Have you heard of Swagbucks?
Many people have, but don’t know exactly what it is or how it works.
Now that Swagbucks just celebrated their tenth birthday, more and more people are learning about this reputable company (which has earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau) that helps you earn free gift cards, cash and prizes.
Chances are, when you learn more about this company, you’ll become a Swagbucks enthusiast like me!
Open Your FREE Swagbucks Account Now!
Use our link to get a $5 signup bonus, and use promo code “BMONEYMATTERS” when you register you’ll get an extra 70 points called SB
If you do nothing more than search the Internet a few times a day (and don’t we all do that?), you could easily earn 7 to 10 points called SB a day.
Earn 300 SB (which is possible in 3 to 5 weeks with minimal effort), and you could redeem your points for a $3 Amazon gift card.
In general, every 100 SB earns you a $1 toward an Amazon gift card. 300 SB for $3 Amazon gift card, or 500 SB for a $5 Amazon gift card. However, you can earn a $25 Amazon gift card for just 2,200 SB points!
How To Sign Up For Swagbucks
Signing up for Swagbucks is simple.
Simply go to the Swagbuck’s page and either sign in with Facebook, or fill out a simple form with your e-mail address and a password that you choose for your Swagbucks account.
Open Your FREE Swagbucks Account Now!
Registration is free, and right now you’ll eligible to get a $5 bonus for signing up!
Once you are signed up, make sure you stay signed in so you can use Swagbucks to search the Internet and earn points.
How To Earn SB
There are many ways to earn SB. If you use it to search the Internet, you will randomly earn points. I have earned anywhere from 7 to 79 points at one time. Those points continue to accrue until you redeem them for your rewards.
In addition to searching the Internet, there are many other ways to earn points:
- Watch television programming. Like to find new recipes? Watch the Food Network videos. Or watch videos streamed right from Hulu as well as clips on news (regular and celebrity), tech, etc. on Swagbucks and earn SB points. (They have many quick two to three minute shows that you can watch to earn points.)
- Encourage your friends to join. If your friends sign up for Swagbucks with your referral link, you will get 10% of their Swagbucks earning for life! This can be a great way to watch your balance grow with minimal effort on your part, especially if you have several friends join.
- Use coupons. If you routinely print coupons off the Internet, print them from Swagbucks. For every coupon you redeem at the grocery store, you earn 10 SB
- Take a poll. There are usually short, one question polls that you can answer. This takes less than 10 seconds, and you can earn a SB point.
- Meet your daily Swagbucks goal. Every day, Swagbucks sets an earning goal for you. For instance, they may set a goal of earning 30 SB. If you’re able to do that, say for 7 days in a row, you’ll earn an additional 25 SB.
- Play games. You can play a variety of games in the games section to earn SB.
- Use the special offers section. This section isn’t something I’d use just to get SB (though some people do), but it can be a great way to earn SB points on something you were already going to do. For instance, if you were going to sign up for a Target Red Debit or Credit Card anyway, why not do it through Swagbucks and earn 215 SB points?
This section is Swagbucks highest earning vertical. There are plenty of special offers to choose from.
These are just a few ways to earn rewards; there are many more, some more labor intensive than others.
I usually just have time for the polls and searching the Internet, and I still earned enough in a year to redeem for Amazon gift cards and get a few presents for my kids at Christmas.
Swagbucks Browser Extension
Swagbucks has a browser extension that you can install in your browser as well.
In my Chrome browser I have it installed and it will notify you when there is cash back available for a store you’re shopping at. Just click on the button that pops up to activate the cash back, and a short while after you complete your purchase the SB will be added to your account.
It also will tell you when there are coupon codes available at a certain store and apply them for you, saving you additional money!
What it comes down to is adding the extension will likely save you quite a bit of money! It takes the work out of remembering to go to a cash back site – it does it for you automatically.
Swagbucks Hack To Triple Your Savings
Her’s a hack that I have started using in order to triple my savings when shopping online. I use Swagbucks in conjunction with two other providers, Honey and Gift Card Granny.
Here’s how it works.
- Activate Swagbucks cash back: First, go to the shopping site where you want to save money. Activate your Swabgucks cash back via your browser extension. It should pop up automatically if you have it installed and ask you to “activate cash back”.
- Use Honey to get a coupon code: After you find the item you wanted to buy, add it to your cart and begin the checkout process. On the checkout page where they have a space for coupon codes, use the Honey browser extension to search for available coupon codes, to save you more money!
- Buy a discounted gift card from Gift Card Granny: Figure out your order’s total, and then buy a gift card at Gift Card Granny to cover the cost. You can often find gift cards for popular retailers at a big discount. For example, a $100 gift card for $85. Purchase the gift card and use it when checking out.
When you do these three things, you’ll save using Swagbucks cash back, by using a Honey coupon code, and by getting a discount on a gift card to pay for your order. Triple the savings!
How Much Can You Earn With Swagbucks?
Once you’ve earned enough points you can redeem your SB for an Amazon gift card, but there are hundreds of other ways to also redeem your points. Choose from a wide range of retailers—Amazon, Target, Lands End, Chili’s, Starbucks, Whole Foods, Walmart, Sears, and many more.
There are hundreds of prizes to choose from, and if you want to make your SB points stretch further, look for the sale category where they temporarily discount how many SB certain items can be redeemed for.
They say that nothing in life is free, but if you search the Internet using Swagbucks, utilize the cash back tools and engage on their site you will earn enough SB points to redeem for some nice free gifts.
Have you used Swagbucks? If so, what have you earned?
If you use promo code “BMONEYMATTERS” when you register you’ll get an extra 70 SB.
Get Your Free 70 SB When You Open Swagbucks Account Now!
- Lots of reward options including PayPal
- Great cash back options
- Browser extension works great
- In store cash back
- Lots of ways to earn points
- Some offers require a lot to get SB
Fourteen years ago, my husband and I had our first child, and just three months after he was born, we bought a minivan. A Toyota Sienna, to be exact.
We planned to own the car for a while, especially since we bought it brand new, but honestly, I never thought that 14 years and 193,000 miles later we’d still be driving that vehicle.
pay if off early.
We paid it off in four years, so we’ve driven that vehicle for the last 10 years without making a single payment. The only expenses we’ve had are routine repairs, replacements, and requisite license plate tabs.
Glamorous It’s Not
I’ll admit, now that the car is quite a bit older, it’s certainly not the envy of the neighborhood.
