You Can Get Paid To Have A Massage!

getpaidtohaveamassage.jpgBeing a dude, going to the spa for a massage just feels wrong! In fact, for years I completely avoided it. However, my wife started going for semi-regular massages and kept telling me just how wonderful they were and over time it really started to pique my interest. The tipping point was when I found out my good friend, who is also a guy, went for at least one massage a month!

Ok, now I had to try it, right?

But what about the price? Massages aren’t cheap and if you go to a big spa you can easily spend more than $100 after tax and tip are factored which doesn’t seem like a good use of money. What’s a guy to do?

Your Health Plan Covers It

People generally seem to make terrible use of their health plans - for years I was guilty of this as well. The thing is, you most likely pay a large sum of money every month for your health benefits through work. Many people pay 50-100% of the cost out of their own pocket while others have 100% of the cost covered by their employer. Then there are some unlucky souls, like me, that have to pay 100% of the cost themselves!

Related: Money In Your Pocket Review - Save 30% Or More On Groceries

Don’t be fooled though, you better believe your employer factors in that expense into your “total compensation” when determining how much money you are costing them every year. The money they spend there is money they don’t have to pay you more now or to give you a future raise, so you might as well use what you are entitled to.

The good news is that massages are covered by most health plans! Sometimes you need a doctor’s note but that shouldn’t be a problem because requesting massage therapy for preventative care is 100% valid.

You’ll Feel Fantastic

Let me tell you that there isn’t anything much more relaxing than having a massage. All noise and distractions are forgotten while you simply lie still, breathe in and out, and have all the tension worked out of your body by a trained professional. When you get up off that table, you’ll feel like a new person ready to conquer the world and that’s priceless!

My first few massages were a learning experience and I did actually go to various fancy spas to get them - which made me feel quite awkward but the overall experience was worth it. It does take a while to find the right massage therapist, figure out what type of massage works for you, and start really getting the most out of it. I recommend taking the time to experiment with different therapists, styles, pressure, and places so you can quickly determine what is right for your body.

There are even better options out there than traditional spas so men don’t have to feel quite so awkward - more on that next.

How Many Free Massages Can You Get?

Going for a free massage sounds great doesn’t it? But, once you delve into your insurance plan you might find that your allowable benefit will be used up rather quickly at $100 a pop. My health plan isn’t that great and only allows me $400 in coverage during the calendar year. That’s only four massages which works out to one every three months - a little disappointing but better than nothing.

Fortunately, we can do better than that even with limited coverage!

Businesses Specializing In Massages

I heard about a company called Massage Addict for the first time on Dragon’s Den a couple of years ago and didn’t think much of it because I was only starting to become interested in massages. I thought it was a neat idea, but nothing more.

The basic premise is that they offer massages by Registered Massage Therapists in a comfortable but less spa-like environment at an incredible introductory rate of $39. Additional massages cost only $59 if you commit to having at least one massage per month for a year. If you don’t like making that commitment, then the regular price is $79.

Now that I’ve jumped on the massage bandwagon, I actually use another similar company called Massage Experts to get my massages. They are a little more guy friendly because they use neutral blues and greens for colours and it really doesn’t feel like you are walking into a spa at all when you go there but it’s still a great atmosphere. They currently are only in Atlantic Canada though so most people will have to stick with Massage Addict until they expand.

So now with the same $400 health plan, we’ve upped our number of free massages from 4 or less to 6+. That’s a good start! Committing to paying for another 6 massages coming right out of your pocket might be a little much for some, but hopefully you can:

Use Your Spouse’s Health Plan Too

If you live in a two income household then chances are your spouse has a health plan too that may give you additional massage therapy coverage. If that gives you an additional $400+ in coverage, then now you’re covered for one massage a month at either Massage Addict or Massage Experts without having to pay a dime unless you choose to leave a tip. Not bad!

You Mentioned Making Money With Massages?

Investing In What You Buy

investinginwhatyoubuy.jpgA lot of financial experts are fond of the phrase "Let your money work for you." A few years ago I found a way to take that thought one step further by investing in the companies whose products or services I pay for regularly. So now, not only is the money I've invested working toward building my future, it's helping to pay some of my current expenses along the way.

It started about six years ago when I was first buying shares in BCE, the parent company of Bell. I was reviewing the dividend details of my purchase and noticed the annual dividend was a little over two dollars a share, which meant that for every 100 shares I bought, I was going to receive more than $200 a year. I started thinking about my monthly bill from Bell, which included phone, internet and our TV package in a bundled deal. Each month I was paying nearly $200 for those services - and that's when the light bulb went on over my head! For every 100 shares of the company I owned, Bell was essentially covering my bill to them for one month.

Paying For Products And Services With Dividends

That revelation prompted me to think about other products and services my wife and I used and looking to see if I could replicate the Bell strategy with other things in our lives.

