My lucky streak continues into 2014. I won three more contests since the new year started, which means I’m off to a very good start!
Now it’s my turn to host a giveaway. Leave a comment on this post letting me know how you would spend $100. That’s it.
One random winner will be selected next week. The prize is an Amazon gift card code for $100.
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This contest is now over. The winner is #72: Paulie.
I started keeping track of the money I earned from online contests and giveaways in 2012. That year I won $149 in online contests and $750 from two writing contests. In 2013 my luck continued and I won a total of $1,775! Do you see the large turquoise section of the pie chart below. That’s the amount of money I earned from online giveaways in comparison to the money I earned from all other online endeavors. It is a good chunk of it.
I don’t spend much time submitting entries to online contests, so it is rather remarkable how much money I raked in.
My husband thinks my passion for winning is quite funny. He pointed out how odd it is that I get more excited about winning money than I do about earning it. He believes it is an inherited trait or at the very least something I learned from my father. My dad talks a lot about being lucky in life. I actually think about feeling lucky in life quite a bit.
Last year was lucky in many ways. I was able to stay home with my son for another year. My marriage strengthened as my husband and I learned to talk through our problems and my health although not perfect has been manageable. I have fewer days with pain than without them! I am actually quite amazed at all that my body can accomplish. Before my son was born I wondered how I would hold a baby in my left arm. Now I lift and carry a twenty-eight pound baby and most days I am no worse for wear for doing it.
There are many reasons for feeling lucky. Those are just a few that pop off the top of my head. Keeping a gratitude journal also helps. The more I reflect on the good in life the happier and luckier I feel. Oh and winning a little cash never hurts either!
Have you ever felt lucky? Have you ever walked up to the roulette table at a casino and known, just known, that your number would come up? No, that’s never happened to me either, but I have felt remarkably lucky my whole life. I’ve never won the mega millions but I am the kind of girl who wins the door prize at a party or whose name gets picked out of a hat. I am lucky at life in general. I have more blessings in my life than I can possibly count.
This weekend while I was attending a local, holiday event I saw a sign for a nightly raffle and felt compelled to drop a little slip of paper with my name and phone number into the box. I noticed the sign as soon as I walked into the lobby, then spotted two other similar billboards as I meandered around the building.
I don’t know why, but I felt absolutely drawn to register for this raffle. As my husband was zipping my son’s coat and putting on his mittens I slipped off to find the entry box. I even joked that I was feeling particularly lucky for Friday the 13th.
The raffle rules stated that you didn’t need to be present to win the prize and that a winner would be selected later that night. After filling out the form I rejoined my husband and son and didn’t give that raffle another thought. We enjoyed the rest of the evening and after a few hours we piled back into the car and headed home.
On the drive home my phone rang and I immediately rejected the call. We receive an incredible amount of spam these days and I often screen any calls that I don’t recognize. My husband told me to answer the phone but I ignored him and told him I was certain it was junk. A minute or so later the phone rang and again I ignored the phone call much to the distress of my husband.
After the second call was rejected I said “oh maybe I should have picked up. Maybe I won the raffle.” At first I was kidding, but when I got home I really wondered if that was the case. It was late on a Friday night. Who else might have been calling?
After we put our son to bed, which can be a rather lengthy process, I thought again about the raffle and the phone call and Googled for the number. My husband pointed out that I could have saved myself all of the trouble of searching the Internet if I’d only answered the phone when it first rang.
Sure enough the number mapped to the place where we just attended a holiday event. I knew I was feeling lucky for a reason and realized I was an absolute idiot for failing to pick up.
I assumed my prize had been handed over to someone else, but dialed the number in the morning to find out if my name had been selected. I was told that I was not the winner, but the woman I spoke with was not there the previous night. I asked if it was possible that they moved on to someone else after I didn’t answer. The clerk said that was not store policy. She told me they always leave a message and give you a set amount of time to claim your prize.
I guess I’ll never know what really happened. There is no plausible reason that the store would have called me or even had my phone number on file. I’m sure I won that raffle. To be honest I don’t even know what I would have won. I just know that it was valued at $50.
Isn’t that funny? All of this time wasted for an unknown prize. I suppose there is a lesson in every story and this one might just be to answer the phone when it rings.
Not so long ago I won a $100 Visa gift card giveaway. I could have used the money to buy groceries or gasoline or any of the regular items I buy on a weekly basis, but that seemed rather boring.