In fact, my kids, especially my older two who are 14 and almost 10, find it quite embarrassing. However, it’s been a very reliable car, and we plan to keep it until it finally gives out completely.
Our van had one electric sliding door and one manual. As is common for electric doors, ours stopped working at about year 10. I didn’t want to pay the $1,500 plus that it would cost to fix it, so we just stopped using that door.
About two years ago, our passenger manual door outside handle became loose. No biggie. We just opened the driver’s side door, reached into the back, and used the inside handle to open the slide door.
Was that embarrassing? Yes, but why spend money when the door did work, just not in a conventional way?
We’ll Never Wash The Car Again
We joke that we’ll never wash the car again, and we probably won’t. The dirt might be the only thing holding it together at this point!
A year ago we were at a manual car wash when the outside handle that was loose completely broke off. That, even I can admit, was embarrassing. A motorcyclist was there, and he just stared at us.
My kids were so embarrassed.
When it broke off, we could no longer open the door from the inside, either, so we had to admit defeat and pay $700 to get that door handle fixed.
Surely, that was a fluke, right, and a car wash every now and then would be fine, right? Right?
This summer, we again tried to wash the car at a manual car wash. After my husband hosed down the car, I heard a loud pop, much like a gun shot.
I looked all around, but didn’t see anything. Then, I started washing the car and the passenger window on the electronic door that does not work just completely shattered. Glass filled our entire interior.
We had heard a rock hit the car a few weeks before when we were on the highway, and I think that weakened the window before the car wash.
The Air Conditioner Gives Out
This summer, our air conditioner gave out, which isn’t a good thing in the middle of an Arizona summer when temperatures routinely reach 110 degrees daily. The problem ended up being two-fold, and we had to pay $2,500.
I can see the day is near when we’ll need to replace this vehicle, but I’m hoping we can hold out for a few more years.
After all, even with car repairs and routine maintenance, owning this vehicle for the past 14 years has been much cheaper than owning a newer model that needs fewer repairs but requires a monthly payment.
What is the longest you have ever owned a vehicle? What finally made you decide to take the plunge and buy a new vehicle? Are you comfortable with driving a car that others may find embarrassing just so you can save money?
Have you ever read the Little House on the Prairie books?
One Christmas, Laura and Mary each get their own shiny tin cup (they had previously had to share an old one), two sticks of candy, a small homemade cake, and a shiny, new penny.
They were excited beyond belief.
In our modern times, such a meager Christmas is unimaginable.
Each year the retail stores seem to ratchet up the consumerism, trying to get us to buy more and more; some stores even stay open on Christmas.
Many of us have fallen for this and feel an intense pressure to spend a large amount of money on the loved ones in our lives, but such pressure often makes Christmas feel like something to get through without going thousands of dollars into debt. Because of our own expectations and others’, Christmas feels like a burden.
That’s not what Christmas is about.
Christmas is about giving and doing for others, but not at the expense of having to work overtime to buy more gifts or having to go into credit card debt so you don’t look cheap.
Why not bring back the meaning of Christmas and enjoy the holiday more starting this year?
Focus On the True Reason for the Season
The real reason we celebrate Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
This holiday season, why not find a few activities your family can do to focus on this?
Our family does many of the 30 recommended activities to keep Christ in Christmas. Two that we do every year are to make a birthday cake for Jesus that we enjoy on Christmas Day and to decorate our tree only with purple ornaments during the Advent season. (After Advent is over, we change out the decorations to more “fun” decorations as the kids say.)
Focus On Family Activities
Before the Christmas season arrives, consider sitting down with your children and telling them that Christmas this year will be focused more on giving than getting.
Ask them to consider some fun activities they’d like to do as a family this holiday season such as watching a holiday movie together, decorating the Christmas tree together, making holiday treats together, etc.
Also, consider asking each child to have one of their gifts be a family gift.
They could ask for a family membership to the local amusement park or a family membership to the local museum, or a small, weekend trip you could take together.
Focus On Appreciation And Gratitude
It’s easy to take family members for granted.
This holiday season, draw names from a hat, and each family member writes five to 10 things they appreciate about the person whose name they drew. As you write the list, you’ll be more grateful for the person, and the person will feel more appreciated, as will you when you hear what someone has written about you.
In addition, decide how you’ll help others this holiday season.
You might make personal care kits filled with items like deodorant, soap, razors, etc. for the local shelter. Or, you could pick a name off a Christmas tree at a local store or at your church and buy a gift for a child in need. You could volunteer at a soup kitchen.
Our family volunteers once a month at our church helping to make 200 sack lunches for the homeless, but in December, we’ll find some other activities to do also.
Helping others not only makes you feel good, but it also helps to make you grateful for all that you have. That is a reminder all of us need from time to time.
I’m not saying don’t spend money this Christmas, but why not try to make Christmas more meaningful this year?
Why not focus on helping others and spending time together as a family rather than on the never-ending rat race of buying more and more and more gifts all the while feeling more frustrated and less satisfied this holiday season?
What do you do to bring the true meaning of Christmas into focus and to tune out the retailers pleas that you must spend more and more money?
For many of us Christmas is one of happiest times of year.
We celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, and the wonder of His birth.
It’s a magical time of year for the kids, but for adults, it can become one of the most expensive.
According to the American Research Group, Inc, families planned to spend an average of $983 for gifts in the 2017 holiday season. That’s almost $1000!
Shoppers around the country say they are planning to spend an average of $983 for gifts this 2017 holiday season, up from $929 last year according to the 33rd annual survey on holiday spending from the American Research Group, Inc. Planned gift spending for 2017 is $54 above spending in 2016.
Instead of being part of that trend, this year it might be a good idea to plan ahead, save for the gifts you are going to buy.
Get creative about the gifts, decorations and activities you engage in – in order to make your Christmas a bit more frugal and meaningful. It’s time for a frugal DIY Christmas!
Join me and Tom Drake of the Maple Money Podcast as we talk about having a frugal Christmas!
a Christmas budget!
So how much should you spend on Christmas gifts?
One rule of thumb that I’ve read says that you should never spend more than 1 week’s salary for your Christmas gifts.
So if you’re making $50,000, for example, divide that by 52 and you shouldn’t be spending more than $950 on Christmas gifts.
Honestly, unless you have an extremely large family that you have to buy gifts for, I think even that is probably too much. I’d probably cut that number in half, making it about $500 for the average family. Think about $100 per person. If times are tough in a given year, cut it back to $50-60 or less if need be.
Whatever number you decide on, add a line item to your family’s budget, and start saving for that expense.
