November Side Hustle

How I Made Money Online In October 2017

Making money online has probably never been easier. There are many ways that I’ve made money online

How I Made Money Online In October 2017
How I Made Money Online In October 2017

over the past several years.

I started out making nothing online. I thought it was a gimmick of sorts. Then I started reading about people making hundreds, if not thousands, each and every month. I also knew that I was about to start grad school. With a wife and kids to support, I needed to supplement my meager income, so I started reading up on some of the major ways that I could make some money online.

I started a blog after reading an article on Problogger where Darren Rowse disclosed his status as a six-figure blogger.  I dutifully started my own blog, hoping to hit the big time quickly. Within a week, I’d earned $0.59 from AdSense. I was on my way, or so I thought.

This was more than seven years ago, and I’ve cashed out via AdSense once in that time. Needless to say, I’ve not hit the big time in a Problogger sort of way, but I have seen my income grow over time as I looked into other options and made money online with them.

I quickly found out that I needed other options, and I started looking into other avenues to make money from home. I found a few, and I’ve found even more over time. These methods of making money online do not require me to leave the house. I started sharing some of them on this site so that I can help others learn how to earn money in pajamas.

How I Made Money Online In October 2017

These posts that I started at the beginning of the year list some of the major ways that I’ve earned money online in 2017. I enjoy looking back at the end of each month to see how I’ve supplemented my income from working at my Jay Oh Bee (that’s my job).

I also like to share the ways that I make money online so that others can learn that they too can supplement their incomes. It does not really take a degree in rocket science. All it takes is some free time and some perseverance. I have several different streams of income each month. The more, the better. That way, if one option goes away, I still have others that will bring me some income.

I’m using my online earnings to build up passive income from dividends and to pay off debt. This is a long-term process that I anticipate will pay off over a period of years.

So, without keeping you in suspense any longer, here are the ways I made money online in October (please note that the links are affiliate links. I may be compensated if you sign up with them):

Freelance Writing: $209.83
Swagbucks: $50.00
GiftHulk: $5.00
Earnably: $1.00

Total Online Earnings for October 2017: $265.83

This was down a little bit over the previous few months. However, it’s important to remember that even this small amount would add up to more than $3,000 over the course of a year if I kept it up for 12 months. How much would $3,000 help people who are only able to pay off their bills and save nothing each month?

I would think it would help quite a bit. You can sign up for the programs listed above and get started with your own online earnings.

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. You can also start to earn affiliate income of your own.

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.

November Side Hustle

Passive Dividend Income–August 2017

Earnably
This site includes affiliate links. Please note that I may be compensated should you sign up for these programs. The month of August is not quite over, but the number of companies paying me passive dividend income is. One of my favorite options for earning passive income is dividends.

Of course, I have to work for the capital to invest, but the dividends come without any additional work on my part. They also provide more capital. I can then invest that additional capital to get even more passive dividend income. It’s a great cycle to say the least.

Passive Dividend Income Builds Up Slowly But Surely
My dividends continue to build slowly, but surely.

I started this blog with the title “Earn Money In Pajamas” because I wanted to earn money from home in my recliner. Dividends are the ultimate option for earning money in pajamas. The companies I own make money 24/7/365. Most of them pay me on a quarterly basis from the profits that they make. That’s an awesome concept that I really dig.

July was a low month when it came to dividend income, but August was much better. Two of my biggest payers provide me with income in the second month of each quarter. Without making you wait any longer, here it is:

My Passive Dividend Income For August 2017

Traditional IRA

AT & T (T)                                                                                  $24.50
Realty Income Corp. (O)                                                       $5.29
Omega Healthcare Investors (OHI)                              $32.00

401k

JP Morgan Equity Income R5 (OIERX)                           $3.41

TOTAL DIVIDENDS FOR August 2017:                          $65.20

This was just short of my record divided income in one month, which was set last December. This $65.20 was an increase of more than $21 in just three short months. This effectively is a whole hour of freedom when compared with my income from May. As I’ve noted before, I figure that I need $20 an hour to replace the benefit of an hour of my working income.

My first dividend report came exactly two years ago. In August 2015, I earned a whopping $0.64. I just made more than 100 times that two years later. While $65 and some change is not a huge sum, it’s way bigger than literally just some change. In 2015, my passive dividend income couldn’t have even paid for a pack of gum. Now I could eat out two or three times, depending on where I decide to eat.

