Avoid the Christmas Debt Trap With Online Earnings

Debt Is Not Cool

Debt is NOT cool. It can strangle the life out of people. It basically makes you a slave to your lender. Staying out of unnecessary debt is one of the most important steps to take toward financial freedom, because debt brings interest payments that hurt your cash flow. If you pay cash for the things you buy (or pay off the credit card bill in full each month), you’re automatically saving any interest you would have paid had you gone into debt.

Some debts are better than others. For example, a home mortgage can be a “good” debt because buying a home on credit with a mortgage can actually cost less on a monthly basis than renting in many markets. Every dollar that you pay toward the principle of the home loan will also build up your equity, which is a major component of net worth. Student loans can be a “not-quite-so-bad” debt, as long as it is manageable because a degree can lead to higher earnings over time. Most other debt is pretty crummy because it forces you to pay more than you would normally pay for the items you buy on credit.

Christmas Debt Is Super Not Cool

One of the absolute worst sources for major debt is Christmas debt. Christmas doesn’t really sneak up on people. It shows up at the same time every single year. It’s always on December 25, year in and year out. It should not be a shock. Americans (and people of other nationalities who celebrate Christmas) tend to spend lots and lots of money at this particular time of the year for just about anyone that they come into contact with. Of course, this is a slight exaggeration, but the average person who goes into debt for Christmas presents takes until April until the debt is paid off. Instead of paying the retailer for the full price of these presents, lots of Americans tend to also pay a nice little chunk to a bank for the privilege of using the bank’s money for the presents.  The bad thing about Christmas debt is the fact that many kids will play with the boxes and other wrapping for as long as they do the toys that are within the packages.

Avoiding Christmas Debt With Online Earnings

One of the major purposes of this site is to get people (AKA you) to think about ways to increase your earnings so that your financial situation will be a bit less constrained outside of self discipline. One of the benefits of earning more money is more flexibility. Earning extra money before Christmas should allow you to pay off the bill for presents before the credit card comes due, which is a good thing. If you have any left over after buying for everyone on your Christmas list who’s avoided getting on Santa’s naughty list, that’s a great thing.

The first step in avoiding Christmas debt through online earnings is setting up some goals for actually earning the money.  This will require investigating some of the leading places for making money online. If you’re just a few weeks from Christmas, sites that allow for instant or near-instant redemption of funds would be preferable. If you have longer, you can also start looking into sites that pay once a month to maximize your earnings. Here are some of the top options that can allow you to earn some money for Christmas (and all year ’round, for that matter).

Here’s a check that I earned from CashCrate

The second step in avoiding Christmas debt with online earnings is actually signing up for some sites that allow you to make some money pretty easily. Here are some sites that I’ve used to some success over the past few years. I’ve even earned more than $1,000 on a couple of them in my free time, much of it while I’m watching TV in my recliner.

My favorite site is Swagbucks. There are several options to earn money pretty quickly here, and you can cash out when you get up to 450 Swagbucks for a $5 Amazon.com gift card.  I usually save up for a $25 redemption in PayPal cash. You can read my review of Swagbucks here.  I’ve earned more than $1,000 from this site.  Kids as young as 13 can start earning money on Swagbucks.

I’ve also been using a site by the name of Clixsense recently. I’ve already redeemed three times, and you can earn money pretty quickly by just clicking on links and viewing the website for 15 or 30 seconds. I actually view the TV while I’m clicking. I’ve not reviewed the site on this blog yet, but I can say that it definitely pays.  The first payout has to be by check and reach $10, but subsequent payments can go on PayPal after reaching $8 and take only 2-5 business days to go through. You can sign up for Clixsense here.  You have to be 16 years of age to set up a Clixsense account.

I’ve earned more than $1,000 from CashCrate. This is one of the oldest websites that allows users to complete various tasks. This one only pays out once at the beginning of the month and requires $20 in earnings. I’ve done a more in-depth review of CashCrate here.  One guy that I’ve seen on another site has earned nearly $160,000 from CashCrate, but that would take lots and lots of referral income. A few bucks here and there each month is more likely.

If you’re looking for more ways to earn money online, you might like my list of Eleven Ways to Make Money Online Without Spending a Penny, but the three listed above are likely to earn money pretty quickly.

