Posted in finances, Food, games, General Life, shopping, survey, technology, The Dream, Uncategorized, work

10 Free Money Making & Saving Apps Worth Having

Hey everyone! I hope you find yourselves well today. I’ve been doing a bit of cleaning up around the blog particularly in rebranding it. Let me know what you guys think of it. Did you prefer the old name of Confessions of a Fashionista better? If so please let me know in the comments below!

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Onto the topic of the day 10 Free Money Making & Saving Apps Worth Having. Part of my side hustle has been to save money and earn money using various apps on my phone that make it even easier!

  • Shopkick – Ok so I’m sure you’ve heard of this by now, but if you haven’t or you have and still haven’t downloaded it you absolutely have to click the link and get it! You earn points that can be put towards gift cards for your favorite stores literally just for walking in. Scan items and get even more points. Buy items by attaching your card to the app and yes you’re getting even more points. It is so easy to rack up the points. As a Target shopper I can literally walk in, spend about 20 minutes shopping and scanning things as I pass and walk out easily with over 200 points. The app also has in app offers you can just click on to find hidden points. (Android/iOS)
  • Slidejoy – This app is so easy to use. You literally have to do nothing! That’s right you set it up, it shows an ad on your lock screen and you earn credit for it. The phone behaves normally, it goes to sleep, it unlocks the same way, everything works like normal it just has an ad on it. I haven’t even noticed a change in my battery life from using it. In just a few months I earned $10 in gift cards and a $2 PayPal cash credit. You can even set it up for ‘Hero Mode’ where your money automatically gets donated to the charity of your choice! (Android)
  • Ibotta – The ease of use this app offers really blew up a few months back and it’s still going strong. So how do you use it? Pick your store, pick your items, add them to your list, take a picture of your receipt and wait for your rebate to deposit! Yes it is that easy. You’re literally making a grocery list and sending a pic of your receipt to get money back. How exciting is that? (Android/iOS)
  • Foap – I admit I haven’t used this one yet. If my Instagram feed on the side is any indication I don’t take many pictures and when I do they’re subpar at best. Still if you’re an Instagram junkie or just love taking pictures like my sister this app may be right up your alley. You can sell your images online as stock photography. Each picture goes for around $10 and you’ll just get the money deposited into your PayPal account. Maybe one day I’ll add something there. (Android/iOS)
  • ReceiptHog – This is an even simpler version of Ibotta as you don’t have to make a list and shop at specified locations. Just take a picture of your receipt, earn your points and cash them in for Amazon or PayPal cash.  (Android/iOS)
  • Google Opinion Rewards – This is an Android only application, but it’s simple and free. All you have to do is take some brief surveys and you’ll earn credit towards your Google Play account. That credit can be used towards the purchase of apps, music or even movies! (Android)
  • FreePrints –  (Use code rflesch1 to get 5 extra prints per month) This is not a money making app, but it’s a big money saver if you like to print pictures. I know I said I don’t take many pictures, but in the past I’ve taken quite a few when on vacation. Printing them for scrap booking and framing can be extremely expensive, but with FreePrints you receive 100 prints every month that are actually good quality. You only have to pay shipping and handling and they even have bonus’s like free photo books! I absolutely love this app! (Android/iOS/Windows/Amazon)
  • Postmates – (Use code lrwud to get $10 off your order) Once again this isn’t a money maker, but it’s a money and time saver! Postmates delivers merchandise and restaurant food to your home without the hassle of having to go out yourself. They cover everything from your favorite sit-down eateries to fast food restaurants as well as hardware stores and auto shops. This is excellent for anyone who may not have the time or ability to get everywhere they need to go in one day. (Android/iOS)
  • GigWalk – When I first got this app there were a limited selection of gigs in my areas. It’s rapidly expanding though and gigs are filling up fast! Currently there is a gig in my area to earn $32 just for following their simple instructions in reviewing a specific McDonalds location. This app is fantastic for quick and easy cash! (Android/iOS)
  • Iconzoomer – This one is really easy and another great earning app. It gives you assignments like ‘take a picture of your lunch and tells us what you’re eating’ or ‘take a picture of your favorite pair of shoes and tell us why you love them.’ Then you can earn cash deposited directly into your PayPal account or even charitable donations. (Android/iOS)
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Posted in Anxiety, games, General Life, Uncategorized

Friends and Pokemon Go

I’ve come to find that sometimes I take my friends for granted. I have a pretty high level of anxiety and am not always aware of certain social queues so I find it difficult to make friends in the first place. Then between my depression and anxiety it can often be hard for me to get out. I’m so grateful for those who have stuck by me through everything though. The ones who understand that I’m not a perfect person and sometimes I just can’t wrap my mind around stepping outside of the front door.

