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And now for the latest episode of "Trying to improve our situation"


pinkmint
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As some of you know, DH is in a relatively dead-end, low-pay, poor work environment job. We are thankful for his job and that it just barely, and with huge sacrifices, allows me to stay home, a scenario neither of us knew we wanted at the beginning of marriage, and something we decided is worth it, even though it is very very hard.

 

We also know that considering he only has a high school diploma, it's actually pretty good considering. But still, he makes what is probably an acceptable income for a single adult, not a family of 5. Plus he doesn't like his job, which he can live with but it's just another reason to try to change things.

 

As always I'm trying to think of ways to change our situation. I go through periods of trying and not trying. DH is in his early 40's and the clock is ticking. We are already mired in my massive pile of student debt that we are currently hopeless to ever pay off, so there's that when considering putting him through some kind of schooling. I wish I could give him my degree sometimes but they don't let you do that.

 

Our current idea is for DH to learn web development/ coding since it seems to me that him acquiring a degree at this point is lengthy, expensive and not that realistic. Coding seems to be a good, lucrative skill set to have.

 

So there's these "coding bootcamp" schools out there, and one is not far from us and seems reputable. It's 3 months of intense classroom work and is about $10k. They don't promise you a job, which I think is good because it makes them seem more trustworthy. But I am wondering if it could be worth it.

 

Granted, I have no idea how we could actually make it work. There's no way for DH to do the heavy course load and work at the same time, I don't know where $10k would come from, and I don't know if it's a foolish endeavor overall, but if I'm not hopeful and looking at bettering things, I just get depressed so I want to believe there are possibilities out there.

 

Anyone know anything about these coding bootcamps?

Edited by pinkmint
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There are definitely some good ones out there.  You have to read reviews or talk to people who hire to get an idea of which ones are respected and which ones are certificate mills.

 

I will say if he is self-motivated, he can learn everything he learns from a bootcamp in the MOOCs: Coursera, Udemy, EdX.  Computer and coding skills are something they do right.

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$10k? That's nuts. He'd be better off learning it on his own and taking the certification tests. And for web development, the basic stuff is super easy. I taught myself HTML when I was a kid and I learned CSS from looking at blog templates after dd was born. 

 

What specifically does the class teach? Front-end? Back-end? I suppose if he's going to come out an amazing full stack developer it might be worth it, but otherwise I'm guessing it's not worth the money. 

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That's the thing. Learning it on his own at home is not working very well. We've been trying that for about a year. Working 40-70 hours a week with a long commute and then coming home to a small house filled with young kids, all while trying to get adequate sleep at night isn't the best setup for teaching himself to code in his basically non-existent spare time. 

 

And as for the $10k, yes, they do say you're going to learn to be a kick-butt full stack developer. 

Edited by pinkmint
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I don't think the price is that bad IF it really does have that kind of success rate.  I'm skeptical though.

 

My husband works in IT.  I'll ask him if he has heard about this stuff. 

 

They might have back when the idea of coding bootcamps was still new and exciting, but now they have kind of a bad rep. In general, you can't get the experience with coding that employers look for from a three month camp. If you have money to burn it's a good place to start and master the basics, but for someone without $10k laying around it's better to get on codeacademy.com or get a few library books.

Edited by Mergath
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They might have back when the idea of coding bootcamps was still new and exciting, but now they have kind of a bad rep. In general, you can't get the experience with coding that employers look for from a three month camp. If you have money to burn it's a good place to start and master the basics, but for someone without $10k laying around it's better to get on codeacademy.org or get a few library books.

 

Have you seen the selection of library books in that section?  LOL

 

But no you are right.  There are other ways.  I do think some people do better with some sort of instructor though. 

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That's the thing. Learning it on his own at home is not working very well. We've been trying that for about a year. Working 50+ hours a week with a long commute and then coming home to a small house filled with young kids, all while trying to get adequate sleep at night isn't the best setup for teaching himself to code in his basically non-existent spare time. 

 

 

I don't see how the 10k is going to give him more time unless he plans to quit his job.  Those things take lots of time, have homework, and usually involve a commute.

 

Might he try a couple of months of going to the public library and studying on his own during the hours he would have been in bootcamp?  Those camps don't magically give more hours in the day and often you don't get your money back if it turns out to be too much.

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That's the thing. Learning it on his own at home is not working very well. We've been trying that for about a year. Working 50+ hours a week with a long commute and then coming home to a small house filled with young kids, all while trying to get adequate sleep at night isn't the best setup for teaching himself to code in his basically non-existent spare time. 

 

And as for the $10k, yes, they do say you're going to learn to be a kick-butt full stack developer. 

