Target is one of my favorite places to shop. The addition of Target Circle makes it that much better! I am so excited to tell you all about it!
How it Works
Target Circle is built straight into the Target App and is completely free. Download the Target App on your phone and register. Search for what you plan on buying through the search bar at the top and add the Target Circle offer if one is available. If you just feel like browsing offers, click on “Shop” and then “Target Circle Offers” to browse the offers and add any offers to your list.
If you don’t feel like making a list ahead of time, open the app and click on the barcode in the search bar while you’re out shopping. You can scan the barcodes of each item while you pick it up to see if a Target Circle offer is available. It will automatically add any offers it finds to your list! It’s so exciting when you’re out shopping for your daily essentials and you see an offer pop up!
At checkout, click on the wallet in the Target App and have the cashier scan the barcode. All of your Target Circle offers will automatically be deducted from your total before paying at checkout.
To save even more money, sign up for the Target Red Card, debit or credit, to save another 5% on any purchase that you use your Target Red Card. (Read Understanding your Credit Score and 5 Credit Card Myths before deciding whether you want the Debit or Credit Card.) I personally opted for the debit card, because I didn’t need or want another credit card at the time.
You can also add other Target coupons and target gift cards into the wallet. No need to keep up with the plastic cards that I am constantly losing.
Wait. But What Happened to Cartwheel?
Right, Target used to have an app called Target Cartwheel. It worked similarly to Target Circle, in that you could add offers and scan the barcode at checkout to save. You could add friends and see how much your friends were saving along with you! Target was striving to add a social media type aspect to its offerings. However, the app evolved a lot over the years. Eventually, the social part was completely removed and the separate app was incorporated into the Target App. Now Cartwheel is being incorporated into Target Circle, but there are a few differences.
How Target Circle is Better Than Cartwheel
A major complaint about Cartwheel was that the discounts were essentially in-store only. Every once in awhile a cartwheel offer was available on the online store, but it was incredibly rare. It also meant that you couldn’t use Cartwheel offers if you wanted to order online and do in-store pickup or Target Drive Up (the curbside service). Now though, Target Circle makes all of that possible. You can shop in the app, add cartwheel offers, pay with gift cards and your Target Card, save a ton of money and have the items delivered to your door, pickup in-store, or use Target Drive Up to have the items brought and loaded in your car.
If you’re not using your Target Red Card, you’ll still get 1% back in Circle Rewards to use later when you scan the barcode. You can redeem those on your next trip when you add the rewards in your wallet in the Target App and scan the barcode at checkout.
Target is now doing an amazing thing by supporting local nonprofits through Target Circle. When you use Target Circle, you earn “votes.” With those votes, you can vote for who Target will support next in your local area. Voting periods are usually a few months and there are usually about 4-5 local nonprofits to choose from. Target includes the company’s logo and a brief bio of each to help you decide. You don’t have to use all of your votes on one nonprofit, you can vote for more than one, diving your votes however you like between the nonprofit if you would like.
If you don’t have Amazon Prime, you need to join. Get a FREE 30-day trial here. Not only do you get free 2-day shipping, and in some cases, free same day or one-day shipping, but you also get these 5 really cool perks INCLUDED for FREE in your membership. Read on to see how it saves you money.
With Prime Video you get access to all kinds of shows that aren’t available on Netflix, like HBO, PBS, and History Channel shows. You also get access to all kinds of Amazon Prime Original shows, like Man in the High Castle, Red Oaks, The Marvelous Ms. Maisal, Bosch, and more! You can’t get these shows anywhere else. Also, if you have kids, Prime Video also has an impressive selection of original kids shows and your kid’s favorite PBS shows!
How it saves you money: CUT THE CORD! The number of shows and movies available to binge watch will keep you so busy that you won’t miss live TV.
Prime Music is just like Spotify or Pandora but is FREE with your Prime membership and there are NO ADS! You can listen on your phone through the Amazon Music app or on your computer at music.amazon.com.
How it saves you money: Get rid of Spotify or Pandora Premium! You don’t need those when you have Prime Music for FREE!
With Amazon Drive you get 5GB of free cloud storage. Cloud storage is a great way to backup important documents because you have access to them anywhere that you can access your Amazon account and they are not saved on your device but instead are backed up on the Amazon servers. You never have to worry about losing documents when a device breaks, melts down, stops working, or is stolen. Saving on cloud servers also tends to be more secure than saving on a device.
If you’re one of those people that likes to save on USB drives, this is a great alternative. You never have to worry about losing them. I ALWAYS lose my USBs.
How it saves you money: Stop paying $10 per month for iCloud Storage or additional Google Drive Space.
