You’ve no doubt heard this advice before. Making a budget — and sticking to it — is the fastest path to financial security. A budget can help you get out of debt, save for a big purchase, and set yourself up for a relaxing retirement.
Unfortunately, according to a 2016 study by U.S. Bank, only 41% of Americans use a budget. Which begs the question: If budgeting is so great, why aren’t more of us doing it?
Our guess? It’s because so much budgeting advice focuses on the negative. Giving up your morning coffee run. Staying home instead of taking that vacation. Canceling your cable subscription and sitting at home in the dark every night with the air conditioning turned off. (Okay, that last one might be a stretch, but you get the picture.)
We’re all for living within your means, but it can start to feel like budgeting is all about what you can’t have. But don’t start crying into your spreadsheet just yet. When you use Ibotta, it’s all about saving on the things you want, not skipping them. Here are five ways to bring the fun back to budgeting with Ibotta.
1. Chow Down and Save with Grocery and Restaurant Offers
Fishing nearly expired bologna out of the bargain bin — that’s one way to save on groceries. Here’s another one: make your shopping list ahead of time using in-store Ibotta grocery offers. Whether you’re stocking up on beer and brats for a summer barbeque or just meal prepping for the work week, Ibotta has hundreds of deals on food, drinks, sundries, and household items. You can shop by store, by brand, or by item. Add the offers you want in the app, hit the grocery store, then upload your receipt and get your cash back. If there’s not an offer for, say, your usual brand of cold brew coffee, Ibotta will often suggest a deal on a different one. Branch out and you could find a new favorite, and you’ll definitely save some cash! And for those nights when you don’t feel like cooking, Ibotta also offers deals on restaurants, bars and food delivery services.
Tip: Got a wallet full of store loyalty cards? Make saving even easier by linking all of them in the Ibotta app. Choose offers before you shop, scan your loyalty card at checkout, and you’ll be able to skip uploading your receipts!
2. Get Out of Town and Save with Travel Offers
Weddings, holidays, vacations — seems like you’ve always got someplace to go. And those travel expenses can add up. Luckily, Ibotta partners with tons of travel companies, so you can save on everything from flights to lodging to rental cars. Simply make your travel reservations online through the Ibotta app and get cash back once you’ve completed your stay or returned your rental car.
Tip: Put your savings toward your next trip (or bring us back a souvenir)!
3. Go Gift Shopping and Get Cash Back with Online and In-Store Retail Offers
You’re generous, but that doesn’t mean you don’t love a good deal. Stick to your budget by shopping for gifts through Ibotta. Send flowers to your mom, buy headphones for your nephew, pick out a pair of kicks for your bestie, or snag a new dog bed for your pooch. Add offers for the gifts you want in the app, shop, give, and receive money back.
Tip: You’ll probably make some gift purchases online and some in-store. For purchases made in-store, be sure to add offers in the Ibotta app before you shop and use your linked store loyalty account or upload your receipts afterward! For online shopping, always visit the retailer’s website through the Ibotta app to make your purchase.
4. Find Great Deals on Entertainment
When you start budgeting, entertainment is often the first thing to go. With Ibotta, you can find deals on all types of entertainment, including books, games, sporting goods, streaming services, concerts, movie tickets, Topgolf, and more.
Tip: Don’t forget to pick up some snacks for game night!
5. Get Instant Cash Back When You Pay with Ibotta
Imagine getting money back every time you shopped, regardless of what you purchased. No choosing offers, no uploading receipts, no waiting for your money. If there’s an easier way to stretch your budget, we can’t think of it! Now, you can use our new Pay with Ibotta feature at more than 30 stores and restaurants, including Nike, Sephora, Chipotle, and The Home Depot. Follow the buyable gift card instructions to connect a debit or credit card to your Ibotta app, head to a participating retailer, and start saving instantly.
Tip: We’re always adding new retailers to gift cards, so check the app often for more ways to save at your favorite stores!