At our house we use You Need A Budget and Tiller Money to keep track of our finances, and we have added a line item in our budget for “gifts”.
Setting Up Automated Transfers
Once you’ve got a budget set, and a line item added to your software, how should you save?
You can either just setup some automated transfers to your savings account that happen throughout the year, or if you want to try something a little more fun you can use an automated savings app to regularly make small incremental transfers into a savings account, so that by the end of the year you have enough saved to pay for Christmas.
Banks and apps that can automate saving for a goal:
We use or have used a combination of the following banks over the years to automate our savings.
- Chime Bank: This bank account will allow you to setup automated transfers, and roundup your purchases to put in savings. Get this free account and then use the roundups for your Christmas gifts!
- Qapital: This account will allow you to save based on just about any trigger you want, from rounding up spending, scheduled transfers, to saving every time your favorite team wins a football game.
- Dobot: A free account that will allow you to save to a goal based savings account. Either let the app choose how much to save, or set a scheduled amount to save. Add to your savings regularly and at the end of the year you’ll have enough for gifts!
- Capital One 360: We have several accounts with Capital One 360 where we setup goal based accounts. One account for taxes, one account for Christmas gifts, and one for the new patio we’re planning on building.
So get a savings account that allows you to automate saving money, create a savings goal, and setup your accounts to save automatically.
Then at the end of the year you’ll be ready to buy your gifts, with cash in hand!
Ways To Save On Christmas Gifts
There are things you can do to cut back on how much you spend on gifts. Be more frugal with your Christmas gifts!
- Shop at a bricks and mortar store: The American Research Group, Inc, found that people who shop online for Christmas gifts end up spending on average 9% more than those who shop at brick and mortar stores. So do your shopping at the stores, and be willing to shop around for the best price!
- Shop earlier in the year: They also found that people who start their shopping earlier in the year, even as late as November, tend to spend quite a bit less than those who shop in December. Do one better, wait until after Christmas this year, and buy a bunch of gifts when they’re on clearance. Then save them and gift them the following year!
- Stack your discounts: Don’t forget to save money when shopping by using cash back sites (Rakuten, Swagbucks), coupons and coupon codes (Honey Extension), and shopping when things are on sale or at the best price. Stack the discounts you get through all those things to save the most!
Don’t think the spirit of Christmas is about “stuff.” You can have a giving spirit without having a negative checking account. Don’t forget the reason for the season. – Dave Ramsey
With all that said, there are a lot of frugal gifts that you can put together that will be a big hit. You don’t have to spend a ton to give a great gift!
Frugal DIY Christmas Gifts
At our house, we like to give gifts that help to create a shared experience, that help to strengthen a relationship, or that acknowledges a person’s personal tastes. I’ll list a few of the types of gifts we like to give, that don’t cost an arm and a leg.
Christmas Gift Packs & Themed Baskets
We love to give this type of gift because you don’t have to necessarily buy a big ticket item, but you can bundle several smaller ticket items into a nice package that someone will still really enjoy.
- Put together themed gift baskets with inexpensive items: One year I gave a movie night gift basket with a recent movie, some movie candy, popcorn and a popcorn bucket. Relatively inexpensive and fun!
- Book and movie packs: Buy someone a movie, and the book the movie is based on!
- Home baked goods: Homemade bread, pastries, cookies and more are almost always appreciated.
- Outdoorsman gift pack: Put together a gift pack with a Leatherman Micra, a pair of choppers, and an aluminum water bottle (or your choice of other outdoor gear)
- Craft Kit: Put together a crafting kit with things like markers, glitter, scissors, clay, crayons, glue, paper, etc.
Personalized Christmas Gifts
Personalized gifts are great because they are personal, they show that you’ve been thinking of that person individually. They can be personalized either with the person’s name or initials, personalized by giving a nod to something that person likes, or by giving a nod to memories that are shared with that person.
- A memory jar: One year someone in the family asked everyone to write their favorite memory with a person, and then put them all on slips of paper in a jar. When the person wanted to they could pull out the jar and read a treasured memory.
- Hand make something: One year my wife made blankets for people, choosing the fabric based on a favored sports team or interest. Relatively inexpensive, but people loved them!
- Decorated handprint plate: one year my son and I made a decorated handprint plate for my wife. She loved it, and it provided a memory she cherishes.
- Personalized calendar with you and the gift recipient: Take a bunch of photos of you and the gift recipient together, and create a personal calendar.
- A memory photo book: Pull together photos of the gift recipient over the years on big trips, family gatherings, and more – and then print a photo book from Shutterfly or another service.
- All of my favorite things gift: Buy a person’s favorite things and package them together. Favorite candy, favorite food, favorite artist’s CD, etc.
Christmas Gifts To Create Community
We love to give gifts that will help to create a sense of community in the family, or that will give us things to do together.
- Board games: buy a board game, a gift that gets the family together and keeps on giving all year long! Even better, if you can find some board games at garage sales or on ebay, create a themed game night gift basket (see above)!
- Tickets to an event for you both: Buy tickets to a play or other local event. My grandfather used to take the grandchildren to see the Nutcracker Suite every year!
- Books to read at bedtime: Give a set of books to read at bedtime – creating time to spend with your child.
- An annual “letter to you” book: My wife and her godmother do this every year where one of them originally gave a gift of a leatherbound journal, and they then take turns writing a letter to the other person talking about what’s going on in their lives. They’ve been doing it for years.
DIY Christmas Gifts
When it comes to gifts that you make yourself, finding ideas is as simple as heading on over to Pinterest. Pinterest has a myriad of different things that you can make that people would love to get, just do a search for “DIY Christmas gift” or something similar.
Here are some Christmas gifts you can make yourself that anyone would love to get.
- Write a monthly letter to a friend: In this day and age of instant communication, take the time to write a friend a monthly letter – giving them the first one at Christmas. Be as creative as you want – but make it fun for the giftee!
- Make some baked goods: Are you known for your amazing chocolate chip cookies? Bake some and give them as gifts at Christmas!
- Create a DIY cookbook of family recipes: If your family is known for cooking, put together a nice family recipe book. There are a bunch of sites that can create a nice spiral bound cookbook for low cost.
- DIY weekly family menu board: Make a family menu board a frame with a glass front, patterned scrapbook paper, dry erase markers and a sharpie.
- Bath bombs: Make bath bombs, like these DIY peppermint bath bombs made using baking soda, citric acid, essential oil, carrier oil, and a silicone mold.
