Get 300 bonus SB when you sign up for Swagbucks in April

Spring is here, and there’s no better time to start earning free gift cards through Swagbucks!

All throughout April you can earn large bonuses when sign up as my referral on Swagbucks. Swagbucks is a rewards site where you earn points (called SB) for things you’re probably doing online already, like searching the web, watching videos, shopping, discovering deals, and taking surveys. Then you take those points and exchange them for gift cards to places like Amazon, M&S, or PayPal cash.

When you sign up through me this month, you can earn a 300 SB bonus! Here’s how:

1. Sign up using this link

2. Earn 300 SB total before May 1st, 2019. You’ll get a 300 SB bonus for it!

3. That’s it. It’s super easy, and Swagbucks is for real. I use it myself, and I’ve earned almost £3,000 to date. I use Swagbucks to buy gift cards for my favourite stores, like: M&S, John Lewis and Amazon. Then I can treat myself or my family at no cost!

Advertisements

More Shocking Truths About Frugalwoods!!!

The Truth about Frugalwoods is one of my all-time highest read blog posts. As this is a topic you all like to read about, I’ve been doing some more digging. I have even shocked myself with what I’ve pulled up about them this time – hold onto your hats people!!! I share this because I want to warn others to be very careful where and from whom you take advice, not just on the internet but in real-life too. Some close family members were recently duped out of their entire retirement and inheritance from someone purporting to give ‘financial advice’. Not only should you check out what you are being told, but also their background. Do they have qualifications to advise you? Insurance? Does it all add up?

I had heard some rumblings on the internet that the Frugalwoods are not being truthful about their income. All you ever read on their blog is that they had good jobs when they were working, in the not-for-profit sector and they make out that they are now ‘retired’ in the country. Well, everyone knows about working for a charity in Britain – most people would be lucky to be paid the National Minimum Wage. But even higher up the career ladder, you will not be getting rich. I guess we could probably lump together the Public Sector as not-for-profit, as the NHS for example, certainly does not pay most of its staff well either. A nurse starts out on around £21,000 a year here in the UK.

So it was a little bit shocking to dig around for Mr Frugalwoods tax returns online, (thanks to this MrMoneyMustache forum thread) and find out that he earnt a mere £209,735 in the financial year ending 2016, as the Executive Director of a company. Not retired at all! According to what I’ve read online, that would make him amongst the top 5% of US earners. But here in the UK that kind of income is only paid to the top 1%. Let’s put it this way – the Prime Minister of Great Britain only earns £150,402! Gosh, it must be nice for all those people who think they’re donating to a not-for-profit company in the USA – to find out how much they are paying their staff. Claiming only to exist to do good and then having people taking home salaries like that!!!! Mind you, there was recently a shocking episode of Dispatches on Channel 4 which uncovered similar ridiculous amounts that Housing Association bosses are making, whilst plenty of people are going homeless. We do live in a very unjust world.

Frugality, when one half of the couple is bringing home that kind of money is a very different thing from the likes of say….Jack Monroe (a single mother trying to exist on benefits with her child and struggling to feed herself). That’s 7x the average £30,000 income for men in the UK. And then Mrs Frugalwoods earns money on top from writing for various sources. I stopped following their blog a while ago, as it just didn’t seem to ring true to me and this confirms my gut feeling once again. Let me know in the comments whether or not you’re going to continue reading their blog.

More Musings on the Story of Stuff – Branding & Marketing

As I said yesterday, I’m currently reading this book:

Today, in the chapter on distribution I struck upon something horrifying. I guess I sort of knew this already, but seeing it in black and white is even more shocking. I’m sure we all know that most companies out there don’t actually make the stuff they sell, but they buy it in and have unknown manufacturers make it for them. We’ve seen this so much in the clothing industry where brands like H&M and Primark have clothes made up in India and take no responsibility for the working practices of those in their supply chain. This is all part of these companies plans to cut costs, basically by abdicating responsibility.

This efficiency driven, cost-cutting is pervasive. Companies don’t make the stuff they sell, they simply brand it. Apple don’t make computers, but they sure as heck have created a brand that people crave. H&M don’t make clothes, Nike doesn’t make trainers. They all simply buy the garments and items from producers, or the parts to assemble them and often not even from the same factory, but from multiple producers. It’s quite possible that one factory churns out the exact same product for multiple retailers.