My dividend income for August now brings my annual total up to $287.17, which is more than I earned all of last year. And I still have four months to go. I’ve updated my monthly passive dividend income page to reflect this new income.

Passive Dividend Income And Freedom

One of the things that I like the best about dividend income is the freedom that it could eventually provide. Should I ever get to the point that I could live off of dividend income, I’d officially have financial independence. I’m a long way away from that, but it’s a goal that I can shoot for.

With all of my purchases from August added in, my passive dividend income for the next 12 months should come in at $461.82. This would provide me with slightly more than 23 hours of freedom on an annual basis, which is slightly less than 2 hours a month.

This $461.82 should come in without any additional purchases and without any dividend raises. This is a very unlikely scenario. A dividend cut would actually be more likely even though I have companies that I believe will be around and making money for the long haul.

My dividend income for the month of August 2016 was only $13.29; therefore, I increased that total by more than $50 in just a year. While is not likely to continue over the long haul, it’s setting the foundation for where 10 percent increases will be more than the $50 year-over-year increase I just experienced. That’s pretty exciting to think about.

How did you passive dividend income measure up in August? 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, T, OHI and OIERX.

 

November Side Hustle

Online Earnings For May 2017


I’ve been pretty busy over the past ten days. A trip out of town for some work slowed down my monthly post that tabulates my online earnings for the previous month. I was also out of town for a week in May, but I was able to make some nice money over the course of the month.

Some of this money went toward savings. Some of it went into a rollover IRA. Still more of it went toward paying down my mortgage just a little more quickly than the amortization schedule. Regardless of where the money went, my online earnings helped me toward a stronger financial standing for the long run.

Online earnings can help you fill up a suitcase full of money
I didn’t make a suitcase full of money in May, but I did make some that helped.

 

As I noted before, I started looking for ways to make money online when my wife gave up full-time work. I’ve found several options that have worked over the years, and I’m always looking for more opportunities that can help me get a little bit further ahead than I was a month before.

The best thing about earning money online is the fact that there is a pretty low barrier to entry. Whether you’re looking to take a couple of surveys a day or write up a couple of articles for a bit of extra income, there are options that can work for just about anyone with a pulse. All you have to do is look and take some initiative. I’ve done some surveys and online writing. And then some.

Online Earnings for May

Back in April, my online earnings did not come in as high as they have in some months. They were still a solid $273.02, and they helped me improve my overall finances. May was not much different, but I earned even more. Here are some of the ways that I was able to earn money in pajamas during May 2017:

Freelance Writing:                                                                                               $244.97
Swagbucks:                                                                                                                  $75.00
GiftHulk:                                                                                                                          $5.00
Ibotta:                                                                                                                             $20.25
Clixsense:                                                                                                                    $10.00

Total online earnings, May 2017:                                                                  $355.22

I’ve listed most of these ways of earning money online before, but Ibotta is one that I had not used until last month. I signed up because of a link on another website that promised $10 in my account if I signed up and redeemed one of the digital rebates before a certain date. I did, and the $10 posted pretty much immediately along with the other discounts.

Sign Up For Ibotta And Get An Easy $10

The best way that I can describe Ibotta would be a sort of digital coupon/rebate site. You download an app, and the app takes a picture of your receipt (and sometimes the UPC code) from various retailers like Wal-Mart or Kroger that just about anyone can access.

With the $10 bonus, I was able to actually hit the cash out mark in May pretty easily, even though I signed up toward the end of the month, hence the $20.25 listed above. The cash out hit PayPal pretty much instantly. I then put it directly toward paying down my mortgage.

You can get the same $10 bonus if you sign up with Ibotta with my link,  download the app, and make a purchase and upload it via the app. This would get you more than halfway to the $20 that’s necessary to cash out with PayPal. It’s pretty simple, and there are some rebates for buying literally anything (although you can’t use the any brand rebates to get the $10 bonus–it has to be a purchase of a specific brand).

I recommend using methods that earn you money for doing what you’d already do anyway. For example, you can use Swagbucks to earn money for searching the web or letting videos play. It’s likely that you have to shop somewhere for food and various and sundry other items. You might as well get rebates from a site like Ibotta.

