Tag Archives: Financial

Smile, Sparkle, Save!

No, I still haven’t changed the name. I’m not 100% sure that I absolutely want to. I have no issues with keeping it. I actually would rather not change it. I have used LadySkullshine as my username on everything for the past ten years.

It’s just that, it no longer really applies to my site content. Lady Skullshine originated when I was working with a lot of metal bands. Now, I’m sharing tips about saving money. It’s definitely a bit of a switch. The name doesn’t exactly scream “savings”.

I have a really hard time coming up with names. A lot of time and thought needs to go into it. Nothing I can think of really seems to fit. ‘Smile, Sparkle, Save’ is one of my favorites. I think it’s because I’ve always said “Smile, Sparkle, Shine”. That will probably be my new catchphrase lol. I’m just not sure it’s a great name to change it to.

So for now, the name will have to remain, with the happy catchphrase.

LadySkullshine
Smile, Sparkle, Save!


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.


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.

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!


Focus change

Hello! Happy Friday! I’ve been out of sorts the last few days. I hope to get it together and catch up this weekend. I just thought I’d share my newest shift in some financial things. I have been reassessing my ways to make a few extra bucks. I actually review everything I do, often. I’m slightly OCD. That’s why my site changes so much. Sorry, I’m ridiculous.

I haven’t been cashing out as much lately for a few reasons. I wanted to let my balances build up, because I thought it would be an incentive to get paid a higher amount. I was so very wrong. Instead, it makes me feel like I’m not achieving anything. Also, I’ve been bouncing around a bit lately, trying different things. So that didn’t help either. All of this has put me in panic mode. I feel like I’m wasting time.

So, I figured out which ones are actually worth waiting on. I won’t touch those for now. If I cash out the rest, I’ll have about $53. I also made a new list of GPT (get paid to) sources to concentrate on. I felt like I was all over the place, so I had to stop everything. I did some research, verified my earnings, and created the list. I’m not sharing them until I have been successfully paid. I wouldn’t feel right otherwise. In the meantime, I will continue to add any helpful tips that I can think of.

Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to subscribe to my blog for updates. Visit anytime, and leave me a note if you like.

Jessie LS

Financial Updates

Hello. This is just a quick note to let everyone know that I have added some more information to my financial pages, Savings Tips and Extra Money Tips.

When I have a spare moment, I plan to add the following:

Cash Back Sites (more)
Coupon Code Sites
Discounted Gift Cards
Saving Extensions

Survey Sites (more)
& More

As always, thanks for visiting.

Mission To Better Credit

My focus these days has been on my family’s financial well being. I do a lot of little things that really add up and help. I’m not a financial expert, and I’m not rich. But, I do manage to save a decent amount of money. I’m definitely on the right track and will keep expanding on this.

I think it’s time to get back to working on my credit.

Over the years, it has been all over the place. I have learned a bit about how to manage things better. In 2017, I set a goal to rebuild my credit because my score was severely damaged. By 2018, I had it up over 700, and was able to approved to buy a decent home on my own credit. Before I got that opportunity, some major life events took place and my credit quickly dropped. I’ve been trying to recover ever since.

Yesterday, I really thought about how I haven’t been making an honest effort. That’s why I decided to make it another one of my missions.

To begin this quest, I reviewed each report. I made a list of who I need to contact directly, who to dispute, and questionable things to look at further.

It’s important to at least verify that your information is correct, and let them know if it needs to be fixed. Your credit report follows you everywhere. There could be negative things that are not even yours, or have incorrect amounts and dates that was reported by creditors.

My next step was to actually take action. If you use Credit Karma, you can submit a dispute through the app. I did this with my oldest bill. Depending on the situation, you can also call them directly. I did that today as well. I just had a collection hit my credit, for not returning cable equipment in time. I called them and they set up a UPS pick up. She also advised me to contact the collection agency so they are aware we are working on having it removed.

I’m far from done, but I’m already making some progress towards my goal. It’s time to get side tracked with something else for a while.

Thanks for taking the time to visit and read this post.
I appreciate it.

New Theme, Page, Updates

If you haven’t noticed, I changed my site’s theme. I also rearranged some things and added a new page. I’m ridiculous! I’m constantly trying to make it better. I’m so OCD about everything, until my ADHD takes over.

Let me know what you think.
Feedback is always appreciated.