So really, let’s face it – it’s often not the item we are buying, but we’ve been sold on the brand. The founder of Nike even admitted that the company once saw themselves as production oriented, but that they now understand their most important function is to market the product. So guess where they put all their money? Advertising. And often this advertising isn’t even for a specific product, it’s all about the image they want to associate with their brand. Nike aren’t selling your trainers, they are selling you a fashion statement that in this climate will probably be outdated in a mere 2 weeks!

How to Recover from Holiday Spending Using Your Phone

 

Did you find yourself spending a little more than you had anticipated over the Holidays?It’s easy to do, especially when you want to give all your friends and family the perfect gifts. Well today I have an easy way for you to recover from your holiday spending from the convenience of your mobile phone.

Swagbucks is the web’s most popular rewards program that gives you free gift cards and cash for the everyday things you already do online. My regular readers will know about this, since I write about them often as they are my main online earning opportunity. I am certain that there are still plenty of you reading this who haven’t yet taken the plunge and signed up!

Whenever you shop, watch videos or search the web, Swagbucks gives you points called SB. You can use your SB to redeem gift cards to hundreds of your favorite stores. With the Swagbucks mobile site, answer and SBTV apps I can use my spare minutes to earn free gift cards on my phone! I leave the apps below running when I’m home and on Wi-Fi. So my phone is earning, whilst I get on with my life! Like the Swagbucks website; I can also rack up SB by shopping, answering surveys and downloading free apps.

Here are some quick tips to get your started:

  • While you wait for the coffee to brew, download free games and other apps through the Discover tab: 20 SB
  • During commercial breaks, take a featured survey or fill out your survey profile: 60-100 SB, and sometimes more!
  • While standing in line at the supermarket, answer the daily poll: 1 SB
  • When you’ve finally made it to the gym, watch style, tech and celeb news through the SBTV app: 2 SB for every 10 videos
  • Just as you’ve put dinner in the oven, your Swagbucks app tells you there’s a new Swag Code!: 3 SB
  • Before you go to sleep, use the Swagbucks app to shop from your favorite stores. You deserve it!: 100 SB

By downloading the Swagbucks mobile apps, I could earn a free £5 gift card by the end of my week. Who knew playing on your phone could be so productive?!    There are 6 apps:

  1. SBTV
  2. Sportly
  3. Lifestylz
  4. EntertaiNow
  5. MovieClips
  6. IndyMusic

So you can instantly start earning your way to free gift cards. It’s 100% free to download and easy to use. They are all available for both iPhone and Android devices. They often give out bonus rounds too, so there are extra earning opportunities. It really is a case of the little things soon add up.

The cheapest way to own a Smartphone

I have just started the 4th year of owning my iPhone 5s 32gb. It’s holding up well and I hope to get another couple of years out of it. I thought a bit differently when purchasing my phone and I believe this is the cheapest way to own a Smartphone.

I purchased my phone outright from the manufacturer, Apple. It was unlocked, so I wasn’t tied to any network and this meant I was free to select the cheapest deal. I had read great things about GiffGaff and a family member had been with them for a couple of years, so they were able to benefit from me switching too (as GiffGaff is run by its members, they pay you for introducing new people). I chose a 30 day, rolling SIM contract which I am free to change each month to suit my usage. Best of all GiffGaff email you with details of your best plan, or you can switch to Pay-As-You-Go at any time.

So, let’s crunch the numbers.

  • Upfront cost of unlocked handset £524.17
  • I’m currently on their lowest priced bundle, paying just £5 a month for calls, texts and data.

The //ws-eu.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=GB&source=ac&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=minimaexposu-21&marketplace=amazon&region=GB&placement=B00F3J4B5S&asins=B00F3J4B5S&linkId=&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true” target=”_blank”>iPhone cost, split over 4 years works out at £10.92 per month, so with the bundle on top I’m paying just £15.92 per month. £191.04 per year and that’s £764.16 over 4 years, not a lot more than the cost of the phone! O2 were the cheapest nearest competitor when I was purchasing, but buying outright won hands down on a new phone.

