Money, Savings and Cash Back

Who doesn’t like to save money right? I felt with it being the first week of the New Year, this would be the perfect time for a post like this. I wanted to list our a few apps that I use to save money, get cash back or get gift cards by saving up points.

I have been using some of these for a while now, and one I have not used much but I am starting to use more. I have gotten many items from doing this anything from my under cabinet radio (yes I still have a house radio with a CD player lol), my wine fridge, saved up to buy a Ninja Foodi. I have gotten smaller things such as Fitbit bands and water bottles as well. Right now I am currently saving up points and gift cards to purchase a Ninja Grill, since it is an item that I do not NEED just WANT, I have to save up the money to purchase such a big item.

So lets get too it!

Rakuten Ebats:

I have had this account for a while, it was know as Ebats the last time I used it. I got reminded of it while watching Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel. This one I always thought was a little more work to use. There is an app or you can use it on a desktop computer which ever you prefer. You go to the site, sign up for an account and then you can search for whatever store you want and it will tell you how much cash back they are offering. The cash back does change so sometimes you could get more then others.

There is also an option of you linking debit/credit cards to the account. If you choose to do this, there are some stores that offer cash back for in-store purchase. You do have to activate it before going to the store so that is the part that takes a little bit of work. The first place I remembered to do this too was for PetSmart which was huge for me with having to buy food and litter for 4 cats.

I started focusing on this site about a month ago and I am already up to about $10 cash back. The money comes in the form of a check and they pay I believe quarterly, I do know my next Big Fat Check, as they call it, will come in Feb. 2020.


This one is my favorite by far. This app you get points and when you reach a certain amount you can get a gift card. Right now my points goal is 6250 and I have it set to get a $25 Bed Bath and Beyond card so I can use it towards my grill. I am on the 2nd gift card I have gotten from them. I have not found the points to expire and the gift cards do not have an expiration date.

There are a few ways to get points.

  • Walkins: The app shows the stores that are participating and when you walk by the specific store with the app open it picks it up and gives you points. I know Target is one of them and sometimes you just have to drive by the door of the store to get the points. Pro tip for anyone who does online pick up 🙂
  • Scanning: The app will have a list of stores and some of these stores if you go in and scan items you get points for that. Sometimes you do have to answer a few question survey but it is usually only a few questions. Some items if you do purcahse them and submit a receipt you get bonus points. I have not done that part so not sure exactly how it works.
  • Online: The app has an online shopping option as well. You clink on the store and it take you to the site. I have started doing this with my Walmart groceries since I get them every week. It does recognize right away you placed an order but it does take 90 days to process and get points. I have about 6 of them waiting right now so starting in Feb. they should all start coming in and I can update on how that process works.
  • Watching videos: On the main screen of the app they have options to gain points to watch a short 2-3 minute video. There is also a spot to preview sales and sometime they have secret points hiding.

This one is my favorite because even lately I have put very little effort into it, it may take a little longer to add the points up but the reward is worth it. Plus, I am not having to but anything special I can just watch a video, scan some items if I happen to be in the store and watch the points increase.


This one is a little different. I was told about this one a few years ago, and when I signed up I was on a waiting list for a few months. I have had it now for about 3.5 years. This is another one you don’t really have to do anything with. It is a points system and you can link other apps you use and when you use the apps you get achievement points. I get the majority of my points from my Fitbit app. When it traks my workouts, heart rate and sleep. There are occasionally quizzes and other things for additional points.

The reward is $10 and you get your choice, I can’t think of them all off the top of my head because I usually just get a Amazon gift card. I know $10 doesn’t seem like much but you literally don’t have to do anything extra to get the points so it is the easiest $10 I have made. I have gotten a few of them since I started and it is kind of fun to get a little gift for myself occasionally. I got a water bottle once and I think I bought a book the other time. I am very close to getting my next reward.

Cashback on credit cards

I am not big on using credit cards because I don’t like having a balance on them. We do have some automatic bills that have to come out so we link them to the credit card. Life sometimes happens too and we do have to put some big expenses on the card and then we pay them off right away. This also helps us to build up rewards points.

The rewards I have had to use before to pay the credit card bill but sometimes I have gotten fun things with them. I for my radio and wine fridge using the points. I also got gift cards and that is what helped buy my Ninja Foodi and even get all new decorations for my bathroom. We have 2 main credit cards and the one I will use to get the gift card and the other I will just use the cash back to pay for the bill.