I really like the layout of this new theme on my laptop, but I’m not sure about the mobile view. That’s where I get tripped up. The menus and widgets show up differently. I should have checked the theme on all devices before I applied my changes, but I didn’t think about it at the time. I’ll most likely keep it for a while and experiment a bit.

What device you use the most when you’re visiting?
I can adjust more to the majority’s viewing preference.

I originally planned to add a coupon section to my Financial page, but things got out of hand. I ended up creating a new page for Savings Tips. I listed the steps that I take to help save money from before a transaction, to afterwards. I did my best to have it flow in that order. I have so much more information to add to both of these pages.

Follow me and subscribe for updates.
Thank you!

Financial Babble

Since my last coupon post, I have contacted about 30 more companies. I didn’t receive any more coupons through the mail since Monday. I broke out of my shell for a moment. I made a post in a neighborhood app and a Facebook neighborhood group requesting any unwanted coupons. I actually received a few responses. Oh and I contacted a nearby friend of mine who has great experience in couponing. I have a bit more confidence in my journey. That’s my coupon update, which I didn’t see a need for it’s own post.

In other financial news, I recently received a call from my credit card company regarding a lower rate. I called them back today and found out it was a fraud call. However, while I had them on the phone, I asked what offers were available to me. It didn’t cost anything, but a few extra minutes. They upgraded me to a higher rewards card, so I’ll be receiving more cash back. It was totally worth those few minutes.

Every single day, I’m working on our finances. Whether it’s ways to save money or make money. I rarely impulse buy. I will jump through hoops to save. Then of course, the best part, the shopping while knowing that we have the extra money to do so. It makes it all worth it. Especially knowing what it’s like to not have the money. I’m grateful for anything extra I can do to better my family. Every little bit really does help.

Coupon Mission: Update 2

I don’t have much of an update, but I have made some progress.

So this weekend, I got the Sunday paper ads and coupons. I checked what deals I could get at Rite Aid and if it’s worth going through the trouble this week. It was, so I focused on their ad and what coupons I had on hand. I finally went shopping today and ended up spending $19.92 on Crest, ZZZQuil, 3 Pantene, and razors. I saved $22.37 between store deals and coupons. I also now have purchases tallying towards cash back. For example, spend $50 on P&G items and get $15 back. Not too terrible for my first trip back on the mega coupon wagon.

Yesterday, I received a stack of mail full of coupons from Daisy, Celestial Seasonings, Bush’s, Juicy Juice, Kelloggs, and Hostess. They also sent me letters advising of where I can get more coupons. I even got a few recipes too. I’m going to send out another batch of requests soon. Once I get through my list, I’ll post all of the companies that send me coupons.

The next thing I need to figure out is my plan for printing coupons. Since I rarely print, I have a subscription that allows me to print 15 pages a month for free. If I will be printing coupons, this will definitely increase fairly quickly.

Like I said, it’s not much of an update. But it is definitely progress.

Mission to Extreme Couponing

I’ve been flip flopping with coupons over the years. I don’t mean using some coupons here and there to save a few bucks. I mean the legit couponing, where you pay virtually nothing. When I used them religiously, I did fairly well. But certain things have caused me to fall off the wagon.

There was a time when I clipped every coupon. I got the big hot pink binder to file them and a smaller one to take to the store. I wandered through the aisles, attempting to follow my list, while checking deals, and fumbling through a binder full of coupons. No matter how prepared I thought I was, it was very overwhelming for me and I could never manage it properly. I get confused, forget to use a coupon, or get stuck calculating if it was even worth using. By the end of the shopping trip, I saved very little, was super stressed, and didn’t even buy all the things I needed. I ditched the binders and used a small envelope organizer. That didn’t help at all. Eventually I realized it was causing me way too much anxiety. From then on, if I managed to use a coupon I would just appreciate the savings.

Sometime later, I started using the Krazy Coupon Lady site/app. It really helped me a lot, giving me some guidance to get a handle on the process. KCL shows you where to find deals, coupons, policies, etc. I was getting about 20 packs of newspapers every week. I focused on CVS since it was the pharmacy I used, it was familiar to me, and they always had decent deals to begin with. I made my list of items with notes, got my coupon stack, and went shopping. I actually was able to get nearly all of my items for free. On some trips, they even paid me.