Some people will complain that it takes quite a bit of time to earn much money. However, it’s important to remember that there are costs associated with going to a day (or evening job) that quickly cut down on your actual income per hour of work, especially if you’re a mom or dad who only makes minimum wage or slightly higher. I recently read a personal finance book** that showed that a wife with kids who worked at an $18,000 per year job only pulled down $0.64/hour when accounting for additional clothing, transportation, and child care costs. That’s hardly worth going to an office for 8 hours a day. You can make that much or more online pretty easily without even having to leave the house. That’s why I’ve been into earning money in pajamas for the past few years. It’s definitely been very beneficial to improving my standard of living, and by making a few hundred dollars over the course of the year, you can avoid the problem of going into debt over Christmas presents altogether.

*Disclaimer–I may earn a referral commission if you sign up for some of the programs that I cover on this site. I’ve actually used all of them and have gotten paid. You can still earn from the sites without using my link, but I definitely appreciate any support that you give.

**Howard Dayton, Your Money Map (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2006), 95-96.

***If you’ve enjoyed this post, be sure to sign up to receive future articles in your inbox. You can sign up near the top of the page with a box on the left toolbar.


Sweepstakes for 100,000 United Miles and $2,500

I frequently read travel blogs to keep up with the latest offers to earn points and miles that can supersize my frequent flyer accounts and hotel loyalty programs. This morning, I checked out the Mommy Points blog to see if there was any good information. Apparently, there is an opportunity to earn 20 points per dollar of spending at some 20 or so impressive retailers like Nike. The offer is available at the United Airlines shopping portal.

The Eiffel Tower in France
The Eiffel Tower in France–It’s possible to get here with United Airlines miles.

I dutifully checked out the United Shopping portal to see what retailers were really going to benefit shoppers, and I was hit with a pop-up immediately. It was an opportunity to enter a sweepstakes for 100,000 United Airlines miles and $2,500. Of course, I decided to enter the sweepstakes and clicked on the link. From there, I was asked for my Mileage Plus account number and my password. After entering this information, I got a message that said that I was entered.

Of course, it’s not terribly likely that I’ll win the sweepstakes, but it only took a few seconds to look up my account number and fill out the form. If I do happen to be the lucky winner, I’ll be sure to let you know. The possible pay-off was definitely worth it, as some travel bloggers value UA miles at around 1.7 cents apiece. When added to the cash payout, this could really be a big payoff. I don’t know how long the sweepstakes will be available, so it might be a good idea to head over the the United shopping portal to get your entry in.

If you’re wondering what 100,000 United Miles could get for you, there are several options that include:

4 round-trip tickets in the continental US

1 off-peak round-trip ticket to just about anywhere in the world–as long as you’re OK in economy.

There are also several options for a one-way business-class seat that you could get with 100,000 United Miles

I’m all about earning extra income where possible, preferably while sitting in the comfort of my recliner, and I also like to travel. This is where building up a nice stash of miles and points can come in handy. As I’ve pointed out before, just this year, I’ve been able to take my family of four to a couple of European capitals and Mexico with frequent flyer miles and hotel points.  I’d not be able to travel nearly as much without these great benefits, so I’m all about maximizing them when possible.


Get $25 from Fingerhut and Swagbucks

From the guys at Swagbucks, there’s an opportunity to earn what amounts to $25 (or more if you choose Amazon gift cards instead of PayPal cash).

Swagbucks has a great offer available with Fingerhut – you can earn $25 (paid out in the form of 2500 SB) without spending a dime!

All you have to do is get approved for line of credit and earn 2500 SB. Click here to get started!

Fingerhut lets you shop in the convenience of your home on a wide selection of brand name products with low monthly payments. If you’re a new customer, you can get $25 off $100 by using the promo code: NC576.