I’ve always had anxiety, but due to a series of changes that have occurred in my life over the last few years that anxiety has been heightened.

This weekend would have been spent holed away inside of my home like normal, but I got a text from one of my best friends asking if I could help him with a project. That project was to bake nearly 10 dozen cookies for a party at a bar he’d been asked to supply food for. I had no reason to say no after all. I am so grateful I got out. He’d also recruited another friend of ours who we play video games with and his new roommate who promptly decided studying for her finals was out of the question when it came to cookies.

In the process of forcing myself to leave the house and help a friend I actually made a new friend. It turns out his roommate and I have a lot in common and found ourselves running to the end of the street at midnight to steal Team Mystic’s gym back from Team Instinct in the popular Pokemon Go app. Yes I play Pokemon Go. I have no shame in this it’s my childhood and I’m a gamer. On top of that it’s a game that has encouraged me to get out and meet people. It fascinates me how many kind people I’ve casually crossed paths with just because of this game.

So another of my changes is to get out, make new friends and keep building the friendships I have.

Posted in finances, General Life, job, The Dream, Tucker, work

Changes Are Good

It’s difficult to be willing to make changes in life sometimes, but confronting them with a positive attitude can be the best way to adapt.

I’ve never been a risk taker and I’ve always wished that I could be. The only thing holding me back was myself. I’ve held three jobs in my life, one for the state, one in retail and one in my current role with a financial firm. The first one my dad got for me, and the other two I had friends working for the company that put in a good word for me. This new opportunity would be one I stepped into 100% on my own. I’m ready though. I am ready to start back at the bottom and work my way up into a position that I picked because I wanted it not because it was convenient and I knew it would be handed to me. It’s time to change. It’s time to fight for what I want and follow my dreams.

My interview went well yesterday and for anyone who is interested in knowing it was with the wonderful Bark & Co the creators of BarkBox and BarkShop. This is a brand I have a passion about and I greatly hope I can step into a role with their company. I’ve been a customer for a few months now and have developed a passion for their products and their values.

If you’re interested in checking them out you can click the link above or go to http://www.barkbox.com and enter promotional code DREAMCOAGF to get a buy 1 get 1 free discount. If your pooch doesn’t love everything just let their happy customer service team know. My dog gets so excited every time we get a package and he just hopes it’s for him. Each box comes with two toys, two bags of healthy grain, corn and soy free treats and an edible chew. If you have a dog that’s a heavy chewer or has special allergy needs they even will help cater to that.

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If I do get an offer for the job it will be a pay cut from where I stand currently, but I think I can make it. I’m going to spend the weekend working out my budget for the remainder of the year to determine if I can indeed dive into this headfirst. Look forward to this blog getting its own domain in the next few weeks and a new look that celebrates who I am. I’ve struggled to identify and define myself, but I’ve had new life breathed into myself over the past week. It’s time for changes, and it’s time to be me so keep checking back!

Also thank you to my new followers lately. It’s great to know that people are interested in my story and want to follow along with my journey. I just hope I don’t disappoint.

In terms of changes there is more than just a career change I’m making to my life. I plan to get healthier, lose weight, and become organized in my life. I will of course happily keep you posted on all of that as time goes on. I cannot wait to share my journey with everyone!

Posted in finances, General Life, The Dream

Budgeting

This is a word that I tend to avoid because I have this illusion that since I make decent money I don’t need to budget. The fact is I do. I really do. My plan over this weekend is to sit down and make a spreadsheet to break down my budget. I’m going to force myself to stop eating out. To only pay in cash for groceries and “fun money” and to utilize gift cards towards gas bonuses as part of that “fun money” spending.

