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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.

The Christmas Debt Trap 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 the Christmas debt trap 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 the Christmas Debt Trap 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 the Christmas debt trap 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).

Online earnings can help you avoid the Christmas debt trap.
Here’s a check that I earned from CashCrate

The second step in avoiding the Christmas debt trap because of Christmas gifts 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.

Sign Up For Swagbucks

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 500 SBs (the digital currency on 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 $1,300 from this site.  Kids as young as 13 can start earning money on Swagbucks.

View Webpages For Money On Clixsense

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.

Try CashCrate

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 Thirteen Ways to Make Money Online Without Spending a Penny, but the three listed above are likely to earn money pretty quickly.

Online Earnings Can Pay As Well As A “Real” Job

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 getting into the Christmas debt trap from buying 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: A Proven 7-Step Guide to True Financial Freedom (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. You can also follow me on Twitter.

 

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Earning Money in Pajamas with GiftHulk

There are many sites on the Internet that allow people to earn money from the comfort of their living rooms and dens. This site has covered several of these. I recently verified another site that allows users to earn money in Pajamas. This site is called GiftHulk, and many of the mechanisms for making money are similar to those available on sites like SwagBucks and CashCrate.

One of the easiest ways to earn the digital currency on GiftHulk, called Hulk Coins, is through search. Users can make unlimited searches, but only one per hour, the first of each new hour, will actually pay out. The searches that pay earn 4 hulk coins, which amounts to about 0.4 cents, depending upon the reward or gift card that the user decides to purchase with the Hulk Coins.

GiftHulk also has a number of surveys that its users can complete. The rewards for completing these surveys can vary quite extensively, from less than 100 HulkCoins to several hundred.  One of the more interesting ways to earn points is through the win link:

Guess the Card

Earn On GiftHulk With Guess The Card

Users can click on the drop down link for “Guess the Card” and win Hulk Coins. There are three options: the exact card, the number, or the suit, and the number of Hulk Coins that you could win is related to how difficult the guess is.  Additionally, a win will sometimes come with an earnings boost. I’ve been able to get anywhere between 8 and 14 percent in addition to the base earnings. This boost will last for several hours. When you progress through the levels that are available on GiftHulk, you get more chances to guess the card, which leads to more earnings–for free!

Like SwagBucks and CashCrate, there are also options to watch a number of different videos. You will not likely win Hulk Coins for each individual video, but will rather have to watch through a number of videos to earn a varying number of Hulk Coins. These can be watched while sitting around in pajamas. Usually, the number of Hulk Coins that you can expect to win will be 15 or less.

GiftHulk also has a shopping portal that users can click through to major retailers to earn Hulk Coins on their purchases. The retailers include options like Wal-Mart, Target, Macy’s, and Expedia. The number of Hulk Coins that a purchase earns varies based upon the specific retailer utilized. For example, BJ’s Wholesale is currently offering 8 Hulk Coins per dollar (about 0.8 cents), while Verizon is offering 100 Hulk Coins for each dollar spent. This amounts to a 10 percent discount.

What Can You Use Hulk Coins For?

When it comes to cashing out, GiftHulk has a very low redemption level for what I would consider “good” awards. Like SwagBucks, users can cash out for PayPal cash, which is my favorite award, as I can use it to purchase stocks that will pay me additional passive income, which is the best form of income.  Some users might opt for an Amazon gift card, or, with the popularity of Pokemon Go, there’s the option of getting gift cards toward this current phenomenon.

Rewards available on GiftHulk
Rewards available on GiftHulk

One award that people might be interested in purchasing that most other sites do not have available is BitCoin. This cryptocurrency is available from GiftHulk. It varies in relation to actual dollars, and it’s more expensive than $5 from PayPal. 5 mBTC costs 6,000 Hulk Coins, which is about $6 when related to the cash from PayPal. Please note that you cannot use GiftHulk to earn Bitcoin any more.

You can buy BitCoin through GiftHulk
You can no longer buy BitCoin through GiftHulk

From what I’ve been able to tell, it seems easier to earn with SwagBucks than it is with GiftHulk. This does not mean that the site is without value. It does pay out, and sometimes, there are videos available when they are not available on SwagBucks. Therefore, it can be an alternative method for earning a bit of money from home. You can sign up for GiftHulk here if you want to give it a try. I’ve actually started to use this site more as of 2017, and as you progress through the levels, you can earn more easily.

