Money Saving

Teens Workout FREE This Summer!

Now through September 1st, teens ages 15-18 can work out at Planet Fitness… FREE!

Summer is right around the corner and for some reason, teens tend to get ‘bored’ in the summer. (Oh, if I could only have 2 glorious months of boredom!!!)

Anyway, enter my favorite gym, Planet Fitness who has a great opportunity for teens… The Teen Summer Challenge!

Teens ages 15-18 can work out for free at Planet Fitness locations from May 15th through September 1st.

Just visit any Planet Fitness location to sign up. If your teenager is 15-17, they’ll have to bring a parent/guardian to sign up and sign a waiver. Then they are free to workout on their own. They just have to work out at the location they sign up at — they can’t workout at other locations.

Also, teens can take FREE fitness classes at Planet Fitness! Just check your local club for specific days and times the classes are offered.

And here’s a bonus: You do NOT have to have a gym membership for your teen to workout!

Lastly, teens who sign up this summer are entered into Planet Fitness’ Scholarship Sweepstakes!

Planet Fitness will be awarding one $500 scholarship in each state and a $5,000 grand prize! Be sure to check out the sweepstakes details.

Also, once they connect with Planet Fitness’ Facebook and Instagram social media this summer, they’ll get a chance to win prizes like movie tickets, wireless headphones and other Planet Fitness goodies! Sweet!!

So do your teen (and yourself) a favor this summer and sign them up for the Teen Summer Challenge!

And parents, if you’re not already a member of Planet Fitness, I highly recommend it!

Memberships start at only $10/mo and you get free fitness training! I’ve got the PF Black Card membership (which is $21.99/mo), and gives you access to the massage chairs, HydroMassage, discounts on drinks and products, massage chairs and much more! And did I mention the massage chairs?

Be sure to check out the different memberships they have available!

To find the closest Planet Fitness near you, click HERE.

Also, check out my blog on how you can get PAID to workout !

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DIY, Home Decor, Money Saving

How $15 and 1 Hour Can Create Big Change

White. Plain white… for 18 years. I had wanted to do a color accent wall in my bathroom for 18 years, but there was always something holding me back…

Fear or worry that my small bathroom would appear even smaller. Would I pick the right color? Ugh. It’s just going to take too much time – the cleaning, the taping, cutting in, etc. I just don’t have time for it!

So a couple months ago I picked out colors I thought would look good, tacked them up on the wall for a couple weeks and finally decided on a Behr paint color called ‘Cricket’. (Eventually I’ll be painting the rest of my bathroom a color called Silver Screen, but first things first!)

Behr paint color ‘Cricket’
Behr paint color ‘Silver Screen’

I’m a bookkeeper and things were so crazy busy during tax season, that I didn’t have (or want) to take time to tackle this ‘huge’ project. So finally I decided it was time!

I ended up getting the paint color matched at Lowe’s and went with a quart of Valspar Ultra semi-gloss. Why Lowe’s? To SAVE MONEY of course!

I get a 5% discount when I use my Lowe’s card!

And with my Lowe’s discount the paint was just under $15!

So armed with my quart of Cricket colored paint, some classical music and a whole bucket of determination, I started my 18-yr-old dream of an accent wall.

Much to my amazement, only an hour later I was looking at a stunningly beautiful change and wondering why it had taken so long for me to do it!

‘Blessed’ sign from Hobby Lobby

This simple, INEXPENSIVE accent wall has added beauty and interest to my boring, small bathroom… and my fear of it making the room look smaller was totally unfounded!

Is there a project out there that you’ve been putting off for one reason or another? Have you wanted to try an accent wall but just weren’t sure? I encourage you to step out and try it!

The only regret I have is that I didn’t take any ‘Before’ pics!

Be sure to share your paint stories with me!

Money Saving

Save Money While You Sleep!

This post may contain affiliate and/or referral links to products or services, but only things that I truly love, have tried and recommend. See my disclosure policy here.

I recently came across an app called Digit that looks at your bank account and runs it’s algorithms and seeks out how much it can safely squirrel away into a savings account. I like to consider it the Sherlock Holmes of savings. So far I have saved over $430 since Christmas… And I don’t even miss it!

My favorite part about Digit?

It is super easy to set up! No emails or passwords to remember. You set everything up via text on your cell!

Plus they offer low balance protection and will let you set a threshold where you can automatically have Digit transfer the money back to your checking account. Or you can set a checking account minimum and when your checking account hits that amount, Digit will stop saving money.

You can create any kind of savings goal you want – – an emergency fund, Christmas savings, student loan or credit card debt… (or if you’re like me, even a Starbucks fund!)