Are you tired of your phone and tablet being out of storage? It’s the worst! Thankfully with Prime Photos, you can store all of your pics! Get them off of your phone and tablets! Storage is UNLIMITED with Amazon Prime.
How it saves you money: Stop paying $10 per month for iCloud Storage.
Prime Reading is completely free with your prime subscription. Prime Reading is like a library for Prime customers. Just look for Prime Reading in the Kindle store. You’ll find tons of popular titles like Harry Potter and Handmaid’s Tale.
How it saves you money: This is a great alternative to Kindle Unlimited. It doesn’t have as many titles available as Kindle Unlimited but has plenty available for the casual reader.
Estimated Savings: $10 per month
$10 per month in shipping
$103 per month in cable
$10 per month for Spotify or Pandora Premium
$10 per month in document Storage
$10 per month in photo storage
$10 per month for Kindle Unlimited
= $153 per month SAVED
$153 per month x 12 months = $1836 in savings for the year!!
If you were offered a raise of $1836 at work, you would take it in a heartbeat. SO SIGN UP NOW!
Spring is the time of year that I start to clean out all of the things in my home that no longer make me happy, in order to make room for the wonderful new things that will come into my life! It also provides an opportunity to make some extra cash for my used items. I have a secret ultimate list of places that I sell, trade in, and swap my items. Today I’m sharing that list with you. It’s a good one so be sure to save it!
Best Places to Sell
1. Kid to Kid
Kid to Kid is a second-hand store for all things kids! They ACTUALLY PAY for used kids clothes and toys! I’ve taken kids clothes and toys to Kid to Kid for my busy friends with kids and have received a ton of money back. Enough to say that it’s definitely worth a quick trip on a Saturday with a tub or two of clothes and toys.
Brilliantly Frugal Tip: Get a nice friend to do it for you if you don’t have time. Offer to take the kids on a playdate for them and ask them to stop by while they are running other errands.
Poshmark is a great app that lets you sell brand name clothes like Forever 21, H&M, Victoria’s Secret, Calvin Klein, Vera Bradley, Target brands, and so many more! People go here purposefully looking for specific brand names for cheap. Poshmark handles charging for shipping, sending you a shipping label, and provides many helpful articles for being successful in your sales.
Brilliantly Frugal Tip: Be sure to use code DANIELAMCL when you sign up for an instant $5 bonus!
3. OfferUp, 5Miles, Facebook Market Place, etc.
Offerup, 5Miles, and Facebook marketplace are meant to sell items locally. These apps are great for selling furniture, home goods, and electronics (ESPECIALLY Phones). I’ve made hundreds of dollars selling items online this way.
You can find Offerup and 5Miles in the app store.
GameStop is a good option to sell video games, consoles, and accessories, especially if you have a membership. However, you will definitely get back more if you sell these items yourself. Be sure to double check their offer(s).
5. Half Price Books
Half Price Books is a great place to sell BULK books, magazines, board games, DVDs, video games, or old textbooks that Amazon and the bookstore won’t buy back anymore. You probably want to bring at least a tub or two of items to make it worth it. You can either get CASH or use the cash towards your purchase. I almost always use the cash towards my purchase because I have a book buying problem.
The best offer I’ve ever gotten from them is for two boxes of old textbooks. I got back $76 for those boxes. Amazon and my bookstore where no longer buying them back because they were old editions. They were useless to me and just taking up precious space on my bookshelf.
6. Old Fashioned Garage Sale
Garage Sales are my absolute favorite way to sell my used items. I can easily make a few hundred dollars in one weekend instead of selling one item at a time. Here are my tried and true Garage Sale Pro Tips:
Brilliantly Frugal Tip #1: Garage sale season starts in early spring and ends in early fall. Try to schedule your garage sale at popular moving times. Those are typically in June after school is out, and in August, right before dorm move in season.
Brilliantly Frugal Tip#2: Make sure to have some furniture available to get people to stop. Focus on ways to repurpose or spruce up furniture when talking to shoppers!
Brilliantly Frugal Tip #3: Make lots of signs! Make prices clear and low so that you have lots of shoppers. Your goal is to get a HIGH volume of items sold, not necessarily a high price for each item.
Brilliantly Frugal Tip #4: Towards the end of your sale, offer bulk prices. EX: a whole grocery bag of items for $5 or even $1. A whole table of things for $X.
Brilliantly Frugal Tip #5: Provide shopping bags! I keep all of my plastic grocery bags. When it’s time for a garage sale, I take the entire stash with me outside. If you provide shoppers with bags, they are more likely to buy more items at once. I have had shoppers ready to check out, but when I offered them a bag, they took the opportunity to fill a second bag with items they weren’t initially sure about!
