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Making Money in 2011

As I'm planning the year out for the blog, I really want to focus on more “How To's” this year to help you with your savings and earnings goals.

As I look back at 2010 and ahead to 2011, I want to share various ways you can bring in income to pay down debt or achieve your financial goals. Here are 10 ways I made money last year, the same ways I share often here at MoneywiseMoms:

10 Ways I Made Money in 2010
  1. I used Swagbucks as my search engine, and along with the many other ways to earn, had enough Swagbucks to cash in for $1300 of Amazon GCs, which I spent on everything from gluten-free groceries to carseats to Christmas gifts. If you haven't tried it yet, read my tips for earning with Swagbucks, and sign yourself up (you'll start with 30 Swagbucks).
  2. I resell my children's clothing, gear, and toys at consignment sales. While it can take me a few hours' work, I usually make hundreds of dollars each time I participate, plus I am able to shop at a great discount for gently used children's items.
  3. I earn cashback on every online purchase through Ebates, plus an extra $5 cash for each referral who signs up under my link. My last quarterly check was for over $114, and I'll have even more coming in February after my holiday online shopping and their special holiday bonus.
  4. I get FREE Gift Cards anywhere I can–from pharmacy gift cards, from points programs through my bank and newspaper subscription, and from MyPoints–and use them on regular monthly expenses to reduce my out-of-pocket expenses so I can put the money towards debt.
  5. Not as much as I used to, but I mailed in rebates on products I was buying anyway, like that $10 on snack foods rebate from early in 2010. I love that Northern Cheapskate has been keeping an updated rebate list each month.
  6. I look for offers that give me FREE money, like December's grocery gift card deal. I did this twice, buying gift cards for my gas station and Target, and since I shop there and Safeway anyway, it was a no-brainer and netted me $30 towards groceries. I find out about these programs from blogs and Slickdeals, then share the best ones with you here at MoneywiseMoms.
  7. I enter (and win!) giveaways on other blogs. I love the low entry numbers and good odds; I just won a bicycle for my son which means I can spend that money elsewhere. Find a big giveaway linky and see what looks enticing to you.
  8. I earned over $625 from my credit card this year, $25 from a special promo they ran, and the rest in cash back from regular purchases. I realize credit card use differs for everyone, but we use ours for everything and pay it off each month, earning 1-5% cash back.
  9. Sell, sell sell! I sold household goods at a spring yard sale, offered other items to my social groups and on Craigslist, and even sold electronics on Ebay for my neighbor (keeping a small percentage as my “fee”).
  10. As a blogger, I utilized affiliate programs like MySavings Media, Escalate Media, Amazon Associates and others to earn income. I don't have the largest readership, but it still earns me thousands of dollars a year. Read how to monetize your blog with affiliate networks.

I want YOU to earn extra income in 2011 to help your family and reach your financial goals. I have a series planned for the spring where I get deep into topics like direct sales, selling on Craigslist and Ebay, etc., but I'd love to hear from you about how you bring in income or what methods you'd like to learn more about. Personally, I'm interested in learning about seasonal (holiday) employment since I'll have all three kids in school all day by then.

What methods do you use for bringing in income, or what would you like to learn about?
Disclosure: This post has affiliate links. Thank you for supporting MoneywiseMoms at no cost to you!
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