9th Birthday for Swagbucks


Swagbucks is celebrating their birthday all day on February 27th, but they want to give YOU presents. You can play Swago (their version of bingo) all day long, filling out squares as you earn points on their site for doing things you already do online.

For each square you fill in, you get a spin on their big birthday prize wheel, where you can earn up to 2500 points with each spin!

The best part is that the points you get can be used to get free gift cards to places like Amazon, or PayPal cash!

Fill up your board and then submit your patterns to get even more spins and more chances to win big points!

Click here to sign up and get started! If you sign up through my link and earn 300 SB before March 1st, you’ll get a bonus 300 SB!

Get Paid To Try Hulu


If you’ve been thinking about trying Hulu, this is the time to do it. Thanks to an offer through Swagbucks, you get $25 (paid in the form of points called SB) for trying Hulu for a month. That will cost you $7.99, so you’re making $17 on the deal!

Hulu has tons of current and classic programming, movies, brilliant original series, and more. Here’s how you do it:

1. Click this link.
2. Create your Swagbucks account (takes 30 seconds)
3. Click “Continue” and sign up for Hulu
4. Enjoy Hulu! You should have your points within 30 minutes.

Haven’t tried Swagbucks yet? They’re a site where you earn points (called SB) for doing things like online shopping, watching videos, taking surveys, and discovering deals and services you might like to try (like Hulu!). You then take those points and turn them into free gift cards to places like Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart, Target, or PayPal cash.

This is a great time to join because when you sign up through the link above and get your 2000 SB, you’ll get a bonus 300 SB at the beginning of March. So that’s $25 (2500 SB) for trying Hulu plus your $3 (300 SB) bouns, which gets you 2800 SB, which means you make $20 total just for watching TV!

Online Earnings For January 2017

The title of this site is Earn Money In Pajamas. I like earning money while sitting at home and watching TV or hanging out  with the family. I can earn money at home at just about any time that I’m not at my day job. The money that I earn online goes toward investing and toward paying bills. It also goes toward paying off debts.  I’m again tracking my online earnings.

Online Earnings Can Add Up
A $500 bill, public domain via Wikimedia Commons

I used to keep up with how much money I made each month. I set online earnings goals for the first couple of years that I kept this site up. The past couple of years, however, I’ve slipped up on this process. I’ve been focusing upon earning money online, but I’ve been reporting on the money that I’ve made from dividend income.

Dividend income is a great method of earning money in pajamas. I own teeny little slices of companies that pay me a portion of their profits. All I have to do is wake up and get the notification that I’ve earned a dividend.  This is an example of passive income, which I firmly believe is the best form of income.

Online Earnings For January

I’ve also been involved in active income in the past couple of years, and one of the methods that I’ve continued to earn money is via online activities. After giving it some thought, I decided that I might give regular updates to show you that it’s possible to earn money online (in your pajamas) in 2017. Here is what I earned via online activity in 2017:

Swagbucks:                                      $75.00
Freelance Writing:                      $259.60

Total Online Earnings 1/17:  $334.60

I can’t complain. The money that I’ve earned with Swagbucks has gone toward purchasing stock in high-quality companies. The rest of the online earnings that I’ve accumulated over the month have yet to be spent on anything. I would like to invest them, but I need to build up some emergency savings. How did you do via online earnings last month?

Chocolate Dipped Team Challenge At Swagbucks

Here’s another fun team challenge to help you earn SB from Swagbucks! For those of you who don’t know what Swagbucks is, it’s a website where you can earn cash back on everyday tasks you do online like shopping, answering surveys, discovering deals, and watching videos. You can even earn for searching the web!

If you’ve never tried Swagbucks before because you didn’t know where to begin, their Team Challenges are a great way to learn the ropes!

They have one themed around Valentine’s day – the Chocolate Dipped Team Challenge begins Monday, February 13th.

Here’s how you can join the challenge and the site:

1. Click here to join the challenge and be assigned to a team. Pre-registration is going on right now! If you don’t already have an account, you can sign up on this page as well.