- Make a custom DIY key hook: Make a customized key hook to hang by the door.
- Make ceramic photo coasters: These ceramic photo coasters can be made relatively inexpensively using 4×4 white tiles from lowe’s, some 3.5×5 photos and some clear acrylic spray.
- Glowing photo luminaries: Get a glass jar, vase or other glass container from the dollar store. Print some of your favorite photos on velum, and make a photo luminary. Very cool.
- Custom gold design coffee mug: Buy a cheap plain white ceramic coffee mug at the dollar store, spray a design or letters in gold paint and clear sealer for ceramic, and you’ve got a cool custom gold coffee mug!
- Reindeer beer: Get a 6 pack of your family member’s favorite beer or soft drink, and then add a red nose, googly eyes and antlers made from brown pipe cleaners. I’d love this in a Guinness reindeer please!
- DIY coffee mug holder: With a few wood scraps and a few brass hooks you can create a cool coffee mug tree.
- Framed picture – with family or the giftee: Buy a nice looking frame at a thrift store, and have a photo printed to insert into it.
Frugal DIY Christmas Decorations
If you’re like the Griswolds in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation you could find yourself spending hundreds on Christmas lights and other decorations. You don’t have to spend that much, however, to have a festive holiday. Forgo the expensive store bought decorations, and have some fun making your own with stuff you have around the house!
Here are links to a few DIY Christmas decorations that you can make yourself to save a little bit of money on decorating!
- Hand and footprint reindeer Christmas craft: This cute reindeer wall hanger made by the kids will be sure to bring up fond memories for years to come.
- Dollar store Christmas trees: Make cute Christmas tree decorations for under $5 using things you can find at the dollar store. Examples include spoon Christmas trees, ornament trees, garland trees and peppermint candy trees!
- DIY letter wreaths: Use fresh rosemary, wire hangers, pliers, wire cutters and floral wire to create cool looking Christmas letters to hang on your wall. Create whatever word you want!
- Iced branches: Create whimsical iced branches using tree branches, tacky glue, colorfill diamond vase filler. They look very cool!
- Tin can snowman: Use 3 empty tin cans (of varying sizes), some paint, buttons, a hot glue gun and twigs to create these cute snowman decorations.
- Glass jar centerpiece: Take a large glass bowl or jar and add some pine cones, holiday themed ornaments, leaves and berries, ribbons and other embellishments. The result is a beautiful Holiday themed centerpiece!
Have your own ideas for frugal DIY Christmas decorations? Tell us about it in the comments!
Frugal Christmas Activities
Christmas doesn’t have to be all about the gifts or decorations. Really the most important thing at Christmas is to be spending time with our loved ones, enjoying each other’s company and building new memories.
Here are a few frugal Christmas activities your family can do together this holiday season, beyond smiling, to have a little cheap family fun!
- Going sledding: We used to go sledding at a big park near our house. One particularly steep hill was called “Suicide Hill” because it was so dangerous. We had a lot of fun!
- Christmas light viewing: Just about every year my family maps out a route, piles into the car and then drives around our area to see large Christmas light displays. One display near our house is sponsored and has a tent up where families can get free hot chocolate and make a Christmas craft! Use Christmas Light Finder to map your route!
- Building gingerbread houses: At our house we’ve always made the gingerbread houses using graham crackers. It’s a ton of fun! Just try not to eat too much of the frosting and candy decorations!
- Caroling: My family sings and plays instruments, so some years we would walk around a local nursing home to sing for the residents. They really appreciated it, and it was fun!
- Read Christmas stories and drink hot cocoa by the fire: Snuggle up by the fire, grab a Christmas cookie and some cocoa, and lay back for a fun winter tale!
- Make Christmas cookies: We all have fond memories of sneaking off to steal one of Grandma’s Christmas cookies that were cooling on the stove. Make some new memories making cookies with your family.
- Have a Christmas movie watching party: Watch old favorites like White Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Elf or Miracle on 34th Street. Make some white chocolate Christmas popcorn to eat while you watch!
- Make Christmas pizzas!: Make a snowman pizza, a Christmas holiday wreath or a Christmas tree pizza!
- Make a “What do you want for Christmas” video: Ask everyone what they want for Christmas this year, and watch last year’s video of the same question.
- Do an annual Christmas picture – in the same spot – everyone standing in the same position: Take an annual Christmas picture with the family – in the same spot, in the same outfits, or something along those lines. Compare photos over the years.
- Volunteer together at a local charity: Our family likes to volunteer at a charity called Feed My Starving Children where we pack meals for needy kids. It’s a lot of fun, and you’re giving back at the same time!
- Put on a concert, or a play: Get all of the members of the family that want to participate, especially kids, and put on a simple play for Christmas!
- Pack a shoebox for operation christmas child: Set aside some time and supplies in order to pack a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child. Give a child in need a Merry Christmas!
Celebrate Christ’s Birth, And Spend Time With Family This Christmas
Christmas in American culture can quickly become very commercial, with it becoming more about the toys, decorations and gifts, and less about the important things – like faith and family.
While it’s great to celebrate the day, and partake in holiday traditions, don’t let the busyness and consumerism of the season rob your joy in the true meaning of Christmas.
Have your own holiday traditions, frugal gifts or decorations that you care to share? Leave a comment!
If you’re like most of the people in the country, this holiday season, you may have eaten and bought too much despite your best intentions.
The holidays are a time of excess, even if you try hard to avoid it.
Many people find January or February an ideal time to cut back and restore balance in their lives.
One perfect way to do this is to have a no spend month or a spending freeze.
restore balance to my life. One way to do that is to be more mindful of how I spend money and to use what I already have.
If you can’t have a no spend month in January, February is also a great month, plus it’s three days shorter than January.
How do you restore balance after the holidays? Do you have a no spend month or a pantry challenge?
It is strongly recommended (and in some places mandated) that we all stay home as much as possible to avoid unknowingly spreading COVID-19. If you like spending time out and about, whether socializing with friends or enjoying local attractions, being stuck at home can sound really boring…but it doesn’t have to be! Let’s share some ideas on fun things you can do right at home.
What do you do for fun while you’re stuck at home? Are there any resources that have been particularly helpful in finding things for you and your family to do? What free activities would you recommend to others?
Tell us what you’re doing for fun while you’re stuck at home and we’ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!
Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards
We’re doing three giveaways — here’s how you can win:
- Follow us on Twitter
- Tweet about our giveaway for an entry.
- Visit our Facebook page for an entry.
- Follow @janetonthemoney on Twitter.
Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
- Contest ends Monday, March 30th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after March 30th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.
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- You must be 18 and U.S. resident to enter. Void where prohibited.
Just because you’re going out less frequently doesn’t mean you have to let your eye shadow game slip. I mean, you want to glow like a goddess on those Zoom meetings, right? And now you have plenty of time to perfect your look and find new colors to make your eyes pop.
You know your go-to colors, sure, but why not try something fun and new? Here are some excellent eye shadow palettes that offer a wide range of shades and won’t break your budget. (See also: The 5 Best Stay-At-Home Beauty Essentials)
Top 5 Eye Shadow Palettes
Lamora Nude Eye Shadow Palette
The Lamora Eye Shadow Palette in nude is a best-seller for a reason. It was created with high-quality ingredients into a waterproof cream formula. In order to enhance the wearer’s natural beauty, this palette offers 16 rich colors from rose gold to dark brown. The palette comes in a sleek case that’s small enough to take on-the-go.
It includes a message inside that says “Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful,” which is a reminder we all need, and it’s backed by over 9,500 five-star reviews on Amazon.
Currently $15.95 at Amazon.com
UCANBE Twilight and Dusk Eye Shadow Palette
The UCANBE Twilight and Dusk Eye Shadow Palette includes 18 incredible shades — 10 matte, seven shimmer and one metallic glitter colors that will make your eyes catch everyone else’s. All shades are waterproof, easy to blend, safe for sensitive skin, and has not been tested on animals. With the wide range of colors, you can easily take your look from day to night.
This palette is also backed by over 1,500 five-star reviews on Amazon.
Currently $9.98 at Amazon.com
L.A. Girl’s Beauty Brick Eye Shadow Palette
L.A. Girl’s Beauty Brick Eye Shadow Palette is the ideal palette to take on-the-go because of its magnetic case, double-sided applicator, and mirror so you can apply your shadow wherever you are. It has 12 highly pigmented nude shades featuring smooth mattes and dimensional shimmers. You can create a look for every occasion using the double-sided brush to contour, line, and highlight your lids.
It also has over 5,000 five-star reviews on Amazon.
Currently $6.99 at Amazon.com
Beauty Glazed Shimmer Eye Shadow Palette
The Beauty Glazed Shimmer Eye Shadow Palette offers 15 gorgeous colors in a long-lasting formula that you’ll never want to take off. It’s waterproof too, so no need to worry about the weather interfering with your look. From light pinks to bold blues, this palette is bound to make your eyes pop.
And it’s backed by over 2,000 four-star reviews on Amazon.
Currently $9.99 at Amazon.com
SHANY Bold and Bright Eye Shadow Palette
If you want a complete palette to meet all of your makeup needs, the SHANY Bold and Bright Eye Shadow Palette is it. This palette has 120 bold colors to match every item of clothing in your closet, every mood, and every occasion. Each color is highly pigmented and won’t smudge. Whether you’re a beginner in eye makeup or a polished veteran, this palette will be your new favorite makeup item.
It’s backed by outstanding online reviews, including over 1,000 four-star reviews on Amazon.
Currently $17.96 at Amazon.com
And those are our recommendations for the best stay-at-home kitchen essentials. As always, be sure to check Wise Bread’s Buying Calendar to learn when and how to buy just about anything!
Beyond paying for tuition and room and board, buying college textbooks can quickly become one of the most costly aspects of getting a college education.
Required textbooks for courses can often be extremely expensive, and when you pay full price for them, it can add thousands of dollars to your total yearly cost.
This is why reducing the costs of your college textbooks is a great way to save money in college.
In this article here we’ll explore some of the best cheap college textbook rental sites that can help you to save hundreds of dollars this semester. So let’s get started.
Reasons To Rent Textbooks Or Buy Used
Brand new textbooks can be very costly, with some estimating that it can cost an average of $1200 a semester for new books. This is perhaps the most compelling reason to consider renting textbooks or buying used; you can save a lot of money. Even if you use a buyback service at the end of the semester, you can only expect to recoup approximately 25% of the cost.
Another reason to consider renting your textbooks is that renting can be an easy way to get your textbooks before the start of the semester. You can choose the exact book and get a price for the entire rental period rather than walking around all the bookstores in the area to find the best deals.
Finally, renting your textbooks means that you won’t need to relocate an entire library every time you change your dorm room or when you travel home. Of course, you’re likely to accumulate stuff while you’re at college, but do you really have room in your car for boxes and boxes of books that you may not read again.
Things To Consider When You Rent A Textbook
While renting textbooks can be a great way to save some cash, there are a few things that you will need to consider before you make any agreement.
First, you need to think about your style of learning. If you’re the type of student who likes to refer back to textbooks to confirm a theory a few semesters after you took the initial class, you are likely to be better suited to buying your book. Additionally, if you find that information sinks in a little easier if you can highlight passages in your books, then renting might not be for you.
You will also need to consider your long term requirements. While many courses only require a textbook for just one semester, there are some courses that need the same book for multiple semesters. If you’re unsure, it is worth speaking to your professor to determine if it is better to buy or rent.
If you’ve decided that renting is the best option, you will also need to consider the fine print of any purchase. You should check for the shipping fees and any other costs associated with the specific book you’re looking at. Add up the costs of any late fees, damage fees, or any other costs that may be applied, so you have a realistic price of your textbook.
Finally, consider the rental site you’re using. It is a good idea to choose a site that provides some kind of assurance of textbook quality. For example, ideally, the site should provide an option of a replacement if the book is delivered in poor condition or missing some pages.
The Best And Cheapest Textbook Rental Sites
Fortunately, there are some fantastic textbook rental sites that provide affordable options to get your hands on the books you need.
Campus Book Rentals
Campus Book Rentals has been around since 2007, and it was one of the first companies to offer textbook rentals. According to the site, Campus Book Rentals has saved students almost $117 million dollars since it was established.
Campus Book Rentals offers three options; Semester (130 days), a quarter (85 days), or summer (55 days). Each of these rental periods also has a 21-day free return guarantee that provides assurance that if you’re not happy with your book or if you change classes, you’re not stuck paying for a book you can’t use.
After the rental period, Campus Book Rentals will send a prepaid shipping label so you can return your book. There is also a 15 day grace period if you need to keep the book a little longer, or you can pay for an additional 15 or 30-day extension.
Additionally, if you need to re-rent the book for any reason, the company offers a discounted rate. You can also receive excellent customer support via chat or phone.
