Earn Gift Cards In Your Down Time with Dabbl

I feel like, with current conditions, everyone could use a few extra bucks right? Imagine being able to interact with ads, take surveys, and more from your phone while waiting for the bus, sitting in the waiting room of your doctor’s office, or while sitting on your couch and earning free gift cards for doing it!

This time of year is the perfect time to start earning too. In my experience starting by this time or sooner in the year usually produces at least one gift card for the holidays. A gift card that can be used for holiday shopping, to gift, or used to buy donations. If you could earn gift cards to Walmart, Disney, Target or hundreds of other stores for FREE, would you try it?

Dabbl is a reward app that offers everything I just mentioned. Simply download the app, for free, and start earning your way towards free gift cards.

Dabbl is available in the apple app store and Google Play. So if you’re phone or tablet uses either of those options for app downloads, you’re good to go.

Dabbl has paid out over $2 million in gift cards since 2017. If you find yourself having just a little extra time on your hands with this pandemic this is a great way to spend your relaxation time. Doesn’t hurt that you’ll earn some free gift cards either.

I was looking at the list. Some of the gift cards that caught my eye include:

  • Spotify
  • TJ Maxx
  • Amazon
  • Ulta
  • Lowes

That’s just a sampling. 100s of gift cards to choose from for your efforts. Start earning now and maybe earn some extra scratch by the end of the year!

Download Dabble now

This post does contain affiliate links. I will earn a commission from downloads through my links.


A Surprising Alternative to Education Funding

A good friend of mine is an insurance agent. She happened to mention one day about using whole life insurance to help pay for college. My ears perked up. Wait, what? I can use whole life insurance to help pay for college. But why would I used that instead of loans, 529 plan, or any of the other options out there? Turns out there’s a few reasons. I was eager to learn more and thought maybe my readers would like to know more too. So, I asked her to write up this article. I’m so glad she did.

Providing protection to your loved ones is primarily what whole life insurance is known for, but gone are the days when it’s used solely for the death benefit. One surprising way that life insurance can be used is
to pay for higher education costs, specifically as an alternative to using a 529 plan. If you’re unfamiliar with what a 529 plan is, it’s a tax-advantaged investment vehicle in the U.S. designed to encourage saving for future higher education expenses of a designated beneficiary. However, there are several disadvantages to a 529 plan. They vary from state to state and balances in a 529 plan may reduce your beneficiary’s ability to receive financial aid. Also, in the event that your beneficiary doesn’t want to
pursue higher education, the earnings may be subject to income tax plus a 10% penalty tax.

A whole life insurance policy can help you accomplish your college savings goals similar to a 529 plan and for some, an insurance policy may actually be a more suitable option because of the additional benefits, added flexibility, and guarantees not tied to the market. However, it’s best to use this option when the child is young, that way your policy can build up enough cash value to properly cover college expenses. You can also use what’s called an optional Paid-Up Additions (PUA) rider to significantly add
to the early build-up of cash values in your policy. While the two have similar contribution, accumulation, and distribution tax features, there are some differences between the two that might make whole life insurance a more suitable option for you:

Income tax-free college loans. You can use the accumulated cash value in your whole life policy to take out tax-free loans to help pay for college expenses without having to worry whether they’re qualified education expenses or not. If the time comes and your child decides not to pursue higher education, you could use this money for other things. For instance, you could use this money to help them purchase a vehicle, pay for living expenses if they choose to go out on their own, or pay for travel expenses so they could see the world.

Get guarantees without market volatility. A 529 plan likely has funds tied to market returns. While that can allow your college fund to grow over time, a down market could have the opposite effect. Imagine a downward spiraling market right before your child starts college. That would be a disaster. Alternatively, a whole life insurance policy provides you with guaranteed premiums along with a death benefit should the unthinkable happen and an accumulated cash value that won’t decrease based on the financial market performance.

Have options in case of disability. What if you became disabled while trying to build up savings for college education? No worries. With whole life, you have an optional waiver of premium rider to guarantee your college funding goals stay on track.

Benefit from savings that may not affect financial aid considerations. Unfortunately, a 529 plan is considered an asset by FAFSA. However, FAFSA financial aid guidelines currently don’t count your life insurance policy’s cash value as an asset, which means you could qualify for a higher
level of aid. (Note: Some colleges do view life insurance as an asset in determining financial aid).


Fund an education should the unthinkable happen. Life insurance provides an income tax-free benefit to your named beneficiary, which could in turn fund an education if they wished.

However, it doesn’t have to be one or the other. If you could afford it, a whole life policy could simply be used as a solution that supplements funds alongside your 529 plan contributions. If the grandparents are highly involved in your child’s life, you could even consider asking them if they’d like to start a 529 plan for your child (as currently 529 plans owned by grandparents or third parties generally do not affect
financial aid of beneficiaries under the current guidelines), while you start a whole life insurance policy. I encourage you to compare the two and talk to a financial professional to see if using whole life insurance is the right college savings solution for you.

If you’re ready to start with whole life insurance, get in touch with my friend Angie Bailey.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AFGBurgAngela/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/angela-angie-bailey-b1545025/


*Disclosure: This article is not intended to provide investment, insurance, or tax advice. Please consult
your own tax advisors regarding the comparative tax benefits of 529 plans, as well as the potential taxation of distributions from both 529 plans and whole life insurance policies


Beware of COVID-19 Scams: Utility Scammers

With COVID-19 comes a lot of new problems. Some we adjust to, some are temporary. I’ll never understand how scammers can do what they do to innocent people. Which is why I wanted to pass on this information I received from The National Consumer League (NCL).

Washington, DC–The National Consumers League (NCL) has issued a warning today for consumers about a reported increase in scams by con artists posing as utility company representatives who are threatening to shut off subscribers’ power service if they don’t make an immediate payment.

