Being frugal is a cornerstone of homesteading (and one of the 9 strategies to self-sufficient living). Interestingly enough, a “home business” is also listed as one of those strategies. Anything you can do to be less reliant on an outside income is a plus.
One thing I've learned is you don't always have to start at the top. Think big, but realize that the little wins add up over time. Over the years I have developed and used a few steady income streams. None of them are large, but all of them are nice when it comes time to add something that I want to my homestead.
Believe it or not, one of those steady streams comes from the search engine, Swagbucks. I can make a lot of extra (disposable) income on Swagbucks. I use that income to purchase things for my home that I would not normally get, but that generally save me even more money. The Nest (programmable learning thermostat) costs $249, but I got it free with Swagbucks certificates. We used to have a large box TV that I switched to a flat screen LED, also free with Swagbuck certificates (and boy did that save me a lot of electricity!). My iPod with all it's home organization glory… swagbucks, 15 new LED lightbulbs… swagbucks, our tankless water heater… well, some of that was also paid for in swagbucks.
Give me a few minutes and I will show you how to earn A TON with Swagbucks. I like to save my certificates until the end of the year and combine them with a couple other online systems. I can purchase anything I want with them, including Christmas presents. All in all, I can show you how to make about $500/year with Swagbucks and another $100 or so with two other sites. For me, $600 at the end of the year is a good amount of spending money!
How to Earn with Swagbucks (Quick Start)
- First, sign up for a Swagbucks account if you do not have one. If you do, just log in.
- Earn swagbucks! Each day I turn on my computer (1 swagbuck, toolbar), check for swagcodes (link on toolbar), participate in the daily poll and the bonus if they have it (on homepage, 1-3 swagbucks), click through the NOSO (2 swagbucks), and qualify for a survey (5-125 swagbucks). This takes me a total of 5-30 minutes depending on if I end up qualifying for a survey or not.
- Each day I also watch swagbucks mobile TV (see below) for 50 points and I use it as my regular search engine. I always win at least once (6-30 points)
=65-231 swagbucks per day
- + 300 swagbucks monthly and around 200 swagbucks in daily bonuses if I reach the goal everyday (credited on the 5th of the following month)
- +1500 swagbucks for the accelerator program (credited the day after your monthly membership ends)
=4050-5450 each month ($40-$55 in gift cards plus 200-300 remaining points)
That is an extra $515-$680/year (I use swagbuck paypal certificates to pay for the accelerator program, which gets me even more swagbucks)
An Long Explanation of Ways to Earn Swagbucks
Swagbucks gives you a bonus (3-14 swagbucks) if you reach a goal each day. If I need extra points to reach the goal that day then I will watch a little swagbucks TV or complete an offer. If you reach your goal everyday for a week, two weeks, three weeks, or a month then they give you an additional bonus swagbucks. Bonuses are credited on the 5th of the following month.
Swagbucks also has a new accelerator program. You pay $9.99 each month to have 1500 of your swagbucks doubled (an extra $15 in gift cards) or $4.99 each month to have 700 of your swagbucks doubled (an extra $7 in gift cards). Since Swagbucks has paypal gift cards as a reward option, you can pay for the program using swagbucks (purchase paypal gift certificates with your swagbucks then pay Swagbucks through paypal). The extra 700 or 1500 points will credit the day after your monthly subscription ends (and the new month starts, which will be the day that you sign up).
Everyday I watch swagbucks TV on my iPod. I turn it on while I am getting ready in the morning and evening, when I am eating or preparing food, anytime I am doing “nothing”. I tend to keep it on fitness videos to inspire me to workout (ideally at least, LOL!), but they have lots of different videos. I almost always hit the daily limit of 50 swagbucks (you get 2 swagbucks for every 5 videos). Since this is on an app it is really easy for me to do. It doesn't cost me any time since I am doing things I would be doing even if I was not watching mobile swagbucks TV.
Swagbucks TV on the computer works the same way (except it is on the computer). The daily limit is 150 swagbucks for the computer swagbucks TV. You get 3 swagbucks for every 10 videos.
Daily Swagbucks Poll
I do the daily poll (1 swagbuck) and usually there is a quick offer after the poll (2 swagbucks). It takes less than a minute.
This stands for “no obligation swagbucks offer”. It is a series of questions that you can accept or hit the “skip” button. It usually shows 1-3 offers. It will give you 2 swagbucks when you finish and it takes less than a minute.
I use swagbucks as my search engine when I need it so sometimes I win multiple times in a day. If I only win once then I end up with 6-30 swagbucks. I search every once in a while when I am working on my computer so it takes me no extra time.
I also have the toolbar so I get a point every day my computer turns on. There is a button on the toolbar that you can click to search for swagcodes (for bonus points) and I always check, but to be honest Swagbucks does not give out codes very often. When they do they tend to make them a puzzle.
Swagbuck Dashboard Surveys
I always check surveys. I go until I qualify for one or try to qualify for 5, whichever comes first. If you don't qualify you get one swagbuck (up to 5). If you do qualify you get the full amount, which is generally 25-150 swagbucks. On average I qualify for 2-3 a week.
There are always offers you can do. Sometimes they cost money (sign up for a program), sometimes they require you to submit an email address, some of them only want you to look at a link. You will get 1-1500 swagbucks for doing these. I will do some of these and they are usually credited immediately although I have had a few take a while longer than that.
You can get swagbucks when you shop through the site. You will get a certain number of swagbucks for each dollar you spend at the merchant. I don't use the shopping channel since I do all my shopping through Mr. Rebates, but you can use either one.
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