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31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas: Jingit (Day 1)

31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas

Welcome to October’s series on 31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas. In this series, I’ll be highlighting simple and legitimate ways you can earn extra cash in the next three months for those of you who could use a little extra cash to help you pay for Christmas — or just for your living expenses if you’re in a tight spot right now.

Many of these will be things we’ve discussed here at one time or another, but I thought it would be good to have them all in one complete series. Plus, even if you’ve been reading here for a few years, it’s easy to forget posts that were published months ago!

Idea #1: Earn Money By Watching Videos on Jingit

Jingit is a newer income-earning program that pays you to watch ads online. You can also earn money for downloading the mobile app, scanning items at Walmart, and answering a couple of questions.

How Do You Sign Up?

To sign up, just go here and click on “sign up now.” You’ll need to create an account, input your phone number, and type in the verification number they text to you.

How Do You Earn Cash?

Once you’re signed up, you can begin watching videos or doing store check-ins. You should be offered at least a few videos you can watch right away. It looks like they add a few new videos each week.

Plus, if you have a smartphone, you can download the Jingit app and get paid to scan grocery UPC codes while you’re in store.

How Do You Get Paid?

To get paid, you just register for a Jingit Visa Debit Card (costs $3 from your Jingit balance to request it) and then add cash for your online Jingit balance to the Visa card.

How Much Can You Make?

There is an earning limit of $15 per week. When you initially join, you’ll have a lower earning limit but this can be raised to $15 by inviting friends to join.

It looks like most people are only making $3-$5 per week with it, but that’s only by spending a few minutes of time each day — or less. So it’s not a bad hourly wage!

Candi commented on my post about Jingit last week and said:

I have tried it and found that it is really very easy to make a couple of bucks. They videos you watch are super short, so it really doesn’t take too much time. I have also done the “check in” feature which has you scan in items Walmart and answer a couple of questions and you get money instantly! Fairly simple, but I have had it not scan a couple of items. I will only scan items in store if I need to be at Walmart anyway, you are only going to make a buck or two at a time so it is in no way worth the trip to the store for that. -Candi

(Note: The link in this post is my referral link. Read my disclosure policy here.)

31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas: SuperPoints (Day 3)

31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas

Welcome to October’s series on 31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas. In this series, I’m highlighting simple and legitimate ways you can earn extra cash in the next three months for those of you who could use a little extra cash to help you pay for Christmas — or just for your living expenses if you’re in a tight spot right now.

If you’ve found a great way to make extra cash before Christmas that doesn’t require an outlay of cash upfront, please email me your tip. I’d love to hear it and possibly share it during this series!

Update on November 8, 2012: Unfortunately, it looks like Superpoints is no longer in operation, per a notice posted on their site.

I’ve been hearing a lot about SuperPoints recently and I finally jumped on board with them after getting an email from Carrie who blogs at Recipe For Life who said she’d earned $100 from it in the last year, mostly just by logging in and spinning the SuperPoints button every day.

I signed up and discovered that it’s similar to Swagbucks, except instead of earning Swagbucks by online searching, you earn points with SuperPoints by spinning the SuperPoints button. You’ll randomly be awarded points when you spin. I’ve been awarded an average of two points each day by spinning.

In addition, there are many other ways to earn — from clicking on links that they email you, taking surveys, watching videos, printing coupons, completing offers, or referring friends. You can cash in your points for Amazon gift cards, Paypal money, and many other rewards.

How Do You Sign Up for SuperPoints?

Just click here to sign up for SuperPoints. Once you sign up, just click on the link in your email to validate your account, and you can start earning points.

How Do You Earn Points?

The easiest way to earn points is by clicking on the SuperLucky button. When you first sign up, you’ll automatically get five clicks per day. However, if you take a minute to update your profile with your name, email address, and some other basic information, you’ll up your daily SuperLucky click limit to 25.

I earned 12 points just by doing this while we were watching the debate tonight. This might be something fun to have your kids do every day!

You can also earn points by clicking on the daily email that they send you. The daily email will typically award you between 2 and 25 points.

Plus, just like Swagbucks, you can also earn points by completing offers, watching videos, or referring friends. You’ll also have an option to unlock more earning opportunities when you refer more friends.