Brilliantly Frugal Tip #6: Have organized tables! Keep like items together such as clothes, toys, home decor, auto accessories, etc. It helps shoppers find what they are looking for.
Brilliantly Frugal Tip #7: Hang jewelry on a cork board! It’s easier for shoppers to see the displayed pieces, especially the small ones.
Brilliantly Frugal Tip #8: If you don’t have time to do one yourself, see if you can enlist someone else to run it or give a friend your items to sell at their garage sale.
Brilliantly Frugal Tip #9: When I do garage sales I sell items for my friends all the time. The more items I have out, the more people stop at my garage sale, the more of my own items I will sell. Sometimes my friends will allow me to take some of the profit from their items as a thank you. I’ve also had friends donate whole truckloads of items for me to sell! I’ve made so much money on garage sales.
Brilliantly Frugal Tip #10: Know your city and county rules. Some require that you register your garage sale. If you don’t, you may get fined.
Raise is hands down the best place to sell unwanted gift cards. You won’t get the full amount of the gift card, because Raise sells it to others at a discount, but you can trade it for an Amazon Gift Card or have the money sent straight to your Paypal account!
Brilliantly Frugal Tip: Sign up through my link here and get an instant $5 bonus!
Best Trade-In Programs
1. Amazon Trade-In Program
The Amazon Trade-In program is a great way to sell all kinds of stuff for Amazon gift cards. I used to trade in my textbooks and use the gift cards to buy the textbooks for the next semester. Now I trade in old electronics, books, and so many other things!
2. Best Buy Trade-In and Recycling Programs
If your items are new enough you can trade them in for Best Buy gift cards. If they are too old to sell anywhere, recycle them at any Best Buy store. Check their promotions before going. Sometimes when you recycle your old items, you are eligible for coupons for new items!
3. H&M Recycle
Drop off a bag of old clothes, shoes, and accessories in any condition and get a 15% off coupon on your purchase. They even sometimes do promotions where they give TWO 15% off coupons per bag of clothes. They recycle the clothes to reduce landfill waste and you save money. WIN-WIN! I never go to H&M without a bag of clothes to donate. I ALWAYS get my 15% off.
Target will take old electronics video games, or gift cards from other stores or restaurants and give you a Target gift card in return! If you shop at Target as much as I do, this is a great option for you!
Ways I DO NOT Recommend Selling Used Items:
1. Plato’s Closet
They never buy anything unless it still has tags or is from THIS season, no matter what they say. They only buy a few new trendy pieces and pay nearly nothing for them. Unless you have a whole tub of new clothes with tags that for whatever reason can’t be returned, it is not worth the trip at 30 minutes of them judgingly digging through your clothes only to tell you that they can’t buy anything from you because they’re “out of season”.
2. Amazon or Ebay Stores
Unless you have rare, antique, or vintage items or an established store on these platforms, users are generally not going to these places to buy used items anymore. Try one of the newer apps listed earlier in this post.
Anything you can’t sell, SWAP or DONATE.
1. Throw a swap party with your friends!
Invite 10 friends to bring over used clothes, shoes, accessories, home goods, etc. Ask each friend to bring at least 10-15 items. Set up tables around your house for everyone to showcase their items! Stock up on wine, throw on some music and have everyone over! Tell everyone to be respectful of how many items they take versus how many they brought. Let each friend know that they have the option of taking home the items that no one grabbed, or they can leave the items with you! You can then sell the items yourself via one of the channels above (Free new inventory!) or take the items to Goodwill for them as a thank you for attending your event!
You can take the items to your local Goodwill, clothing donation boxes, women’s shelters, homeless shelters, etc. Don’t dump items needlessly in a landfill.
Zombie Debt is debt that has been dead and gone for a LONG time now. This is debt that hasn’t had any activity for over 7 years. Activity is when you make a payment, you missed a payment, or the balance increased.
Check Your Credit Report
Zombie Debt cannot be added to your credit report or should have already dropped off of your credit report if it was already on there. If you notice debt on your credit report that should have already fallen off, report it to the credit bureaus. Check the Transunion, Experian, & Equifax websites to see how to report old debt.
Read The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Your Credit Report here.
Check Your State Law
In most cases, the statute of limitations has also expired, meaning that the creditor or a collections agency cannot take you to court for it. Check your local laws to learn about the statute of limitations in your state
Don’t Resurrect Zombie Debt
Do NOT pay Zombie Debt if the statute of limitations has expired in your state. If you make a payment or promise to make a payment and miss it, the debt counter goes from 7+ years to 0! This means that now it CAN be added to your credit report and it may start the statute of limitations over as well, which means they may still be able to sue you over the debt. DO NOT let that happen! Do not let a zombie that is dead in its grave come back to life. Never make payments or promise to make payments on Zombie Debt.
