Money Tree

Extra Online Income: Have A Plan For Success

Making money online is one of the main topics of this blog. Extra online income became extremely important to me when my wife quit work to take care of kids. I needed to find more income, and I needed to do it fast.

Extra online earnings can benefit your bottom line.
Photo Credit: FirmBee via Pixabay (public domain)

I had already worked in the fast food and retail sectors, and I knew that they did not pay all that well. My memories also told me that they took up a great deal of time away from home. This was all well and good for a single guy who lived at home. It was not, however, a great idea for a married man with kids.

This need for money drove me to look for ways to supplement my income via the Internet. Over time, I learned about some really good ways to make extra online income. I’ve also found that there are some important goals that make earning money online more sustainable.

Having A Plan For Extra Online Income Is Key

Looking at making some extra income “just because” is a reason to start earning. However, it’s probably not going to make most people sustain their efforts.

At first, I absolutely needed the income to make ends meet. This need to keep my bills paid was a pretty good motivating factor. I still need some income to supplement my income, but this need is not as urgent as it once was. This is where a plan comes into play.

I’ve recently been tracking my monthly extra online income. I have a few different streams that I tend to make money from each month. Whether it’s freelance writing or earning from Swagbucks, I try to make a few hundred extra dollars each month.

It’s easy to make money with Swagbucks. All you need to do is search the web with the site, and you could make a few bucks each and every month that you can use on anything from Amazon.com gift cards to PayPal cash. I’m currently using mine to build up a passive income stream via dividend-paying stocks. These dividend payments might help me retire a bit earlier than I could without them.

Paying Down Debt With Extra Online Income

Another goal, in addition to investing my online income, is paying down debt. Some people might look at this strategy as a form of investing. After all, I’m getting an automatic return that’s equal to my interest rate.

I still have about 26 years left on a mortgage. This is a long time, I know. I also know that I’ll pay quite a bit of interest on that loan over the long haul. While my current interest rate is not all that high, I don’t like the idea of having this debt until I’m nearly 70.

Debt Can Cause Stress
Debt can cause stress!

 

Therefore, I’m using some of my extra online income to pay down my mortgage. In the early days of my loan, most of my payment goes toward paying the bank interest. I remember a previous mortgage that I had at 6.125 percent interest rate (this was a few years ago, but a good rate at the time). About $70 of my initial payment went to paying down the loan. The rest, nearly $400, went to the bank.

I could have paid an extra $70 to $80 a month that first year and cut a month off the end of the loan for each extra payment. It’s not that hard to earn $70 or even $170 a month via online efforts.

While it might seem that answering surveys does not pay well, it might actually pay more than an actual job that you have to drive to. I’ve written about a scenario in which a woman making about $19,000 a year actually earned about $0.64 an hour after deducting expenses that came from working outside the home. In this instance, yes, answering surveys might improve your finances more.

Small Steps Make Big Differences

There are expenses that come from driving to work and dressing the part. If you already have a computer and Internet access, your cost is basically electricity. This could be a whopping $8 a YEAR! to charge. That’s a little more than $0.02 a day.

Just this last month, I paid an extra $14 toward my mortgage from small payments that I earned from GiftHulk and Clixsense. This might not sound like much, and it’s not. However, if I continue to add just $14 to my mortgage payment each month, I’d pay it off nearly 1.5 years earlier than the scheduled payoff date. I’d also save more than $3,000 in interest payments over the life of the loan. I’m sure I could find a better use for $3,000 than handing it over to the bank!

There’s a cool amortization schedule at Bankrate.com that allows you to play with the impact of extra payments. That’s where I came up with these numbers.

Small steps can make a big difference over time. This is why it’s important to have a plan for what you can do with your extra online earnings. Seeing progress toward these goals can help keep you motivated toward achieving them.

