Erasing Debt

Latest Card Signup–AAdvantage Aviator Red

One of my favorite topics on this blog involves documenting some of the strategies I use to travel cheaply. Signing up for credit card bonuses periodically is one strategy I use.

I don’t sign up for every credit card bonus that rolls around, but I do take advantage of some that help me achieve some goals

You could get to Paris with the AAdvantage Aviator Red and its signup bonus.
You could get to Paris with the AAdvantage Aviator Red and its signup bonus.

. I’m looking to build up enough points to travel to Japan for the Olympics in 2020 as well as a trip or two in the intervening couple of years.

I’d like to travel in business class for the trip to Asia. I’ve never done it, but if I’m going to, I think that a long flight to Hong Kong or Japan would be a good time to try it out. I need a few big signup bonuses to make this happen, which brings me to my latest credit card.

Other travel-related posts:

Getting a Free Honeymoon with a Few Credit Cards

How To Get To Prague On Miles And Five Things To Do Once There


The AAdvantage Aviator Red From Barclaycard

The card that I chose to make my latest signup bonus was the AAdvantage Aviator Red from Barclaycard. (This is not a referral link. I do not get any compensation, but I think it’s a good option that I wanted to share.)

The reason? It’s about the easiest signup bonus that I, or anyone else can hope to get.

The card comes with a nice 60,000-mile bonus with American Airlines’ Aadvantage program. There have been options that offered more AA miles before. However, they have required a relatively high level of spending.

Especially when compared with the Aviator Red World Elite MasterCard. You get the 60,000 Aadvantage miles after making a purchase. ONE. Of anything…a pack of gum or a Coke will work. You also have to pay off the $95 annual fee.

Therefore, you could get 60,0001 miles for spending $1 and paying off $95. That’s a total expense of $96, which is not huge when taking into consideration what you could get. Here are some other benefits of the card:

  • 2 miles per dollar spent with American Airlines
  • 1 mile per every dollar spent on everything else
  • A free checked bag on domestic flights
  • 10% of your redeemed miles back each year, up to 10,000 total AAdvantage miles

These are pretty good benefits for no more than you have to spend.

What Can You Get With the Bonus?

With the bonus from the AAdvantage Aviator Red, you can get some pretty good flight options. This bonus of 60,000 miles should get you at least two round-trip economy flights in the continental US.  American Airlines also offers many cities at some pretty hefty discounts.  These reduced mileage awards could mean that you could nearly get three round-trip flights in the US with just a little more spending.

Additionally, it’s possible to get an off-peak saver award to Europe for 45,000 miles. It’s 60,000 miles during the peak season, which means that you can get a round-trip flight to Europe with the signup bonus alone. Just make sure that you take American planes to avoid hefty fuel surcharges that partners like British Airways charge.

This signup bonus can also possibly provide a round-trip flight to the Caribbean or Hawaii if you can find award space.

American Airlines is probably not the best frequent flyer program out there, but this hefty bonus for relatively little effort was too hard to pass up.

Have you signed up for any credit card bonuses lately? Let me know in the comments.

Be sure to sign up to get updates from the blog. Also, if you’ve found this post beneficial, be sure to share the love by clicking the tiles at the bottom of the post. You can also follow me on Twitter.

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Swago Shopping on Swagbucks

The holidays are close and the online rewards site Swagbucks has a smart and fun way for you to earn and save while you spend.

Swagbucks is hosting another round of Shopping Swago! What is SWAGO you ask? It’s a bingo-inspired promotion run by Swagbucks, a website that rewards you with points (called SB) for completing everyday online activities. You can redeem those SB for free gift cards. If you’ve never used Swagbucks, participating in SWAGO is a great introduction to the site and an easy way to earn a good amount of points quickly.

Click here to get started!

