9 Easy Money Earning Tips You Can Use Immediately in 2013


As we near the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013 New Years resolutions are being made everywhere.  On top of most list are “save more money” or “make more money”. I’m a big believer in doing more with less so here’s some great tips on how you can save and make more money with very little effort. A lot of these suggestions in my list aren’t going to buy you a new Bently, but add them up over a year or even a lifetime and you start seeing all the extra money you may be leaving on the table.

1. Earn Free Gift Cards on Swagbucks.com

Swagbucks is an awesome little site I discovered a while back that allows you to earn free gift cards for doing things online. The gift cards are from major retailers like Wal-Mart, Target, and Amazon. I personally like the option to get Amazon gift cards as I make the majority of my online purchases on Amazon.
The way it works is Swagbucks rewards you with Swag Bucks for doing online tasks such as taking surveys, shopping online, watching videos, playing games, searching the web, etc.. The Swag Bucks can then be redeemed for gift cards or other rewards. If you’re online a lot (like myself) than it’s pretty easy to start earning rewards. I have a few friends that have payed for their Christmas presents entirely with Swagbucks gift cards. You can check it out over here: Swagbucks

You can check out my more in-depth review over here: Swagbucks Review

2. Earn Extra Cash By Taking Surveys

If you have extra time and want to earn some extra money they’re quite a few online companies that pay you for taking surveys. Now these surveys will vary on size, topic, and payment and you have to qualify to take the surveys. Surveys pay out from $1 to $25 depending on the length.  To maximize your earnings sign up for several of these.

Here are a couple of my personal favorites:

Only Cash Surveys - Many short surveys that pay $2

My Survey - Very easy surveys with quick payments. One of my favorites

3. Shop and Earn Program

I’ve heard of about Shop and Earn programs a while ago, but just recently decided to sign-up and try it out.  I’m disappointed in the fact I waited so long to join because it’s basically free money.  Shop and Earn programs allow you to earn a percentage of cash back from your online purchases.  The amount varies from merchant to merchant.  All you have to do is sign up to a Shop and Earn program and start shopping! Below are a few of the more popular Shop and Earn programs I’ve found.

Swagbucks  (Also my favorite site for cash back)

TopCashBack

You really start saving when you combine multiple ways to save.   For example you want to buy a new TV at Walmat.  Save 4% at Swagbucks plus save 2% using a rewards earning credit card.  That’s 6%.  Not huge but it adds up!

4. Find a High Interest Saving Account with Minimal Fees

Everyone has a basic savings account and most don’t care to look at the interest rates they are getting because it’s pretty minimal (savings interest rates are usually in the range of .2 – 1 percent) , but another extra dollar here and an extra dollar there really starts to add up.

The savings accounts with the highest yields are usually online, so if you can deal with online banking you have a quite a few choices. Here a are a few reputable ones you can look into:

Ing Direct – .75% Interest Rate

CIT Bank – 1% Interest Rate

Ally Bank – .95%

5. Call to have your current interest rates lowered on Credit Cards


Ask and you will be given. Call your current credit card companies and just ask if they can lower the interest rate. They won’t always do it, but they will grant your request for a lower interest more often than you think.

6. Transfer CC Balances to 0% Interest Rate Credit Cards

This option can be both a blessing and a curse. I only recommend doing this if you are 100% positive you won’t using your credit cards on purchases you can’t pay back right away. If you have the will power to say no to Credit Card use then this is a great option.

This will make paying off your credit card debt a lot faster since you aren’t accumulating interest, but like I said it can also backfire on you if you keep using your high interest rate credit cards.

7. Rent Out Your Home on Air BnB when you’re out of town

I have a friend who makes upwards of $50,000 a year renting out his home in Amsterdam when he’s travelling. You can especially earn a lot if your home is in an area that is highly visited by tourist.

The reason I love this is because you get to charge hotel rates for renting out your home. And if you aren’t even going to be at home, then I see free money!

Worried about people damaging your home? Air BnB has you covered with their 1 million dollar insurance policy. Plus the fact that when you rent through Air BnB you have to give a lot of personal information, makes it highly unlikely someone will damage your home.

8. Use Coupons

Most stores nowadays will adjust their prices to compensate for coupons so if you aren’t using coupons you are actually losing money in the long runs. It’s easy to find coupons though because of the internet.

When you are about to make a purchase simply do a quick Google search on whatever the product is + coupon.

Here a couple of popular coupon sites you can get your coupons:

www.couponmom.com

www.retailmenot.com

9. Use Store Loyalty Cards and Debit Cards

Last but not least is utilize store loyalty cards and debit cards. You don’t need to get a card for every single store but just the few that you visit very regularly.

