Ways to Earn Extra Cash and Rewards for the Holidays



Still life of large silver wrapped Christmas gift with bow.

Christmas is around the corner! Have you started your holiday shopping yet? There’s still plenty of time! This year, if you are in need of extra cash and rewards to put towards Christmas presents, check out this list below! Companies and brands need feedback from YOU and by completing surveys or even doing simple tasks such as shopping online, you can start working towards earning real cash and rewards. Every bit adds up! Browse through the list below and choose the ones that are right for you to start earning today!

MySurvey – By sharing your opinions about products and services, you are rewarded with Reward Points to redeem for cash and merchandise.

Toluna – Get rewarded for surveys & polls. Sign up to test and review products for FREE!

Pinecone Research – You will earn points for each completed product survey, which can be exchanged for cash and other rewards. PLUS you will be automatically entered into a bi-weekly Sweepstakes to win additional cash prizes for your time. Each interview usually takes 15-20 minutes of your time.

Vindale Research – Get paid to review products. Join the finest minds in consumer research and change the world one product at a time. Share your unique opinion and get paid for it! Participation required. Earn $5-$75 Per Survey!

Springboard US Panel – Springboard America gives Americans like you the opportunity to speak up on what affects their daily lives – from products to politics. By joining Springboard, one of America’s leading online research communities, you’ll become eligible to receive invitations to our surveys, earn Survey Dollars and to help shape America’s future!

MindsPay – Evaluate products and services of your interest and give us your feedback.You get compensated! Watch your account balance grow, then you can request a payout!

Panda Research – Participate in offers and surveys and get paid up to $50 per offer completed.

Inbox Dollars -Pays members to read emails, take surveys online, play games, and go shopping! New members also receive $5 just for joining.

Swagbucks – Earn 1,000s of free prizes, for doing the things you do every day – like PayPal and Amazon gift cards, toys, clothes, collectibles, games, electronics and more.

Ebates - Get cash back for shopping.

ShopAtHome – Get cash back for shopping. Find over 100,000 grocery and restaurant coupons, printable coupons, coupon codes, cash back and hot deals.

Ibotta – Find great rebates, shop & redeem, get cash back!

Ipsos I-Say – Take surveys and earn points. The more surveys you complete the more points you earn. The more points you earn, the more you can redeem in the online reward catalog.

Opinion Outpost (US) – Rewards include get cash, Amazon gift cards, game points, donations to your favorite charities, and more. Everyone is also automatically entered to a $10,000 sweepstakes by joining and taking surveys. The minimum cash out for Paypal is $10 and only $5 for Amazon gift cards.

Opinion Outpost (Mobile) – Rewards include get cash, Amazon gift cards, game points, donations to your favorite charities, and more. Everyone is also automatically entered to a $10,000 sweepstakes by joining and taking surveys. The minimum cash out for Paypal is $10 and only $5 for Amazon gift cards.

SendEarnings – Earn CASH when you need emails, take surveys, shop online, redeem coupons & more!

Valued Opinions – Don’t give your opinions away get paid for them.

Memolink – Users can get rewarded with cash, gift cards, or donate to charity + Enter the $500 Holiday Sweeps and get $5 just for joining.

Points2Shop – Earn free rewards and points from shopping!

UniqueRewards – Effective and fascinating way to earn some extra cash without leaving your home.

Consumer Advisory Group - take surveys to enter sweepstakes for prizes including $50 Gift Cards.

e-Poll – Be entered into the $1000 Monthly draw and take surveys to earn rewards.

National Consumer Panel – Voice your opinions to help manufacturers and retailers make decisions on what products to develop or improve.

VIP Voice – Confirmed panelists will be entered into a sweepstakes upon joining and will have additional chances to win cash and other great prizes, with each survey taken.

Cash Crate – Simply complete free offers and get paid without spending a dime!

Nielsen Home Scan Consumer Panel – Earn valuable points, which are redeemable for electronics, household items, jewelry, toy, gift cards, and more.