If you haven’t signed up for Swagbucks yet, this offer’s a great way to get started. Just sign up through the link above and get your 2500 SB, you’ll get a bonus 300 SB at the beginning of November. So that’s $25 for getting approved for a line of credit, which gets you 2800 SB, that you can spend on gift cards to places like Amazon, Target, Walmart, Starbucks, or PayPal cash

Taking the Long View of Personal Finance

Do you want the bad news first, or would you rather have the good news? I’ll start with the bad news. Most people in the United States live for today. The average American is deep in debt, and this debt can really lead to many difficulties in life.  A person’s savings rate is the leading indicator for future wealth. This indicator reached an all-time high of 17 percent of income back in 1975, but by July 2005, the rate was at an all-time low of less than 2 percent. Today, the savings rate for the average American has reached 5.7 percent, which is three times what it was just a decade ago.  The good news is that there are some pretty easy steps to take to improve your personal savings rate and shore up your finances.

The reason for this increase is probably related to what happened between 2005 and today–the Great Recession.  People were shaken by the sudden crash of the economy. While a savings rate of between 5 and 10 percent might seem impressive given where it’s come from just a few years ago, it’s still not all that great. The popular site Mr. Money Mustache has a pretty amazing article on “The Shockingly Simple Math Behind Early Retirement” that looks at how the savings rate can determine how long a person has to work.  A person who saves 5 percent a year will have to work about 66 years to be able to retire comfortably. Fewer teenagers are working today, so this means that a 20-something who starts to work today will need to work until about age 90 before they can let someone else take over their job.

This math presupposes that there is no pension waiting on a worker and that the doomsday scenarios of Social Security that claim it will pay nothing at sometime in the not-too-distant future will come frighteningly to fruition.  This means that the savings rate of American workers is woefully short of what it needs to be. Even the record savings rate in the post-1959 world that was noted above will require quite a bit of work. A 17 percent savings rate means that a worker can retire right around the “traditional” retirement age after working approximately 40 years, again assuming that there is no pension or Social Security payment coming. Needless to say, this is not a terribly comforting situation.

These numbers are why it’s important to take a long view when it comes to personal finance.  Those who fail to plan actually plan to fail, so getting some goals together is a good idea. I don’t know about you, but having to work until 90 would mean that I’d probably be dead before I can afford to quit working on a full-time basis.  That does not seem like a terribly enjoyable path to take. The time to start planning for retirement was 10 years ago. However, if you didn’t put in the effort to plan 10 years ago, the second best time is now.

This is where earning money in pajamas proves to be a great idea. If your main gig barely pays the bills, there are exactly two ways to save money (outside of having a long, lost extremely rich uncle give you a massive inheritance or hitting the lottery, which is a losing proposition because the house always has to win). These first of these two realistic methods is cutting expenses. With the number of high-paying jobs not being what most Americans might wish, keeping expenses down is definitely an important step to take to ensure that you can build wealth over time.

The second option for saving more money involves finding other avenues to make money. With the advent of the Interwebs, the opportunities for making more money are quite extensive. Here are 11 such options that I’ve shared before for making extra moolah online .  Few jobs require employees to work every waking hour, so most workers will have several hours each week to earn more money. The best part about utilizing the Internet means of making money is that you don’t have to leave the house. You can literally sit around in your pajamas on a Saturday afternoon and make a bit of money while watching football. If you have a connection to the Internet, there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t attempt to make more money. The link above has some great ways that I’ve been able to make money. I’ve used a few to make more than $1,000.

It’s important to take the long view of personal finance when thinking about making money online because it’s easy to get discouraged. A few hundred dollars a year might not seem like much, but your future self will appreciate that your current self decided to save some money for the future. I’ve noted before that saving just a dollar a day between the ages of 16 and the “normal” retirement age of 65 will yield an account of around $286,000 if an 8 percent return can be realized.  The power of a simple dollar can be quite amazing.  If you can raise this amount to $2 a day in additional income that you can save, you’ll have around half a million by retirement. Only $4 a day will lead to a cool million by 65 if you can start at 16. Discipline is important through all of this, and it’s important to stay in the market.

Those who are able to engage in both of the strategies listed above can super-charge their trek toward retirement. Cutting $4 in spending each day and then making just $4 extra per day and then saving the $8 would lead to nearly $3000 in savings after just a year and nearly $2 million over a 50-year period if you were able to earn an 8-percent return. Those who do not have 50 years to play with can still make some major progress with just a few small tweaks. Even if you’re only looking at 20 years until needing the money, you’ll still be way ahead of what you would have should you never have started to begin with. The time to start making some money in pajamas is now. The sooner you do, the sooner you can start saving and taking advantage of the compounding process.  Thinking of the long terms is the only way to make this happen, however, so be sure to get started today.