How Much Can You Earn?

By just clicking on the SuperLucky button and clicking on the daily email each day, I think you should come fairly close to earning a $5 Amazon gift card every other month, with the potential to earn more like $10 to $20 per month in Amazon gift cards if you refer a few friends who are active with SuperPoints (you’ll earn 25 points for every friend who signs up through your link and then matching points up to their first 1000 points earned).

What Can You Cash In Your Points For?

You can cash in your SuperPoints for Amazon gift cards, Paypal payments, restaurant gift cards, or even electronics. 600 points will earn you a $5 Amazon gift card. 689 points will earn you a $5 Paypal payment. However, please note that if you do not have any active referrals, you won’t be able to cash until for gift cards until you have a higher number of points.

Do You Need To Have Referrals To Really Earn Anything?

If you have a few referrals, it will help you unlock some additional earning opportunities and make it easier (and quicker) to cash in for gift cards. So I’d encourage you to invite your friends or post about it on your blog or social media outlets. If you have a few dozen active referrals, you can likely earn significantly more.

Have you tried SuperPoints before? I’d love to hear about your experiences with it and any inside tricks or tips you have.

(Note: The link in this post is my referral link. Read my disclosure policy here.)

31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas: Amazon’s Trade-In Program (Day 4)

Welcome to October’s series on 31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas. In this series, I’m highlighting simple and legitimate ways you can earn extra cash in the next three months for those of you who could use a little extra cash to help you pay for Christmas — or just for your living expenses if you’re in a tight spot right now.

Want to earn some Amazon gift cards to help pay for Christmas gifts? You definitely must check out Amazon’s Trade-In Program. Here’s what reader Chelsea said:

Last week, I discovered Amazon’s trade-in store, and ended up having almost $400 worth of credit between six textbooks! After researching what the books were worth, I found that Amazon was offering me a very fair price. I was able to ship the books for free and quickly received the credit in my account.

Besides textbooks, Amazon also accepts electronics, movies and television series, video games, consoles, and accessories for trade. I would highly encourage MoneySavingMom® readers to check out this program. Paired with free shipping and price matching, the store credit could really come in handy. -Chelsea

Here’s how Amazon’s Trade-In Program works:

1. Gather Up Extra DVDs, Books, Video Games, and/or Electronics

Go through your home and find any DVDs, Books, Video Games, or electronics you no longer need or use.

2. Search For the Product on the Amazon Trade-In Store

Do a search on the Amazon Trade-In Store to see how much Amazon will pay you for a Trade In. If the price seems fair, click through to verify the condition, title, and price.

3. Print Your Shipping Label

Follow the steps to print the postage-paid shipping label. You can choose to go with free UPS shipping (you’ll need to drop your package off at the nearest UPS location) or shipping via the U.S. Postal Service (you can give your package to your mail carrier or drop it off at the nearest post office).

4. Ship Your Item

Ship out the item in a timely manner. Once it has been received by Amazon, they will check it to verify that it is eligible and in the condition you promised. Items considered to be not acceptable will be returned. Return shipping is free, but you will not receive any Amazon.com Gift Card amount for the returned items.

5. Once Your Item is Approved, Get Your Amazon Credit!

After your item has been received and approved by Amazon.com, they will issue your Amazon credit. You can use this credit to purchase anything on Amazon.com. I’d suggest hanging onto it and letting your credit build until you are ready to spend it on Christmas gifts!

It’s that simple! Here’s what Lydia from Five 4 Five Meals emailed into me:

Earlier this year I cleaned out our entire DVD collection by “selling” them to Amazon. In exchange for your DVDs they give you a gift card based on their resale value.

I made around $100 and decluttered our house. The bonus is you don’t pay shipping, Amazon does. -Lydia

Have you used Amazon’s Trade-In Program before? If so, I’d love to hear what your experiences — good or bad — have been with it.

31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas


31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas: Become a Virtual Call Center Agent (Day 5)

31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas

Welcome to October’s series on 31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas. In this series, I’m highlighting simple and legitimate ways you can earn extra cash in the next three months for those of you who could use a little extra cash to help you pay for Christmas — or just for your living expenses if you’re in a tight spot right now.

