• Posts Tagged ‘free’

    Valentine’s Day Contest Winner!

    by  • February 16, 2009 • Tagged: ,  • Comments


    Congrats to the author at Frugal World, the very first commenter on our Valentine’s Day contest! We’ll be contacting you to get your info so that we can send the book Please Send Money! A Financial Survival Guide for Young Adults on Their Own by Dara Duguay.

    Hope that our Valentine’s Day tip worked for some of you out there!

    This Valentine’s Day, Make Love, Not Debt (GIVEAWAY!!!!)

    by  • February 11, 2009 • Tagged: , ,  • Comments

    image adapted from conradh

    So you want to do something nice for your significant other (SO) this Valentine’s Day, but don’t have the cash?

    Do you think that you need to take your SO to a nice restaurant or get an overly-saccharine trinket or card?

    SCREW THAT. Better yet, screw each other! Why do anything that costs money when having sex is COMPLETELY FREE and FEELS REALLY GOOD.

    What other free activity can relieve stress, boost your immune system, burn calories, improve cardiovasuclar health, boost self-esteem, improve intimacy, reduce pain, prevent prostate cancer, strengthen pelvic flow muscles, and helps you sleep?

    Instead of spending money, have sex instead. Here are some examples:

    You want to remodel your bathroom? LAY SOME PIPE.

    Need to write a card? DIP YOUR PEN IN THE INK!

    Shopping for shoes? KNOCK BOOTS.

    Need to tear down your garage? WRECK IT IN THE BEDROOM.

    What’s your favorite euphemism for doing the dirty deed? Leave your answer in the comments and we’ll pick one at random to receive a copy of Please Send Money! A Financial Survival Guide for Young Adults on Their Own by Dara Duguay. Get your entries in by next Sunday, February 15, 11:59 PM CST. We’ll pick a winner on the following Monday. Good Luck!

    SmartyPig Mini-Review and $50 Giftcard Giveaway

    by  • April 8, 2008 • Tagged: , ,  • Comments

    <Homer Simpson>
    Does whatever a SmartyPig does
    </Homer Simpson>

    If you’re a regular reader of personal finance blogs, you’ve probably heard of SmartyPig, a new online social savings service. There have been a plethora of posts that review SmartyPig; I could give a review, but I think I’ll let the other 40 posts that can be found on pfblogs.org do the talking for me.

    Now for the good stuff. We have a $50 SmartyPig giftcard to give away to one of our readers. To enter to win, leave a comment and let us know what you’re saving for. We’ll pick a winner by using the random.org’s random number generator. This contest will close next Monday, April 14 at 9:00 pm CDT.

    Good luck!

    Free TaxCut Online Premium + E-file!

    by  • March 21, 2008 • Tagged: ,  • Comments

    We’ve been talking about taxes a lot here at Make Love, Not Debt. Refunds, payments, sales tax, oh my!

    H&R Block has generously donated 2 keycodes for TaxCut Online Premium + E-file. With this, you’ll get what you need for FREE to figure out and file your FEDERAL income taxes. You’ll still need to pony up some cash for TaxCut state (and e-file should you choose to file that way for your state taxes).

    In order to win 1 of the 2 keys, leave a comment answering the following question:

    Do you expect to owe or get a refund?

    We’ll choose a two winners at random using the number generator from random.org.

    We’ll be closing the contest next Wednesday, March 26, at 9 pm CDT.

    Good luck!

    “Free” Magazine Subscriptions?!?

    by  • February 21, 2008 • Tagged: ,  • Comments

    A few months ago both Her and I started receiving issues of Complex Magazine (whose tagline is “Buy.Collect.Obsess” – ugh); for some reason that has now dwindled to only me receiving them. I’ve actually read a bunch of articles, but I’m not the demographic it writes to.

    Two months ago I started receiving Maxim Magazine. I had a subscription in college – it was good turn-your-brain-off kind of reading.

    The problem: I don’t ever remember signing up for these magazines. Especially Complex.

    Maybe it’s time to check my credit reports.

    Anyone have any explanations of mystery subscriptions?

    When Does Borrowing Become Mooching?

    by  • January 21, 2008 • Tagged: ,  • Comments

    Back when I was a kid, borrowing Nintendo games from friends was an accepted practice. One would usually set a limit to how many days the game could be lent out for; those who went past the deadline were usually given a good book check in the hallway or have an annoying girl told that he had a crush on her. There was always that one kid who kept games for a lot longer than was ever agreed upon. I hated that guy.