Disclaimer: This site publishes referral links from time to time. These will generally provide a small payout for me. You can sign up for the same sites without the referral link and get the same benefits (i.e. payout) that you get from using the link. However, should you decide to sign up with my links, I definitely appreciate the support. 

If this post helped you, be sure to follow the site to get updates. I’m also on Twitter at @moneyinpajamas.

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Saving Money in Pajamas with Haircuts

Building wealth requires making enough income to put a bit away each month. It’s usually a very long-term proposition that can literally take decades.  As I’ve already stated in another post, a dollar a day can really add up over time to be a substantial sum when compound interest and dividends come into play. I’ve pointed out that sites like SwagBucks and CashCrate can help you earn money on a regular basis. I’ve earned well above a dollar per day, much of it passive, from these two sources over the past three years.

Another source of building wealth is spending less than just about everyone else. A good way for men to save money is through haircuts. This advice might not work as well for women, as a standard set of clippers will not help them look all that great. Most guys have no problems cutting their hair really short. Of course, never cutting hair at all can also save money on haircuts.

I read an article on the Mr. Money Mustache site late last year about cutting your own hair and saving some serious bank. When I walked by a set of clippers with a number of different guards that allow you to manage different lengths for your hair and beard in WalMart while visiting family over Christmas break, I decided to pick it up. I’ve gone with a very short hair style in recent years (after going for over a year without a haircut back in 2010), so I figured I didn’t have much to lose. The cost for this clipper set from Wahl (which plasters that it’s made in the USA on its packaging) was a whopping $37. With tax, it came up to about $40.

I figured that I spend about $16 per haircut when a tip is figured in, and I only got one about every 3 months or so. Having my own set of clippers and a mirror could help me get my hair cut more frequently at a fraction of the cost. I would be ahead after just three haircuts, and I’m already at that point. Every time I cut my hair from this point on is just simply gravy, as the clippers amortize to a very small amount. For example, if I get 100 uses out of the clippers, I will pay about $0.40 per hair cut plus a few pennies for electricity. That’s way cheaper than $16 a pop that I would currently pay someone else to cut my hair, and that cost will probably go up with inflation in the next 10 years. I remember paying about $6 25 years ago. Those 100 hair cuts would have cost about $1,600 and many hours in a barbershop. Now, I’ve already spent the $40, and it only takes me around 10 to 15 minutes to crop my top.

Those $1,600 will probably add up to much more than that over time if invested in a mutual fund. Furthermore, I won’t have to sit in a barber shop or salon for many hours waiting around to get called to the chair. While I can’t really recommend this for women, most men could save quite a bit of money in this manner. A few smart moves like this to cut expenses can go a long way toward financial freedom. You could even use your earnings from CashCrate or Swagbucks to pay for your clippers, and that would compound the power of earning money in pajamas.

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Top 3 Ways to Earn Money in Summer 2015

Because the educational system is still tied to the old-school agrarian way of life from the pre-industrial period, teenagers and college students, even in 2015, frequently have some time off during the summer. This becomes the perfect time to make a few bucks that can go toward the future or toward college bills. Money that can cut down student loans can be a great step toward financial freedom, because every dollar that’s not spent on student loans is a dollar that can be saved toward financial freedom. When it comes to getting money over the summer, here are three great ways to get ahead.

1. Look for a Job

The oldest way for teenagers or college students to make money over the summer is related to getting a job. Not only can getting a job earn money, it can also earn experience that can be useful after formal schooling is done. Many students have started their working life at McDonald’s, Burger King, Subway, or some other such eating establishment. Many kids today think that they’re above working at a fast food joint, but these jobs can actually be a great way to learn about hard work, teamwork, and paying attention to what superiors say. Many successful people have started out making money this way.

Fast food is not the only avenue of employment. While they get quite a bit of bad ink because of poor pay, retailers like WalMart and Target can be a way to get a foot in the employment world while making money.

2. Create a Job

Not every avenue for income will come from going to a business and having them give you a job. There are lots of successful people who’ve been able to make a substantial amount of money through their own entrepreneurial efforts. There are literally millions of Americans who hate to mow their lawns. Enterprising young folks who live basically anywhere a decent center of population (think a few hundred homes) can make a decent amount of money from doing yard work.

