Ebates: Earn cash back while shopping online

ebates

I’ve discussed the Google Chrome extension Honey in the past. It helps you find and test promotion codes on web sites when you check out to make sure you’re getting a great deal. They recently released a new version that really enhances how it works and can tell you about deals when you visit a site before reaching checkout.

Promotion codes are great, but cash back is better. That’s where Ebates comes in. With Ebates, you earn cash back when you shop at a ton of different online stores. Their site can also help you find promotional codes that you can use to get a discount while you’re shopping.

Seems too good to be true, right? How can they give you cash back for shopping online? Most online stores have a referral program. When you refer someone to a site using a unique code and they make a purchase, the online store will give the referer a portion of the amount spent. This is generally called an affiliate or partner program. Assuming this is how it all works, then Ebates simply gives you back some what they get and everyone is happy. The trick is you that you have to start ¬†your shopping trip through the Ebates site or you won’t earn anything.

When it comes time to get your money, they can either mail you a check or deposit your money in your PayPal account. You can even refer friends and get a bonus for referring them when they’ve spent a certain amount.

So, friends, check it out and let them know that Adam sent you. You can start today by clicking here or any other Ebates link in this post. (All of the links use my referral ID.)

Let me know your experience with Ebates in the comments below. Have you found ways to save or make money without changing your habits? Let me know that below too.

What are you going to do with your tax refund?

Taxes

According to the IRS, the average tax refund last year was about $2800. That’s a lot of money. Let’s look at that a couple different ways.

$2800 is the same as:

  • $233 a month
  • $116 if you’re paid twice a month
  • $107 if you’re paid bi-weekly
  • $53 if you’re paid weekly

That would be a pretty nice raise if you got that money in each of your paychecks. We’ll talk more about that in a future post. For now, let’s look at some ideas on how to use this year’s tax refund.

It’s always nice to get a big pile of money unexpectedly. It’s sad to find out after a while that it disappeared and you’ve got nothing to show for it. Below are some ideas on how you might use your tax refund this year.

  • Pay off some debt. Since you’re probably paying interest on any debt that you have, paying it off makes your tax refund that much more valuable by saving you interest every month.
  • Start or build an emergency fund. Emergency funds are far from exciting, but on the bright side, once you’ve got one, unexpected events aren’t such a crisis.
  • Put it in an IRA for retirement. You can start the year by cutting your tax bill for the next year by putting your refund right into an IRA. Whatever you contribute to a traditional IRA can be a deduction if you itemize your taxes.
  • Start a 529 college fund for your kids. Depending on where you live and in which state you start a 529 college savings plan, you can get a lot of great benefits that a savings account won’t provide.
  • Buy something big you’ve been looking at. If you’ve been planning to buy something like a new computer, furniture, or something else that isn’t exactly “cheap”, using your tax refund can get you that item that much faster. Plus, if you’ve saved money for that special item you can use it for something else now!
  • Plan a vacation. It may not sound like the most responsible thing to do, but paying cash for a vacation is better than putting it on a credit card.
  • Start a business. I’m sure you didn’t expect to see that on the list. If you’ve ever thought about starting a business but have always used not having the money as an excuse, now’s your chance. It may be the catalyst to make a dream come true.

Don’t let your tax refund (or any unexpected dollars) slip away. Make a plan for it, even if the plan is to spend it frivolously. At least you’ll know where it went.

How do you plan on spending your tax refund? Post your ideas in the comments below.

Featured Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net