2. Starting February 13th at 8am PT, in addition to earning SB you’ll contribute points to your teams total as you complete different activities on Swagbucks.

3. Check back on the page often to see the scores and what you’ve contribute so far.

All members who participate and contribute at least 400 points to their team’s total will receive a SB bonus in the form of a SB Swag Up Rebate on their next gift card!

Not only that, but if you earn 300 SB before March 1st, you’ll get a 300 SB bonus (as long as you’ve signed up under me)!

Members of the 1st place team will receive a 50 SB Swag Up Rebate, members of the 2nd place team will receive a 25 SB Swag Up Rebate, members of the 3rd place team will receive a 10 SB Swag Up Rebate. Your SB Swag Up Rebate will be made available on Friday, February 17th and will expire on Tuesday, February 28th 11:59pm PT

Top 8 Ideas To Stay On Top Of Personal Finances In 2017

The following was contributed by Amy Nickson:

Many people ignore their personal financial health because they know fixing the problem is not an easy task. However, many people don’t even know where to start. Most of them ignore the idea of staying top of their personal finances, but instead of ignoring, you must take care of your personal finances to see good results in the coming year.

If you’re not sure where to start, this article may help you. Read carefully:

1. Keep Your Household Budget in Order

Once you create a budget system according to your financial ability, you can manage emergencies, save money for the future, and make some additional expenditures. A budget also teaches you how to overcome bad financial habits as well. Once you start following a suitable budget, you’ll be able to know the amount you spend and the amount you save. Thus, you can seek to save more after meeting your daily necessities.

Be Sure to Balance Your Budget
Be sure to balance your budget

2. Take Advantage of Free Budgeting Tools and Apps to Create Your Budget

Budgeting is not as scary as many people think. Many budgeting tools and apps are available online. If budgeting sounds dull, then install a free budgeting app on your smartphone and start using it. Soon you can see the positive results in your personal financial health.

3. Save More Money Than the Previous Year

Saving money is the only way to stay top of your finances throughout the year. If you have saved 15% of your income as of now, then try to increase your savings percentage in this year. Set aside 20% of your monthly income to save more than before. Don’t use the savings account for day to day purchases. Allow the money to grow and keep saving for a longer time. Thus, you will be able to build up a solid financial cushion.

4. Manage Your Debts to Stay on Top of Your Personal Finances

If you are carrying high-interest credit card debts, then you can consider a balance transfer to a credit card that offers low-interest rates. Try to find out a credit card that doesn’t charge a balance transfer fee. Don’t miss any monthly payment to avoid charges.

You may not be able to pay off all of your personal debts (credit cards debts, student loan debts) within few months, but you should start making extra payments towards your debts to pay them off as early as you can. Save money every month to make some extra payments toward your highest-interest debts.

For example,

If you’re planning a splurge of $100 this weekend, then use the money to make extra debt payments instead of splurging on something you don’t need.

This way strategy will be more beneficial in the long run by allowing you to be a debt-free person.

5. Start Funding a Retirement Account

If you don’t have a retirement fund yet, then open an account and start funding. If your workplace has a 401 (k) plan or an IRA, then take advantage of them to get the tax benefit as well. Remember, there is no particular time or age to invest money for your retirement years. The earlier you think about your retirement, the sooner you secure your financial future. Try to put money into a retirement account as soon as possible to take advantage of compounding.

6. Ask for a Raise

If you’re working hard and performing well in your workplace, then this is the right time to ask for a raise. Approach to your employer to attempt to get paid according to your capability. You can also consider a side hustle to boost your income. Go online to get a sample of ideas.

7. Financial Trouble? Seek Professional Help

Knowing the exact solution for each personal financial problem is not possible for most people. To get proper guidance and solutions, seek professional help. A financial advisor can help suggest the right option that helps you make the right decision.

For example:

Consider professional help before investing money, making a will, and taking out a loan.