What I also love about Digit is they communicate with you and let you know how much they’re going to take out. They also let you know how much is currently in your checking account.

Digit has shown me that on average I can save about $25 per week… my budget allows it!

Automatically saved over $430 in just almost 4 months!

It’s easy to withdraw money when you need it. Just make a request to transfer to your checking account.

I’m using my digit account as a ‘gifts/giving/fun’ money savings account. So I have money for birthday gifts, money to give to someone in need, or to finally buy that bedroom dresser from Ikea that I’ve been wanting!

Is Digit safe?

Personally, I was a little wary about giving them access to my checking account, but they use 256-bit encryption to protect the transmission of your data to their site, so they are secure. AND your funds are held in FDIC insured banks up to a balance of $250,000.

How much does Digit cost?

You can try out Digit FREE for 30 days. After that, it costs $2.99 per month, which is automatically withdrawn from your checking account.

So give Digit a try and see how much you can save in 30 days!


Click here for more money saving ideas!

Use Digit to pay off credit card debt with Digit Pay!

This is a great way if you’re not so self-disciplined to pay off credit card debt. Basically, all you do is create a “pay off credit card debt” goal and then Digit Pay squirrels away money and once a month pays that extra money toward your credit card debt. How cool is that?! Click here for details!

I haven’t tried Digit Pay yet, but if you decide to try it please let me know what you think!

Money Saving

Smell Good Savings for Spring Cleaning!

This post may contain affiliate and/or referral links to products or services, but only things that I truly love, have tried and recommend. See my disclosure policy here.

My kitchen smells minty-fresh!

First of all, I have to say I love Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning products!

My favorites are the Mint countertop cleaning sprays and the Radish dish soap. They make my kitchen smell so good – – and Lord knows it needs it!

Plus I love the fact that their cleaning products are plant-derived with natural essential oils. Win-win! And you know what else? They are just so pretty — love the packaging!

Anyway, I wanted to share my Grove Collaborative deal with you. Get a FREE 5-piece Mrs. Meyers Spring Cleaning Kit on me when you spend $20! Perfect for you or as a gift for Mother’s Day!

Click here for the deal…and Happy Spring Cleaning!

Get a FREE 5-piece Mrs. Meyers Spring Cleaning Kit on me when you spend $20! My faves are the Mint and Radish. What’s yours?

Blog, Money Saving

Starbucks, Matching T-shirts & An Empty Stroller

Black Friday… the ONLY day of the year that I’m excited to get up at 4:30 am.

Sure, I’m excited about a few bargains I’m going to snag, but that’s not what gets me out of bed.

For years now, as many as I can remember, my sister and I get up at the crack of dawn on Black Friday, put on our matching Christmas T-shirts and Rudolph earrings and head out to brave the crowds.

But Black Friday bargains are not what excites me about this day. This day, our Black Friday, is pretty much the only day of the year where we can spend the entire day together without kids. My brother-in-law, sweet soul that he is, generously takes care of the kids while my sister and I get to spend the day together.

Like most people, my sister and I both have very busy lives. I have a full-time job, a bookkeeping business on the side, and this blog. She is a mom of three – two teens… and a 4 1/2 year-old – all which have varying activities throughout the week and keep her hopping. She is also the admin for their construction business and a model on HSN! Honestly I don’t understand how she does it all!

So when Black Friday rolls around, we are so grateful for the chance to be together, uninterrupted.

We have done these Black Fridays in cold weather, rain and blazing hot weather where it doesn’t feel like Christmas at all.

And my sister is amazing. Over the years, to keep our tradition going, she has braved the Black Friday crowds with plantar fasciitis, being eight months pregnant, and two weeks post hysterectomy! She is a beast!

Our first stop is always Walmart to snag some kind of fantastic Black Friday deal.

Then we are off to Target where we grab a much needed white peppermint mocha and some more Black Friday finds.

Be sure to check out my Secrets to Shopping at Target!

It’s usually about 630am by this point and we are starving! So now it’s off to Chick-fil-A for their scrumptious Chick-n-Minis!

With renewed strength, we head to Kohls or Lowe’s or Home Depot.

Check out these great holiday shirts from Kohl’s. That’s where we found this year’s matching Black Friday T-shirts!

Then…we bravely head to the mall with our empty stroller.

I know, an empty stroller you ask? Yes. And you should see some of the looks we get while we are out and about. An empty stroller is the perfect Black Friday shopping accessory.

    Drink holders – check
    Undercarriage storage – check, perfect for any Black Friday finds!
    Empty stroller seat – – more storage for Christmas presents,… Or we can just sit in it if we get tired.