So here is what I purchased instead:
- $75 for a membership to the national zoo. My son and I actually haven’t returned to the zoo since I bought the membership, but the weather this week is supposed to be gorgeous, so I plan to return before Friday.
- $12.50 for a box from Citrus Lane – I wanted to try this company out before ordering a subscription for my sister-in-law’s new baby. I paid $12.50, which is half of the regular price. (Use coupon code TAKEHALF if you are interested in trying it out for yourself.) The box contained a set of blocks, a board book, a toddler snack, baby wash and nail polish. Sold separately the items would’ve cost over $30, so $12.50 was definitely a good deal. I still think this would make a good gift for a new mom, but we definitely don’t need more toys and books at this stage of the game.
- $2.95 for one set of Bamboobies. The link will take you to Amazon, but the deal I found was actually listed directly on the Bamboobies website and has now ended. These are the absolute BEST, reusable nursing pads and they typically cost $16.99 for two pairs, so $2.95 is an amazing price. I plan to give these to my sister-in-law.
- $5.95 for the Honest Company Trial Bundle. I’ve been working really hard to use organic, environmentally friendly products and I’ve heard great things about the Honest Company. I haven’t received this order yet so I can’t provide any information on it.
If another $100 gift card falls into my lap I’d probably use it in a similar way. I’d spend the majority on an experience. This time it was a zoo membership. Next time it might be a trip to the spa or a romantic dinner with my husband. Then I’d use the rest for something I don’t typically buy myself like a decadent dessert from an upscale grocery store.
If you won $100 what would you do with it?
Over the past two months I won $450 worth of Visa and Amazon gift cards from a variety of online giveaways. I used to enter contests quite often and even kept track of all of the items I won on my old blog, but unfortunately when I ported it over to Word Press I lost the details of that page. In the past I entered contests for just about anything I thought I could sell or give as gifts, but these days I typically look for prizes that will benefit my son, husband or myself. In fact, I rarely enter contests, so it’s surprising that I won five within a 45 day period.
I didn’t dedicate much time to entering. In fact most of the giveaways required nothing more than a comment and an email address. Unfortunately, since I won all of this loot I’ve gotten into a bit of a giveaway frenzy and I realized today that I’m probably wasting a little too much time submitting entries to these contests.
I can’t help but wonder if I’m on a lucky streak. Of course, I realize every gambler thinks that as she sits at the roulette or black jack table and watches her chips stack up.
Whether I win contests or not I consider myself very lucky in life. I’ve written about my happiness hundreds of times on this blog, but this post highlights the joy in my life.
This paragraph says it all:
The joy in my world is so great that sometimes it makes my heart hurt. It’s those little moments. You know the ones. Like when my son plays hide-and-seek and runs out from behind the furniture when he hears me coming to get him. When my husband scoops ice cream, drizzles chocolate over the top along with brightly colored sprinkles and brings it to me while I sit in the living room. Or how about the sound of my son giggling for absolutely no reason from the back of the car. It’s a sound that immediately makes me smile and melts my heart.
A friend once asked if luck begets luck. I don’t know the answer, but it does seem like the luckier I feel the luckier I am in life.
I am competing in the Free Money Finance March Madness and could really use your votes to win. FMF was gracious enough to include my post about a gift I received as a child. If you are a fan of One Frugal Girl check out today’s bracket and write the word ‘Gratitude’ in the comments section.
There is no prize, other than pride and glory, for winning.
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If you’d like to win a free magazine subscription simply leave a comment in the form below telling me which magazine you’d like to win. I’ll pick 10 winners at midnight on Sunday, December 23rd.
Update: The winners have been selected. They are canadian_sadie, Newlyweds on a Budget, evelyn, Amber, Jennifer, Michelle, Michelle Hart, Cindy Brick, Sense and Mary. Congratulations to all of the winners! I will send an email shortly. Please respond to my email within 48 hours.
My dad likes to play the lottery. He isn’t a fanatic or anything, but he buys tickets from time to time and always jokes about what he’d do with the money if he won. Sometimes he let’s the machine pick the numbers, but most of the time he buys a ticket with his lucky set. Three of the numbers are the birthdays of my brother, mother and grandmother and the other is his anniversary date.
This time he didn’t buy a ticket for the $587.5 million Powerball jackpot, but this time his numbers were picked! Four of the six numbers, including the Powerball number, were among the four he plays week after week. If you match four numbers including the power ball you win $10,000 and $10,000 would’ve made a pretty sweet Christmas gift!
