Sunday, December 28, 2008

Earn Hundreds of Dollars

When money is easy to come by, I am sure to take advantage of the situation. Here is an offering I just could not resist. Vindale Research is a gateway to surveys and trial offers that will pay you $5 to $75 per experience. You are free to set your own hours and complete as many or as little as you would like.

In just my first few minutes as a member, I made $2 for simply filling out a profile and another $5 is to be had for my first survey offer. I have seen others who have made hundreds of dollars simply by spreading the word.

Should you decide to participate in trial offers, be sure to keep a record of how long the free trial period is in the event you decide to cancel. Once you are a member you can refer friends and earn $5 for each referral. It may not sound like much, but the cash adds up quick. They pay by check or Paypal once your account has a $50 balance. Follow these directions and you are off to making some serious cash.

  1. Go to Vindale's website
  2. Fill out the information on the first two pages to get started
  3. Create a profile for $2
  4. Complete your first offer for $5
  5. They will keep you updated by email and you are on your way to making some easy cash
UPDATE (2/09): I have completed some of the opportunities available with no verifications made on their part. Try this company if you like, I have heard stories of those who have received money and those who have received nothing.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Paid Surveys

We all have an opinion, so why not get paid to share it? There are many survey opportunities waiting to offer scams to those who take the bait. It is refreshing to come across one that will actually pay you for your time.

Mindfield Online just happens to be one of those that puts money in your pocket for a few minutes of your time. Once you become a member for FREE, you simply fill out a few questionnaires that give a better picture of who you are. The more you complete, the better the system can help direct appropriate surveys to your inbox for completion.

A few times a week surveys will be sent to your email inbox of choice. The first minute of the survey usually gathers data to determine whether you qualify for that particular survey. Once qualified, simply finish the survey and Mindfield Online tracks your completion. Companies pay various amounts for users to complete surveys, ranging anywhere from $1 to $10.

Obviously, the more surveys you qualify for initially, the more you get paid. Payout starts at a minimum of $10. Some surveys however, have a quota. Once the quota is reached, no more participants will be invited to finish the survey so respond to the emails quickly for better results. Let your voice be heard, and earn a little money in the meantime.

UPDATE (2/09): This is a legitimate opportunity. They actually lowered their payout to $5 recently. I requested payment and three days later it arrived (see image above).
UPDATE (1/11): Again I chose to collect my earnings. Payment arrived in a few days without a problem.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Make Money on Your Website

With a growing internet, and new web pages made every day, there are few people who don't already own a piece of the internet. If you own a blog, website, online store or anything that has a unique URL, you may like this tip.

Advertisers are willing to buy space on your pages where they can place their ads for your viewers to see. When your guests click the ad, you make money. Over time if you have enough visitors this can be a significant form of income. At first it may not seem very significant, but it can add up quickly.

Featured here is the ad host AdBrite. They have designed a relatively novel form of advertising that allows you to make money very easily. Not only can you choose to show text and visual ads in various sizes, but you can take advantage of inline ads that appear in the content of your site. Their software is designed to show the most relevant advertising to your site via keywords in your text.

  1. Click the AdBrite icon to the right to join for FREE and start receiving the money your site has to offer
  2. Select the "Learn More" button under the heading "Sell Ads"
  3. Click the "Start Now" button
  4. Enter your site information and how you want to be paid
For those wishing to buy ads to be on other people's sites you can click here to start now.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Online Discounts

If you are reading this, you are definitely going to love this next tip. We all make online purchases at some point and with the holidays coming up, even more so. Why not save a little money in the meantime?

Retail Me Not has a FREE service where users can submit codes for discounts on their online purchases. Although not all codes work and not all sites have codes, it is worth checking out possible deals before clicking the purchase button.

Codes are listed in the order in which they have the most success. When you use a code, be sure to click the working or not working buttons so that other users know which codes are functioning. Some may save you 5% and others up to 50%. I have used it over and over again, saving money with just about every online purchase.

The next time you are about to submit your shopping cart for purchase, find that easy promotional code and save a little money in the process. Take the money you saved and put it into a savings account as a little pat on the back. Well done, you've avoided the thin wallet once again.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Are you Prize Happy?

