Thursday, January 1

Starting the Year Out Right

I like organization. If you took a look around my house at times, you wouldn't know it - but 2 kids under 5 can do that to the most organized person! But earning income from multiple sources, doing offers to earn money and other saving methods like couponing definitely require some kind of system.

There's no time like the first of the year to get things organized and/or put new systems in place. If you're planning to do anything I mentioned above, here are some suggestions for getting your ducks in a row for 2009:

  • Take advantage of the current sales on calendars and pick up a decent day planner. Get a daily one that allows you ample space to write on each day - not just weekly or monthly.
  • You might as well get a calendar too - to keep track of all the deadlines, etc. on all the great offers you'll be taking advantage of from Money Saving Methods this year.
  • Keep a Word file or Excel spreadsheet for working at home, to keep track of where you've applied and when.
  • Read my post about working at home and taxes so you understand how taxes will work if you're going to begin working at home this year.
  • Visit Mommy Snacks and check out these great files that Andrea has shared to help you track your savings all year.
  • Consider taking Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University if you haven't already. It's not just a program for getting out of debt but a great tool for making your money work for you.
These are some of the basics I've done to try and keep things in order. Organization really does save money! What kinds of things do you do to stay organized in relation to saving and making money?

Wednesday, December 31

Work at Home Possibilities - Data Entry

Many people in the beginning stages of the work-at-home search seek out "data entry" jobs. I often see people posting in forums or generally asking for "some type of data entry work-at-home job." In most cases it's because they're not really sure what they're looking for, but entering data on their computer must be something they can do from home. =)

But really, it's something everybody can do from home. So while these jobs do exist, they're not easy to land because they're high in demand. This is also an easy job to get scammed on. So many work-at-home beginners are randomly Googling for these types of jobs and scammers know this is a good place to catch some prey, so be careful! For more info on avoiding scams, read here.

Ironically, I don't know anyone who exclusively does data entry at home and earns a decent living. This kind of work is mostly low paying and irregular. It's fine for spare cash, but not something you should seek out as your primary source of income if you're looking for a work-at-home job.

There are a couple of data entry companies that I know to be legitimate work-at-home companies where people do get work and earn money:

  • Key for Cash - This company hires people to enter data into a certain format in their database. You don't work a specific schedule, but rather log in and do work as you can. This flexibility allows you to earn as little or as much as you can. The downside with this company is that they tend to have a waiting list and it can take a couple of months or more to hear back. The link will take you to a page where you'll sign up for the list - no need to send a resume.
  • Great American Opportunities - This is a fundraising company with a very long wait and they require quick typing. However, I'm posting this for you at quite an opportune time, because they only accept applications two times a year and one of them is January! To apply with this company, send a cover letter and resume to gaorepline @ (Take out the spaces.)
As I mentioned, so many people looking for work-at-home begin their search with data entry. I created this post mostly to let you know that these jobs are out there, but not readily available. With both of the companies I've listed above, you'll most likely apply and not hear back for quite some time. However, I encourage you to apply if you're interested. You can always do this type of work on the side of another job for a little extra money - and who couldn't use that these days?

Monday, December 22

Merry Christmas!

This is the photo Christmas card my mom sent out this year. The angel on the left and the shepherd in the back with the blue shirt belong to me. It might be the one time she can get all six of her grandchildren kind of looking the same way for a photo at the same time!

Our church had an article in our bulletin about how often the true reason for the season is taken out so as not to offend anyone. Schools are changing their Christmas concerts to become "Winter concerts" and more people are wishing a more generic (but still sincere) "Happy Holidays" or "Seasons Greetings" instead of "Merry Christmas."

I personally seek out the more religious aspects of Christmas - sending cards featuring the Nativity instead of snowmen and Santa and incorporating an Advent wreath and calendar as well as reading Christmas stories from the Bible on Christmas morning. I have a lot to be thankful for each Christmas and I don't mistake who is responsible for that.

I'm going on a blogging hiatus for Christmas today unless I come across something too exciting to wait on. I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and that you and your families are blessed with great health and joy during this blessed season.

Saturday, December 20

Starbucks deal alert!

I stopped by my favorite consumable product spot today and discovered that Starbucks is running a great deal that began last Thursday and will run through Monday, the 22nd. Select products throughout the store are marked 20% off. When you take them to the register, you'll get an additional 20% off. That's 40% off many of their items, which is great for any last minute items or stocking stuffers you may need to pick up! And it includes ground and whole bean coffee!

Since many Starbucks are franchises, I assume not all stores are participating. You will see signs throughout the store if your store is running this sale - or you could just ask your friendly barista!

