If you love Starbucks, don’t miss this chance again this year to play the popular Starbucks for Life Instant Win Game! You might win bonus stars, free drinks and bakery items, or even FREE Starbucks for months or for life!
(Want to save more on Starbucks? Check out my post on how I justify drinking Starbucks even on a budget! Hint: I use Swagbucks to get Starbucks gift cards so I pay nothing out of pocket! 😉And don’t forget about Starbucks Happy Hour each week!)
Win Starbucks For Life!
The popular Starbucks for Life Instant Win Game is back again this year!
Starting Monday, December 2nd, you’ll be able to log in to your Starbucks Rewards account to play the Instant Win Game.
There is a chance to win bonus stars, free drinks, free bakery items, and more.
Plus, there will be lots of grand prizes up for grabs:
5 Grand Prize Winners will win Starbucks for Life
15 First Prize Winners will win Starbucks for a Year
50 Second Prize Winners will win Starbucks for 6 Months
125 Third Prize Winners will win Starbucks for 3 Months
100 Fourth Prize Winners will win Starbucks for 1 Month
There are over 2 million winners, and you can enter twice per day through January 6, 2020.
And don’t forget to sign up for Starbucks Rewards so that you can play the Starbucks for Life game! You’ll also get a free drink on your birthday, rewards and freebies, special Starbucks Happy Hour promos, plus more!
Psst! Did you see how this post on how to throw a Starbucks birthday party on a budget? SO cool! [...]
The porch pirates got me good one holiday season.
I arrived home after a long day at work to find two empty packages on my front stoop. The thermal sweatshirt that was supposed to be a Christmas gift for my dad? Gone. The pricy face cream I bought for myself? Gone. And the townhouse I was living in, which was on a residential street, didn’t have security cameras.
There were plenty of places to tuck the packages out of sight, but the delivery person was either too busy or had done so only to be foiled later by the thieves.
That was years ago. Now I can simply install a smart lock on my front door and have Amazon or Walmart deliver items directly to my living room. Thieves can’t steal your packages if there’s nothing on your doormat to yoink.
But what if you’re trying to receive packages and deliveries without allowing our e-commerce big brothers to let themselves in on a regular basis?
6 Ways to Stop Porch Pirates Once and for All
In a 2017 report, insuranceQuotes estimated that 25.9 million Americans had a holiday package stolen from their front porch or doorstep that year. And across the United States, 36% of consumers have reported having a package stolen at least once, at an average cost of $109.
Don’t want to be a part of that very sad group of people? Try one or more of these methods to deter package thieves when you’re doing your online holiday shopping.
1. Make Delivery Requests
Some online ordering systems allow you to make delivery requests, like putting the package in a secure area. Making a request doesn’t guarantee that it will be met, but you may be surprised at how attentive delivery people are when dropping off your goods. “Leave on basement steps” or “upstairs neighbor can sign” are simple instructions that can help ensure your package gets to you.
If you happen to run into your regular local USPS, UPS or FedEx carrier, you may be able to make requests in person. But keep in mind that your neighborhood delivery person may have the best intel on which bushes are ideal for concealing packages.
2. Work With a Neighbor
If you know your neighbors — come on, go meet your neighbors — you can work together to thwart package theft. If you have alternating or overlapping schedules, swiping a package off their stoop — for good, not evil — means you can make sure it gets into their hands after dinner or whenever they get home.
3. Get Packages Delivered to Your Workplace
Not every employer will welcome your holiday shipments with open arms, so check with your office manager to see if they’d mind signing for packages you don’t want to risk having delivered at home.
Hauling items home can be cumbersome later, but if you want eyes on a package ASAP, your workplace may be your best bet.
4. Pay for a Package Receipt Service
This isn’t the cheapest option, but it may be the most secure. Some businesses offer to receive packages for customers for a small fee.
I once lived around the corner from a dry cleaner that always had a line at the counter. Why so popular? Not only did it offer quick cleaning services, but you could pick up your dry cleaning and your packages in the same trip — and the hours were convenient, too.
5. Get Your Stuff Delivered to an Amazon Locker
It’s not quite as convenient as home delivery or the corner store, but if you’d rather have your Amazon package delivered to a secure location, add an Amazon Locker location to your account.
Amazon will deliver the package to the locker and when it’s ready for pickup, you’ll receive an email with a six-digit code to pick up the package from the self-service kiosk.
Lockers are located in stores, apartment buildings and malls across the United States, which offers you convenient times to pick up packages on in the evenings or on weekends.
And if you’re a Prime member, you get to use the lockers for free.
6. Watch Your Tracking Info Like a Hawk
Ah, the beauty of technology. I can see the exact moment my package went from a warehouse plane to another warehouse and onto a truck. And I can see the moment it finally lands at my home. Tracking services may not prevent you from losing packages to theft, but the available tools can help you stay up to date on its path and estimated arrival so you can plan accordingly.