Perseverance Is Key With Extra Online Income

My goal is to see these earnings and passive income streams grow over time. If I’m able to do so, my mortgage payoff might come quite a bit quicker than what I’ve listed here. I might also be able to quit driving to work every day a few years earlier than most people–by choice, not by necessity.

You, too, can earn some extra money online, whether it comes from searching the web on Swagbucks or GiftHulk or answering some surveys on a site like CashCrate. There are also many freelance opportunities that can help you earn additional income. What will you use the extra online income you earn in your pajamas for? Having a plan can help you improve your finances, and the quicker that you can improve your finances, the better off you’ll be.

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links. I may be compensated should you sign up using my link. You will get the same benefits regardless of how you sign up, but I appreciate any support.

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to sign up for the monthly newsletter that will keep you up with the latest posts. Also, you can follow me on Twitter.

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Memorial Day Sale on Swagbucks


Most Memorial Day sales are about saving you money. With Swagbucks, you’ll earn money too! They’re offering increased cash back (in the form of SB points) at several of your favorite merchants.

If you haven’t heard of Swagbucks, when you shop there you get cash back in the form of SB points for every dollar you spend. Then you redeem those points for gift cards to places like Amazon, PayPal, Starbucks, Walmart, Target, and more! Sign up here to get started 

Plus, if you’ve signed up through my links at some point this month (or do it now), you’ll get a $2 (200 SB) bonus added to your account when you spend $25 or more through Swagbucks Shop before the first of June!

You can earn SB in all sorts of ways, including discovering deals and trying new products/services, watching videos, taking surveys, or just searching the web!

Get your shopping done early AND get points for it! Offers last through Monday, May 29th, 2017.

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5 Tips to Make Your First Investments with Low Capital

The following post is a guest contribution from Andrew Altman.

Is it your first time to invest? Contrary to what most people think, you do not necessarily need to have a huge amount of money in order to get started with your first investment. Even successful investors who are now raking millions of dollars in their investments started small with low capital too.

But since it is your first time investing, it’s important that you know where to put your money.

Going for low risk investments is a good place to start as a first time investor. You cannot just invest without having ample knowledge on the kind of assets you want to make and without calculating the risks.

For first-time investors with low capital, here are five investment tips that you can follow.

Look at the Fees and Minimums To Preserve Low Capital

Just about every type of investment option comes with fees and minimum balances. And if you are working on a tight budget, you have to take these fees into consideration to get the most of the amount you want to invest.

Search for funds or brokerages that do not require you to have a high initial balance. Ideally, you should find one that has a $0 minimum initial balance requirement such as Robinhood. When you have finally researched the different options, you should watch out for the ongoing fees that can siphon off some of your already low capital.

Get Certificates of Deposit

One of the best low-risk investments is a certificate of deposit. With this type of certificate, you can actually deposit your money for a certain period of time to a particular financial institution. In exchange, your money will earn interest during the specific time frame.

What is nice with this kind of investment option is that no matter what happens to the interest rates, the rate is fixed. There is a locked in period, and if you wish to withdraw the money, you will incur penalties.

How about the interest that you can earn? It actually depends on the interest rates in the county when you initially make the deposit.

Even those with low capital can start to grow their wealth over time.
Even those with low capital can start to grow their wealth over time.

 

Invest in Money Market Funds

Another great investment option for those with low capital is to invest your money in money market funds. This is basically a mutual fund created with a purpose of not losing the value of any investment.

The goal of money market funds is to have a net asset value amounting to $1 per share. If you are willing to take a risk, this investment option is still relatively secure.

Invest in Treasury Inflation Protected Securities

Even if you have low capital, and it’s your first time to invest, you can invest in TIPS or treasury inflation protected securities. They are considered to be low risk investments, and depending on your choice, you can choose among the different kinds of bond investment. The one that offers the lowest risk is the Treasury Inflation Protection.

There are two different methods of growth for this type of investment. The first one comes with a fixed interest rate which means that it doesn’t change for a certain period of time.

