Wednesday, July 1

$70 or $40, which should I choose?

Yeah, that doesn't sound like too hard a choice, I know. But hear me out:

My favorite incentive program, Swagbucks, is offering a new option. You can redeem those bucks for $5 Paypal. Seems like a pretty good deal, right? I mean, who would turn down cold, hard cash?

Here's the problem: The Paypal option is significantly higher than the Amazon gift cards I was saving up for. (You can buy tons of cool things on Amazon, and I tend to get a lot of Tim's presents there.)

Right now, there's a promotion, so for 80 Swagbucks I'd get $5 Paypal. That means I would have just about enough to get $40 in Paypal. (And that's due in large part to all you fine folks who used me as a referral. I do appreciate it, and everytime I see my totals I know I didn't get there alone!)

So, $40 of actual money... Seems like a pretty good deal, right?

Well... Maybe. One small consideration is Paypal fees. In the end, I'll still have $38.54, which isn't a bad little sum. And I bet it would look great up against my credit card debt!

But that's not the only thing to consider. I had originally been saving up for Amazon gift cards. I use them quite often in gift-buying for the holidays. In fact, one of my favorite things about Swagbucks is that their Amazon gift cards are very affordable.

So if I keep the Swagbucks as a sort of Christmas fund, I would already have $70 stored away. Arguably, saving $70 in 5 months (eek!!! only 5 months?!) is a pretty good return versus $38.54 now. Of course, you could also argue that having the money will make it more likely to buy more than I need, since I can. (Somehow I doubt Tim would protest more gifts.)

Finally, there's the fact of interest, since we're looking at a present vs future payoff scenario. Our credit card debt is consolidated onto a 4.99% card, so interest rates aren't exactly killing us. We pay about $35 a month, actually. I would love to pay $0 of interest, of course, but by and large accruing interest isn't exactly dire. On the other hand, those of you who are staunch Dave Ramsey, financial snowball fans would probably remind me that anything you can pay down is great.

So what do you think, folks? Take the money and run, or accept that I'll want to spend something on my husband this holiday?

While you ponder that, I want to address all of you who have yet to be converted to the beauty of Swagbucks. I am betting some of you held back because you prefer programs that offer actual cash. Well, then, now is the time!

If you sign up here you'll start off with 5 Swagbucks. Just be sure to enter the code CASHISKING (case sensitive) during sign-up.

Once you have those 5, you're on your way. You'll be 1/9 of the way toward that Amazon Gift Card or 1/16 of the way to $5 from Paypal!

The code expires July 6th, 12 PM Pacific. So be sure to take a break from all that bbq goodness to sign up!


Blogger Saving Cents in the City: said...

I've been wondering the same thing, but I think I will continue to go with the Amazon gift cards since they are "cheaper." I love swagbucks! :)

July 1, 2009 at 7:30 PM

Blogger Miss M said...

I vote for the Amazon gift card provided you save up and use it towards gifts you normally buy anyway, like birthdays or christmas. Cash is more flexible, but why not maximize your reward (as long as it's something you'd use).

July 2, 2009 at 12:32 PM


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