Earn $50 when you open an ING Orange Checking Account!

If you’re like me, you’re always looking for easy ways to make some extra money!  Right now, ING is offering a $50 bonus when you open an Electric Orange checking account!  This would be a GREAT way to start off your 2012 Christmas account!

I have been banking with ING for 8 years now.  I have savings accounts for each of my kids there and that is also where we keep our “sinking funds” for things like Christmas, family vacations, and even our escrow payments!  I love the ING Electric Orange checking account because it makes it easy for me to access the money from my sinking funds using my check card!  During the holidays, I transfer the money from our Christmas fund into my ING checking account and use my card to make holiday purchases!

Click here to open up your ING Electric Orange checking account and get your $50 bonus–>ING Electric Orange checking account $50 bonus offer 

Here’s how you can grab your bonus:

  1. Click on ‘Apply Now.’
  2. Open Electric Orange and make a total of 3 Card purchases or Person2Person Payments (or any combo of the two) within 45 days of account opening.
  3. Your $50 bonus will automatically be deposited into your account on day 50.

Here are some of the benefits offered by ING: 

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please refer to my disclosure policy for more information

Savings Saturday: Target run and late night CVS/Walgreens run

Before my son’s swim lessons yesterday, we stopped off at Target and did four separate transactions. My daughter is 5 and learning about money, so she loves using her coupons and money to help “pay” for things.

Here’s what we got: 8 jars of Ragu (used .75/2 Target IP and $1/2 manufacturer’s coupon), 2 bags of Chef Michael’s dog food (used $2.50 IP and $1.50/1 Target IP), Bounty Basic (used .25/1 manufacturer’s coupon), 8 cheese sticks, 1 Bausch&Lomb ReNu contact solution (used $2.50/1 coupon from a box), 2 bags of egg noodles, 1 box of lasagne noodles, and one box of macaroni noodles (used FREE pasta WYB 2 Ragu coupons). Total OOP was $5.16.

(We also bought the Hungry Hungry Hippos game/Pepsi/Doritos and the Cranium Counting Ducks preschool game, but the games aren’t pictured because I put them away for Christmas and the Doritos and Pepsi aren’t pictured because my husband got his hands on them right away!)

I decided to make a late night/early morning CVS and Walgreens run. I’m fortunate to have two CVS stores and two Walgreens stores within about 5-10 minutes of my house that are open 24 hours.

I started out at CVS and bought the 4 Tide, 1 Dawn, and 1 Vaseline lotion. I paid $0 OOP (used a gift card from filling a prescription, a $1.50 Vaseline coupon, 4 $1 Tide coupons, a $1 Dawn coupon, a $5/25 CVS coupon, and $16 in ECBs to pay) and earned a $10 and $6 ECB.

Then, I moved to Walgreens. I honestly do not know how many transactions I did at each store, but I did a total of 23 transactions between the two, spent $5.21 out of pocket (I haven’t shopped at Walgreens in a LONG time and had no RR to start with), saved $130.65 and have $16 in RR left to spend. I will probably do the Herbal Essence deal a few more times this week and I’d like to get more toothbrushes when the RR start printing.

Thrifty Thursday: Teaching young kids to save

Since we started our Dave Ramsey class, we have learned to look at a LOT of things in a different way! One of the things he focused on in one of the classes was commercialism and how the retailers start early in convincing kids that using “plastic” (otherwise known as credit cards) to pay for things is a GOOD thing. He showed examples of various toys that came complete with your very own credit card.

My daughter’s birthday was on Saturday. We joined the Toys ‘R Us birthday club several years ago which means she gets a $3 off any $3 purchase gift card for her birthday along with a phone call from Geoffrey the Giraffe. She was SO excited when she got this and went around waving it saying “Yay! My very own credit card!” We quickly explained to her that credit cards were not a good thing and that when you use a credit card, you are actually borrowing money from someone else and then you have to pay that money back plus extra money to someone else. She caught on pretty quickly but now feels the need to inform anyone who uses a credit card that they are “bad things.”

Another thing that Dave Ramsey focuses on is giving your kids a “commission” for jobs that they do beginning at a very young age. So, we gave our daughter (she just turned 5) a list of jobs that she can do each week and at the end of the week, she gets paid for the jobs she has completed. The benefits of this are that we are teaching her about saving and she’s actually excited about doing chores!

Someone in our class donated these banks for all of the kids.

We explained how the bank works, and our daughter is so excited to split up her “commission” money each week into the various sections.

Today when we were at Target, she was looking at some Crayola sidewalk art stuff that was on sale, and I told her that she would have to see if she had enough money saved at home to buy them if she really wanted them. When we got home, and she took the money out of her bank to count it, she wasn’t so sure she actually wanted to spend the money that she had worked so hard to earn. I love seeing her learn these great lessons about money early on and hope that the last into her teenage years and beyond!

