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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Ways I Make Extra Money - Swagbucks

Swagbucks - an easy way to earn money.
I've had a Swagbucks account for a while now, but never knew how to use it and make money.
It just sat there unused and I never utilized the money making potential it had.

That was until I saw a tutorial on what to do daily to earn Swagbucks.
If you click HERE, you can see a Homepage Walk through - great tutorial! 

This video is helpful to know what is a Swag Buck.

I've earned $170 in Amazon gift cards so far in 2015. WOW!! It's easy and a real way to earn extra cash. I prefer Amazon gift cards, because I do a lot of shopping on Amazon. 

With my Amazon money, I use it to help my budget to purchase no-perishable grocery items, Some of the items I've gotten for free via Swagbuck money are:
 paper towels, shampoo, lotion, toothbrushes, make up etc.
It's really helped my budget to have free money for every day items I use instead of giving up the money I have in my purse or budgeted for groceries.

Once you earn Swagbucks you turn those points into gift cards:
To name a few.

My first gift card I redeemed my points on was for a Visa. It's a virtual Visa, you don't get an actual card. They give you a virtual card number, date and code to use it on line. However, I couldn't purchase anything with it because most on-line stores only let you put in 1 credit card number. There isn't anything I could purchase for the exact amount of $25 and it kept getting declined at checkouts. For me, it was unusable. 

I ended up purchasing $25 Amazon gift cards with the VISA, so that I could use it. 

I love the Swagbuck program and find it easy to use and an easy way to earn money.
 Everyday I always complete the 4 main "to-do list" on the front page: Daily Crave, Swag Button (just logging on everyday you earn a point), Daily Poll and NOSO - No Obligation Special Offer. These 4 items equal 5 Swagbuck points. My personal goal is to try and get 30+ points per day.

When I'm online I always have an extra window open playing Swagbuck videos in the background:
entertainment news
music videos
movie trailers
health news
food recipes
home and garden
 I always have a window open playing videos while I'm working on-line or searching.
For ever 10 videos you earn 3 Swagbucks. It doesn't seem like a lot of Swagbucks, but it adds up fast. 

You earn points for searching the web - so all my searches are through Swagbucks.
Everytime I purchase ANYTHING on-line I go through the Swagbucks shopping system and earn points for every purchase I make. This one thing is a HUGE money maker - like cash back on every purchase you make. Unfortunately I didn't take full advantage of this while Christmas shopping.

Taking surveys is a huge way to make lots of points. Although it can get frustrating when you don't qualify to take the survey. Especially after spending time answering questions and when you don't answer a question they way then want you to - they disqualify you. Some of the length of time to take a survey can be as long as 30 minutes - which feels like forever. If I'm bored and don't have anything pressing to do I usually spend my time taking a survey to earn extra points which equals money!

I love swagbucks and encourage you to join to make real money. If you are a member already I encourage you to not let another day go by when you don't have it working for you while you are on-line anyway. 

If you are not a member already, please use "happycleanliving" as a referral, because I'll earn points from that too. And when you refer someone, you'll earn points too.

Swagbucks ..... the REAL way to make money on-line. It's not a scam. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

When Money is Tight - Part 2

Six things I learned when money was tight:
1. If I budget and know what my income is verses debt/bills - I have much more left over each month.

2. Budgeting and accounting for every cent eliminates a feeling of nervousness and and I don't have anxiety because I REALLY know what the situation is. Every day I pull up my budget spreadsheet and look at it. Every purchase is logged on the spreadsheet.  

3. Don't keep paying higher prices for insurance. At least once a year compare with other companies. It makes me upset that I continued to pay those higher prices when same coverage from another company was available at drastic reduction - just by checking around. When I called to quit - then they wanted to try and reduce their price - but it was too late - I wasn't playing that game with them for screwing me for years. 

4. Don't go to the store without a list. Don't impulse purchase items. If you feel like you need it and it's a good deal, wait a day or two to think about it first.

5. Make a meal plan. You can't grocery shop if you don't have a meal plan. Wasted food is wasted money. Don't waste food. If I have something going bad, I either put it in the freezer (like fruits and veggies - I cut them up first). Leftover meals can be put in the freezer for a quick meal that requires only to be heated up and it doesn't waste food. 

6. Conserve energy by turning off lights, lowering the thermostat, running dishwasher when full, doing a load of laundry only when there is a bigger load, drive less, close blinds/curtains at night, open in the daylight, make your meals from scratch. 

I know that I am in a better place today with less income then I was in August. Even though it has been painful, I gained a new level of wisdom by buckling down. I only wished I would have done this when I was in my 20's. I'm sure if I was this diligent then as I am now I would be debt free and have a huge savings. The past is in the past and I can only go forward. 
If you are young, start now managing your money. Budget, budget, budget! Pay cash. Don't get into debt. Life is so much better without all that stress. 

It's also a mistake to work hard every day and when payday comes along, you have no money to show for all the work you've just put in. That's what happens when you are in debt and every cent goes towards bills. 

It's so much nicer to have actual money in your pocket from all the hard work you've done when you aren't in debt. Then you'll be able to save money, increase your wealth. 

You can't do that if you are in debt. Keep a hold of as much cash as possible, it's the only way you will be wealthy and change your life for the better.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

When Money is Tight - Part 1

Last August 2014 when I returned home from vacation, I had a huge budget hit.

In my cleaning business, I have 2 customers who make up more then 50% of my income. One of those customers had to quit because they were having some financial problems. They quit when I returned from a vacation costing several thousand dollars. Not only quitting, her check bounced from the last cleaning I did. 

Not only was that bad, the other customer told me that they were getting a divorce. 