Shopper’s Voice – You will be eligible for exclusive rewards like free samples, money-saving coupons and special offers tailor-made for you.

Canada:

Nielsen Home Scan Consumer Panel (Canada) – Points are redeemable toward great thank you gifts offered in our catalog.

Angus Reid Forum (Canada) – Earn Survey Dollars redeemable for cheques, Aeroplan Miles, Amazon gift cards or charity. Get entered into the $1,000 contest draw for joining.

DailyRewards (Canada) – Pays members to read emails, take surveys online, play games, and go shopping! New members also receive $5 just for joining.

Opinion Outpost (Canada) – Rewards include get cash, Amazon gift cards, game points, donations to your favorite charities, and more. Everyone is also automatically entered to a $10,000 sweepstakes by joining and taking surveys. The minimum cash out for Paypal is $10 and only $5 for Amazon gift cards.

Five Simple Ways to Save on Christmas Cards



Christmas Cards

By a show of hands, who actually likes sending Christmas cards? Okay, so a few of you might have your hand raised (I admire your enthusiasm), but if you’re like me, you still have to buy them and then scramble to get them in the mail a week before Christmas. If that’s you (or something similar), here are four ways to save a little money on cards this year.

1. Send e-Cards – Christmas cards via e-mail? Do I dare? I’ve considered this option in the past, but the darn tradition is so rooted in sending and receiving actual paper cards that I quickly reconsidered. If you don’t mind bucking tradition and saving a lot of money (e-cards are free!), the answer to your Christmas card woes is just a click away.

2. Trim Your List – Your list has probably grown over the years, but you can cut your card budget in half by putting that bloated list on a diet. If they’re not a close friend or family member, or they didn’t send you a card last year, you should consider removing them from your list.

3. Shop After Christmas – This tip won’t help you save money on cards this year, but it will help you save 50 to 75 percent on next year’s cards! Stores slash their prices dramatically on the day after Christmas. Stock up then, but don’t wait too long to get out there and shop because there won’t be much left on December 27.

4. Send a Letter – The easiest way to save on cards is to not buy cards! Instead, send a holiday letter. It can be a hand-written letter – if you’ve got a short list and a lot of time to write – or a printed letter with a short personal note written at the end.

5. Shop at the Dollar Store – Yes, we have high expectations for our Christmas cards, but the dollar store has some nice options at very nice prices. Is that $4 box of cards as nice as that $20 box of cards you saw at the mall? Maybe, maybe not, but the $16 you’ll save (or $32 if you have to buy two boxes) is pretty darn nice!

Xmas

See How Much I’ve Earned with Walmart Savings Catcher! #WMTSavingsCatcher



Disclosure: I shopped savvy using Walmart Saving Catcher, as part of a sponsored post for Crowdtap #WMTSavingsCatcher.

Walmart Savings Catcher

I love to save money and I love to shop at Walmart. I shop at Walmart on a regular basis. You’ll find me there at least two to three times a week! Walmart is close to my house and it’s so convenient to shop at Walmart. I can find low prices on my purchases compared to other retailers in town. I was at Walmart yesterday buying a variety of items from beauty products to baby products as well as food items! I love that Walmart offers just about everything we need. I can get all of my shopping done in one trip!

Have you heard of the new Walmart Savings Catcher? If you love to save money and shop at Walmart like I do, you’ll love this new money saving tool! The Walmart Savings Catcher automatically compares prices from all around town in your area. If there are lower advertised prices, Walmart will give you the difference on an e-Gift Card! As much as I would love to take time to compare prices from around town, the truth is, I just don’t have time to do it. That’s why I let the Walmart Savings Catcher do the work for me!