Kids learn not only from the examples that we set for them, but by doing things themselves. I never thought about teaching preschool-aged children about money before I took this class, but even my two year old gets the basic concept and gets excited to deposit money in his bank.

If you’re looking for more ideas and resources for teaching your kids about money, check out these Dave Ramsey resources:

*Why Should We Teach Our Kids about Money?

*Top 3 Kids & Money Q&A

Thrifty Thursday: Earn money when you open a banking account

Right now there are a lot of banks that are looking for your business and they are offering promotions where you can earn money for opening an account. Here are a few that I am aware of, so I thought I would share (if you are aware of other offers, please feel free to share). The offers are in alphabetical order, not order of “preference.” All of these offers are ones that I have tried personally or that I have heard about through a creditable source (the only one I have not personally done is the TCF bank one).

Bank of America – (This offer is valid through 2/27/09) Open a new personal checking account and receive $50. To receive your $50, apply online or go to your nearest banking center. Use offer code AOU261208. Offer does not apply to second or multiple checking accounts and/or existing checking customers. Student checking accounts are not eligible for this offer. Bank of America associates are not eligible for this offer. The minimum deposit required to open a new, personal checking account and receive the $50 offer is $100. The deposit of $50 will be deposited directly into your new account. If they are unable to deposit the money, a check will be issued as a replacement. The money will be issued within 90 days of opening your account. Limit one check per household. To see all of the details of this offer, click here.

Citibank – get up to $225 in gift cards when you open Citibank checking and other qualifying accounts. Get 10,000 Thank You Points, which is redeemable for $100 merchant gift cards when you apply, get approved for, and make $100 in purchases during the first three months. Get 3,500 ThankYou Points, which is redeemable for a $25 merchant gift card when you open a Money Market account. Get 10,000 Thank you Points, which is redeemable for a $100 merchant gift card when you apply, get approved for, and make $100 in purchases within three months using a Citi credit card. You can access the details for this promotion here.

ING Orange Savings Account – Earn $25 when you are referred by a friend and you open an account with at least $250. ING is my favorite place for savings. I opened my first account there almost five years ago. I have opened an account for each of my children when they were born (with the referral bonus, of course!). I love it because you can easily create and link “sub accounts” so if you like to save for things such as vacations, Christmas, or auto registration/maintenance/repairs, (these are just a few of the things that we like to save for) you can have separate accounts but easily access them all from one place. The account is “electronic” so it makes it a little bit more difficult to access your savings, but it also helps to prevent impulse spending. You can link it to your accounts at a regular (“brick and mortar”) bank, and transfer money back and forth. (If you’d like a referral to start your own account, you can e-mail me using the address in the upper left hand corner of the blog.)

ING Electric Orange Checking account – Get a $50 bonus when you open an ING Electric Orange checking account. I’ll admit it. I originally opened this account just for the $50 bonus. I wasn’t sure what the benefit of having a checking account that was mainly “electronic” would be. Once I opened my account, I quickly grew to love it. When you open your account, they will send you an ATM/debit card. In my previous post, I mentioned that if you have an ING savings account, it’s a little bit more difficult to access the money. If you have the Electric Orange Checking account, you can instantly transfer money from an ING savings account to the Electric Orange Checking account and use your ATM/debit card to withdraw it (of course, if your purpose in opening the ING savings account was to make it harder to access your savings and avoid impulse purchases, this kind of defeats the purpose!). I keep our Christmas savings at ING, and I opened my checking account shortly before Christmas. I was able to transfer the money from my Christmas fund to the checking account and use the debit card to pay for all of my Christmas purchases. It still kept the money separate from the money in our regular checking account, but it also kept me from overspending! If you’d like to open your own Electric Orange checking account, here are the details:

1. Visit the ING website here
2. Click ‘Apply Now’
3. Open your Electric Orange
4. Activate your Electric Orange MasterCard® Debit Card
5. Use your Electric Orange Card to make at least 3 signature-based purchases in the first 45 days after your account has been opened
6. Your $50 bonus will be automatically deposited into your Electric Orange 50 days after your account has been opened (I applied my $50 bonus toward my savings!)

Sharebuilder.com – Get a $50 bonus for opening your account and making your first trade. I read about this on Misty’s blog. I had actually received e-mails from Sharebuilder (since I currently have an ING account) previously, but I just didn’t “get” it and was too scared to try it out. I went ahead and took the plunge. If you’re like me and you don’t quite “get” this stuff (Misty had to walk me through it – thanks for the help!), here’s some step by step instructions:

1. Click here to open your account
2. Under the first section, which says “Account Type” you will see a box that says, “Promotion Code.” Enter one of the following promotion codes into the box: (there will be a “default” code there that will give you $25, but you want $50!….don’t forget to change this)
3. Follow the steps for setting up an account
4. When it asks you to select a pricing program, click on “Basic Program.”
5. Go to your account. Click on “Automatic Investing” and then click on “Manage Plan.”
6. I chose “Create your own Automatic Investment Plan.” (There is a tool that will help you set up your investments, but you have to make a minimum investment of $50, which I didn’t want to do). I chose a stock that was less than $1. You do have to initially invest $5 because you have to cover the commission on the trade, which is $4.
7. For investment frequency, choose ‘one time.’
8. Add an account for the withdrawal and you’re done! You will be notified before the trade takes place.
9. You will receive your money 4-6 weeks after your qualifying trade!