 

In three months? I don't want to say they're lying, but I'm not sure that's entirely realistic. Maybe for someone with extraordinary natural talent and an eidetic memory, but for those of us with more average brains, I have doubts.

 

Btw, this is a fantastic article that your dh should read. It has a lot of great info about what it's like after an aspiring coder gets past the shiny "anyone-can-code-and-make-a-six-figure-salary!" stuff.

 

https://www.vikingcodeschool.com/posts/why-learning-to-code-is-so-damn-hard

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Is your DH sure this is an area he is interested in? There are a lot of people who try coding because of the $ but it seems the drop out rate is quite high. It would be horrible to spend that kind of money and then realize he either hates it or lacks the aptitude for it.

 

Also what language/skills are they teaching?  That would make a huge difference in potential salary later.

Edited by cjzimmer1
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One more thought- does your area have community ed classes? Ours does, and there are usually several coding classes. Would it be possible for him to try something like that to see if he does better in a classroom setting? It would be a fraction of the cost, he could probably do it in the evenings, and if he ended up hating it you guys wouldn't be out a huge sum of money.

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In three months? I don't want to say they're lying, but I'm not sure that's entirely realistic. Maybe for someone with extraordinary natural talent and an eidetic memory, but for those of us with more average brains, I have doubts.

 

Btw, this is a fantastic article that your dh should read. It has a lot of great info about what it's like after an aspiring coder gets past the shiny "anyone-can-code-and-make-a-six-figure-salary!" stuff.

 

https://www.vikingcodeschool.com/posts/why-learning-to-code-is-so-damn-hard

 

That is a great article.  My husband works in IT is constantly complaining about the number of people in IT who have no problems solving skills.  They can do the basics but as soon as something is remotely out of the ordinary they have no clue what to do.  Rather than research, study, etc to try to understand how to fix it, they throw up their hands and say "I don't know".  Currently my husband is learning a language from online training videos and then teaching it to 2 co-workers.  They said the training material is too hard and they can't learn without someone personally teaching them.  So he has to take his work time to learn a language he doesn't know either to train them so they can do THEIR jobs and code in this language (he's not even a developer or a trainer).  It's rather ridiculous but that's how it is. It definitely requires a certain way of thinking and problem solving to be successful in IT.

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My DH is the senior programmer where he works. I can't tell you how many times he is interrupted

because of what cjzimmer1 said.  He doesn't mind helping, everyone needs help sometimes, it's

the lack of problem solving skills that sucks away his time......

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Perhaps this is regional but my sense here (PNW Canada) is that without a degree you get nowhere because they farm all those basic coding jobs offshore to India etc. 

There is some growth in the field but you need the trifecta: degree + fluent English + legally able to work in NA 


In your position, I'll give my standard advice for anyone looking for a career change: Health care & funerals.  There's a large population that is very sick & dying that will all need care in the next 20 years.  Pick carefully. Sonography and radiology, MRI technicians etc are all sort of techy fields where knowledge & familiarity with machines & computer systems are very helpful. 

Also - repairing those machines can also be lucrative & stable. 

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Would his employer pay for certification classes at adult education center? Hubby's current and past employers has funds set aside for employee education. My former employers had those funds too which run into a few thousands per year per employee in my dept. These funds pay for certification courses (no bond), community college degree (employee with a high school diploma, bond), degree (for an employee who has an AA, bond)

 

Instead of a coding boot camp, I would look at certification boot camps.

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I know you have posted before, but I don't remember.

 

You said you have a degree. Could you get a better job than he could?

We've defiantly thought of this. Having gotten married and pregnant before I had a chance to establish my career, And now having been fully out of the workforce for 8 years, I'm not sure I could even make enough to barely support us.

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Whenever DH or I have thought about getting into a new career, we've gone onto job search engines to see what jobs are available in our area, how much they pay, and what education and experience are required. An area school offered a bachelor's in Speech/Communication Disorders, which I thought would be a perfect entrance into a second career for me as our kids got older. Then I looked at the jobs around me and saw that no one is hiring with less than a Master's. So that saved me from making a $10K/ 2 year mistake.

 

I think for an adult with a high school diploma, the fastest way to start earning more money is to learn a trade, especially in health related fields (high demand). The community colleges in my area list the graduation and hire rates for the graduating classes in each of their specialities, so you might check that for your area to see what fields have 90%+ hire rates and then see if your DH is interested in any of those types of jobs.

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Get on craigslist in your area.  Go to the tech section.  Look at the coding jobs.  Call the recruiters and temp agencies with job listings in your area and tell them you're considering changing fields and are looking at a coding boot camp.  Ask them what experience they have with it and what fields they are hiring for.

