Oct 142010
 

While I love everything about family traditions, the holidays and giving gifts, my husband is completely the opposite. We grew up in different parts of the world, and on this issue we really are a world a part. This is one of the reasons why I quickly decided that although I am a stay-at-home mom, I needed to find a way to earn my own discretionary income that I could use for the things that are important to me without being concerned about my husband’s disagreement or breaking our household budget. This is why I set out to make money from home, and years ago I slowly entered the world of earning money online.

The photo below is from my first vacation to Bahia Honda in the Florida Keys paid for by my online earnings. I love taking my family vacationing in the Florida Keys, and by earning money online I am very fortunate to be able to make yearly trips to the Keys.
 

I started out earning a dollar or two the first month, and at that point I was still very skeptical. Then I made it to $10, and while I was still skeptical, I was now hopeful as well. Within six months I was earning an average of $50 online in cash or gift cards, and for the past 3 1/2 years I have been earning enough for birthday gifts, Christmas gifts, vacations, clothing, shoes and much more. While some people hate paying taxes, I personally love having to pay taxes, because as a stay-at-home mom, it means that I am actually earning money online that matters.

I realize that gifts are not everything that holiday traditions are about, but I also know how much it means to children to find something that they love under the Christmas tree or wake up on their birthdays to discover something fantastic that they never thought they would ever be able to get. My kids know that we are on a very tight budget, but they have never had to fear that there would not be any birthday or Christmas gifts, and through a frugal lifestyle and earning money online I am able to contribute a lot to my household’s finances.

When I first started out, it was all through trial and error, well it still is. I have been burned a few times, but I have learned always to cash out at the minimum amount and to keep my eyes open for warning sites that online earning sites are going down. I always advice anyone who are starting out on the online journey to do the same, because no matter how great a website seems, you never know when it will button up. Hope for the best, but expect the worst.

The formula is constantly changing, but for the past many months this is where I am earning money online outside of blogging. If anyone wants tips on how to earn money by blogging send me an email.

Gather:  
Gather.com is my absolute favorite site. I have been a member for 3 1/2 years, and while the site has changed a lot over the years (and not all for the positive), I still return on a daily basis. Over the years I have earned countless gift cards, paypal payments, won movie tickets, concert tickets, books and much more, and I have found some great friends there as well. At gather you publish posts about anything you want, photos and videos. While the formula for points is secret, you basically get rewarded for pageviews. This means that while you can go ahead and post a lot of stuff, you don’t get rewarded much unless someone else actually views it. This creates a very interactive site, because you get rewarded every time you view someone’s stuff.


Swagbucks:
I think almost everyone online knows about Swagbucks, and I figure that 99 percent of my readers are signed up. Why, well those of you who are signed up knows why…they pay, they pay good, and they pay for something we do every day anyway. For the 1 percent of my readers, who are not on Swagbucks yet…..Swagbucks reward you for searching, they reward in swagbucks.

Ways to earn swagbucks:

  • For searching (can be awarded several times per day)
  • The monthly newsletter
  • Take the daily poll
  • Referrals
  • Bonus Swagucks from the Swagbucks blog, twitter and facebook pages. 
  • Download the toolbar (get notified when there are new bonus swagbucks.

Last year I earned about $300 in Swabucks (without any active referrals)! I still cash out every time I earn enough for a $5 Amazon gift card, and I then make sure to deposit it directly into my amazon account.



Instant Cash Sweepstakes: I love earning money online at Instant Cash Sweepstakes, because it is easy to do, fast, and the payments are almost instant. They pay in paypal and I have been a member for more than six months without ever encountering any problems.. The minimum payment is $2, and they only charge a fee the first time. At Instant Cash Sweepstakes, you answer a series 5 – 10 short questionnaires with 3-4 questions in each, at the end you will earn a certain amount of cents. You can answer new questions every three hours, and the money add up fast. The more you answer, the higher level you go up and the more you earn per session. At Instant Cash Sweepstakes you don’t go down again, even if you don’t answer any questions for a while.



