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How I made $3,342 CAD online in one year

So its a bit of a sad anniversary for me, around this time last year I learned that my employer was being bought out by a larger company in two months time, and that I wasn’t going to make the transition. After the initial shock wore off I decided that while I searched for a new job, I’d also try my hand at making money online.

I’m not going to really get into the details, but if you’re interested in learning more, you can look at my previous side hustle posts:
Month #1 – How I made $283 CAD online in one month
Month #2 – How I made $371 CAD online in one month
Month #3 – How I made $527 CAD online in one month
Month #4 – How I made $349 CAD online in one month
Month #5 – How I made $773 CAD online in one month
Month #6 – How I made $264 CAD online in November

I found a new job back in November, and I’ve been too busy with that to really sit down and collect all the information I’d need to break everything down each month like I did before. But since it has been a year since I started I figured I’d run the numbers and see just what I’d managed.

I still use pretty much the same sites I always have, but given my lack of free time I don’t put as much into the hustle as I did while I was unemployed. As a result, I’m definitely not going to see any more $700 months… But I’m not really complaining since an actual job is a way more profitable use of my time :P

Well there you have it, the fruits of my last year’s online labour. If you found this at all helpful, or have any questions about how to make internet bucks let me know in the comments.


How I made $264 CAD online in November

Since I’ve started my new job my free time has been severely limited and I should have posted this a while ago. I’m still trying to keep up the side hustle and this record of it, but the timeliness of my posts is suffering. If you want to check out the other posts in my side hustle series you can find them below:
Month #1 – How I made $283 CAD online in one month
Month #2 – How I made $371 CAD online in one month
Month #3 – How I made $527 CAD online in one month
Month #4 – How I made $349 CAD online in one month
Month #5 – How I made $773 CAD online in one month

I also intend to change the format a little to make it a bit quicker and easier for me. I’ll be focusing more on the numbers and less on the the little explanation blurbs. If you want to find out more regarding a particular site I use check out my previous posts or just leave a comment asking.

That being said, let me note a few things:

  1. I’m now working full time and have a crazy commute to go along with it, my free time is severely limited so at most I’m spending an hour or two at this now. As a result my earnings are lower and likely more in line with what the average person could expect to see.
  2. You’re not going to get rich off of this no matter what anyone might say. A lot of blogs really talk this kind of stuff up and exaggerate the kind of returns you’ll get for your time spent. Trust me, its a real grind, but if you’re got free time its a way to pick up some extra spending money.
  3. I would love for you to use any of the referral links I provide, we both get a bonus out of it but I do get the better end of the deal. If you think this blog has helped you figure out what sites you want to use I’d appreciate you using the referrals as a thank you :)

Alright, lets get into it:

Swagbucks (referral) / (non-referral)
$100 CAD last month ($25 was in gift credit)

UserTesting (non-referral)
$78 CAD ($60.00 USD) last month

GG2U (referral) / (non-referral)
$23 CAD ($17.50 USD) last month

Amazon Turk (non-referral)
$22 CAD last month ($17.44 USD)

LEO (referral) / (non-referral)
$20 CAD last month

Opinion Outpost (non-referral)
$11 CAD last month

IntelliZoom Panel (non-referral)
$10 CAD (8 USD) last month

Well there you have it, the fruits of my last month’s labour. If you found this at all helpful, or have any questions about how to make internet bucks let me know in the comments.


I wish I had more time…

I’m going to keep it short, now that I’m working full time again (with a stupid long commute) I don’t have much free time anymore. I just can’t keep up with everything I need to do, let alone want to do and this blog is suffering for it (along with a lot of other things).

I’m just so exhausted. I try to get through every day just to make it to the weekend, and the weekend seems much too short to actually get anything done… I was definitely spoiled by my last employer :/

I’m hoping I get used to it… And can somehow manage to do it for the next 10-15 years so I can have enough money to retire with. I’m only starting my fourth week and I’m already tired of it. My partner definitely sees a change in me, I’m really down for the week, perk up briefly for the weekend, and then am down again.

