Making Extra Money as a “Field Agent”

Extra cash. We’re always looking for some and lately it has become harder and harder to come by. Overtime, side jobs, second jobs, odd jobs, we do what we can to pump up our earnings just a little bit higher when the need for more money arises. With Christmas around the corner this is one of those instances. Lists are being drawn , pretty soon the bill will come due.  Where are you going to find that extra cash? I think I might have a solution.

A friend of mine logo FAshowed me an app called “Field Agent” that he used to make over 1000 bucks this year. It’s essentially a secret shopper service. You download the app and join, it takes seconds to do so. After you join, you open the app and search through the available “jobs”. You can search by “highest paying” or “nearest”. My buddy told me that he always does “nearest” because he does’t want to waste time or money driving.

Once you find the job you want you hit “accept”. You will then have two hours to complete that job. Most jobs require you to go to a store and find a display for a specific product. Once you do you will usually have to take a few pictures with your smart phone and answer a few questions. Most jobs take a few minutes once you arrive in the store.

In the beginning you will only have access to the lower paying jobs. FAMost of the jobs I found were for around 3 bucks. According to the “Field Agent” site the pay range for jobs is $3-$12 per job. As you take on more jobs you gain experience and increase your rank on the site. The higher your rank the better the jobs. This is logical, the more important jobs should go to the people who have demonstrated that they can do them. 

Once you successfully complete a job, the money you earned is stored in your “Field Agent” account. You can keep it there until you decide to withdraw it. This is done by adding a “Paypal” account to your “Field Agent” account and transferring the money. My buddy told me that transferring money is very quick and that he has never had to wait more then a day or two to get his funds. 

Situations are certainly going to be different from person to person and region to region regarding earnings. If you are a person who moves around a lot in a given day, like a salesperson, and you have big chunks of down time this app might be perfect for you. It also might be good if you want to use it on your day off, traveling about, racking up extra cash. 

A good measure might be to see how many jobs you can do in an hour. If the jobs are fairly close to each other I would think you might be able to go 3-5 an hour. At 3 bucks a job you are earning between 9 and 15 dollars an hour minus the cost of gas. Is that worth your time? I would argue that it is, for me anyway. If I could put aside an extra $100 a month, cover my gas and maybe some of my lunch expenses I would consider that a win.

As your experience increases and you get access to the $6 a job, my earnings would increase accordingly.  You could use the extra cash for Christmas gifts, to pay down debt, perhaps invest it in peer-to-peer lending, or maybe the stock market, its all up to you. “Field Agent” offers you a potential revenue steam that you can use as much or as little as you like. Give it a try and tell us what you think.

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Made in the U.S.A. Monday – Wicker’s Thermal Underwear

I make my living as a TV news cameraman, it is a wonderful job, but one of the hardest things for me to do is cover snowstorms. While most people are warm and toasty at home, off from work or school, I am standing in a blizzard. Anyone who watches even a little news coverage knows that this can go on for hours. If you are going to be able to endure in extreme winter weather you are going to need the right clothes. wickersWhen the temperature drops you might want to throw on a pair of Wickers thermals

Wickers has been in business since the early 1980’s and makes some high quality, durable, American made clothing. Wickers fabric and design pull sweat away from your skin and pushes it to the outer layers of your clothes where it will evaporate. You would be hard pressed to find a better fitting pair of thermals. 

I own some wicker briefs and can a test to their reputation of excellence. Before the next blizzard comes my way I will probably buy a pair of  wicker thermal bottoms and their accompanying tops. The pair will set you back about 50 bucks, but when the mercury falls you will be glad you spent the extra money. Trust me, check out Wickers thermals. 

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Black Friday Preview: “Best Buy” Deals

“Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” like it or not they are part of  Christmas Shopping culture.  I have always been skeptical about these”deals”, I often see a lot of bait and switching or offering low quality items for what looks like a great savings. Last year I put my suspicions to the test and concluded that while I was right in most cases, if you looked hard enough you could find some really terrific bargains.

As the start of the Christmas shopping season draw near I will try to share with you some of the deals that I think offer the best value. There from “Best Buyare three to get things started:

  •  $7.99 Blu Raysbaby blu blackRenting an HD movie cost about 6 bucks these days, for two dollars more you could own one. These are fantastic stocking stuffers or you could bundle 3 or 4 as a present. As a huge movie fan I can tell you that you can’t go wrong with baby blu. 

 

  • iPad 2 for $299.99 – ipad 2The new iPad cost $499.00, that has the older generation up for sale. The iPad 2 is still a great tablet and for 200 bucks less it’s a steal. 

