One of my favorite things about a new year is looking back to see what I have been able to accomplish! It is really important to commemorate your accomplishments and reflect on the ways you have grown.
In 2017, I started using various apps that earned cash back or points I could cash out. This past year I was a lot more intentional with my budget and debt repayment. Finding ways to earn cold, hard CASH was important. I did not want to find myself with a pile of points or gift cards at the end of the year. My goal was to earn money to pay off debt faster.
I earned a little at a time. Over time, I started seeing the cash was adding up.
Was it worth it? YES!
I wanted to share with you what apps I used and how much I made with each one.
Here is a summary of what I earned:
Ebates – $137.54
Ebates was one of the first apps I used. I signed up, got a $10 welcome bonus and started utilizing it with my online purchases. Ebates pays you four different times throughout the year. I loved how the savings added up over time.
When I started using Ebates, the only way they paid out was through a Big Fat Check in the mail. Now they have three payout options for users. I still get the Big Fat Check, but will probably switch it over to my PayPal account this year.
Hands down. The best Ebates feature is their Cash Back Button. Once you download it on your browser, you are notified when you are on a website that has cash back. All you have to do is activate the cash back through the button and bam! You earn money back.
Interested in trying Ebates? Sign up with my referral link, you will earn an additional $10 as welcome bonus with your first purchase!
Achievement – $10.00
I stumbled upon Achievement this past year as I was looking for ways to earn extra money.
I had recently purchased a Fitbit and was working toward walking more. Achievement was an added incentive. I was
already tracking my health through various apps. Now I was getting paid for it. I synced up Achievement with my apps and immediately started earning points.
Once my points hit a certain threshold, I cashed out.
Achievement points do not add up very quickly. But, once I had my apps synced, I did not have to do anything else. I like that it is a “low-maintanence” app that is still earning me money.
Ibotta – $671.52
Ibotta, oh Ibotta.
I downloaded this app in 2016 but didn’t do anything with it. It was a bummer because I lost my FREE $10 welcome bonus. However, I re-downloaded it in April 2017 and started playing around with it.
Ibotta quickly became my favorite go-to app for getting cash back. The app is easy to use and navigate (huge plus). Plus, I could stack coupons and other apps with Ibotta. Ibotta has bonuses which allow you to earn more money back.
RELATED: HOW TO USE IBOTTA [TUTORIAL]
Checkout51 – $21.25
Checkout51 is similar to Ibotta. It is not as easy to navigate, but could be stacked with coupons and Ibotta. I have used it a little but not as much as any of my other apps.
Checkout51 still brings something to the table as many of the cash back products or items are different from Ibotta. I have a greater selection of cash back options between the two apps.
Walmart Savings Catcher – $37.06
Walmart Savings Catcher is built into their mobile app. It’s simple and easy to use. After purchasing your items, simply scan the QR code at the bottom of your receipt. I often scan my receipts in to the savings catcher before I even leave the store.
Walmart will then do a price comparison with top competitors in the area. If a competitor has a better price than Walmart, they credit you the difference. The difference is uploaded onto an eCard attached to your Walmart app and can be used for future purchases.
This past year, I earned $37.06 for simply scanning my receipts.
Kohl’s Cash – $90
Kohl’s was a store I didn’t really pay attention to until this past October. I read an article on ways to save and Kohl’s was mentioned multiple times. I signed up for the Kohl’s Yes2Rewards program and purchased a few Christmas presents through their online store.
Between Kohl’s cash, cash back, coupons and sales, I was also able to add several appliances to my kitchen for little to no cost. I used Ebates with my Kohl’s purchases to earn a little extra money back and was happy to double dip in the savings with each purchase.
Kohl’s often has rebates for certain purchases and items. I submitted $107 worth of rebates from the purchases I’ve made over the past two and a half months. I didn’t include the rebates with my total as I am still waiting for the money. I did want to mention the rebates though because they are something you do not want to overlook if shopping at Kohl’s.
Walgreens – $41.18
This year, I paid more attention to my Walgreen’s Balance Rewards than I have in previous years. I also signed up for the Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices, where you earn points for healthy activities and choices. Similar to the Achievement app, once you setup the Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices, your points automatically add up.
Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices – 12,510 points = $12.51
Balance Rewards for Everyday Purchases = 28,670 points =$28.67
Be sure to check your account occasionally. There are several perks for being a Balance Rewards member. Simply add the perk to your online account and take advantage of extra points! Walgreen’s Balance Rewards can be used toward future purchases.
The total amount of cash back I have earned in 2017 is $1,008.55!
Being mindful of my budget and how I spent money has paid off. Yes, it does take a little planning and time to think through purchases. I started using several of the apps in the middle of 2017. I am excited to see what a FULL year of earning cash back brings. In the end, I am happy to have earned back over $1,000 in 2017!
What are some of the ways you have earned money back this past year?