 

In some areas, the technical division of Accountemps will have you come in and interview, and assuming they take you seriously as a job applicant, they let you do free online training specifically for temp-to-hire jobs they have right now.  It's probably not full stack, but probably IS free and pays a 35-42k salary to start.

 

If not, they'll be able to tell you if the boot camp is reputable or not.

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I appreciate the input. There's some things to think about here. The coding bootcamp is sounding less like a good idea.

 

I am hesitant to reply too much because it will seem like I'm being too negative... but some of the standard advice seems unrealistic to me. Like me working from home or part time is an obvious suggestion. DH has frequent and unpredictable last minute overtime requirements that make me committing to a part time job basically impossible.

 

As for working from home, there are moms out there who have margin in their lives and for various reasons I'm just not one of them. I am not doing a great job with what's currently on my plate.

 

Us deciding to homeschool probably seems like a poor life choice in our circumstances... my dad sure wants to make sure I know that. But we feel strongly about that, so it's something that takes up our time and energy too.

 

But I truly want to be open to ideas and perspectives about getting to a better place, in whatever way that's possible in our circumstances.

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In your position, I'll give my standard advice for anyone looking for a career change: Health care & funerals.  There's a large population that is very sick & dying that will all need care in the next 20 years.  Pick carefully. Sonography and radiology, MRI technicians etc are all sort of techy fields where knowledge & familiarity with machines & computer systems are very helpful. 

 

Also - repairing those machines can also be lucrative & stable. 

 

Radiography and perhaps some special skill with relatively new technology such as fMRI may be a good choice if he can see himself doing it as a profession.

Several colleges teach programs online. Community colleges are far less than $10,000 - at least here in CA.

 

Sorry that people advised you to be careful about the coding bootcamp (not an area I know anything about). I know you are looking actively for solutions and it's discouraging when we come upon something that ends up looking not so good after some research.

 

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I appreciate the input. There's some things to think about here. The coding bootcamp is sounding less like a good idea.

 

I am hesitant to reply too much because it will seem like I'm being too negative... but some of the standard advice seems unrealistic to me. Like me working from home or part time is an obvious suggestion. DH has frequent and unpredictable last minute overtime requirements that make me committing to a part time job basically impossible.

 

As for working from home, there are moms out there who have margin in their lives and for various reasons I'm just not one of them. I am not doing a great job with what's currently on my plate.

 

Us deciding to homeschool probably seems like a poor life choice in our circumstances... my dad sure wants to make sure I know that. But we feel strongly about that, so it's something that takes up our time and energy too.

 

But I truly want to be open to ideas and perspectives about getting to a better place, in whatever way that's possible in our circumstances.

 

I totally get what you are saying.  I understand with your dh's job you cant have a regular pt job.

 

Could you look at what jobs you would be qualified for with your degree?  see if it is better than what dh has?

 

Also I totally understand being overwhelmed with your spot right now an not able to do anything else.   I am just sending you a hug for that.  I understand.

 

It sounds financially it probably not the best idea to home school.  But if it is important to you for a reason that is bigger than money than it is.  We all have to make choices about that. It sounds like maybe the schools around you are bad.  

 

Could you babysit while at home?

Could you sell on Ebay?  

There is a fun blog of a SAHM that does that 

www.shethrifts.com

 

Could you do surveys for $

 

Donate plasma?

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I totally get what you are saying.  I understand with your dh's job you cant have a regular pt job.

 

Could you look at what jobs you would be qualified for with your degree?  see if it is better than what dh has?

 

Also I totally understand being overwhelmed with your spot right now an not able to do anything else.   I am just sending you a hug for that.  I understand.

 

It sounds financially it probably not the best idea to home school.  But if it is important to you for a reason that is bigger than money than it is.  We all have to make choices about that. It sounds like maybe the schools around you are bad.  

 

Could you babysit while at home?

Could you sell on Ebay?  

There is a fun blog of a SAHM that does that 

www.shethrifts.com

 

Could you do surveys for $

 

Donate plasma?

 

Do people really make money on any of that?

 

 

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Does your husband like working with his hands?

 

We've recently looked into pipe-fitting or welding as possible career options for a relative who just has a high school degree.  They're interesting careers in that you can often learn and be paid at the same time, and the salary is very decent. 

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We've defiantly thought of this. Having gotten married and pregnant before I had a chance to establish my career, And now having been fully out of the workforce for 8 years, I'm not sure I could even make enough to barely support us.

Is your degree in an area that would have jobs qualifying for loan repayment?