I’m sure it doesn’t help that I’m trying to keep up my side hustles to some extent, which burns away even more of my time. There just isn’t enough time for me to unwind after work.

I don’t know. I’m not super coherent at the best of the times with this blog, but I feel like this post is particularly disjointed. Have I mentioned how exhausted I am?


The Times They Are a-Changin’

Well today is the last weekday I’ll be spending around the house. I accepted a job offer last week and will be starting a new job this coming Monday.

Needless to say, I am anxious as heck. The work is going to be a little different than what I’m experienced with, the place is a bit fancier than I’m used to, and its an hour drive away. I am reeeeeally going to miss the whole telecommuting experience, it was amazing for work life balance.

I’ve been doing some estimating… Previously I’d get up at 8am and start working immediately and then clock out at 5pm, so 9 hours of my day were mostly dedicated to work related activities. Now I’ll be working a 7am to 4:30pm shift, which means if I account for the commute I’ll need to be waking up around 5:30am, and will be getting home around 5:30-6:00pm, so now 12 hours+ of my day will be dedicated to work related activities.

I don’t think I am looking forward to having so much less free time, it really sucks that is how things worked out. I’m basically going to have 4 hours of “personal” time a weekday (provided I’m going to get a reasonable amount of sleep each night).

On the bright side, I’m going to be paid a similar salary to my old job. I’m going to do my best to save as much of that money as possible so that maybe early retirement will be a possibility… But I’m thinking I’m probably going to be working for another 15-20 years at least. Its kind of depressing when I think about it like that. I’ll definitely keep pursuing my side hustles for the extra cash, but I suspect I’ll be making drastically less with them once I no longer have so much time to devote to them. Still, every little bit counts and I fully intend to keep trying, I probably just won’t be active on quite so many survey sites.

I’m super worried about the big change that is coming and I’m sure I’ll be a bit of a basket case by Sunday night. I’m sure things will be fine, I’m sure I’ll be able to learn how to do the new job, I’m sure I’ll adapt to the new schedule, and I’m sure I’ll get along well with the new people… Unfortunately anxiety and logic don’t place well together so despite that knowledge I’m going to be a nervous wreck for the next little while. Sigh.

I think that is the worst thing about anxiety, you spend so much time and effort on the worrying and 99% of the time nothing bad happens, so all that time and effort ends up being wasted :/ And yet, that knowledge doesn’t seem to help stop the anxiety. Looking to the bright side again at least by the New Year I should be getting back into some kind of rhythm / schedule and can hopefully manage to start relaxing a little again. The past 3.5 months have not been ideal for my mental health.

Anyways, I’m mostly just rambling and should probably leave things here. I’m sure that next week will be the hardest, but then after that things should hopefully start getting easier.


How I made $773 CAD online in one month

Month four of my experiment in making internet bucks is complete, you can click the below links if you want to follow my journey:
Month #1 – How I made $283 CAD online in one month
Month #2 – How I made $371 CAD online in one month
Month #3 – How I made $527 CAD online in one month
Month #4 – How I made $349 CAD online in one month
Technically some of that total is locked up as Amazon gift credit, not cash, but I’m counting it anyways since I tend to spend a little money on Amazon each month anyways :P
This has actually been a record month for me, I lucked out with UserTesting and managed to qualify for a lot of their tasks.

I’m posting these partly as a way to keep track of my own progress, and partly because you see a lot of blog sites that talk about how great some of these sites are, but don’t actually get into the specifics of how much they’re actually earning.

That being said, let me start off by saying a few things:

1. I’m currently not working and was looking for a job so I was able to devote a lot of time to this. Your mileage may vary depending on the amount of free time you have to spend. I’m happy to say that my not working status will be changing soon though, I’ve gotten a new full time job!

2. Your results will really depend on your demographics (for surveys) and the kind of services you use (for the offers). Once again be aware your mileage may vary, its very possible you could make more than me and just as possible you could make less.

3. You won’t get rich from this, and to make the amount I’m making you have to put in time and effort. If you’re only looking for a little side money the time and effort required is much less and if I had to hazard a guess I’d say upwards of $100 a month would be easily achievable with relatively minimal effort.