Getting The Hydro Company To Pay For Your Electricity

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals You Can Actually Use

BlackFriday.jpgThe Black Friday & Cyber Monday frenzy is building by the minute but most of the deals are on specific items you may or may not need or use. That's why I wanted to put together a quick list of deals that would appeal to a bigger group of people - not just those looking for a specific product. Here we go:

1) $50 Free Gift Card with Capital One Aspire Travel World MasterCard

If you're looking for a travel rewards card that is tops in flexibility, travel rewards, and insurance coverage then the Capital One Aspire Travel World MasterCard can't be beat. It gives you 2% cash rewards that are applicable to ANY travel purchase from ANY travel provider. You can go ahead, book that red hot airline seat sale or a 50% discounted hotel on Priceline.

In terms of insurance, this card rivals the insurance coverage of the most expensive credit cards in Canada and even beats them in some categories and it only has an effective $20 annual fee after you account for the free $100 worth of points they credit your account every year. My $699 annual fee Amex can't even keep up with it in many cases. Most notably it has:

  • Trip cancellation insurance - not just trip interruption.
  • 22 days of emergency medical - instead of the standard 0-15 days.
  • 2 years of extended warranty - instead of the standard 1.
  • 120 days of purchase protection - instead of the standard 90 days.
  • Price protection - not many cards offer that at all!
  • Higher coverage amounts than most other comparable cards.

In addition to the $50 gift card, you get 350,000 points as a sign up bonus which works out to $350 off any travel purchase you want to make. Then you get 100,000 bonus points every year on your anniversary date, which is worth about $100. The annual fee is $120, but after you account for the free $100 yearly it is really just $20.

I actually had this card myself for several  years and would have kept it except I was able to get 2% cash back card that isn't available for new applications with no annual fee. 2% cash is obviously better than 2% on travel, but I still had a hard time cancelling the Capital One card because the insurance coverage is SO good.

Get Your Free $50 Gift Card and $350 In Travel

2) 20% Cash Back At Shop.ca

Get Paid To Take Online Surveys?

Making money online has always intrigued me and when I first took a stab at it, I tried all kinds of crazy things! I installed toolbars that were supposed to pay me to surf the web. I was selling my stuff on Ebay left and right. I even sought out rewards and survey companies that would reward me for sharing my opinion and shopping habits with them.

That was years ago when the internet was still young, undeveloped, and wild resulting in most of those attempts being a big fail. I’m not sure I ever got paid from the toolbar before that company went under. I sold a few things on Ebay, and still do sometimes, but eventually ran out of things to sell. I did earn a few bucks from surveys but I found it really hard to find surveys that I actually qualified for and that paid a decent amount of money or rewards for my time.

Since then, I’ve always wanted to explore the survey side of things again and maybe even write a how-to guide on getting the most out of them. This thought has sat dormant in the back of my mind for years…

My Frustration With Online Surveys

Back in the early 2000s I was signing up on all kinds of survey sites just Googling around. I tried companies like MyPoints, Global Opinion Panel, and Asking Canadians. It’s not that they were all bad but there were many frustrations:

  • It was very hard to find reputable companies that actually paid.
  • These companies were still very new and not many of them catered to Canadians.
  • Those I did find frequently had very few surveys to offer me. I could go weeks without getting a notification of a new survey.
  • When I did find a survey to participate in, I’d often be disqualified after the first few questions.
  • The software for taking the actual surveys was still in the dark ages - buggy and slow.
  • Rewards were inconsistent to earn clumsy to redeem.

A Better Way To Find Surveys

$1000 Cash HUGE Christmas Giveaway!

$1000ChristmasGiveaway.jpgLast year I gave away $1000 of my own money for the first time while I was barely earning anything from this site. Back then I had a full time day job and worked on How To Save Money in the evenings - it was still hard to part with that much money, but I'm glad I did! 

Turns out it was a great success and this year the site is earning considerably more money, mostly from advertising and partially thanks to last year's giveaway. However, recently I made the decision to try and make my living online full time and have seen my income take a huge nosedive - *gulp*. The giveaway was so popular before though that I really wanted to bring it back again this year, so here it is again!

The Prizes

The prizes from me are going to be the same as last year, all cash coming straight out of my pocket!

I'm not going to try and source prizes from other bloggers this year because I feel like I tapped them out last year and don't want to always be coming after the same people for money. Thanks for the donations in 2013 guys, if you really want to participate again this year, let me know.

Fortunately, Luke from Tinker and Hack stepped up at the last minute to generously donate $250 worth of free technology of the winner's choice as an amazing 6th prize so there's even more than $1000 available to win again this year.

  • 1st Prize - $500 cash
  • 2nd Prize - $250 cash
  • 3rd Prize - $150 cash
  • 4th Prize - $50 cash
  • 5th Prize - $50 cash
  • 6th Prize - $250 custom technology prize package (courtesy of Tinker And Hack)
    • ​Your choice of $250 worth of any products that they sell shipped to your door hopefully in time for Christmas!

Total Prize Value: $1250

Enter Here:

Entering is easy, you simply need to follow the instructions in the giveaway entry form immediately below. You can pick and choose which ways you would like to enter the giveaway using the entry form and it will keep track your entries up to a maximum possible of 15 entries per person.

You can use an email address or your Facebook account to access the giveaway form. We respect your privacy. Your email address or Facebook account will only be used to contact you if you are selected as a giveaway winner and for nothing else.

To ensure your entries will count, please read and follow the instructions for every step you choose to complete carefully. It is NOT enough to just click the the big green buttons.

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