 

  • Samsung 65 Inch LED TV  $999.00 -TV I price checked this television on Amazon, it sells for about $1400 and has excellent reviews. To get a TV this big and from such a reputable brand for this price is fantastic.  If you are looking for that Wow factor, then this is probably the gift for you. 

 

Now please kept in mind this is a preview, these items won’t go on sale until “Black Friday”. Best buy will be giving out tickets for this event, you will have to wait on line and I am guessing that the line will be long. For those of you who dislike such inconveniences, don’t fret cyber monday is right around the corner. 

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Free $10 Macy’s Mobile Gift Card

More and more companies are using smart phone apps to reach customers. macy's appThis is a great way for you to get special offers from your favorite stores and most retailer will give you a special bonus offer for signing up for their app. With the holiday shopping season mere weeks away it looks like Macy’s is making a push to promote their app. Now you can earn a free $10 Macy’s mobile gift code by following theses steps:

  • Download the “Macy’s Star Gift” App on your phone. 
  • Open the App and go to the “Macy’s Best Brands Catalogue”
  • box redPoint your camera at the second page until a red gift box appears. 
  • Tap the gift box icon and watch a brief video. 
  • Once the video is complete click  “Get you $10 gift code now”
  • Enter you information and he $10 gift code will be text to your phone. 

You have until 11/17 to get the code and until 12/17 to use the code. Another arrow in your shopping quiver. 

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Made in the U.S.A. Monday – What Happened to A.S. Tees?

Last year I included A.S. Tees as one of the first “Made in the U.S.A. Monday” features. At the time I had purchased a few of their shirts and I really liked them. A year later, my A.S. Tee shirts are holding up well, so well that I decided to buy some more. I wanted to but I couldn’t, there website was down. 

At first I thought it was a temporary outage or perhaps some site maintainence. I came back a few days later and it was still down, its down right now. I checked their twitter site, they haven’t tweeted in months. An internet search didn’t reveal much, but from what I could find it appears that A.S. Tees is no more. One of the many victims to the recession that I would argue we are still in. 

as teesHere was a company, founded in 1997 that employed 15 people. It might not seem like much, but those people in South Carolina were probably a lot like you and I and now they are unemployed. Why? Only the owners of A.S. Tees know. I am sure the answer includes many reason, but I know that one of them was not because they didn’t make a great product. 

One of my favorite winter shirts is my A.S. Tee’s green long sleeve thermal, it’s also “the Bride’s” favorite as well. It’s an uphill battle for American manufacturers, making a great product can only take you so far.  You are the difference.

So many American made companies are struggling to reach customers. These are small companies, they can’t advertise the way giant corporations can. We have to look, we have to find them. That is why, every monday, without fail, I find, research, and share one of these companies with you.

The holidays are around the corner. Let us make an effort to buy at least one American gift for our loved ones. Search through my past articles, I am sure you can find some great gifts. Share these ideas with your friends and family. Let’s help these American made companies out. I don’t want to see anymore dark websites, I don’t want to read about any one else losing their jobs.  We have the power to stop this, to make things better. All we have to do is try. 

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For the Mommas

I recently became aware of “Amazon Mom” a shopping program that awards additional savings on top of Amazon’s “Subscribe and Save” program. I am a new member of “subscribe and save” and my experience with it has been fantastic. For those of you that may not know about this program, you select various items that you would normally buy in the supermarket. Then you decided how often you would like to receive them and Amazon mails you those item(for free) based on your subscription. The prices are way lower then store prices and you get an additional 15% off when you order 5 or more items in the same month. Since “Amazon Mom” knocks even more money off this already competitive offering joining both seems like a no brainer. 

amamomAmazon mom offers a Free three month trial, during which you will get 20% off diapers and wipes when you join subscribe and save. You will also get 20% off other family essential items when you have 5 or more delivered in the same month. This is a 5% increase over the standard subscribe and save offer.  On top of that “Amazon Mom” members will receive a 15% baby registration completion discount. 

After the trail period ends you are automatically enrolled in “Amazon Mom” and “Amazon Prime”. You will continue to receive all of the discount of these programs as well as those of “Prime”. These include, free two day shipping, access  to the  Amazon Prime Video Library, one free kindle book a month, and the ability to invite household members to share your prime shipping benefits for free. 

With all of the stress and costs of being a new parent, cheap home delivered diapers and wipes sounds like a great idea. 