4. I would *love* it if you used the referral links I’m providing, but don’t feel obligated (hence the non-ref links also being provided). If my post at all helped you out I’m not going to complain if you use the referral link to help me back :P We both end up getting a bonus, so its win / win (although I’ll admit that referrer bonus is often better than what the referee gets). You can check out the individual sites for the details.

UserTesting (non-referral)
$225 CAD ($170.00 USD) last month

We’ve finally dislodged Swagbucks from its #1 spot. I really lucked out with UserTesting and qualified for a bunch of their tests, plus they actually pay really well for the amount of time you put in. As I’ve mentioned before, its different from the majority of GPT sites as UserTesting puts you to work testing prototype websites or evaluating existing ones. The catch is you have to audio record yourself doing so and speak your thoughts out loud while trying to accomplish some tasks that they give you. Once I got over my initial anxiety of recording myself I actually look forward to when I get a chance to do one of these. You’ll need a microphone and a quiet place to record yourself.
No minimum cash out, you get paid each test after they review your audio.
*Note* This site pays out in USD, good for us Canadians.

WeCheck (non-referral)
$125 CAD last month ($80 car service + $45 reward)

WeCheck is a mystery shopping service. You let them know what area you live in and you get a list of the mystery shops they need need done. My car was actually due for a service and they were looking for someone with my make of car to test out a service centre. They covered the cost of my service and a payment for my time too. It was a bit of work though, you need to follow some instructions and fill out a lengthy report.
There is no minimum cashout, they pay per job.

Swagbucks (referral) / (non-referral)
$105 CAD last month ($55 is in gift credit)

Swagbucks has lost its #1 spot. I’m not complaining though!
If you’re interested in learning more about Swagbucks you can refer to this post I made about it previously – Let’s talk about Swagbucks.

Opinion Outpost (non-referral)
$96 CAD last month ($50 is in gift credit)

Opinion Outpost is strictly surveys. I tend to get a bit more per survey with fewer disqualifications but there are also fewer surveys available. One big advantage is that their surveys lead to invitations to higher paying focus groups a little more often for me than other sites. For example last month I was part of a home improvement online focus group, it took 1.5 hours and I received a $50 amazon gift card.
Minimum cash out is $10.

Amazon Turk (non-referral)
$66 CAD last month ($49.97 USD)

I’m slowing figuring out mTurk. I know if I put more effort into learning how to use scripts I could increase what I’m earning but I’m not too concerned. I’m concentrating less on building up my numbers and more on finding the high value HITs I qualify for. I’m handicapped by being based out of Canada though, if you’re in the USA I think there are a lot more HITs available to you.

If you want to follow my mTurk journey specifically you can find it linked below:
#1 – So I was accepted to be an Amazon Turk worker
#2 – 250 tasks completed on Amazon Turk
#3 – I’m now out of my Amazon Turk probationary period
#4 – My first Amazon Turk rejection
#5 – 1000+ tasks approved on Amazon Turk

IntelliZoom Panel (non-referral)
$42 CAD (32 USD) last month

This site is basically the same deal as UserTesting, you’re given some tasks to do with a webpage and need to record yourself thinking out loud.
No minimum cash out, you get paid each test after they review your audio.
*Note* This site pays out in USD, good for us Canadians.

SurveyLion (non-referral)
$27 CAD last month

I’ve been working on SurveyLion for a while now, they have a quarterly payout system so it took me a while to confirm they actually pay out. Their other quirk is that they don’t do paypal, they mail you an actual check.
What I like about this site is that it has relatively alright paying surveys, and don’t get disqualified that often. The downside is that they you don’t get offered many surveys. They do have a referral program but its by email only (they don’t give a link to put on a website), if you’re interested let me know and I can send one out to you.
There is no minimum cashout, but they only send out money every few months.
*Note* I believe this site is for Canadian’s only.