I know some people who have used the points to get cards and other gift for presents, for Christmas for example, which is also a great idea. I usually find something I want and this is how I get them. I save up all the gift cards and rewards so we end up paying nothing or very little.

Weekly savings chart

One last thing I want to mention is a savings chart. I saw this a few years ago and did it once. I will admit, once it got to the end of the year it got more challenging and I did not actually finish the chart but I had saved up a large amount that we used to help pay for one of our vacations. It is a plan that I found on Pinterest, you save the amount of money to what week of the year it is. Example: week 1 is $1, week 2 is $2 and so on. So by the end of the year it has all built up and is around $1100. I am going to try it again this year and see how it goes.

I also set a side $20 each paycheck for our vacation. This year I am adding a little more being a nurse I have license renewals to do every few year so now I set up a savings plan so when they come due I have the money and it doesn’t impact the budget at that time.

We do have a budget set up, but since my husband and I have separate accounts as well as the joint accounts it makes it a little easier. Each check I transfer money to the joint account for bills and for savings right away so I don’t miss the money. I have been doing this for a while now and it has gone very well and I am very blessed that we are able to pay for my medical bills from my savings account. I meet my out of pocket max every year so it makes it easy to know how much it will cost for me. Having the money on hand, I am able to call and pay my bill in full and get a discount on the bill. So I save money there and I also put it on the credit card which I pay off immediately but that transaction help me to build up points.

I hope this was helpful. I am not an expert at all when it comes to finance, I have just learned a lot from my husband and our financial planner says we are on the right track so that is something.

Even if you don’t use any of these apps or strategies I mentioned above maybe you will check them out and see if it would be something for you. I know some of them are some work and it does take some time for the rewards to build up but since it doesn’t cost much it is worth it to me. The best part for me is I have not put a ton of work into getting these rewards and it hasn’t cost my anything. If I know my family won’t use the item I don’t buy it and if I don’t need to but something online I don’t buy it just for the rewards. If I need to purchase an item I just check the apps quick to see if there is a cash back opportunity.

Let me know below if you like a post like this and I can certainly create more like this. Hope you at least learned a little something new and happy shopping.


New Year, New Word

It is hard to believe today is New Years Day and its now 2020! I started this post by writing out things that have happened to me in the last decade. Then I realize how many things that was and got a little nervous it would both get too long and I would miss something and be sad. So, I decided to change the directions a little bit in a good way.

I do want to take just a min to highlight a few large milestones for me. I became and RN and got married to my amazing husband. I also finished my BSN degree, I actually finished my last class while recovering from the surgery they found my cancer. One day after my diagnosis my dad was out on hospice and passed away during my treatment. I ended up beating cancer and now 5 years in remission. We also paid a few loans off including both of my school loans which felt amazing. I have learned many new skills and even hiked a mountain in Glacier. We have now fallen in love with Montana and can see a future living there. We went from 3 to 4 kitties as well as in the last decade we added our baby Bailey to our family which keeps us on our toes for sure. She is a huge mommy’s girl and can be naughty but can be so sweet.

That is a very brief overview of 10 years. I have started a list of my memories and plan to keep adding to it so at the next decade I will have a better idea of all the amazing things I have accomplished. It was really cool looking back on the last 10 years and the good and bad times that have shaped and made me the person that I am today. Although bad times are never fun, a person can never truly grow with out them and I am choosing to embrace them as part of my story.

Speaking of embrace it brings me to the other thing I wanted to write about. 2019 was the first year that I picked a word to define my year. My word in 2019 was Joy. While I wish I could say that I 100% of the time found joy in everything and was happy that is not real. I can say this, there were sometimes that I did say Yes to certain things because I knew they would bring me joy, and No so other things that I knew would not bring me as much joy.

For 2020 my word is going to be Embrace. I was struggling to find a word and then the other night, I work up and the word just came to me. I took that as a sign that it should be my word for 2020. After really thinking about it, it is a great word. I tried it with a punch of other words such as:

  • Embrace Chaos
  • Embrace Change
  • Embrace the suck
  • Embrace the pain
  • Embrace the journey

It seemed to go so well with so many different things and even seemed to make some of the hard things easier to handle. It fit perfect so that is my word going into this year and my goal for it is to put it into everything I do this year.