Here’s what you need to know to get your 200 SB Bonus (and don’t worry, you don’t have to make a purchase to complete a pattern):

  • Shop Swago will begin on Monday, October 23rd at 9am PT/12pm ET, make sure you hit “Join” otherwise you won’t get credit for completing the action items. Each square on your Swago Board will contain an action item to complete.
  • Once you complete the action item in a particular square the square will change color signifying the action item is complete.
  • You have a limited amount of time to mark off as many squares as possible so use your time wisely.
  • Be mindful of the patterns and their corresponding bonuses located on the right of your Swago Board. The patterns will vary in difficulty and bonus value – up to 300 SB – enough for your first $3 gift card.
  • Once you’ve achieved a pattern the corresponding “Submit” button will light up. You can have multiple patterns available for submission, however, you can only submit ONE pattern so choose wisely.
  • The game ends Friday, October 27th at 12pm PDT/3pm EDT. So make sure to hit “Submit” on the pattern you wish to submit. If you don’t hit “Submit” before the game ends you won’t receive your SB bonus.Also, if you sign up through me this month, you’ll get a $10 rebate when you make your first purchase via Swagbucks Shopping! You can activate it in the “Swag Ups” area of “My Account”
Erasing Debt

Swago And Spin and Win For October

The digital rewards site Swagbucks is celebrating the fall with another big “Swago” promotion starting Monday, October 9th at 9am PDT! Swago is 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, meaning you can get more gift cards faster. Here are a few tips:

  • Each square on your Swago Board will contain an action item to complete. They can be anything from getting a search win, completing a survey, or just visiting one of our popular stores!
  • Once you complete the action item in a particular square the square will change color signifying the action item is complete.
  • You have until 12pm PT/3pm ET on Monday, October 16th to mark off as many squares as possible so use your time wisely.
  • Be mindful of the patterns and their corresponding bonuses located on the right of your Swago Board. The patterns will vary in difficulty and bonus value. Once you’ve achieved a pattern, the corresponding “Submit” button will light up. You can have multiple patterns available for submission, however, you can only submit ONE pattern so choose wisely.
  • Each activity you successfully complete on your Swago Board will give you anywhere from 1-20 spins on the Spin & Win Wheel. PLUS, when you submit your board for a bonus you’ll get additional spins. The number of spins will depend on the pattern you complete. The wheel has all sorts of great prizes that you can win, and each spin is a winner!

The Spin & Win Wheel will be available all throughout Swago and you have until 11:59pm PT on Monday, October 16th to use all your spins.

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, which is enough for a $5 gift card from the retailer of your choice.

Click here right now and click “Join” to get started! If you don’t already have a Swagbucks account, you’ll be able to quickly sign up; PLUS, if you earn 300 SB before the first of next month, you’ll get a bonus 300 SB!

The previous was a sponsored post.

Erasing Debt

How I Made Money Online In September 2017

Some (but not even the majority at this point) of my income is affiliate income that I earn when people sign up for programs that I promote on this site. I appreciate any help that my readers choose to give me. We’re now well into October. The leaves are starting to fall from the trees in my part of the country. This is pretty depressing, but Christmas is coming pretty quickly. One of the greatest gifts I could give myself for Christmas is less debt.

I’ve been working online to earn more money. This money that I’m earning has a goal. I’m attempting to accelerate debt payments while also investing a few bucks toward passive income that can grow over time.

I put in some effort during September toward these goals, much as I have in just about every month since I started learning about earning money online back in 2010. I again worked on some GPT websites while also doing some freelance writing.

How I Made Money Online In September 2017

Here are some of the ways that I earned money in September:

Freelance Writing: $236.69
Swagbucks: $100.00
GiftHulk: $5.00
Earnably: $2.00
Ibotta: $20.00

Total Online Earnings for September 2017: $363.69

This was a bit less than the $401.66 that I earned online in August, but it is still a nice chunk of change. You could start earning more money as well. I made money online by taking some of the time that I’d otherwise have been wasting while watching TV.

I keep up with my online earnings for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, it allows me to maintain a nice level of motivation. If I see that I’ve made money online, it encourages me to make more money online.

Online income can help you fill up a suitcase full of money
I’m trying to build up to where I have a suitcase of money each month–preferably in hundreds.


The second reason that I’m sharing some of the ways that I’ve earned money online is to encourage others to start taking more control of their finances by picking up some low-hanging fruit that can allow them the earn some money while watching TV (or even sleeping in the case of Earnably).  The way I learned how to make money online was from reading blogs such as this one.

Can You Make Money Online?

Absolutely. Your ability to earn money online is limited by the time that you have available each week and the imagination that you might have to market some opportunities to others. Setting up your own blog can be a great way to share these opportunities that can help people out.

