Thursday, June 13, 2013

How-to: Acquiring pocket change!

Okay! Who likes finding that $20 bill in a pair of jeans that haven't been worn in forever? Or getting that lucky scratch-off ticket that wins more than a free ticket? A little bit of extra cashola is always nice - especially when times are tough. Or if you just want a little something to play with. Never question extra money! I want to share some of my tips with you on how to earn a little something for your wallet all for FREE and all ONLINE!

Wait, wait, wait! Yes, I am serious! There are really reputable and legit ways. So before you write this off as another scam, just keep on readin' (please)! I do have a job... so why do I bother with these methods? Well, because it takes practically zero effort and very little time and I can do it when I please. So then why am I sharing? I always get asked by my friends on Facebook on where I got a free $50 gift card or free this or free that - so I wanted to publicly share the wealth (no pun intended)! Honestly, I wish I would of come across something like this back when I was starting... everything I use I just happened upon at one point or another. I use my "earnings" to treat myself to extras or to give myself something more to play with during vacations or holiday time. This may be kinda lengthy, so bookmark or pin this page! So let's get started, yay! (please note: the money is real but it's not substantial enough to pay your bills)

Clicking on the site name and the attached photos will open a new window with the site!


Not to be confused with eBay! This is a 'rebate' site that pays you cold hard cash for shopping online. WHAAAT?! Yep! No.Strings.At.All. I seriously wish I had discovered this type of thing 5-6 years ago because I do some serious online shopping due to my hatred for fighting store crowds. I signed up in December and have already gotten $32 back, with a little more earned since then. They pay out every 3 months and you have the option for a mailed check or a deposit straight into your Paypal account. They usually also do new user promos and will send a gift card after your first payment is issued (I received a $10 card to Kohl's). ALL you do is go through their site and choose the site you want to shop at, and they will give you a percentage back of your subtotal. And the minimum amount required to be earned to be paid out is only $5.01. The list of stores they have available is pretty big so you should be able to take advantage of this (they even support Groupon woohoo!). Realistically, you're earning back roughly $2.00 or less per purchase. I know this sounds paltry but it adds up. Plus, if you went to the store, they don't give you crap back AND you waste gas to get there. "But what about shipping costs?" Most sites offer free shipping when a minimum is met. For stores with high minimums ($50), I wait until I can meet that and then shop. I also religiously use coupon codes found online to boost my savings. Try it, you'll be hooked!

(Screen capture from my account. I have no idea why I was paid in Jan when they say it's every 3 months)

This is the site that I've used for the longest time (since 2005) and they also pay cash rewards in the form of a check. I've received several checks and currently have over $30 earned now, but I don't care to cash in at this time. The only bummer is that your minimum needs to be $30 and they take a very small cut - but you have to request the check so you can earn as much as you want until you're ready. This site is fairly slow earning if you only do the free offers. Their thing is exactly as the title reads - inbox dollars. They send you 2-4 emails every day and all you do is click the link in the email and earn. I think it's around .02 per (yikes, I know) BUT it takes 5 seconds and you are done. They don't spam, so that's really all you do... click an email and move on. They also have more ways to earn and you can get decent payouts with some effort. I used to use these methods but I just honestly don't want to take the time, so I stick to the emails. They offer cash surveys which offer from .25 to $1.25 each (I used to do these constantly but I hate online surveys). They also do paid offers - these are things you sign up for, such as trials, and they give you something bigger like $8.00 each. This sounds great, but you DO need a credit/debit card to sign up and you have to remember to cancel if you don't stick with the service (example: Netflix). I did these at first and made money really fast.. but I got burned by a company who had a way with words and extended my trial for 2 weeks.. so little did I know I had to call before that was up and cancel again. I was out of $50 and NO refund. Don't let that dissuade you, though, just take caution if you choose that route. The emails and surveys will get you earning so that you can get a check in a few months. 

(My payouts to date. Yes, it is slow - but it's still free!)


I think by now everyone has at least heard of Swagbucks. If you haven't, or if you just have but are not using it - you will want to check it out! This site has a lot of earning potential and it's super fast and easy. The only drawback is that it is prize rewards. They DO offer Paypal prizes, so that is basically cash, but most of their stuff is item or gift card based. Their store offers a huge selection of stuff and most of it is pretty good. The prices may look high, but just remember that it's still FREE! The gist of it is that it's web-based searching. Their engine is powered by Google and Ask, so all you do is search for something and you get Swagbucks (SB). You don't win EVERY time you search, though. The amount of times you win is random and the SB you earn is random as well. Personally, I just sporadically search something and refresh the page every now and then and earn. If you follow them on Facebook & Twitter, they issue Swag Codes which you enter into the site to earn another few points, but these expire after a few hours. If you don't think this sounds appealing, just give it a shot! There are way more ways to earn as well and it seems they add new ways periodically. For example, printing and using store coupons will give you 10 SB each. You can watch video ads and clips for more, surveys, paid offers (again, like Netflix) etc etc. They also have a system so if you reach a daily goal, you get a bonus (example: if your daily goal is 80, you get another 10 if you reach it). I personally don't do much more than searching the web because I don't feel like going the extra mile. But I have heard of people earning enough to get an Amazon gift card every few weeks.

(That $50 Paypal cash was a nice treat for my vacation earlier this year! And the video game was seriously like new - not a scratch!)


Recyclebank isn't exactly exciting and the prizes aren't as affluent as Swagbucks, but I still can't stress enough that this stuff is free, free, free! Basically what Recyclebank does is reward you with points for learning about the environment and the impacts of waste and recycling can do. So you basically pledge to do something good for the earth or energy conservation and you earn points. It's really informative and I recommend it mostly for the Environment (I am a modern day hippie.. sorta). A lot of it is interactive and you can click on different things to learn what happens. For example: they frequently do scenes (let's say a house) and you can click on a lamp and it will tell you about the effects of turning off the light or what switching to a CFL bulb can do and then you pledge to do it. Boom, points. They offer a lot of good coupons for Organic and natural products (stuff you don't find on the coupon sites) and also magazine subscriptions. I also believe they do percentage-off discounts for a few sites but in my opinion, the magazines and coupons is where it's at. No cash potential here, but who doesn't like coupons and magazines? There isn't nearly as much earning potential here for points, but when they have their interactive scenes come out, you can usually earn a few hundred (up to a thousand) per one, which is basically enough to start collecting rewards, yay!

(So far for me: two full year magazine subscriptions and a ton of coupons!)

I hope everyone has enjoyed these tidbits and hope that I can help everyone fatten their wallets just a tiny bit. If you use any other sites, please comment so I can check it out and possibly add them to this post!

I would also like to write a post with tips on how I save money in the coming week or two (but I am busy and lazy) so stay tuned! If I happen to get around to that, I will update this post with the link!

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