TCF Bank – Get $50 in free groceries when you open a new checking account online or at a TCF Bank Location. Once your account is open and funded, you will receive a $50 grocery card (via mail if you open the account online or on the spot if you open it at a bank location). The offer is available only to individuals and small businesses without a TCF checking account in the past 90 days. There is a $25 minimum to open a TCF Totally Free Checking ACcount. Limit one card per customer. Please allow up to 4 weeks for grocery card delivery if you open your account online. You can access the details here. I heard about this deal from one of my NBBC friends (unfortunately, I can’t remember who the original poster of the deal was to give them credit, so if you’re reading, and it was you, feel free to share and thanks so much!)

Tip of the Day Tuesday: Supplementing your budget with gift cards

If you’ve been reading my blog for long, you know that I use gift cards to supplement my $40 weekly grocery budget. All of the gift cards that I use are ones that I have gotten for “free” for doing various offers. As a working mom with two young children, I don’t have a lot of extra time, so all of the things that I do are pretty easy. I thought I’d share them with you today! Many of them have already been posted at some point on the blog, but I thought it would be nice to have them all in one spot.

*Pharmacy prescription transfers: I dedicated an entire post to this here. It’s worth reading if you’ve been wondering how this works. This is one of the easiest ways that I get gift cards and they are usually $25-30 gift cards. In the Walgreens ad on Sunday, they had a coupon for a $25 gift card with any transferred prescription which is valid until April. There is also a printable version here. In the CVS ad, they had a coupon for a $25 gift card with any transferred prescription which is valid until mid-February. If you have Safeway/Randalls, there is a coupon in the ad this week for a $30 gift card with any NEW or transferred prescription that does not expire until March. The “NEW” or transferred coupons are the best ones to have and I always try to hang on to a few extras because you never know when someone is going to get sick and need to have a prescription filled!

*Lila Guide: I absolutely love this site! If you read my Menu Planning Monday posts, this is where I post most of my crockpot recipes. They have several promotions throughout the year with easy ways to get Target gift cards. You can find all the details about their latest promotion here (hurry because it ends on 1/31).

*Swagbucks: This is becoming my new favorite way to earn gift cards. At some point throughout the day I have a reason to search for something online. Before discovering Swagbucks, I always used Google search, but Swagbucks makes it easy to earn gift cards while doing something I would be doing anyway – searching online! I just cashed out for a $20 Target gift card this week and I plan to cash out for a $25 Amazon gift card soon. If you haven’t joined Swagbucks yet, and you want to know how it works, you can read about it here. For a limited time, get a bonus Swagbuck using the bonus code BeMine (it is case sensitive).

*MyPoints: You will get a few e-mails from this site each week (I usually get 15-20) and in most of the e-mail, there is a link for you to click to “get points” just for reading the e-mail. You can also earn points by shopping through the links on their site, printing coupons from their site, and using the search engine on their site. It is very easy to do and I usually earn a $25 gift card every 2-3 months. If you’d like a referral, you can e-mail me (upper left hand corner of the blog) and I’ll be happy to send you one!

*Epoll: This is a survey site where you earn points for completing surveys. The surveys are usually quick and easy and most of the time are about TV shows. You can cash out your points for a variety of gift cards (Amazon, Best Buy, Target, Starbucks, etc.).

*Credit card rewards programs: I cannot stress enough that you should ONLY do this if you can pay off your card IN FULL every month. If you know that you do not have the discipline to do this, please skip this part because it is not worth it and you will just end up in more debt and more trouble! We have three different rewards cards that we use each month. We have a Discover Open Road card that we use for all of our gas purchases each month. My husband also has reimburseable business expenses each month, and we put all of those on that card. I love this card because there is a cash back or gift card option. When you choose the gift card option, you can usually get a “bonus” reward (for example, a $25 gift card for cashing out $20 in rewards or a $45-50 gift card for cashing out $40 in rewards). We pay for recurring monthly expenses (cable, security system, phone, etc.) on a Citibank cash rewards card (so we don’t earn gift cards, but we do get cash back). All other monthly expenses go on a Gymboree Visa card, and I earn gift cards which I use to pay for clothing for my kids. There are many different credit card rewards programs, and if you are interested in doing this (and again CAN PAY OFF YOUR CARD IN FULL EVERY MONTH), this website will help you to make an informed decision about which card would work best for you.