Few people enjoy cleaning up dog messes, yet our furry friends have to do their business in the outdoors. People who are willing to do a bit of dirty work have been able to make a good living. Setting up an ad and getting a few clients could potentially bring in hundreds, or even thousands, over the course of a summer. What’s needed to make money by creating a job is an ability to find a service that people are willing to pay for and then market yourself. Of course, doing a good job and being ready to do things that other people are not really all that keen on doing is an important part of the process, too.

3. Become an Online Entrepreneur

The Internet is much like the wild west. Although it’s much more organized today than it was in the wide-open days of the 1990s, there is still much money to be made online. Setting up a website does not take much effort, and those who do the job well can cash in. Teens and college students looking to make money in 2015 can make some great money.

The problem with the first two recommendations is the inability of many 13 to 15 year olds to take advantage of them. This is where some great websites come in handy. I personally utilize some sites that pay people to search the Internet or complete surveys or other painless tasks. I’ve made over $1,000 on CashCrate in this manner, and I’ve seen another individual who’s been able to make over $150,000 on the site. You’ll probably not come close to making that much, but $1,000 or more is definitely possible. You can sign up for CashCrate here.

My other big online moneymaker is SwagBucks. This site pays in virtual currency that people can then redeem for gift cards to major retailers like WalMart or Amazon. It’s also possible to cash in SwagBucks for PayPal cash. I usually take advantage of this last option, and I’ve been able to cash in at least $25 per month over the past year with a minimal amount of work while watching TV. Why not do something that pays off, rather than playing Internet games that earn nothing? You can sign up for the Swagbucks site and start earning cash here. This is truly earning money in pajamas.

Making money is an important step that everybody needs to start achieving. The earlier you start, the better off you’ll be in the future if you can keep from spending it all while saving it. After all, just a dollar a day can pay off in the long run. Making money at home in your down time can pay off in increased financial stability, and the time to start is now. These three ways to make money during the summer are a great way to start down that road.

 

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I’ve Earned $1,000 with CashCrate

Earning money on the Internet without leaving home will usually require a few different income streams. One of the earliest income streams I found was the Get-Paid-To website CashCrate. Some people might wonder if CashCrate is a scam. I can definitely verify that the site is legit. Not only does it pay, I’ve been able to earn more than $1,000 in just over two years dealing with the site. Here’s the proof–a screenshot of my earnings page:

Here's the proof that I've made $1,000 on CashCrate
Here’s the proof that I’ve made $1,000 on CashCrate

CashCrate users can earn money in a variety of ways. Checking in on the site pays $0.03 per day, and there are frequently videos available to watch at $0.02 per pop. These are good to work with while doing other things. Multitasking can add to your stash of money over time. Filling out surveys and completing cash offers are more lucrative. CashCrate also has a solid referral program that can pay dividends for those who work at it.

New users can sign up for CashCrate and get a $1 bonus for their trouble. Payouts on the site start at just $20, and I’ve earned anywhere from the minimum to $300 in any given month. Your earnings will vary should you sign up, but I’m far from the leader as far as earnings are concerned. I’ve seen one individual with nearly $160,000 in earnings and another with about $70,000. While you will probably not get anywhere near this level, earning a few bucks a month for extra spending money or saving can be pretty easy to accomplish. Of course, perseverance is necessary, because sometimes it can be difficult to qualify for some of the surveys. Signing up friends and family can also pay off. I must confess that I’m always happy to cash the check I get from CashCrate. If you’re looking to earn more money without leaving home, sign up and give CashCrate a try.

**Please note that I could receive compensation should you sign up for the programs reviewed on this site. Should you choose to sign up, I thank you for your support.

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My October Earnings Report Earning Money Online

We’ve now made it into November, the month with all of the turkeys and stuffing. There’s quite a bit to be thankful for. I’ve been able to successfully earn quite a bit of money online this year. I started the month of October with over $4,100 in online income through a variety of sources. As I have in all of the other months this year, I was able to make some more money in October. So, without further ado, here are my online earnings for the month of October 2014. Some was passive, but most was active. My goal is to increase passive income over time.

Freelance writing: $339.73

CashCrate: $34.01

Swagbucks: $25.00

MTurk: $4.90

TOTAL earnings for October: $403.64. My new total for the year is $4,452.14. I’ve already got some money in the hopper for November, so this total is going to increase. How much is still up in the air, but it should sail over the $5,000 level by the end of the year. My goal is to prove that making money online from home is possible, and I think I’ve done it. I’ve even gone over $1,000 in CashCrate earnings in just over two years.

