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.

Enough is Enough! Why I Refuse to Complete Anymore ‘Customer Satisfaction’ Surveys.

I’m done! I’ve reached breaking point with the sheer volume of customer satisfaction surveys I am asked to complete every single day. I resent companies who phone me chasing completion of a survey because their bonus relies on achieving 5 stars. I fail to see how they can glean any meaningful information from those that are completed when they frequently bully you into giving the top ratings.

Enough is enough! I had my car serviced and they’re desperate for me to complete a customer satisfaction survey. Not happening. I am always going to get my car serviced and MOT’d on an annual basis. The other day I had my eyes tested and now they want me to complete one too. I had my eyes tested for the sake of my health, for goodness sake! A statutory service that the NHS provides in this country and that I would have done at the prescribed interval, regardless. Every single time you visit a shop, they are there circling some on-line feedback survey for you to complete. Sometimes they go into a massive spiel lasting several minutes about why you need to complete it. Just let me pay for my items and leave!

Let’s be minimalist about this please, all your stores out there reading this. Let’s save everyone some time and spend our lives doing better things, than measuring our employees on every single transaction they complete. You don’t have to give me the 5 star, red carpet service all the time. I’d appreciate if you spent more time servicing my car to a satisfactory level and all I’m asking is that it’s good enough. I want you to check my eyes to the best of your ability. I’m not going to rate you on your personal hygiene, your dress, your comprehension of English or whether you said goodbye. Just make sure to tell me if anything is wrong with my eyes, or I need new glasses. I’m not looking for perfection and I’d definitely prefer it if your employees seemed genuine, rather than that they are reading from a prescribed script.

I for one, do not wish to be responsible for someone being reprimanded or losing their job over 1 customer experience! If your service is unsatisfactory – rest assured it’s likely I will let you know. If I love something you’re doing, I will probably write and tell you too. But it’s OK to just live day-to-day by doing a good enough job. Let’s save the wowing for special occasions like weddings, Birthdays and times when it’s really important that things go right. I’d rather all those lovely, hard working people out there weren’t stressed to the eyeballs every day about being ‘inspected’. Just let them do their jobs, please! And please, please, PLEASE don’t send me anymore of these ‘customer satisfaction’ surveys – P L E A S E!!! You’re actually making me less likely to shop with you and seek out those dear, independent’s out there who are more concerned with actually getting on with their job. And every bit of till receipt you don’t print with these pointless surveys on it, is another piece of tree remaining and you know what – that would make me the happiest of all!

Aiming for Financial Independence

A huge part of being minimalist is that you are spending less. As I see it, there are 3 options as to what you can do with your money.

  1. Spend it
  2. Save it
  3. Give it

Obviously, minimalists are doing a whole lot less spending it! Whether you wish to give some money away is a really personal decision and there are a huge array of possibilities which I won’t go into now. Although if you are spending less, it may mean you can work less and give your valuable time away also. In order to reach this sort of position, you will want to be aiming for financial independence.

I am not a financial expert, but I do try to apply common sense to life. It’s been 4 years since I  discovered minimalism, started reading about alternative lifestyle choices and earnestly started trying to boost my income in any (legal) way possible (using lots of methods, including those I have already described on my blog). Since November 2012, I have added over £30,000 to our household income. I would absolutely not have believed this myself, had it not been for the fact that I have kept spreadsheets detailing every single penny that I’ve made (and lost) along the way. £30,000 may not have got us to our goal of financial independence yet, but it certainly has pushed us a lot further towards it! I imagine for a lot of people reading this blog, £30,000 would go a long way to a deposit on a house, paying off a mortgage or clearing personal debt.

The thing is, when you stop spending money on things that mean very little – you realise that you possibly don’t need to be working so hard or so long. You can start saving and if you get serious about this, you could aim for financial independence at a younger age than most people (that is if you are still young! But if you’re not, there is absolutely no reason why it wouldn’t be good to be financially independent too). The working until you’re 65 thing (or even older now) is so ingrained in our culture, that many people don’t even question it. Your goal doesn’t even need to be that you never work again, but minimalism might allow you to pursue a job that you’ll love, volunteer your time or money or do something even more amazing. Aiming for financial independence is about acquiring freedom  – to choose when, where, what and how much work you do, along with freedom from cultural norms and expectations. The truth is you can buy freedom through frugality (and investments).

That’s not to say that you won’t need to work hard at it, but I wanted to write this post to say – a little bit of effort every day goes a long way. Just filling out a few surveys, meeting your Swagbucks target, selling items you don’t need on eBay and using some shopping apps to get free food – it doesn’t take many minutes out of your day. In 4 years time, why don’t you write and tell me how much you’ve made! 🙂

Get 500 SB When You Sign Up For Swagbucks

Christmas is coming – can you believe it, barely over a month away? Since this time of year in particular is a good one for having some extra money, Swagbucks is offering a 500 SB Bonus to people who sign up through me this month – it’s the biggest bonus they’ve ever offered!  For any new readers, Swagbucks is a rewards site where you earn points (called SB) for all sorts of things you’re probably already doing online, like shopping, discovering deals, taking surveys, watching videos, and more! Then you can turn your gift cards in to PayPal cash or gift cards to places like Amazon, Starbucks, and more!  Now, most people are definitely going to be doing some shopping at this time of year, so why not earn some SB as cashback and also use those to get free gift cards to buy more gifts. You really can’t lose!

Here’s how you get your bonus:

1. Sign up using this link

2. Earn 300 SB total before 1/12/16. You’ll get a 300 SB bonus for it!

3. When you do your holiday shopping, spend at least £25 through Swagbucks Shop* and you’ll get another 200 SB bonus on top of the cashback you’ll get from shopping.

Here’s the best part – if you refer someone yourself and they do steps 2 & 3, you’ll earn the same bonuses they do, so it really adds up! That’s all there is to it. I buy all my Christmas gifts using SB and I find it really handy for my family who lives in the States, as I can buy American gift cards too. I send them for free via email and it doesn’t cost me a penny!

*You must receive your shopping SB before 1 January

OnePulse- Smartphone App

OnePulse is an app that you can easily install to your smartphone. It will send you notifications when there are really quick, easy surveys that you can complete on your smartphone. You get to voice your opinion anonymously and you can view everyone’s results afterwards (which I’m always curious to see!) The surveys are generally just a handful of questions long. They only pay pence, but if you’re using the app every day, then it soon adds up. There are also lots of free i.e. non-paying polls which you can use to get your experience score up. This will supposedly get you more surveys to complete, but I’m sceptical. My advice is to just use it for the surveys that come up, they’re generally topical and couldn’t be simpler to complete. But if you’re really bored, go ahead!

You can cash out to Paypal via the app which is again really simple. You must have £5 to cash out which is a fairly easy target to reach. If you would like to sign-up, please input my referral code 26KWR. There is a chance I will win a prize if loads of people sign up (very doubtful I will win), but please use my code anyway 😉 Happy pulsing!


Prolific Academic- Help Academic Researchers

Prolific Academic is a great site on which you complete surveys for cash. I really love this site because they have high paying studies and they are much more interesting than most. this is probably because they are being conducted by Academic Researchers. Most studies have gone through rigorous ethical approval via University Ethics Committees and are well-written. Sometimes it’s obvious that perhaps you’re completing a study for a less academically gifted researcher shall we say, as it’s been poorly thought out. Or occasionally the spelling and grammar is off, but I feel I can forgive that of people for whom English is not their first language.

Almost every study I’ve encountered on this site has paid at an equivalent to the minimum wage per hour of my time which automatically puts it above other survey sites. I personally wait until I’ve reached £20 to cash out, so I don’t have to pay additional Paypal fees. But you can cash out at any point from £5 onwards. Another great thing about this site is how quickly they pay out- sometimes in minutes!

From time-to-time the site seems to run slowly, possibly due to volume of traffic? I once found it kept telling me I had no surveys and it turned out my account had been flagged for no reason. I contacted them and they sorted it out very quickly. I highly recommend this site for higher paying, interesting survey opportunities.

*If you sign up as a participant via my link above, I will earn 10% of your first cash out only. If you’re a researcher who runs a £50 study, I’ll earn £20 and you’ll get £25 to run your first study.

InstaGC- Instant Giftcards!

screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-00-28-34InstaGC is a site rather like Swagbucks, where you can earn points for completing surveys, answering polls, completing offers on offer walls and so on. I personally only use the site in a very limited manner, as I find I don’t qualify for most of the surveys. However, they post lots of points booster codes on social media so you can easily earn points for free! You will need to earn a at least 1 point every few days in order to qualify (the site will let you know if you need to complete an offer first with a little pop up).

The great thing about this site is that you literally do get the gift cards INSTANTLY which is unique. They also have a huge range of stores available, although I have only ever redeemed for Amazon vouchers. Another fun feature is within the chat facility, where they randomly post points booster codes throughout the day- faster finger first wins the stated bonus, usually for 3-10 members at a time. You cannot copy and paste, so you really need to be on the ball!

I also love the stats feature they have on the site which shows me that I earnt £36 in 2015. I’ve barely made any effort this year and I’ve only earnt £5 this year, so it actually gives you an incentive to try harder. My first year with this site was 2014 in which I earnt £10 so I definitely could be doing better. Even so, every little helps and this all builds my extra (online) income.

*If you use my link to signup, I will receive 10 points and 10% of your earnings from all referrals except tasks or bonuses received (contest winnings, point booster codes redeemed, search the web bonuses).