Chegg is another favorite site for cheap college textbook rentals. This offers free access to e-versions of preferred books for seven days and discounts of up to 90%. If your total book rental is over $50, you can enjoy free shipping before the end of September, but this offer may be subject to change.
If you decide that you would like to keep the book, there is also an option to purchase the rental. You can return your books in any box using the prepaid shipping label.
One thing that Chegg discourages is excessive highlighting or writing on the books. This may attract a fee, or you may be obligated to purchase the book.
What makes Chegg books stand apart is that there is a dedicated study tab with answers to problems posed and access to an online tutor. This is a great resource if you need a little extra help grasping a subject that has not been comprehensively covered in your class.
Just be sure to keep a close watch of your statements, as some reviewers have been charged multiple items for returned items, so you’ll need to quickly report any such issues.
BiggerBooks is a premier online texbook store where you can buy highly discounted books and textbooks. They advertise savings of up to 91% over list prices using their proprietary technology that searches the web for the lowest prices, and keeps theirs current.
Buy or rent textbooks, e-textbooks, or sell your textbooks when the semester is over.
They offer free shipping on orders of $59 or more, which in most instances shouldn’t be too hard.
Vital Source Textbooks
Vital Source Textbooks is a little different, offering instant access to digital textbooks and a broad suite of study tools.
You can download your preferred titles and then study with complete offline access. You can use any device to read your textbooks and sync it across all of your devices, color coding any annotations, and making notes.
Another great feature is that you can listen and follow along with the read-aloud function and use the Flashcards and Review mode for your study sessions.
AbeBooks has been an online seller of new and used textbooks, fine art, collectibles and more, since 1996. They have a long track record of helping people to find the books they need, at an affordable price. They were acquired by Amazon.com, Inc in 2008.
AbeBooks has subsidiary sites in the UK, Germany, Italy, France, Spain and elsewhere.
They also own the book price comparison site BookFinder.com.
Textbook Rush claims its prices are as much as 90% off the retail price and there is free shipping on all orders over $35. Textbook Rush also offers a 30-day moneyback guarantee, which is over a week longer than most textbook rental sites.
Textbook Rush tends to send orders out in green reusable boxes, and they recommend using this box to return your books when you’re finished. The company also pays for return shipping, further minimizing your costs.
BetterWorldBooks was started in South Bend, Indiana by two college friends at Notre Dame university. They saw a need for more affordable textbooks at their university, and wanted to have the company also be used by generating revenue to fund literacy projects. They set about finding a way to make that happen.
To date the company has raised over $28 million dollars for literacy projects and libraries, while donating over 26 million books. Over 320 million books have been reused or recycled by BetterWorldBooks.
Textbook prices on the site are pretty affordable, they claim that you can get the textbooks at up to 90% off of list price.
You can also take advantage of their free rewards program and earn rewards, receive coupons and get exclusive savings off of your textbooks.
In addition to savings of as much as 85 percent, Knetbooks also offers free shipping for orders and returns. The site is a little difficult to navigate, but there is a helpline from 9 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday.
Although the prices tend to be a little higher compared to some of the other sites on our list, you can tailor your rental for 60 to 130 days. There is also the option to purchase your book if you decide you would like to keep it after the rental period.
While the higher prices are a drawback, many users report that deliveries are always timely, and the company makes the process easy, convenient, and fast from start to finish.
The eCampus slogan is “Easy, Fast, Cheap!“, making it ideal for our list. The company offers free shipping both ways on any textbook order over $35, and there is an eWards reward system that provides loyal customers with a dollar credit for every three points earned. Even if you don’t meet the minimum for free shipping, you’ll pay just $3 a shipment with $0.99 per item.
eCampus also provides greater flexibility for rental durations. You can choose short term, quarter, or semester. It also allows you to sort the book condition from worst to best with an option to pay via PayPal.
What makes eCampus stand apart is that there is international shipping, and the company also has promo codes periodically to save even more.
RedShelf is one of the leading edtech companies, helping colleges and publishers transition from traditional print to more affordable digital textbooks.
Buying e-textbooks can help you to save up to 80% off of the cost of traditional print textbooks.
Their digital titles also have additional features like the ability to take notes alongside the text, being able to define unfamiliar words while reading, creating flash cards as you read, building study guides, having the text read aloud and more.
If you’re looking for a place to get your textbooks that is forward looking using the latest technology, RedShelf may be a good option to check out.
Amazon Textbook Rentals
Obviously, Amazon is a massive name in retail, but it also offers a great textbook rental service. Amazon Textbook Rentals has a promise to save students up to 90 percent on textbooks and access to a 30-day refund and return option if the book is not satisfactory. Additionally, Amazon Student users can enjoy free shipping.
There is also an eTextbook feature providing access to a vast repository of electronic books for rent, but you will need to have the free Kindle app installed on your device. The service is equipped with School Lists to help you to find your recommended books. You’ll just need to enter the school name or ZIP code to get the list provided by teachers with access to the service.
There are a few rules for Amazon Textbook Rentals that may seem daunting. For example, you’ll be charged the full price for the book if it is deemed excessively highlighted. There is also no guarantee of access to supplementary materials when you rent your book. Additionally, if the book is not returned by the deadline, you’ll be charged for a 15-day extension fee, and after this time, you’ll be forced to keep the book as you’ll be billed the full price.
Barnes and Noble Textbook Rentals
As one of the original bookselling chains, Barnes and Noble offers a superb selection of textbooks and a great textbook rental service. The company offers some of the most competitive pricing, and its selection is comparable to Amazon. However, you will be charged shipping costs, whether you rent or buy your books.
Barnes and Noble is one of the only college textbook rental sites that provides software to access supplementary materials, which is a great add on for many classes.
Valore Books takes pride in being “the student marketplace” for your college textbook rentals. It is one of the few sites that allows you to track your order or return orders via a box on the homepage.
One of the standout features of Valore Books is that you can compare book prices from different rental providers to find the best possible deal. Although the shipping charge is $3.95 an item, you can also qualify for free rental return shipping and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Although the selection is limited for the newer textbooks, Valore Books does have an excellent selection of older books.
Textbookx is a subsidiary of the Connecticut based online store Akademos, Inc. This company has been in business since 1999 and has a long track record of providing books online at affordable prices. The company has also made a commitment to customer service, and this is reflected in its A+ Better Business Bureau rating.