Stores will usually give you rewards in cash back or gift certificates based on the amount you spend. If you are going to buy from those stores anyways might as well get extra rewards.

Many stores now also provide a free debit card which basically just connects onto your bank account. This also doubles as a reward card but the rewards are usually a lot better than if you just had a loyalty card.

Here are a few rewards I get for linking my debit card to a stores loyalty card:

Nordstrom – Gives you a free $100 in Alterations a year plus send you Gift Certificates based on your spending

Arco – Arco waves the .35 fee they charge when you pay using a debit or credit card at their gas stations

I visit both those business very often so it’s pretty much a no brainer for me to sign up for their card. Both are also very easy to sign up for, I just filled out a quick form in the store and they mailed me my card.

11 Ways to Fund Your Holidays without Wrecking Your Budget


Christmas is still a few months away but with a few money saving and money earning tips you can cover your holiday costs.  If you’re like me than you would love to give your family and friends gifts they’re going to enjoy for Christmas. If you’re tight on funds though this extra expense can be a burden, so what I like to do is make a little extra money during the holiday months that I use specifically to fund my holiday festivities.

One great piece of news is a lot of us already have skills that could translate into extra income that we haven’t explored yet. Also with the rise in popularity of the internet just having a computer with internet access gives you a vast amount of extra money making opportunities.

Now let’s go on to the 11 Ways you can pay for your holidays.

1. Earn Free Gift Cards from Swagbucks.com

Swagbucks is an awesome little site I discovered a while back that allows you to earn free gift cards for doing things online. The gift cards are from major retailers like Wal-Mart, Target, and Amazon. I personally like the option to get Amazon gift cards as I make the majority of my online purchases on Amazon.
The way it works is Swagbucks rewards you with Swag Bucks for doing online tasks such as taking surveys, shopping online, watching videos, playing games, searching the web, etc.. The Swag Bucks can then be redeemed for gift cards or other rewards. If you’re online a lot (like myself) than it’s pretty easy to start earning rewards. I have a few friends that have payed for their Christmas presents entirely with Swagbucks gift cards. Swagbucks.com

2. Taking Surveys

If you have the time there are many online companies that give you cash in exchange for taking surveys. Now these surveys vary on length, topic, and payout and you will be pre-screened to make sure you qualify to take the surveys. Surveys payout from $0.25 to $25 depending on the length.

Survey Sites:

Swagbucks.com Also one of my favorite sites for surveys

OpinionOutpost.com I like them because I get paid fast and surveys are easy

OnlyCashSurveys.com They have a lot of short surveys that pay $2

3. Cash Back Shopping

I’ve heard of about cash back shopping programs a while ago, but just recently decided to sign-up and try it out.  I’m disappointed in the fact I waited so long to join because it’s basically free money.  Cash back shopping programs allow you to earn a percentage of your online purchases cash back in cash.  The way these work is the retailers are paying the cash back shopping sites an affiliate fee for every purchase that you make.  The cash back shopping sites then share this affiliate fee with you.  The amount varies from merchant to merchant.  All you have to do is sign up and start shopping!  I have used both Swagbucks and Ebates before and they both work well.  Best to sign up for both so you get the best coverage of stores and the best percentage back.

Swagbucks – Check out the double cash back deals where they double the amount you get back.  One of the few sites with Amazon cash back.

Ebates  – The original shopping cash back site and still one of the best.

You really start saving when you combine multiple ways to save. For example you want to buy a new TV at Walmat. Save 4% at Swagbucks plus save 2% using a rewards earning credit card. That’s 6%. Not huge but it adds up!

4. Sell Old Electronics on Gazelle

Gazelle allows you to turn your old cell phones, ipods, ipads or other electronics into cash. Its pretty easy, you find your gadget, answer a few questions, ship it in (free if its over $1), get paid via check or PayPal. I looked up my old iPhone 3Gs and found out that I can get $37. Use this link and get an extra $10 any trade ins worth over $25. Gazelle

5. Sell Your Stuff on Craigslist

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Go through your home with a box and place items such as electronics, clothes, appliances, DVD’s, CD’s, and anything else you aren’t using and sell them on Craigslist.

You’re probably not going to get much money for your old belongings, but if you weren’t using them anyways they are just cluttering your home.

Every few months I go through my stuff and get rid of non-seasonal things I haven’t used in the past 6 months away. I’ve found that if I haven’t used the item in 6 months, I most likely will never use it again.

6. Sell Your Stuff on eBay

Even though I previously talked about selling your stuff on Craigslist, I’ve written this portion on selling your stuff on eBay because I’ve found that you can get more money selling items on eBay. It just takes a bit more patience.