I encourage you, if you have not yet or like me last year never picked a word pick one. Make sure it is a word that you can take with you the whole year and help you grow and become the best version of you in 2020. You really can do anything you dream of with hard work and determination.

Happy New Year!!



I Am a Runner

First I feel I should start off with a little back story here. I was the girl in high school that walked the mile and it was not a fast walk either. I wish I could say I had a good reason, but I really did not. Sure, I was diagnosed with authorities in my ankles, and they would occasionally pop when I ran. But knowing what I know now, it was far more the fact that I never pushed myself to do it.

Fast forward to about 4 years ago, I still did not classify myself as a runner. Although by this point I had ran a few miles on my trusty old treadmill during my 30 lb weight loss journey. I had a friend (who mind you just had a baby 6 weeks previous) want to go for a run with me. So, my husband sat with her 3 kids and off we went. She then talked me into a 5K for that weekend, about 4 days after this run we did. She ended up not being able to do the race, she did have a good reason but I still pick on her to this day that she bailed on me lol (You know who you are if you read this and you know I still love you).

After that race, I started running more. I eventually signed up for a few more 5Ks, then did a 10K and a trail run. The trail run was by far my favorite race, I also decided to hike up a mountain. The first attempted we did not get to the top of the mountain, but we were determined so the next spring went back to Montana and reached the top of Mount Brown! It was an amazing feeling and we have really fallen in love with Montana and can see myself living there some day.

Enough side chatter, back to the point at hand my running. I learned a while ago to never say never. So when another one of my friends asked me to do a half marathon with her, my first thought was I need to think about it. I had about two weeks before the next price jump, so I set that as my decision deadline. Truth is, I had been thinking about doing one anyways so this basically gave me the push I needed. I bit the bullet and signed up for the race.

Let the training begin I thought, but I did not train anywhere need what I should have. I ran a few days here and there but nothing consistent. In fact, my longest run was 8 miles which was the weekend before the half marathon, and I did not even run the whole 8 miles.

I was pretty nervous going into the race, I had a rough time goal based on the one 10K I had ran a few years back. I did way better then I ever thought I would. I was able to run about 9.5 miles, stopping only at water stations, which is what I have read is the thing to do anyways. The last 3 miles about, I just kept telling myself everything hurts and I am dying but that is okay. You have run this many miles and you are going to hurt but it does not mean you stop. I kept pushing until I got to the end of the race! I accomplished my first goal which was finish the race! My time was 2:36:14 which I was extremely proud of for my first ever half marathon.

I was not sure if I would run another one, but decided that I was going to do the very same race again in 2020. This time, I made a commitment to myself to actually train for this race. I was doing a work out program when I signed up so I promised once that program was done, I would run 3 days a week and do strength training the other 3 days and have 1 rest day. So far I have stayed on point. I did have to take one week off of the running due to a cold, but that is the beauty I have plenty of time yet.

I am very proud of how on task I am staying with my running days, and now just need to focus on increasing my miles. I live in the midwest so this time of year I have to do most all of my running on my trusty old treadmill. I am very happy that I have that option and so far my free treadmill from 7 years ago is still working for me. Treadmill running is not my favorite and is hard to do some days.

I made today a run day, and I learned something I did not realize before. I did not want to run today so I told myself to do it anyways. I had a mile goal of 3.5 miles, which has been a struggle for me to get that amount lately. So, I told myself I was going to do 3.5 miles, or 45 minutes which ever came first because that was the amount of time I had before I needed to get ready for work. I hit by 3.5 miles right at 45:05, think it was meant to be that I did the 3.5 miles today.

What I learned was this, even when you think your not doing well there is always something to show you how you improved. I was trying not to focus on my mile time or my 5K time because they were not my fastest and it would discourage me. Instead I kept telling myself what I have accomplished, I had run longer intervals then previous runs and I also ran at 5.8 mph  at one point which is one of the fastest speeds I have had. I got done and entered my run into the log on my computer, turns out even with slower mile times, I decreased my 3.5 miles from Wednesday by 1 min 21 sec. By not focusing on the time so much I still was able improve! It was such a great feeling and I am excited to see what my run tomorrow will be like.

The biggest take away today is that in every situation there is always something positive you can take away from it and focus on!

And it turns out,



Merry Christmas

It is that time of year already, and it is my favorite time of year. Quick side note, this is my first post on my new laptop that my amazing husband got me for Christmas. I was not expecting it since I told him we needed to saved up for it, but seeing as the other one I was not able to move because it could not be unplugged it is definitely time for a new one.