Disclaimer: I can receive compensation if you sign up for some of the programs that I’ve reviewed using one of my referral links. I definitely appreciate the support, but in the interest of full disclosure, you can still get the the same benefits without using my link. 

If you’ve appreciated or otherwise enjoyed this post, be sure to sign up to get updates when I post any new articles.

September 2016 Passive Dividend Income

Yesterday was September 30, which means that today is a new month. Now that it’s October, I can review the month that was and calculate the dividend income that I earned over the course of the month. This is usually my favorite post of the month, because it keeps me accountable and motivated to see a growing stream of passive income going into the future. As I’ve said many times, passive income is the best income. The third month of the quarter tends to be heavy on the dividend side for most investors who focus on income. This has to do with when the companies that pay out the dividends decide to reward their shareholders.

I put $156 of additional capital to work in my Loyal3 account during the month of September. $145 of this was new capital, while $11 was a deployment of accumulated dividend income into Unilever (UL) stock. I noted this small purchase in my post about using dividend income to buy more dividend income. I did not add any new capital to my TradeKing account, but there was a reinvestment, which I’ll get into below.  I did make a purchase in an IRA, and I’ll be discussing this new account I’ve opened in future months.

Without further ado, here are the companies that paid me during the month of September:

Wal-Mart (WMT):                                         $3.65

Unilever (UL):                                                  $0.17

Kellogg’s (K):                                                    $0.75

McDonald’s (MCD):                                    $3.96

Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.B):                      $10.34

TOTAL for September 2016:               $18.87

This total was a new monthly record, albeit, it was only $0.05 more than the amount I received in June. Part of the reason for this was a strange method that TradeKing used to pay out the RDS.B dividend in June. They paid out in RDS.A shares, but it then seemed that they cashed those out because they went up in value. I earned more than $11.00 in June, when I expected only $10.34.  I’m not complaining by any stretch, but it does explain why there was only a small increase.  My most recent dividend from RDS.B bought me an additional 0.206 shares in RDS.A through the dividend reinvestment.

With my September dividends, I am now up to $101.93 in dividend income for the year.  My forward dividend income for the next 12 months should be right around $228.79, which is nearly $20 per month.  That means that I’m just about to the point where I could replace one hour of work each month from my dividend income alone. In the year-to-year comparison, I earned $16.89 more than I did during the same month last year. This was an increase of 853 percent over just one year, not quite as high as my year-over-year increase for August, but I must say that I’m thrilled with this increase. Hopefully by this time next year, I’ll be way ahead of where I currently am in terms of passive dividend income. How was your dividend income over the past year?

If you’d like to keep up with my dividend income over time, feel free to go to the top of the page and follow me. You’ll only get emails when I actually make a new post, which is usually less than five times in a month. In other words, your inbox will not get inundated with random emails.

Disclosure: I am long all stocks mentioned.

Disclaimer: I am not a licensed financial professional. Be sure to do due diligence before investing in securities. This article is not a recommendation to buy a specific company. It is only for educational/entertainment purposes.

Using Dividends to Buy More Dividends

One of my long-term goals is to build up a decent amount of wealth that can produce a nice level of passive income over the long haul. While I’m not likely to get to the $1 million per year in passive income, I believe that several thousand, if not tens of thousands in annual income, is definitely doable over the next couple of decades. When trying to earn money in pajamas, one of the best ways to make this happen is through dividend income. This is passive income that accumulates as a return on capital from allowing great companies to use said capital to operate and grow their businesses.  As I’ve said before, passive income is the best income.

Earning more money is always a good thing. The bad thing about earning more money is the time that it usually takes to do so. There are, however, some strategies that can be used to make more money without putting in any additional effort. Investing for dividends is one such strategy. Here is an article that lists three great reasons for investing in dividend paying stocks. The final reason is key. Even stable dividends pay out more over time. “How can this be?” you might be wondering. The answer is simple–COMPOUNDING.