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May and June Earnings Report

I’ve been keeping up with monthly earnings reports for the past year and a half on this site, but alas, I have dropped the ball over the past month. Last month, I was away from home more than I was home, and my busyness kept me from posting a monthly report. Therefore, I’ve decided to combine the past two months into a single report that covers May and June. In case you haven’t read my previous updates, I’d earned $2,201.51 over the first four months of the year as I worked toward my ultimate goal of $450 a month ($5,400 for the year.)

So, here are my earnings from the past two months combined:

Swagbucks: $50.00

Cashcrate: $86.85

Hubpages: $54.30

Qmee: $1.62

Bubblews: $50.07

Freelance Writing: $460.60

TOTAL from May and June: $703.44

Total earnings for the first half of 2014: $2,904.95. I am nearly 54% of the way toward my goal of $5,400 in online earnings over the course of this year. I would point out that I’ve written about Bing Rewards on this site before. I continue to use this site, earning around 26 points per day through easy searches. I’ve been using the earnings for Swagbucks that can be transferred into PayPal cash and frequent flyer miles to keep my accounts current so that I don’t lose any miles. You won’t get rich on Bing Rewards or Swagbucks quickly, but they can definitely add a few bucks to your monthly income.  My hope is to make a few more bucks on here for July than the past few months to get ever closer to proving that I could fully fund an IRA on side Internet work. Summer is still in full swing, so find out how to earn some money on the side during summer here.

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January 2014 Earning Money in Pajamas

Last year, I kept track of my progress monthly to show how close I was getting to my annual goal of $5,000 in online earnings. I was short of this total, and I was only able to earn a little over $4,300. I was not frustrated, though, because that was $4,300 I would not have earned had I not started out with a goal to make money online.

This year, I decided to up the ante, and set a goal of $450 per month for 2014, which comes out to $5,400 for the year. I’m using many of the same income streams that I had before, but I’ll also try to bring in a few more over the course of the year to see how other options work. Without further ado, here is my first earnings report for 2014. In January, I earned from the following sources:

CashCrate: $22.40

Swagbucks: $125.00

Amazon’s MTurk: $5.32

Freelance Writing: $444.61

Total for January 2014: $597.33

Total for 2014: $597.33

Amount remaining before reaching 2014 goal: $4,802.67

This was a much better start to my year than last January, in which I only brought in $187.31. If I can keep up my current rate, I should be able to meet my goal of earning money in pajamas this year.

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Earning Money in Pajamas in November

In November, I was able to inch my earnings up over what I had earned in October. Through October, I had earned $4,049.91 through my online efforts. I have done quite well over the course of the year, in my estimation, and if I can make this much next year in addition to my new full-time job, I should be in pretty good shape. My hope is that some of the efforts I’ve made will start producing a more and more passive income.

Without further ado, here are my online earnings for November:

Freelance Writing: $106.50

CashCrate: $24.12 You can sign up for CashCrate via the link and start earning money today.

My total earnings for the month of November were up to $130.62. This brings my total for the year up to $4,156.41. I am around $850 short of my goal of $5,000 in online earnings that I started with at the beginning of the year, but I’m OK with this. Had I not started with this goal at all, it is likely that I might be well short of even this achievement. My goal is to continue earning money online in 2014 to help my monthly cash flow. Every little bit counts and helps.

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Earning Money in Pajamas–August Earnings Report

I’ve started a new full-time job in the past few weeks, so I’ve not been quite as active in trying to make money online. The goal is to build up residual income over time that will help pay a bill or two without any additional work on my part. In July, I had gotten well over half-way toward my goal of earning $5,000 this year while sitting at home in my pajamas.

During August, I continued working on earning some extra money, although my time available for doing so was much less. I began August with $3,296.79, which was well over half-way toward my ultimate goal. During the month, I earned the following:

CashCrate: $74.18

Treasure Trooper: $26.80

Freelance Writing: $356.71

Total Amount Earned in Pajamas during August: $457.69. Of this, around $100 was passive income–the best kind of income that there is.

This amount brought my total earnings for the year up to a whopping $3,754.48. With four months left in the year, I’m just over $1,200 from my ultimate online goal of earning $5,000 for the year. I’m hoping I can make it. One of the reasons I want to make more money as I go through the rest of the year is to make some extra money to pay for Christmas presents. I will have more information on my September earnings in short order.