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Archive for July, 2013

Swagbucks Earnings

July 28th, 2013 at 01:12 pm

I have put more effort into Swagbucks this month and it paid off. Basically I work on it for 15-30 minutes in the morning when I am too tired to do anything that takes effort. Then later on I try for a survey or two, other than that I do activities while multi-tasking. The main idea is not to let it suck my time and earn $1 an hour when I can be making money elsewhere.

Today I hit $50 for the month! I had cashed out 5 $5 Amazon cards (best value but the limit is 5 per month) by the 12th and today I cashed out for $25 Paypal.

The only thing I don't like is some of the quality of the brand activities/videos lately (as others have also noted). I contacted someone regarding this and hope that improves. Otherwise, I have been very happy using Swagbucks the last four years. However, it is only lately I bothered to figure out a "system" to earn more.

With my lower budget for August that $25 will certainly help out! I spent the Amazon earnings earlier this month on household goods. Anyhow,that's my "exciting" news for the day. Hope you all are having a good Sunday.

A New Chapter Begins

July 27th, 2013 at 04:09 am

After a final last ditch effort with the CEO of the company calling me, the tutoring center is definitely closing on Wednesday. He really wanted me to buy it and I told him I would need them to cover everything for three months because we have so few students. He also wanted me to sign a 10 year agreement. No way!

I didn't waste time and met with my friend/co-worker yesterday afternoon and there is a plan in place for us to tutor the remaining students at the library. We will make calls this week. I don't anticipate losing much income and possibly none at all, but I told my husband we are on the emergency budget for August.

1. Savings is cut to $15 per week (can be cut altogether if necessary).

2. Cut weekly grocery, gas, etc. budget by $15 (It's already quite low so can't realistically cut much)

3. I hate this, but put student loans back on deferment.

4. I am ahead on the car payment so I can pay as little as $150, but will see where I stand on the 22nd when it is due. I usually pay $400. I am hoping to pay at least $200.

I am due a paycheck on Monday and have one more coming in two weeks. I am going to ask if I can get paid everything so I don't have to worry about that last check. My boss is a nice guy, but I fear he is in huge financial trouble and worry the check will bounce or possibly not even get paid.

I am going to spend today catching up on other work I put off with all of this fiasco. I hope everyone has a great weekend.

Update on Decision

July 24th, 2013 at 08:24 am

After several conversations, I have decided not to take over the franchise where I tutor. My boss is a nice guy, but hasn't run the business well the past year and there are not many students left. I don't have any momentum to get things going and paying the overhead in the meantime would be difficult to say the least.

I was talking to the Education Director and told him I would love to take on some of the remaining students and tutor them at the library, but don't want to "step on any toes". He thinks it is a wonderful idea and thinks the owner will appreciate it. I will call him today about this. One of the other tutors is willing to do this with me (I do English and she does math so it is perfect). I believe we will not only make up our lost salary, but potentially make more. Who knows maybe we can grow our "business" as well.

I am still a little sad as I will miss the rest of the staff and the students we won't see again. It's a shame my boss didn't handle this better. I think it would have been salvageable a few months ago. However, I am feeling a lot less stress now that I made a decision. I only have the final hurdle of calling the boss. I believe my final official day tutoring for the company will be Tuesday.

My next plan of action is coming up with a bid for this writing project. I would love others with experience to weigh in. It is for 42 articles that should be around 400 words each. I have to proofread, edit, and add info where necessary. I haven't looked at all of them, but the half a dozen or so I took a look at were only 200 words. I am thinking of bidding $250.00 total. I want to be fair because I have ongoing work with this client, but I don't want to undercharge either. I am used to writing from scratch so this is a tough bid for me to figure out. Thanks in advance for any advice.

Major Decisions on the Horizon

July 22nd, 2013 at 04:41 am

Not only do I have to worry whether or not I have to purchase a home sooner than later, but now I have major job decisions to make as well.

I received a call Thursday for a long writing contract for a client I have worked with in the past. This will increase my income anywhere from 425-600 per month. Within an hour of that phone call,I also found out my boss is not renewing his franchise where I tutor.

I had a lot of weekend plans so I decided to do my best not to think about all of this and enjoy the weekend. Last night I had an email from my boss asking if I wanted to take over the franchise for the remainder of the term (18 months) at no cost. I am in the office this morning and he is supposed to call with more details. Needless to say it was a sleepless night. I am infusing myself with coffee so I can be coherent when my boss calls.

Long and Expensive Week

July 18th, 2013 at 04:21 am

I took an extra $100 cash out this week. I cringed, but it is the most I will spend all year. I have four free passes to a water park for Friday. I plan on packing food and water, but at the very least I will need to purchase extra gas to get there.

Also, on Saturday we are going to see the Bon Jovi concert. The tickets were bought months ago (My son's birthday was last week and this was his gift), but again it is a lot of gas (not sure offhand on mileage but over an hour each way) and parking is $40!