If you’ve found a great way to make extra cash before Christmas that doesn’t require an outlay of cash upfront, please email me your tip. I’d love to hear it and possibly share it during this series!

The following is a guest post by Alaina Forbes from Telecommuting Mommies:

The holidays are a great time to get hired as a seasonal worker working as a virtual call center agent. Often times, there can be an opportunity to stay on with these companies after the holiday season, or at least return the following holiday season.

What Is a Virtual Call Center Agent?

Working as a virtual call center agent requires answering incoming phone calls that are routed to your home phone. Many of the virtual call center companies assign you to one specific client in order for you to become comfortable with that specific script and product.

Calls are mostly customer service based calls and may include helping people with their accounts or orders. Clients range from pizza delivery stores to credit card companies.

Some clients are more sales focused, and a few virtual call center companies also conduct outgoing calls. Read as much as possible about the company and the job description before applying and then choose one that you know you will feel comfortable doing.

What Equipment is Required to Be a Virtual Call Center Agent?

To get a job as a virtual call center agent, you must own your own computer and each company has specific technical requirements that your computer must meet. In most cases, as long as your computer is not ancient and you have a decent amount of memory, you won’t have too much of a problem meeting these requirements.

Almost all companies also require that you have high speed internet and a land line phone. Cell phones are not usually acceptable, and a headset is usually required in order to type and talk at the same time. You’ll want to check out the individual requirements on each company’s website before applying to be sure that you can meet them.

Are You An Employee or an Independent Contractor?

A handful of companies, including Teletech and Alpine Access, will hire you as an employee, but many take you on as an independent contractor. These two options lead to a lot of variables between companies.

How Many Hours a Week Do You Have to Work?

Being an independent contractor typically means less commitment as far as how much you are expected to work. Most allow you to log on and schedule yourself for shifts with only a very minimum number of hours required to stay on – sometimes as little as a shift a month.

Because of this, they usually have a lot of contractors employed in order to ensure they are always staffed, and this can make getting enough shifts more difficult depending on how much you want to work. Independent contractors are usually allowed to work for more than one virtual call center, so you may need to sign up for multiple companies in order to get steady work.

Conversely, companies that hire you as an employee will usually have a non-compete agreement and will not allow you to work with another virtual call center while employed with them. They may require you to commit to certain shifts each day of the week and work a minimum number of hours depending on if you are part-time or full-time.

This guarantees you plenty of work but may not have the flexibility some people — moms especially — may need. Evaluate what you really want out of this before applying. Can you commit to working full-time? Or do you just want some extra pocket money?

How Much Will You Get Paid Per Hour?

Another variable between companies is how the pay is calculated. Some call centers pay by the hour. These are usually the ones that hire you as an employee.

It is not uncommon, however, for some to pay by the minute of talk time – so if you happen to get a slow shift you may not make as much money as you were hoping. During the holidays this is usually not a problem, and most companies that pay by the minute make an attempt to not overschedule in order to keep everyone busy. You just want to be fully aware of all of these variables before you accept a position.

What Companies Are Hiring Virtual Call Center Agents Right Now?

VIP Desk is currently hiring for a number of positions with November training classes. They are filling both part-time and full-time home-based concierge positions, as well as what they call “brand ambassador” seasonal positions.

Convergys is filling multiple positions for both full-time and part-time customer service agents for multiple clients.

Teletech is hiring for their part time customer service and season customer service positions.

LiveOps is hiring for their emergency roadside assistance call center team.

Transcom, West, Alpine Access and Working Solutions are all currently accepting applications.

Another option is applying directly with some of the companies who are now hiring their own virtual call center agents including 1-800-Flowers and U-Haul.

Have you worked as a virtual call center agent before? If so, tell us about your experiences!

Alaina shares her twelve years of work from home experience at her blog Telecommuting Mommies. She also opens up her personal life as a homeschooling, blogging, work at home Mom of four at The Maestro Mom. Follow her on Twitter at TelecommuterMom.

31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas: Bing Rewards (Day 7)

Bing Rewards is a way to earn credits for searching online and participating in daily offers. By spending just a few minutes per day, you can easily earn a $5 Amazon gift card every month.