Well you win some, you lose some, but it’s true what they say “you have to be in it to win it” and this week of all weeks he decided not to play. I haven’t talked to my dad yet today, but I’m sure he’s kicking himself about it.
I rarely play the lottery, but I do enter online giveaways from time to time. Winning for me is less about the prize then the excitement of being picked. I’ve been pretty lucky in the past. I once won a $250 gift card to Marshall’s. That was definitely my biggest haul, but I’ve also won smaller prizes typically ranging from $25 to $50. My favorite prizes are money and gift cards, but I’ve also won board games, books and even a huge box packed with high-quality barbeque sauces.
I’m usually a pretty optimistic girl, but I really love the idea that luck is on my side. Entering and winning giveaways somehow reinforces that notion. Here’s to hoping I win a couple of prizes and that my dad’s lucky numbers are picked on a day he actually plays the lottery!
This post was my final submission for the GoBankingRates Personal Finance Olympics. The contest ended a few weeks ago but the winners will not be announced until FinCon 2012. (I’m pretty certain I came in last place in the finals, but hey it was still nice to make it that far. Thanks to all of those who voted to get me there.)
You can say it any number of ways; I was given the boot, handed a pink slip, terminated, sacked, axed, canned or dismissed. On a warm summer afternoon I received notice of my fate and in the fall of last year I was officially laid off. Three-quarters of my entire department also received pink slips including my manager and all of his direct reports.
The people who chose to cut me didn’t know me. They couldn’t tell you if I was talented or incompetent, strong or weak. They had no knowledge of my skills or abilities. They had no idea that I started this job just after college or that I often worked twelve to fourteen hours learning my trade and proving my worth. I’m sure they didn’t know that I received stellar yearly reviews or that I was assigned complicated work.
What did they know? They knew that the recession dramatically altered the landscape of our business. In 2007 my company’s stock plummeted from $60 a share to less than a buck. My pension was frozen and my benefits were cut.
A series of layoffs moved swiftly through various divisions and departments. One-day security guards filed in and employees filed out. It was clear that layoffs would continue, but I thought my drive, determination and effort would save me from the cuts.
I thought 12 years of hard work for the same employer would pay off. While my friends switched companies every few years I stayed put. My company could have cared less about my loyalty; I was just a number. I was one of hundreds cut.
In interviews I quickly learned that loyalty is no longer an admirable quality. An HR representative said, “Wow, 12 years with the same company, that’s tough” and a career coach told me to “downplay the length of time I spent working there.” Some interviewers said I was not well rounded despite the fact that my technical background was quite diverse. When I pointed out my technical merits people said “Hmm, yes, but in your entire career you’ve only really worked at one place.”
These days it seems an employee is measured by the number of companies listed on their resume. While job-hopping isn’t necessarily the goal employers do want to see at least a few companies under one’s belt. If you stay in one place for too long you are seen as less adventurous, motivated and ambitious.
It’s easy to see why the perception has changed. There are a lot of employees who stay in the same job, performing the same tasks week after week. They have no desire to learn new things or expand their talents. This wasn’t the case for me, but perhaps those employees have given the rest of us, (loyal employees), a bad rap.
It seems the very nature of employee/employer relationships has changed. In a world where most companies offer 401(k)s rather than pensions there is simply no need to stick around in one place. Switching companies allows you to explore new opportunities and get faster pay raises. It can also help you learn new skills and broaden your network.
In this economy job-hopping might feel a bit like walking a tight rope. You don’t want to be viewed as someone who never moves around and you don’t want to be viewed as someone who moves around too much. It can be difficult to find the right balance. Employers are looking for individuals who aren’t afraid to try new things or learn new skills, but be aware that companies aren’t keen on hiring employees who never stay put.
I’m sure there is a magic formula for when to stay and when to go. I’ve read that you should wait at least two years before moving on to a new job and shouldn’t ever stay at one place for more than seven. There was a time when it was best to be loyal and a time when it was okay to job-hop. These days I think you have to walk the fine line. You also have to look carefully before you leap.
Interestingly enough it was my desire to look for new opportunities that cost me my job. I switched positions within my company just 90 days before I was laid off.
This week I celebrated my 35th birthday. Some people are afraid of their birthdays, but other than a few years with health issues my time on this earth certainly seems to be getting better. In celebration of my big day I’ve decided to host a giveaway.
If you’d like to win a $50 gift certificate to Restaurant.com feel free to enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter entry system below. One lucky winner will be selected on Monday, August 13th.