How the Walmart Savings Catcher Works:

  1. Download the Walmart App (a smartphone is NOT required! You can use Savings Catcher on a desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Keep reading!)
  2. Tap the Savings Catcher Button
  3. Scan your receipt

Note: Savings Catcher applies to your in-store purchases only.

walmart savings catcher

You can also go to savingscatcher.walmart.com and enter your receipt number into your account if you don’t have a smartphone. Savings Catcher does the rest! If there’s a lower advertised price on an eligible item, you’ll be notified in a few days that you are getting the difference on your e-Gift Card. Watch your savings grow or spend them immediately! To redeem your e-Gift Card, just print it out or bring in your phone and you get your savings on the spot.

I’ve been using the Walmart Savings Catcher for a few weeks now. My first receipt didn’t earn any rewards, but I didn’t give up! I submitted each receipt since then and have earned extra savings! I LOVE receiving emails saying that I’m getting money back!

your reward dollars

I’ll be using my earnings towards Christmas presents this year!

What will you buy using your Walmart Savings Catcher savings? #WMTSavingsCatcher

6 Ways to Save Money this Holiday Season #HolidayMeans



I had great memories of Christmas Day when I was a little girl. We didn’t have much growing up, but that meant we valued and treasured what we did have. What we did have was two loving parents that tried their best to raise four children all while working very hard to provide for us. Even though we didn’t get everything we wanted for Christmas, our parents made sure we always had a great Christmas to look forward to. There were always a lot of presents under the tree for all of us to enjoy on Christmas Day.

Flash forward to 2014. As an adult I try to take some of the holiday shopping madness away from my life by shopping all throughout the year. If I find good deals, I try to snag affordable gifts and place them in a gift closet and save them for Christmas. Instead of waiting until the last minute to find great deals and stress myself out in the process, I usually get all of my shopping done well in advance before Christmas Day.

Also, when I am buying gifts during the year, this prevents me from spending hundreds of dollars during the months of November and December for Christmas gifts! The cost of Christmas gifts can add up fast, so if you aren’t careful and if you don’t follow a budget, you can find yourself overspending during the holiday season.

Here are a few tips for saving money this holiday season as well as tips to keep the stress at bay:

1. Make a list of all family and friends that you plan to give gifts to. Make sure you include teachers, coworkers, neighbors, and anyone else you may need to give a gift to. Decide on an overall budget for what you will spend this Christmas on gifts. Then, decide how much you will spend on each person and make sure you do not go over your budget. Try to leave a little room in your budget for unexpected gift purchases that you may need to make before Christmas.

2. Consider making holiday gifts and cards. You can save a lot of money by making gifts this year. Homemade gifts are great if you have a lot of people to buy for. You can make homemade ornaments, gifts in a jar, or even bake yummy treats and give them as a gift! Cards are also easy to make and give this year!

3. Spending time together as a family can be more meaningful than giving gifts. Save money and skip the gift giving this holiday season. Instead, watch Christmas movies together, drive through neighborhoods to look at lights, and scope out fun area activities that are free of charge that you can enjoy with your family.

4. Have a potluck Christmas dinner. Instead of the responsibility of preparing a nice dinner falling onto one person during on Christmas, host a potluck dinner. Provide the main dish and assign other dishes and appetizers to other family and friends.

5. Make your own Christmas decorations. Get the kids involved with this one! String popcorn and use it to decorate a Christmas tree. Allow the kids to make their own ornaments for the tree.

6. Recycle newspaper or magazines. Instead of buying wrapping paper, wrap presents in newspaper or old magazines! Used wrapping paper usually goes in the trash after presents are opened, so instead of “throwing money away,” recycle this holiday season!

I hope you can use some of the tips mentioned above to save this holiday season as well as to keep stress levels down!

What other ways can you save during the holiday season? How do you keep your stress levels down this time of year?

At SunTrust Bank their purpose is lighting the way to financial well-being. They want to help you reduce holiday stress through tools, advice, and inspiration that encourages you to make your holidays meaningful by spending within your means and focusing on meaningful experiences.

 

To get started visit  suntrust.com/holiday

 

Meaningful spending made easy with a budgeting tool to help you make a plan and stay on track with your holiday spending.  Download here.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust. The opinions and text are all mine.

