Category Archives: Making Money Online

Supplementing my income as a single parent without child support

Legitimate ways to make money online!

Legitimate ways to make money online!

Like many single mothers, I often find it hard to support a family on my income alone. And like most people who divorce an abuser, I rarely, if ever, get any child support. So it’s all on me. When I had two children under three, I found that holding a full time job without any outside support or help was not working. I had so many appointments for the kids, but my employer would not let me off work. There was no one else to take the kids, so now what?

I stepped down into a more flexible, but lower paying position, and I started focusing on ways to supplement my income from home where I wouldn’t need to hire a baby-sitter or pay more for daycare.

Over the years, I have come to count on the money I make online to keep me afloat and I’ve learned what sites work best for me. In the past, I’ve written a few blogs about my ongoing favorites, but the best options are always changing. I do a lot of freelance work, but my favorites are surveys. Not only do they pay me to answer questions while I watch TV, but I often get to test new products, which is interesting and saves me money.

Christmas is coming, so most of us are going to need money for gifts. I also need to get out of debt, so I’m doing as much online as I can. Each time I get a Paypal payment from a site, I transfer it to my bank account and post it towards a bill. It’s a good feeling!

Anyway, I thought I’d write an updated post about what sites I use since people ask me so much.


Right now, my top site is Mintvine. I like this one because it grows faster than other sites. Each day, I take their daily poll for a few extra points, then I start trying my surveys. It puts you in a queue where you keep trying surveys until you run out of options, (or stop for the day.) I get to finish a lot of surveys–usually a few dollars a day, but they also randomly award you points when you are disqualified from a survey. So, sometimes I get thirty cents just for them to tell me that survey didn’t work for me. Usually it’s five cents, but it adds up, especially when I complete surveys that can be worth up to a few dollars each. I count on cashing out at least $10 to $15 a week with minimal effort each night. When I want more, I do more…and that’s the plan since the holidays are coming!

My second go-to site that I check into every day is Swagbucks. I like this one because it lets me earn in a variety of ways. Some days while I’m cleaning or cooking, I play videos to watch while I’m working. I’ve made up to a couple dollars a day just doing that while I multi-task. Of course, add in surveys and other offers, and it adds up. Earning $25 a week is not unusual. I cash out for $25 in Paypal, but you can buy your first $25 gift card each month for a discount of $22, so that is good for getting gifts.

My third daily site is Paid Viewpoint. This one sometimes takes more time to add up, but it is also very easy to use and takes minimal effort. Also, I use about twenty sites. While some are my main money makers, I also keep a bunch going slowly each day, because eventually they will pay out and be a nice little bonus.


There are far more ways I earn extra money each day, but I’ll start with those and not overload you! Those are the ones I recommend the most because they are easier, and don’t require a lot of time each day. Although, you can certainly earn more if you want to, which is nice if you know you have a big expense coming up.

Good luck!

How to make your new cell phone pay for itself with money making apps

Legitimate ways to make money online!

Legitimate ways to make money online!

Recently, I was getting pretty tired of my old cell phone. I bought it in 2012, so it’s basically a dinosaur in cell phone years! The battery wouldn’t hold a charge there was hardly any memory, I couldn’t use newer apps and I got poor coverage. I wanted an upgrade! But I also wanted to be frugal. I was able to do both. First of all, I got an LG phone that costs me less than $7 a month in installment payments. Not so bad. BUT, the good part is, now that I have a newer phone that can handle newer apps, I can use money making apps that make up for my cell phone payment and then some!

There are a lot of options out there, but let me tell you my two favorites.

To start, use Swagbucks. I already make money on Swagbucks by running their nCrave videos, but now I can use six different mobile video apps that will all pay a minimum of 10 SB a day for me to play videos for a few minutes. That’s 60 cents worth times 30 days a month? $18.00. More than covers my phone payment.

But I also added an app called AdMe. It uses an ad for your lock screen, which isn’t as fun as using your favorite pictures, but does pay a bit. It gives you a $3 bonus to sign up, then a few cents a day. I’m up to about $6 in under a month just to use the lockscreen I’d have to swipe anyway. If you decide to use AdMe, please enter my code as your referral if you don’t mind. It is y3uZxhO498 and will give both of us a little bonus.

I’d say these two are the easiest and fastest growing, but there are others as well. I will update with another post soon to review some other popular apps that pay.

As it is, even if I just focus on these two, my phone payment is covered plus I have extra. I’m happy with that! 🙂

An overview of my favorite money-making survey sites!

Legitimate ways to make money online!

Legitimate ways to make money online!

I found that working full-time with two little kids and doing everything on my own was leaving me little time to actually live, so in the past couple years, I’ve found ways to survive on part-time hours and still pay my bills…and even have some fun!