People on Craigslist are mostly looking for really cheap deals. People on eBay are also looking for cheap deals, but you get a lot of normal consumers who use eBay like any other store. If you have some higher ticket items like laptops, computers, or cameras I actually suggest you sell them on eBay because you can make a little more money. If you want to sell items fast and willing to take a less money than Craigslist is a better option.

7. Have a Garage Sale

I’m a big proponent of selling things online on eBay and Craigslist, but if you have a lot of stuff than it might be a good idea to have a garage sale. This will allow you to sell those things that aren’t worth the effort to sell online for whatever reason such as being unshippable or low priced items.

9. Sell Stock Photos

For all you amateur photographers out there a great way to make some extra money is to sell your stock photos. A couple of stock photo websites you can sell to are iStockPhoto and 123RF. iStockPhoto has a review process that includes a quiz and requires you to show samples of your photography before they approve you as a partner. Once you are approved you will be given 15% of the sales they make on your photos.

If you are into photography I think this is a pretty awesome way to make extra money since you are already going to be taking pictures and doesn’t require any extra work.

10. Sell Your Used Books

Throughout the years you have probably amassed a nice collection of books. Even if you aren’t a reader you still have those old textbooks from college lying around along with those books you’ve received as gifts for Christmas, Graduations, Birthdays, and other special events. If you are an avid reader than you’ll have books that you just don’t read anymore or have lost interest in.

Here are some sites you can sell those books at:

www.cash4books.net

www.Amazon.com

www.half.com

11. Rent Your Home Out on AirBnB

If you are going to be gone from your home for any amount of time than put it for rent on AirBnB.com. Many people use AirBnB as a substitute for hotels and you can set the dates and price you are willing to rent your home out for.

If you are worried about strangers messing up your home you’ll be glad to know that AirBnB insures your home for up to $1,000,000 for anyone using your home through their site.

This is especially a great money making option if you are away from home often.

12. What else?

If you have more ideas please leave them in the comments section below. Thanks!

How to Use Coupons to Cut Your Shopping Bill in Half

Coupons. You’ve heard about them. You’ve watched television shows about them. You wonder what it is like to walk into a grocery store and be able to hand over a stack of coupons and walk out with a cart-full of groceries costing you just $8.10. That’s what others do. How can you get 60, 70, or even 90 percent off your bills? It may be easier to do than you think. In fact, depending on the extreme level you hope to use, you can easily cut those bills down and be able to save more than half of your shopping expenses without even spending more than a few minutes on the process.

Step 1 – Get Coupons

The first step is to find and use coupons. Depending on how extreme you want to be, you may be looking for as many coupons as you can get. Start slow and build up so you are not overwhelmed initially by this process. Here are some ways to get coupons.

1. Your local newspaper is the best source for coupons. Sunday papers often have some, but there are others throughout the week. You’ll want to subscribe to at least one. Moreover, keep in mind, if you go into the grocery store or drug store the day after the paper comes out, extra copies may be a fraction of the cost.

2. Sign up for various couponing groups online and swap them out. You can find blogs, forums and message boards full of coupon swappers ready to sell or trade them with you. This is serious business.

3. Look for sites you can download and print off the coupons you need. Coupons.com is one of them. It’s a great site for coupon offers of all types.

4. Some magazines have coupons in them. Be careful. The cost of the magazine has to be factored into any savings you’ll find here.

5. Buy them on eBay and other auction sites. You can often buy them for a fraction of their value and use them as much as you want.

Getting coupons is the first task. The next is knowing what to do with them.

Step 2 – Be Rational

This is where some people fall out of line. In order to save money, or cut your shopping bill in half, you need to make wise buying decisions. Not every coupon is a good deal. Additionally, if it is a product that you do not need, spending even one penny on it is not worthwhile. In other words, go through your coupons, cut them out, and organize them. Use only those that are actually going to be valuable to you.

Step 3 – Know Your Store

Contact your retailers and find out what their coupon policy is. Some will restrict how many you can use in each transaction. Some will double or even triple the amount you save. You also have to watch for printed coupons, like those you get online. Some companies will not allow you to use these. Know your coupon policies, limitations, and exceptions before doing anything else.

Step 4- Getting the Ads

Depending on the extreme level you plan to coupon, you will need to be very organized in this process. The goal is to do some matching.

- Find out what’s on sale. If you want to keep yourself even more frugal, it is a good idea to only buy what you need that’s on sale. That way, you are not spending more than you need to at all.

- Next, compare the coupons you have to what is on sale. For example, if you see that cereal is on sale and you have a coupon for it, set aside those coupons to use. This doubling up of the sale and the coupon is where the significant savings comes in.