If anyone has any good recommendations of formats to start with let me know! I love spreadsheets, but I really would like to get something for my The Happy Planner.

In other joyful news I got an interview with a company that I have been in love with for a while now so please wish me luck there. I’m still looking at some other opportunities, but just hoping that I can make a positive change that will allow me to feel less restricted.

This post is short I know. I didn’t have much to talk about today, but I have plans for tomorrows post so stay tuned!

Posted in General Life, Uncategorized

My Finances

Driving home today I came to the conclusion that in order to stay diligent I needed to blog daily. One thing I feel I need to be open and honest about on this journey is my finances. They are not in a good place and this is 100% my own fault. I figure it’s best if I start at the beginning and walk you through everything so you can see where I am and how I got there. Maybe with luck someone will see this and learn from my mistakes.

I applied for an “emergency” credit card with a high interest rate when I was young, and I maxed it out quickly. No worries though it was only $500.00. I had no other expenses and I still lived at home so paying it off was easy. This is where the problems started. When you pay off your entire balance your credit card company tends to love you and they show that by raising your limit. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It can look great for your credit score. The problems arise when you’re a young twenty-something with no understanding of finances. That card currently sits at a balance of $2,296.70 with a monthly payment of $70.00. This was paid off once via refinancing, which was good at the time since I had my interest cut in half. The problem was I charged it back up.

Then came credit card number 2. So let’s take a step back and imagine I’m still 24 and happily employed with a financial firm. I am making double what I made in retail and paying off that credit card balance while living at home and not having a car is a breeze. So naturally my employer is raining down offers of credit cards with great perks upon my head. Credit cards that I’m quickly learning all about from my coworkers and my job. I apply and get approved for a $3,000.00 limit. I don’t max it out though. Not at first anyways. See first I get a car, which we’ll go back to. Then a few months later I get in an accident, which like everything else is my fault. So now I owe my insurance company and a rental car agency. All of this is happening while I’m in the process of moving into my first place. I run out of money really quick so I start leaning on my credit cards, which already have balances on them. I max them out quickly by not watching what I’m buying and figuring I can just pay it off. Sure. I can just pay it off I think not realizing that moving out I’ll have less money in my pocket. This card currently sits at $2,999.04 monthly payments around $78.00 to $80.00 depending on if I let it slip over the limit with interest or not.

Now we have the third credit card. This is not the end of my credit cards. That card I purchased for travel perks. I wanted to go on vacation with my cousin so of course 25 year old me said that obviously I needed a credit card that had vacation perks. The balance on that card at the time I paid it off was $2,043.00 and I was making monthly payments of $85.00. I no longer owe on this card, but I did refinance it so I owe that. It was a better decision as I was able to cut the interest in half. I destroyed this card and it has since closed out with thankfully a $0.00 balance.

Now onto card four. This card I got because it was a retail card with points. Retail credit cards can be a nightmare. This one actually hasn’t been too bad to me. The minimum payment sits under $40.00 usually as long as I don’t go over the $1,000.00 limit. Right now though I am currently sitting at a balance of $1,058.82.

Card five is also a retail card that I got so I could get computer parts at a discounted rate. At the time it was great and I did pay it off really quickly. Then I started using it to buy other things. As the debt and balance of other cards rose I started using this to purchase basic essentials I needed in everyday life. Things like food, shampoo, soap, etc. The balance sits at $1,568.80 with monthly payments of around $30.00.

The last card is card six. It is not the end of my shameful debt. Card six was attached to a spending account I had and the first few times I used it I didn’t realize it was coming from a credit card and not my debit card. I kept purchasing video games and clothes without realizing I wasn’t spending my own money on these frivolous things but a sum of funds from a high interest credit card. Currently the balance of this card sits at $1,993.60 with payments of close to $70.00 a month.

So before we move onto my other debt let’s tally up the credit cards alone. The credit card debt comes in at $9,916.96. Just under $10,000. My goal this year is to pay off all of that debt.