There is one step and one step alone that is required to compound the your gains, provided that the dividend is left stable by the company paying it out. This one step is reinvesting. There are a couple of different avenues that can accomplish the reinvestment of dividends. The first is through a DRIP program. The DRIP stands for Dividend ReInvestment Program, and in this situation, an investor automatically reinvests the dividend into additional shares of the company that originally paid out the dividend. This will basically increase the dividend payout by the annual yield. A dividend yield of 3 percent that gets reinvested will see the annual dividend payment raise by about 3 percent over the course of a year because the number of shares that our hypothetical investor has should increase by about 3 percent. This is an increase in income that’s more than inflation has been over the past few years–all without lifting a finger.

Several brokerages, such as TradeKing, allow you to automatically DRIP your dividends into companies that permit dividend reinvestment. TradeKing is currently offering a $50 bonus for new signups under my referral link listed above.  You would get $50 for meeting the requirements, and I would also get $50. You don’t have to sign up with my link to invest through TradeKing, but I greatly appreciate any support you might feel like giving. This bonus could be used to buy a share or two of many great dividend-paying stocks.

Automatic reinvestment is one strategy, but there is another. I use the DRIP in my Tradeking account, but I have to use the other strategy in my Loyal3 account because DRIPing is not an option. This involves stocking up on dividend payments until a certain minimum amount of cash is reached. The minimum investment through Loyal3 is $10, and I pay no fees for my investments on this site. You can check out my review of Loyal3 here.  Those who invest through a TradeKing, Scwhab, or any other investment account can also pool dividends to diversify. It’s probably best to pool until a decent amount of money is available so that you can keep the transaction cost to a minimum. For example, a share of AT & T costs around $40 a share right now. Through TradeKing, if you were to purchase only one share, you’d pay $4.95 in transaction fees, which effectively adds about 12 percent to your purchase price.  It would also eat up more than the $1.92 in dividend income you’d get in the first year. It would be year three before dividend income would exceed your transaction cost. If you were to hold off until you could buy 10 shares, the transaction fee would drop to slightly more than 1 percent of the purchase price, which will definitely help long-term returns.


I decided in January to use my dividends from my Loyal3 account to diversify. Any additional purchases would come from new funds, while dividend income would just sit until I reached $10 in the account. During the first week of April, I reached the requisite level to make my first purchase from my dividend income stash. I decided that I would buy shares of Unilever (UL), which is a massive international consumer goods company that produces everything from butter to deodorant. I again started to pool the dividends after making this small $10 purchase, except now, I would be adding the small dividend from Unilever into the equation. My first payment came in June, and added $0.08 to my account.  Admittedly, this was a very small amount of money, but it allowed me to inch toward another purchase a little bit more quickly.

I hit $13 worth of dividends in my account by the first week of July, as my payment from Coca-Cola pushed me across the necessary $10 threshold. Again, I put the accumulated dividends toward more UL. Last week, I got my second payment from Unilever, and it was up to $0.17 over the course of a quarter, still not a huge amount, but an increase over the course of three months that allows me to edge ever closer to another purchase. This morning, I awoke to find that a dividend payment of nearly $4 from McDonald’s had posted into my account. This brought my account total $11.49, and I made my third purchase of Unilever stock for $11. If all goes according to plan, I will see a payment of around $0.25 for the fourth quarter in December.

I admit that I’ve put more capital toward my account with Loyal3 over the past nine months, but it’s been great to see that my dividends are growing and allowing me to purchase additional dividends. Even if I never added any additional capital to my account, I should be able to grow my dividends as companies decide to give dividend increases and I reinvest my dividends. This is the power of compounding. Of course, I’m hoping to have enough capital available to pay my bills and to invest each and every month going into the future, but seeing additional dividend income come in without doing more than making a few clicks and keystrokes is positive reinforcement. It’s exciting to see my dividend payments going higher and higher over time.

Disclaimer: I am not a financial advisor. This article is not a recommendation to buy any security. It is intended only for educational/entertainment purposes.

I am long all stock listed in this article.

If you’ve found this article interesting, be sure to sign up to receive updates to the site.

August 2016 Passive Dividend Income

Another month has come and gone, and again, it’s time to look over the past month and figure up the passive income that I’ve earned from owning great companies that are willing to return some of the capital that I’ve invested into their success.

