Sunday, May 6, 2018

My First Month of mTurk

Now that I have learned the ropes and gotten the hang of MTurk, here is an update on my earnings, some lessons I learned, and some tips and tricks for those of you that want to get started.

Patience and Determination are a must

You must have patience and some determination, so setting some goals along the way is going to be helpful. My first goal was to achieve 100 HITS and make at least 50.00 my first month. I accomplished this by working diligently on HITS every day. The more HITS I got approved, the more HITS opened up for me. I made 66.87 this first month and have 125 HITS approved.

My mistake starting out was submitting HITS by mistake before I had completed them. I got 3 HITS rejected the first week because of this mistake which hurt my approval rating. I rating is at 97% and for most of the higher paying HITS you need 100 approved HITS and 98% approval rate. I am working back up to this my second month.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Saving Money on Car Insurance


Call a Competitor and get a Quote

I am constantly getting emails from other insurance companies offering me lower rates and incentives to switch companies. Well, today I took the plunge and called one of these other companies. I was indeed offered a lower rate off the bat. To entice me even further, I was offered a deeper discount if I install and use a mobile tracking device to obtain data about my driving habits. I am always excited about saving money so I was on the brink of accepting when......

Call Your Current Insurance Carrier

I decided to call my current insurance company first. I have been a loyal customer since 2000 and I am very happy with the service they have provided for me. But, as a divorced mom of two teenagers living on a teacher salary, saving money is top priority.

Consent for a Bluetooth Tracker to Gather Your Driving Data

After speaking to a customer service agent on the phone, I found out that my insurance company will offer me a 5% discount off the bat, for using a free app and a Bluetooth device in my glove box that tracks my driving behaviors. After the data is collected I will be given a deeper discount- up to 50%! Now I drive like a grandma and have never had an accident that was my fault or a speeding ticket... EVER, so I know I will get some sort of additional discount. No matter what, I am not penalized for using the tracking device... my rate will not go up.

Contact Your Local Insurance Office

The customer service representative also sent communication to my home insurance office so that they can reach out to me Monday morning with any additional discounts the local office can offer me. I could not be happier with State Farm! I don't get any affiliate income or referral bonuses for this post. This is simply a post to give you some information. Call your insurance company today! (Get a quote from a competitor first, but be wary of switching- the quote is often an introductory quote and will increase when you are no longer a new customer.)

Who doesn't love to save money???

Sunday, April 15, 2018

My Favorite Ways to Earn Extra Cash

I am going to talk about 2 ways I have been consistently earning a little extra money from home. Neither way will make you rich or enable you to quit your day job, but both are a fairly easy way to earn 50.00-100.00 each month.

Amazon mturk

I am having so much fun with Amazon mturk . The best part is, I can complete the HITS (tasks) while I am doing other things... like eating breakfast or watching TV.

The tasks I enjoy most on Amazon mturk are they surveys. For the most part, the surveys are created by individuals conducting research projects and most of the surveys are a lot of fun. I have averaged about 20.00 per week completing HITS in the morning while I eat breakfast and in the evening when I am watching TV.

If you look at the payout vs. the time, I am not making much per hour, but since I am doing it while I am doing other things, I really don't feel like I am investing time. Simply making some money while doing things I normally do.

Inbox Dollars

*This post contains an affiliate link to Inbox Dollars and I earn 10% of any referral earnings. This however, does not influence my opinion about Inbox Dollars. I only recommend sites that I use and love and my opinions are always honest.

My favorite survey site is Inbox Dollars . The surveys are some of the higher paying surveys I have seen. They are fairly quick and easy. You also get a sign up bonus of 5.00 and 1.00 each for completing lists on your profile. So far this week, I have earned 15.00 from Inbox Dollars and I have spent minimal time on the site.

I like Inbox Dollars better than other survey sites I have tried because they match you with surveys. I am not spending a bunch of time answering questions only to be told I don't qualify for the survey. Also, when I match for a survey, they send me an email so it very efficient for me.

Again, you aren't going to get rich using this site, but 50.00 per month that I can earn while I am doing other day to day things is good with me! Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Get Paid for Completing Small Tasks: Amazon mturk

What is Amazon mturk?

Amazon Mechanical Turk is a crowdsourcing Internet marketplace site where you can sign up as a worker (for free) and earn money for doing small tasks . Basically, perform tasks that computers can not yet do and are paid a very small fee for doing so.