I have a number of things I do to earn extra money, including product testing and using survey sites. Depending on how much time I devote, it is not unrealistic to make $5 a day doing the bare minimum in surveys that are mailed to me. If I have an emergency, I do more. (For example, a couple weeks ago, I had a pipe burst under my kitchen, and I didn’t have enough money to cover the repair. I got online and started taking surveys!) It’s not a lot, but it helps. I can’t count the times that cashing out on a survey site has rescued me from a financial bind or helped me make the last few dollars to pay a bill.

People often ask me about what sites I use, and I’m glad to tell! But, I’ve been doing this for over a year now, so I’m really familiar with the sites and the ways to optimize my earnings. For a newbie, it’s probably completely overwhelming. So, I decided to post a basic overview of the sites I use, how they pay, and how much you can earn. I would recommend starting with a small number of sites at first, then adding more when you get used to them. When you first start doing surveys, you will earn a lot faster at first, because all of the surveys will be new. After a while, the old surveys are all done, and you just get the new ones in your e-mail. At that point, it’s easier to start adding other sites. These days, I just try every survey that comes in my e-mail, because sites usually only send you the best options. If I need to make money more quickly, I can always go to my favorites sites and look for more surveys.

Some sites will allow you to put in a bit of time and earn more quickly, while other sites take just a few minutes a day to earn slowly. Still, I take the couple minutes it takes on the slower sites, because they do add up–especially if you use a bunch of sites at once.

Soo…’s part of my list:

Inbox Dollars: This was the first site I joined, and I still use it, (and cash out,) regularly. I would suggest starting here, because Inbox Dollars pays you for using their links to join other survey sites. (Hint: That’s a very easy way to hit your first pay out. Many times, you will earn $1 or more just for signing up for another survey site through Inbox Dollars. Plus, you can then make money on those sites, too!) Their rewards are paid in dollar amounts instead of points, so it’s easy to keep track of your balance. You have to earn at least $30 to cash out, then when you try to cash out, you get a prompt to earn to $40 and save on the processing fee…so I do that. I cashed out my first $40 after two weeks! This site has more than just surveys. There are plenty of free offers, as well as offers to earn points on purchases, and more. Plus, for every survey you attempt, you get a spin on the Spin and Win wheel which often awards prizes like a bonus 5 cents, a bonus dollar or a bonus five dollars.  Once you’ve used all the initial offers, it is still easy to maintain about $20 a month in earnings just by taking the surveys they send to your e-mail. If you work harder to do more surveys, $40 a month or more is possible. (I just did that to help pay for my broken pipe.)

Global Test Market: This site is currently my favorite. You have to earn 1000 points to cash out–and it’s possible to do that in a month or less. I usually save up a bit more because the payout options don’t add up to exactly 1000 points. For example, at 240 points, you can get $10 in a Paypal payment. For 220 points, you can $10 in a gift card, (I always choose Amazon!) The average survey pays 30 points and takes 5-10 minutes. The surveys are plentiful, and it’s easy to surf through and finish several surveys a night. It is not hard to reach your first 1000+ points in a month and get $40-$50 in rewards.
Also, some of GTM’s surveys are screeners to find people to test products at home. I have tested a bunch of different products–things I would actually buy–which has saved me quite a bit of money on home goods and toiletries. Plus, some of these products are really good, so I enjoy them!

Mintvine: This is another site with plenty of surveys, (plus points for taking a daily poll or being rejected for a survey.) It is easy to earn points very quickly. Their point system is pretty easy–1000 points is $10 worth of credit. You can get gift cards or Paypal, but you have to have at least 1000 points first. It is not hard to get to the first payout, especially since there are several new member bonus options. I would say it is possible to earn $20 a month on this site if you take all your options. The most I’ve earned was $40 in one month.

Swagbucks: This isn’t really just a survey site, although there are survey options. I usually don’t even take many surveys there, unless I’ve used up my other ways to earn points. This site pays in gift cards based on points. You can cash out as little as $3 for 300 points. On this site, I make points by watching videos, watching ads, interacting with ads, taking short polls, and more. Each day, Swagbucks assigns you a point goal, and if you hit the goal, you get a bonus. I always try to hit the smallest goal at least. That is about 30-50 points a day to get a 10% bonus. It’s not hard to get there with very little effort. In fact, since Swagbucks randomly rewards you for using their search engine, you might get 15 points for just one search! The more you search, the more you can earn. I’ve have earned as much as 300 points in one day just by doing easy things. Typically, I hit around 50–which equals out to about $15 a month. If you do surveys, it adds up a lot faster.

In my experience, this is a good start to making some extra money online. I will continue posting some more overviews soon!

A good survey site for earning gift cards

Legitimate ways to make money online!

Legitimate ways to make money online!