How does $1500 in cash sound? Perhaps you are more into itemized prizes. Only steps away, you could win home goods, exercise equipment, or jewelry. It takes next to nothing to cast a vote for the prize you want.

At Prize Happy, you find the prize you like, submit your vote and return the next day to enter again. You are allowed one vote per day, per item, per person. It only takes a minute to submit your vote with no membership or fees. You must be at least 18 years of age to enter.

Drawings are held four times a year at the beginning of each quarter. Entries are randomly selected to determine the winner of each prize, each quarter. The more you enter, the more chances you have to win.

UPDATE (2/09): For the better part of a month I registered for the prizes I wanted. I even asked for a notification of the winners. Nothing came and I therefore stopped entering the drawings.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Free Blog Contest

Not very often does a contest this easy come along. All you have to do is post a comment and you are automatically entered for a $25 drawing. If you win, the money is deposited into your paypal account. It may not be much, but the way I see it, you could take literally one minute and have a chance or not have a chance at all.

The rules are simple. The comment must be legitimate, be of a certain length (really short), be positive and not repeated by another individual. Click here to see the details. Comment on the contest in your personal blog and receive 4 more entries to win. Good luck!

They have some other good offers there too for coupons, contests and prizes.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Earn $300 One Click at a Time

Perhaps the clouds are not yet pouring down money, but it might as well be that simple. This installment of the Thin Wallet highlights a website that earns anywhere from $5-$30 in a day.

Advertisers have set up pay-to-click (PTC) or pay-per-action websites that pay you to visit ads. There are some that promote sites for a wimpy $0.01 per ad. I have tried them and feel they are simply a waste of time.

CLICK HERE TO JOIN. Once you have registered for FREE with the site, bookmark your new account page.

  • Visit the site once (or more times) daily and click the paid links to earn $0.50 each. You have to wait 40 seconds to credit the money to your account. That is a quick $5-10 for the day and it takes less than 10 minutes to accomplish.
  • Add your email to your account and they will send you links to read emails. Each email pays $1.00. Periodically throughout the day they will show up in your inbox and will credit to your account after 100 seconds of viewing (1.5 minutes). Up to 10 emails per day.
  • Invite friends and others to view your new account page and earn $0.06 with every view.
  • Earn a percentage of your referral downline earnings!
And there you have it, in 20 minutes a day you can earn $20 or more! All for simply clicking a few links and seeing what others have to offer. Of course there is no obligation and you make money when you want. This is a great way to make a little extra income. Over the course of a month you could 'click' in an extra $300 or more.

Clicking for Cash

UPDATE (2/09): As it turns out, the "money" is really a point system that gives you buying power. It has actually been a really great method of advertising and sharing links if you are in that market.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Win Prizes by Searching the Web

This is a great way to win prizes for doing the same thing you have been doing all along, search the web. Once your account is created, you simply type in the word or phrase you want to find and a list of results show up.

The twist is that you win points with each search and occasionally a chance to win bigger prizes by spinning a wheel. These include more points to be entered into the monthly drawing for $500, ipods, and Amazon gift certificates. It is a win-win situation! You find the information you want and you win prizes too.

Winzy is free to join. When you have earned points from your searches, you can play various games to increase your earnings and chances of winning. Earn extra points when you share winzy with your friends. So what are you waiting for, come give it a try!

UPDATE (2/09): I have received mostly points and entry into sweepstakes. The best yet was a $10 gift card for Amazon. Easy enough.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Make Money Every Time Your Phone Rings

This is likely one of the easiest ways I have found to make a little extra money on the side. Imagine the hundreds of phone calls you receive and imagine getting paid for each one. It only takes a few minutes to set up and the best part is that it is FREE.

How it Works
When you sign up, you select a three digit area code of your choice. A list of phone numbers become available. Once chosen, this number becomes your personal number for life, so be sure to choose one you like.

Now that you have a phone number it must be activated by following the steps given on the website. When the phone is activated, you can start making money.