8. Utilize the Internet and Subscribe to Coupons

Couponing is one of the most effective ways to save money in your daily life. It helps to save money on groceries and other household expenses. If you have a smartphone and an Internet connection, then you can sign up with many manufacturers’ websites to find branded coupons. Many companies offer coupons on a regular basis on the Internet so you must keep eyes open to grab some great deals on regular purchases.

Finally, setting financial goals is important, but set realistic and achievable goals. Don’t imagine yourself as a multimillionaire at the beginning of your personal financial career. There is no such shortcut to becoming rich. You must earn money and save money with determination. Research well and read more to invest your money for the best return. Thus, you can ensure your personal financial health in future.

Author’s Bio: Amy Nickson is a web enthusiast. She works for Oak View Law Group, a leading consumer and bankruptcy law firm based in CA and operational across US. She loves social media, as it gives her endless opportunities to reach out to a larger audience in a more unbiased way.

Image Credit: stevepb via pixabay

Nike Bonus Days on MyGiftCardsPlus

If you love Nike stuff or know someone who does, you can get 15% cash back on all Nike Gift Cards during Nike Bonus Days on MyGiftCardsPlus! MyGiftCardsPlus is a great site where you get cash back for buying gift cards – the cash back is paid out in the form of points from Swagbucks, which is a great website where you redeem those points (called SB) for gift cards to places like Amazon, PayPal… and Nike!

So to recap, you can get 15% cash back (in the form of SB) on Nike gift cards from MyGiftCardsPlus, which you can then use on Swagbucks to get more Nike gift cards!

Click here to take advantage of this great deal!

Earn From Swagbucks Local

You’ve probably heard me talk about Swagbucks before. It’s the site where you get points (called SB) for doing things like shopping, discovering deals, watching videos, taking surveys, and searching the web. Then you turn those points in free gift cards to places like Amazon, Starbucks, Target, and PayPal cash.

Swagbucks is at its best when they’re paying you to do something you’d already do online, and now they’re taking that concept into thousands of restaurants around the country with the SB Local app for iOS and Android. Starting on 2/2 and running through Sunday, 2/5, they have a killer deal running – here’s how you can take advantage of it:

1. Click here to download the Swagbucks Local app. You can create your Swagbucks account if you’re new to it.
2. Sign in with your Swagbucks account information.
3. Link your first debit/credit cards to your Swagbucks Local app and get an instant 100 SB!
4. Use your linked card to pay at thousands of participating locations! If you spend $20 or more before Monday, February 6th, you’ll get a 300 SB bonus! That bonus will be paid out by 5pm PST on February 10th.

If you’re also signing up for Swagbucks for the first time and use my link, that means you’ll get another
300 SB bonus. We’re talking about $7 plus for going out to eat!

Some more info about SB Local:
Soon after paying with your linked card, you will see the transaction show up in your Swagbucks Local Activity ledger. Your SB earned will be calculated on the transaction amount before taxes and tip. Swagbucks Local is currently supported in the following metropolitan areas: San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Francisco, Ventura County, Dallas, Atlanta, Washington DC, Phoenix, Houston, Denver, Detroit, New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Cincinnati, Seattle, Fort Lauderdale and Chicago. New cities added on a regular basis, and you’ll get the 100 SB bonus for linking your first card even if you don’t live in one of the cities listed above!

January 2017 Passive Dividend Income

It’s hard to believe, but the first month of 2017 is in the books. There are less than 330 shopping days left until Christmas. The end of the month is one of my favorite times of each month. It’s the time that I look back and tabulate my passive dividend income for the previous 30 days. As all of my brokerage and retirement accounts are updated, I can now add up how much I made passively in January 2017.

Why Dividends?

I’ve decided to build up a stream of passive dividend income through dividends because they come in whether I work or not. I own some great companies. These companies sell their wares or rent out their space 24/7/365. Many of them do so in many nations around the world. One of the coolest things about a dividend growth strategy is the fact that these companies frequently increase their payments with me doing absolutely nothing.