I’ve posted before about my experiences with using survey sites to make money. So far, my favorite is Inbox Dollars, (I’ve cashed out over $120 and have another $24 accumulated now!) I don’t follow very many survey sites because it’s hard to make enough money to cash out unless I’m more focused, so I stick with that one the most.
(Here are some links to my earlier posts about Inbox Dollars: one, two, three and four.) I also have a very small, (but hopefully growing,) Facebook group where I post some of the better surveys or incentives that come up. For example, I recently got $5 credit for ordering free business cards, and another $6.75 for ordering a very cheap double subscription to a magazine. Here’s that link: Making Money with Online Survey Sites

I also use Pinecone Research, but they don’t open for new members often, so you have to wait for that one. I’ve made $36 on that site. There aren’t a ton of surveys, but the ones you do get are well worth it and you can ask for a check any time.

Inbox Dollars sends a check and Pinecone Research has multiple options, including a check; however, this latest site offers gift cards. I’m a huge Amazon fan, and I use the site to buy books a necessities, (like diapers for my kids using Amazon Mom,) so this works well for me.

My newest one that I’ve found to be a good deal is MintVine. I haven’t done a whole lot on that site yet, but I’ve already earned a $10 gift card, (I used it for Amazon,) and I’m half way to the next one. I found that the points to cash out added up pretty quickly. I think it took maybe two weeks? You won’t get rich, but to click on a few surveys, it’s a pretty fair deal. There are incentives for referring people, for taking short surveys, for completing your profile and more. Plus, every time you are rejected for a survey, you get 5 points, (which equals 5 cents.) If nothing else, you could make 15 cents a day just to click on the daily poll and be rejected for a couple surveys.

Here is a referral link if you want to join MintVine. I think it’s definitely one of the better sites.

Tips for being successful and getting rich

Napoleon Hill’s A Year of Growing Rich: 52 Steps to Achieving Life’s Rewards

Click here to purchase Napoleon Hill’s a Year of Growing Rich: 52 Steps to Achieving Life’s Rewards

Napoleon Hills book “Think and Grow Rich” is considered a classic self-help book along the lines of “How to Win Friends and Influence People” or “The Power of Positive Thinking.” Many people swear by it. This book is a companion to it and includes many of the same ideas, except in shorter excerpts that are easier to read. It’s broken down into 52 short chapters–one for each week. I admit, I’m reading one per night. (I’m ready to be rich 😉 ) Okay, so I’m not rich yet…but this book is very inspiring. When I read it and the examples, I feel like I really can use my talents to make my dreams come true. Hill makes riches and success seem achievable. But, he focuses on the importance of devotion to your goals, being specific, working hard, and having a strong desire to succeed. You can’t just want it to happen, you have to make it happen. He emphasizes that you need to have a real plan, and you need to believe in and stick to it. He also points out that the people who succeed are those who persevere through multiple failures–the people who don’t give up.  Overall, each chapter emphasizes a characteristic that could help us in many ways. Plus, rich is subjective. Maybe rich is being self-employed, having your dream career, being happy…or maybe it really means having tons of money. Any way you look at it, you can benefit from reading and using the ideas in this book. I’m currently job hunting and working on multiple start-up business ideas. I’m using Hill’s tips, so hopefully I can write a very positive blog update in the future!

Reaching My Financial Goals Online

I started this blog to review all the self-help and life-improvement books I own, plus to add some helpful tips as I come across them. I’ve ended up posting about survey sites a few times. I guess that goes along with the “Life As You Make It” theme, though. I’m using the survey money as extra funding to reach my financial goals, so that’s definitely me making my life better, right? Anyway, I went out to the mailbox today to get my mail from Saturday and I found four checks! One was for $40 from Inbox Dollars, one was for $6 from Pinecone Research and the other two were from Nielsen Voice for $5 and $6. So…a total of $57 in my mailbox! All for little tasks I did from my laptop while eating a meal or to wind down before bed. I’m probably starting to sound like a fan girl, but I love that I can get this “easy” money to supplement my regular income. Even though it’s not a huge amount, it’s really going to make a difference for me. I’m using other sites as well, so I think $100 a month is a realistic expectation. $1200 a year from the comfort of my home? I’ll take it!

If you decide to sign up for Inbox Dollars, make sure to go to the “offers” page and sign up for Nielsen Voice. They are the same company that calculates TV ratings, except this is the online version. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, Inbox Dollars will give you $5, but you will also be able to earn incentives from Nielsen Voice as well, (I got $11 in checks from this week, but that’s definitely not the first time. All I did was participate in their program and answer a survey.)

There are a lot of survey sites out there, but I really like Inbox Dollars the most because it brings multiple options into one program. I expect to cash in my next $40 check in the next week!