On a side note, I have to vent a bit. The apartment buildings where I live were bought out a few months ago by a corporation who are doing improvements. I do appreciate them sprucing things up, but they are very inconsiderate in doing so. We almost got towed one day because they were doing work on the parking lot and "forgot" to give us notice to park elsewhere. I got home just in time to stop the tow truck from towing our second vehicle.

The "best" part was coming home from an errand at 6pm last night telling me I have to move all furniture away from the windows because they are replacing them at 8 am this morning. Call if there is an issue. This infuriated me. How can I call when the office is closed and 14 hours notice (overnight at that) is completely unacceptable. If I hadn't happened to run that errand I would have never seen the note which was not there at 5pm when I left. Not to mention they didn't call or knock on the door (hubby was home).

I do feel a bit better now that I vented. I really was hoping not to move until I am financially ready to purchase, but this company is making me rethink my plan.

Student Loan Payment

July 12th, 2013 at 01:21 pm

A couple of months ago I signed up with Smarterbucks and got the Smarterbank debit card. Long story short, if it is used as a credit, you earn .05 percent of each purchase toward student loans. When the earnings reach $15 they send in a payment to the student loan you have on file. You earn 1% for each purchase over $100.

They have a deal right now that once you reach a $5, they will give a $10 bonus (if earned by 9/15/2013). I reached my goal and got my bonus today so I have a $15 payment on the way toward my loan!

I simply transfer my weekly spending allotment to the Smarterbank card each week and use the card as a credit each time I make a purchase. There are other ways to earn as well if you decide to check out their site (smarterbucks.com). It isn't a lot, but every little bit counts! I figure I can average 2-3 payments a year via Smarterbucks (in addition to my own payments of course).

Weekend Spending

July 8th, 2013 at 03:57 am

On my last update, I had $60 left for the week after buying gas and groceries(weekly spending will replenish Wednesday night). We had no plans over the four day weekend and it was hot. I had to get out of the apartment (other than just for my morning walk) and figured if I did, I could save on air conditioning.

On Friday, I took $20 and put it in the tank and we went for a ride up north to Conway, NH. Yesterday, I saw Staples started their sales for back to school. There was a minimum $5 purchase to get the special items for a penny, but that is worth it to save big. I spent $5.56 and got folders, pens, erasers, two binders, and tab dividers. I also went to Walmart. I was only going to get water, cereal bars, bananas, and shipping materials for a package for my daughter. However, I splurged and got a seafood salad and bought some ice cream as well. I spent $17 and change there (can't find receipt).

So out of the $60, I have $17.64 left until Wednesday. I will pay a few dollars to ship my daughter's package today, but should have at least $10 leftover. Other than the salad and ice cream, I am satisfied with the money I spent.

Weekend Spending

July 8th, 2013 at 03:57 am

On my last update, I had $60 left for the week after buying gas and groceries(weekly spending will replenish Wednesday night). We had no plans over the four day weekend and it was hot. I had to get out of the apartment (other than just for my morning walk) and figured if I did, I could save on air conditioning.

On Friday, I took $20 and put it in the tank and we went for a ride up north to Conway, NH. Yesterday, I saw Staples started their sales for back to school. There was a minimum $5 purchase to get the special items for a penny, but that is worth it to save big. I spent $5.56 and got folders, pens, erasers, two binders, and tab dividers. I also went to Walmart. I was only going to get water, cereal bars, bananas, and shipping materials for a package for my daughter. However, I splurged and got a seafood salad and bought some ice cream as well. I spent $17 and change there (can't find receipt).

So out of the $60, I have $17.64 left until Wednesday. I will pay a few dollars to ship my daughter's package today, but should have at least $10 leftover. Other than the salad and ice cream, I am satisfied with the money I spent.

Happy 4th of July

July 4th, 2013 at 06:31 am

My weekly deposit for spending hit my card last night so I went grocery shopping and put gas in my tank this morning. I had a total of $114.90 (105 for the deposit plus a little left over from last week). I only spent $54.72 for gas and groceries, so I have $60 left for the week and nothing I have to buy.

I did my first Amazon subscribe and save purchase so I have a six month supply of soap and deodorant coming next week. Of course that was paid with funds earned by Swagbucks, etc.

I have no plans at all this four day weekend and not much work to do. I think I may splurge and go for a drive up north or to Vermont tomorrow or Saturday since I was able to spend so little on necessities for the week.

Nothing special on the agenda here today. I think we will do some teriyaki chicken and corn on the cob for dinner and maybe go to the local fireworks. I hope you all have a safe and happy 4th of July!

On a Roll with NSDs!

July 1st, 2013 at 10:47 pm

I've had three no spend days in a row. I don't see myself spending anything today either. My weekly spending will hit my account tomorrow night, so either then or Thursday I will need to do some grocery shopping.

I need to stock up on some household items soon, but plan on doing that with the Amazon cards I am earning on Swagbucks and a couple of phone apps. I have $25 I am waiting to hit my account so I can place an order. I have a plan to order 8 items over the summer as part of Amazon's Subscribe and Save program.

I may have mentioned this, but I called about my student loans and have settled on a $200 payment (this is for both undergrad and grad) loans. It's a doable payment. It will be nice to take them off deferment and make some progress! My first payment is in August.