There have been many years where one (or both) of us have had little to no money to spend on Christmas presents. But we still go Black Friday shopping.

It’s turned into not about buying, but about spending treasured sister time together. We always enjoy a good laugh, sing Christmas carols at the top of our lungs as we drive to the mall, and have the best time together.

So don’t be afraid of the Black Friday hustle and bustle. Instead, embrace it! Grab your sister, brother, mom, dad, or best friend and make it an adventure AND a tradition!

What are some of your Black Friday traditions? Be sure to share my blog and leave a comment below!

STAY SANE AND SAVE BIG:

Click here to see what 3 things we never go shopping without on Black Friday!

Money Saving, Money Saving Apps

Avoid Black Friday Burnout!

This post may contain affiliate and/or referral links to products or services, but only things that I truly love and recommend. See my disclosure policy here.

My sis and I were ‘doing our thang’ at Kohl’s on Black Friday last year and found the cutest Star Wars shirt and leggings for my niece.  As we turned to make our way to the registers, we were met with a line of bleary-eyed, haggard-looking people that literally went half-way to the back of the store!  Well, there was NO WAY we were going to stand in that line!

So I quickly popped out my iPhone and went to Kohl’s online to see if they had my niece’s sizes in the Star Wars clothing… and they did!  BUT… I didn’t buy them just yet.

Relieved, we happily jumped into the minivan, got cozy, turned up the Yuletide tunes and clicked on the Ebates app.  Then the heavens opened and the angels sang… there was a 6% cash back deal on Kohl’s thru Ebates!  Thank you, Jesus!  So not only were we able to save ourselves time in line, an aching back, and throbbing feet, but we were able to save an additional 6%!

Ebates is just one of the apps we use on Black Friday… so be sure to get S.E.T.!!!

Get S.E.T.!  This Black Friday, make sure you have these 3 apps before you hit the stores!

Shopkick

What’s better than having gift cards to use for Black Friday shopping?!

Here’s how Shopkick works…you collect points and redeem them for gift cards.  What I love about Shopkick is that you can earn points FAST!

Collect points by:

  • Walking into stores – yes, literally walk into a store, open the Shopkick app and you get points
  • Scanning items in stores – the app will let you know what products in the store are available to scan
  • Purchasing items in the store – usually you earn 1 point per dollar spent

And when you Shopkick on Black Fridays, get ready to score BIG POINTS!  I usually use my points right away, mostly on Target or Starbucks gift cards.  My sister, however, scans throughout the year and saves the points for high-value gift cards.  She’s got over 11,000 points right now!

UPDATE: you can now redeem your points for CASH!!

Sign up here and Shopkick your way through Black Friday!

Ebates

How Ebates works… shop via laptop, smartphone or in-store and get cash back on purchases.  Cash is sent via check or Paypal.

Ebates is not just for your laptop anymore!  Use the Ebates app and not only get cash back on mobile purchases but also get cash back in-store!  For example, at Bed Bath & Beyond you can get 4% cash back when you shop in-store.  All you have to do is link your debit or credit card to Ebates, put that ‘As Seen On TV’ gadget in your cart and head to the registers!

Use Ebates like we did at Kohl’s and did a mobile purchase to save money and avoid those long Black Friday lines.  Or use in-store and save moolah!

Sign up for Ebates here!

Target

If you are planning a Black Friday trip to Target, make sure you have the app!

The Target App features these FOUR great benefits:

  • Cartwheel Savings – just scan items in your cart and Cartwheel will let you know if there are any savings or coupons to use!
  • Target debit or credit card – Not only do you get 5% off when you use them but on the app, they make check-out quick & easy… just scan your barcode and you’re done!
  • Target Gift Cards – you can store any Target Gift Cards on the app and use them at check out
  • Find LOWER prices – use the Target app to scan items and see if there is a lower price for the item online.  If you find a cheaper item, purchase via the app and be sure to use the ‘Pick Up Item In-store’ when you check out.

Be sure to check out my blog on ‘Target’s Genius Plan… and Why We Love It!” for more info on how to save BIG at Target!

So now that you’re S.E.T. for Black Friday, what items will you be shopping for?

Money Saving

Mini Cherry Cheesecake Bites | Thanksgiving Recipes – Elves Choice

Mini Cherry Cheesecake Bites | Thanksgiving Recipes – Elves Choice
— Read on theelveschoice.com/mini-cherry-cheesecake-bites-thanksgiving-recipes/

Are you looking for some holiday recipe ideas for Thanksgiving and Christmas?

Be sure to Check out Elves Choice for some great inexpensive recipes!

They look delicious – and I can’t wait to try these mini cherry cheesecakes!