WordPress recommends BlueHost, which is one of the top options for self-hosted bloggers. You can sign up for BlueHost by clicking the banner below if you’re interested in getting a self-hosted blog:

Remember, I started out making absolutely nothing online. I’ve now built up to where I’m making nearly $5,000 a year in my spare time. This can grow over time.

Reviews Of Money-Making Sites

Here are a couple of reviews that might help you decide which sites might work for you:

Earn Cash and Rewards with Swagbucks
Swagbucks is my favorite site to use to earn money. If nothing else, you can make money from searching the web.

Earning Money In Pajamas With GiftHulk

My Ibotta App Review
I use this when I go shopping. You can earn $10 for signing up with my link and getting your first rebate within a week. With cashouts starting at $20, you’d be more than halfway to redeeming for some PayPal cash!

How did you earn extra money online during September? Do you have any other options that worked? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to check them out!

Keep Up With My Progress

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. You can also follow me on Twitter.  

Also, if you could share this latest update below via Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media platform, it would be much appreciated. I want to inspire others to improve their finances and show them some easy ways that they can do so. Just click on the “Share This” link at the bottom of this post!

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.

Erasing Debt

Halloween Sale on Swagbucks Shop

Now that Halloween is almost here, Swagbucks has increased cash back at a big group of their Halloween-related stores, so you can earn cash back while getting costumes, decorations, and more for the end of the month. Just click here to see the deals, and sign up for Swagbucks (if you haven’t already) to start earning cash back in the form of SB points, which you can exchange for gift cards or PayPal cash.

The sale is going through October 31st, and if you sign up through me, you’ll get a 1000 SB rebate ($10) after your first shopping purchase through Swagbucks!

The previous was a sponsored post.

Erasing Debt

Passive Dividend Income–September 2017

This site includes affiliate links. Please note that I may be compensated should you sign up for these programs. Here I sit on the evening of October 1. Yet another month has come and gone. September is now in the books. As the Steve Miller Band once sang, “Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future.” This means that it’s time to add up my passive dividend income for the month.

September was the third month of the quarter, and that’s usually a good thing for dividend income investors. More companies pay out the final month of the quarter than they do in other quarters.

I’m building up a stable of quality companies and funds that pay out dividends to their shareholders. It’s like I get paid for doing no work. Of course, I had to work to earn to capital to invest, but after I use that capital to buy shares, I have to do nothing else. This is a cool concept, to say the least.

Building passive dividend income, slowly, but surely!

I look to buy companies that have the ability to grow dividends over time, and this should provide me with a growing stream of passive income. As I note pretty much every month, passive income is the best income! The only bad thing about passive income is when you don’t have enough of it to pay your bills each month.

I own companies that make money every single day. They bring in big profits, and they pass on some of those profits to me. What’s not to love about this setup? Hopefully, I’ll have enough passive income to take care of my standard of living at some point in the future. Right now, the buildup is slow and sure. Without further ado:

Passive Dividend Income For September 2017

Here are the companies and funds that paid me in September:

The Kroger Co. (KR)                                                                                        $6.25
Southern Co. (SO)                                                                                          $17.40
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)                                                                              $8.40
Realty Income Corp. (O)                                                                                $5.29
Vanguard Total Stock Market Index ETF (VTI)                                   $2.77

Total Dividend Income from IRA                                                             $40.11

JP Morgan Equity Income R5 (OIERX)                                                   $1.88
Cohen and Steers Realty Shares (CSRSX)                                            $7.58

Total Dividend Income from 401k                                                            $9.46

Total Passive Dividend Income for September 2017            $49.57

This was nowhere near a record, and it did not even meet last month’s total dividend income. Still yet, it was nearly $50 that I did not have to work for. I just learned that Realty Income announced a raise. This raise will only add $0.15 to my passive dividend income over the next year. However, this company tends to increase the dividend about every quarter, which will allow my earnings to compound more quickly.

Passive Dividend Income Comparison

If I look at my passive dividend income from the same month last quarter, it becomes apparent that my September income was lower than June’s. While this is not a great development, it’s largely tied to the REIT fund that I own. This fund pays more in dividends in June and December than in March and September.

Now for the better news. By comparing my year-over-year results, I had a pretty large gain this year. Last September, my dividend income was only $18.87. This number grew to the $49.57 listed above, which was an increase of a little more than $30 in a year.