Frequently, you can sign up for text or email updates on your package’s journey, and if you miss a delivery you need to sign for, you can sometimes have the package rerouted to a shipping service center, like the UPS Store, so the delivery person doesn’t spend three days knocking on your door.
If you have the Ring doorbell camera, sign up for reports on the Neighbors App, where you can share info about package thieves if they hit your area.
The postal service even offers Informed Delivery, which sends you images of small pieces of mail that are on their way to your mailbox that day.
If you’re willing to make a bigger investment, home security systems like the Ring can also let you monitor your front door — and the police department can use the footage to track down the porch pirates.
If the worst-case scenario happens, detailed tracking information and video can help make a case to your credit card company, which may reimburse you for lost or stolen packages, or it could help you get a replacement item from the retailer.
Lisa Rowan is a former senior writer and producer at The Penny Hoarder.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017. [...]
Want to see what we bought for this week’s $70 grocery budget? I’m currently challenging myself to stick with a $70 budget for our family of five. This includes almost all of our breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners + most household products (toiletries, laundry soap, etc.).
For live updates, be sure to follow my Instagram Stories. See all posts on my $70 Grocery Budget here.
I only ended up going to Kroger once this past week, but I got some great deals and markdowns!
The Cream of Chicken soup was in the markdown section and it was just $0.49 each + it was part of the Buy 10, Get $5 off deal which meant that I got $0.50 off each — making them free!
I was super excited about finding the Yoplait 8-count packs of yogurt for just $0.99 and also the Off the Grid Waffles for just $0.99 each! There is a $0.50/1 iBotta rebate with a limit of 5 so I got back $2.50 for buy 5 boxes!
And finally, I was super thrilled to find eggs marked down! We were down to our last few eggs so it was perfect timing!
Kroger Shopping Trip:
5 Campbell’s Soup — marked down to $0.49, got $0.50 off each because they were part of the buy 10, Get $5 off deal
2 cans of Swanson broth — $0.49 each when you buy 10 participating items
4 cans of Green Beans — $0.49 each when you buy 10 participating items
2 pounds Land O Lakes butter — $2.49 each when you buy 10 participating items
3 boxes Creamette Pasta — $0.49 each when you buy 10 participating items, used $1/3 coupon from a Kroger mailer = $0.50 for all three
2 cartons cottage cheese — $1.49 each when you buy 10 participating items
3 boxes of Swiss Miss hot cocoa — $0.99 each when you buy 10 participating items
Annie’s Mac & Cheese — marked down to $0.45
5 boxes Off the Grid Waffles — marked down to $0.99 each, plus I got $0.50 back per box from iBotta
Old El Pasa Taco Shells — marked down to $0.39
2 boxes SO Right frozen burrito bowls — marked down to $0.89 each
1 dozen Kroger eggs — marked down to $0.59
5 dozen cage-free brown eggs — marked down to $1.29 each
2 Chobani yogurt flips — marked down to $0.19 each
Kroger peanut butter — free with Kroger coupon from the Kroger mailer
Kroger water — $0.89
2 Dannon Oikos yogurt — marked down to $0.49 each
2 packages Roasted Turkey — marked down to $1.79 each
Broccoli crowns — $0.70
Kroger smoked sausage — free with Kroger mailer coupon
2 8-count packages of Yoplait yogurt — marked down to $0.99 each
1 bunch of green leaf lettuce — $1.79
Bag of 3 apples — marked down to $0.99
Bananas — marked down to $0.50
Dole Salad Kit — $1.79
4-lb bag of oranges — $3.99
Milk — $2.99
Total with tax: $53.28
Since I had some extra wiggle room in the grocery budget, I went ahead and ordered this great deal off of Amazon.
Dinners This Past Week
Monday: Frozen Pizza
Tuesday: Lasagna Casserole, Green Beans, Rolls
Wednesday: Chicken Noodle Soup, Best Bran Muffins, Cinnamon Apples
Thursday: Homemade Mac & Cheese, Green Beans, Grapes, Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Friday: Pumpkin Waffles, Bacon, Scrambled Eggs
Saturday: Leftovers (fend for yourself)
Rebates earned: $2.75 back from iBotta + 225 points from Fetch Rewards [...]
Daily Fintech brings fresh daily fintech insights from people just like you – senior executives, entrepreneurs & investors working in the fintech revolution. Our weekly summaries give you a look at what you will get by reading the whole article. Bernard Lunn is a Fintech deal-maker, investor, entrepreneur and advisor. He is CEO of Daily […]
The post This Week in Fintech appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
Jessica Ellerm is a thought leader specializing in Small Business and the Gig Economy and is the CEO and Co-Founder of Zuper, a neowealth disruptor in Australia. If as a fintech you’ve ever exposed yourself to the forgettable experience of trying to work with a bank, possibly participating in their endless ‘innovation sprints’ or graveyard show […]
The post Bye Bye Banking Integrations, Hello Bud appeared first on Daily Fintech. [...]
