Doing Vegas on the Cheap

Earlier this year, I took an almost free Vegas vacation by using credit card bonuses. I still think that is the easiest way to get a cheap or free Vegas vacation, but I recently discovered a couple of new ways to reduce the cost of a Vegas Vacation. A post on the Mr. Money Mustache forum informed me of the MyVegas Rewards and Social Rewards programs that can be used to earn things such as free rooms, free buffets, free show tickets, and more.

MyVegas Rewards is a program set up by MLife which is the rewards program for MGM resorts. The basic idea of MyVegas rewards is that you can earn real comps by playing slots and table games on the MyVegas Facebook page. Playing the games rewards you with loyalty points which can be redeemed for free rooms, free meals, free show tickets and other rewards. After about a month of playing I have about 36,000 loyalty points which I could use for three nights at Circus Circus, two nights at Excalibur, or one night at New York New York or Monte Carlo.

I would suggest you join a group such as MyVegas Friends which will help you earn points faster and has guides on how to optimize your play. You might want to consider setting up a separate Facebook account for playing the game since all of the postings from the game can clutter up your news feed. Setting up a second account for games is a violation of Facebook rules so you will have to decide whether it is worth the risk that Facebook might possibly shut down the new account. Another thing to consider is that you still have to pay resort fees when you redeem for a free night. Excalibur charges about $20 a night in resort fees. Last time I was in Vegas I stayed in a non-casino hotel and paid about $35 a night so a free room is only saving me about $15 a night. I do enjoy playing the MyVegas games though so I think the rewards are a pretty good deal.

Social Rewards is a much simpler program. It is affiliated with TotalRewards which is the rewards program for Caesars Entertainment. Between these two programs you have most of the casinos on the strip covered. You get rewards for this program by sharing information about Caesars resorts and casinos on your social media accounts. You are limited to three shares a day so it is quick and easy to do this program each day. I’ve earned a little over $20 in free rewards since starting to use this program about a month ago.

Another thing to consider that I haven’t tried is legal online gaming while you are in Las Vegas. Some of the Las Vegas casinos now also have legal online casinos.  They also have online casino new jersey. The interesting thing about these casinos is that some offer a bonus for signing up online and making a deposit. The catch here is that you have to be located in New Jersey or Nevada when playing online. I think you would be able to play online while visiting New Jersey or Nevada, but I’m not sure. This is something you might want to explore for yourself.

Although these programs aren’t as great as I first thought they are still a pretty good deal in my opinion. Since IS enjoy playing MyVegas slots and Social Rewards doesn’t take much time I’ll keep using these programs. Rewards from these programs should make my next Vegas vacation very inexpensive.

Weight Loss Bet – 5 Month Update

Before I get to the weight loss update I want to give an update about the blog’s appearance. When the latest edition of WordPress came out I updated and noticed that all of the comments on the blog were no longer visible. I couldn’t figure out how to make them visible again. I figured it had something to do with my Thesis theme so I attempted to update to the latest version of Thesis. I was able to upload it, but kept getting an error message when trying to access the manage skins tab. This meant that my site was a blank page so that wouldn’t work. After several hours of trying to get my comments restored and make the them work I gave up and decided to just switch themes. I’m now using the free 2014 theme that comes standard on WordPress. Although it doesn’t look great it looks good enough and I don’t want to spend any more time on the blog’s appearance. The site should at least function correctly now. Let me know if you have any problems with the site and I’d also like to get feedback on the new appearance.

I now have less than one month left on my weight loss bet. The bet will pay me $3600 if I manage to lose the weight ($3000 of the amount is my own money being returned to me) and if I don’t manage to lose the weight I’ll be out $3000. The idea behind the bet is that the prospect of losing $3000 will motivate me to lose the weight.

After backsliding a little earlier in the month I now have less than ten pounds to lose. I’d prefer to have already lost the weight rather than taking to the last-minute to lose the weight, but I’m still confident that I will lose the weight. I’ve been experimenting with a low carb diet the last three days and I’ve lost over a pound a day on the diet. If I’m able to maintain that rate of weight loss I’ll easily lose the weight in time to win the bet. There is a two-week weigh-in period that starts on September 23. That day also happens to be my birthday. It would be pretty sweet if I could meet my weight-loss goal on that day. I’m making that my goal now. I’ll update you when I have met the goal.

August Income – $2270.85

Here is a breakdown of my income for August.

Online Income

$424.61
Craigslist

$84.45

Interest

$5.33

Account Bonuses

$220

Cash Back

$22.85

Mystery Shop

$8

Amazon FBA

$68.26
Medical Study $200
Jobs $1237.35

Total

$2270.85

My income was pretty good in August.  Although I only worked the first couple of days in August I received a couple of paychecks so I still had decent income from the job.

I kept better track of my Amazon FBA income during August so I can give an exact figure there.  My main motivation for doing Amazon FBA was to earn a Southwest Companion pass through using the Rapid Rewards shopping portal.  I should have my companion pass at the end of the month so I’ll probably cut back on Amazon FBA.  I wasn’t doing a big volume anyway so cutting back won’t make much difference.

I received some bonus income from the Motif  referral bonus and the Betterment referral bonus.  If you want to sign up through one of my referral links they are in the sidebar. If you want more information on either of the bonuses feel free to email me or leave a comment. I’m going to try to make more money from these referral bonuses.  I like them because they make me money and make money for my readers as well.

