|Posted by Miss MoneyHoney on August 26, 2015 at 12:05 AM|
I'm back after a bit of a hiatus. Things with work were starting to get a bit dicey, both in terms of the future of our office branch (business was dismal), and a manager who was on a campaign of retaliation against me because I spoke to her boss. Tense and unpleasant to say the least. Then about 3 weeks ago, we got the bittersweet news we'd been waiting for: They were shutting down our branch office and moving our workload to another branch out of state. They gave us 2 weeks notice and everyone will receive some type of severance, depending on length of service. And of course, we qualify for unemployment benefits.
Right now I'm on my 2nd week of being officially unemployed and I'm loving it! I keep as busy as possible, with my daily to-do list, but also build in relaxation time. My favorite time is the early mornings (oddly), when I roll out of bed, brew a pot of coffee, walk the dog, then settle down in front of my computer and start writing my list for the day. Of course, looking for a job is a top priority, although pickins are slim thus far. I've also noticed that most job listings don't include salary range, which is frustrating. Based on some of the job requirements, I can tell that many of them probably pay way less than I need. I apply for 1-3 jobs a day, but haven't received any callbacks yet. I'll keep plugging away at it.
Since I might be unemployed for awhile, I'm working harder than ever on Swagbucks, Zoombucks, CashCrate and iRazoo. I'm also doing my instant wins and sweeps daily in hopes of winning some gift cards or goodies here and there. I've joined a couple of sweepstakes forums and signed up for multiple newsletters for tips and tricks. What I'm focusing on now is creating "pockets of money" that I can dip into when things get really tight. For example, the $5 I earned from Zoombucks is sitting in my PayPal account for a rainy day, and I'm about 100 ZBs away from being able to order another $5 PayPal card. It took absolutely forever (nearly a month) for the first Zoombucks gift card to be processed, which was disappointing. But at least I know now what to expect.
As I may have mentioned before, Swagbucks is super fast in processing gift cards these days (2-3 days, when it used to be 14!) so that is wonderful. They have also really upped their game with specials and offers, like "Swag Ups," where you can get a rebate back once you redeem a gift card, for doing things like taking a certain amount of surveys within a week, or playing Swagstakes. They also had 2 recent Team Challenges and I made a nice little chunk of SBs for partaking in both. I'm also pulling in extra SBs for hitting daily goals and making consecutive goal streaks (my best so far is 14 days). Right now I have $28 in my Amazon account (I spent my earlier earnings on 4 bottles of my favorite hard-to-find cologne). I'm less than 200 SBs away from redeeming another $25 Amazon gift card. That is going to be a NICE pocket of money to fall back on. The great thing is that I can use it towards pet food or groceries if needed, or something fun if I save up enough. I still want to get a smartphone or iPad, but that's on the back burner for the moment. I also just discovered that a former co-worker (also now unemployed) that I referred to Swagbucks months ago is starting to earn there and I received 4 SBs from referral earnings. Woot!
I received a $20 check from CashCrate last week and got that deposited in the bank. I am spending more time on CashCrate in the mornings (mostly I just watch a few videos) and do my daily check-in (which garners 50 cents at the end of the month if you check-in daily). I need to start jumping into surveys again there to get my earnings up. Pretty soon I should have another $2 in my CashCrate account and hopefully get myself another $20 check here in a few months.
I'm continuing to rack up points with iRazoo, usually just by visiting their Offers page daily (5 pts), doing searchs and redeeming "treasure codes" (which are sometimes 50+ points). iRazoo treasure codes (when available) can also be located on Swag Code Spoilers. I'm nearing about 2,000 iRazoo points and my goal is 6,000 in order to get a $10 Amazon card. The nice thing about the iRazoo treasure codes is that they are active for days, whereas Swagbucks codes are only active for a matter of hours (but more are offered). Zoombucks hasn't put out a code lately. I have noticed they are few and far between, but can also be located on that site. You can just go to the main SCS page and look to the right to see which site has an active code.
As far as instant wins (IWs) and sweeps, I haven't been quite as lucky in the last few months, but I think that's because I hit the max number of prizes on several of the games I was playing (i.e. Twix Pick-a-Side, Mars Roadtrip). Since mid-May, I've won 25 prizes worth about $130 (average retail value, although for tax purposes, it's based on fair market value, which can be pretty ambiguous from what I've read). I received several gift cards in the mail recently, including a $5 pre-paid Mastercard debit, and $10 towards AutoZone. I'm still waiting on my $10 Dollar General gift card, too. A few weeks ago I won a Target gift card for $5, so that'll be another little pocket of money coming my way. I've won 5 prizes from Corona this summer (still waiting to receive 4 of them) and can keep playing through the end of the sweeps. I received several freebie coupons in the mail (Combos, Twix, Mars candy bar) and should be getting a Dr. Pepper freebie coupon here soon. I've been able to redeem these at my local Speedway gas station and they make a nice treat!
Speaking of which, I should get back to it. Still have my whole list of IWs and sweeps to enter today! Off I go...good luck to you!