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Thursday, April 11, 2019

how to get round-trip airfare for a family of 5 for free

As we prepare for our upcoming Disney vacation, one cost I did not have to worry about was airfare. We signed up for the Southwest Chase Visa* where every dollar we spend earns us points we can use on airfare. The best part? If you charge $1000 on your new Southwest Rapid Rewards card within the first three months of opening it, you earn 40,000 points.

When we signed up for the card we easily hit our charge requirement in the first month by charging our groceries, utilities, and gas for our cars. Those 40k miles go a long way if you book the most affordable Wanna Get Away fare. You also earn 3000 points on the anniversary of opening your card and 1 point per $1 charged to your card. Our Southwest Visa is our primary card (we pay it off in full each month) and those points really do add up fast. There is a $69 annual fee, but considering we would have spent close to $1000 in airfare for the five of us, the annual fee is worth it.

Even better? If you book a flight and notice your fare drops in points after you've booked, you can easily rebook the same flight and get refunded the point difference! Simply login to your account on Southwest's website, click My Account at the top, and scroll down to the flight information for the flight you want to change. There is a Change link right beneath that - if you click it you can re-select your original flight and it will tell you what your credit is. I actually just rebooked our flights to Florida this morning because they had dropped in point value from about 8000 points per person to 4186 points per person!
What's even better is you can use your points for more than just airfare--Southwest has a rewards store that includes products ranging from designer clothes and bags to lawn equipment to gift cards for retailers such as Disney, Alamo and Amazon. The 14,875 points I saved by checking the flights daily and rebooking is almost enough for $125 in Disney gift cards. You can roll your savings from rebooking to make your vacation even more affordable! If you travel even once per year, this reward card is definitely worth it, especially since it's been our experience that Southwest is the most family-friendly airline.

*Affiliate link used. Thank you for supporting BMB!

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

prime purchases: disney must-have shopping list{clear

I always love seeing what people are buying these days! Thought I'd join a link-up and share what I've bought for Disney because we moved our trip up to this fall! We hoped to squeak it in right before Star Wars Land opened, but of course they are moving ahead of schedule so now it is opening around a month before we leave! Anyway, after extensive research, here are a few things we've bought this month:

{cooling towels for that hot Florida sun}
{silicone fasteners so our Magic Bands don't fall off}
{clear bags for the stroller to expedite time in security lines}
{misting fan because Florida}

{phone charger bank since you use for phone to check wait times, schedule fast passes, etc.}

{disposable rain ponchos, because unexpected rain storms and who wants to carry around a wet poncho?}
{water filter bottles because rumor has it the fountain water from Disney does not taste great and these can be filled then squired into respective Contigo cups}
{this belt because I can't bring myself to do a bonafide fanny pack and I don't want to carry a purse!}

Other items we are planning on taking into the park include: hand sanitizer, baby wipes/diapers, sunscreen, bug repellent, snacks (granola bars, fruit pouches, etc.), some bottled water (for when we aren't near a fountain), a change of clothes for each kiddo/an extra pair of shoes in case one pair gets really wet, first aid kit and lip balm.

Linking up with Tanya


Monday, January 14, 2019

Money Making App Spotlight: Drop


If you're familiar with Dosh, Drop is a similar concept. You download the app, create an account and link a credit card. When you create your account, though, you get to select 5 retailers that you shop at the most to get an even higher percentage of cash back on your transactions. The best part? The options are amazing! Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, Whole Foods, Target, Trader Joe's, Lyft, etc. Then every time you use your linked card at those locations, you earn points towards gift cards. Link the card once and periodically check in to redeem and that's it! They do have extra "power" offers where you can earn extra (for instance, $40 back at Blue Apron) that are always changing, but this is totally not required. Plus, if you sign up with my referral link, you will get $5 automatically when you link your first card.

Friday, January 11, 2019

lately

Have you ever found yourself just existing? That sounds really depressing and I don't mean it to--existing in a way that is neither good nor bad, it just is? I feel like that's where I've been since November. Things aren't bad, not exceptional either. They just are. Anyway, I discovered that when I am just going through the motions I don't necessarily feel the need to write or be creative. I've mentioned missing blogging to a few people but it was never enough to really make me want to do it. Life is crazy in this season and I don't want to pressure myself to carve out time for something if passion doesn't strike. It struck in this moment (passion is a strong word to use though, ha!) so here we are.

 1. I am in full-blown Disney planning mode. It is looking like we may be going as early as February 2020 (originally I just figured we'd do the second half of the year, though that may still end up being the case depending on crowd levels when the new Star Wars portion of Hollywood Studios opens this fall!) By using my plethora of money-making apps + Swagbucks, I have our vacation 72% saved for! That includes 2 character meals (Cinderella's Royal Table + Ohana, probably), 3 park days / 6 vacation days, a car rental, an Airbnb, parking at Disney, and about $500 worth of spending money for the week! Not too shabby for just a year's worth of very minimal effort!

 2. I am loving every second of start-up life. If you are new around here, I left a very stable job in August for the very unpredictable world of tech start-ups. It was definitely a leap of faith and thus far I have no regrets. We get pet visitors usually weekly (thanks to coworkers and their love of animals!), I can take as much time off work as I need when I need it, and they even surprised us all with a totally unexpected cost of living raise this year. 2019 is going to very much be a make-or-break year for us and we hope to launch our first product this fall or early next year.

 3. I am still impulsive when it comes to house projects, much to Jon's dismay. I ironed (yes, ironed, using a wet washcloth as a buffer between the iron and the wall) the super bold wallpaper off our half bathroom walls last weekend. Our bathroom still looks like this and I don't really have a game plan yet because the walls don't look like they were ever skim-coated when the house was built. I may try to spackle the worst parts and then just hope for the best... but even if I did that we don't know what color we want to paint it (Jon mentioned something about dark blue and some sort of damask pattern, I believe). Taking suggestions!

 4. Winter is finally here. I hate all of it except for the adorable 90% off Target Christmas pajamas we got for this big girl. 49 days until spring!

 5. I am trying very hard to lose 22 pounds. I've been using my ProTracker app daily and also trying to exercise at least 5 days per week. Thus far it is (slowly) working because I am down 6.8 pounds since December 26. I can't be sure, but I think this is the least I've weighed since I last gave birth way back in 2016.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Money Saving Products: Ecoegg

Have you ever heard of this!? The Ecoegg is an entirely natural solution that replaces laundry detergent for 720 loads! For $34.99 you could do several years worth of laundry. Furthermore, the company offers a 10-year guarantee. Considering how expensive detergents, especially natural ones, cost these days, this product could save you hundreds of dollars.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

just a little PSA

If you live in Cuyahoga County, early voting is happening now! 


Make sure you get out and vote! Our futures depend on it. :)

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Money Making Website Spotlight: Swagbucks Daily Poll (Part IV)

Part I, Part II and Part III. I highly recommend you start from the beginning before diving in or it will get very overwhelming very fast.

Yesterday I discussed completing my To Do list every day. The first item on this list is the Daily Poll. You can find the Daily Poll in two sections: clicking the hyperlink in your To Do list will take you directly there. Otherwise, you can find it under Answer on the left sidebar of Swagbucks' website:

Once you click this link, you are redirected to a simple poll question. You will receive 1 SB for answering the question. This resets to a new question every day. It takes less than 10 seconds to complete.