3 Thanksgiving Kids Crafts



three thanksgiving kids crafts

Let’s face it. As holidays are concerned, Thanksgiving isn’t the most kid-friendly gathering on the calendar. Yes, it might be sandwiched between two of the most popular holidays of the year – Halloween and Christmas – but Turkey Day can be downright brutal for young ones. All that travelling, all that sitting around waiting to eat, all that listening to adults gab about politics and football? Heck, Thanksgiving can be brutal for some grown-ups too!

Add a side dish of fun to your Thanksgiving menu by rounding up a few simple craft supplies and letting kids whip up a few of the creations below. While you’re putting the finishing touches on those pumpkin pies, they can be hard at work on these treats. It’s a win-win!

  1. Sunflower of Thanks – This one is easy to make (just glue yellow craft paper petals on a paper plate) and the kids will have even more fun with the second part of this craft. Once it’s complete, they can chat with each person who arrives on Turkey Day and ask them to write something they’re thankful for on one of the sunflower petals. (Picture and instructions here)
  1. Paper Plate Pumpkin – Halloween may have a stranglehold on the jack-o-lantern, but the pumpkin is fun at Thanksgiving, too. For this paper plate craft, you’ll need orange tissue paper (or construction paper) and some glue. The best part: Cutting out all those paper squares will keep your little ones busy for a looooong time. (Picture and instructions here)
  1. Handprint Wreath – What do you get when you combine 30 colorful paper handprints and a little glue? A fun and whimsical handprint wreath! Kids will putting this simple door decoration together. Trim your handprint cutting time by folding paper in half or quarters to cut multiple hands at one time. (Picture and instruction here)

7 Ways to Save on Home Heating This Winter



Inside home temperature thermostat set  to seventy one degrees fahrenheit

With October nearly over and November right on its heels, chances are high that your family will be turning on your heat soon if you haven’t already. While there’s nothing better than snuggling up in a warm house as the snow falls outside, keeping your home a warm and cozy temperature can become costly quickly. Don’t spend a fortune heating your home. Here are seven ways to save on your home heating this winter.

1. Open the Blinds

If you’ve ever opened your blinds wide to enjoy the sunshine, you know that letting the light in can really heat up your home. Wintertime is the perfect time to use this to your advantage. Open the windows during the day, especially on the side of your house that faces the sun. You’ll feel warmer in no time, and it doesn’t cost a thing!

2. Dress Warmly

Just because you can crank your heat and wear shorts all day doesn’t mean that you should. Dress warmly, including socks and warm sweaters. Leave cozy throw blankets out where they’ll invite you to snuggle up. Put an extra blanket on your bed. You’ll be able to turn down the heat and still be comfortable.

3. Adjust Your Ceiling Fans

Did you know that you are supposed to switch the direction your ceiling fans turn seasonally? It’s true. In the winter, your ceiling fans should run clockwise in order to gently push the warm air that floats to the ceiling back down again.

4. Check for Leaks

According to Houselogic.com, the average family wastes $350 every year due to air leaks alone. Common places for air leaks include around doors, windows, fireplaces and sockets. Go through your home looking for leaks, and fill them with insulation, spray foam or weather stripping. The process is pretty simple, and you can find everything you need at your local home improvement store.

5. Invest in More Insulation

In addition to small leaks, your home may have large areas that are not well-insulated as well. While the heat may not seep out as fast in these areas, if the areas are large, you could still be out a substantial amount of money. Insulation is relatively cheap, and putting it up isn’t too difficult. Even a roll or two added to the attic can help.

6. Use a Space Heater

If your family spends the vast majority of your time in one or two rooms, it doesn’t make much sense to heat the entire house. Instead, turn the heat on as low as you can and then use a space heater in the rooms you frequent. You’ll stay nice and warm at a fraction of the cost.