Friday, December 19

*** Freebie Friday***

I have some great freebies and giveaways for you this week. These will be a nice little surprise in your mailbox after the excitement of the holiday season has passed:

  • Click here to get a free Wii remote jacket - thanks Andrea @ Mommy Snacks
  • Get a free ebook - Gifts In A Jar - from Living on a Dime. This is a great frugal newsletter!
  • Don't forget the free Home Made Simple coupon booklet here. There are always good coupons in this!
  • Here's a free mini-trial of the 2009 Entertainment Book. (Thanks to the Freebie Blogger!). Type in your zip code and you can choose up to three coupons to print and use free!
Just a couple of additional freebie tips:
  • Sign up with your favorite restaurants for e-newsletters and coupons. They often send out freebies for your birthday - free desserts or appetizers, etc. If you're going out for your birthday anyway, you might as well save a little!
  • Katie @ Cincinnati Cents often blogs about and their great deals. This is a site where you can get restaurant gift cards for a fraction of the cost. There are restrictions on them and the selection of restaurants in your area may be limited, but they are offered at an incredible savings! I bought $150 worth for only $15 last summer!
  • If you haven't seen this yet, P&G is offering a new coupon booklet worth over $120 when you buy $50 in P&G products between 12/14/08 and 1/31/09. They don't have to be from a single purchase. Save your receipts! Details for this and the form to download are here. The form was in last weeks inserts (12/14).

**Giveaways (enter to win)**
  • The Centsible Sawyer is giving away this genius Munchie Mug for those of you with kids who like to eat. =)
  • Win a Motivated Moms Planner (I really need this!) from The Happy Housewife. It's all electronic and if you win, you'll receive it by e-mail!
  • Mummy Deals is giving away these super-cute See Kai Run shoes!

Thursday, December 18

Working at Home in this Economy

Our local newspaper had an interesting article this weekend about the Great Depression and how reflecting on that really puts the current financial crisis in perspective. Serge and I were talking the other evening about the state of affairs in our own household and our plans for the future. I realized how thankful I am to have the flexibility of a work-at-home job and understanding the ins and outs of this type of work.

I have been recommending work-at-home jobs to many who are looking to add to their income. It beats a second regular (out of the home) job any day! Many jobs are available to people looking to work just a few hours a week. With most average income earners' wallets being squeezed these days, more and more people are in need of a supplement to their regular income. If you have children, this can be very complicated. If you're interested and open minded about finding work from home, it's easier.

Here are some recent things I've posted on that are available to you now, if you're really looking for a way to make some money:

  • Webby Awards - The second phase of this three phase judging process will begin in a couple of weeks. They're still in need of more judges. You're paid to review websites based on their criteria and you can earn up to $325 per session - all done on your own time. I discuss this a little more here.
  • - This is a job I have specific experience with, as an at-home customer service agent. It appears they've changed the title to say "bi-lingual preferred," but they hire often, so if it's a position you're interested in, I encourage you to apply.
  • Google Quality Rater - This is a particularly good one, because the pay is so high. This is a position with Google where you're rating the quality of the search results given when search queries are done. It pays $15 an hour and the application process (after your initial resume submition) is so lengthy, they pay you in Visa gift cards just for completing the test! Click here for a little more detail on this one.
  • Miles of Marketing - This is a company that doesn't offer a "job" but pays you per project. You're paid $100 for putting a magnet on your car and doing your normal errands. I have not done a project for them in a while - it does depend on what they have available for your market - but this is an easy way to make money and the owner, Liza, is a great person to work with and she did a little guest post for me here.

These are just a few of the current opportunities out there right now. As I've mentioned before, I will never list a work-at-home job or project on my site that is not legitimate. I almost always have direct experience with these companies or know someone who does.

If you're struggling financially, this is a great way for you to make up some of the gap in your income without having to sacrifice precious time with your family to stay afloat!

Wednesday, December 17

Money Saving Methods

Do you know about Money Saving Methods? It's filled to the brim with, um, money saving methods and money making methods! My sister alerted me to this great blog this week. I sat down last night to check it out and I'm already almost $100 richer!

Turns out Carrie @ Money Saving Methods is actually from my area. If you haven't been over there yet, you must check it out. She has an amazing talent for deciphering all of those "free" online offers that end up costing us more than we get back. She's done the legwork for you and her site offers easy, step-by-step instructions on how to do many of these deals. Andrea @ Mommy Snacks recently blogged on a $500 gas card she was able to get by following Carrie's advice.

Wondering how I made some money? Well, I took advantage of three of the super-easy deals she has up on her site right now!

  • Etrade Savings Account - Hurry this one ends today - 12/17! Open a savings account with just $1 and you'll have $25 deposited into your account in 30 days.
  • - Sign up and pay with Paypal and recieve $25 in your Paypal account within 6-8 weeks. This one is so easy - their lowest plan is only $3.99 a month. You must sign up for the free trial month and remain on through one paying period.
  • - Open an account and invest $5 in a stock (there are many that are less than $1) and get $50 in your account in 4-6 weeks. This one ends 12/31. You can sign up every member of your family!
Carrie will tell you exactly what to do in order to be sure you do everything correctly to get the benefit of these deals and you don't get stuck paying for or buying more than you need to. Be sure to click on the link she indicates to ensure you'll get the incentive. These are easy and legitimate ways to make more money!