out or just don’t have any credit at all, you may feel extremely stuck. It is a very difficult place to be in. I would normally say that Credit Karma recommends cards accordingly, but you won’t be able to access it without any credit. I would look into credit cards that will help you build your credit. You can get some with a security deposit and possibly fees. Also utility bills can be added to boost your credit. Again, be careful so you don’t set yourself back in the process.


I hope this helps. It is just meant as a basic guideline to point you in the right direction. Let me know if you have any tips as well. I love hearing from everyone.


New: National Consumer Panel

I just added National Consumer Panel to the list of apps to scan receipts with. The difference with this one is that you don’t actually scan the receipt. Instead, you scan each item purchased. You then need to enter price and if coupons were used or if it was on sale. There are also surveys to do. I couldn’t find any referral information, but still wanted to share since I just cashed out a $25 Amazon gift card.


Another $50 From YouGov

I talked about YouGov before, but I’m mentioning it now because I just cashed out again. This time I got a $50 Amazon gift card.

When I first listed YouGov on my site, I had it in the passive apps section. I did this because I initially only installed the app that runs in the background on my phone. That’s all that’s needed to accumulate points. Then I would get an occasional email to do a survey. I often ignored them because I get frustrated with surveys in general.

I test a lot survey sites. They can get very involved at times. I lose my focus very easily. Sometimes I feel like it’s taking too long, so I get anxious. I give up on them very quickly. I’m trying to be much better about that.

I recently downloaded the YouGov survey app and I started paying more attention to the emails. I completed every survey right away so they wouldn’t expire. Like I said, there’s not that many. Then I noticed that they were pretty generous with points.

Back in February, I cashed out $15. I was somewhat new then. I didn’t realize that if you let your balance grow, you get more back later. I’m not sure when I started to pay more attention, but it really didn’t take me long to get to $50. I’ll have a better gauge next time I cash out.

If you are interested in trying it out, please use my referral link. When you complete 4 surveys, I will receive 2,000 points. Thank you!


Do You Do Surveys?

Does anyone take surveys to make a few extra bucks?
Which ones do you like?

I’ve been working on several different ones to see which are actually worth my time. If you’d like to try any, there’s referral links here on the Extra Money page. There will be a lot more coming soon.

Try them out and let me know what you think.


Get Paid To Review Items

***10/22/20 Update: This was originally posted a few months ago. I unpublished it in error.

I love to shop in general, especially on Amazon. I get packages several times a week. Most of which, I get my money back after I have reviewed them.

I was skeptical at first. I’m still checking into other sites as well. So far, there are three companies that I have had successful transactions with. There has only been one time that I didn’t get paid and it was my own fault. I didn’t act fast enough to qualify for my refund. I stay on top of it now to ensure I get my money back. It can be a process to keep track of, but honestly for me it’s been worth it.

Each site has specific rules that must be followed in order to have a successfully paid transaction. For the most part, they have the same basic idea. You would find the item you are interested in and apply for it, then purchase it on Amazon. Once you receive it, review the item. When all the terms are met, you will then be paid up to 100% of the amount you originally paid. Some also pay the PayPal fees.

So far, I have received the following items to review for cash back:

Clear Desk Mat
Metallic Markers
Laptop Stands
Laptop Fan
Jeweler’s Loupe
iPhone Power Cord
2 Sets Of Wireless Earbuds
Bluetooth Radio
Temperature/Humidity Thermostat
Kitchen Scissors
Child Proof Corner Guards
Mug Warmer
Bedside Organizer
Satin Sheet Set
Nightgown
Swimsuit
Beanie
Cami

If you’re interested in being paid to review items, click on my referral links found on the Financial Tips page.

Everyone’s results will vary. For the most accurate up to date information, see the individual company’s site/app. I’m in PA, US, using an Android phone and Windows laptop to access above mentioned. My only affiliation is that I have personally used these companies and share my referral links, which may pay an incentive.

$400+ In Free Products, So Far

***10/22/20 Update: This was originally posted a few months ago. I unpublished it in error.

I have mentioned to a few of my friends and family members that I review items on Amazon. In return, I get my money back for those items. Not one of them have been the slightest bit interested. In hearing about it, and much less in participating themselves. I completely get it. It’s not for everyone.

The two responses I have received was that I make it seem so easy and they don’t have the money to pay for the items in the first place.

I get the money part, however there are things like phone chargers that I would think that anyone could use for free.

And well, it is pretty easy at this point. I’ve done all the work of researching and testing the companies that I deal with. They wouldn’t be on my site if I didn’t already do this and had successful transactions.