The other one comes with a built-in inflation protection which is guaranteed by the government. In deciding to invest with TIPS, you have to option to buy them individually or invest in mutual funds that own TIPS.

Have an IRA

Having an individual IRA or Individual Retirement Account is a must-have investment for everyone. As early as possible, it is important that you prepare for your retirement. There are two types of IRA options. The first is the Traditional IRA, which is a tax-deferred vehicle.

Unlike the traditional IRAS, the money that goes into a Roth IRA has been taxed on the front end. This only means that you have to shoulder low tax costs, and when you finally retire and withdraw the funds, you never have to worry about the tax.

In preparing for the future and establishing your financial wealth, you have to start with a decision to invest your money. It really doesn’t require you to have huge amounts of capital to start off. As you study more about the different investment options and as you take the time, you can definitely achieve your financial goals.

Most of the time, it can be tempting to just put your money into a savings account. But if you want it to grow, you should find ways as to where you can invest your money and get the highest possible returns.

BIO:

Andrew Altman is the editor-in-chief of SlickBucks.com which is a site dedicated to helping people learn more about the crazy world of investing. From reviews to informative articles, SlickBucks aspires to help people achieve the type of wealth they hope to achieve.
Money Tree

Bonuses with MyGiftCardsPlus Through Memorial Day


MyGiftCardsPlus is celebrating Memorial Day with huge deals! If you’re not familiar, MyGiftCardsPlus is a site where you earn cash back (in the form of SB points from Swagbucks) for purchasing gift cards to your favorite retailers.

Purchase gift cards now through Monday and you’ll earn an extra 33% cash back on all gift cards! (that’s 33% more SB for your gift card purchases). For example, when you buy a $50 Applebee’s gift card you usually earn 300 SB, but now you’ll earn 399 SB! Use gift cards to stock up on summer essentials, treat your family to dinner, or book flights and hotels for a long weekend getaway. You won’t want to miss these cash back deals, so click here to make advantage of this deal while supplies last!

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May Swago


Swagbucks is holding their Swago promotion on Monday, May 22nd! It’s just like bingo, but in this case you’re filling out squares as you earn points on their site for doing things you already do online. If you’re thinking of trying Swagbucks, this is a great chance to learn all about how the site works and earn bonus points while doing it.

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 pattern to get even more points – if you can fill in the whole board, you get a 500 SB bonus!

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

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Online Earnings For April 2017

Online earnings can benefit your bottom line.
Photo Credit: FirmBee via Pixabay (public domain)

The month of May 2017 is about a week old. April is long gone, and I’ve already updated any readers on my passive dividend income for April 2017.  Now it’s time to write about my online earnings for April.

I love passive income, but the biggest problem with this type of income is the fact that everyone starts at $0.  That is, unless you’re a trust fund baby. You have to earn active income before you can receive passive income.

Even in the instance of people who get born on third base, someone had to earn the capital to produce the passive income to start with. I’m in the accumulation phase of this journey.

Dave Ramsey likes to say that your biggest wealth building tool is your income. If you can build up passive income that covers your expenses, you’re financially independent. You’ve reached the “pinnacle experience” that Ramsey mentions.

However, if you’re not yet there, you still have to earn your income. This will usually come from a job. Doctors and lawyers and engineers tend to make enough to build wealth pretty quickly. Most of the rest of us, not so much.

This, dear readers, is why I started attempting to ramp up online earnings several years ago. I figured that I needed to bring in some more income than my job provided.

I’d worked fast food and retail in college. I knew I did not want to do so again. That’s why I started investigating ways to make money online, preferably in my pajamas–hence the name of this site.

I earned some side money in April. Here’s how I did so.