Christmas has looked different for me the last few years and I can’t say we have even set down any traditions yet. In went to Christmas Eve church service again this year, it was always my favorite as a kid and still is as an adult. Tomorrow we will be having a repeat of the Thanksgiving meal which will also be work but so delicious and worth every minute.

I heard something on the radio the other day and it got me thinking of what my childhood Christmas were. We would have my big family get together on Christmas Eve night. My oldest 3 siblings were out of the house and married when I was young, so them and their families would come to my parents house. We would get together and play games and have an amazing meal. Santa would stop by each house in our small town for a visit and bring all the kids something little. Some years we did gifts before church, others was after church. Then we would play with our new toys until it was time to go to bed and wait for Santa to come.

I have some great memories of childhood Christmas that is for sure. Now that I am an adult that has changed for sure. Many years I have worked, being a nurse I had to take my turn and sometimes would pick up since the hubby was working. The last 3 years, we both have been off and it has been nice. We usually find one day to do our Christmas and gift exchange and spend some time together. Last year was the first year I found a Christmas Eve service to go to and I am so glad I did. I am brining that back into my Christmas tradition.

Although we may not do the same thing each year, the tradition of exchanging gifts and spending some time together at home hasn’t changed and for that I am grateful. Some years we spend time with family, some years we spend time with friends but every year we try to do things that make us happy and bring us joy. This year is the first year I tried to make Christmas cookies for my hubby to take to work, they all got ate so I must have done an okay job for a first attempt.

This Christmas, what ever you are doing, remember to take time and enjoy the moment. This time of year can get very busy with all the events and parties that it is easy to not take in the moment and truly enjoy your time with family and friends.

Merry Christmas Everyone!



Welcome to my new blog website. If you have been with me for a while, thanks for coming back. If you are new here, let me tell you a little about myself.

My name Kimberly, I am 33 years old and proud of it. I have been married to my wonderful husband for over 7 years and we have been together for almost 12 years now. We have 4 fur babies (cats) June, Kallie, Angel and Bailey.

When I was a kid I had a life saving liver transplant which has caused some other medical problems that I deal with as they come. In 2014 I beat cancer and celebrated 5 years of remission in July 2019! Huge accomplishment in cancer survivorship.

Hobbies I have include cleaning (yes I like to clean), crocheting, knitting, sewing, reading, running, hiking and the newest riding motorcycle with my husband. With so many hobbies I do not get to do them all regularly but I enjoy them when I get the time for each of them.

I hope you find something of value from this blog. I plan to share my highs and lows of my life to show others to find good in every situation.



Thanksgiving Memories

If your reading this and live in the USA is is Thanksgiving today.

I remember being a kid and waking up on Thanksgiving morning going downstairs and sitting watching the Macy’s parade. While I would watch the parade my dad would be busy getting the stuffing ready for dinner. He made it from scratch for years and I would sit and watch and knowing me chat with him about anything I could think of because I am a talker.

I am grateful for those memories. Thanksgiving is different now, not just because I am grown up and have my own house. My dad has been gone now 5 years so he is not around to make the stuffing.

Time goes so fast, but I think it was about 4 years ago it hit me that my husband and I never really had our own traditions when it came to Thanksgiving. Part because for many years one or both of us would have to work. We now are blessed with jobs that holidays we get off and can spend it together. I decided it was time for us to start some traditions for ourselves.

My husband is not a huge Turkey guy so we started by having ham and then I make some sides for us. Hy Vee makes the most amazing peach pies so I get one of those every year. A few years ago we got a Honey Baked Ham and they are amazing so that is what we stick with. We have stove top stuffing, not the homemade my dad made but I am sure he would understand. I tried a few years to make a corn casserole and failed so this year I went with brussels sprouts in my Ninja Foodi using the air fryer setting and they were amazing.

The food may change a little from year to year but what hasn’t change is us being home together with our fur babies (cats). It has turned into a wonderful and relaxing tradition that we both have came to enjoy!

Whatever your traditions maybe weather you spend it with extended family or friends I hope you all have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving!


Half Marathon Training

It is finally here, and I am not talking about Thanksgiving week. I know that is what this week is, and I plan to get a post done about our Thanksgiving tradition done either on Thanksgiving or the day after.

