Money is a tough subject for me to talk about. I've stayed away from income reports on here because I really haven't put a ton of effort into monetizing my blog. I'm changing that though because I want to share with you my October 2017 Earnings & Savings Report. This isn't your typical blogger income report. Instead, this is my way of showing you how you can make money and save money whether you have a blog or not.
Like most people, I have debt – car payments, house payments, and student loans – so doing everything I can to make more money and save more money is really important to me. Don't get me wrong, I still make plenty of Target runs and we do go out to eat from time-to-time, but I put in a lot of extra effort regularly to make sure that our fun times don't get in the way of us paying off debt and meeting our savings goals. I finally decided to share this with you because I want others to see how possible it is to make a few extra dollars here and there, as well as to save money a little at a time.
This post contains affiliate and referral links. Meaning at no extra cost to you, I may make a small commission to keep this site running.
I didn't really do any selling this month because I just didn't have a ton of time. I had previously sent in a Clean Out Kit bag to ThredUp and had some items that sold in October, so I received a small payment from ThredUp.
ThredUp – $1.70
If you're not familiar with ThredUp, I highly suggest you check them out. Not only can you sell clothes to them, you can donate clothes and receive a donation tax receipt. Additionally, you can shop through ThredUp! There are always some great finds available for great prices. And, if you click here to use my referral link, you'll get $10 to spend on awesome brands like J.Crew, Anthropologie, Nike, and more!
I'm a pretty religious cash-back app user. I started out with ibotta and slowly started adding more once I got accustomed to snapping an image of my receipts after each shopping trip.
ibotta – $29.25
I don't know of many people who haven't heard of ibotta, but I do still know of people that aren't using it! I've heard people say that it takes too much time or it's not worth it, but I'm here to tell you – it IS worth it! In October, I earned back almost $30 on my regular purchases. That puts me at just over $400 total since beginning to use ibotta! What's awesome about this is that this is the savings ON TOP of coupons and other discounts! There have been several times that I've been able to combine offers and discounts to get products for free or almost free! If you're not using ibotta yet, give it a try and I promise you'll love it! And, to make it even more enticing, if you sign up here using my referral link, you'll get a $10 welcome bonus!
Checkout51 – $4.60
I've been using Checkout51 for a while now, and while there aren't as many offers on this app that align to products I typically purchase, I can still usually find a few on there each month to redeem. Last month I got back almost $5, which puts my lifetime total for Checkout51 to almost $75! Click here to visit Checkout51 and download the app!
Receipt Hog – $5
Receipt Hog is probably the easiest cashback app to use as all you have to do is scan a recipt and your done. No selecting offers or scanning barcodes, just snap a pic of the receipt and you're done! The reason this app is different is because you earn points from uploading recipt images, then after accumulating a certain number of points, you can redeem them for cash. So each time I use any of the other apps, I also upload my receipt image to Receipt Hog to get the points to go towards extra money! This month, I redeemed my points for a $5 deposit into my PayPal account! Click here to visit Receipt Hog and download the app!
Dosh – $108.56
Dosh was a new app to me last month, but it has definitely earned it's place in my regular rotation thanks to more than $100 back in October! Dosh allows you to earn cash back on in-store, online, and travel purchases without taking pictures of receipts or redeeming specific offers. With this app, you simply link your card and when you make a qualifying purchase at an of their partner merchants, you automatically get money back! My big money-maker from Dosh in October was a hotel stay. I booked through the app and received more than $75 back on my stay! This app is definitely worth checking out, especially if you travel! Click here to check out Dosh for yourself!
Ebates – $0.96
I've been using Ebates since 2009, although admittedly not as frequently as I should. This past month, I didn't do much online shopping, so I only racked up a whopping $0.96 from Ebates, but hey – I'll take it! Ebates is free to sign up for, so if you haven't signed up yet, click here using my referral link and get a $10 welcome bonus!
Fetch Rewards – $3 Target Git Card
Fetch Rewards is another app that just requires you to upload your receipt image. If there are qualifying items on your list, you'll be rewarded in points. After accumulating a certain number of points, you can redeem your points for a gift card from a variety of stores. This month I chose to cash in my rewards for a Target gift card. Click here to be taken to Fetch Rewards and user my referral code, J3PMR, to get an extra 1,500 points when you upload your first receipt!