O2 are still selling the //ws-eu.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=GB&source=ac&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=minimaexposu-21&marketplace=amazon&region=GB&placement=B00F3J4B5S&asins=B00F3J4B5S&linkId=&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true” target=”_blank”>iPhone 5s, but only a 16gb model and they want £15 a month for that, plus £9.99 upfront. They’ll also tie you in for 2 years. But, it’s not really a fair comparison as I bought the newest model. So, let’s say you want an //ws-eu.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=GB&source=ac&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=minimaexposu-21&marketplace=amazon&region=GB&placement=B01LW1VU9E&asins=B01LW1VU9E&linkId=&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true” target=”_blank”>iPhone 7 the minimum cost is £45.00 a month (on the cheapest data package!), plus £9.99 upfront. You’ll be paying £1090 over the 2 years they’ll tie you in for. Then you’ll probably have to pay someone to unlock it, if you want to move away.

You’ll only pay £599 to buy the same phone outright, unlocked direct from Apple. So let’s compare that over 2 years for a fair comparison, adding £5 a month for your basic bundle. £719 is your cost of ownership, saving yourself an enormous £371! More if you keep your phone for longer, as there will be absolutely no need to upgrade it. But if you’re a serial upgrader for whatever reason, then you’ll still get a decent trade-in/ re-sale price for your phone. So my advice, if you want to do this (or for anyone really) is to buy a screen protector and great case so you keep your phone in pristine condition!

You don’t have to purchase an //ws-eu.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=GB&source=ac&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=minimaexposu-21&marketplace=amazon&region=GB&placement=B00F3J4B5S&asins=B00F3J4B5S&linkId=&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true” target=”_blank”>iPhone, to be honest – I probably wouldn’t again. My other have has an Android phone, a //ws-eu.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=GB&source=ac&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=minimaexposu-21&marketplace=amazon&region=GB&placement=B01IF51GYU&asins=B01IF51GYU&linkId=&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true” target=”_blank”>Motorola ‘Moto G’ and it’s been very good. We bought it outright on Amazon for £160 a couple of years ago, plus £11 on a //ws-eu.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=GB&source=ac&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=minimaexposu-21&marketplace=amazon&region=GB&placement=B014IX0202&asins=B014IX0202&linkId=&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true” target=”_blank”>memory card. Although it hasn’t been quite as reliable, it broke once and had to go away to be repaired. But you can expand the memory.

I might even go so far as to suggest that you might want to put some of the cost of buying a phone outright on a credit card, if you can’t wait to save up (which is what I would advise), since you can see how great your savings are! GiffGaff also sell phones now, which they didn’t when we were buying and I would imagine they have a competitive offering. If you would like to sign-up to get GiffGaffed, then you and I will both receive £10 credit – twice as much as usual. This great deal only lasts until 31st January 2017, so you’d better get moving!

My final word on this subject – don’t forget to go through a cashback site, wherever you decide to purchase from!

Notes on Consumerism

IMG_0692

I’ve been watching the first episode of a BBC2 series ‘The Men Who Made Us Spend’- it is all about how consumerism is perpetually driven by product lifespans and ‘upgrades’. Interestingly, the concept of continual obsolescence was dreamt up by the CEO of General Motors in the 1950s. Consumer choice meant giving into what they want- a rainbow of high gloss colours just like nail varnish, different fabrics for seats, vast choice of models for every different budget and a new car range every year, but nothing actually mechanically different. In our modern society, giving objects social value, rather than simply utilitarian value and it is Apple who has taken on this mantle. So, does Apple really believe in great design or just in rolling upgrades to keep the cash flowing in? If you choose to stay part of this consumer culture, then simply- it will continue.

So what can you do to fight this? You could learn how to self-repair! Look up ifixit.com who’s philosophy is that to repair is noble; it creates freedom, it saves you money, saves the environment, it’s sustainable and it creates jobs. They created a special 5 point head screwdriver so you can self-repair your iPhone. In-fact, they have an encyclopaedia on-line of how to repair technology. One way to fight the disposable, throw-away culture of continuous spending.

This is just a mere snapshot of this fantastic programme. If this interests you too, or you want to catch up on previous episodes or just find out more information, go to:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/themenwhomadeusspend

This fab series of programmes is a collaboration between the BBC and the OU, so you can expect high quality!