The week I am referring to is the first week of my half marathon training. Last year, I had a friend message me in the beginning of the year about doing a half marathon with her. I finally decided to sign up and started running. To be completely honest, I really did not train has much as I could and should have. I did manage to do pretty well, especially for my first half marathon. I got a final time of 2:38:14 and I ran (other then walking through water stations) for the first 10 miles. I had to run walk the last 3 to make it through. I live in the midwest, the weather was cold and really windy so I feel I did awesome.

I did not run much after that race until I did a 5K in October before my 10K race the next weekend. What I realized, is that I am more out of running shape then I thought I was. I still workout 6 days a week doing a workout program that has cardio and weights so I thought I was doing well. I know all of that helped me, but I also realized to improve on my time I am going to need to do some focused training.

I have been doing a 100 day workout program, which I had committed to doing completely. So, I found some training guides for half marathons on Pintrest, and decided once I was done with the 100 day program I would start my half marathon training to do during my second round of my 100 day program. Well, I finished the first round on Saturday which means this week is the big start of my training week.

Being the weird planner that I am, I printed out some blank calendar pages and have wrote out every single workout for the next 22 weeks which will bring my to my half marathon date. I will be doing my other program strength training and ab work Monday, Wednesday ans Friday and running  and stretching will be Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Depending on how many miles I have to run on Saturday and the time I have I may do an extra strength workout after my run but I will decided that after my scheduled run. As I mentioned above I live in the midwest so this time of year it is not the best weather to run outside so most of this running time will be on the treadmill. Hopefully I can get through it with watching many movies.

I am both excited and a little nervous about the training. I feel pretty good with having 22 weeks to train, that it will give me some flexibility in my schedule in case I need to move things around I will still be able to stay on track.


Finally doing this!

It has been far to long since I have written a post, to be honest I don’t even remember how long it has been. Why have I not written, its fear! Fear that I don’t have anything to say. Fear of what others think. Fear of jumping around from topic to topic because, I myself haven’t figured out what path I want to take with my writing.

I am coming to realize something, I need to just start. I need to just put words on the paper and create a post 1-2 times a week. I will never be able to find my path until I start. To anyone who takes the time to read this, first I just want to say thank you. Even if I only get one person to read the words I write it will be better then no one. I hope that you dear reader will continue to follow on this journey with me and see where it goes. I am scared and excited to jump in and see where this goes.

Right now I am finishing up my 100 day program that I am doing and loving. My favorite part is the live DJ that plays with the workouts. I am a huge music person so it helps to keep me motivated. I even hung a calendar on my living room wall, which I realized the other night when I get my Christmas tree put up it will cover up lol. After I finish the next 8 workouts I have a new plan. I will begin my training for my 2nd half marathon. I never did get a post done about the first one, but I am very proud of how well I did for my first one and can’t wait to push myself to see how much better I can do with actually training for it.

I ran a 10K a few weeks ago, and I realized I had a lot of work a head of myself. So, I made a promise to myself after that race I would be training harder then I ever have for my next race, which is the half marathon in April. Even if my time is not better, my main goal it to actually train (since I didn’t do much training for my first one) and run the whole thing (came close last year, ran about 9.5 miles with only stopping at water stations which I read many blogs saying do this).

I will be starting my marathon training the week of Thanksgiving. The plan, to do a Second round of my 100 days program just a but modified. I will be running for sure on Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays because that is what will work best in my schedule. I will do my strength workouts on Monday and Wednesday for sure, with a possible one on Saturday depending on how my run goes and how my body feels after. Sundays will be  my rest day, my body needs one day to rest and Sundays just work in my schedule.

I have found a few running schedules on Pintrest that I will use as my guide in hopes it helps keep me on track. I also got a book off Amazon to track runs and my race times which I am super excited about. Now, I am just hoping that all this excitement for it continues and it keeps me going during days that I know will be tough and I will not want to train. Living in the mid west, this time of year is cold, crazy cold. Which mean, many hours of inside treadmill running which is definitely not my favorite running. In fact if I am completely honest, I struggle to motivate myself to run on the treadmill so this training will definitely be a mental and physical challenge for me.

If you have read through all of that and made it to this point you are a saint. I will wrap this up for today. As I said my plan is to write or probably more accurate ramble in post 1-2 times a week. I am always looking for new ideas so if you got a topic I should write about please comment on this post or send me a message through the contact link.