The passive dividend income that my companies paid me in September now brings my dividend income for 2017 up to $336.74, which is already nearly $100 more than I earned in all of 2016. And I still have three months to build on this total. This is where dividend growth gets even more exciting.

The dividends that my holdings send my way, at least in my IRA, get reinvested in stocks that will also pay dividends. This compounding action should lead to a virtuous cycle of growing dividend income over time. Hopefully, within just a few short years, I’ll be able to talk about passive income in the thousands, rather than the hundreds.

How was your dividend income during September? Did it grow year over year? 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 or via the popup that asks you to sign up. 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. I’m long O, SO, KR, JNJ, VTI,  CSRSX, and OIERX.

Erasing Debt

Earn a $3 Bonus For Signing Up With Swagbucks in October

If you haven’t tried Swagbucks before, you can get a bonus $3 for signing up during October as part of their Three for Fall promotion. 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 $3 bonus! Here’s how:

1. Sign up using this link

2. Earn 300 SB total before 11/1/17. You’ll get a $3 (300 SB) bonus for it!

3. If you want even more bonuses, you’ll get a $10 (1000 SB rebate) bonus for making your first shop purchase! That’s in addition to the SB you earn for every dollar you spend.

That’s it. It’s super easy, and Swagbucks is for real. I use it myself, and I’ve earned more than $1,900 over the past few years. I’ve made much of that in just the past two. All it takes is signing up and perseverance to start building up a nice sum of money that can grow over time. I usually use my SBs to get PayPal cash. However, there are some other great options that you can use depending upon what you like. Be sure to sign up today to have the maximum time available to earn the bonus! You can probably earn it just be searching for a month.

Erasing Debt

When Side Hustling, Persistence Pays Off

Few people need a reminder that the corporate world is fairly unstable. 50 years ago, people could get a good job with a good company and retire with a pension. Today, this loyalty is a thing of the past. Pensions are going the way of the mastadon and the woolly mammoth. This is why many workers today have started side hustling.

What Is Side Hustling?

Side hustling is a marathon, not a sprint.


Simply put, side hustling is the act of trying to make money outside of a “normal” 9-to-5 job. Not only is the job market unstable with people averaging about 12 jobs over their lives, wages have stagnated when figuring inflation into the equation.

Only recently did the per capita household income exceed the purchasing power that families had in 1999. Between 1999 and 2012, households lost about $5,000 in purchasing power.


With jobs paying less and layoffs and downsizing distinct possibilities, it’s a good idea to have a side hustle to bring in extra money. This extra money could help a family pay bills, pay down debt, or save for the future. A side hustle might not need to bring in thousands each month to make a sizable difference in your family’s budget.

Even an extra $50 or $100 can start to make a difference. If you’re able to pay all of your bills and make minimum payments on your debt, that $100 could help you build up an emergency fund of $500 or $1,000 that could help you avoid going into debt to pay for an emergency.

When my first kid came along, I was bringing in less than $30,000 a year. I needed a side hustle, and I’ve been trying to make money online ever since. I’m working on paying down the last few thousand from my graduate school and trying to invest at the same time. I’d be unable to do so without bringing in some side hustle income.

What Types of Side Hustling Are Feasible?

There are lots of ways that you can make money from side hustling. I noted several of these on this list post about ways teens can make money in the summer.

Getting a second job is possible for many people. This might involve flipping a few burgers, stocking a few shelves, or delivering a few pizzas. You might feel like this work is beneath you. It’s not. If you’re in debt or you have no retirement savings, just a few thousand extra bucks each year can be a big help.

It’s also possible to create a second (or third, or fourth) job. For example, I’ve noted on here that my blog is a sort of a side hustle. It makes me a few bucks each month. I don’t get rich from it (at least not yet), but it brings in a few bucks each month.

I also do some freelance writing that brings in a few more dollars a month. Watching videos and searching the web also bring in a few bucks a month. Put all of these side hustles together, and I brought in a bit more than $400 in side hustle income in August 2017. I’ve made even more in the past when I wasn’t publishing it on this blog.

Persistence Pays Off

Personal finance is not a sprint. It’s a marathon if you have the good fortune of living a life that reaches a relatively normal length. It might be tempting to quite side hustling if you’re only making $50 a month. It’s important to remember the power of a dollar so that you can stay motivated.