How I found Amazon mturk

I was looking for a way to save up for a laptop without cutting into my budget. My budget is very tight and there just wasn't any extra money for me to put aside for the laptop. To make things worse, a laptop wasn't even an expense I planned on, but my desktop MAC that I have had for years and years decided to quit on me. Well, I'm no quitter, so I started searching and pinning different blog posts about extra ways to make some money. Since I wasn't looking for full time income, when I read about Amazon mturk it sounded perfect for what I needed.

What kind of tasks I complete on Amazon mturk

Some of the tasks are long and boring.... STAY AWAY FROM THOSE!

I have been completing surveys, enter information from receipts, and evaluating search engines while I watch TV. I have actually found it sort of fun and considering I would normally be vegging out on a Netflix binge, the fact that I only make 5-10 cents per task really didn't matter... it adds up!

I was even pleasantly surprised with a 1.00 survey I completed that then turned into a 3 survey a day gig for 2 weeks and the payout was 30.00... YES PLEASE!

I am definitely enjoying the short and easy tasks and every penny is adding up!

How much money can I make and how do I get paid?

I have set a goal for myself to earn 5.00 per day so I just sit in the evenings while I watch TV and complete HITS until I earn that much. I have read other blogs where people make much more than that. It all depends on the time you spend. Now, as a newbie, the tasks are lower paying but the more HITS you complete, the more you will qualify for higher paying HITS. A little patience pays off....

You can cash out and get paid as soon as you have 1.00 in your account. If you are just starting, you have to wait 10 days before you can cash out. You can have the money directly deposited into your amazon account that is linked to your bank account or you can have the money applied to your amazon gift cards.

Definitely a simple way to make some pocket change while you are watching TV! HA! I guess in some ways it really does pay to be a couch potato!

Monday, April 9, 2018

Free Coffee on Wawa Day- April 12, 2018

Wow, y'all, what a Monday! You could definitely tell it was the first Monday back after Spring Break! I am exhausted!

A perfect week for Wawa to be giving away free coffee. That's right, FREE! You need to download the Wawa App and your free reward will pop up. I simply love the Wawa App and here is why:

Wawa will periodically give away free coffee on certain days or even every Friday of certain months. This is ANY size ANY flavor! All you need to do is open the reward from your Wawa App and scan at the register!

There are other benefits to using the Wawa App as well. If you load a gift card and use that to pay for your purchases, you receive additional bonuses for FREE salads, sandwiches, drinks, etc.

Get the Wawa App today and enjoy free coffee on Thursday, April 12, 2018!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Engaging Test Prep Passages

Well Spring Break is winding down and we are headed back to school with less than 2 months to prepare students for the VA SOL exams. Keep calm and keep it as fun as possible for the kiddos.

Students will have less stress if they feel prepared and know that they can do well. Up until now, I have focused heavily on teaching my struggling readers in grades 3-5 how to decode those tricky words... the ones that they skip over or give up on reading when they encounter. We work diligently and explicitly on word parts and chunking the word into those word parts until the students are doing it with automaticity.

My students even start telling me that decoding is FUN! Every year, never fails. Once they realize they can actually read those words they think they can't, they think reading is fun!

Now, my next hurdle this time of year... teaching my struggling students testing strategies and using test passages to do this. Most of the test passages are so boring it is an uphill battle, so I was so excited to come across a completely free resource this year! I have used many of the test passages with my students and they have enjoyed each one.

I have been strategic with how I have introduced each text and made sure that I introduced it the day before we started it so that the students couldn't wait to start the next day...

I have also been strategic as to when we stop for the day and make sure kids are left with a cliff hanger and can't wait to keep reading the next day to find out what happens. I have even had fourth grade struggling readers beg me to pick them up at a different time just so they didn't miss a day reading because of early release!

Anyway, you can check out these passages for yourself here . After signing up for a free account, you gain access to tons of passages for every grade level. Each passage is about 3 pages long and comes complete with 20 comprehension questions.

Want to help your struggling readers articulate their understanding of text, deepen their comprehension, and keep them actively engaged in their reading? I have created an anchor chart and graphic organizer that I use with all of my struggling readers with consistent success on state testing every year.

You can purchase it in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store . Want to try the anchor chart and graphic organizer for free? Just follow me here and comment with your email!