7. Get Regular HVAC Maintenance as Needed

For those of us trying to live frugally, putting off home maintenance and repairs can be very tempting. Yet, some amount of regular HVAC maintenance is necessary to keep your system clean and running well. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting a ton of energy because the system is too dirty and inefficient to heat your home properly.

At the very least, you should change your furnace air filter every couple of months, or as often as every month if you have pets or allergies in your family. If your heat doesn’t seem to be keeping up, however, or if you are spending way more than you should, larger maintenance and repairs may be in order.

How painful are your home heating bills? Do you follow any of these steps to reduce your bills, or do you just crank the heat and not worry about it? What other tips work well for you?

Frugal Halloween Craft: Halloween Tissue Ghosts



Tissue ghosts

According to Forbes, the average American spends an average of $75.03 on Halloween candy, costumes and decorations each year. While this figure pales in comparison to Christmas spending, it’s still a pretty substantial chunk of change, especially if you are pinching pennies. Thankfully, there are plenty of inexpensive Halloween decorations that pack a ton of cute into their tiny little price tag. Today’s DIY Halloween decoration is no exception. You’ll love these adorable Halloween Tissue Ghosts!

Halloween Tissue Ghosts have everything you could want from a Halloween decoration. They are easy and fun to make, they are seriously cute, and you can literally make them for pennies. You can make them as far in advance as you’d like since they don’t go bad, and they are easy enough to make that your kids can help. You probably already have all of the materials on hand, so they don’t require a trip to the store. Make one or make a whole room full–they are quick and easy enough that you can make as many as you want!

Halloween Tissue Ghosts

Materials Needed:

  • 2 Tissues (per ghost)
  • String
  • Scissors
  • Marker
  • Tape (optional)

Directions:

1. Take one tissue and wad it up into a ball.

2. Place the first tissue in the center of the second tissue.

3. Flip the whole thing over so the loose ends of the second tissue drape over the tissue wad.

4. Tie a string around the ghost’s “neck” to secure. (The length of the string will depend on where you want to hang him.)

5. Draw a face. Spooky or cute–it’s up to you!

6. Hang the ghost wherever you like! You can tape the string to a wall or tie it around a ceiling fan to make him “fly!”

**Optional: If you want the ghost to hang upright, you may need to tape the string to the back of his head. If you are hanging him from the ceiling fan, tape won’t be necessary.

Alternate Suggestion: Cut up white plastic shopping bags or trash bags for ghosts you can hang outdoors!

Are you decorating for Halloween this year? Will you be buying decorations or making your own?

Ten Fun and Frugal Halloween Costume Ideas You Can Make Yourself



Tiara or diadem on pink background

Think you have to spend a fortune to get great looking Halloween costumes for your children? If so, think again! Not only can you save big on Halloween costumes by finding them on sale, purchasing them secondhand and handing them down between siblings and cousins, but you can also save a bundle on your children’s Halloween costumes by making them yourself. Here are ten fun and frugal Halloween costume ideas that are cute, easy, and most importantly–cheap!

1. Black Cat

For an affordable Halloween costume purr-fect for girls of all ages, a black cat costume is the way to go. All you need are black leggings, a black long sleeve t-shirt, and black shoes. Accessorize with ears (felt triangles glued to a black headband), a tail (stuffed black pantyhose pinned to the pants), and black eyeliner whiskers. Easy, cute and cheap!

2. Ghost

There are few DIY Halloween costumes as popular or as well-known as the classic ghost costume. All you need is a sheet, a black marker, and a pair of scissors! Choose a white sheet for a classic ghost look or a colored sheet to create one of the Pacman ghosts!

3. Construction Worker

Does your son have a tool belt and a tool box in his toy chest? If so, pair them with a pair of jeans and a white shirt, and you’ve got an inexpensive and creative construction worker Halloween costume. The tool box can even double as his candy basket.