Now onto the next mistake. The dreaded Student Loans. I paid my way through college for my first three years. I was just about five classes away from graduating so at age 24 as I started my new job I decided to power through those five classes and pull out a student loan to cover the costs. Spoiler alert I didn’t graduate. In fact I overwhelmed myself and failed a class twice before dropping out. I never realized that even if I paid it off early it wouldn’t matter because I would still owe interest. I currently have dwindled it down to $2369.41 and thankfully only make payments of $26.00 which I managed to get down from $85.00.

Next is the refinanced loan I took out with my bank to cut down my interest rates on those two credit cards I mentioned above. On that I owe $3,731.25 and make payments of $124.00 a month.

Lastly is my car as I mentioned in the very beginning. I adore my car, but I have considered selling it to trade off for something cheaper. I refinanced this car less than a year ago and still owed over $10,000.00 on it at the time. Thanks to refinancing that took my interest down drastically I now only owe $8,878.28 and make monthly payments of $240.00 this is less than what I was paying before.

All of that debt aside keep in mind I also pay $70.00 a month for cell service, $25.00 for internet, $400.00 for rent, around $40.00 for gas and close to $70.00 for electric. Not to mention any medical fees, groceries and pet supplies I purchase. I pull in less than $2,000.00 a month.

My total debt is sitting at $24,895.90 with monthly payments around $680.00 to $700.00 total depending on if I’ve overdrawn or not. That is nearly $25,000.00 that I owe. Were mistakes made? You betcha! Am I going to take ownership and fix them? Heck yes! I have fallen behind months, which majorly hurt me. I also make over payments in an effort to chip away at it, but with the interest on most of them I just can’t make a dent it seems. I’ve started a savings account though with a whole $23.00 in it. My goal each paycheck is whatever is left over from the previous one will go into that account, and at the end of the month my credit card with the lowest payment will get an additional payment of whatever is in that savings account. This will help knock out the principle balance, and as I take out my smaller cards the payments I make on those I will begin to stack with higher cards.

Other ways I am saving money are as follows:

  • I am only shopping at Aldi for my groceries until I am out of debt. I currently shop at a high end organic store for all of my food. This week I went to Aldi’s and spent a quarter of what I would normally spend for the same products also organic.
  • I am picking up side hustles. I currently am working with textbroker.com and am so excited for the opportunity.
  • I will begin selling things I do not need on Facebook and eBay.
  • I am investing in The Happy Planner thanks to a gift card from my aunt for my Birthday. Looking at these beautiful planners that allow me the opportunity to be creative and organized in life makes me so excited.

So I invite you to join me monthly as I update you with all of my financial ups and downs! I can’t wait to be debt free, because once I am I will begin the journey towards purchasing my first home.

Posted in The Dream, Uncategorized, work

Do What You Love

I’ve spent five years working in the financial industry, and while my job has been wonderful to me financially it’s not where my heart is. My heart and passion are in writing and expressing myself creatively. Today begins my journey towards becoming my own boss. I am progressively looking for small work-from-home side hustles so I can build a nice savings account while I work to establish myself and my blog. Hopefully within the next year I can have myself well established and with a decent enough monthly income from my blogging that I can make my passion a full-time career.

I’ve learned as I near my 30’s that life isn’t all about money. Life is about living each moment with joy. I know you can’t pay the rent with ‘joy,’ but what if you could? What if doing what made you happy could support you? What if it could support you more so than you current day job? I truly believe it can. I look at these bloggers with these success stories. Bloggers who monthly bring in well more than I currently do. I’ve decided it’s time for a change. I know the changes will be small and gradual, but I have faith that I can achieve my dreams.

It will take time and drive. I know I won’t immediately pull in the funds, but with dedication I will succeed. I invite you to follow me on this journey as I will be open and honest with my monthly income from my writing and my side hustle. I will tell you what I feel I’m doing right and what I’m doing wrong.

To start I have applied with the following companies. This is just the beginning of my side hustle.

Needle.com

Text Broker

Both of these will allow me the opportunity to bring in extra income to put towards my savings and debt so I can begin this journey towards becoming a full-time blogger and freelance writer.

Wish me luck and say a little prayer because I’m starting at $0, but hope to reach a regular stream of $5,000 a month in 12 months time!