Using Swagbucks to get FREE Netflix

Who doesn't love Netflix? Sooooo many binge worthy series that bring a whole new meaning to the phrase "Netflix and Chill."

Some of the series I have binged watched are Orange is the New Black, Jane the Virgin, Grace and Frankie, The Ranch, Nailed It, and Santa Clarita Diet.

But I am on a tight budget, being a divorced mom of TWO teenage boys. I had cancelled my Netflix subscription for some time in order to save money.... But, my Friday nights just weren't the same. There is nothing better than coming home after a long week and plopping down on the couch and binge watching a Netflix show until I fall asleep.

So, I went on a mission to figure out how I could make just enough "extra" money each month to pay for my Netflix subscription. Yes, I have read all about those survey sites over and over and over and over and over and over and over and I will tell you why I HATE them and REFUSE to use them.

1. Your inbox is flooded with emails- to the point where it is ridiculous and annoying.
2. Most of the time, I don't even qualify to take the surveys.
3. If I do qualify for a survey, I am usually "unqualified" after I answer several questions.

So for those reasons, I also stayed away from Swagbucks . I had done it in the past and the payout was just too small for the amount of time I was spending on the site.


I have since taken another look at Swagbucks and come across a few tips and tricks that have made it well worth my while and easily paid for my Netflix subscription.....

I am super excited to share what I have learned with you!

First, if you don't already have a Swagbucks account, sign up here . (I do earn 10% of the earnings of anyone that uses my referral link, but my opinions about Swagbucks are honest.)

Next, figure out your goals with Swagbucks and make a plan. My goal was to be able to pay for my Netflix subscription without cutting into my budget. Therefore, I needed to make 132.00 per year with Swagbucks and since the Paypal payouts are in increments of 25.00, I rounded that amount up to 150.00.

Finally, I calculated how many SB points I would need to earn each week, which was 312 points. (1SB point = 1cent). It is VERY easy to earn 312 SB a week and not spend a lot of wasted time doing so.

Keep reading......

There are many ways to earn SB points, so keep in mind I am sharing what works for me. It is very possible to earn more SB points per month and get bigger payouts, but this system works for me and the goal that I had.

Every night while I am cooking dinner, I answer the SB daily poll and watch the recommended videos. This earns me 3SB per day. Not a lot, but it adds up throughout the month and I can mindlessly do it while completing other daily tasks.

Next, while I am working out or watching TV every night, I take that time to see if I qualify for any surveys. I rarely qualify for surveys, but by just attempting to qualify I earn 1SB each time. Again, this adds up throughout the month. Bigger payouts of course if I qualify and complete a survey.

But... wait for it... the best thing ever...

using Swagbucks to support lazy grocery shopping! (I think there will eventually be a support group for this...

I shop for groceries at Walmart. I hate grocery shopping and Walmart has a free delivery service. How can you beat FREE grocery delivery service to your door?????
Believe it or not, YOU CAN!!!!
Right now, Swagbucks and spend at least 25.00 online shopping (Who doesn't spend at least 25.00 per month grocery shopping??) you get a FREE 10.00 bonus from Swagbucks

Have I convinced you yet that you are missing out on grocery shopping rewards from Swagbucks ? There is more...

You can print coupons from Swagbucks and earn 2SB per coupon printed. (It takes 1 business day for your account to be credited.) Then, when you redeem your coupons, you earn 10SB per coupon redeemed. (This can take up to 12 weeks before it is credited to your account. Typically I save my coupons for Harris Teeter triple coupon or super doubles weeks.

If the grocery aspect alone doesn't convince you, I don't know what will, but there is still more.....

You can add Swagbucks to your chrome browser and earn points just from searching the internet.

Swagbucks also gives out secret codes that you can enter to earn bonus SB points. I use a facebook group to get those codes. The tricky part here is that the codes are only valid for a short period of time so I am only able to collect codes at night or on the weekends, but they do quickly add up....

Swagbucks can definitely be time consuming with little rewards if you don't take advantage of the hacks the site has to offer. With the right game plan in place, though, Swagbucks is a nice little way to pay for your Netflix subscription!

What are you waiting for???? Go NOW and sign up for Swagbucks and NETFLIX!!!!!! Your binge worthy shows and your wallet (and your sanity) will thank you!