Thursday Thumbs Up

Thumbs Up Thursday #17

thumbs-up

This week has been a bit of a rough one.  Let’s just say I’m glad the 30th is here tomorrow (pay day), but it is soon going to all be gone once again.  So. Many. Expenses.  But, I’ll work with it…For now, let’s focus on some good stuff – my faves this week (some affiliate and referral links are included):

Swagbucks

I have been a user of Swagbucks for a while now but I often forget how easy it is to earn a substantial amount of bucks just by investing a bit of time each day.  For those unfamiliar, Swagbucks is an online reward system (others exist like MyPoints and InboxDollars) that rewards you for doing searches, making purchases and doing other online activities from their website.  I personally like Swagbucks because I can build up “bucks” pretty quickly (for example, this morning I was able to accumulate over 50 “bucks” in less than 1/2 hour while also checking my email, bank account, etc.  I have traded in most of my bucks for Amazon.com gift cards, which you can get pretty reasonably (450 bucks for a $5 GC usually), which means I can earn a $5 GC each week if I am investing a little bit of time every day.  Not bad.  I think I’m going to try banking my bucks for a month to get a PayPal deposit this time (2500 bucks for a $25 deposit).  We’ll see if I can hold out if I my impatience drives me to the Amazon GC to get a faster payout.  If you haven’t tried Swagbucks, give it a shot – it can’t really hurt.  They have some fun challenges during the year and if you are a gambling sort, they have a lot of “Swagstakes” where you can win substantial prizes.  You can also play online games, etc. for bucks.  If you click on any of the links here, it goes through my referral code and I can get a few bucks for you using it as well!

Lipton Bavarian Wild Berry Tea

Bavarian Wild Berry Tea

I know I’ve already included Lipton Tea (once iced) on my Thursday Thumbs Up in the past, but I have to say that this new Wild Berry Tea combined with some traditional Lipton Tea is my new favorite.  I am also going to try to the Cinnamon Chai during the summer while my hubby is gone (he doesn’t like spicy tea)!  I like this tea because it isn’t really sugary sweet, but it does have a touch of berry flavoring and it smells really good!  It will be a great summer drink and would be even better infused with some real berries…yum!

Upworthy 

My final thumbs up this Thursday goes to the website Upworthy.  I read a lot of stuff on the internet.  A. Lot.  But, I have learned so much from the items posted by Upworthy over the past few months.  The items are usually videos, they are usually quite short and incredibly impactful.  I love that they cover a broad array of topics and although most of the items are educational, they are also personal and meaningful.  I can’t recommend this website enough.  I subscribe so I get an email with a list of what they call “Things that Matter” and they are easy to share on all your favorite social media.  Check it out!

So, that’s it for me today – what about you?  What’s your thumbs up going to this Thursday?

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Management Monday – Focus on Seven Edition

Focus on Seven Button Design
My new button for my Focus on Seven Project!

There it is – my button for the Focus on Seven in 2014 project.  I’m very excited about the project and the button!  🙂

I am excited about it being New Year‘s Eve tomorrow.  We aren’t doing anything special at all.  My hubby is leaving for nine or ten days early on the first, so we can’t really be out late and I don’t have a sitter, so we will be at home with the four year old.  I’m not really big on going out for New Year’s anyways, although I always love all the cute ideas on Pinterest for parties.  When I was younger I always got to invite a couple of friends for a sleep over and we would watch the TV countdowns and go outside and beat pans and make noise at Midnight.  It will be a few years before my daughter is ready for that, but I have fond memories of those times.  I think my friends’ parents were always excited to have their kids go somewhere else so they could go to parties, but my parents just liked staying at home and didn’t mind three screaming, laughing little girls around.  I guess maybe we’ll be those parents.  Anyways, I’m excited because the next day will be 2014 – a fresh start with my Focus on Seven campaign.

I have already started working on my Focus on Seven.  I found this post about using Google Calendar to make sure you are prioritizing your days and weeks accordingly and I’ve color coded all my Focus on Seven items in my Google Calendar.  I figure I will be able to look at the colors on my calendar and see whether I’m hitting on all Seven in a week or not.  I think it will be really helpful.  I have also gone through my Excel spreadsheet of income and expenses – it isn’t pretty.  We are not even close to breaking even right now.  That is temporary as one of the bills I’m paying off will be done after February and once that is done, we’ll be a bit ahead, but I do need to make the next two months work.  I also have a few other things I need to catch up on in the coming months.  So, I’m trying to find ways of saving and ways of making money.  I have decided to go back to couponing.  I was once doing well with it but fell off the cart and I think it is time I get back on it.  I have also decided to do a little more work on Swagbucks and MyPoints to try to get those gift cards coming.  Every little bit helps.  So, I am already making progress on the project despite it not yet being 2014!

I am also going to do a Pantry Challenge with Good Cheap Eats (she starts one on January 1) to try to really save money on groceries this month.  With my hubby being gone the first ten days of the month, it should be easier (he doesn’t so much like the leftovers or the creative use of pantry items), but it will be tough towards the end with him home, me back teaching, etc.  But, we’ll give it a shot.

So, that is where I am this eve of New Year’s Eve 2013.  How about you?