Friday, February 11, 2011

Show Me the Money

guest post by my mom

Ok, so you’ve heard me talk about MyPoints and Swagbucks, and Pampers Gifts to Grow and numerous other “points” programs. But let’s cut to the chase….how much do you really get from these? I think if I had found a blog post discussing the nitty-gritty numbers, it might have inspired me to start using these methods to stretch our budget sooner than I did. So, I thought I’d share it with you in case you’ve been hesitant to jump into the crazy pool.

With the start of the new year, I began a little income experiment. I started keeping a spreadsheet of all the "income" I generate. Given that I am a stay-at-home mom and don't work outside my home at all, this is a pretty good challenge. The things I include in my "income" are:

:: Gift cards - These are generally used for gift giving occasions (whether I give the actual gift card to the person or use it to buy their gift). I count these as income because it is money that would otherwise come out of our monthly budget. Money that does not leave our account can be used for other things, and we weren't expecting to keep that money, so I've counted it as "income".

:: Cash - Actual money generated from survey companies or any of the points programs where I can turn my points into good 'ol Benjamins. Also under this category are items that I've sold on Ebay, Amazon, or Craigslist.

Those are the guidelines and I plan to see how much is saved/generated during the course of the year (Wow. Does that scream nerd or what?). So here's the tally for January:

Gift cards - $305 in giftcards

Cash - $891 This was an unusually high month because we had some big ticket items that we sold. I definitely don't anticipate a repeat of this every month.

For a total of $1196 generated since January 1, 2011. (!!!!!) Yes, I just about peed myself too when I saw that number. Like, I said, it's not a typical month as far as selling items went, however the gift cards are a pretty good representation.

You want to do it now too, huh? Go sign up at the links above, and check back next week when I give you some pointers on how to get the best bang for your buck for each point system. For additional points programs, read here.

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