It really is a simple process.

Basically, you sign up for the site you want to try out. After your account is set up, you can choose the items you are interested in. In most cases, you need to accumulate points to be used towards your purchases. That can be done by checking in daily and various other tasks. Some deals will also give you points. Once your request is accepted, you can purchase it on Amazon. Follow any specific guidelines regarding leaving a review on their site, as well as on Amazon. If all steps were followed properly within the timelines given, you will then receive your money back.

I’ve been doing this for 4 months & so far, I have received the following:

* Clear Desk Mat * Metallic Markers * Laptop Stands * Laptop Fan * Jeweler’s Loupe * iPhone Power Cord * 2 Sets Of Wireless Earbuds * Bluetooth Radio * Temperature/Humidity Thermostat * Kitchen Scissors * Child Proof Corner Guards *
2 Pack Of Maze Puzzles * Mug Warmer * Bedside Organizers * Satin Sheet Set * Nightgown * Swimsuit * Beanie * Cami * 3 Pack Of Cooling Shirts *

That’s a total of $405.89 of useful items that I received my money back from!

I think it’s worth the little bit of time that it takes. If you’re interested in getting items for free in return for your review, you can try out the ones that I use. They are located on the Financial Tips page.


For similar pages, see:

* Get Paid To Review Items
* Small Financial Tips – It All Adds Up
* The Rewards Are The Reason

Everyone’s results will vary. For the most accurate up to date information, see the individual company’s site/app. I’m in PA, US, using an Android phone and Windows laptop to access above mentioned. My only affiliation is that I have personally used these companies and share my referral links, which may pay an incentive.

Cash Back For Testing Items: Update

***10/22/20 Update: This was originally posted a few months ago. I unpublished it in error.

I just added some additional information to the Financial Tips page regarding receiving cash back for testing items. I had explained the process and provided my referral information, but I feel the need to explain a few things further.

Before you chastise me for partaking in these transactions, let me explain my take on this. Basically, you are helping merchants to build their ratings as well as giving them feedback on their items. They are always appreciative and helpful when there are issues. In return, you receive cash back. Also, I don’t believe in taking advantage of this system. I only apply for items that I genuinely need or can use. I am an Amazon’aholic to begin with, so I have a lot of orders in between these transactions.

Since I originally posted the information to my site, I have been reading a lot more from other people who used these sites. I’ve noticed a lot of misunderstandings and confusion. I also read stories of Amazon reviews and even accounts being deleted by Amazon. I’ve become even more careful with what I do. This is what prompted me to update my page with the following.

Be careful of a few things:
1. Be Selective. Don’t go crazy and order everything just because you get your money back.
2. Follow Guidelines. Review each site’s info to ensure a successful transaction.
3. Keep Track. Otherwise, you could lose track and ultimately lose money.

These are two of the sites I am currently using. I have a few others I’m testing, including ones that don’t require a review.

Cashbackbase: Up to 100% cash back on all sorts of Amazon items.
* Referral Link: https://www.cashbackbase.com/i/zdl82bp5qi

Rebatest: Up to 100% cash back on a wide variety of Amazon products.
* Referral Link: https://www.rebatest.com/Product?Uid=219259921&Rid=27142554
We each receive $5 when you use my link.

Try them out and let me know what you think. Thanks for using my referral links.

Everyone’s results will vary. For the most accurate up to date information, see the individual company’s site/app. I’m in PA, US, using an Android phone and Windows laptop to access above mentioned. My only affiliation is that I have personally used these companies and share my referral links, which may pay an incentive.

New Review Site Added: Pets Rebate

***10/22/20 Update: This was originally posted a few months ago. I unpublished it in error.

I literally just posted an update yesterday regarding cash back for testing items. I completely forgot to add another site that I have been working with recently. It’s called Pets Rebate. Just like the name indicates, you can receive all sorts of pet items with up to 100% cash back. So far, I got puppy socks and some stuffed toys.

*** NEWLY ADDED ***

Pets Rebate: Up to 100% cash back on pet items on Amazon.
* Referral Link: https://petsrebate.com/index/member/register?code=nYtPNyi5

For more information, as well as more sites like this, see the Financial Tips page.

Everyone’s results will vary. For the most accurate up to date information, see the individual company’s site/app. I’m in PA, US, using an Android phone and Windows laptop to access above mentioned. My only affiliation is that I have personally used these companies and share my referral links, which may pay an incentive.