    I feel that the rules of borrowing are a little different now that we’re adults. I have a friend who owns a Blockbuster store worth of DVDs. He’s pretty generous with lending out his DVD to friends; he’ll push them on you if you haven’t seen a movie of a TV show that he things is awesome. Other friends of mine often ask to borrow DVDs from him, which he happily lends out.

    He does have many television shows on DVD that I would like to watch. Since we recently canceled our Netflix account, we don’t have the unlimited access to any DVD we’d want to watch.

    If I asked him to borrow DVDs am I:

    A) Making a frugal decision? After all, I am just borrowing a few DVDs from a friend.

    B) Being cheap? I have enough money to rent/buy them on my own, after all.

    Of course, if he actively lends them to me (dude, you HAVE to watch this…here’s the DVDs!) then that’s a totally different story.

    When does borrowing become mooching? Do you have friends who are over-borrowers? Do you borrow a lot of stuff from your friends?

    Unexpected Wedding Bonus

    by  • January 11, 2008 • Tagged: , ,  • Comments

    The place where we’re having our reception has a list of 15 caterers or so authorized to serve food there. Since we’ve had an extended engagement, we’ve had the chance to speak with all of them. They range in price from pretty ridiculous to absolutely ridiculous.

    Of course since they are catering our wedding, we have to evaluate their food. Therefore, that means going to tastings! Since they want to impress us, they usually put on a good demo, offering to us the equivalent of a full 5 course meal. To get our business, they make the food much more palatable than what will be served at the actual reception; quite a boon to us. Do this 15 times, and we’ve saved a few bucks on groceries.

    Sure this is probably all a wash in the end, but it is nice to get some “free” food.

    Expensive Taste And My Job

    by  • July 10, 2007 • Tagged: , , ,  • Comments

    Yesterday Jim put up a post on how he developed an expensive taste for bottled water because of his work environment. I can definitely relate – when this blog still had that new blog smell I wrote a post detailing the great amenities that my job as to offer. Fortunately for me, I don’t drink soft drinks and I loathe the idea of bottled water. Many-a-co-worker has looked at me strangely for drinking tap water instead of grabbing a bottle from always stocked refrigerator. We do have other nice perks though.

    I get the chance to travel about a half-dozen times per year for my job, thus the ways in which I have developed expensive tastes are travel related – dining out and hotels. When I travel it is usually for conferences, so I generally stay at one of the hotels associated with the conference; most of the time it is a 4 star hotel. In the last few years I’ve gotten used to the comfy beds, large rooms, and all of the little things that a nice hotel offers.

    The other thing I get to do for my job is take clients out to dinner, and when we do we generally spare no expense. I’ve been to some of the best restaurants in the nation, all at no cost to me. Since the care and pampering of our client is top priority, the wine generally flows, appetizers are plentiful, and dessert is divine. If there is more than one person from my job traveling with me, we generally dine somewhere nice, but not at elite caliber restaurants.

    All of these things are paid for by my job, but since we’ve gotten rewards cards I am now putting these charges on those and getting reimbursed. Therefore I am getting rewards for what I do anyway.

    Has this translated into non-job expensive tastes? Not yet, at least. Except for one less than frugal non-work dining event, our dining bills align with our budget. That doesn’t mean I don’t look longingly at other, more upscale places. Also, we haven’t taken any real vacations, but I’m thinking that we’re probably going to look for more budget-friendly hotel options so that we can spend our money doing other vacation things.

    The good life is nice, but I know I won’t be at this job forever. Until then, I’m enjoying it very much.

    What are your expensive tastes?

    Getting Drunk Or Oil Changes For Cheap (Or Free)

    by  • May 29, 2007 • Tagged: , , ,  • Comments

    This past weekend I went to lunch with a friend of mine from way back in the day. Although I haven’t seen this guy in quite a while, when we do get together it usually results in a crazy night where I wake up without pants (in my bed, mind you) and half-eaten Doritos all over me. The great thing is that almost all of my cash that I left the apartment with is usually still left in my pants, wherever I left them.

    What I neglected to say is that my friend is bartender. Not only does that mean free drinks at the bar that he works at, but he seems to know every bartender at every other Chicago bar. He also worked at a restaurant, and when he did we would get heavily discounted meals at nice places. Alas, the biggest expense whenever we went out were for cab rides and tips.

    Normally, I’d really feel guilty taking all of the free drinks, but I NEVER ask to go out to the bars with him. Whenever I invite him out, it is usually for lunch where I can pay for myself. Whenever he invites me out, it is generally to a tavern or six. I consider myself really lucky to have such a generous, well connected friend.