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Likely not enough to support yourself, but if pinkmint could make enough to just pay her student loan, it might help.

 

I don't know.

 

Pinkmint, have you looked into an income contingent repayment plan? 

 

Some people here have made some interesting money making suggestions and I have yet to encounter one that I think would make any money.  Someone suggested my 14 year old power wash houses.  For several reasons this is beyond a NOT doable suggestion.

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Not knowing which one you mean.  Yes.

 

Amazon and Ebay you could make full time income and more.  Babysitting or daycare sure

 

Surveys would just be some extra money.

 

You have done this?  And if so how?  People say this, but I have yet to meet anyone who actually did and was successful. 

 

My sister at one point tried to make money selling on e-bay.  She worked quite a bit at it and made very little money (she had no other job at the time and no family so she could devote whatever time was needed on it).  At one point she was even selling computers and laptops and other high end items.  There is so much cheating on some of this selling stuff that it is difficult for honest people to make honest money.

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My husband actually makes a tiny bit of money on surveys.  Usually he gets paid in Amazon gift cards.  There is one place that mails checks.  Probably he makes $150 a year, but these are very specific surveys for IT professionals.  This isn't stuff like what kind of soap do you buy.  I tried to do some of those and I never made a dime on it.  

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You have done this?  And if so how?  People say this, but I have yet to meet anyone who actually did and was successful. 

 

My sister at one point tried to make money selling on e-bay.  She worked quite a bit at it and made very little money (she had no other job at the time and no family so she could devote whatever time was needed on it).  At one point she was even selling computers and laptops and other high end items.  There is so much cheating on some of this selling stuff that it is difficult for honest people to make honest money.

 

http://www.shethrifts.com/

 

http://theteenthrifter.blogspot.com/

 

2 ones on people who sell on ebay and make money

 

http://moneysavingmom.com/2016/03/retired-husband-clearance-shopping.html?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzRss&utm_campaign=moneysavingmom

 

about selling on amazon

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Yeah ok.  Like the thrift store thing. This depends on stuff like how good are the thrift stores in one's area.  Then in order to go thrift store shopping regularly to 'score" stuff you have to spend money on gas to get there and she'd have to bring her kids with her (which will undoubtedly limit how often she can practically go there).  Again, how much money could one make on this?  I am highly skeptical and not convinced because some person I don't know has a website. 

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Yeah ok.  Like the thrift store thing. This depends on stuff like how good are the thrift stores in one's area.  Then in order to go thrift store shopping regularly to 'score" stuff you have to spend money on gas to get there and she'd have to bring her kids with her (which will undoubtedly limit how often she can practically go there).  Again, how much money could one make on this?  I am highly skeptical and not convinced because some person I don't know has a website. 

 

Yes. I am very skeptical when it comes to buying stuff cheap and reselling for more; seems not too reliable for a business model.

Most of the moms I know who work from home sell a specific service: tutoring, translations, web design, online teaching.

Or they are artists and sell their creations.

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Yes. I am very skeptical when it comes to buying stuff cheap and reselling for more; seems not too reliable for a business model.

Most of the moms I know who work from home sell a specific service: tutoring, translations, web design, online teaching.

Or they are artists and sell their creations.

 

And what a lot don't seem to account for, or mention, is how much time they are spending on it.  If they make $100 a week and it's taking them 40 hours....this isn't real money in my mind and not going to work with a person who has three little kids. 

 

I've personally known people who saw this as some dreamy potential to make money that was going to be super easy.  Even with a lot of hard work it was not easy and not dreamy. 

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Have you looked into online tutoring? I used to work for a legit company (gave 1099s and all that). The pay started at $10 an hour and went up as you gained experience. Certain areas (higher maths, sciences) started higher. There are some higher paying times as well. You can sign up for hours or "float" during busy times. They want you to commit to at least 5 hours a week, I believe. You have a degree, so as long as you can pass a subject area test, have good enough computer skills, and have reliable computer and internet access, you will most likely be hired. The company is tutor.com (I'll take that down if it violates board rules). It wasn't my favorite job, but I could easily make $100 a week with it, much more during busy times before I had kids and between "real" jobs.

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Yeah ok.  Like the thrift store thing. This depends on stuff like how good are the thrift stores in one's area.  Then in order to go thrift store shopping regularly to 'score" stuff you have to spend money on gas to get there and she'd have to bring her kids with her (which will undoubtedly limit how often she can practically go there).  Again, how much money could one make on this?  I am highly skeptical and not convinced because some person I don't know has a website. 