Here’s what Jennifer says about Bing Rewards:

My husband and I use Bing Rewards to save up for things like free Redbox codes, Amazon gift cards, Xbox Live passes, etc. It works very much like Swagbucks. You make a free account and for every 2 searches using Bing, you earn points. Points are redeemable for a whole list of prizes. There are other daily deals and specials to earn extra points. Plus, the more lifetime points you earn the more privileges you get. Imagine giving each each of your kids a few Redbox codes in their Christmas stockings for the movie of their choice on family movie nights! -Jennifer

1. How Do You Sign Up?

Click here and sign up for an account. It appears like a Facebook account is required and the sign-up process takes less than a minute to complete.

Once you’ve signed up, go to the Bing Dashboard and you’ll have a few different offers you can complete and ways to fill out your profile in order to earn some credits from the get-go. I was able to earn 25 credits just by completing these things.

2. How Do You Earn Credit?

Every day, log into your Bing Rewards account and do 30 quick searches. You’ll earn a credit for every two searches you do. You can also check your Bing Rewards dashboard to see if there is a daily offer to complete to earn you 1-2 more credits.

I like Bing Rewards because it has a cap on how many points you can earn a day, which is nice because it’s quick, easy, and done, and then you don’t have to dwell on it. I’ve been doing it for 3 months now. You get 1 point per 2 searches, so it’s not a gambling game like Swagbucks. I just click on “related searches” on the side until I hit my goal. -From an email written by Cat who blogs at Cartwheels and Windmills

3. How Much Credit Can You Earn Per Month?

You can earn 15 credits per day by searching (30 searches = 15 credits). Plus, you should be able to complete one or two daily offers each day to net you another 1-2 credits. This totals 480 credits in a typical month if you log in every day and earn 16 points. This gives you enough to almost earn a free $5 Amazon gift card in one month.

If you achieve Gold status (which you can achieve pretty easily by being an active member of Bing Rewards for two months), an Amazon gift card is only 475 credits — which makes it totally doable to earn one $5 Amazon gift card each month!

4. What Can You Get With Your Credit?

You can purchase Amazon gift cards, Starbucks gift cards, Groupon credit, Skype credit, Redbox rentals, and more! Plus, they also offer you the opportunity to donate your credits through DonorsChoose. Here’s what Cat says:

One of my favorite rewards is a DonorsChoose.org $5 gift card. DonorsChoose is a site where teachers can submit projects they would like funded for their classrooms and people or foundations can donate to them.  My sister is a teacher in a low-income elementary school and has posted a few projects to DonorsChoose. I told her I would alternate my Amazon gift cards with DonorsChoose ones–that was until Bing price dropped the DonorsChoose reward to 99 points!  So instead of giving my sister’s class $5 for the project, they got $25.  I’m throwing all my points at that until the promotion ends on 11/1.

5. Do You Have to Have Referrals To Really Make Bing Rewards Worth It?

Actually, no. In fact, you can only earn credits for the first 5 friends you refer. So this makes it fair for everyone — and those who have a larger social network won’t necessarily have any advantage over those who don’t have a big social media following.

Note: If you sign up, can you leave your referral link in the comments so that others can sign up under you? Update your comment to let us know when you’ve gotten five referrals. We want to help each other out as much as possible!

Have you used Bing Rewards before? If so, I’d love to hear about your experiences!

31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas: Become a Mystery Shopper (Day 8)

31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas

Welcome to October’s series on 31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas. In this series, I’m highlighting simple and legitimate ways you can earn extra cash in the next three months for those of you who could use a little extra cash to help you pay for Christmas — or just for your living expenses if you’re in a tight spot right now.

If you’ve found a great way to make extra cash before Christmas that doesn’t require an outlay of cash upfront, please email me your tip. I’d love to hear it and possibly share it during this series!

You’ve probably seen the signs or ads promise you can make hundreds of dollars every month by shopping and going out to eat. And you’ve probably though it was too good to be true.

Well, those advertisements are likely a little over-the-top and just designed to get you to sign up for some overpriced list which you can find yourself with a little searching online. But mystery shopping is a very legitimate source of income and in many areas, the jobs are plentiful and the pay is decent.