LEO (referral) / (non-referral)
$20 CAD last month

LEO, aka Leger Opinions is one of the larger Canadian survey panel sites. I find the surveys to be relatively high paying (compared to a site like Swagbucks at least) and I seldom get disqualified. However, I don’t get many surveys in the first place so it takes a while to get get to the minimum cash out.
Minimum cash out is $20 (for paypal).

Prolific (non-referral)
$20 CAD (£11.60 GBP) last month

Despite its lower rank in earnings it is actually one of my favourite sites to use. The surveys are rare but well paying, and more important though they are often very interesting. You feel more like they’re trying to do science with you and less like they’re trying to figure out how they can sell more Pepsi.
Minimum cash out is £5.
*Note* This site pays out in GBP, good for us Canadians.

Survey Junkie (non-referral)
$14 CAD (10.49 USD) last month

A survey only site. Survey Junkie is a relatively stable earner for me without too much effort. There are usually a few surveys available whenever I check, and I also get disqualification points which takes a little of the sting out of being rejected from taking a survey.
Minimum cash out is $10.
*Note* This site pays out in USD, good for us Canadians.

Honorable mentions:
MOBROG (referral) / (non-referral) – $12.50 CAD last month
GG2U (referral) / (non-referral) – $12 CAD ($9.60 USD) last month
SurveyRewardz (referral) / (non-referral) – $9 CAD ($6.87 USD) last month

Well there you have it, the fruits of my last month’s labour. If you found this at all helpful, or have any questions about how to make internet bucks let me know in the comments.


Spoiled for Choice – Part #2

Well, this promised update is a little later than planned, but that works out because more happened recently.

So I had the two interviews last Wednesday, both went well, and both resulted in a request for a second interview. Job #1’s second interview is set up for this coming Tuesday afternoon, and job #2’s was actually this past Friday.

Now of course because things need to proceed in a way that causes me the most anxiety I actually received a job offer from job #2 a couple of hours after the second interview with them wanting me to start next week! Maybe I should have accepted it immediately but the starting wage for job #2 isn’t spectacular (about $17k a year less than I used to make), so I explained to them that I still had other interviews next week and would be considering any offers I’d received towards the end of the week and would appreciate it if they could hold the offer until then.

I don’t think they were entirely pleased, they mentioned how it was for an immediate position and they did have other qualified candidates, but they were willing to wait until Thursday for an answer. I’m glad that worked out, because I’d hate to lose out on the opportunity by trying to consider some of my options. I guess this is the benefit of a low unemployment rate, suddenly employers can’t treat qualified workers as quite so disposable.

So now it all depends on how well my second interview with job #1 goes. If they’re willing to make an offer quickly enough, and for a high enough wage I’ll likely go with them. If not, then I’ll go with job #2. Either way I’ll likely be employed again in a weeks time.

To be honest I’m a little terrified. A new job to learn, new people to meet, a new routine to establish… Its a little overwhelming :/ But if I want to take care of future me I need to get back on the job and earning money. I’m really hoping job #1 offers me a more reasonable starting wage than job #2 did. I’m not some kid fresh out of college and I hate being paid like one.

Job #1, aside from its potential wage, does have some downsides. The commute is double that of job #2, I suspect the work will be more challenging, and it seems a little less laid back than job #2. However for the right price I am totally willing to deal with all that.

I guess we’ll see how the next week goes. Until then I’ll just have to deal with the constant dread my anxiety is helpfully providing me with :/


Spoiled for choice

When it rains it pours! No sooner did I get an interview set up through the recruiter I was talking to the other day, then I got a call back from another place I’d sent a resume out to… And they wanted to interview me on the same day! Luckily the timing works out, so I’ll have one late morning, and then more than enough time to get to the other interview towards mid / late afternoon.

As usual, I’m trying not to count my chickens before they hatch, its entirely possible neither place makes me an offer after the interview… But my worry is that I’ll like one place much more than the other, and the one I like least will offer me a job first :/ I suppose I shouldn’t worry too much just yet, I still need to see both places. I know one is much smaller than the other though and will likely be paying a lower salary.