Passive Dividend Income Can Add Up
A $500 bill, public domain via Wikimedia Commons

My dividend income is admittedly quite low at this point. I’ve been working on building it up for less than two years. Any dividend income, however, is gravy. It’s currently a small snowball that’s building mass over time. This increased mass results from three components. These are more invested capital, reinvested dividends, and dividend raises. Put all of them together, and it should be hard not to see an increase in dividend income over time.  Therefore, to end your suspense, here is my passive dividend income for 2017.

January 2017 Passive Dividend Income

IRA Account:

General Electric (GE)                                 $9.60
Realty Income Corp. (O)                         $2.03

Total Passive Dividend Income:        $11.63

I did not earn any income from my taxable or 401k accounts during January. Therefore, only these two companies paid me anything. This was the first time that I’ve earned a dividend from Realty Income, but I should earn something every month, as this company pays out on a monthly basis. It also just announced a dividend increase of 0.8 cents per month. This increase added a cool $1 to my expected dividend income for the next year and allowed my to pass a dividend milestone.

Year-Over-Year Comparison

My dividend income was well off my record month in December. That’s the bad news. The good news is that it was more than double what I earned in the same month last year.  In January 2016 I only earned $4.48. Therefore, my passive dividend income grew by more than 162 percent on a year-over-year basis. Needless to say, I’m pretty happy with that result.

Additionally, my estimated dividend income for the next 12 months is up to $302.11. I’ve noted before that I like to track my dividend income in terms of the number of hours of freedom that it should give me based on a $20/hour salary. This means that I theoretically have 1 hour, 15 minutes of freedom each and every month. This should only grow over time, so I’m pretty happy about my progress. I updated my Monthly Passive Dividend Income page with these results.

How was your dividend income for January? Let me know in the comments.

If you’d like to keep up with my progress, be sure to sign up for updates in the email signup box near the top of the page. You can also follow me on Twitter.

Disclaimer: I am not a professional financial advisor. I intend this information for informational and educational purposes only. Perform due diligence before investing in any equities. See my disclosures page for more information.

Smashing Through A Passive Income Milestone

Passive each Passive Income Milestone takes time

I was just online checking my forward dividend income today. I had neglected to put in a raise from Realty Income Corp that allowed me to smash past a passive income milestone. When I started looking at the dividend growth as a great option for building a stream of passive income over time, the idea that the companies that I own giving out regular raises was one of the top concepts that drew me to this strategy.

A New Passive Income Milestone

I input the raise from Realty Income into my spreadsheet (I’m an Excel guy). I have ten shares, which is obviously not an impressive amount. But the raise put me up over $300 in annual anticipated dividend income.

Admittedly, this is not a huge amount of money. I’m now slightly above $300 in my estimated income for the year. That’s just slightly more than $25 a month.

Figuring Passive Income In Hours Worked

Every month when I give a new passive dividend income report, I look at how many hours of work I could theoretically take off by replacing active income with passive income. Every $100 passive income milestone that I pass effectively gives me five hours of freedom, theoretically for life.

With $300 built up, I’m now at 15 hours if I figure that I would need $20 of passive income for ever hour of work. That’s 1 hour, 15 minutes every single month. I would not need to pay any income taxes up to nearly $73,000 of income if the income  is related to qualified dividends. There would be no Social Security taxes coming out. I would not be putting any money into retirement programs.

That’s quite a lot of money coming out on a monthly basis that I don’t even see. Therefore, my current standard of living would not change much, if at all, if I made $20 an hour.

Isn’t This The Slow Way To Build Wealth?

Some of you might wonder if this is the slow way to build wealth, and you’d be right if you think that it is.  Each passive income milestone seems to take a while to hit; however, this is basically the only way to build wealth.

There are tons of get-rich-quick schemes out there. They generally tend to cut wealth rather than build it. Flipping a house can quickly turn into a money pit if you don’t know what you’re doing. Borrowing money to buy pork bellies isn’t any better. You have a better likelihood of getting struck by lightning than you do of hitting the lottery.