Put aside as many coupons as you can for each of the items on sale that are a good deal. You can do this same process to any other grocery store you plan to visit. Some companies also price match. For example, a very big discount department store that’s likely in your area price matches what others offer. This is a good way to get more savings if your retailer has limitations.

Once you work through this process, you’ll be able to save a substantial amount of money. The key is to look at the savings. If you notice that peanut butter is on sale and you have a coupon, you’ll save big time. If it costs $2 a jar, you have a coupon for $1 off, and your retailer doubles coupons, that jar of peanut butter is free to you.

It’s a process that takes some getting used to, but if you do it right and stay organized you can easily slash your budget in half or even more than half. That could be one of the biggest opportunities for you to save money on groceries. Why didn’t you think of this sooner?

How to Start an Emergency Savings Account


An emergency savings account may just be one of the most important savings vehicles available to you today. It is the most important step you can take, in fact, in managing your finances. No matter who you are, what you own, what you owe, you need this type of savings. It protects you from all of the twists and turns in your financial life. But, how? How can you go from being broke to putting money aside?

Realize the Importance

The first thing to do is to realize just how important this type of savings tool really is. Unlike anything else, it will provide you with the protection you need from whatever lies ahead. Here are two scenarios as examples. Your goal in both is to stop using credit and to build a strong financial future.

1. You have no savings account. The car breaks down and requires a $1000 repair. You need to be able to get to work to earn money. You could use a payday loan, but that’s incredibly expensive and it makes it harder to repay all of your other debts later. You could use a credit card. That’s just going to put you farther into debt.

2. You have a savings account. You can take that $1000 out of the savings account and use it to make the repairs. There’s no additional cost from these loans or credit usage and your are still on your way to paying down your debt.

From big emergencies to small-unexpected payments, you need to have the funds to get through. If you want to avoid using credit cards due to the debt often create, having an emergency account is necessary. What’s worse is not having an emergency account or having access to credit. What would you do then?

Find a Bank

There are a few rules to remember about your emergency savings account.

1. You need to put money into a bank account. You do not want it sitting around the house. Even if it does not earn you must interest, you need to be able to have it some place you can get to it when you need to, but far enough away that you can’t get into it for non-emergency uses.

2. It’s best to not have a debit card for the account. It helps to restrict your access to the money so that you don’t blow it on the wrong thing.

3. Don’t use the account for anything else. This is not the place to pay debts or bills.

4. It’s untouchable. Don’t use it unless you absolutely need to – as in the car broke down, the toilet is overflowing or your child needs to go to the doctor. Only true emergencies should ever be considered as acceptable uses.

5. Make a rule that both parties (in cases of spouses or significant others sharing the account) must agree on the usage of the funds and the goal of keeping it in place. No one person can access the funds.

Once you do this, the next step is to find the cash to put into the account. That’s the hard part, you thought?

10 Ways to Fund an Emergency Account

How can you fund your emergency account? You can barely pay your bills! Here are some simple tips that work.

1. Set up your emergency account at the same bank you are using as a regular bank, where your paycheck is automatically deposited. Set it up so that the bank takes $20 out of your paycheck every week or month (whatever you can afford) and puts it into the account automatically. You will not notice it.

2. Put your coffee shop money into the account. That $6 coffee you drink every day equates to $30 a week into the account.

3. Brown bag your lunch for work and put the money into the account. If you spend just $10 a day on lunches, you’ll be able to put away at least $8 of it a day into the account, or $40 a week.

4. Collect your change each week in a jar and deposit the funds into the account. Every little bit counts.

5. If you are not paying your bills on time, it may be a good idea to fully fund your emergency account and then go back to paying your credit card companies. However, this will damage your credit and it is not advisable for those who want to maintain those accounts.

6. Create a budget that allows you to put a small amount of money each month towards your emergency account. Most people should have at least $1000 put aside for these incidents, but sometimes twice that is necessary.

7. Reduce some expense you have and then save that money. For example, cut your cable bill down and put the savings into the emergency account instead.

8. Go without something you usually enjoy and put the funds into the emergency account until it is funded. For example, if you like dinner and a movie on Saturday nights, you’ll appreciate putting that $50 to $100 into the emergency account for a few weeks until its funded.

9. Cut down on groceries and eating out for a few weeks until you fund the account. It’s hard, but worth it.

10. Work extra hours to fund the account. This is especially helpful when you can work overtime to get the funds.

To have an emergency account that is at least $1000 or up to your monthly salary is a very good thing. It keeps you above water when everything else seems to be drowning.