Extra Cash, APPEAR!


If only, right?

I’m taking a short break from the Principles of Success series because I realized that, other than some generic descriptions of how to change your mindset, I haven’t been giving any tips lately! Don’t worry, there will be more principles later!

Anyway, here’s an update on our rock bottom situation. It’s been almost a month since we discovered that my bank account had been cleared out. After having to deal with multiple people who didn’t seem to know anything, I’ve basically decided that the money is gone, but I’m still working with the bank. Hopefully it’ll all work out.

We’ve also finally got all the money together to pay for the taxes that we owed. Man, writing that check hurt!

Now, in the aftermath of one of the most stressful months in our recent history, we’re at the point where we can move forward. I just checked our finances today and they’re definitely going to be tight. So, the next question is; how can I make some extra cash on the side?

In the past, I’ve tried various online methods. Keep in mind, that these are very easy.

Easy does not mean lucrative.

Normally, I’ll do these a little bit throughout the year and then cash in whatever I can around Christmas to ease those costs. Here are a few of the ones that I’ve used in the past (all links are referrals):

Online Surveys
This method can be helpful, but you’ve got to be willing to go through some mind numbing work. I’ve used several different websites for this.

  • Pinecone Research
    This is my favorite survey/product testing site. Once you’re a member, you don’t have to worry about whether or not you qualify for whatever survey you take. They send you a survey, you take it, you earn 300 points (equivalent to $3). You’ll normally get about 2-6 surveys per month, so it’s not a huge amount, but there’s no minimum withdrawal amount, so you can cash out any time!
  • Opinion Outpost
    I’ve had a lot of success with this one as well, but you do have to worry about not qualifying for surveys. There are almost always surveys available, but you’ll probably be disqualified from at least half of the ones you click on. Still, it’s possible to make about $10 per week if you really go for it, which can get you over $500 per year. Not too bad, especially when you only need $10 to cash out.
  • Swagbucks
    I really dislike this one. It claims that you can make a ton of money on surveys, but I’ve never had much luck. They mostly want you to use the offers section, so you can sign up for services and memberships that you probably don’t want (warning, some of them are really hard to get out of!). Otherwise, you’re making tiny, piddling amounts of points. Not worth it.
  • Inbox Dollars
    See above. Totally not worth the time.

Grocery Apps
These can be really great, but make sure to double up these deals with your store’s weekly sales, for maximum savings!

  • SavingStar
    I’ve had the most success with this one. I’m pretty sure the cash out minimum is only $5.00, so you don’t have to spend forever racking up enough money. You can also access this on the Internet, so you don’t have to rely on your cell phone.
  • Ibotta
    This one’s pretty good, too. It’s really simple, but I don’t remember it all the time, and most of the brands listed are out of my budget. You have to have $20 to cash out, which can take a while to get. The only issue I’ve had is being able to use it on my devices. As a Windows Phone owner, I can’t get this app, and you can’t use it online. I have to use my husband’s phone to get these deals. It does work on iPhone, iPad, and Android phones (but not Kindle tablets).
  • Checkout51
    This one is basically the same as Ibotta, but it seems to have more niche brands. I’ve not heard of some of the ones that I’ve seen, so it’s a little hard for me to earn money with it. I haven’t been able to cash out yet.

There are a few other methods, like using Ebates or other such sites to earn cash back when you’re shopping online, but I didn’t include that, because it often encourages you to spend more than you ordinarily would just to get more cash back.

After figuring out that our finances were going to be tight, I checked my various accounts on these sites to see if I could cash out anything. It turned out that I had over $90 across these sites that I could cash out without even knowing it! As rough of a time as we’re going through right now, every penny counts, so that was a nice surprise!

Have you ever tried any sites like this? Are there any that you would recommend that I left out?


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