At the end of 2009 I was unemployed (and at that point had been for about 4 months) and broke. Out of desperation (and curiosity) I decided to sign up for just about every site that claims you can make extra money or earn products. I kept records of every single penny I earned online for the entire year of 2010 with the intent of telling the world my results. Actually, my experience is what lead me to have an interest in not just making extra money, but also saving it and using it wisely...so that is why I started this blog. I wanted to help everyone else that needed some extra money or needed to find good ways to save.
So as promised, here is the break down of all the money and products I got in 2010. I'll tell you up front, I didn't make a whole lot. But keep in mind, some of these programs have referral programs that let you make more money, but I didn't refer a single person in the year of 2010! I wanted to see how much I could make without referring other people because lets face it, not all of us have the time or social connections to refer tons of people to a program. I wanted to know what programs were worth doing without having to refer tons of people to them. (But since I now know these sites do pay, some of these links are referral links. If you decide to sign up for any of these sites, please use my referral links.)
So here we go! :)
Money I made from surveys, clicking on e-mails, writing, etc.
YouData.com (Pays you to click on ads.)
$1.23 (Not much, but they pay automatically every Friday and there is no minimum cash out limit.)
MindfieldOnline.com (Taking surveys.)
QuickRewards.net (Taking surveys, clicking ads, and more!)
Toluna.com (Taking surveys, polls)
Netverdix.com (Taking surveys)
LightSpeedPanel.com (Taking surveys)
Consumer Opinion Institute (Taking surveys sent in the mail)
Swagbucks.com (Paid to search, but now they offer surveys and other ways to make money)
CarrotReviews.com (They were paying for website reviews, but as of right now they aren't.)
AssociatedContent.com (Paid to write articles. You can earn upfront payments or residual income.)
DollarSurveys.net (Taking surveys)
Mturk.com (Doing micro tasks.)
SliceThePie.com (Paid to listen to and review new music. See my review here.) (Update: I no longer recommend this site. Click here to read about how they're refusing to pay me $10 they owe me.)
icos.org (Taking surveys.)
Product testing for a new shampoo and conditioner.
So the total amount of money I made just by doing things on these sites comes to $343.12.
So that is the cold hard cash I made...but I also got some gift cards and products...
MyPoints.com (Points for shopping, taking surveys, clicking e-mails, etc.)
$25 gift card to Lane Bryant
$10 gift card to JC Penny
$10 gift card to Kohl's
BzzAgent.com (Get products for free so you can try them, and tell others about it.)
A Scrubbing Bubbles Shower Cleaner
A free bag of dog food
Simply Ageless makeup (Foundation, concealer, eye concealer, and blush)
I also got to "buzz" about CheapToday.com on this blog, which doesn't seem like a big deal, but they seen it and offered me a freelance, part time job as a "Power Shopper". I get to find awesome deals and submit them to the site, and I get paid to do it! So by spreading the word about them I ended up finding yet another way to make some extra cash.
I also got to do a product test of 2 cans of potatoes through one of the survey companies listed above.
HitPredictor.com (Points for rating music.)
I got a Paranormal Activity DVD (which I then sold to secondspin.com - see more info below)
Kelly Clarkson CD (which I also sold to secondspin...sorry not a Clarkson fan lol)
Aside from cash and products, I also got some discounts and store credit...
E-rewards.com (Survey site, but invitation only.)
I got a $10 off $20 purchase at ebags.com.
$10 off $50 purchase at Zales.com
I also got $15 in Borders Rewards (but I won't be able to use it till January, so technically it doesn't count for this year).
I also sold some old stuff that I didn't want anymore...
Gazelle.com (See my review here.)
I also decided to open a savings account with ING Direct, so I got a $25 bonus from them.
This doesn't exactly count as free but if you drink a lot of Coke products and you don't take advantage of their rewards program, you really should. Just in this year alone I was able to redeem points to get several magazine subscriptions including...
Esquire (All the guy magazine were for my boyfriend at the time, who didn't read them, but it's okay since they were free lol)
Ladies Home Journal
Town and Country
And I was also able to get a sandwich grill and an American Dad season 5 DVD.
And I got a $25 gas card from Speedway by using their Speedy Rewards program.
So in 2010 I made $494.59 in cold hard cash.
I received $45 worth of gift cards and $30 of store credit/discounts.
I got 5 products and 1 food product.
And using the MyCokeRewards program I got 2 products and 12 magazine subscriptions.
And I snagged a small part time job with CheapToday.com!
So I didn't make a ton of money this year, but I did make money and that was the whole point of my experiment. You can make money doing surveys and clicking on e-mails...just not a whole lot lol...But I also tried just as many sites that either were a waste of time or just complete scams. I'll be posting about those later on.
So since this is a blog about money...I figured I'd post my financial and money related goals for 2011.
I plan to keep blogging here and make MFC a wealth of information. I would like to monetize this blog better, but I'm not just blogging in hopes of money...so even if I never make a dime, that's okay too. I really enjoy blogging for blogging's sake. :)
I am going to work on building up a residual income through different content websites. I just started writing for several content sites and the truth is most people never make much money doing that...but there are some that make hundreds (even thousands) of dollars a month. I'm not getting my hopes up too high but I am going to add as much quality content to these sites as I can and learn as much about SEO and internet marketing as possible to drive traffic to my content. Is it worth the time and effort? I guess only time will tell. But if I have learned anything from this bad economy it's that it's SO important to have other income streams, even if they're small. You should never rely on your paycheck alone because when you lose your job or get laid off, that paycheck is gone. So I am going to try really hard in 2011 to build up a good residual income stream. I'll keep everyone posted so you'll know all about my successes and failures.
I am also going to build my emergency fund back up. Due to being unemployed for as long as I was, what little bit I had saved up is long gong. So 2011 is going to be a year of saving, saving, saving!
What are your money plans for the new year?
*Update* Click here to see what I made the next year (2011)...and the next year (2012)...and 2013.