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Get $200 For Your Old iPad From Target

As a limited time offer (till 11/9) Target is offering a $200 gift card for Sale signany now who brings in any functioning, undamaged iPad. That’s right, if you have and old iPad version one just laying around, you can trade it in for $200 bucks worth of Target merchandise. 

This is a particularly good deal as older iPads do not command such a high price on Ebay and Gazelle is only offering $80 for a perfect condition iPad presently. 

You could bring in that used iPad and hold on to that $200 gift card and wait for “Black Friday”. You wait for those sales and strike. Perhaps a brand new iPad air will go on sale? You could use your old iPad to buy a new one for the family as a Christmas gift, cut the cost of that thing in half, Builder style. 

You can also trade in other electronics and Target will give you a quote on their website. I ran a few items through their system and I found their prices to be on the low side of fair. You could probably do better selling your stuff on Ebay. I know some people don’t want to deal with the hassles that can come with that. If that is the case than this might be something that you would be interested

The holidays are right around the corner, if you have some old electronics laying about gathering dust you might want to convert then into gift cards for future present purchases. 

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How I Got Almost 1/2 Off My “Banana Republic” Order

We are now entering the season of sales, Thanksgiving will be here in short order and with it Black Friday and Cyber Monday. If you do your homework you can really find some nice bargains.

To kick things off I would like to share a sale that I recently took advantage of. My wardrobe is reaching meltdown levels, fading, holes, rips and tears, I am losing pieces of clothing fast. With the weather starting to change I have found that my winter wardrobe is even worse than my summer wardrobe. I decided that I needed to buy a few things to reverse the trend.

My search began where it almost always does, BigCrumbs. As I have mentioned in the past, BigCrumbs earns referral money by directing you to a retailers page. Once you make a purchase the retailer send BigCrumbs some cash. They turn around and share some of that cash with you. The amount of cash back varies by retailer, in this case I selected the Banana Republic. With this particular retailer BigCrumbs offers 4% cash back.

Obviously that is good but not nearly enough. As luck would have it “Banana Republic” is also offering 40% off from now until 11/5 if you ever coupon code “HOL2013″.  I don’t know about you, but 40% off gets my attention. Satisfied with the sale offer I began my search and selected the following items.

  • A Signature Pique Polo (Black) – Retail Price – $39.50/ Sale Price – $23.70  What I like about Polothis shirt is that it is 95% cotton and 5% spandex. I currently own a shirt like this and I love it. The spandex stops the shirt from wrinkling. As someone who hates to iron this is an amazing blend of fabric. I can honestly say that if I had it my way all of my clothes would be made this way. Continue reading

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Made in the U.S.A. Monday – Preserve Toothbrushes

You use you toothbrush at least twice a day everyday. Do you know where it’s made? What type of plastic is in it? I don’t know the answer to either of these questions myself and when I stop and think about that it can be a little off-putting. 

ToothbrushPerhaps the people at Perserve have the answer. They are a small start up business that began in 1996 and they makes their products right here in America.  What makes them unique, aside from their “Made in the U.S.A.” status, is their green approach.

Each of their toothbrushes is made from BPR free, recycled plastics(yogurt cups).  Their curved design allow you to get those hard to reach place and was created with the consultation of dental professionals. 

They sell for $3.29 and come in an assortment of colors. After you are done with your tooth brush you can recycle it. A environmentally friendly product made right here in America. 

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The PiggyBankBuilder Portfolio – What Could Have Been?

At the start of 2013 I began an exercise in stock market investment.market I selected four stocks that I thought would do well this year and “bought” $5000 worth of shares amongst the group. Unfortunately my imaginary investment instantly lost money  and I was stopped out by the summer. Knowing when to take a loss is important part of investing, but in this case it seems to have been the wrong move as well. As the year comes to an end, let’s see where things stand.

  1. ishares Silver Trust(SLV) – Purchase Price: $29.48, number of shares 42. Current Price: $21.10 a Loss of $356.16
  2. Cablevision(CVC) – Purchase Price $15.05, number of shares 82. Current Price: $15.55 a Gain of  $41.00
  3. Alpha Natural Resources(ANR) – Purchase Price $10.28, number of shares 117. Current Price: $7.00 a Loss of $383.76
  4. FaceBook(FB) – Purchase Price $29.22, number of shares 42. Current Price: $50.21 a Gain of $881.53

A profit of $182.61, not bad. It’s quite possible I could have done much better with peer to peer lending. Perhaps the last two months of the year will change that equation. I will keep you posted. 

 

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