Building wealth is kind of like the story of the tortoise and the hare. Those who try the get-rich-quick schemes might look like they’re getting ahead, but they’ll tend to wind up with less wealth than the steady plodders who put away a little bit of their income on a weekly or monthly basis.

I’m thrilled that I’ve smashed through this passive income milestone, but it’s hopefully just one of many more to come.  What milestones do you use to track your progress? Let me know in the comments.

Also, if you’d like to keep up with my progress, be sure to sign up to get updates in the email box at the top of the page or follow me on Twitter.

Disclosure: I am not a licensed financial professional. Be sure to perform due diligence making any investments. I intend my posts for educational and entertainment value only.

Image Credit: African Spurred Tortoise by Photographer 2008, via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0

Does Your Budget Matter? Build Wealth With Small Sums

Does Your Budget Matter?

When it comes to investing money and building up a nest egg, does your budget matter? It’s commonly assumed that it’s impossible to save for the future unless you have thousands of dollars stashed away. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Today, more than perhaps at any time in history, it is possible to start a nest egg for with minimal expense. Here are some steps to take to build wealth at any income level. Even a dollar a day can really add up over time.

Your Budget Doesn’t Matter: Pay Yourself First

These three words make up a very important piece of advice. When you fail to save money on a monthly basis before you pay all of the bills, it’s likely that there will be nothing left over to save. This savings should be automatic. If your employer allows you to save in a 401k, have the funds taken out before you see them. If you only have access to a savings account, be sure to have a bit taken out of every check. Even $5 or $10 a week can build up over time.

Choose Your Investing Platform

There are many different options when it comes to investing. Your local bank or credit union probably has savings accounts and certificates of deposit that you can use to stash money in the short term. They won’t earn much in the way of interest under most conditions. When you get up to $500 or $1,000 in savings, it’s probably a good idea to move toward a brokerage. While the bank might have a broker that can help you buy stocks and bonds, it’s likely that they’ll charge an arm and a leg.

There are tons of online brokerages, and many of them are discount brokerages in nature. It’s possible to invest via Loyal3 and pay nothing in brokerage transaction fees. I’ve used both Loyal3 and TradeKing for cheap brokerage options.  TradeKing only charges $4.95 for trades and offers options trading.

Think About Index Investing

I’ve personally started using a dividend growth model for investing. I’m looking at the amount of income that my portfolio can provide. If you’re looking more toward capital gains, this might not be the best option for you. Even Warren Buffett told his heirs to invest his estate in index funds. These funds have minimal fees and track an index like the S & P 500. They do not attempt to beat the market like regular mutual funds. Traditional funds that try to beat the overall market tend to charge high fees, and these fees tend to cut down on your actual investment returns.

Warren Buffett and Barack Obama
Warren Buffett and Barack Obama, public domain via Pete Souza

Buffett often points out his optimism for the American economy over the long term. Therefore, he’s committed to investing in America. He’s been pretty successful so far, so it’s probably a good idea to listen to what he thinks about investing.

Look For Additional Income

If you’re asking the question, “Does your budget matter?” because it’s pretty tight, it might be a good idea to look for additional income. This might involve getting a second job. It might involve starting a business as a side hustle. It might involve trying to earn bonuses for opening bank accounts or credit cards. Here are some ways to earn money online without spending a penny.

This additional income, even a few dollars every week, can be the basis for increasing the amount that you have in your nest egg. As the nest egg starts to grow, it will build its own momentum. Many people have talked of building a dividend snowball that starts to grow on its own as more capital and dividends get added to the snowball. Over time, you might l awake to find that your snowball is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Even index funds will tend to pay out dividends that can go toward buying more shares.

Regardless of how much you make, anything above your actual expenses can go toward building wealth. The time to start is today. The younger you are, the more time you have to build your nest egg over time.  The answer to the question at the beginning of the article, Does Your Budget Matter? is a definite no.

Disclaimer: Some of these links are affiliate links that can may compensate me should you sign up for a product or service. Also, I am not an investment professional. This article is intended only for educational and informational purposes, so be sure to perform due diligence before investing in any securities.

Making Money without Leaving the House