Collections Calling You About Zombie Debt?
Collections agencies will often buy Zombie Debt from creditors or other collection agencies for PENNIES on the dollar. They then hope to scare consumers into paying old debts that they, in most cases, no longer are legally obligated to pay.
Here’s what to do If you are getting collections calls about Zombie Debt:
1. Don’t Panic.
You and you alone are in control. Do not let a creditor or collections agency call scare you.
2. Make it stop.
Tell the collections agency to stop calling you and to remove your number from their list. Under the Federal Debt Collections Practices Act, the collection agency must stop calling you when you tell If they call you again, report them to the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau here.
3. Know your dates.
Know when your account went into default so you know if it can still be added to your credit report and if the statute of limitations is up.
4. Know your rights.
It is abusive for a collections agency to threaten legal action or a lawsuit or to threaten to call your work or bosses. If a collections agency threatens to do any of these things, make sure you know the name of the collections agency and report them to the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau here.
5. Don’t Resurrect the Zombie.
NEVER pay or promise to make a payment on zombie debt. This will resurrect debt that is dead. If you resurrect Zombie Debt, it can show back up on your credit report. Let it stay dead and buried.
Don’t let Zombie Debt and collections call get you down. YOU are in control! YOU are Brilliant!
5 Brilliantly Frugal Apps to Save Money While Shopping
I have a confession to make. I am an extreme couponer. Saving the most amount of money possible when shopping is so important because I LOVE SHOPPING. I would love to teach everyone to extreme coupon, but the truth is that most people would love to save money while shopping without being extreme. So consider this the lazy girls guide to saving money while shopping! These 5 apps and chrome extensions are my FAVORITE easy (read lazy) to use to save money on grocery and online shopping. Download them to start saving NOW!
Save money on ALL online shopping! And earn cash back!
This is my all-time favorite chrome extension. I have saved SO MUCH money. Download the extension, set up an account and Honey will AUTOMATICALLY apply coupon codes to your checkouts when you shop online. If it can’t find any coupons, sometimes you earn HONEYGOLD anyway. Honey Gold can be cashed out for gift cards (including Amazon).
The Chrome extension is similar to Honey. It will add coupons to your check out and give you cash back! However, it won’t do it automatically. It’ll pop up prompting you to opt-in for the coupons or cash back when you get on an eligible site, so make sure that your pop up blocker doesn’t block Mypoints.
Download the app for additional points! The app lets you take surveys, watch videos, and click through emails to earn points towards gift cards.
This app lets you save coupons and then redeem them by taking a photo of your grocery receipt. Simply go shopping, as usual, check the app, save coupons, snap a pic of your receipt, and see the savings added to your account! You can cash out for gift cards once you have $20 in your ibotta account.
This app sometimes has coupons for online shopping as well! I’ve seen coupons for H&M, Sephora, Bed Bath & Beyond and more!
#4 CHECKOUT 51
Save money on store shopping!
The Checkout 51 app works exactly the same as the ibotta app. Use both to score twice the savings! That’s right! You can claim coupons twice for the same item when you use both Ibotta and Checkout 51 for double the savings! You can request a check from Checkout 51 once you have $20 in your Checkout 51 app.
I love shopping at Target! You know all of those memes about people who go to Target for just one thing and come home with a cartful? Those are me. Those memes were made about me. So I definitely do whatever I can to save money at Target. Que the Target App!
The mobile coupons and Cartwheel deals make saving money at the register SUPER easy! My favorite feature is being able to scan the barcode of an item while I’m in the store to see if a coupon is available! If there is, it automatically gets added to my Target Wallet. At checkout, all you have to do is have the cashier scan the barcode in the Target Wallet and BOOM! INSTANT SAVINGS! How brilliant is that?
For gift giving, my rule is $25 per 3 months of dating. (EX: dating 3 months – $25, dating 6 months $50, dating 2 years $200, etc) You shouldn’t spend more than that because you don’t want to scare them off early with a gift that’s too elaborate. Also, if you end up breaking up (God forbid), you won’t kick yourself for “wasting money”. Here are 5 Brilliantly Frugal gift ideas that won’t break the bank at each stage of the relationship. The best part is that all of them are available on Amazon Prime!
1. Try a Funny Gift!
At the beginning of a relationship, you may not know all of their likes and interests, but you may have an inside joke that you share. Any gift that puts a smile on their face would be a great gift.
If you don’t have amazon prime, you should. It is $99 per year, which is easily made up by the free shipping! I save so much money every year by having Amazon Prime. You can sign up for a FREE 30-day trial here:
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