Welcome to my weekly life update where I share about my pregnancy & give you a peek into our life this past week. If you want to follow a lot more behind-the-scenes and real-time updates every week, be sure to follow my stories and posts on Instagram.
12 weeks! And our big news is that we found out the gender this week!!!* Knowing has made it so much more real to me, even though this whole pregnancy still feels crazy surreal and like a dream.
I think we actually all may have agreed on a name!! It’s very different having older kids who have very strong opinions about these things! Also, the NIPT test came back perfect. And I had a little more energy and a little less nausea this week.
I’m pretty sure I’m starting to feel those first few flutters. I didn’t for sure feel movement until 15 weeks with Silas, but I’m almost 99% sure that’s what I’m feeling.
Also, my appetite has increased big time — which has been weird and I’m still trying to adjust. I’m usually the type of person who eats when I’m hungry and then eats until I’m satisfied. But right now, I feel hungry almost 90% of the time — even right after eating!!
I’m so grateful to have the desire to eat, though, because it definitely has been super hit or miss for the last 6 weeks and most of the time I was just making myself eat so I wouldn’t feel worse because my stomach was empty. It’s so nice to actually *want* to eat much of the time now!
Oh goodness, have the cravings been intense this week. I feel like all I do is talk about and think about food. (This is SO unlike me! My kids keep saying, “Mom, you are so WEIRD when you are pregnant!”)
Speaking of weird, yesterday and today I wanted a taco from Taco Bell. Y’all, I can’t remember the last time I’ve even eaten at Taco Bell!! But, thanks to Jesse, I had a taco for dinner AND breakfast (he was smart and just went and got a whole BAG of six tacos last night!!)
4.5 pounds (I usually always gain around 30 lbs. and at the rate I’m going, I don’t think I’m going to have any issue doing that again.)
*At this point, we don’t plan to share the gender before the birth. That could always change, but we kept it a family secret last time and it made it so special so we are thinking we’ll likely do that again.
In other news, I bought this sweatshirt this week and can’t wait for it to come in the mail!
And I was thrilled to once again feel well enough to go to the grocery store for a quick shopping trip!
Silas played both baseball and flag football this season. His first playoff game was Friday night and their team won, just barely! So they move on to the next playoff bracket next week.
Reading right now: I Will Always Write Back and Come Matter Here (My book stack in my room is getting way too high — and then I have three shelves in the library full of books waiting to be read ASAP. I guess it’s a good problem!)
Watching right now: Silas, Kaitlynn, and I have been watching The Masked Singer.
Listening to right now: I finally came up first in line for Atomic Habits on the Libby app again, so I’ve been listening to the last hour and half of it (that I didn’t get to finish the last time I had it “checked out” on the Libby app).
Loving right now: The fact that it was cool enough weather this past week to wear my favorite booties (shown above).
In Case You Missed It:
30 Super Easy Ways to Save Money — what would you add to this list??
30 Quick & Easy Protein Snacks — some of my favorite go-to’s!
How to Finally Break Free From Anxiety & Stress — this is one of the most talked about episodes of the podcast I’ve ever shared! It’s SO good! Have you listened to it?
How to Save Money on Groceries When You Only Eat Whole Foods — check the comments for lots of additional ideas! [...]
Every morning and afternoon we publish a list of the latest and best deals from our partner, DealNews. To learn more about the discounts and details, click on any of the deals for more information. To have this list, along with our latest news and stories, delivered daily to your inbox, sign up for our free newsletter. For links to deals as they’re published, follow @mtndeals on Twitter. [...]
Credit card companies are always pushing new travel cards with welcome bonuses that can be too tempting to pass up. But what if you already have as many cards as you can handle? Or don’t want to pay another annual fee? Or don’t want to learn how to navigate yet another card’s redemption regulations? There are still...
Alisha McDarris is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: email@example.com.
The article How to Rack Up Points and Miles With Everyday Spending originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
American Express is offering a 30% bonus on point transfers from Membership Rewards to Marriott Bonvoy through Oct. 31, 2019. In this article, we’ll look at some sweet spot Marriott redemptions to help you decide whether taking advantage of this transfer bonus makes sense for you. Promotion terms Under the terms of the bonus, you’ll...
Elina Geller is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The article Limited Time Offer: 30% Bonus for AmEx Cardholders on Transfers to Marriott Bonvoy originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
Enter to win free prizes from this new Coca-Cola Burger King Instant Win Game!
Play the new Coca-Cola Burger King Instant Win Game for your chance to win free food at Burger King, gift cards, prize packs, and more!
You can play this once per day and they will be giving away over 112,000 daily prizes.