Reader DB Landes says:

I do mystery shopping to get free groceries/take out and earn a bit of extra cash. You won’t get rich quick but by doing shopping I already do I get around $10-$25 extra every month by working for Market Force, plus I get reimbursed for what I eat/buy. -DB

What Skills Do You Need to Have to Become a Mystery Shopper?

A good mystery shopper is someone who is attentive to detail and thorough in everything they do. In addition, it is very important that you keep accurate records and follow instructions carefully. Many shops will require you to look for very specific things, keep track of the time, and ask specific questions — all without seeming suspicious or giving yourself away as a mystery shopper.

How Do You Get Started Working as a Mystery Shopper?

When I first began mystery shopping, I signed up for all of the mystery shopping companies I could find. I opened up a separate email account which was dedicated to mystery shopping emails and used that when I signed up. It took me hours to sign up with all of the companies and it was quite time-consuming, but the effort paid off as I ended up landing dozens of great mystery shopping jobs over the next two years.

Reader Cassie emailed in and suggested:

If your readers are interested in mystery shopping, they should check out the MSPA’s website (Mystery Shopper Provider’s Association) which acts as sort of a BBB for mystery shopping. The MSPA has a list of legitimate mystery shopping companies here that require no money out of pocket to shop for them.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You should never pay to sign up with a mystery shopping company. They may ask for a fairly extensive application process to make sure that you are thorough, detailed, and qualified. They will ask for your social security number and other personal information (always make sure the site is secure and the company is legit before giving out personal information).

But a legitimate mystery shopping company should never ask for money upfront. If they do, run far, far away and don’t turn back. They are a scam company and you do not want to get mixed up with the likes of them!

Erin emailed me about her experiences with mystery shopping:

I heard about the idea of “mystery shopping” a few years ago, when my husband was in between coming home from a tour in Afghanistan, finding a temporary job, and returning to Active Duty Military. We needed a little extra cash, and this seemed to work well with my schedule.

At that time, I only had my son, but I’ve continued to do these shops with my second child. There are some very simple shops that pay $5 and $10, all the way up to more complex shops that pay out up to $200!

I also have taken on jobs that have compensated me for meals that my family and I have eaten. I get paid very quickly and I have never had any problems with any of the sites I’ve used. A few of them are:

Mystery Shoppers Provider Association
ICCDS
Beyond Hello
Kern Scheduling
National Shopping Service
Trend Source

Again, these are all real businesses. I have done jobs for every single one of these companies and have been paid for all of my work. -Erin

How Do You Find Out About Job Opportunities?

If you’ll thoroughly fill out all the applications and have patience, you’ll likely begin to see quite a number of job opportunities sent to you. Many times, these jobs are filled on a first-come, first-served basis, so you’ll want to check your email for job openings a few times each day and be quick to respond to any which you are interested in. Some companies also have online job listings that you can apply for.

It typically takes a few months to build up a rapport with the companies. Don’t be discouraged if you get passed over for some of the better job opportunities in the beginning.

If you are patient and prove yourself, you’ll likely start to be offered better jobs. In fact, sometimes the company will start offering the job directly to you versus opening it up to others since they know you have done a great job in the past!

What Types of Jobs Are Available?

When I was mystery shopping, I did fast food shops, casual dining, high-end restaurants, gas stations, beauty supply stores, pet stores, and even a bowling alley, to name a few.

I found restaurant shops to be my favorite as they usually not only reimbursed for a meal for myself and my husband, but they also usually paid at least an extra $10 for the work involved. It was very worth it to me to get a nice free dinner date with my husband plus some cash, all for about 30 minutes of extra work!

How Much Will You Get Paid?

Most mystery shopping jobs pay between $7-$15 and include some sort of reimbursement as well. This is usually for an average of an hour’s worth of work, give or take. Once you’ve established yourself with a company, you may be offered jobs that pay $20 to $25 per hour, or more. These jobs are typically not offered to newbies.

Mystery shopping is a lot of work — especially in the beginning when you are first learning the ropes! If you stick with it, though, it can be a fun and rewarding experience that can also help supplement your income — or pay for some of your Christmas expenses!

Have you been a mystery shopper before? If so, I’d love to hear your tips and advice for someone who is considering dipping their toes into the world of mystery shopping.