5 Ways to Make Extra Money in Time for Christmas

With just over 10 weeks left until Christmas, I’m sure we’re all looking for a way to stretch the budget that little bit further. I have quite a few posts with a number of different ways to save money, but sometimes cutting back just isn’t enough. What do you do when you have reduced your spending all you can and you’re still not quite sure how you’re going to pay for Christmas? You add a little bit more money to your budget!

Today I am sharing 5 ways to make extra money, that take little, to no effort. Be warned, none of these will earn you big bucks, but they can help you pay for Christmas this year.

  1. Swagbucks – Swagbucks is an awesome site that offers aswagbucks-share-1480-v2 variety of rewards for doing simple activities online, some of which you probably already do, such as searching the web or online shopping. In exchange for doing these activities, you receive “points” that are referred to as Swagbucks. You can then exchange these Swagbucks for a range of different gift cards. To sign up for Swagbucks click here, and we will both receive a bonus 500 Swagbucks.
  2. Cashrewards – I mentioned Cashrewards in my Another 5 Ways to Save on Groceries post. It’s a great site that allows you to receive cashback on online purchases you make. It’s simple to use, you just sign up, search for the store you’re looking for and then shop online as normal and wait for your cashback to arrive. There are over 1,000 stores including ASOS, eBay, and my favourite, Woolworths. Cashrewards also gives you access to exclusive savings, coupons, offers and discounted eGift cards. To sign up for Cashrewards click here, you’ll get a $5 bonus in your Cashrewards account, and because I referred you, so will I.d2121a19aad84e729ca1c67de5c1c150-fe4e1edfbda84da984bd4464da944379_facebook_share_jpg
  3. PricePal Pricepal is another site that allows you to receive cashback on online purchases. Again, it’s super simple to use, just sign up, search the store you are looking for, click the link and make your purchase. Pricepal offers both cashback and discounts from shops such as Big W, Chemist Warehouse and Groupon. To sign up for PricePal click here, we’ll both receive a bonus $5 when you earn $5 cashback.
  4. Woolworths RewardsWoolworths Rewards is something I think most people know about, but not everyone cashes in on. It’s simple to use, you just sign up, scan your card every time you shop and then you earn 1 point for every dollar you spend in store and online at Woolworths supermarkets, BWS and Caltex Woolworths fuel outlets. You will also receive exclusive offers, bonus points offers and instant savings. Each time your balance hits 2000 points you will automatically save $10 on your next shop, or you can bank your savings for Christmas. To sign up for Woolworths Rewards click here5 Ways to Make Extra Money in Time for Christmas (1)
  5. Flybuys Flybuys is another loyalty program I think most people are familiar with, but again not everyone utilises. It’s similar to Woolworths Rewards, in that all you do is sign up and scan your time when you shop, but instead offers points, exclusive deals, bonuses and savings from a wider range of partners that includes Coles, Kmart and Target. Flybuys also offer a variety of rewards, from flybuy dollars (which can be used for in store purchases),  appliances and movie vouchers. To sign up for Flybuys click here.

So there you have 5 ways to make a little extra money in time for Christmas. Have you already started buying Christmas presents? Or is leave it to the last minute more your style? I’d love to hear in the comments.

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5 Tips for Living on a Single Income

At the moment my family are living on one income while I’m studying at University. While we are definitely not rolling in it, (There’s a reason I write about how to live a great life on a budget!) we make do, and never really feel like we are going without. I thought this week I would share some of my suggestions for making life on one income a little easier.

  1. Needs versus Wants – It’s so easy to get caught up in all things you think you have to have these days. But how many of them are really necessary? Sit down with your partner and figure out what things are needs and what are simply wants, and then make cuts to your budget where you can. Figure out what your family can live without and go with it.
  2. Set yourself limits – If there’s something you know you can’t all go without absolutely, but that is definitely more of a want than a need, try just cutting back. Set yourself limits on frivolous spending and stick to them. You can still have your cake and eat it too, just be sensible about it.
  3. Make sure everyone knows your budget – Sometimes when I think I have all the numbers figured out, my husband throws a spanner in the works by telling me he needs money for soccer or something I didn’t know about. After a few (maybe several), conversations about how I can’t just make money appear, he now knows to give me advance warning for such things so I can include them in our budget. I also try and make sure he knows what bills and things we have coming up, so it isn’t a complete surprise to him when I tell him there’s no spare money for something one week. Living on one income is much easier when we’re both on the same page as to where we are up to with our budget.5 Tips for Living on a Single Income 1
  4. Track your money – It’s easier for money to be frittered away when you don’t know exactly where it’s going. Keeping track of what you’re spending your money on will allow you to identify any problems as they arise, so you can work out a solution. The upside of living on one income is there is less money to keep tabs on.
  5. Remember why you’re doing it – When the bills are flying in and it all seems like too much, remember why you are doing this. Maybe like me you’re studying to better yourself and further your career. Or maybe it’s important to you for you to be at home with your babies. Whatever the reason, focus on that, and I am sure you will figure it out. If you need more  hints for living on a budget, take a look at my posts with ways to save, or some of my budget-friendly ideas.

What’s your best advice for living on a single income? I’d love to hear it in the comments.