This month I decided to try something new – automating my savings. There are lots of ways to do this, but I decided to try a few apps that are out there to see if it worked better than some of the other things I've tried in the past. I've tried splitting up my paycheck and direct depositing into different accounts and having money automatically moved from my checking to my savings on certain days each month, but it just didn't work for me. In my first month of using these apps, I'd say I had a pretty successful month of savings, so I'll keep trying them this month as well.
Digit – $391.18
Digit is a great tool that allows me to mindlessly save. Every few days the app analyzes my spending habits and looks at my current balance to determine how much it can safely stash into my Digit savings account without being at risk for having low funds in my account or overdrafts. As you can see, Digit helped me save almost $400 in October and I didn't even notice! If you're looking to automate your savings, I highly recommend giving Digit a try.
Qapital – $123.80
Qapital is another savings app that allowed me a pretty significant savings in October without me noticing. I have my Qapital account set up to round each purchase to the nearest $2 and that is the value that gets saved in me Qapital savings account. With it being such a small amount being saved, combined with it coming at the time money will be taken out of my account anyway due to making a purchase, Qapital is probably my favorite out of this list and the one I'm most likely to continue using long-term. If you're looking to save just a little at a time, Qapital may be a great starting point for you. And as a bonus, if you click here to use my referral link, you'll get $5 free!
Joy – $54.03
Joy is a semi-automated savings app. What I mean by that is each day you're prompted by Joy to save an amount the have determined appropriate based on your current account balance. So far, my savings prompts have been anywhere from about $0.10 to $6.00. Joy doesn't encourage large savings amounts at one time, but rather encourages thoughtful savings by putting the decision-making in your hands each day to decide if you want to save or not. I can tell you that since using Joy, I have opted to say “yes” to my savings prompts most days which makes me feel good. The few days I have said “no” and didn't want to save that amount for whatever reason, I felt a little guilty. Additionally, Joy will remind you of each purchase you have made and ask you to rank it as a happy or sad purchase so you can be more mindful of your spending habits. This has truly been an eye-opening exercise for me because surprisingly, many of my spends that I thought were happy at the time, really weren't! So if you're looking to be a little more thoughtful about your spending and savings, Joy may be a good app for you to try.
Clarity Money – $80.00
Clarity is pretty much just a way to automatically move a set amount of money from checking to savings on a set day of the week or month. Because it's really similar to just setting up a savings rule through my bank, I likely won't continue to use this feature of the app, but Clarity actually does a lot more. I'm able to categorize each purchase so I can see the amount I'm spending on certain categories, like bills, groceries, etc… If you want to give Clarity Money a try, click here to use my referral link and get $3 free!
I didn't do much in the way of affiliate marketing in October, so my earnings were really pretty small. I'm currently taking an affiliate marketing course, so hopefully I can spend more time focusing on growing in this area in the coming months.
Creative Fabrica – $0.03
VigLink – $5.22
ShopStyle Collective – $0.25
Amazon – $1.21
Throughout October, I did a few projects with some brands that I love which afforded me the opportunity to share recipes and projects with you! Included in this category is also my earnings from advertising.
I'm avid couponer and have been for quite some time. I don't buy things just because I have a coupon, but I use coupons on the things that I'm already planning to purchase. This is the method that keeps me from spending more than I should just because I have a coupon to “save.” What I mean by this, is let's say I have a coupon for $2 off Oreo Snackpacks. Sure, that's a great discount – but that's not something that would've been on my grocery list to begin with, so I'd actually spend more money if I used this coupon. To get my coupons, I usually clip them from the Sunday paper, or, I download them for free from here!
Total Savings: $37.00
Each week Target features gift card deals in their ads. This typically means if you buy a certain number of participating items, you'll get a target gift card in return. Usually these gift cards are $5, but they can also go up to $20 or more depending on the qualifying items. I usually try to stockpile these kinds of items because I maximize my savings. And, if you combine manufacturer coupons, Cartwheel, Sales, Target coupons, and the gift card deal, you can sometimes get things for next to nothing! Shampoo, toothpaste, and deodorant are all items that I usually stockpile this way because it's such a great deal!
So there you have it! Between savings and earnings – a total of $1870.78! A lot of work went in to earning and saving more than $1800 this month, but it was worth it!
As I put this together, I realized there's so much more I could say on my process for earning/saving each month, which led me to question: Would you be interested in a free e-course on this subject? I'd appreciate you submitting your answer below! Thank you! 🙂