The rebates from Ibotta can stack with coupons and a cashback credit card like the Chase Freedom. You can even get a $150 bonus for using the Chase Freedom to make $500 in purchases in the first three months after opening the account. Just don’t forget to pay the balance in full each month. You can sign up for the Chase Freedom with this link, if you have good credit, that is.

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.

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.

November Side Hustle

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?

November Side Hustle

Chase Sapphire Reserve Take Two–Approved

Back in August, when the Chase Sapphire Reserve card first came out, I was super excited at the opportunity to get the killer 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points that came with the card after meeting a minimum spend. (This has since dropped to 50,000 UR points.) I’ve referred to this as the “Mother of All Credit Cards.” As I’ve noted before, I was rejected when I applied for the Sapphire Reserve.

I decided then to bide my time and wait a few months before applying again. I intended to wait until February or March because I wanted to make sure that I was able to offset the entire $450 annual fee , which is quite hefty, over two calendar years.  Imagine my surprise when I woke up on Wednesday morning and found out via Million Mile Secrets that the Reserve’s sign-up bonus was about to get halved.

Applying for the Chase Sapphire Reserve

I decided to jump immediately and go ahead and try to get the top travel credit card that I wanted to get in 2017, albeit a bit earlier than I wanted to get it. Applying was the first thing that I did after logging onto my laptop that morning. I sat down and filled out the three pages on the application and then waited on the decision.

It seemed that it was taking quite a while, but it was probably less than a minute. Regardless, I was a bit nervous that I would again get the notice of a pending application, which generally means no. I was happy, however, when the next page popped up and noted that Chase approved me for the card.

Visa, MasterCard, and American Express
Credit cards via Wikimedia Commons

After I get the Sapphire Reserve in the mail, I intend to start using it exclusively so that I can meet the $4,000 spending requirement so that the 100,000-point bonus will kick in. UPDATE: I got the bonus in March.

What To Do With the Sapphire Reserve’s Bonus

There are several different options when it comes to spending 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points. You could take two round-trip saver flights within the US on United Airlines.  I’ve seen one-way flights from Denver to Las Vegas or Los Angeles for just north of 2,000 Rapid Rewards points on Southwest Airlines.

This bonus would take care of nearly 50 one-way flights between many US cities, and could also pay for at least four flights to Mexico from the US on Southwest, depending upon the date and whether any sales are ongoing from your departure city at the time you book. I got four tickets to Puerto Vallarta for about 23,000 Ultimate Rewards points when transferring them to Southwest last year.

It’s also possible to get two round-trip tickets from the US to Europe on Air France/KLM’s Flying Blue frequent flyer program with some of the discounted options that these companies offer from time to time. 50,000 would also be more than enough to get a one-way business-class ticket at the saver level or a round-trip economy ticket to just about any region of the world on United Airlines. These are just a few of the options that you could use to spend this massive cache of points, as they transfer at a 1:1 ratio to some of the leading loyalty programs around.

If You’d Rather Have Cash Value

Additionally, if you’re looking to pay directly for flights, you could get 1.5 cents per point in value by going through the Chase travel portal with the Chase Sapphire Reserve. This could allow you to get multiple tickets to Europe with some of the sales that have been going on recently.

Finally, you could just redeem them for 1 cent apiece and get a cool $500 in cash which is a pretty easy way to earn money in pajamas. Keep in mind that the sign-up bonus dropped by half on January 11, so if you’re looking to get the Sapphire Reserve and the bonus, be sure to apply sooner, rather than later.  Also, be sure to check out more of my top credit card recommendations for 2017.

November Side Hustle

$10 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

Welcome to those visiting from my interview that’s the latest installment of Investment Hunting’s interview series.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. We’re about halfway between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I’m thankful for many of the blessings that I have in life. This year has been pretty good so far, and I’ve been able to take a couple of trips that were enjoyable cultural experiences.  I’ve also seen my dividend income grow exponentially.

View from balcony at CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta–by me

In keeping with the season of giving, I’ve decided to give a $10 Amazon e-Gift card to one lucky winner. This can be used toward a present for yourself or someone else. I’m actually going to be cashing in some of my earnings from Swagbucks, and you can earn e-Gift cards or cash by signing up at the site and completing various easy tasks like using their search engine or playing videos while you’re watching TV in your pajamas (or a business suit if that’s how you roll).  You won’t get entered into this giveaway by signing up for Swagbucks, but you can start earning points toward other e-Gift cards or PayPal cash if you do decide to sign up.  Please note that if you sign up with my link, I may earn a commission on your earnings.

