How to make money while spending it. That sounds odd, doesn’t it? It sounds like something my mom would say after a trip to the mall – “I saved $200 today!” My response is usually “how much did you spend to save $200??” This concept of making money while you spend it is not going to get you rich but if you’re already planning to make a purchase you might as well see if you can save some money while doing it, right?
The World of Ebates
Enter Ebates. It’s a third party site (and app) that allows you to earn cash back on purchases – in other words, make money while spending it. For example, Amazon makes a deal with Ebates to offer 10% cash back if customers apply an Ebates promo code to their Amazon purchase. Amazon gets more business since people are getting cash back, Ebates makes money from Amazon by sending more people their way, and you get to earn cash back. It’s a win-win-win situation!
Cash Back Offers
Right now there’s a lot of post-holiday double cash back offers. If you’re going to use your Christmas money to buy some new workout clothes or that gadget you’ve been eyeing, why not check Ebates to see if there’s a cash back offer for that store? For example, I won a gift card to Athleta this past summer but waited to buy anything until after I had my daughter in November so it would help motivate me to get back in shape.
Before I made my purchase I checked Ebates. They had a 6% cash back offer so I applied their promo code. This obviously didn’t make me rich but it basically covered the tax I would have paid. To make saving money even more fun, Ebates shows you any coupon codes or deals stores are currently offering so you don’t even have to Google them or go through the store’s website – an even easier way to make money while spending! You also get $10 just for setting up an account and you can earn $100 for every 3 people you refer.
Another way to make money while spending is to avoid shipping costs by routing your online purchases to the store. For example, my sister got her husband “Settlers of Catan” for Christmas, but instead of buying it at the store she went through Ebates, got the cash back option, and opted to pick up the game at the store to avoid shipping costs.
There are many stores on Ebates that you probably frequent like Target, Macys, Walmart, and more. If one store is doing a double cash back option, you could save more in the long run by making a purchase from a specific store if multiple stores have the product you’re looking for. For example, if Target and Kohls both carry the Kitchen Aid mixer you want but Target is offering 5% cash back and Kohls is only offering 3% you can go through Target to get the mixer.
Watch Out for “Up to” Promises
As a warning, there are a few drawbacks. For some stores like Amazon, you’ll see “up to” 10% because this offer is only for certain categories, not all items on Amazon. Also, you also can’t use a credit card that offers cash back options since it’s like double dipping. This means you can’t use your Chase Freedom card to get 5% cash back and then get another 5% cash back at Target through Ebates. Do one or the other but you can’t do both.
Always Check for a Promo Code
Some would call me cheap, others would call me frugal, but one of the many ways I save money is by never making a purchase online until I’ve Googled a promo code – it’s one of the simplest ways to make money while spending. Instead of Googling a promo code now I just check Ebates before making a purchase. Similar to credit cards that offer cash back, I don’t advocate spending money JUST for the cash back bonus. Think of these opportunities as a nice perk, not a money-maker. For example, if you are planning to purchase a flight for spring break or do some house renovations this year then check Ebates first to see if you can earn some cash back on a purchase you’re already planning to make!
Do you currently make money while spending it?
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.