Easy Money
Simply give your new number out to friends, family, coworkers and anyone else. When they call your new number, they hear a ten second advertisement after which they are connected to the phone number that you already own. You can talk as normal and you have already made money.

You have the option of setting up the ads to run every call or fewer. It depends on how often you want people to hear your ads and how much money you want to make. Each call currently earns five cents but the first ten calls earn $1 each. If you profile your friends, make groups, or even share your number you can earn extra cash.

You have the option to choose a ringtone from their selection or upload an mp3 of your choice. This will be heard after the ad is played as you are being contacted at your current phone number. The ads that are played can be optimized to better fit the interests of those who call you.

What are you waiting for?! It is FREE to join, easy to start and money in your wallet. Click here to sign up. Free money with every phone call, who could resist. More on this

UPDATE (2/09): I just cashed out for the first time and will be posting proof of payment soon.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Gas Money

Remember when gas was only a couple dollars? Those days are getting harder and harder to believe they even existed. Saving a few cents is about all you can do. Here are some easy to use tips for saving on that oh so expensive gas.

  1. Tire inflation - Make sure your tires are properly inflated to maximize the efficiency of your vehicle on the road.
  2. Tune up - A well tuned up vehicle will have better moving parts and save on fuel use.
  3. Drive slower - When possible do not exceed 60mph because the drag increases greatly causing more fuel consumption.
  4. Accelerate and brake slowly - Doing either too quickly can cause your car to burn more gas to accommodate your need for speed.
  5. Fill up - Join Sam's club or Costco for membership discounts. Your grocery store may have fuel discounts associated with your purchasing habits too. Search around for low gas prices.
  6. Octane - Buy the lowest octane your auto manual suggests.
The culmination of these tactics will greatly improve your mileage per gallon and save you considerable money in the meantime. Hundreds of dollars a year can remain yours if you follow a few of these basic principles.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Milk Money

While they say you should not cry over spilt milk, these days you may want to. For some living in New York, milk sells for more than $4 a gallon! If you are eating one bowl of cereal and cooking with one cup of milk every day, it would take almost a week before you are back for more. I can only imagine what happens when the whole family is waking up to a bowl of Lucky Charms.

Perhaps it is time for the suburban family to start raising cows! It would provide a good workout and free milk.

Although I don't have any knowledge about raising cattle for milking, I do love large quantities. This tip may seem brash and come as a shock to some, but believe me it works and has saved hundreds of dollars.

The baking aisle of your grocery store will have various sizes of powdered milk. I know what you are thinking, because all my friends have told me, but read on. The largest box I have found is 5lbs at an average price of $12. That would be the equivalent of 3-4 gallons of milk, or one months worth of milk for one person. One box will last for 2-3 months using the scenario above! That is a savings of $20 or more for a total of $120 each year.

Milking the Box

It takes a little experimentation to learn the proper amounts needed for your milk taste buds. I like to use one heaping cup of powder in a 2 quart pitcher. Stir the mix in and cool.

The Benefits
Certainly the cost is a benefit. It has a very long shelf-life and can even double as food storage. Powdered milk, reconstituted is healthier as it is skim milk and tends to have more protein than regular milk due to its concentrated state. Powdered milk can be used in cooking.

Drink Up
There is a catch. Powdered milk must be served cold or else it tastes horrible. It does have an acquired taste as do coffee and tea. But it doesn't take very long especially when it is used on cereal. The cereal will commonly flavor the milk to taste like the milk you know. Enjoy your cereal and your savings!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Savings to Smile About

Going to the dentist can not only be painful to your mouth, but your wallet too. Many insurance agencies don't include dental benefits leaving you to find your own plan. For college students, uninsured individuals and anyone willing to open wide, this one's for you.

This Bites
Tooth whitening has become a ritual for some and too expensive for others. How about discount dental services? For the basic cleaning you are charged anywhere from $50-$90. Throw in a couple x-rays and you're looking at a bill for almost $150! Do you get your routine check up every 6 months as recommended? Face it, we don't even floss like we are supposed to.

Every dentist and dental hygienist has to learn somehow. That means there is a school where they learn their job responsibilities, right? In fact, these are often 'laboratories' for students to develop skills and learn the trade.