 

i totally agree with you there.  And how much time goes into it.  But it is a possibility.  Yeah some of the stuff that is sold blows my mind.

 

You could always go sourcing on the weekend or 1 or 2 times a month.  without the kids.

 

i think seeing if you could reduce the loan payments is a great idea.  I dont know how much that would help you month to month.

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My husband actually makes a tiny bit of money on surveys.  Usually he gets paid in Amazon gift cards.  There is one place that mails checks.  Probably he makes $150 a year, but these are very specific surveys for IT professionals.  This isn't stuff like what kind of soap do you buy.  I tried to do some of those and I never made a dime on it.  

 

I use swag bucks and have done pretty well with that.  I managed over $500 last year.  Certainly no where the level a job who bring in but since I just dabble around when I have some free time it's not too bad of a deal for me.  But it's not all surveys, they have lots of different things.  Some are worth the time and others completely not.  They have lots of choices of gift cards but we stick to restaurant ones just because our budget is so tight there it's nice to have a leave freedom and go get something to eat even when I don't have the budget for it.

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I use swag bucks and have done pretty well with that.  I managed over $500 last year.  Certainly no where the level a job who bring in but since I just dabble around when I have some free time it's not too bad of a deal for me.  But it's not all surveys, they have lots of different things.  Some are worth the time and others completely not.  They have lots of choices of gift cards but we stick to restaurant ones just because our budget is so tight there it's nice to have a leave freedom and go get something to eat even when I don't have the budget for it.

 

 

ok please give me a tutorial on how do that.  i have tried SB before, but never made anything.

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there is a reason I ask that I'll get to

 

I asked my husband about the coding camps.  He knows nothing about them, but he said there is so much out there for less money where one could learn a lot of stuff.  I suppose what that stuff lacks is the "fire" of having to get through it quickly. 

 

 

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ok please give me a tutorial on how do that.  i have tried SB before, but never made anything.

 

things that I find worth my time

 

Daily poll

 

daily noso offers

 

ads (I'm drawing a blank on what the picture looks which is sad because I just used it this morning), it's a  video that runs for 30 seconds and you have to click anywhere to "interact with it".  It's 2 SB but most the time you can run them many times.  I earned 58 from that today.  But I don't actually watch the ads, I always have the sound off and just click when I'm nearby.  My computer is in the main room and everyone knows if they see the page up, they are welcome to click. 

 

Laptop guy (video again but you have to watch 10 things for 10-30 seconds but there is a countdown screen so you know when you can advance).  I don't do this often but will when I'm trying to reach a daily goal.  Again this works well for me because I do it while I'm doing something else.  Especially during school where I have to be present for any work to get done but I'm not always helping someone.  I just sit at my desk and click while keeping order with the kids.

 

Because we are a tv free house my kids get enthralled with anything on the screen, so if I need a few minutes of quiet, I put on the animal videos and they earn by watching them.  The payout is low enough that it's not worth my time but getting paid for my kids entertainment is worth it to me at times.

 

Surveys, I go in spurts on these.  In the winter I tend to do a lot of them but in warm weather hardly at since since I have other things I want to do.

 

Team Challenges,  you have to sing up for them (happen every month or two), but each team has it's own forum and other members will post really good ideas about how to earn things quickly.  I learned much by reading these comments during a few challenges.

 

Play games, most of them cost money but they have 2-3 that are free.  Basically they are run and jump games except I never jump.  I fall off the first cliff so I earn my SB sooner.

 

Swag codes.  Every day they post a special code and when you enter it you get 2-5 sb bucks (just depends on the day).  I use sbcodez.com and it emails me when there is a new code available.  About one a month they have bonus days where they issue 6 that usually add up to 30+ for the day.

 

Install the swag button bar.  Then all the searches go through it.  Randomly you will get free SB for using there search engine Depending on how much searching I am doing I would say I get 4-5 a week.

 

Shopping.  Many of the stores I shop at (except Amazon) will give you so many SB per $1 if you like through swagbucks.  Right now Walmart is 7 SB per dollar.  It takes a while to credit (usually a couple of months) but hey if you are shopping online anyways every little bit helps.  The biggest drawback with this is it' doesn't always credit.  Their customer service is great but you have to send in proof and it can take a little time.

 

Referals.  My son has an account that her opened from my referal and then I get 10% of whatever he earns.  It's only a few per month but again it all adds up.

 

So none of them are really big but the majority of the time it's stuff I can run in the background (as long as I don't forget to periodically switch to that screen) and earn a few cents.  It does add up over time.  When I really spend a lot of time on the surveys I can usually get several a day. 

 

Hopefully that will give you a few pointers.

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