Within a week, I found out that I was going to lose more then 50% of my income. 

I started working hard on getting more customers added to my business, to replace the 1st customer who quit. I also have been looking at other ways to earn money.

I still had several months until the other customers divorce was final.

That first month was a huge struggle. 

To be able to pay each bill I had to buckle down and make a very detailed budget and I had to watch ever cent that left my purse. 

I looked at all of my debt and tried to figure out how I could pay it off with the situation I was in.

I was really struggling and was sad that I wasn't working harder on becoming debt free before then. 

Over the years I've started and quit several budgeting programs. I haven't done terrible. 

In the past few years I've:
 Purchase 2 cars with cash
Helped Brady with college - Brady is a junior now and we've only borrowed $2000 in student loans
Furnished Brady's apartment
I went on a great vacation to Puerto Vallarta, first vacation in years and first time using a passport
Bought a new Kitchen table
New patio furniture
Helped my children out financially when needed
All done with cash

My debt has gone down 50% during this time, but it isn't down enough to make me feel comfortable to lose 50% of my income.

I found 2 new customers, but lost another one because she went into a nursing home. I'm not where I was in August financially, but I'm doing OK.

I have really cut back on as much as possible. I've eaten off of food storage. I checked around on my car insurance and was able to reduce it from $217 a month to $133.50 with the same coverage. I was able to reduce my health insurance going to Obama Care instead of a private insurance. I've cut where I could.

Since August, I've reduced my debt another 50%. I've paid off 3 debts and only have 2 left. I am putting everything I can toward paying off those 2 credit cards before my other customers divorce is final. 

I'm hoping to have those completely gone in a couple of months and have no debt besides my house.

My goal was to be debt free before I lose the customer getting a divorce and they sell their home and part ways. I may have longer then I thought - hopefully until this fall. Anyway, I'm praying for that. 

I'm still trying to build my business, but if I don't I'm in a better position to being able to make it.
At least I won't be financially ruined, which is a great thing.

Part 2 here

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Update Cleaning Supplies I use in my Cleaning Business

I have a professional house cleaning service and I clean houses every day. The name of my company is Sparkling Clean, because that is what I leave behind every time I clean.

I had a request to update the cleaning supplies I currently use 2015. 

Here is what I take to clean every day.
 Currently I am having an issue with vacuum cleaners. I prefer Eureka, but they have changed their vacuums along with every other brand out there. When I vacuum, I need the front of the vacuum by the roller to lift. Now we no longer have a vacuum with great features because a younger generation of CEOs who have no idea how to vacuum a floor the right way. All those young CEO have ruined their vacuum companies by getting rid of the function we need to do a faster easier job in cleaning our home. There is NO WAY to leave a markless carpet when the front of the vacuum doesn't lift anymore. Now all our homes will look like a mess of vacuum tracks and not smooth and beautiful. 

I leave a markless carpet - without seeing vacuum tracks. It's a beautiful look and it requires the vacuum to lift. If the front doesn't lift, then I can't go back over the previous vacuum track without making a hard stop vacuum line each time I push the vacuum forward and bring it backward. No more beautiful carpets because we don't have any good vacuum manufacturers anymore.

Also, when I vacuum a throw rug, I lift the front end so that I can come back over the rug without the rug lifting up or getting the fringe stuck in the roller. Plus, if I need to go from a carpet to a throw rug - you have to actually LIFT the whole vacuum to make the transition. If your throw rug has fringe, lifting the front of the vacuum and pulling back allow you to have all the fringe laying flat and beautiful.

The other reason I like a lift, is if there are leaves on the floor, popcorn, cereal, bigger debris - I don't have to use the hose. I can lift the front of the vacuum and pick it up - so much faster and easier. 

I haven't been able to purchase a new vacuum for a while. I've been picking up as many older versions as I can on ebay and amazon. I don't know what I will do when all of my older vacuums are broken. 

I have my mop bucket and a smaller bucket inside for doing the showers. 

Currently the best mop I can find is a Libman. I also have a Libman broom, a swiffer and my extension rod with a circular brush on it to get cobwebs and clean ceiling fans. 
 Here you can see the brush for cobwebs.

I have my cleaning caddy and cleaning rags.

To hold my cleaning rags - I just use a grocery bag and have extras bags inside for used cleaning rags.
 Here you can see the 2 buckets - the nest together. 
 My cleaning caddy.
 Here are the products I use:

Comet  (I don't like any other brand)

Mr. Clean for mopping the floor. I like Lemon smell.

Soft Scrub. I have a gel and the regular soft scrub. I use the gel on stainless steel appliances. No I don't use stainless steel cleaner. I work too hard to get rid of finger prints to put on some type of greasy film from stainless steel cleaners. I want my stainless steel clean and germ free. 

Furniture Polish: Endust, Behold, Kleen Guard

Window Cleaner: Sprayway and 409 window cleaner - these are the only thing I use on mirrors/glass.

409 cleaner - I prefer lemon smell.

Clorox clean up. I've just saw the new product "Bleach Gel" when I purchased last. I love it!

Lime-A-Way toilet bowl cleaner is my favorite.


 Libman toilet bowl brush and a smaller brush with handle.

Scouring stick for Toilet bowl ring.

Razer blade

Magic Eraser

Scratchless sponges. 

Missing from picture is an SOS pad. 
I just purchase my cleaning rags are regular store. 

For windows I use a cotton flour sack. They do better after they've been wash a lot - more absorbent. I also don't use any type of fabric softener sheet - because it makes the towel leave a streak.

Regular hand towel

Microfiber clothes that I use for dusting.

Washcloth - I like it to have ridges.

That's it, this is what I use to clean a house. 


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