GSN.com:
GSN.com, the Network for Games, is an awesome website where you can play free games and win free prizes. It is I have been a member of GSN.com for  1 1/2 years, and I have earned lots of different prizes including: gift cards, different products, maple syrup and more.

GSN.com is a part of the Game Show Network, where you can shows such as Deal or No Deal, Family Feud and more. It is free to sign up, and you can earn points in many different ways.

  • You get a spin on the Wonder Wheel just for logging in, and you can earn two more spins each day. See how by clicking the Wonder Wheel tab and click on Win Spins.
  • Earn 50 points for answering the daily question
  • Earn points by answering questions about the GSN shows on GSN LIVE
  • Play Double Trouble
  • Enter the daily BINGO game
  • Play the Deal or No Deal game
  • Answer questions by each game (look at the Ways to win tab) 
  • Answer the daily GSN.com Questions (40+ points per question)

The ways to earn points/oodles at GSN.com are constantly changing, but if you keep at it every day you will soon be able to redeem for your first prize. The prizes come quickly, and if there is an issue with a prize GSN.com customer service make sure you get your prize.



Club Bing:
Club Bing is one of those websites that I always go to, whenever I need to wind down from my writing. I don’t get to go there much, but whenever they have double point days I get a few games there.

The website is run by microsoft, and I have been a member for three years.
At Club Bing you play word games, crosswords and more to earn tickets, which can be redeemed for fantastic prizes. It is FREE to sign up, and all you need to do is log in with an excisting MSN, Hotmail or Club Live account, or you can simply set up a new one for free. I also use Club Bing to help my eight-year-old son practice his vocabulary and spelling with the awesome wordgames.

I have won some awesome prizes from Club Bing over the past three years such as brandname backpacks, food processor, tools, web cams and more. I love this site, and I recommend it to all of my friends and readers.


When earning money online:

  • Be consistent – as with any other job you only earn if you are consistent.
  • Prioritize – Where do you get the most out of the time you put in
  • Watch out for warning signs – signs of a healthy company
  • Always cash out, when you reach minimum payment
  • Set up a routine – Bookmark the sites you need to visit every day.
  • When one door closes, another one opens. Earning money online is a constantly changing world. 
  • Find a network of online earning friends, who can help you find new opportunities.

Mypoints:
This is not really a survey site, but they do send you an occasional survey email. You earn points through clicking on emails and by shopping through the site.
I rarely shop through the site, but I am still able to redeem for a $10 gift card every 1 -2 months. This is as great site, and the gift card options are great there too. Throughout the year this site provides me with enough JCPenney and Kohl’s cards to keep myself and my sons very well dressed. By combining coupons, gift cards and sales I can stretch a $10 gift card very far. 

Sendearnings & Inboxdollars:

I have been a member of Sendearnings & Inboxdollars for more than three years, and I love the programs.
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Ways to Earn at Inboxdollars:
  • Click on emails
  • Print and redeem coupons (just like Mypoints)
  • Search toolbar (just like Swagbucks)
  • Take Surveys
  • Get Free Offers
  • Refer Friends

There are lots of free offers you can do, but I only do the ones with absolutely no strings attached. Right now you can sign up for a diabetes newsletter, sign up for a free survey sites (they have legit ones), and sign up for GSN oodles (Which I love).

You can cash out when you reach $30, and they do take out a $3 processing free, but if you reach a certain status (which is basically after your first cashout), then they add this $3 fee back into your account again. When you sign up you get a $5 start out bonus, which will get you a lot closer to cashout.

If you are a member of Sendearnings already, Inboxdollars is basically the same program, with the same offers, the same emails etc., so it is basically just double the earnings. I usually cash out twice a year on both sites, which makes it more than $100 a year in online earnings.

The above programs are my favorite programs, and I use them every day. Earning Money Online is much easier than I originally thought, and while there are lots of spam and fraudulent programs, there are also a lot of credible ways to earn money online.

I have compiled a list of places that I use to earn money online, and while there are many more programs available, I have concluded that not all of them are worth my time.


If anyone has any questions regarding any of the above mentioned places, or would like some tips on how to earn money blogging just send me an email.


Do you earn money online (besides blogging)? 
What is your favorite online earning program?

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