Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Making Money from Home

I am new to staying at home. As a teacher, I had summers off but most of that time was devoted to house projects, visiting family, and preparing for the next school year. Now that I am at home, we are adjusting to one salary, a new state, a new city, a new house, and a new baby. The learning curve has been huge! I want to let others know about ways I am bringing in a little income while I am at home.

1. Sell things. I am selling things we no longer use on amazon and ebay (books and musical instruments mostly). I plan to have a garage sale this summer. All of the selling is helping to declutter and simplify our lives as well. What can you sell?

2. Teach private lessons. I am not doing this yet, but it is on the horizon. I spent 8 years as a public school music teacher so this was an obvious extension. I hope to teach a guitar camp this summer and offer music classes through the Y and other after school type places. Had I been a regular classroom teacher, I would pursue tutoring students who need help. What would be an extension of a prior job for you? What skills do you have that you could share with others?

3. ChaCha and KGB. I want to be very careful and clear on these companies. Both companies are search services for cell phone users. Users can text or call in a question and a person will search the internet and send back an answer within minutes. Workers (not employees, but independent contractors) can work any hours and can take breaks whenever. The schedule is whatever the worker wants it to be. All that is needed is a high speed internet connection and a few specific software programs downloaded on the computer.

I signed up to work with ChaCha about a month ago. I passed the initial test and completed the training in preperation for the final test. As I learned more about the company, there were a lot of things I liked but a few that made me decide to not persue employment. Customers can search ANYTHING that can be searched on the internet including pornography. As a ChaCha guide, I would be required to send pronography to their cell phone if asked. There were safegards in place so that guides would not see the images and so that the customer would need to verify being over 18 before viewing, but this was something I just could not do. From the research I have done, KGB seems to be a similar service. I may look into employment through KGB when the quality control positions are open. Those positions would involve overseeing the information being sent out by "agents" and helping them improve performance. I need to research this position more. I will not do anything that will compromise my beliefs.

4. Surveys. I have been doing online surveys for years now. I have used just one company up until just a few weeks ago. I will list each company, a link to sign up under me (I get points/cash for that), what type of compensation, and what my experience has been so far.
  • Harris Poll Online - There is no link to sign up under me. Harris Poll uses HiPoints as rewards. As surveys are completed, HiPoints are earned that can be redeemed for various items including gift cards, dvd's, cd's, posters, and entries into sweepstakes. I have used this company for nearly 10 years and have had good experiences with it. It seems that the compensation rates have dropped in the past year or so. By spending about a half hour a week on surveys (that I can pause at any time), I have been able to get a free dvd about every other month.
  • Survey Spot - I just cancelled my membership with this company. I had taken HOURS worth of surveys, supposedly just screening surveys that would take up to an hour and a half to complete, and earned NOTHING for compensation. I have heard many people rave about how great this company is, but that was not my experience.
  • Opinion Outpost - If you are interested in signing up under me, I will need your email address to send you an invitation. I joined with this company years ago then quit. I recently joined again and it is by far my favorite site. Points are earned by completing surveys. Point cash conversions are clearly shown. I have done one long survey (about 15 minutes where I could care for my son at the same time) and have earned $2.30. Once $5 is earned, members can request a check be mailed.
  • Mindfield Online - I just started with this company about a week ago. I don't know what I think about it yet. I have received several surveys but have not qualified for any yet. We'll see how this one turns out!
  • SayNation - This site is also becoming a favorite site. Points are earned for taking surveys and points are earned just for trying to qualify for a survey. Through this company, you can earn gift cards or donate to charitable causes.
Come back later for more ways to earn money on the web! Happy blogging!


Tiffany said...

Sounds like your soing a good job making a little extra money. I do a survey site that i think is ok, its called my If your interested I can send you an email so you can sign up under me. you get 10pts for each survey (some 25) If you qualify for the larger survery you get 250pts (mostly...sometimes more) Once you get 1000 pts you can get a $10 check. Since ive been doing the surveys Ive made roughly $40-50. For the time I put into it, its not too bad.

Can you send me a link to the opintions outpost one?

Lynnette said...

So excited to see you doing this! It's great to get and share ideas. I'm definetly going to check out the surveys- I've never found anyone who had done that before and had anything to recommend. And I have to add a #5 to your list- mystery shopping. I've been doing that for about two years, and I love it! Most of what we do is restaraunts. Usually we get reimbursed or paid the cost of a meal for two. Free date night! I've done other stuff, too, but food is our favorite :)

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