Money

Facebook NotificationsMy computer recently started making a new beeping noise. I thought that either my computer was on the verge of self-destructing, or I was going crazy. I had no idea where this noise was coming from until one day I was on Facebook and it happened at the same time a notification window appeared within Facebook at the bottom left-hand corner of my screen.

It turns out that Facebook was trying to drive me crazy with a new feature they have rolled out to some users (eventually all users will have it). They started testing the new Notification Sound in November, and will eventually make it a permanent feature. The only problem is that the default for this new feature is that it’s ON. And if you don’t know about it, you too are getting mysterious beeps!

Here’s how to turn off the Facebook Notification Sound:

1. Go to Settings (the gear symbol in the top right-hand corner) and click on Account Settings

2. Click on Notifications in the left-hand menu

3. Click On Facebook it’s the first item in the list of “How You Get Notifications”

4. Uncheck Play a sound when each new notification is received then click on Save Changes button

Now you can use Facebook without any annoying beeping (hopefully). Please leave a comment if you need more help, or you’ve got a Facebook Tip to share!

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Earn Money from Paid Surveys at Opinion Outpost

by gde-jeep on January 22, 2013 6:29 pm

Opinion OutpostSign-up to take paid surveys at Opinion Outpost. They are the #2 Rated U.S. Survey Company rated by SurveyPolice. The minimum cash payout is $5 for Amazon gift cards. If you try it out, please let me know what you think!

What’s Money 4 Mom about? My goal is to encourage life-long learning, teach new ways for earning money, and inspire my blogging communityThis post contains affiliate links, please visit my Disclosure Policy.

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Get Instant Cash Rebates from Ibotta

by gde-jeep on January 8, 2013 6:46 am

IbottaSign-up for Ibotta to earn cash rebates on products you’re already buying at Target, Walmart, Kroger, and 38 other retailers. Ibotta is so easy to use, just snap a photo of your receipt with a qualifying purchase on it. You’ll receive your cash almost instantly via PayPal. I browse Ibotta during every grocery shopping trip to see which products on my list I can get an instant rebate for.

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Here’s how Ibotta works to pay you cash when you buy participating products:

1. Sign-up for an Ibotta account with your email address or Facebook account. You’ll be asked for your name, email, birth date, zipcode, and gender. Watch for a confirmation email.

2. Download the free Ibotta iTunes or Android App

3. Look for participating products the next time you shop at 41 participating retailers. Usually there are over 50 participating products in my Ibotta App so hopefully there is something for everyone to get a cash rebate on!

4. Click “Earn” under a product you are buying and complete the simple activities (like a poll, fact, trivia, or watch an ad)

5. Scan and submit your receipt and qualifying product UPC using the camera on your mobile (it’s easier to do than it sounds, they give you tips to get a good photo of your receipt). You’ll receive your $5.00 bonus after you submit your first receipt with one qualifying product on it.

6. Get paid within 24 hours (usually much faster than that!) and send your money to your Paypal account (when you’ve got at least $5.00) or Donate to any School ($1.00 minimum, every quarter a check is written directly to the school)

Ibotta

Ibotta has great customer service so if you have a question please visit the Help Center? on the Ibotta App, the Ibotta Facebook Page, or the Ibotta Support Center on their website.

 or share your tips on using Ibotta. I hope this program will be a new and easy way for you to get more cash rebates. If you love it, you should definitely share it with your friends because you’ll be rewarded with a $1.00 cash referral bonus when you invite new users who sign-up. I have my friend Luv 2 Be Frugal to thank for introducing me to Ibotta. This post contains my referral links, please visit my Disclosure Policy.

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Bloggers: Are giveaways worth hosting?

by gde-jeep on September 25, 2012 1:30 pm

GiveawaysAs a blogger hosting a giveaway, you get to award a great prize to one of your readers. Is it worth your time to set-up, promote, and award the prize? I think that no matter how big of a prize it is, it’s important to remember that only one of your readers will win it. So a good question to ask is: How will many of my readers benefit from this giveaway?

If your giveaway is highlighting a freebie, coupon, or deal that anyone can take advantage of then it just might be valuable content to add to your blog (and not something that’s only valuable to your winner). But let’s remember that you can still share that valuable content without hosting a giveaway. By declining the giveaway, but still sharing the content, you could be saving yourself time and money. It just depends on how valuable that giveaway is for promoting your blog (not just your sponsor). How will hosting this giveaway improve your blog?

My time is valuable, and so is yours. That’s why I think twice about spending my time on a giveaway. I use WildFire to run my giveaways and I pay a fee to use them. I also pay a fee to have a custom graphic created for the giveaway. I do ask my giveaway sponsors to pay me a fee which will cover the WildFire fee and Graphics fee. The giveaway posts I write are some of the most time-consuming posts on my blog plus there is behind-the-scenes communication going on between the giveaway sponsor, me, and the giveaway winner(s) which often does not go smoothly. Every time I host a giveaway I have to be prepared to deliver the prize (or an equivalent prize) if the sponsor fails to deliver the prize. It has happened to me on some small prizes, and once the giveaway sponsor told me that I had to give my review product (which I thought I was allowed to keep) to the prize winner. Luckily the sponsor did eventually deliver the prize to the winner without taking away my review product (which I had fallen in love with). So, ask yourself again: Is that giveaway really worth hosting?

You’re spending time setting up and administering a giveaway plus drawing and contacting winners, and all to promote someone else? Oh…that’s right…you are promoting yourself as the one bringing this great giveaway to your readers which may mean getting new ‘Likes” on Facebook, gaining new subscribers and followers, and just getting your blog’s name out there as someone who gives away fabulous prizes. And let’s not forget that the giveaway may include a review product or gift cards to keep and cash compensation. But what could you do with your hours if you didn’t host that giveaway? Could you create several posts which could help thousands of your readers and gain you new readers because it’s shared widely? Could you write a chapter in an eBook which you could later sell on your blog? What opportunities are you giving up in order to spend time hosting a giveaway?