The Discount
Once you find a dental hygiene school, contact them and inquire about their discounted services. The way it works is by appointment usually. Your hygienist cleans your teeth, looks them over before their teacher checks them out. The teacher simply verifies the findings of the student and is a certified hygienist already. The dentist will then come by to perform a quick dental exam. Some schools provide orthodontia work for a minimal fee. Fortunately, I have not needed this later service.

My visits are about three hours, included x-rays, and still had the free samples (floss, toothpaste, brush, and mouthwash). Guess how much they charged me? Nothing! All they asked for was an appointment in 6 months which I gladly accepted and it's kept me smiling since then. In all, my FREE teeth cleaning and x-rays has saved me $300 and I'm due for my next check up in a month.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Get Paid to Write Brief Articles

Ever wonder if your 'two cents' was worth anything? Here is your chance! HubPages has created a linking system that promotes your thoughts, articles, and opinions all for FREE! Why else would I be writing about it.

How It Works
Click here to set up an account free. You will be taken to Hub central where you can see the latest hubs posted by others, search hubs you may be interested in or even start your own hub sharing whatever you want to write about.

There are detailed tutorials that explain step by step instructions for setting up affiliate accounts with Google Adsense, Amazon, and ebay. When you have selected a topic or respond to a topic, ads from these affiliates are automatically added to your website. As visitors view your information (impressions) or click on affiliate links (pay per click), you make money! It's that simple.

The more detailed, unique and intriguing your article the more people will visit you. When you link to others, you share in their profits too. Include pictures and video in your posts to help attract more people and you will be well on your way to seeing the benefits.

Question and Answer
HubPages has created an easy user interface to provide simple publishing technology. If you have a question you would like answered, simply make a request. If you see a request you would like to answer, go ahead.

The community of Hubbers, as they are called, allows people around the world to search, contribute, and read hub articles. Potentially this means millions of visitors with billions of experiences ready to share their knowledge on any subject.

Get Paid
Although there are other sites available for writing, this is one of the best I have found that pays, is simple, and has good exposure. You don't have to be an expert to succeed, you just have to know what you are talking about and the range of topics is endless.

Easy to follow set-up instructions make your monetization quick and painless. In 30 minutes your account will be active and your hubs can start taking shape. Good bye thinning wallet!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Get Discount Stamps

As the market becomes better, the cost of living becomes more expensive. Somehow it always seems to affect the cost of a postal stamp too.

I worked for the United States Postal Service for a time as a letter carrier. It was one of the most interesting and rewarding jobs I have held to this point in my life. As a result, I can understand why the USPS would increase the rate of a stamp to be able to pay their employees.

Discounted Stamps
If you have not already heard, on May 12th, 2008, the cost of traditional stamps will increase from 41 cents to 42 cents. This trend is likely to continue as time goes by, costing more and more to send a letter.

Why is this being posted on The Thin Wallet? The USPS will continue to accept their new 'Forever Stamp' for postage...if you have them. If you don't already have these stamps that will ALWAYS send a letter at the same price, now is the time to get them. Even if you go out today and buy your 300 stamps, when the price changes, you will have saved money.

Could you imagine getting a roll of 'Forever Stamps' now and gifting it to a child or grandchild five or ten years from now. Imagine the savings and how smart your recipient will think you are!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Free Movies and Free Products

Trying to save a little money when it comes to entertainment or merchandise? Perhaps you are a coupon clipper and search for the best deals. Discounts and freebies are not always easy to come by, but they do exist if you look in the right places. For some it may be required to put in a little effort to 'earn' the reward, but it can easily be done with very little effort.

Movie Night

I am a very big fan of movies, both in the theater and in the comfort of my own home. Although my movie library is small, I make it a point to see a new movie every week or two. For those of you who love the big screen, it can still be done while saving money. According to NATO, average ticket prices are almost $7 a piece. Luxury theaters may cost up to $20 a person for that special occasion and private seating. It's OK not to see a movie on opening night...really. Wait a few weeks until the same movie is in the discount theater and watch it for a fraction of the price with all the visual and auditory magic the big screen provides. Many of these will have a Monday or Tuesday special for only a dollar per ticket which means more movies for less.