This was a wonderful thing…when it worked. A lot of times, I would sabotage myself by screwing something up or getting side tracked. The store would be out of an item and I’d have to rethink things, then my anxiety would take over. I ended up slacking off. Then there was no CVS where I moved to. I have a Rite Aid, but never really attempted it there. Or anywhere else.

I’m tired of seeing $300 grocery shopping bills. It’s out of control. I do buy a decent amount of stuff to stock up and fill both of our refrigerators, freezers, and pantry. But still, this is a huge amount of money when I know for a fact I could save more.

I am on a mission to be a for real couponer. I save money literally everywhere else on our household budget. I’ve done some research and made some notes. I already do the majority of the following, but I do need to start contacting companies and purchase more papers. Let’s see how much I can save going forward. I’ll be keeping a closer eye on this.

  • Newspaper inserts.
  • Get extra newspapers from Dollar Tree for $1 each.
  • Print coupons from the manufacturer’s site.
  • Reach out to companies to send you coupons.
  • Use apps for cash back.
  • Use store loyalty programs.

For more ways to save money, visit the Financial Tips page.

Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk)

Amazon is affiliated with so many things, but I recently found out about this.

Per their site: “Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) is a marketplace for completion of virtual tasks that requires human intelligence. The Mechanical Turk service gives businesses access to a diverse, on-demand, scalable workforce and gives Workers a selection of thousands of tasks to complete whenever it’s convenient.”

Basically, you get paid small amounts to do small tasks. This includes things like surveys, extracting receipt information, provide search results, pulling info from a site, rate pics, and so on.

I would love to share a referral link for this, but I’m not able to locate anything. If you would like to try this, visit https://www.mturk.com/get-started. If you have an Amazon account, it is the same login info. You can also choose to be paid via Amazon gift card. I’m scheduled to get my first payout of $8.39 this Thursday. My goal is to have a higher payout next time around. I created a reminder to make sure I log in daily and complete a few tasks.

For more sites / apps like this, see the Financial Tips page.

YouGov Pulse

I’ve been working on getting more companies added to the Financial Tips page whenever I have a moment. YouGov Pulse VPN seemed to be a great one to add next. It’s an app that just runs in the background of your phone. 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.

That’s literally all you need to do to accumulate points. I also receive emails on occasion to take a survey. They aren’t too lengthy and they pay out a decent amount of points. Since I’ve downloaded this, I’ve made $15. That’s pretty good since the most I do is a random survey.

Try it out with my referral link below and let me know what you think.
When you sign up and complete 4 surveys, we each get 2,000 points. https://today.yougov.com/refer/WktHlJgHs8IR26fxWx8YPA/

For similar apps that pay out, see the Financial Tips page.

Giftloop

This app has quickly become one of my favorites. You can make a few extra bucks doing quick tasks with little effort. The “coins” accumulate fairly quickly.

Giftloop has a continuous loop of screens that you swipe through. As you swipe, you come across several cat memes that you click on for 5 coins. In between the cats, there are also short videos to watch for 50 coins. You can complete offers, trials, install apps, take surveys, and more. They have a daily login bonus, along with other daily bonuses. For example, there’s a daily bonus for taking a survey. So, you get the coins for the survey itself, then collect an additional 750 bonus coins.

I have made $35 in Amazon gift cards since I’ve started using this app, near the end of last year. That’s not bad since I primarily just watch the videos, do an occasional survey, and collect my 5 coins whenever the cats pop up. Oh and I always have my phone set to collect coins whenever it’s charging. I would have cashed out more but I rarely complete the offers, apps, and trials. Since I’m really not testing out as many apps anymore, I think I will be using this one a little more often.

If you’re interested in trying Giftloop, use my referral link & let me know what you think: https://app.giftloop.co/r/93WYDMW.

For more apps like this, see the Financial Tips page.

Skullshine Sharing Some Savings

I’m obsessed with saving money and making a couple extra bucks. There’s too many apps out there that will supposedly help. I’ve gone through so much time researching and stressing to better myself financially. I figured it was a good time to begin sharing some of the things I’ve discovered along the way.

As with most things on my site, the Financial Tips page will be updated when possible. For the time being I have listed the companies that I have had the most success with cash back so far. Games, surveys, and much more will be added shortly.

Please feel free to share your experiences as well. Any feedback is also appreciated.

Thanks bunches!

LadySkullshine