More Savings Monday: Get $50 for Opening an ING Electric Orange account

I have been a fan of ING for years. Shortly before my oldest daughter was born, they were offering a $50 bonus if you created an account. It sounded like a great way to start a savings account for a new baby. Both of my kids now have savings accounts there and it’s where I keep all of our “sinking funds” (escrow, vacation, auto repairs, clothing budget, Christmas fund, etc.).

I love it because the interest rate is usually higher than regular banks. If you’re not familiar with ING, it’s basically an online bank. You link your accounts to your checking account at an actual bank so that you can transfer money back and forth.

They started offering checking accounts about a year ago. They are now offering a $50 bonus if you open an “Electric Orange” checking account, activate the ATM/debit/Mastercard associated with the account, and make 3 purchases using the card in the first 45 days. This is great news for me because I keep our Christmas fund there anyway. So, I transferred our Christmas fund money to the checking account and I can now use the debit card to pay for my purchases! Then, I’ll get $50 to start out my Christmas fund for next year 🙂 I will not be using this as our primary checking account, but the debit Mastercard will make it easy to access money from various accounts when I need to pay for things.

To get the details on this promotion, click here:

Here’s the breakdown:

  1. Click ‘Apply Now’
  2. Open your Electric Orange
  3. Activate your Electric Orange MasterCard® Debit Card
  4. Use your Electric Orange Card to make at least 3 signature-based purchases in the first 45 days after your account has been opened
  5. Your $50 bonus will be automatically deposited into your Electric Orange 50 days after your account has been opened

If you’re not familiar with ING and have questions, click here:

If you’re new to ING and want to open a savings account, you can also receive a $25 bonus if you are referred by a current member and open the account with an initial balance of $250 (If you’d like a referral, send me an e-mail and I will send you one….my e-mail address is in the upper left hand corner of the blog).

More Savings Monday: Get extra $ for Christmas

I found this information on Money Saving Mom.

*If you have old electronics, cell phones, computer equipment, etc. sitting around your home, you may be able to turn it into cash or gift cards. Sam’s Club, Costco, and Amazon are all offering trade-in and recycling programs.

Here are the details on the Sam’s Club deal:

Do you want to recycle an old printer? Or trade-in an iPod? We make it easy through our Trade-in and Recycle Program. If you’re a Sam’s Club Member, you can trade in qualified used electronics items. In exchange, we’ll give you a Sam’s Club gift card for the value of your item. If your item doesn’t qualify, we’ll help you recycle it.

Follow these simple steps:

Sign-in to You must be a registered Member of to use this program. –>
1. Visit
2. Enter details about the electronic item you want to trade-in.
3. Find out whether your item qualifies as a trade-in.
4. If your item qualifies, ecoNEW, a company we’re partnering with, will tell you the trade-in value.
5. Learn how to recycle items without trade-in values.
6. Follow packaging instructions for your trade-in or recyclable item.
7. Receive a Sam’s Club gift card in the mail for items with trade-in values.

Here’s the link if you’d like more information about the trade/recycle program at Costco:

At, you can recycle old phones or iPods for Amazon gift cards here:

Get a $10 Holiday bonus from Coinstar when you exchange $40 in change for a $40 gift card (participating retailers include:, Starbucks, Circuit City, JC Penney, i Tunes, Borders, Old Navy, Pier 1, AMC, Lowes, and more). Details and participating locations can be found here:

Get cash for books you have sitting around your home at Details are below:

Freebie Friday: photo book, Christmas ornament, and more!

Free photo book at

There is a $30 off code for and prices start at $29.99 (so free!). Create your photo book and then enter code MYBOOK at checkout. You do have to pay shipping.

The code expires on 11/3.

Free Christmas Ornament:

More Bath and Body Works freebies:

Signature collection body lotion:

Bath & Body Works True Blue Spa or Aromatherapy item:

Thrifty Thursday: How to Save for Christmas all Year

Some people put away a certain amount of money each month into “sinking accounts” for things like vacations and Christmas. If you’re doing this, I think that’s great! If you’re like me, though, you don’t have a lot of money (if any at all) left at the end of the month, so you might have the best of intentions, but when all is said and done, sometimes it just doesn’t work out. Of course, waiting until December isn’t a great plan, either.

For the past two years, I have started saving money for Christmas in January and by October, I usually have a well funded Christmas account. I do this without taking any money from my monthly budget and I love it because as I find deals throughout the year, I can buy things and put them away without ruining my budget for the month. I am also usually able to finish the bulk of my Christmas shopping by Thanksgiving (I hate dealing with all of the crowds to go Christmas shopping)

I know it’s too late for this year, but here are some things I do to save money all year long. Hopefully you’ll get some ideas for next year! None of these activities take very much time. If you have questions, please feel free to post a comment!

*ING Direct – I have an ING Direct account where I keep our Christmas fund. It’s an online account, which means I don’t have quick, easy access, so I am not tempted to just take money out. The interest rate tends to be higher than it is for savings accounts at a regular bank, and I also got $50 for opening the account 🙂

*Surveys – I know that there are a lot of survey companies out there, and some are more reputable than others. You won’t make a ton of money doing this, but it is quick and easy and brings in a little bit of extra money. These are the three that I like the most and have been with for several years now:

MySurvey.comYou earn points for completing surveys and testing various products. The points can be exchanged for prizes or cash. I usually let my points accumulate throughout the year and then cash out around this time of year. If you aren’t a member yet and are interested in joining, you can click on the link at the bottom of the page.

Epoll.comThese are quick, easy surveys that are usually about TV shows. You earn points for completing the surveys which can be exchanged for gift cards. I usually let my points accumulate all year and then I cash them out at this time of the year to use for Christmas shopping.

Pinecone ResearchThey pay a flat rate of $3 per survey (it used to be $5) or product test. They are my favorite survey company, but unfortunately you can only get “in” with them if you can find a live referral banner or periodically throughout the year when they have openings and people who are already members can refer you. – This is not a “survey” site, but I thought I’d include it in this section anyway. They send you a few e-mails a week with various offers. You earn five points just for clicking on the e-mails. If you take advantage of the offer, you can earn additional points. You can also shop through the links on their site and earn additional points. recently partnered with them and so you earn points on the site for completing reports or surveys on BzzAgent. You also earn points for printing coupons from! 🙂

*Associated Content – Associated Content pays for articles that are at least 400 words in length. Sometimes they issue calls for specific content that you can respond to and you can also submit articles on topics that are interesting to you. They typically pay more if you respond to a call for content. I typically receive $5-9 per article. They also pay you a monthly bonus based on page views. Payment is through Paypal and it is usually sent within a day or two of you being published. Click on the link on the sidebar if you are interested in joining.

*Garage sales/Ebay – Our neighborhood has a community garage sale about every six months (once in the spring and once in the fall). We take our profits from this and put half toward our Christmas fund and half toward our emergency fund. I also go through and sell things on Ebay throughout the year. In January and in June, we do a big clean out and list a bunch of things that we want to get rid of. It’s nice to get rid of junk that’s just been laying around our house and it’s even better when we get paid to do it!

*Rebates – In the past, I thought mail in rebates were mainly for big ticket items that you buy at electronics stores, but actually there are rebates for many household products, and if you have perfected CVSing, you get these items for free and then get a rebate on top of it. I have gotten more than $500 already in the past year just from doing rebates.