I’ve decided to invest in companies that pay dividends, as those companies that are able to increase revenues and earnings over time are also able to increase the amount of their dividends. This is an example of my having my money working for me. This was the first month that I’ve been able to compare my dividend income on a year-over-year basis, as I “earned” my first dividend payment in August 2015. I have earned in quotes because I earned the money that initially went toward the  investment, but I did not have to put in any additional effort to get this passive income. My dollars are working for me, and over time, they should be able to earn even more, hopefully to the point that my money makes more than I can.

I received dividend payments from four companies in August. I received a payment from one new company, as well. Without further ado, here is my dividend income from the month of August 2016:

Starbucks (SBUX):                           $0.18

Apple (AAPL):                                    $2.57

AT & T (T):                                             $6.94

Omega Healthcare Inv. (OHI): $3.60

TOTAL for August 2016:           $13.29

This dividend income brings my total for the year up to $83.40 for the year, which is more than $10 a month. Furthermore, this dividend income for the month was $4.11 more than the dividend income I received in May. This equaled out to nearly a 45 percent increase in just one quarter.  When looking at my dividend income on a year-over-year basis, I went from $0.64 in August 2015 to $13.29 in August 2016. This equals out to a 1976 percent increase in just one year. Obviously, this will not be likely for every year in the future, but it is a nice increase to say the least.

Another point that I’d like to make regarding the dividend income I received in August. I am able to DRIP my dividends in my TradeKing account. This allowed me to purchase 0.097 additional shares of OHI and 0.160 shares of T. My additional fractional share of OHI will add $0.23 to my annual dividend income, and my additional fractional share of T will add $0.31 additional dividend income. These are not huge increases, but over time as they add up, they will make a difference in my dividend income.

My current anticipated annualized dividend income $204.64 after having purchased some additional OHI in an IRA that I rolled a former employer-sponsored retirement plan into. That’s about $17.05 a month on average. I’m getting closer to being able to take an hour off each month (figuring that I need $20 per hour to replace working income after noting that I won’t be paying out nearly so much in taxes at that point).

My dividend income is definitely an example of earning money in my pajamas. The companies that I invest in are making money around the world at any given time of the day. How was your dividend income in August?

Disclaimer: I am not a financial advisor. This article is not a recommendation to buy any security. It is intended only for educational/entertainment purposes.

If you’ve found this article interesting, be sure to sign up to receive updates to the site.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card Verdict–Rejected

Last year, I wrote an article about saving money with credit cards.  I know that some of the leading financial gurus in the US, most notably Dave Ramsey, want every credit card that has ever been created to be cut up into very tiny little pieces. They then want the very tiny little pieces of what used to be credit cards burned in a giant bonfire so that no one can ever use one again for any purpose at any time. I tend to disagree, because I can get some pretty cool benefits if I score some big signup bonuses and pay of my cards on a monthly basis so that I’m paying nothing in interest payments.

Already this year, I’ve been on a couple of pretty cool international trips. I had a week-long jaunt across the pond for Spring Break, visiting Madrid and Paris along the way.  While I spent some money on this trip, I literally saved thousands on what the retail cost would have been because points and miles paid for my flights and hotels.  Just a couple of months later, I found a killer sale on Southwest flights to Puerto Vallarta from the major airport that’s nearest my home.  A round-trip ticket was slightly more than 5,600 Rapid Rewards miles apiece. I found a really, really nice Marriott resort for $97/night and pulled the trigger.  I would not have been able to take these trips without the frequent flyer miles and hotel points that I’d accrued over the past couple of years.

When I started reading about the rumors over the past month or so that Chase Bank was going to have a super-duper premium credit card that earned Ultimate Rewards points, my interest was definitely piqued. The rumor was that for a $450 annual fee, cardholders could earn 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 (above the annual fee) within three months. Additionally, users would get a $300 credit on travel expenses each calendar year. The card was supposed to come out in August, so my thought was that I could get two $300 credits for one $450 annual fee. This would, in effect, mean that I could actually GET PAID $150 to get the card, in addition to the massive sign-up bonus that could come very close to getting my family a one-way saver trip to Europe or Asia all by itself.