Affordable Ink Replacement

Are you still paying a ridiculous amount of money on ink for your printer? Confused when trying to find which cartridge or refill is compatible? Do they dry out before you even use them?

I have an old wireless HP Envy 4500, that takes two ink cartridges. I hate buying ink, it drying out, wasting money, and so on. So I signed up for a replacement ink program, called HP Instant Ink. They monitor my ink levels, and then send me new cartridges whenever I’m running low. That’s super convenient for me.

What’s even better, is that I’m paying per page and not by the amount of ink used. I listed their current plans below. Right now, I have the FREE one, which allows up to 15 pages a month. I get charged $1 for each additional set of 10 pages. So, when I go over my pages, I still stay below the next plan’s price. I also still get ink cartridges sent to me.

So far this year, I have spent $5 for ink.

I have been using them for several years now. I rarely ever need ink, but they are always right on schedule when I do. I recently noticed that I was completely out. So, I quick sent them a chat message. They said I should have one laying around from the last shipment, but I honestly can’t seem to locate it anywhere. They advised not to worry, and that they are sending me a new one free of charge.

I really love this company!

If you would like to try them out, please use my referral link. YOU will get a FREE month of printing. I’m supposed to get a free month too, but it’s already free for me. Let me know what you think, or if you use another service that you’d like to share.

Current plans per HP Instant Ink‘s website (10/6/20):

  • FREE PRINTING. $0.00 a month For up to 15 pages . Each additional set of 10 pages for just $1.00. Unused free pages do not roll over
  • OCCASIONAL PRINTING. $2.99 a month. For up to 50 pages. Each additional set of 10 pages for just $1.00. Roll over up to 100 unused pages.
  • MODERATE PRINTING. $4.99 a month. For up to 100 pages. Each additional set of 15 pages for just $1.00. Roll over up to 200 unused pages
  • FREQUENT PRINTING. $9.99 a month. For up to 300 pages. Each additional set of 20 pages for just $1.00. Roll over up to 600 unused pages
  • HEAVY PRINTING. $18.99 a month. For up to 500 pages. Each additional set of 10 pages for just $1.00. Roll over up to 1500 unused pages
  • BUSINESS PRINTING. $19.99 a month. For up to 700 pages. Each additional set of 20 pages for just $1.00. Roll over up to 1400 unused pages
  • HIGH VOLUME PRINTING. $49.99 a month. For up to 1500 pages. Each additional set of 15 pages for just $1.00. Roll over up to 4500 unused pages

Some Updates

Hello! I hope everyone has been doing well. I updated my site with a few more money tips on both pages, but I haven’t been posting about them. I feel like every time I want to announce an update of some sort, it turns into a huge production that I end up not doing. I have a lot more to share, so I will try to be better about that.

Things have been extremely hectic here. My youngest daughter is back to school, with a whole lot more added to her schedule this year. I am heavily involved in her lessons to keep her on task, and I need to learn with her so I can teach it to her differently. Among so many other things, I also have been organizing and backing up pictures, which is a huge task. At some point, I would like to share old pictures that were never seen before. I have a lot of great ones from photoshoots and live shows. Oh, and we may be having some pet rat babies!!!

That’s all for now. Thanks for visiting! Everyone is more than welcome to follow my Facebook page LadySkullshine Entertainment, and join my group LadySkullshine. I’m still considering a possible name change, but that may take me a while.


More About Giftloop

Hello! Happy Saturday! I hope everyone is having an awesome day.


I wanted to revisit an app called Giftloop. It has been listed on the Extra Money page, and I wrote about it earlier this year. I’m pretty sure that I also sent out my referral link over social media. But, I realized that I could elaborate on it a bit more.

I have been using Giftloop since July 2019, and cashed out $40 so far in Amazon gift cards. That doesn’t seem like a lot, but this is one of the most passive apps that you can still easily make some money on. That’s perfect for me. There are more tasks that will build coins a lot quicker, like trying other apps, but I rarely complete any of those. Also they just added a gaming feature too, however mine isn’t working yet.

Literally, this is all I do. I’m usually multitasking. So I’ll just open the Giftloop app on my phone, while I’m doing other things. Once I collect my “Daily Specials” (listed below), I just swipe through the screens until I see a cute cat meme. Then I stop to collect 5 coins. I swipe through some more to the videos, so I can earn 50 coins for watching each of them. Depending on what I’m doing or how I feel, I’ll take a survey. That’s pretty much it. Oh, and I also get a decent amount of coins whenever I charge my phone.