With the advent of the DVD, movie rentals have never been easier. First, there was Netflix and then a few copycat organizations attempted to run them out. They have some great deals for unlimited movies in one month delivered right to your mailbox. Second, and this is my personal favorite as of late, Redbox. If you don't already know about it, you must not have done too much shopping at your local grocery store or McDonald's. With a click, you can have the FREE promotional codes each week. It doesn't get better than that, FREE MOVIES!

New Products

We've all seen them, the ads that promote secret shoppers or prize give-aways. Well, when was the last time that you actually received the product you were hoping to obtain? I am a member of a program that provides actual products to test for FREE. All they ask in return is that you fill out a report sheet every time you share the product or talk about it with others. Believe me, it is easy to do, requires very little time, and costs nothing. There is no referral bonus for me to even share this. The company is called BzzAgent. They use word of mouth marketing to share the latest product which you get to have as part of the campaign. I have been a member for almost two years and initially joined to obtain a Sonicare electric toothbrush. When it happened I was surprised to learn that the brush was valued at $180! New products are promoted regularly, so give it a whirl.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Out of Sight, Out of Mind - Direct Deposit

Everything is becoming automated as computers take over the world. Thankfully, the human species is not yet to this point. Although it may not be such a bad thing if it had some financial automation.

Payday comes and we are handed a check. We go to the bank, cash it, maybe put a little away for safe keeping, and find ourselves spending most of the money before the weekend is over. Hence the reason cash is also known as "liquid." We just can't seem to hold on to it very long before it is spent on the latest movie or a new piece of furniture. Even as a child I had a hard time finding my money jar quick enough to drop the coins in before losing them.

Today most companies offer direct deposit paychecks. If you're not already taking advantage of this, you should be! A simple one-time set up puts your paycheck directly into your bank account. Depending on your employer, you may be able to set up a deposit to multiple accounts.

I no longer do the math. I simply modify the percentage I want deposited into my individual accounts and it happens. The most important part is that I don't initially see this money unless I look at my pay-stub, and by then it's usually already deposited.

The key is to take at least 10% of that which you earn and put it in some sort of investment. This could include a mutual fund, 401k plan, or even a savings account. Start by putting 10% away, out of sight, and it will be out of mind. Of course high yield accounts such as mutual funds and 401k plans will produce more money in the long run, but if all you are in the mood for is your low earning savings account, that will make do. At least it will make more interest than money stuffed in a drawer. Later posts are sure to have more on high yield accounts.

Using direct deposit allows you to start a small savings without really thinking too hard about it. Imagine all the money that the government calls tax. It is commonly withdrawn from your account before you even touch it. This translates into less spending because you are receiving less in your paycheck.

Homework for next time:
1. Set up a direct deposit account
2. Directly deposit 10% of your net income before you see it
3. Repeat number 2 every payday

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Notice Your Wallet Getting Too Thin?

So you didn't buy that fancy leather wallet to show off the threads either? Sometimes I find myself wondering how I'm ever going to make it financially. I have days when I feel like a super saver and others when my gut tells me I'm a super spender. The best news is that there is an equilibrium.

This blog is dedicated to providing ideas for investing money, saving that hard earned paycheck and finding discounts that make a difference. They are not always obvious, but when you know where to look it is definitely worth your time.

From a very young age, I started the way most kids do, cutting a slot in a glass jar and adding my precious coins one by one. Over time it became a hobby to see how many I could add in an effort to one day purchase that big item I always wanted. Well, I never decided what that big item was and just kept on saving the coins. When I had enough, I opened a bank account and soon the coins became cash and paychecks.

From my net payments I would make a goal to set aside at least 50% for savings and the other 50% went to expenses. As my responsibilities have changed, so have my percentages. I now invest 10% and save only 30% as I have more bills to pay.

When I recently gained acceptance to medical school, all my financial antennae became extremely sensitive. I will be posting those things that I have found useful, including links to other resources. If you have ideas or comments, please leave them to share and together we can all see our wallets begin to take shape.