This company has a significant selection of new and used college textbooks, and there is an option to sell books through its marketplace. The company stocks its own books and has three online partners to further extend the selection. However, the shipping charges and policies vary according to who has the book in stock. If you purchase from Textbookx direct, you can enjoy free shipping if you spend more than $49. Otherwise, the shipping costs are $4.96 an item.
Generally, Textbookx offers lower prices compared to most online resellers for buying books, but the book rental program links to other rental providers.
This is an all-inclusive site that allows you to buy, sell, or rent college textbooks. The textbook rental aspect of the business is simple and easy to use. You just need to search the title or ISBN of the textbook and select the “rent” option. You can also choose a 30, 60, 90, or 150-day rental term.
If you need to keep the book for a little longer, Bookbyte will provide a seven day grace period. Additionally, the company claims that you can save as much as 87% on textbook rental, and the average student saves $112.93 per book by using its services.
Bookbyte also offers free shipping on orders over $49, which may be higher than some of the sites on our list, but it still represents a good deal.
Tips For Finding Your Textbooks Cheap
Textbook rental sites can be a great resource, but there are some things that you need to remember when renting your textbooks.
- Use the ISBN To Make Sure You Have The Right Book: There are often several editions for most textbooks, so you need to make sure that you have access to the latest edition.The best way to do this is to search by the ISBN number of the book rather than just relying on a title search.
- Don’t Expect Access Codes or Supplementary Materials: Textbook rentals are classified as used books, so if there is normally an access code included, or supplementary materials, the chances are the code has already been used, or the extra materials are not included in the rental. If it is important that you have the access code, you may be forced to buy the book instead of renting. If supplementary materials are necessary and the ad doesn’t explicitly say they’re included, make sure to reach out and verify that they’re included.
- Take Good Care Of Your Rented Books: While most textbook rental sites expect and allow highlighting, there is a fine line between acceptable and excessive. Additionally, you need to avoid staining or tearing any pages. Most sites have a clause in the terms and conditions that if the book is returned with excessive wear and tear, you’ll be forced to buy the book.
- Keep In Mind Total Costs: Some sites will have lower prices, but charge a higher cost for shipping, or taxes. Make sure you figure out the total cost before you purchase.
Check Multiple Textbook Rental Sites At Once Using These Aggregators
If you’re searching for all the books in your syllabus, it can still be a time-consuming process. Fortunately, there are some great aggregators to expedite your search. Below are some of the best.
BookScouter is a great resource to buy, sell, or rent textbooks. You can use the main website or use the BookScouter app, which provides a fast and convenient tool. It is easy to get started; you just need to provide your name and email address to register.
CampusBooks allows you to make a complete textbook rental price comparison. You can search dozens of rental sites to seek out the lowest prices, and the Campus Books SuperBot will let you know if it works out cheaper to rent or buy your textbook.
TextbookRentals is another excellent aggregator that allows you to search for all your books, compare prices, and save money on your textbook rental. The platform also has a great blog to provide you with helpful information on college life to help you make the most of your college experience.
CheapestTextbooks is an aggregator that searches “1000’s of college textbooks sellers” to find you the best deal on your textbook rental or purchase. They search online sellers, big bookstores, and hundreds of small online bookstores. They’ll try to find you the lowest possible price, including shipping when possible.
Save Money On Your Education By Renting College Textbooks
Renting your textbooks is a great way to cut the cost of your college experience.
Many of the companies we’ve listed can save you up to 90% on the cost of books, which can add up to thousands of dollars in savings over the course of your university career.
Have your own tips to save money on college textbooks? Tell us what they are in the comments!
In our area, kids began summer break just last week.
My Facebook feed is already filled with pictures of other families’ fun summer vacations.
One family is on a cruise, another is on a beach destination. Another one has her child in gymnastics camp all summer.
If you don’t have a lot of money for extracurriculars and vacations, you may be sad when seeing these posts and feel like you won’t be able to give your kids a good summer vacation, but that’s not true.
There are plenty of ways you can share experiences with your kids this summer that don’t cost a lot of money
free library programs offered during the summer. At our local library, there’s a free activity every Friday ranging from learning about desert animals to watching a play, and more.
A friend of mine gathered information from five local libraries and attended all of the free programs with her kids one summer. They had free activities to enjoy four days a week each week! Beyond the activities – reading books for free from the library is underrated!
Free Or Low-Cost Movies
Many local communities offer free movies in the park at least once a month. Show up at dusk with a blanket, some homemade snacks, and relax and watch the movie in the great outdoors.
Another option is to get discounted summer movie passes for kids. I just purchased a pass for me and my children–$5 per person allows you to see 10 kids’ movies, one each week during the summer.
Many libraries have free museum passes that you can check out. You can then attend the museum completely free.
If your library doesn’t have this, check each museum that you would like to attend. Many offer a free day once a month.
Many churches offer free Bible school during the summer. Because so many parents work, many of these are in the evenings from 6 to 8 each night, but you may still find some that are offered during the day.
My kids are registered for our church’s Vacation Bible School one week in June from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. every day.
Pick one day a week when you and the kids explore. Maybe you go to a park, or a nature center, or a hike.
Bring a sack lunch with you and enjoy the great outdoors for several hours. If you want you can even bring yard games and a small grill and make an evening of it.
Go To The Beach
Does anything else say summer as much as a trip to a lake? Kids can stay all day enjoying the water, building in the sand, and munching on snacks. If you have a lake nearby, try to go at least once a month.
Craft And Experiment Times
Break up the day with fun craft activities or experiments. My girls are into making slime and can do that for at least an hour a day. I just need to keep enough supplies on hand. We also recently made a volcano out of homemade clay; they loved watching it explode and wanted to do it again.
This summer make Pinterest your friend, and you’ll find hundreds of activities to keep your kids engaged and learning (without realizing they are doing something educational!).
Be Creative And Your Summer Will Be Full
Our kids are so busy now that we think we have to have them scheduled 24/7 and attending all of the camps that their friends are going to. We don’t have to.
Some of the best summer memories are made from free activities. At the end of the day, our kids just want our time and to have fun. You’ll be able to satisfy those desires with these activities.
How do you keep the kids engaged and entertained without spending hundreds of dollars during the summer?
It’s easy to judge others by their actions as we judge ourselves by our intentions.
Character development can prove to be a challenging and uphill climb. We want to do well but sometimes find it difficult to do so.
Some days we are living a life of victory and other days we’re too ashamed to look ourselves in the mirror!
There are days when we’re crushing our financial goals and other days when our budget is busted and we’re disgusted. Such is life.
Thankfully we’ve been given the fruit of the spirit.
message that I delivered recently that explains it in greater detail.