Valid through July 27, 2019.
Thanks, Freebie Shark! [...]
An origination fee is an upfront fee lenders may charge to cover the cost of processing your loan. It might also be called an underwriting, administrative or processing fee, and it’s common on mortgages, student loans and personal loans. When shopping for loans, it’s important to compare origination fees and how they add to the...
Steve Nicastro is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: email@example.com. Twitter: @StevenNicastro.
The article What Is an Origination Fee? originally appeared on NerdWallet. [...]
When Christina Rodriguez divorced four years ago, she had no idea how she was going to make ends meet. After all, during her marriage, she earned $38,000 per year as a visual designer, and even with her husband’s income, the couple lived paycheck-to-paycheck and accumulated tens of thousands of dollars in debt. Rodriguez’s share of credit card debt was $10,000.
“Here I was struggling with two incomes, and now I was on one income,” says the 35-year-old mom of two. “It was scary.”
Like so many people, Rodriguez stayed awake at night, worried what she might do should she need to replace her car, especially if her credit were poor because of her debt burden. She spent her energy juggling bills and minimum credit card payments, barely staying afloat.
“I realized, ‘I can’t live like this. My children don’t deserve to live their life like this’,” Rodriguez says. “It was about figuring out how I could get to a place where I would truly feel free.”
Fast-forward four short years, and Rodriguez is debt-free, invested $22,000 in a home purchase and remodel, counts $7,000 in cash savings, and has increased her annual income from $38,000 to $128,000.
Themes of Rodriguez’s success story:
Cut back all extra expenses and focus on paying off debt. At the time of her breakup, Rodriguez had $10,000 in credit card debt. She also had a new, tricked out Chevy Malibu and regularly got her hair and nails done. “That was a huge part of my identity,” she says. “But it wasn’t more important than my kids having food on the table.”
Think big! You can only cut so many costs, but your income potential is infinite. “I realized I was taking on jobs that paid $300 or $400. Why wasn’t I taking on jobs that paid $3,000 or $4,000?” she says. “When I realized my time and skills are valuable — that is when everything changed for me.”
Put a dollar value on your time. Rodriguez’s income ballooned when she stopped taking low-paid side gigs, and started investing without guilt in child care and housekeeping.
Splurge on experiences, not possessions. Christina could easily afford to upgrade her Nissan Rogue, but chooses instead to travel with her kids. “My daughter says: ‘More meetings means more vacations!’” Rodriguez says.
Focus on setting up a life within her control. Rodriguez’s worries included rent increases, job instability, financial instability, depending on her kids’ dad, and a long commute which took her away from her children during the week. “I realized that the kids could only depend on me,” she says. Her focus on home ownership, high earning and self-employed income and a job close to home helped her regain power.
At the time, her budget breakdown was:
Car payment $450
Car insurance $155
Childcare $250 (her half)
Plus food, gas, entertainment etc
Credit card minimum payments $125
Nails and hair $75
Subscription services $8
Cable TV $149 monthly
Private school tuition $480 monthly
Upon her divorce, Rodriguez cut her cable, subscription services, nails and hair, and downgraded to less expensive car.
She then focused on both paying off debt and earning. Rodriguez got a new job where she earned $45,000 per year, and also built up her side business doing freelance graphic design work, carefully selecting jobs that paid a high hourly fee, and helped her reach her goals. “I only work side jobs that meet a specific goal financial goal, because if I was going to dedicate time away from my kids it has to be with purpose,” she says.
A couple years ago, Rodriguez saved up $15,000, quit her full-time job, and focused narrowly on building her design portfolio. Then, a local health care company near her Kissemmee, Fla., reached out via LinkedIn, and offered her a new job. Today, Rodriguez earns $77,000 salary, plus an annual bonus of $5,000, and last year her side business grossed $46,000, bringing her income to $128,000.
One of the biggest changes Rodriguez made with her new financial status is buying a 2,300-square-foot home in a gated community. She also purchased a 20-year, $250,000 term life insurance policy, and focuses on travel. She is looking forward to a trip to Paris soon, and she and her grade-school-aged son and daughter are 5 states into their goal of visiting all 50 before the kids graduate.
Rodriguez also hires a housekeeper twice per month — without any guilt at all.
Today, Rodriguez’s budget:
Mortgage, taxes and insurance $1471
Car payment $311
Car insurance $155
Internet and cable $125
Disney annual passes $138
Life insurance $38
Cleaning service $140
Says Rodriguez: “I’m still really frugal. But living a budgeted life works for me. I know where every penny goes and that allows for more opportunities, to make more memories. It also allows me to spend without buyer’s remorse. I think the best feeling though comes from teaching my kids about smart financial decisions like my parents did with me.”
The post How to Create an Amazing Life on a Single Mom Budget appeared first on MintLife Blog. [...]