Daily Specials:
Log In = 100 coins.
Log In 7 Days Straight = 3,000 coins
Watch Video = 100 coins (then 50 each additional)
Take Survey = 750 coins + coins paid per survey

Cute Cat Memes =5 coins

If you’re interested in trying Giftloop, and use my referral link, I will receive bonus coins. Thank you!


Thanks for stopping by. I’m trying out a lot of new sites lately. Follow me for updates. For more ways to help supplement income, visit the Extra Money Tips page.



Achievement App Added

I just added Achievement to the Passive Apps list.

This app doesn’t pay out a lot, but very little needs to be done anyway. Once you download and set up your account, you can then connect fitness apps to it. I linked my Fitbit and Samsung Health. It will then automatically accumulate points when you do things like walking or weighing yourself. There may also be an occasional survey or articles to read for even more points. I just cashed out $10 today.

Use my referral link, and we will both receive 100 points. Thank you!

For more apps like this, see the Extra Money Tips page.


Another Look At YouGov

Hello and Happy Sunday! Another crazy busy day. I just can never seem to have enough time for anything. I just wanted to quick share this awesome app again with everyone.

I know, I already had YouGov listed on my site and recently wrote about it, but I felt the need to share again. I originally had this listed as a passive type app, but the surveys are definitely worth doing when they are available. I didn’t bother with a lot of them until recently. I was caught up in trying so many different companies, that I overlooked a few things.

Per their site, “YouGov is an international research data and analytics group headquartered in London.” They have six locations in the US. Their mission is to “supply a continuous stream of accurate data and insight into what the world thinks, so that companies, governments and institutions can better serve the people and communities that sustain them.” Basically, they are interested in your opinions and internet activity.

You can access YouGov online, plus they have two apps. One is their Panel app, where you can do surveys just like on the site. The other app is called YG Pulse, which runs in the background of my phone. It tracks my internet activity. Once in a while, I get a notification to reconnect it. Somehow my phone drops off. I think it’s because I have another similar app running so they are conflicting, but it hasn’t affected my earnings.

They payout is pretty decent. I cashed out $15 earlier this year. I’m holding out for a higher balance this time. I currently have 53,150 points. If just one person uses my referral link to sign up and completes four surveys, I will get 2,000 points. That will put me just over $50. Whoever does this, thank you in advance! Try it out and let me know what you think.

Okay, I must get back to my madness. I have so many chores to catch up on, projects to half finish, a whole lot more schoolwork this year with my daughter, our zoo, and on an on. I hope everyone has a super wonderful day! Thanks for visiting! Smile Sparkle Shine!


Expired Coupons For Military Families

I recently heard on a coupon show that military families overseas can use our expired manufacturer coupons. I looked into it and they can actually use them for up to six months past their expiration date. From what I understand, you can mail them directly to members of the military to be used in the commissaries.

If you don’t know anyone that can use them, you can still help out if you’d like. You can mail them to the Support Our Troops: Troopons Program. There’s some guidelines to this that I found on their site, so you really want to review it first. One thing to note is that they must be cut out, sorted, and labelled in a baggy. It helps their volunteers to get them distributed faster to the stores for families to access.

Please feel free to share and tell everyone.
I really hope this helps someone somewhere.

Scratch Offs Added

Hello and happy whatever day it may be. Mine didn’t start off too great when I realized I lost my engagement ring. It was a very emotional morning. (It’s still missing.)

I just wanted to let everyone know that I added two new apps to the money making list. If you like scratch offs, then you’ll probably love Lucktastic and Lucky Money. I just cashed out a total of $15 between them.

Try Lucktastic with my referral link and I will earn 1,000 tokens. I couldn’t find one for Lucky Money, but you should try them out too.

If I have time, I have more updates to work on, so I may post again later today. Among other things, I really need to help my daughter with school. Plus we have a pet rat adoption appointment this evening. Get ready for some super cute pics of the new babies.

Have a super awesome day!

Happy Saturday

Hello and happy Saturday!

I meant to write more, but things have been extremely busy here. We are still trying to figure out what’s wrong with my car (since June). It may be resolved, but I have to do a longer test drive. We are also dealing with the aftermath of some severe flooding we had in our basement. Nearly everything was destroyed. Then we have preparation for school to start on Monday. My daughter will be in a new program through her online school. I’m slightly nervous. She’s much more excited for tomorrow. We will be watching a live stream of baby rats that she wants to adopt. In addition to all this and more, I’ve done some research and have been testing out some new sites to make extra money.

Thanks for visiting! Stay tuned to find out what sites I will be adding.