Still, I guess its a good problem to have, anxiety aside. Hopefully I’m lucky and get offers from both at the same time so I can pick whichever is the most advantageous to me.

This goes without saying, but there will be an update tomorrow evening once all my interviewing is done :P


A depressing three month anniversary

A third month has passed and my joblessness continues :/ The first and second month were tough and the third month was no different. This is officially my longest stint on unemployment since I started after college.

When I learned I might be losing my job the first thing I did was finally get around to creating a Linkedin profile, hoping I could build some connections and then leverage them to help me find new employment… However for the most part Linkedin hasn’t really done me much good, it routinely recommends jobs I’m not qualified for that are nowhere near where I’m located. Since I worked for an American company (I’m in Canada) most of the people in my network aren’t in the same country at me.

On the bright side, having that profile allowed a recruiter to find me the other day. I’ll find out more details on Monday during a phone call with him, but from what I’ve learned already the employer he is recruiting for is right up my alley… Although of course they’re not local so I’m either looking at an hour plus commute each way (which I don’t want) or moving closer (which I really don’t want).

I’ll reserve judgment until I found out more about the job offer though, right now I’m not sure of the salary (which is important to me, especially if I’m going to have a long commute) or the exact details of the position. Hopefully all will be revealed on Monday? I’ve never actually dealt with a recruiter before.

Either way I am so done with being unemployed. I really miss the peace of mind that a steady paycheck gave me and I hate the stress and anxiety I’ve been constantly feeling. At least its been a learning experience for me, I’ll be paying much closer attention to my finances from this point forward and trying to actively save as much as I can.

So you can probably expect a Monday update from me regarding how my conversation with the recruiter went. I’m hoping it will be positive but after three months of looking for a job and failing I can’t say I’m really optimistic.


So its been a while…

I don’t think I realized I’d taken quite so long a break from posting. Part of it was that I was sick for a couple of weeks and really didn’t have the energy, the other part is that I just haven’t had much to say lately.

I’ve also been slightly busy pursuing the whole “making wooden rings” thing (you can see a progression of them below, the one on the far right is my favourite so far):

I actually have several more in the works. My goal is to create at least 20 different rings with a variety of designs, then maybe try setting up an Etsy shop and trying to make this a legitimate side hustle… But I’m not really confident I have what it takes.

To be honest I love the idea of creating my own small business, but I know it will involve working twice as hard as it would be just working for someone else. My parent’s had their own business and it kept them VERY busy.

The thing is I’m not concerned about the time or effort I’d have to put in, I actually kind of like making these rings. For me, its the uncertainty, if I knew for sure I’d be getting a return on this I’d happy pour effort into it. But what I fear is putting in the effort and not being able to make a single sale :/

I guess all I can do it try, right?


So I made some wooden jewellery

I was feeling slightly creative the past couple days and decided to try at my hand at something moderately artistic. I’ve had spare time on my hands while I continue my job hunt and I’m always looking for another side hustle so I made some wooden rings.

I can’t say I’ve ever really attempted making any jewellery before, but after a couple of hours of research I had a good enough idea of what I could do that wouldn’t be too difficult.

My first attempt (photo below) is just plain birch. It was mostly a proof of concept, just to see if I could actually have something turn out.

My next one (photo below) I tried to get slightly more creative, its a little thinner and I tried using some marker to stain the wood. Apparently marker isn’t the best wood stain though and it didn’t turn out looking so great in my opinion. Lesson learned!

After the marker fiasco I knew if I wanted to add some colour I’d need to use a different approach. This time (photo below) I cut a groove into it, and glued in some powdered black ironwood (aka sawdust leftover from another project). I’m fairly pleased with how this turned out even though its still fairly simple.

Finally the piece de resistance (you guessed it, photo below). This one has a birch core, walnut exterior, and a narrow copper band in the middle. Out of the four I made I might actually consider this one good enough to sell. However I think I need to find something to polish it a little better, maybe after adding another topcoat.

So there you have it, my creative endeavours for the past few days. What do you think? Would you ever buy a wooden ring? Let me know in the comments!


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