Entering the actual contest is going to be pretty easy. All you have to do is sign up to get updates from the website via MailMunch. This is the pop-up that asks you to sign up after you’ve been on Earn Money in Pajamas for a few seconds. I’ve you’ve already X’d out of the pop-up, you should be able to leave the site and come back to get another chance.  Sign up. That’s it. Here are the rules for the giveaway:

Contest Duration:

The contest will run until 12/24/2016 at 11:59 pm GMT. Anyone who signs up before this deadline will be eligible to win.

Contest Prize:

One Amazon e-Gift card code that’s worth $10. The total value of the prize is $10. The winner will be responsible for putting in the code on their own Amazon.com account.

Odds of Winning:

The odds of winning are 1 in however many people sign up for my email list via Mail Munch before the deadline.

How will the winner be selected?

I will count up the number of entries received by the Christmas Eve deadline. Then I’ll input the number of entries into an online random number generator. The first person to have signed up on Mail Munch starting today will get assigned number one. The second will get assigned number two, and so forth. The person whose number comes up will get an email from me informing them that they’ve won. If they do not reply within 48 hours after I send the email, I’ll get another number from the random number generator and repeat the process until I get a winner who responds.

What will you do with my email address (AKA privacy)?

By signing up, you agree that you give Earn Money in Pajamas permission to use your email address for two possible purposes. The first is to get updates from Earn Money in Pajamas.  The second is to put you into contact with opportunities to earn money and/or travel/cash back points (for example Chase or Amex referrals). Names and email addresses are all that might be shared under this arrangement. I appreciate your support.

November Side Hustle

Book Review–Your Money Map

A few months ago, I visited a Christian bookstore and I decided to check out the personal finance section. Some of the books appeared to be from health and wealth guys who encourage you to “sow some seed” to benefit their ministries. I’m not into that by any stretch. I then happened upon a book titled Your Money Map: A Proven 7-Step Guide to True Financial Freedom. The author of the book was Howard Dayton, and it was published in 2006. Moody Publishers published this book, and it’s pretty far removed from the health and wealth scene. I then decided to pick up the book to see if it was the same as Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover, which has seven baby steps. It did not.

Rather than just giving seven “baby steps” that are singular in purpose and that readers must follow in order religiously, this book shows more of a lifetime journey that a person might take. Both Ramsey and Dayton argue that financial freedom is a process that could take quite a bit of time.

Your Money Map Is Christian In Outlook

Your Money Map is distinctively Christian in its outlook. Therefore, those who have a more secular viewpoint might have more interest in other personal finance books. This book follows a couple that Dayton counseled regarding personal finance and the advice that he gave them through each step of the way.

The book starts out by arguing that all wealth comes as a stewardship from God. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that we are effective stewards with the money that God entrusts with. Dayton argues that one of the first steps that anyone should take when getting their personal finances in order is to begin charitable giving toward religious purposes. This is one of the areas that nonreligious people might disagree with Dayton, but starting to give is part of Destination 1 on the money map that’s included in the chapters of the book, as well as the schematic money map at the very end of the book.

Step 1

Other goals involved in reaching Destination 1 include the obligatory budget and $1,000 emergency fund. These two steps seem to be pretty standard among the community of personal finance gurus. Both are pretty good ideas. Budgeting ensures that you can avoid spending more than you bring in. If you spend more than your income each month, you’ll wind up with a negative net worth if you’re not already there.

If you spend less on a monthly basis, you’ll build up a solid net worth over time. It’s pretty simple, actually. Also, stashing $1,000 allows you to pay for any unexpected expenses that might come up–like the busted radiator I had to replace a couple of months ago. Definitely not cool, but necessary. Learning to handle money God’s way is a little outside the realm of personal finance gurus who are not religious in nature.

Your Money Map

Steps 2 and 3 on the money map are where Dayton is a bit different than some of the other personal finance books and websites that I’ve read. Most of these other books emphasize paying off debt at the expense of savings. Your Money Map argues that people should build up a larger emergency fund (for one, and then three, months of expenses) while simultaneously paying down credit card debt and all other consumer debts. This blended approach is refreshing to me, because cash flow is important. Having more money available at any given time can help people avoid building up additional debt should an unexpected job loss or other catastrophe occur.

