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Guilty Pleasures

June 4th, 2016 at 02:14 pm

I spent $200 on myself this past week. I rarely do this. I desperately needed clothes. I was wearing jeans and that doesn't cut it all summer in Florida. In addition to the shorts and shirts ($75), I bought a tablet, case, and accessories, which came to $125. It was a want, but it will be useful. I have two laptops. Each has issues, but are usable. My son is going to buy one of the laptops so that purchase will even itself out. The other will be my spare.The tablet (with keyboard) should work out for me for editing and mystery shop reports.

I picked up a couple more mystery shops for this week. It made me feel a little less guilty about spending that money. On a good note, I finished the school year yesterday. I hope to feel a little less overwhelmed. I am looking forward to my trip to south Florida in less than two weeks!

May Mystery Shopping Income

May 30th, 2016 at 02:54 pm

I purposely made it a slow month for mystery shopping. Since teaching is coming to an end soon, I knew I would have to go back in full gear in June. Thus, I took a "break" in May. I did a total of 19 shops, including the one grocery store I have left today.

Fees=$180
Reimbursements=$80.80

Shops included 3 grocery stores, one fast food, phone shops, a coffee shop, a casual restaurant, a bank, and a couple of nicely bonused sizing audits at Ross.

I already have over $200 in fees scheduled for early June. The week I am in south Florida visiting the kid/grandkids will be slow, but otherwise I see June bringing in a nice sum!

Updates

April 9th, 2014 at 04:26 pm

It's been awhile since I posted an update. Last month was good to us. My husband went to a model airplane auction. He was into them for years, but is no longer involved in the hobby. He went to the auction and sold almost $500 worth of items! He gave me $400 which I put toward a bill for blood work for him, a chiropractor appointment for me, an extra $50 student loan payment, and the rest went to short term savings.

Since I have talked about the mystery shopping recently, I figured I would also post my monthly income for that. I made $383 in cash in March. I made another $87.70 in reimbursements for food and other required purchases. Of course, that money comes from many different companies so it trickles in anywhere from 2 weeks from the date of the original shop up to 60 days later. I don't have my spreadsheet in front of me, but I know I have been paid at least 2/3 of that money already.

This month is going even better. I have $425 worth of shops scheduled and about another $100 in reimbursements.

Tutoring is still going well, but I am a bit worried about it slowing down a lot this summer. I may need to expand my travels for mystery shopping to make up the difference.

Mystery Shopping Information

March 22nd, 2014 at 08:35 pm


I mentioned mystery shopping in a post recently and a few of you asked for more info in the comments. I put a couple of ideas out there, but thought it would make a good post. First of all, yes it is a very legitimate way to make money. You simply need to be careful and know where to look for the legitimate jobs. You should never pay to be a shopper. However, that being said, you will in many cases need to make a purchase (food, small item for proof of visit etc) for which you will be reimbursed.

There are tons of different types of shops. I have shopped restaurants (fast, casual, fine dining), banks, retail, gas stations, movie theaters, bowling, and more. If you can pay attention to details and have decent writing skills, there is extra income to be made. In my area (New England), I could make a full-time income from it even if I traveled as little as 50 miles. For most, it is part-time and what you can make will vary based on how saturated your area is with shoppers. I have made as little as $100 a month (months when I only take my "easy", favorite shops) and as much as $600 (as many as 40 shops).

There are approximately 200 companies who hire mystery shoppers. A separate email for shopping is strongly suggested! You will need to give your basic info and it would also be beneficial to have a writing sample ready (a recent retail or dining experience). Other than that, there is no formal interview process. If you want to make a few hundred bucks per month, I would suggest signing up with 40-50 companies. I am signed up with about 50 and regularly for about half of those (with 5 of those giving me a third of my work). You will get asked for your social security number for tax purposes (They will send a 1099 if you make $600 plus from the individual mystery shopping company). I simply make sure the site is secure before doing so (https vs http).

Where do you start? The following sites are legitimate and are the best resources for reading all you wanted to ever know about mystery shopping (there are audits and merchandising thrown in this category as well, but I have done neither so I have no opinion) and the list of legitimate companies.

Volition.com
Jobslinger.com
Mysteryshop.org (This is where you can get certified as well. It isn't required, but I found after I got silver certified I got a little more work. It currently runs $20 and is good for life.)
Mysteryshopforum.com (MUCH to learn here!)

Finally, a little about getting paid. You will have to wait anywhere from a week to 90 days to get paid (It varies widely throughout the industry, but when you sign up for each company they will give you their time frame for payment). Payment type varies as well ranging from checks, to direct deposit, to PayPal (most popular).

If you have any other questions, just ask!

Weekend Spending

July 8th, 2013 at 10:57 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 10:57 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.