My cashback income stayed about the same. If you haven’t joined Mr. Rebates yet you can get a $5 bonus for signing up through my referral link and I’ll make a little money for referring you as well.
Mr. Rebates

This month is the last month of my medical study.  I’ll be getting a larger check this month than last which should help my overall income for the month.  Without any job income I’ll probably make less in September.  I do plan to ramp up selling stuff on Craigslist and Ebay so that might offset some of the loss of job income.

 

 

Top Winning Strategies for Online Bingo

Online Bingo is a fun way for those that love the game to play whenever they’d like. There are millions of free games going on at any given moment around the world. Feel free to join these, or join tournament rooms and play for cash. There are a few tips to share that will help you win more often on your favorite bingo sites or bingo halls.

Play At Least 5 Cards

Not only do you have to pay attention to your cards, but try to memorize them as you play through the game. You should try to play with at least 5 cards at all times to increase your odds. It is difficult to play multiple cards with a fast caller, so have a quick glance at your numbers before the round starts.

When you have 5 cards, you increase your odds of winning by 4.

Read the Rules for the Gaming Company

Each tournament or website has a specific set of rules. It is important to read the rules completely for each tournament before you purchase cards. Rules do change, and it is more often than not, without notice. It is horrible to have a winning card and not being able to cash in on those winnings because a rule was broken that you didn’t read.

Some games limit the number of cards you can have. Others limit how many bingos you can call with one set of cards. Read all of the fine print before you agree to any terms and conditions for the game.

Maintain Proper Chat Etiquette

Players tend to chat amongst each other while playing online games. Sometimes the discussion takes a turn in the wrong direction and ends up being adult conversation or an all-out argument. This is an unpleasant for other participants.

When you have an issue with the chat, contact the tournament administrator. You should be able to use a report button, flag button or even have the ability to ignore a single person yourself. If you are able to ignore the trouble maker, it is best to do so as it will help you to concentrate on your game and enjoy yourself.

Understand the Form of Cash Out

Some online Bingo websites pay via check. Others will pay via direct deposit or PayPal. It is important that you read what the method of payment is. It is also important that you read the terms of payment. This includes information regarding fees taken out, exchange rate differences and how long it will take to receive the payment.

As long as you fully understand the rules, stipulations and payment methods of every tournament you enter, online Bingo will be fun. It is a time to relax and of course, try to win some extra money. Make sure that you are not causing a ruckus with the other players. They are there for the same reason. Be polite and complement those that are having a good day. If you should happen to win, be courteous about it. It is part of good sportsmanship to win and lose gracefully. 

August Expenses – $1194.15

Here is a breakdown of my expenses for August.

Household $410.23
Entertainment

$194.90

Transportation

$115.23

Food

$119.67

Student Loan

$106.00

Phone

$26.81

Health

$221.31

Total

$1194.15

 

My August expenses almost got down to my target level of $1000.  I had a dental appointment which cost $165 which caused part of the overage. My entertainment expense was the only category that was way too high.  I spent $40 on a $50 movie gift card which will be used mainly this month and I put some more money into fixing my bike which resulted in the high entertainment expense.  All of my other expense categories were okay.  This month I am having some oral surgery so my expenses will be way up. I will probably also have some travel expense. Everything else should remain about the same.

Are Fuel Rewards Saving a Good Deal?

There are a lot of different fuel rewards programs that can help you save money on gas. These programs are not always a good deal though. It doesn’t make sense to spend dollars more on groceries to save pennies on gas.  Many people do not act rationally when it comes to saving money on gas. For some reason lots of people are more interested in saving money on gas than they are on saving money on other stuff. You need to do the math to determine whether the a fuel reward program is good for your particular situation.  For example, I have a small car with a small gas tank so it only takes about ten gallons to fill my tank which means I don’t get to take full advantage of fuel reward savings.  If I get a reward for ten cents off a gallon then I’m only saving a dollar on that fill up. If I’m only buying things I would buy anyway then this is an okay deal, but it isn’t anything to get excited about and it definitely isn’t enough savings to buy something I don’t need just for the fuel reward.

A grocery chain near me recently had a deal where you received twenty cents off a gallon when you bought a $100 gift card to selected merchants.  That would be a $2 savings for me. The max savings would be $4 since the discount is good for a maximum of twenty gallons. This might seem like a good deal on the surface since you’re paying regular price for the gift cards.  Being a tight fisted miser though, I don’t pay full price for gift cards. Taking a look at GiftCardGranny.com I see that $100 Home Depot gift cards are on sale for as little as $89 , a $100 Sears gift cards can be bought for $92 , and a $100 Olive Garden can be bought for as little as $90.  Depending on where the card is being sold, you can also go through an online cash back portal such as Mr. Rebates, Ebates, or Top Cashback for even more savings. Buying the cards at the grocery store for the fuel rewards would cost you money. A possible exception would be if you had a credit card that paid 5% back on groceries, that is why you have to do the math for your particular situation.

These fuel rewards are also usually only good at certain gas stations. If you do not have one of these gas stations close to you then the fuel rewards become less of a good deal. The IRS estimates the cost of operating a car at 56 cents per mile, at that rate it doesn’t take much extra driving to use up $2 of fuel reward savings.

Another great way that I currently save on gas is with my Chase Freedom card  (referral link) which is offering 5% back on gas purchases this quarter.  All of that being said, I do use fuel reward savings programs. I just make sure that I don’t spend extra or go out of my way to do so.

Extreme Frugality – How to Live Well on Very Little