Were the rumors too good to be true? It turns out that they were not. The benefits of the card were just as impressive as advertised. However, there was concern that the infamous 5/24 rule would be in effect for the card. This unwritten and unofficial secret squirrel rule means that if you’ve opened 5 cards from any bank over the past 24 months, Chase will most likely deny your application for many of their best travel cards, although, as with most rules, there appear to be some exceptions. I read several of my favorite travel blogs to get an idea of whether to expect this possibility. I thought that I had only opened four in the past 24 months regardless. However, I forgot that I’d held a card as an authorized user. Unfortunately, these count against the 5/24 rule that Chase won’t even confirm exists.  Another problem was that the blogs indicated that many people who had opened more than 5 cards were getting denied, although there were some spotty approvals for people who had opened more cards, sometimes many more cards.

Regardless of my fears, I decided to pull the trigger when the application link became available this week. I applied on the first day that I could have gotten a Sapphire Reserve, hoping to score the massive 100,000 point bonus with lots of Ultimate Rewards points added to my account. I love these points, because I can transfer them to airlines like United and Southwest (I’ve used them both for reward trips over the past couple of years). I can also transfer them to hotel loyalty programs like IHG (best known for the Holiday Inn chain), Marriott, and Hyatt. I once scored three nights at a Hyatt House about 10 minutes from Disneyland for only 8,000 points a night after using another Southwest sale to fly to LAX.

Anyhoo, to make a long story short, after I hit the submit button, I got the dreaded “We have to review your application and we’ll get back to you in 7-10 days” message that usually indicates that an applicant is going to get a big thumbs down on his or her attempt to score a card. I decided to call the reconsideration line, and my concerns were well-founded. Too many cards opened in the last 24 months was the verdict. One of my cards should fall of the list in October. At that point, if the bonus stays high enough, I might just attempt it again.

Did you attempt to get the Chase Sapphire Preferred card? How did it work out?

Don’t Be A Nattering Nabob of Negativism

Do you see the glass as half full, or do you see it as half empty? It’s usually understood that the former are optimists, while the latter are pessimists. When it comes to earning money online or through financial markets, there are many negative people who think that it can’t be done. I’ll just be able to make pennies, they argue. These people are probably *nattering nabobs of negativism who don’t really accomplish much in life.

Pessimism can bring you down. Optimism, unlike the arguments made by people like Norman Vincent Peale and Joel Osteen, is not a near guarantee of success.  However, it’s important to remember that those who feel that they cannot accomplish a task successfully are very likely to experience what would be considered a self-fulfilling prophecy. Most of the time, they don’t even get started because they figure it’s no use. Those who are optimists will at least try.

These nattering nabobs of negativism are like Eeyore, expecting rain on every sunny day. They are like Rocky the Flying Squirrel who gives Bullwinkle a hard time with every attempt to pull a rabbit out of his hat. Rocky doesn’t encourage the Moose, he just argues that it’ll never work. Perhaps it won’t but Bullwinkle keeps trying. Those who fail to try never accomplish much of anything.

Those who fear the stock market look back to the Great Recession. They might have lost more than one-half of their entire nest egg. There are those who sold out at the bottom because of a lost job. This is understandable, as money is necessary to eat if you don’t have several months of expenses saved up.  Then there are those who sold out at the bottom because of negativism. They lost a bunch of money when others who stayed in the market because of the optimism that the market generally recovers were able to see their accounts reach previous highs and then move on to even greater highs. We’re now near all-time highs.

Warren Buffett Is NOT A Pessimist

Pessimists are always down on the future of the United States.  “It’s never been this bad before.” I don’t know how many times I’ve heard this argument over the past few years. One of the most successful investors in history, however, is really, really optimistic about the future of the United States. Warren Buffett has done pretty well for himself over the course of his life. He’s seen opportunities that others have missed. His investing strategy has earned him average gains of about 19 percent a year. This means he doubles his money in about 3.5 years on average. Now, as some politicians are arguing that the US is in a horrific economic condition, Buffett would argue otherwise.

Those who are Eeyores in life are probably not nearly as successful as Warren Buffett. This is not to say that there should never be cause for concern about the economy or that people should just throw money at the market at any price. Buffett buys solid companies at good prices. There are some great companies out there that are pretty expensive and should be avoided until there are better prices. There could be a recession in the near future, but this could actually provide  a buying opportunity for those who are willing to take a bit of a risk. The recommendation is always to buy low and sell high. Because of pessimism, however, people generally follow the herd and buy high and sell low. When thinking of avoiding an overly pessimistic outlook, here are three big reasons why optimism can help you achieve your goals.