I know that some companies will pay you to host a giveaway for them, but you need to stand up for yourself and ask for compensation. You need to estimate the value of their time and social media reach in order to determine your giveaway fee. You are spending time to help promote them, but how are they helping to promote you? Don’t hesitate to ask for some promotion from them during the giveaway. I think many bloggers could reclaim some time (including me) by declining more giveaways. And I think many bloggers (including me) should be asking for higher fees. When you accept giveaways, be aware of the true cost of your time and any fees that you pay so that you can pass along those costs to your sponsor. If a sponsor will not pay for your time then you’re better of investing that time in your blog and yourself. I love hosting giveaways, but I need to be more selective about which ones I host by asking myself this question: Do the BENEFITS outweigh the COSTS of hosting a giveaway?

I’d love to hear your thoughts about how you decide if a giveaway is worth hosting?

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Be Careful of Free Trials

by gde-jeep on September 17, 2012 7:59 pm

Be Careful of Free Trials

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I want to teach you more about Free Trials and explain why you should be careful of them. I’m sharing what I’ve learned based on my own experiences and my readers’ experiences. Of course I’d like to hear more of your stories and lessons learned, so please leave a comment!

What’s a Free Trial?  A Free Trial is any product, service, or membership that  is free for a specified period of time and then you are billed at a later date. I strongly discourage you from signing-up for a Free Trial unless it’s for something you plan on purchasing anyways. There are so many things that can go wrong with planning to cancel a Free Trial before you’re billed. Typically your billing information is collected when you sign-up for the Free Trial, but you are not billed until later.

Aren’t Free Trials always called Free Trials?  Free Trials are often disguised under other names. Free trials are also called Free Memberships, Free Products or even Free Samples so it’s important to read everything you can about the offer including the fine print. You are looking for keywords like “automatic renewal”, “automatic shipment” or “cancel at any time” that are used in Free Trials to indicate that you will be billed at a later date.

What’s the purpose of a Free Trial?  To give you a real value. Ask yourself what value you expect to get out of a Free Trial before signing-up for it. Be aware that Free Trials are used to get your attention and entice you to buy something you might not normally buy. Just remember a Free Trial means it’s only free for a set amount of time, eventually you will be billed for it. The best products and services sell themselves and shouldn’t  need a Free Trial offer with automatic billing to help them sell. You don’t want a Free Trial to trick you into buying something you don’t want.

Why does it ask for my credit card?  If you’re asked for your credit card, it might be a free trial. You need to read the Terms of the offer to inderstand why your credit card information is required. Look for when you will be billed and how much you will be billed for.

Can’t I just cancel before I’m billed?  You will be billed and it’s never a good plan to cancel before you’re billed. Free trials can be intentionally difficult to cancel because they can deceive you about the billing date, have customer service that’s unhelpful or nonexistent, or require excessive notification before the date when you want to cancel.

How hard can it be to cancel a Free Trial?  A perfect example of a Free Trial that’s impossible to cancel is when you sign-up for a free magazine. You’re supposed to receive 6 free issues before you are billed and they promise you that you can cancel at any time. What you don’t know is that you might be billed before you even receive that 6th free issue. Or you think you cancelled at the right time but for some strange reason the magazine keeps coming, and they keep sending you a bill, and there’s no customer service phone number…your free trial just turned into an expensive nightmare. I use the term “expensive” not because the monetary cost would likely be high, but because this frustrating scenario has an emotional cost and costs you your time to resolve.

What if I provide a credit card that expires before it will be billed You might think you’re safe by providing a credit card number that will not work when they try to bill you. But the problem is they may still bill you and expect you to pay. In rare cases your nonpayment of this “bill you never intended to pay but couldn’t get cancelled in time” could lead to your account being sent to a collection agency. I know it sounds unlikely but this is a real situation that a few of my readers have dealt with.

When is a Free Trial OK to do?  When you are getting a Free Trial from a trusted retailer that provides excellent customer service and gives you full access to your account and cancellation options. An example from my personal experience is Amazon. I would do a Free Trial with Amazon because I know how to manage my Amazon account and I have positive experiences with Amazon’s customer service. My advice is that it’s better to first have a positive purchase experience with a retailer before you trust them with a Free Trial.

Why are they still asking for my credit card when I’m  not buying anything or signing-up for a Free Trial?  Some retailers require that you have a credit card on file in order to have a free account. It’s not because they are offering you a Free Trial, but because they want to be able to bill you when you do make a purchase. Learn more about the company and read their Privacy Policy before you sign-up for your free account. Test out their customer service by asking them questions. Research by searching for customer reviews and looking at their rating with the.

What if my credit card is charged upon sign-up for a Free Trial even though they say it won’t be?  This is a red flag. If they are billing customers when they shouldn’t be, you need to ask yourself why you are buying from a company that is intentionally or accidentally making billing errors. Try to get the mischarge resolved as soon as you notice it.

How do I protect myself?  Always question a Free Trial in order to protect yourself. Know the retailer, read the Terms, and read the Privacy Policy. Remember that if you have problems cancelling a Free Trial you can also request help from your credit card company by disputing charges associated with the Free Trial. If you do fall for a Free Trial and have a negative experience then you should file a report with the  to warn other consumers.

Please share your positive and negative experiences with Free Trials by leaving a comment below. Do you have more tips on how to spot a Free Trial?

What’s Money 4 Mom about? My goal is to encourage life-long learning, teach new ways of earning money, and inspire my blogging community through my own experiences and by sharing tips from my readers.

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