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Father’s Day on a Budget

Father’s Day is coming up in Australia so this week I thought I would put together a list of budget friendly gift ideas. These are just little things that I think my husband or Dad would love to receive that don’t cost an absolute fortune.

Father's Day Gift Ideas 1An Awesome Mug – Coffee mugs are always a welcome gift in our house. We seem to go through quite a few of them. It may have something to do with the fact that I am incredibly clumsy and have a gift for breaking crockery. Maybe.

BBQ Tools – Father’s Day means Spring is here and as the weather warms up we will start to use the BBQ more again. A nice set of BBQ Tools (Kmart have some great ones) will set your Dad or partner up for the coming months (and maybe give you the night off from cooking dinner!).

A Gift Card – The trick with gift cards is to pick the right store for the recipient. Opa loves home improvement projects, so a Bunnings Gift Card always makes him happy. Similarly, if your Dad/partner is into games or cars, I’m sure he’d love one from EB Games or Autobarn.

Homemade Fudge – Fudge is a great treat that you can also personalise to cater to the preferences of whoever Father's Day Gift Ideas 2you are giving it to. My Dad loves Cherry Ripe chocolate bars, so I’ve been tweaking my recipe for Cherry Ripe fudge. I think I’ve just about perfected it (if you’d like the recipe let me know).

Breakfast in Bed – This is usually at the top of my Husband’s wish list for any special occasion. Who doesn’t love waking up to the smell of bacon being cooked just for them?

What are you gifting the Dad’s in your life this Father’s Day?

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5 Simple Ways to De-stress

The last few weeks have been a bit stressful around here.  Nothing major has happened (touch wood) but I just feel a tad wiped out. I’ve had assignments due, exams to study for, homework to help with, a husband to deal with, and eventually it all starts to pile up. When this happens, I find it’s important to do a little something for myself to help me relax. As busy Mums we all know how difficult it can be to take time for ourselves, thanks to that charming monster that is “Mum Guilt”. So I thought today I would share 5 things I do when I feel my stress levels rising, that don’t take a lot of time or money, but that help me unwind.

Have a cup of tea. 5 Ways to de-stress on a budget 2I know this sounds ridiculously simple, but when life is just getting way too much and it feels like things are coming at me from all sides, the best thing I can do is turn the kettle on. Just taking a few moments to take a break and do something for myself can give me that little recharge I need to get back on with life. If tea isn’t your drink of choice, find something that takes a moment to prepare that you can just sit quietly and enjoy. Don’t forget to make sure to use your favourite cup, it really helps, trust me!

Take a bath. Sometimes a cup of tea just isn’t enough. Sometimes I need more. Soaking in a warm bath can do wonders for bringing back my sanity. I like to light a candle or two and add some bubbles or Epsom salt to the water. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just a little something extra to make myself feel special. I might even pop on some Norah Jones, to really set the mood. It doesn’t have to be a long bath, 15 minutes later and I’m ready to face the world again.

Give yourself a manicure/pedicure. This is  just another little thing I can do to take care of myself that helps me relax. Again, it doesn’t have to be fancy, a simple coat of nail polish will do the trick. But if I have time, soaking my hands and/or feet (depending on how much time I have) and giving myself a massage and my nails a file help soothes my soul. As an added bonus bright, shiny toenails  can keep me feeling on top of it for days to come!

5 ways to de-stress on a budget 3Write it out.  When I feel my stress level starts building I often find myself getting caught up in my own head. With all those thoughts going round and round sometimes I just need to get them out. For me, writing them down seems to be the best way to do this. Once I’m done, I can rip it up and throw it away if I feel like I really need to be rid of them, or I can simply just turn the page. I also find it helpful afterwards to take a moment and think of 5 good things in my life right now and write them down. This gives me a positive vibe to move forward with.

Go for a walk. If all else fails get outside and get those endorphin’s pumping. You’ll be feeling better in no time!

So there you have my 5 simple ways to de-stress. What do you do to relax and unwind? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

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Mother’s Day on a Budget

Mother’s Day is coming up in Australia so this week I thought I would put together a list of budget friendly gift ideas. These are just little things that I would love to receive that don’t cost an absolute fortune.

breakfast-1869599_640Coffee mug – I love a cute coffee mug, or tea cup, depending on what time of the day it is but my “Mum” mug from my son is my absolute favourite.  Kmart have some super cute ones this year. You could also include some of her favourite treats with it to make it extra special.

Chocolate – Lindt chocolates are my Mum’s favourite so my son likes to give her a box every year, and this year will be no different (sorry Mum if you’re reading this, but we both know you were expecting it anyway). It’s just a little something for him to show how much he loves her.

A Gift Voucher – I know some people think gift vouchers are impersonal, but to me a gift voucher to a shop I love but feel guilty spending money on myself at is a lovely gift idea. Two of my favourite places would have to be T2 and Lush.

slippers-795631_640Slippers – Winter is coming, so this is the perfect time to get Mum something to keep her tootsies snuggly and warm. My bunny slippers (a Mother’s Day gift from years gone by) are looking a little worse for wear so this is what I am hoping for this year (*hint hint* hubby if you’re reading this). I love these quirky ones from ASOS.

A break – Let’s be honest, as Mum’s this is what most of us are actually hoping for. A day (or even just a couple of hours) of peace to relax.

What are you hoping to receive for Mother’s Day this year?