Online Earnings For April

I had online earnings from three different sources in April. Keep in mind that these avenues took a bit of effort on my part. They were definitely active income. Here is my online income by source for April 2017:

Freelance Writing:                                                                                                $218.02
Swagbucks:                                                                                                                  $50.00
GiftHulk:                                                                                                                          $5.00

Total Online Earnings for April 2017:                                                      $273.02

This is about an average month for me. As I’m looking to build up passive income, I could increase my passive income by nearly $11 if I invested all of this money into a dividend stock that pays a 4 percent yield. That’s enough to buy me about 1/2 an hour of freedom based upon my estimate of needing $20/hour to keep up my current standard of living.

I’ve had people ask where I earned money for freelance writing. I’ve earned several thousand dollars writing on Textbroker over the past few years. This is a site where people who need articles/blog posts/marketing materials written post opportunities for enterprising individuals like myself. You can claim any that are available at the level you’ve qualified for.

I earned a bit of money from GiftHulk this month.  This site pays users for the first search they perform each and every hour. You can also perform other tasks like watching videos on GiftHulk TV to earn more “Hulk Coins”, which is the digital currency that you can cash out.

I used my Hulk Coins to get PayPal cash, which I put toward paying down my mortgage. This will effectively earn me a return of 4.125 percent, which is my current interest rate. You can sign up for GiftHulk here if you want to start earning a few bucks in your spare time.

I also earned some income from Swagbucks.  This is a site that’s pretty easy to use. You can use the money you earn here to build wealth over time. Here’s a resource with the general strategy that you can use to start growing passive income via Swagbucks.

Benefits Of Earning Online

One of the biggest benefits of earning money online is the fact that just about anyone in America can do so. For sites like Swagbucks or GiftHulk teens as young as 13 can earn.  Most freelance writing sites will require you to be an adult.

If you’re smart, you can use the money you earn to do great things like pay off debt or save for the future. Whether you pay off debt or save money, you’ll earn a return that’s equal to the interest rate. You can avoid paying interest if you pay off debt. You can earn interest or dividends if you save. It’s a win-win situation regardless.

Online earnings are only limited by the time that you spend and the effort you put into making money. Also, it’s a good idea to think in terms of the future. A dollar today is worth more than a dollar in the future when you think of the power of compounding. The time to start earning is today so that you can take advantage of that power.

If you’d like to follow my progress each month, be sure to go to the top of the page and sign up for updates.

Disclaimer: This site has affiliate links. If you decide to sign up with one of these affiliate links, I may be compensated. I appreciate any support you might provide.

Money Tree

Earn At Least $3 Signing Up For Swagbucks In May

The May flowers are here, and Swagbucks has brought a $5 bonus! Swagbucks is a rewards site where you earn points (called SB) for things you’re probably doing online already, like searching, watching videos, discovering deals, and taking surveys. Then you take those points and exchange them for gift cards to places like Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart, Target, or PayPal cash.

When you sign up through me this month, you can earn a $5 bonus! Here’s how:

1. Sign up using this link

2. Earn 300 SB total before 6/1/17. You’ll get a $3 (300 SB) bonus for it!

3. If you spend at least $25 through Swagbucks Shop* you’ll get another $2 (200 SB) bonus on top of the cash back you’ll get from shopping. If you have some shopping to do online, just go to Swagbucks first and visit the store through them. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but you’ll get SB points for every dollar you spend (on top of the bonus)!

That’s it. It’s super easy, and Swagbucks is for real. I use it myself, and I’ve earned nearly $1,600 from this site. You can earn for performing simple tasks like searching the web or taking a few minutes to watch videos or complete surveys.

*You must receive your shopping SB before July 1st

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Save Money on Summer Gift Cards


If you’re planning ahead on your summer travel, MyGiftCardsPlus is a great way to plan smart. You buy gift cards there and get cash back (in the form of SB points on Swagbucks) for your purchase! Since Summer Travel season is coming up, they’re running a special Summer Travel promotion where you’ll get a $1 (100 SB) bonus when you get a gift card for:

Hotels.com, Jiffy Lube, Southwest, CVS, and Groupon gift cards!