4. Princess

Your daughter loves playing princess on the other 364 days of the year, why make Halloween the exception? If she doesn’t have a pretty princess dress already, a flower girl, Easter or other church dress can work just as nicely. Then, all you need is a tiara and a wand, which you can always find cheaply at Halloween costume stores, toy stores or the dollar store.

5. Hockey Player

Do your children play any sports, such as hockey, basketball, or football? If so, dress them in their uniforms for Halloween! You already have everything that you need, and they are sure to look great.

6. Dancer

Is your daughter taking dance? If so, have her be a dancer for Halloween. You know the costume will be comfortable, look adorable and fit well, and you won’t have to spend any extra on it either. Be sure to do her nails and hair so she’s all glammed up for the big night.

7. Waitress

Do you have any old waitressing uniforms lying around from your days of working in a restaurant? If so, maybe your children would love to be a waitress for Halloween. All they need are jeans, a plain t-shirt (the messier, the better!), your apron, and a notepad and pencil. One order of Halloween candy coming right up!

8. Ninja

For your overly energetic young boys, how about a ninja costume? Dress them in black, tie a belt around their waists, and send them running down the streets with their fake plastic swords. They are sure to have a ball, and better to have them running down the sidewalk than crashing through your house!

9. Pumpkin
The pumpkin costume is another fall staple, and it’s incredibly easy to make. If you are dressing a baby, simply take a men’s large tshirt, place it on the baby, and stuff it with newspapers or rags. Secure the bottom by tying it and draw, glue or attach a felt face to the front. Adorable!

10. Spider
Lastly, why not try an eight-legged spider costume on for size? Dress your children in black, and then use old black panty hose or leggings stuffed with newspaper or plastic bags to create additional legs, which you’ll pin to your child’s sides. You can even use fishing wire or string to connect the extra arms to your child’s sleeves, so all of the arms move when your child’s do. This costume can be as silly or as scary as you and your kids prefer.

Are you making your children’s Halloween costumes this year? What are they going to be?

Read more:

7 Ways to Save Big on Your Kids Halloween Costumes This Year

4 Frighteningly Cheap Homemade Halloween Decorations

Seven Ways to Save Big on Your Kids’ Halloween Costumes This Year



pumpkin

Between the haunted houses, the creepy decorations and the spooky costumes, Halloween is one time of year that we all love to be a little frightened. Unfortunately, however, the scare doesn’t always stop there. If you go all out on all of your Halloween gear, the fright might extend to your bank account as well. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to. Here are seven ways to save big on your kids’ Halloween costumes this year.

1. Use Items that You Already Own

You might be surprised at the number of costumes you can make using items you already own. For example, if your child already has a toy tool belt and tools, he could go as a construction worker. If your daughter already owns a beautiful white flower girl or christening dress, she could go as a bride.

2. Choose Quality Costumes You Can Hand Down

When it comes to Halloween costumes, you often get what you pay for. If your child will only wear the costume once, going cheap is fine. If you have multiple children and you intend to hand the costume down, however, choose a timeless and quality costume that will last for years.

3. Make Your Own Costumes

If you are crafty, why not make your own costumes? You can make a poodle skirt by cutting a very large circle out of a piece of fabric, cutting a circle out for the waste, and sewing in some elastic. Pirate eye patches, ghost costumes and spider costumes are all super easy to make as well.

4. Buy Pieces Instead of Entire Costumes

Instead of purchasing an entire costume, why not choose costumes that only require accessories? For example: Cat costumes only need black clothes, ears and a tail. Chef costumes only require a whisk and a chef’s hat. Artist costumes only require a set of paints and a beret. Ninja turtle costumes only need a shell, a weapon and a piece of fabric for a mask.

5. Watch for Great Deals

Whether you choose to purchase an entire costume or just pieces, be on the look-out for great deals. Many Halloween stores have coupons and promotions that allow you to get a great costume for cheap. You can often save big just by checking out the deals.