A dollar a day in extra income that you can invest will add up to $365 at the end of a year. If you then invested that and got an 8% return, after a year, you’d have $394.20. But, it get’s even better. If you keep up with saving another dollar each and every day, you’d save another $365, which would make nearly $760.

If you can keep this up for 50 years, saving just a dollar a day and earning an 8% return, you’d be pushing a nest egg of $300,000. A dividend yield of 4% on that $300,000 would throw of $12,000 in passive income at this point.

Double the investment to $2 a day for the same period of time, and you could get $24,000 in passive income. And remember, passive income is the best income. Of course, getting a later start will mean that you’d have to make and save more than $1 a day more than your bills to get this far ahead.

Regardless, a side hustle could definitely bring in more than $2 a day if you play it right. Even answering a survey or two could lead to that much. Figuring out a side business where you could write on the side or walk dogs or mow lawns might mean that your side hustling could bring in several hundred a month. Even starting a blog (affiliate link) could wind up being a profitable side hustle.

Side hustling is not likely to make much in the first few weeks. However, each and every dollar is an important building block in your road to financial stability and eventual financial freedom. Don’t get discouraged if you only made $5 this week. Try to make $6 next week. The future you will be glad that the present you did, especially if you don’t spend all of that money.

Keep Up With My Progress

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. You can also follow me on Twitter.  

Also, if you could share this latest update below via Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media platform, it would be much appreciated. I want to inspire others to improve their finances. I also want to show them some easy ways that they can do so.  Just click on the “Share This” link at the bottom of this post!

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.

Erasing Debt

Use Swagbucks For Disneyland Tickets

Swagbucks, the online rewards site where you earn cash and free gift cards for the everyday things you do online, has added Disneyland eTickets to their lineup of rewards!

If you haven’t used Swagbucks before, here’s how it works: You get points (called SB) for things like online shopping, discovering new products and services, answering surveys, watching videos, and even searching the web. Then you redeem those points for gift cards from places like Amazon, PayPal, Walmart, Target, Starbucks, and now you can redeem them for tickets to Disneyland!

For you Disney fanatics out there who are planning a trip to The Happiest Place on Earth, Swagbucks is a great way to stretch that travel budget further. You can earn while booking your hotel, get gift cards for travel and restaurants while you’re away, or just offset the cost of the tickets using your SB points!

Here’s some information from their FAQs about it:

How will I receive my eTickets?
These are electronic tickets that will be delivered to you via email.

Where can these eTicket be used?
These eTickets are specifically for use at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, and cannot be used at Disney World in Florida, or at any Disney Stores or other Disney resorts. Tickets cannot be used for admission to special events (ie. Mickey’s Halloween Party).

What type of eTickets does Swagbucks offer?
2 Day, 1 Park, Child (ages 3-9)
2 Day, 1 Park, Adult (ages 10+)
2 Day, Park Hopper, Child (ages 3-9)
2 Day, Park Hopper, Adult (ages 10+)
3 Day, 1 Park, Child (ages 3-9)
3 Day, 1 Park, Adult (ages 10+)
3 Day, Park Hopper, Child (ages 3-9)
3 Day, Park Hopper Adult (ages 10+)

What happens if I redeem for the wrong ticket?
These eTickets are non-refundable. Please make sure you are redeeming for the correct ticket and pay close attention to the type of ticket you are selecting, as there are different tickets depending on the amount of days you wish to attend the park, the type of ticket (one park per day vs. Park Hopper), and the age range the ticket is for (adult vs. child). Adult tickets are for ages 10 and up.

Also, please keep in mind it may take a few business days for you to receive your eTicket, so be sure to give yourself enough time when redeeming before you plan to visit the park.

The previous was a sponsored post.

Erasing Debt

$200 Million Swagbucks By The Numbers

The digital rewards Swagbucks just hit a major milestone – they have given their members over $200 million in cash and free gift cards since 2008! I use Swagbucks all the time to get free gift cards doing stuff I already do online, like shopping, answering surveys, watching videos, discovering great deals, and searching the web. To demonstrate how big a number 200 million really is, here are some fun facts:
Displaying Swagbucks $200 Million Fun Facts InfoGraphic.jpg
The previous was a sponsored post.