You’ll See Opportunities Others Easily Miss

Where others see only a snowstorm dumping two feet of snow and ruining their days, the optimist sees an opportunity to make some money shoveling the snow. When it seems that the paycheck barely pays the bills each month, the optimist will start to look for options to make more money. Here are 10 easy ways to make money that people can use without spending any money outside of Internet access. I’ve personally used Swagbucks and  Cashcrate to make more than $1,000 each while sitting in my recliner.

Where the nattering nabob of negativism sees no need to save for the future, because it’s going to be worse than it is today, the optimist sees the opportunity that some extra money saved up over time can provide. After all, a dollar a day can really add up over time when capital gains and dividends are added to the mix.

You’ll Try Again If Things Don’t Immediately Work Out

Things will not always work out. Pessimists will tend to think that they never will work out when they don’t work out the first time.  This outcome is not always a given. Optimists will try to learn from the experience. There is a reason why people fail. Those who pick themselves back up are more likely to achieve their goals over the long term. A quote attributed to Thomas Edison regarding the invention of the light bulb shows this ability to learn from mistakes and try again. It was argued that he’d failed to invent the incandescent light bulb. He retorted that he’d not failed. He’d successfully found 10,000 ways that did not work.  He eventually succeeded. Had he been a pessimist, Edison probably would have quit well before his 9,999th “failure.”

Other People Will Notice

Recessions happen. Downsizing and offshoring are common phenomena. People lose jobs. These situations can lead to quite the competition for the jobs that are left. Who will get the job? A person with a reputation for negativism who comes across with a “woe is me” attitude? NO! Those who have a positive attitude and a reputation for hard work in spite of setbacks are much more likely to get the nod. I’m not likely to hire a plumber or a carpenter who acts like a job is impossible. If I owned a car dealership, I’d want salesmen who actually believed that they could sell cars. Those who are optimists are likely to look for great solutions even if things don’t go quite as well as they might in the short run, and other people will notice this ability in them.

Getting ahead with a positive attitude is pretty difficult. After all, there are only a handful of Warren Buffetts, Sam Waltons, and Steve Jobses.  However, its pretty near impossible to get ahead with a perpetually negative attitude. That’s why it’s important to avoid being an Eeyore who others view as a nattering nabob of negativism.

*The term nattering nabobs of negativism originated in a speech by Vice President Spiro Agnew as he described members of the media.

Disclaimer: I may earn bonuses should you choose to sign up for programs with my referral links. You’ll still get the great benefits by going directly to the site without clicking my link, but I appreciate any support that you might give. 

July 2016 Passive Dividend Income

It’s now come to that time of the month to review my passive dividend income of the past month. I like to look at the income that I get from doing nothing outside of investing in high-quality companies that do business with people around the world. Every dividend payment is a positive reinforcement that increases my nest egg.

I received only two dividend payments for July, as there are fewer companies who pay in the first month of the quarter. Regardless, my payments from these two companies was higher than it was in April. My dividend earnings for July were as follows:

Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS):                     $4.98

Coca-Cola (KO):                                             $3.52

TOTAL for July:                                             $8.50

My dividend from BNS was reinvested to purchase 0.084 additional shares of this company. This will add a few cents to my dividend income each quarter. How much is a bit debatable because of foreign exchange rates.

The total amount of the dividends that I earned in July came to $8.50. This is $0.40 less than my amount from the same month in the last quarter. The reason for the decline is related to the unusual payout schedule that Wal-Mart adheres to. They pay out in April and again in June, so I’ve already received my payment from Wally World.

My annual dividend income now stands at $70.11. This is just a bit more than $10 a month. August should be a better month for passive income, as should September.  My hope is that this is the final month that I have an income in the single digits. Another hope that I have is that three figures for a month will come in due time. I will add this to my dividend income page. How was your month of dividend income?

Disclaimer: I am not a financial advisor. This article is not a recommendation to buy any security. It is intended only for educational/entertainment purposes.

If you’ve found this article interesting, be sure to sign up to receive updates to the site.

Making Money without Leaving the House