Making Money Online with Inbox Dollars

So I’ve posted a couple times about using Inbox Dollars as a way to bring in a bit of extra money. I’m still doing it and I’m still pleased! I’m now up to about $70 just from this one site in just over a month. Plus, I’m a gold member now because I’ve cashed in my first payment. After you become a gold member, you get some extra perks and some of the tasks on the site pay a little more. Again, I’m not getting rich, but considering I’m doing random surveys and some offers at my kitchen table while I snack or eat dinner, I’m more than happy to get paid a few dollars a day!

On this site, you have to reach $30 to request a check. They charge you a $3 fee to send the check, but if  you wait until you hit $40, (which I did,) the fee is waived. So how can you get to that first $40? Well, I looked through the offers page and found over $20 you can earn just for signing up for newsletters or other survey sites. Not bad! Plus, you get $5 to join. If you decide to sign up for Inbox Dollars, I recommend going through their site to sign up for the Nielsen Voice offer which pays $5. I’ve received over $15 from Neilsen separately, (in addition to the Inbox Dollars reward!) just for participating in their program. So, just for joining Inbox Dollars and accepting their Neilsen offer, you’ve got $10, (plus you’ll get incentives from Neilsen!)

Once you’ve gone through and accepted or signed up for the various offers, you can still take daily surveys. For every survey you take, you get to spin their game wheel to win a prize. The other day, I won a $5 bonus!Just for spinning a virtual wheel! I frequently get 5-25 cent bonuses. Surveys usually pay 25-50 cents, but they are short and easy. Sometimes, they pay more. A few days ago, I took a survey that paid nearly $4. When you consider all the options for offers, surveys, bonuses and more, the pocket change you can make really adds up. You can also earn change for viewing their sponsored e-mails or using their search engine. In about five weeks, I’ve reached $40 and cashed out once, plus I’m currently 3/4 of the way to cashing out again. This is definitely a great site to look at for a few minutes a day to make a few dollars a day!

Making Money Online Update

So I’m still working with Inbox Dollars and I’m pleased!

I won’t pretend I’m getting rich or making a living, but I have made nearly $50 in three weeks doing very easy things with minimal time. That’s not bad! With this site, there are a variety of ways to make a few cents or dollars–including watching videos, playing games, making purchases through other sites, signing up for various offers and taking surveys. I have taken a lot of surveys, signed up for some freebie offers, played their Spin and Win game, used their search engine and more, but the surveys are the biggest part. I get e-mails throughout the day alerting me to make a few cents by verifying I read them. I can earn more if I accept the offers. I’m on a tight budget right now, so the few dollars I make each day on this site, (plus what I make on others,) is going right to bills. Every little bit helps!

There are a ton of survey sites out there and I simply don’t have time for all of them, so I’ve narrowed it down to the couple that pay off the most. The other one I really like is My Soap Box. I don’t get a bunch of surveys there, but the ones I do get have a better pay rate than other sites. This site pays in points that are redeemed for gift cards, (I’m going for the card!) I have earned the equivalent of over $5 in a week by doing just a few minutes’ worth of surveys and I’m also working on two larger projects that will pay me $10 and $25 for a few minutes of product testing. I do all of these while I’m eating a meal or to relax before bed, so it doesn’t take much time. I highly recommend both of these sites. I don’t think it would be unrealistic to make about $100 a month between the two of them if you put in a small amount of effort. It’s great for paying down debt, making extra pocket money, building savings and more!

Money-Making Tip

I think we all would love to find a legitimate way to make money online, right? Well, you aren’t going to get rich, but there are some sites that will pay you to do tasks or take surveys. I’ve made about $35 this week, which isn’t so bad! I aim for $5 a day and it takes minimal time. I have two main sites that I use and this one is my favorite right now:

It’s called Inbox Dollars. What I like about it is, they send you a few e-mails through the day called “PaidEmail” that allow you to make a few cents just by clicking on them and reading them. It adds up…. There are also numerous offers for free surveys–some of which are one-time-only and others are daily options. They are short and pay anywhere from 35 cents to over a dollar. I do one or two in between chores or a few while I’m eating a meal and makes some extra spending money. Also, for every survey you take, you get a free spin on their virtual wheel. You can win anything from a few cents to $5. There are also options for making money for trying free trials or for purchasing items, but you aren’t required to purchase anything to participate in the numerous free offers. Some of the offers are for placing an order through various online websites to get an incentive payment, so if you know you want to do some online shopping, just make sure you click through Inbox Dollars. For example, you can get 2% through Wal-Mart or Target, 3% through Kohls, 5% through Avon or 15% through (I wish I’d known this when I did some fall clothing shopping on, but I’ll keep it in mind for the future!) This isn’t everything–there are a lot more options for making money. Once you accumulate $30, you can cash out. It honestly doesn’t take long to get to that point. I’ve made more than that in a week and I have only done the free offers! One thing I will recommend is that you use an e-mail account that is separate from your personal or business accounts because you will get a lot of messages. Small price to pay to make extra money easily from home!