    When it comes to getting discounted services, I also able to get inexpensive service performed on our car. A family friend of ours has been the mechanic for all of our cars for the past 10 years. At first we would bring our cars to him because we knew he wouldn’t rip us off, and he would charge us only a fraction of the labor charges. Now when we ask him to look at our cars he offers to do it “on the side” at his house, assuming it isn’t too complicated. He takes a little longer, but only charges us for any parts. Of course we add in some extra cash to compensate him for his work.

    In the first example, I get free stuff because of a mutual friend relationship – we do more than drink. In the second example, it is purely a business relationship – we only really see each other when the car needs work.

    Do any of your relationships (business, friendships, etc.) directly affect your personal finances? How did these relationships come about, and how are the discounted services or goods handled?

    Free Summer Festivals Rock

    by  • July 21, 2006 • Tagged: , , ,  • Comments

    The Wicker Park/Bucktown Summerfest this weekend pretty much snuck up on me. If it weren’t for the fine folks at Chicagoist who posted some of the lineup, I would have never have heard of it. Acts that I’m going to definitely see:

    Starlight Mints
    The Living Blue (formerly known as the Blackouts)
    Youngblood Brass Band

    Best of all, it all FREE. Well, almost free. Fine, there is a $5 suggested donation. *snicker*

    We’ll probably take public transportation there end up bringing our own beer and food and end up rockin’ out cheap. And if there weren’t this one, there are only a gajillion others this weekend.

    Have a good weekend everyone.

    Cha-Ching! 144 Free Cans of Soda

    by  • July 7, 2006 • Tagged: ,  • Comments

    gross-soda.jpgThis week I went on a rebate rampage and earned us 144 free cans of soda. Both Dominicks and CVS are offering a promotion where you can purchase four 12-packs of soda for $10, and get a rebate for $10, making the soda essentially free (except for sales tax and a stamp, of course). The offers do not conflict, meaning that you can get all three. Two of the offers are for select Coke products while one is for select Pepsi products.

    Total value of freebies: $3.99 per 12-pack (at regular prices), for twelve 12-packs: $47.88. Still, not as good as my record freebie value, $76.

    Actually, I suppose I really only got 143 free cans. I accidentally cut one open when I was removing the UPC from the box. Oops!

    I Bartered!

    by  • May 5, 2006 • Tagged: ,  • Comments

    This week I bartered for the first time! My friend is moving to Europe and needed to get rid of a lot of things. At the same time, she is behind on some professional paperwork and wanted to complete it before she leaves the country. So we bartered a deal: In exchange for me completing her paperwork, she gave us a really nice toaster oven (ours was on the fritz) and a matching bed and nightstand. We moved the pieces ourselves so she had three less things to haul down her apartment stairs, and we got real bedroom furniture for the first time ever! Previously, one of our nightstands was a Tupperware box so this was a big step up. I am very pleased with our barter, and I’ll be open to doing this kind of exchange again.

    What Do You Love To Do That Doesn’t Result In Getting Paid?

    by  • March 17, 2006 • Tagged: ,  • Comments

    I love college basketball – therefore you can imagine that I absolutely love this time of year. The kids out there play with so much heart, emotion, and drive, and do not get compensated for it (well, relatively). Sure there’s the possibility that any one of those players may get drafted to play in the NBA – but those chances are slim. Many play for the love of the game, the camaraderie, and loyalty to their school.

    Is there anything that you love to do so much that you’re willing not to get paid for it?

    For me? That’s easy.


    I tutor a kid every week, in a program that gives opportunities to underprivileged kids who come from low-income neighborhoods. I would gladly mentor him everyday to see him succeed. I have also taught classes for undergrads when I was a grad student, and also taught dance. I did get paid for those jobs, but I would have easily done them for free. Admittedly, there is also an ego aspect to teaching, in that I love to get up in front of people and just tell them whatever I know. I also love seeing people make mental and intellectual connections that I helped make possible. I get a huge kick by knowing that I helped someone succeed.

    The second would be photography, although I do have plans to monetize that sometime this year. I did photojournalism in college and loved it. Then I learned how develop my own film and make my own prints. There’s nothing like seeing a print materialize before my eyes for the first time in the darkroom. Now own a few too many cameras (see debt) and actually I still shoot film, developing it in my own kitchen. Its something that I love to do, but am finding that it is a huge financial drain, so I’m looking for ways for it to pay for itself.

    I also made web design a pretty time consuming hobby with no pay, but now I got my first client. A friend knew I dabbled in web design, and I asked if he would mind if I could offer my services in making him a website. That project is in its early stages, so I still have yet to even make sure that’s going through.

    I’d love to hear what your activities are.