As ANOTHER special bonus, Jiffy Lube is currently offered at 15% cash back for a limited time! Act fast, because this Summer Travel offer is only good from Thursday, May 4th through Sunday, May 7th!

Click here to get started! If you’re not a Swagbucks member yet, you’ll be able to join first so you can get your points from your purchase on MyGiftCardsPlus and then redeem them on Swagbucks for MORE gift cards to places like Amazon, Target, Starbucks, or PayPal cash!

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Star Wars Team Challenge At Swagbucks

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, Swagbucks had a 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! Their latest, the “Swag Wars” Team Challenge, begins Monday, May 1st at 8am PT.
Here’s how you can join the challenge and the site:

1. Click here to join the challenge and be assigned to a team.

2. Starting May 1st at 2pm PDT, 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 May 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 35 SB Swag Up Rebate, members of the 3rd place team will receive a 20 SB Swag Up Rebate, members of the 4th place team will receive a 10 SB Swag Up Rebate, and members of the 5th place team will receive a 5 SB Swag Up Rebate. Your SB Swag Up Rebate will be made available on Friday, May 5th and will expire on Wednesday, May 31st at 11:59pm PT.

May the Force be with you!

Money Tree

April 2017 Passive Dividend Income

Passive Dividend Income Builds Up Slowly But Surely

The month of April is not quite over yet, but my passive dividend income for April has all arrived in my accounts.  The end of the month is one of my favorite times, because I get to tally up the passive income that I earned from dividends over the previous 30 (or so) days.

April was the first month of the second quarter. This means that fewer companies tend to pay out, which hurts my income from my 401k fund. Regardless, all of the companies that I own continued to work making money for me.

Every share that I own is an ever-so-small slice of the company that issued the shares. In effect, I own 0.0000000001 percent of these companies (or some other such minuscule number). Regardless, I love the fact that they work on the other side of the world while I’m sleeping to make me money.

Regardless of what I do in a given month, I get paid. Of course, I have a regular job and work hard to supplement that income, but it’s good to know that I have a growing stream of passive dividend income. Here are the companies that paid me in April:

Passive Dividend Income For April 2017

Taxable Account:

Coca-Cola (KO)                                                                           $3.24

Traditional IRA:

Realty Income Corp (O)                                                          $2.11
General Electric (GE)                                                                $9.60

401k

JP Morgan Equity Income R5 (OIERX)                        $0.01

TOTAL DIVIDENDS FOR APRIL 2017:                         $14.96

Yes, I earned a whopping penny from my 401k. Not terribly impressive, but better than nothing, I suppose.

Year-To-Year Comparison

Admittedly, not even reaching $15 might cause frustration for many people. However, when I look at this amount and compare it to the same month last year, I earned only $8.90 last year. This means that I increased my dividend income by 68% in just 12 months.

Increases of this size will not continue indefinitely, but they are pretty cool. They also help me build up my passive dividend income. They are important building blocks toward my goal.

I’ve now earned $105.31 so far in 2017. At this point last year, I’d earned only $33.27. This means that my passive dividend income is up 217% in just a year’s time. Pretty cool. Onward and upward.

I have to point out one thing, however. I sold all of my taxable investments over the past month, because, as I noted  previously, Loyal3 is shutting down. As this was my taxable investment vehicle of choice, I sold out and put the money into my Traditional IRA, hoping to cut my taxes for 2017 in the process.

This means that you’ll no longer see some of the common dividend payers on my reports previously. I wanted to let you know why.

I replaced my taxable holdings with more AT & T. This brings my estimated dividend income (not counting the 401k) to $398.90 for the next 12 months. I’m only one more purchase or one more dividend raise from crossing over the $400 mark. Again, pretty cool stuff.

How was your dividend income for April? Let me know in the comments. I’ve also updated my passive dividend income page so you can see the growth of my income over time.

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.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons