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50 Things You Never Knew You Could Get Cash Back For

50 Things You Never Knew You Could Get Cash Back For

The Internet has certainly changed the way we shop. These days, you can order a new Smart TV, crockpot, or Stephen King bestseller all from the comfort of your own home. Window shop in your PJs and before you know it, your items are delivered right to your door.

Convenient? You bet. But did you know it can also save you money in the process? That’s right, if you use a free cashback site like TopCashback.com, you can earn money back every time you shop.

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With over 4,000 popular merchants available, from Walmart to Saks Fifth Avenue, there are plenty of regular everyday purchases just waiting for you. In fact, we’ve put together a list of 50 things you never knew you could get cash back for!

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  1. Love – Money can’t buy you love, but love can get you money! Sign up for a 1, 3, 6, or 12 month subscription to eHarmony and you can find romance for less.
  2. Babysitters – Finally you can paint the town red again! Find the best sitters and care providers in the biz all while earning cash back at sites like Care.com.
  3. Weight Watchers – Lose weight everywhere but your wallet (because it’ll be stuffed with all that extra money!) when you sign up for a new subscription at Weight Watchers.
  4. Your Next Job – Post or hunt for your next job opportunity via Monster or The Ladders. Search resumes or get help putting yours together for less.
  5. Gift cards – Make cash back on cash? Pretty impressive. Use sites like Raise or GiftCardMall to buy and sell your gift cards.
  6. Airport Parking Reservations – Spend that cash back at your destination rather than paying for parking. Get big discounts on reservations made at Airport Parking Reservations, Park N’ Fly, and Looking 4 Parking.
  7. Email – Services like iContact are great for bloggers and entrepreneurs looking to connect with their customers. Just sign up for a paid account after a free trial to earn cash back.
  8. Online Education – Learning can be quite rewarding! Take an online class in yoga, programming, language, and hundreds more to earn cash back from Udemy.
  9. Nursing Scrubs – Yep, you can earn cash back for workwear from Scrubs & Beyond and ScrubShopper.
  10. SeaWorld Parks – From animals to rollercoasters, your family will have fun in the sun while your wallet earns cash back after booking your SeaWorld parks experience online.
  11. Cell Phone Cases – Sites like Otterbox don’t just offer phone and tablet cases to protect your devices, they also give you cash back.
  12. Anti-Virus Software – Nothing makes you feel more helpless than losing control of your computer. Luckily, anti-virus software like Malwarebytes, AVG, Norton, and Kaspersky can not only help you recover control, but earn extra cash back too!
  13. Edible Arrangements – Need a delicious, nutritious way to celebrate or say thanks? Forget the flowers and send an unforgettable gift via Edible Arrangements instead.
  14. Tires – They’re probably the absolute last thing you ever want to spend money on, so spend less! Browse cash back offers from The Tire Rack, Walmart, and Discount Tire.
  15. Streaming Movies – Cuddle up on the couch with some popcorn and a good movie rental from Fandango NOW or Amazon Prime instant Video while earning cash back.
  16. Learning Foreign LanguagesHablas cash back? You soon will. Get a discount on Rosetta Stone Language Software and/or learn the Pimsleur Method™, both at big discounts.
  17. Taxes – Turn a wise financial move into a wiser one with cash back from H&R Block, Intuit, and Liberty Tax Service.
  18. Beautiful Skin – Pamper yourself and save while you do it. Earn money back while shopping at top beauty brands like Murad, Clinique, Estee Lauder, plus online stores that sell popular brands like Sephora, Skinstore, and Dermstore.
  19. 20/20 Vision – You can’t put a price on good eyesight, but you can get cash back for it at least. Get discounts on brand name contact lenses and eyeglasses from Vision Direct, EyeGlasses.com, and Frames Direct.
  20. Memory & Drives – Ah, the necessities of modern life. Look for exceptional deals when you use coupons plus cash back at stores like Newegg, Best Buy, and Microsoft Store.
  21. Clown Wigs – Hey, you never know when you’ll need one. Halloween Mall, HalloweenCostumes.com, and Wholesale Halloween Costumes all stock wigs and offer seasonal discounts.
  22. A Lovely Cup of Tea – Hit the spot with some amazing offers from Teavana and Starbucks.
  23. Warehouse Memberships – Sure, you can’t enjoy all those free food samples when you shop online, but you can enjoy some sweet cash back rewards when you shop or purchase a membership for Sam’s Club.
  24. The Perfect Little Black Dress – And shoes to go with it! Try fashion brands like Saks Fifth Avenue, Kate Spade, Macy’s, and Neiman Marcus for an elegant piece at a price point you can swallow.
  25. Sneakers – For fitness or comfort, sneaks can’t be beat. Look for cash back offers from popular brands like Footlocker, Puma, Adidas, LadyFootlocker, and Shoebuy.
  26. Turning Back the Clock – Anti-aging skincare products can be yours for less from brands like La Mer, Avon, and Elizabeth Arden.
  27. Groupons – Already a great deal, made even sweeter with cash back! Get cash back when purchasing Groupon goods, local products, and services.
  28. A Weekend Getaway – A change of scenery, for less. Book a stay through one of the hundreds of popular travel brands offered, including Intercontinental Hotels Group, Marriott, DoubleTree, Hilton, and Hotels.com.
  29. A Loan – Get a pile of much-needed cash, and cash back on top of it, from companies that offer loans and loan-assistance tools, like FlexShopper, CashNetUSA, and MyFico.
  30. Subscription Boxes – Treat yourself to a monthly subscription box (and get some cash back!) with the likes of Birchbox, Wantable, or Gwynnie Bee.
  31. Power Tools – Improve your home with loads of tools from stores like True Value, Lowes, Sears, and eBay.
  32. Vitamins & Protein Powders – For your physical and financial well being, shop brands like GNC, BodyBuilding.com, Puritan’s Pride, and Vitacost to keep your body and your budget at its finest.
  33. Board Games – From Candy Land to Monopoly, snag your favorites for Family Game Night at stores like Toys“R”Us, Walmart, and Target.
  34. Dog Toys – Fido’s been so good lately. Reward him with a squeaky toy and yourself with cash back on purchases at PETCO and PetSmart.
  35. Onesies & Bibs – Everything you need for the cute little ones in your life can sure stack up in cost. Where babies are concerned, every penny saved counts. So earn cash back on newborn essentials from stores like Carters, Zulily, and The Children’s Place.
  36. Car Rental – Road trip! Whether for work or play, hit the road for some cash back from Hertz, National, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
  37. Spurs & Ostrich Boots – Get your Western Wear for less when you buy your cowboy boots, hats, jeans, and more from Shepler.
  38. Movie Night – Take the family to the multiplex for less when you buy your tickets from Movietickets.com. Eat popcorn and earn a nice cash back rebate, all thanks to sites like The Popcorn Factory.
  39. That Perfect Shade of Red – Look like a million bucks and still get cash back on cosmetics from Sephora, Beauty.com, and e.l.f. cosmetics.
  40. Surround Sound – Music to your ears, for less. Snag all the latest electronics and listen to your tunes from gear purchased at stores like Best Buy, Walmart, and Newegg.
  41. Travel Essentials – Pack up extra discounts on travel necessities from merchants like Tumi, Samsonite, and eBay.
  42. Pet Health Insurance – Keep Fluffy in the best of health without taking out a second mortgage when you secure pet insurance from companies like PetPlan Pet Insurance and Pet Plus.
  43. Cameras – Take photographs like a pro with top brands from Canon, Adorama, and QVC.
  44. Menswear Suits – Look like a million bucks without spending it. The iconic look of a Brooks Brother suit can be yours now with cash back rewards.
  45. Holistic Care – Take care of yourself, be it allergies, energy, cleansing, or detox, and earn a healthy dose of cash back earnings from Natural Wellbeing.
  46. Gift Baskets – Say thank you or celebrate an event with a gift basket or bouquet from merchants like 1-800 Flowers, Harry & David, and Giftbaskets.com.
  47. Cruises – Sail off into the sunset on a vacation booked at Orbitz, Expedia, or CruiseDirect.
  48. Mixers, Keurigs, and Spiralizers, Oh, My! – Get cooking and find the things you never knew you needed at retailers like Bed Bath and Beyond, Kohl’s, Kmart, and Crate and Barrel.
  49. Smart Phones – Time for an upgrade? Get money back for purchases and new activations at T-Mobile, AT&T Wireless, Verizon, and more.
  50. Cable TV – You want your MTV? You got it! Earn some pretty big cash back rewards when you sign up for a new activation with AT&T TV, DirecT, or the DISH networks.

This list of 50 is just the tip of the iceberg. You can earn cash back for just about anything you need to buy (heck, maybe even an iceberg!). Search TopCashback.com now and start saving.

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Featured photo credit: pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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50 Things You Never Knew You Could Get Cash Back For

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Last Updated on August 20, 2019

How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

Finances can push anyone to the point of extreme anxiety and worry. Easier said than done, planning finances is not an egg meant for everyone’s basket. And that’s why most of us are often living pay check to pay check. But did anyone tell you that it is actually not a tough task to meet your financial goals?

In this article, we will explore ways on how to set financial goals and then actually meet them with ease.

5 Steps to Set Financial Goals

Though setting financial goals might seem to be a daunting task but if one has the will and clarity of thought, it is rather easy. Try using these steps:

1. Be Clear About the Objectives

Any goal (let alone financial) without a clear objective is nothing more than a pipe dream. And this couldn’t be more true for financial matters.

It is often said that savings is nothing but deferred consumption. Therefore if you are saving today, then you should be crystal clear about what it is for. It could be anything like kid’s education, retirement, marriage, that dream vacation, fancy car etc.

Once the objective is clear, put a monetary value to that objective and the time frame. The important point at this step of goal setting is to list all the objectives, however small they may be, that you foresee in the future and put a value to it.

2. Keep Them Realistic

It’s good to be an optimistic person but being a pollyanna is not desirable. Similarly, while it might be a good thing to keep your financial goals a bit aggressive, going out of the line will definitely hurt your chances of achieving them.

It’s important that you keep your goals realistic in nature for it will help you stay the course and keep you motivated throughout the journey.

3. Account for Inflation

Ronald Reagan once said – “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman”. And this quote sums up the best what inflation could do your financial goals.

Therefore account for inflation whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far away in the future.

For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years hence, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is mere 3%. So always account for inflation.

4. Short Term vs Long Term

Just like every calorie is not the same, the approach towards achieving every financial goal will not be the same. It is important to bifurcate goals in short term and long term.

As a rule of thumb, any financial goal, which is due in next 3 years should be termed as short term goal. Any longer duration goals are to be classified as long term goals. This bifurcation of goals into short term vs long term will help in choosing the right investment instrument to achieve them.

More on this later when we talk about how to achieve financial goals.

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5. To Each to His Own

The journey of setting financial goals is an individualistic affair i.e. your goals are your own goals and are determined by your want to achieve them. A lot of times we get on the bandwagon of goal setting only to realize later on that it was not meant for us.

It is important that your goals are actually your goals and not inspired by someone else. Take a hard look at this step at all the goals you’ve set for after this step, you will be on the way to achieve them.

By now, you would be ready with your financial goals, now it’s time to go all out and achieve them.

11 Ways to Achieve Your Financial Goals

Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a 2 step process –

  • Ensuring healthy savings
  • Making smart investments

You will need to save enough; and invest those savings wisely so that they grow over a period of time to help you achieve goals. So let’s get down to ensuring healthy savings.

Ensuring Healthy Savings

Self realization is the best form of realisation and unless you decide what your current financial position is, you aren’t heading anywhere.

This is the focal point from where you start your journey of achieving financial goals.

1. Track Expenses

The first and the foremost thing to be done is to track your monthly expenses. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you would be surprised to see how small expenses add up to a sizeable amount.

Also categorize those expenses into different bucket so that you know which bucket is eating the most of your pay check. This record keeping will pave the way for cutting down on un-wanted expenses and pump up your savings rate.

2. Pay Yourself First

Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classical mistake which almost everyone of us do. We pay ourselves last!

Ideally, this should be planned upside down. We should be paying ourselves first and then to the world i.e. we should be taking out the planned saving amount first and then manage all the expenses from the rest.

The best way to actually implement is to put the savings on automatic mode i.e. money flowing automatically into different financial instruments (for example – mutual funds, retirement corpus etc) every month.

Taking the automatic route will make us lose control of our money and hence will compel us to manage in what’s left with us thereby increasing the savings rate.

3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick with It

Budgeting is the best to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be made.

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Nowadays, several money management apps and wallets can help you do this automatically. It’s easy and who knows, you may just end up doing what people fail to do.

At first, you may not be able to stick to your plans completely but don’t let that become a reason why you stop budgeting entirely.

Make use of technology solutions you like. Explore options and alternatives that let you make use of the available wallet options and choose the one that suits you the most. In time, you will get accustomed to making use of these solutions.

You will find that they make it simpler for you to follow your plan, which would have been difficult otherwise.

4. Rise Again Even If You Fall

Let’s be realistic. It’s not like the world will come to an end if you made one mistake. This isn’t called leniency but discipline.

If you fail to meet your budget for a month, don’t give up the entire effort just like that. Instead, start again.

Remember that flexible plans are the most realistic plans. So go forward and try to follow your financial goals as planned but if for some reason, the plan gets out of hand for you, do not give up on it just yet. This has a lot to do with your psychology rather than any material commitment.

All you have to do is to stay on the road and vow to stay on it, no matter how much you fall down.

5. Make Savings a Habit and Not a Goal

In the book Nudge, authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein advocate that in order to achieve any goal, it should be broken down into habits since habits are more intuitive for people to adapt to.

Make Savings a habit rather than a goal. While it might seem to be counter intuitive to many but there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Usually weekends are expensive. Make it a habit and you would in turn be saving a great deal.

If you are travelling buff, try to travel during off season. Your outlay will be much less.

If you go out for shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

So the key point is to imbibe the action that results in savings rather than on the savings itself, which is the outcome. Focusing on the outcome will bring out the feeling of sacrifice which will be harder to sustain over a period of time.

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6. Talk About It

Sticking to the saving schedule (to achieve financial goals) is not an easy journey. There will be many distractions from those who are not aligned with your mission. And it would be rather easy to lose the grip over your discipline.

Therefore in order to stay the course, it is advisable that you keep yourself surrounded with people who are also on the same bandwagon. Daily discussions with them will keep you motivated to move forward.

7. Maintain a Journal

For some people, writing helps a great deal in making sure that they achieve what they plan.

So if you are one of them, maintain a proper journal, where you write down your goals and also jot down the extent to which you managed to meet them. This will help you in reviewing how far you have come and which goals you have met.

Use this journal to write down all essential points such as your short term, mid term and long term goals, your current sources of income, your regular expenses which you are aware of and any committed expenses which are of recurring nature.

When you have a written commitment on paper, you are going to feel more energised to follow the plan and stick to it. Moreover, it is going to be a lot more easier for you to follow you and track your progress.

At this point, you should be ready with your financial goals and would be doing brilliantly with savings; now it’s time to talk about the big daddy – Investments.

Making Smart Investments

Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However savings when invested wisely can do wonders and we are at that stage where we will talk about making smart investments.

8. Consult a Financial Advisor

Investments doesn’t come naturally to most of us therefore rather than dabbling with it ourselves, it is wise to consult a financial advisor.

Talk to him/her about your financial goals and savings and then seek advice for the best investment instruments to achieve your goals.

9. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about them.

Just like “no one is born a criminal”, no investment instrument is bad or good. It is the application of that instrument that makes all the difference.

Do you remember we talked about bifurcating financial goals in short term and long term?

It is here where that classification will help.

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So as a general rule, for all your short term financial goals, choose an investment instrument that has debt nature for example fixed deposits, debt mutual funds etc. The reason for going for debt instruments is that chances of capital loss is less as compared to equity instruments.

10. Compounding Is the Eighth Wonder

Einstein once remarked about compounding,

Compound Interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… He who doesn’t… Pays it.

So make friends with this wonder kid. And sooner you become friends with it, quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

Start investing early so that time is on your side to help you bear the fruits of compounding.

11. Measure, Measure, Measure

All of us do good when it comes to earning more per month but fail miserably when it comes to measuring the investments; taking stock of how our investments are doing.

If there is one single step where everything (so far) can go wrong, it is at this step – Measuring the Progress.

If we don’t measure the progress timely, then we would be shooting in the dark. We wouldn’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not; whether financial advisor is doing a decent job; whether we are moving closer to our target or not.

Do measure everything. If you can’t measure it all yourself, ask your financial advisor to do it for you. But do it!

The Bottom Line

This completes the list of tips for you to set financial goals and actually achieve them with not so great difficulty.

As you can see, all it requires is discipline. But guess that’s the most difficult part!

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