Earning money in pajamas can help you achieve financial freedom.

A possible destination after reaching Step 7on Your Money Map.

Step 4 relates to saving up funds for major outlays like a home or retirement (childrens’ education is optional here). Dayton recommends saving up a substantial down payment for a home so that a downturn in the local housing market does not get a buyer upside-down on his or her mortgage. This is generally sound advice (although I didn’t follow it personally because renting in the markets I’ve lived in has been more expensive than buying–I took advantage of loans with low down payment requirements).

Getting Closer To Financial Independence

Steps 5 and 6 deal with actually buying the house, paying it off early, and investing additional money outside of retirement accounts, working toward the multiple goals at the same time. Step 7 is financial freedom. The goal of financial freedom is retiring and actually having something to leave as a legacy, be it through an inheritance to your children or some nice gifts to organizations that you feel strongly about. Retirement also means that you have more time to give to endeavors that you feel really, really passionately about.

The story of Matt Mitchell, the car salesman that Dayton counsels, appears throughout the book. Dayton himself has basically donated his time as a personal finance coach for decades, so he discusses how he walked his pupil through the steps toward financial freedom. I liked how this book showed that you can focus upon more than one thing at a time because compounding is an important and powerful aspect of investing. This is actually not as common in personal finance advice as you might think. Those who start with just saving a few bucks regularly early in life will actually be better off than those who save up more of their income later in life.

Some Jobs Aren’t Worth It

I also liked the argument for having a single earner for many couples. After paying for child care and additional clothing, food, and transportation expenses, Dayton shows how one working wife earned an effective wage of $0.64 per hour on $18,000 of gross earnings over the course of a year. Many people don’t look at it this way, but it’s the rationale we used when my wife decided to stay at home with the kids. Low real earnings like this are also all too common. Overall, Your Money Map did a good job of showing how disciplined people can achieve financial independence over time.  If you’d like to check out this book and read it for yourself, I’d encourage you to scroll up and click the link near the top of the page

Disclaimer: If you decide to sign up for various programs or buy products from my referral links, I may receive compensation. You can get the same great benefits from just going to the websites themselves, but I definitely appreciate your support. It’s one of the ways I’m able to earn money in pajamas while helping others do the same. 

November Side Hustle

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.

November Side Hustle

April 2016 Passive Dividend Income

Another month has come and gone. Today is the first day of May, and on this past Friday, I got my last dividend notification for the month of April. I’m now about nine months into the dividend growth investing journey. My goal is to build up passive income over time so that I can enjoy a reasonable retirement in a couple of decades. I believe that long-standing dividend payers who have solid cash flows should be reasonable investments for the long term.

I added a couple of small positions over the past month, but neither of these has paid out a dividend yet. I started pooling my dividends in my Loyal3 account in January, and I reached $10 early in April. I then immediately put that $10 to work in a very small starting position in Unilever PLC. My hope is that my growing stream of dividends will enable me to add to this small start each quarter to start with. As my core positions add more in dividend payments, I plan to increase the frequency of these purchases in UL.

I also cashed out some more funds from Swagbucks and started with a $25 position in Starbucks (SBUX). My hope is to alternate Swagbucks payments and build up some smaller positions. Starbucks does not pay a huge dividend at this point, but the company has been increasing its payout rapidly over the past few years. Additionally, the company is still in the growth phase, so I’m hoping that my eventual yield on cost is much higher than my current ~1.4 percent.

I received three dividend payments during the month of April, so without further ado, here they are:

Coca-Cola (KO):                         $2.95

Wal-Mart (WMT):                       $2.48

Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS):     $3.47

Total dividend payments for March:   $8.90

Dividend income for 2016:                      $33.28

My payment from BNS was subject to a 15 percent withholding tax, so only $2.95 went into my DRIP. This purchased another 0.057 shares of BNS, and it will add about $0.12 to my annual dividend income, although this will vary because of foreign exchange rates. I put the other dividends toward the aforementioned  purchase of Unilever. My current forward dividend income for the next 12 months should be right around $131.67 (although this is possibly a slight bit off because of the BNS forex issue). This way more than the grand total of $0 that I expected in yearly dividends at this same time last year. Earning dividends is truly earning money in pajamas. I do no more work after earning the capital. Then my capital goes to work for me.