Make friends of money but do not love it.
#2 – Joy
Joy is not based on our circumstances or situations – that would be happiness. James encouraged us to count it all joy when we fell into trying situations.
We can choose joy or misery.
It’s impossible to avoid difficult financial situations. Each of us will face a situation that tests our faith and at times our sanity. During those times, count it all joy. I know it’s easier said than done but it can be done.
Let them shout for joy and be glad, who favor my righteous cause; and let them say continually, “Let the Lord be magnified who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant” (Psalm 35:27, NKJV).
It’s okay to win at wealth. According to Psalm 35:27 God takes pleasure in it! I am convinced that we could shout for joy a bit more.
#3 – Peace
Money fights are one of the leading causes of marital friction and ultimately divorce.
I know that things can get nasty when a couple fights about money. Egos are bruised, weaknesses are exposed, dreams are shattered, and hope is deferred.
Peace, as mentioned in the fruit of the spirit, is the absence of or the end of strife. It’s a state of untroubled and undisturbed well being. Doesn’t that sound cozy & comfy?
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful (Colossians 3:15, NIV)
Sounds as though we have a part to play. It’s up to us to allow the peace to rule in our hearts.
Yes, it’s much easier to lash out in anger but that is not peaceful. Our fallen nature wants to cast blame, point fingers, and make sweeping accusations. Those behaviors do not produce peace.
Be thankful. The budget is challenging and sometimes there is more month than money. We all still have reasons to be thankful.
I’ve realized that I am often thinking about things I do not have rather than the countless blessings that I do have. There are billions of people who would gladly trade their problems for mine. When the budget is tough, take some time to truly be thankful for what God has already done.
Allow the peace of God to rule in your heart and family.
#4 – Patience
I totally expected you to skip this one. Few people like to talk about patience. Furthermore, many Christians are superstitious about it. They are convinced that if they mention it, all kinds of crazy things will happen to them. Not true. Yes, we must overcome but God is not a despotic dictator.
Before we go deeper, a definition of patience would be helpful. It’s not having a sunny disposition while waiting at the DMV for half a day. It’s much more than that.
Patience is the quality that does not surrender to circumstances or succumb under trial. A person operating in patience is consistently constant.
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing (James 1:2-4, NKJV).
Bad things, challenging things, and difficult circumstances will find you. You can run but you cannot hide. When these circumstances hit, it’s time to adjust our perspective.
Crying about how life is unfair won’t solve the problem. Actually, it might be prolonged.
When these tests happen count it or consider it joyfully. Why? God is still at work in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure. He has not give up on us. He’s still working on us! (That’s actually good news!)
I know that it’s difficult. I’m in a season of life where it seems that I have the anti-Midas touch. I feel like Andy in The Office when Michael gave him all of the largest accounts as a going away present. “I’m going to lose them all!”.
Yet, when I fall into these trials I know God is working in me. Patience is being developed and God will reward it.
#5 – Kindness
Kindness, regrettably, does not carry the same gravitas as some of the other fruit of the spirit. Perhaps it is misunderstood. Hopefully after today you will have a newfound appreciation of the persimmon of the fruit of the spirit known as kindness.
The fruit of kindness is having the harmlessness of a dove without the wisdom of the serpent. I chalk it up to that feeling you get when you want to be generous but before your brain kicks and talks you out of it. You simply want to be a blessing.
It’s also the mellowing of our character. As we get older we’re often less antagonistic and more apt to give a person the benefit of the doubt. We’re generally kinder after surviving this thing called life.
#6 – Goodness
Goodness is character energized and expressing itself in action. It’s the desire to DO something. Kindness supplies the idea to be a blessing and goodness puts the plan to action.
Earning money is awesome but we all eventually realize that there is more to life than collecting another dollar. Some desire to change their financial, family tree.
Others want to use resources to start a scholarship or feed children or to start a hospital.
Goodness energizes our kindness and makes things happen.
#7 – Faithfulness
Sadly, faithfulness is not the word I would choose when discussing the money habits of most people.
Almost 80% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. Nearly 40% of Americans could not cover a $400 emergency with cash.
However, these same people have luxuries that people just twenty years ago did not enjoy.
The average car payment is now over $550 per month. Car loans are easy to get. I know many twenty + year olds who are driving cars that are new – and they have the payment to prove it. They have little discretionary income as much of it spent before it is earned.
Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful (I Corinthians 4:2, NKJV).
Financial faithfulness is not a mere suggestion. The language Paul uses is quite strong. Faithfulness is required.
# 8 – Gentleness
Gentleness gets a bad rap just like kindness.
In some translations the word meekness is used instead of gentleness. Yep, not much better. However both words are powerful!
We’re told that Moses was meek. Moses marched into Pharaoh’s palace and bossed him around! We read in the Psalms and in the Sermon on the Mount that the meek shall inherit the earth. Not too shabby.
Jesus described Himself as gentle. Gentle doesn’t mean soft. A gentle person is not a pushover.
The one who has fully developed the fruit of gentleness is powerful and is fully aware of the power. Jesus entered Jerusalem on the colt of a donkey – lowly and gentle. He was fully aware of who He was and the power at His disposal. At His disposal, were legions of angels who could have wiped out humanity. He chose the route of gentleness.
There is no need to brag about money or wealth. No need to use wealth as weapon against others.
Exalting ourselves based on financial scorekeeping is bad form and quite tacky. Remain humble. We’re simply managing God’s resources. He is trusting you with it. Run it like He would run it – gently.
For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? – I Corinthians 4:7
#9 – Self Control
I’m a firm believer in living a life free from debt. The Bible never mentions debt in a positive manner. The borrower is slave to the lender.
Living a life free of debt can be challenging because debt is a ubiquitous method of financing a life style we cannot afford. Willingly going into debt (bondage) could be viewed as being discontent with God’s provision.
We feel as though we deserve a European vacation but the cash is not available. The siren song of Visa and MasterCard can be seductive. Before we know it we’re charging coffee and croissants at a bistro in the Latin Quarter of Paris.
Self-control is the fruit of the spirit that requires us to roll up our sleeves. This is the one that takes discipline. Jesus said if we wanted to be His disciple we would need to deny ourselves daily. Easy? Nope. Worth it? Yes.
Gifts of the Spirit are given but the fruit of the spirit must be developed.
If we dig deep we could witness dramatic financial results simply by developing the fruit of the spirit in our lives. These traits are inside each of us.
Let’s ensure they blossom.