6. Buy Secondhand

Since most children only wear their costumes for one night before they are done with them, it is very easy to find like-new Halloween costumes for cheap. Check Ebay, Craigslist, garage sales and your local thrift stores or consignment shops. You never know what you might find! Your options will be a little more limited this way, but you are sure to get a great deal, so it is definitely worth a look.

7. Hit End of the Season Clearance Racks

If you can remember and afford to plan ahead, November is the perfect time to purchase Halloween costumes for the next year at great prices. Pick up a costume or two when they are severely marked down on clearance, and you’ll be all set well before the next Halloween rolls around.

Halloween is a ton of fun, but that doesn’t mean that it should cost you a ton of money. Use these seven ways to save big on your kids’ Halloween costumes this year, and save the frights for the haunted house. Your kids will have amazing and unique costumes that they will be proud to show off at a price that you can afford.

How much do you usually spend on Halloween costumes for your kids? What tips do you have for getting a great Halloween costume for less?

Three Ways to Eliminate Your Credit Card Interest Payments Today



credit cards

When it comes to paying off your debts, there are a lot of things that can get in your way. There are surprise medical bills, old habits that die hard, and–perhaps most annoying of all–interest. I absolutely hate paying interest. So, I set out to find ways to avoid it, and I came up with three really good ones.

1. Pay Off Your Balance

This should go without saying, but if you are continuing to buy things you can’t afford by putting them on your credit card, stop! You are only digging yourself into a deeper hole. If you have to put it on a card to afford it, you can’t afford it. Switch to cash and pay off your credit card balance as soon as possible.

2. Switch to a “No Interest” Card

In the meantime–while you are working to pay off your credit card debts–why not transfer your current credit card debt to a new card with a zero percent introductory interest rate? Now, I am NOT advising you to go card hopping constantly–this will hurt your credit. But if you don’t have much left to go, why not speed up the process by getting rid of the interest?

DO read the terms and conditions before you sign. It will completely defeat the purpose if there are huge fees or if the interest rate skyrockets before you are able to pay off your balance in full. This technique works best for relatively small balances on cards with high interest rateswhen you know you will have it paid off before the introductory period ends.

3. Make Payments Immediately

Okay, this one is going to take a little explaining, but it works really well if you can get the hang of it.

Say you had to use your card for an emergency expense, and now you have a $1,000 balance. If you stopped using your card to make any more purchases, you would pay interest on that $1,000 until you eventually got it paid off. That interest would really add up over time, especially if you couldn’t afford to pay the $1,000 off right away, and all of that money would be wasted.

BUT if you CONTINUE to use your card for the normal, everyday purchases that you would make anyways, and you pay off your new purchases as soon as you make them, then you can avoid paying interest on that original $1,000 all together.

Here’s how it works: Say, for example, that this month you need $600 for groceries, $125 for cable, $100 for a doctor’s payment, $75 for new clothes for your family and $100 for miscellaneous purchases. That equals $1,000. Instead of paying cash for those things or putting them on your card to pay off next month, pay them off as soon as you purchase them (or weekly works well too).

When you pay off all new purchases right away, instead of waiting until you get the bill for them, the $1,000 that you pay down on your card will go towards the original $1,000 first–not the new purchases. To you, it will be like you are ignoring that original $1,000 and just paying for new purchases. But to your card, you’ll be paying the previous balance off in full every month, which means NO interest! And then, the next month, when you pay next month’s bills, it will be applied to this month’s balance. And continue on this way each month until you are able to get your debt paid down.

Now, this technique won’t get your balance paid off–you’ll have to pay extra to do that. But it is a great way to avoid racking up interest when you really cannot spare any extra to pay down your debts right now. It kind of puts them in “limbo.” That original $1,000 balance is there, but you aren’t paying interest on it.

Obviously, these three techniques won’t work for everyone. If you are seriously behind on bills, have huge debts or have terrible credit, you probably won’t be able to eliminate your interest altogether. But if you have a smaller debt that you are working hard to pay off, these three tips are a fantastic way to eliminate your interest payment and get your debt paid off faster!