If you want to keep up with my progress or learn about my other life hacking achievements and goals, be sure to sign up to follow the blog.

Disclaimer: I am not a licensed financial professional. Please use the information on this site for educational/entertainment purposes only. Be sure to check with a financial professional before purchasing equities.

Disclaimer 2: I may receive compensation if you decide to sign up for any of my affiliate links. This post mentions Swagbucks. I usually get $25 worth of PayPal cash each month from this site, and I use it to buy more stocks that then earn me more dividends that can then go and buy more stocks that then pay more dividends…and so forth. Should you choose to sign up, I thank you for your support.

November Side Hustle

A Trip to Europe on the Cheap

This is a blog about earning money without putting in time in an office, a fast food joint, or on a construction site. I aim to earn money from home so that I don’t have to spend more time away from the house. I definitely believe that there is more to life than money, but that more money can make life easier and open up options that are not available without it. I believe that a personal finance blog can be a great opportunity to show people hacks that can make their lives better. While earning money in pajamas can improve life, it’s also possible to get some great experiences without spending much. Last year, I wrote a post on how to save massive amounts of money on great trips with frequent flyer miles and hotel points.

Last month, I was able to cash in a load of these points and miles to get a deeply discounted trip to Europe. I cashed in 240,000 American Airlines Aadvantage miles to get six (count ’em, six) off-season tickets to Europe. These came from a couple of American Airlines sign-up bonuses and a couple of bonuses from the old US Airways card. I had long had Paris on my bucket list, and chose to visit the French capital on my vacation. One of the coolest things about the American Airlines award tickets is the ability to purchase one-way awards. Therefore, I decided that it would be a great opportunity to visit another European city in the process. I had to make sure that the tickets were on American Airlines flights (not with a partner like British Airways) because of fuel surcharges that are pretty massive on partner flights. I checked out tickets for my available dates to see if Rome, Barcelona, or Dublin would work. I struck out on each of these, but was able to land a flight to Madrid. Four of the tickets would leave from one city and two would leave from another airport substantially to the east of where I would be flying out of.  The total cost of each of these flights was less than $90–the cost of taxes that are required even with an award flight.

Eiffel TowerObligatory picture of the Eiffel Tour, or Le Tour Eiffel as the French call it, taken from my personal phone. 

Because my flights to and from Europe had what is called in the industry an open jaw, I had to get from Madrid to Paris. I did not have enough points to get the flight for taxes. Therefore, I checked on Expedia, and I was able to land flights for less than $70 each on Iberia Airlines. I could have gotten a slightly cheaper flight on a budget carrier, but these flights nickel and dime passengers with fees for just about anything, including carry-on bags. The total cost of six tickets from the US to Madrid, Madrid to Paris, and Paris to the US was right around $1,000 total. That’s the power of points and miles.

The Royal Palace in MadridThe Royal Palace in Madrid, again, taken by me

I then had to deal with getting lodging while in Europe. I only had a night to spend in Spain before a trip to Paris. I was able to get two rooms at a Holiday Inn Express in the Madrid area for free with IHG points. I then needed five nights in Paris. I was just short of the 280,000 points that I needed to get two rooms at the Marriott Charles de Gualle Airport hotel. I wound up spending $87.50 for the points I needed to put me over the top. Two rooms, one of which was upgraded to a family room upon arrival, for five nights cost a total of $87.50. Altogether, lodging and airfare for six people was slightly more than $1,000. That’s hard to beat. Of course, there were other expenses that added up over the trip, including food, tickets to Disneyland Paris, Versailles, the Louvre, ground transportation, and a day trip to Madrid and Toledo. Overall, it was a great trip, and it cost a fraction of what it might have had I attempted to pay the rack rate. While this was not a result of earning money in pajamas, it was an instance where taking advantage of opportunities that were available got me some great memories at a great discount.

A few credit card applications, meeting some spending bonuses buying stuff that I would be buying anyway, and cashing in the points I earned were all it took to take a dream vacation to Europe. Please note that I only recommend this for people who are able to pay off their cards on a monthly basis, as interest payments can quickly take away any benefit that the points provide and lead to massive amounts of debt. Proceed with caution if you have a spending problem. Also, remember that it’s important to actually have a good credit score to qualify for the bonuses.

If you’ve found this post useful, be sure to follow the blog to get the latest updates.