The anatomy of the scam is highly consistent: a consumer receives a call from someone claiming to be with the electric utility company. The caller warns the consumer that their power is about to be shut off over an unpaid bill. The only way to avoid this is to pay up immediately, typically via wire transfer, gift card, or some other difficult-to-stop payment method. So what can we, as consumers do?

Such a call can be very scary—particularly for those who may need electricity to power medical devices or run their small business. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many consumers are having trouble keeping up with their bills, which may make them even more vulnerable to this scam. And even for consumers who are confident they’ve paid their bill, the impending threat of a shut-off at the height of summer heat can cause a panic. 

To avoid becoming a victim, consumers should:

  • Not panic. According to the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, electric utilities in all 50 states have placed moratoriums on disconnections during the COVID-19 crisis, either voluntarily or in response to government orders. If someone contacts you claiming that they’re about to shut-off your electricity, it’s a scam. 
  • Contact the power company. A utility will never initiate a disconnection without contacting you via the mail first. If you received a call from someone claiming they’re about to turn off your power, hang up and contact your electric company. Their toll-free phone number and website address is typically listed on your electric bill. 
  • Beware of unusual payment methods. Anyone who asks you to pay an overdue electric or other utility bill via wire transfer, gift card, bank-to-bank transfer, bitcoin, or any other unusual payment method is almost certainly trying to scam you. 
  • Not give out personal information. Utility imposters may offer to connect their victims to federal assistance programs or payment plans to help pay their overdue bills. They just need to “verify” the victim’s information. In reality, these scammers are trying to gather the information they need to steal your identity. If you suspect something is amiss, hang up and call your utility company directly. 

NCL asks consumers to share their stories by filing a complaint at Fraud.org via its secure online complaint form. Complaints are shared with NCL’s network of nearly 200 law enforcement and consumer protection agency partners who can and do put fraudsters behind bars.

Scammers like these are everywhere. Knowledge is power. Please share this information with friends and family.

About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneering consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.


After About 16 Years We Finally Switched Cell Phone Carriers and Saved Big Money

Years ago, I started my wireless service with AT&T. At the time it was just me and I don’t think smart phones were really a big thing. Maybe they were but I just don’t remember. My bill wasn’t bad and I got a nice discount through my employer.

When my husband and I got engaged I added him to my cell phone plan. Still it was reasonable and again, I don’t think smartphones were that big at the time. I think I had a plan that had unlimited talk and 200 texts a month. That was just fine for the two of us.

After we got married we ended up adding my father-in-law to the plan. Then several years down the road my oldest son. Cell phones and plans changed and our wireless bill was crazy. Even with the 24% discount I was getting through my employer it was insane. We stayed with AT&T though because we’ve had our numbers for so long and figured that was as good as we were going to get given the nice discount through my employer.

Then AT&T started with sketchy sales tactics. “Oh you’re getting a new iPhone we have a promotion right now where you can get a new ipad for $1” I asked about the catch, of course we had to add another line for it. I did it but almost immediately regretted it but we were stuck with it then. After having it for a year and a half I did a live chat. I told them I wanted to remove the ipad from our plan because it never connected to service anyway and could only use it with wifi. I told them I only wanted to do it if there was not going to be a penalty. If there was then we’d just keep it on the plan until we had to. They said no problem, took it off our plan then charged us $60.

We had talked about switching over to Consumer Cellular for some time but still had payments left on our phones. The ipad incident made me want to be done with AT&T. A few coworkers had switched to Consumer Cellular and save a lot of money. Then my father -in-laws phone broke. All the new phones were expensive or required a 2 year contract. I got a call from a sales agent for AT&T trying to talk me into getting my father in law a new Samsung for only $1 and I could save money if I switched plans and there would be a two year contract. I thought, oh no it’s the pad incident all over again. I said no. My husband and I decided it was time to call Consumer Cellular.

The sales agent was so nice and helpful. Answered all the questions I had and then some. You guys, we are saving over $100/mo by switching over AND get WAYYY more data to use. We only had 4 GB of data to share between the 4 of us with AT&T. Of course that never worked out with my teenage son and me being a blogger and social media influencer. We now have 25GB of data with Consumer Cellular for less!! Even without my employer discount. We have the same coverage because they use AT&T and T-mobile cell towers, we got to keep our phones, and keep our numbers!If you want to check out Consumer Cellular to see if they can save you money on your wireless bill too check out Consumer Cellular’s website here.

The links in this post are my Consumer Cellular referral link. If you go through one of those you’ll also get a $10 credit on your first bill!


Get Food From Your Favorite Restaurant Delivered with Door Dash

Many restaurants in my area are only offering drive-thru or take out service if they are able. Some restaurants just can’t offer that and had to close temporarily. One way to support your favorite restaurants at this time, help people not able to work their regular jobs, and get your food delivered right to you is with Door Dash.

You’d be surprised at what restaurants actually partner with Door Dash. In fact, one of our local mom & pop pizzerias just announced that they’ve partnered with Door Dash now so we can still get their food delivered!

Restaurants, especially small business/family owned, are struggling at this time. We’ve been trying to support these small businesses as much as possible.

Door Dash is offering $0 delivery fee on your first order right now:

So how does that help people that can’t work their normal jobs right now? Well, some are turning to doing things like driving for Door Dash to try to make some extra money. My brother drives for Door Dash in my area normally, just to try to make a little extra cash.

I’ll be honest I haven’t used Door Dash before but we’re planning to this weekend from one of our fave small business restaurants in our area, The Orchard. They have amazing wings. Can’t wait to get my hands on some of the creamy garlic wings.

What is your favorite local restaurant that you like to support?

This post does contain affiliate link. I will get a small commission on sales made through my links.