Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Misc Income

My wife sent me an e-mail about mystery shopping at a hardware store nearby for $14 and uncertain if it's one to go after. I came up with an equation for us to use when deciding if one is worthwhile: 7t + 0.3d = M where t is the total time commitment in hours, d is extra distance in miles beyond normal route, M is the money they are paying. There are 3 coming up that my wife will be doing, which are a total of an 1.5 hrs, almost no extra miles, and the money is over $19. Those make much better cents.

After looking at someone else's web site and doing some thinking, I think we need to set some goals for "misc income". This would include things like mystery shopping, trial offers, point programs, etc.

I think I'm going to set our goal to be $300/month. This is about how much my wife was making at a very part time job for a video store, which she left a month ago. Here's where I'm initially looking for a year's worth:
  • Speedway: $50/yr
  • Mystery Shopping/Stocking: $1800/yr ($150/month)
  • Other Point Programs: $120/yr ($10/month)
  • Trial Offers: $1630/yr ($135/month)
So far this month we're looking at $100 for setting up a coffee advertising, $29 for trial offers, $150 for mystery shopping, $25 Speedway Gas Card, bringing us to $304. I'm going to start looking at bumping up our trial offer efforts and help my wife only pick the best "fruit" of mystery shopping (free food, oil changes, basic stocking, very good paying).

A tough question I have been thinking about is if by doing a trial offer to get money back, is it morally wrong? I know last year during the summer I did something that I feel was a bad moral decision (local casino was giving away $5/visit on Wed & Fridays, they were 3 miles away, would drive there so I could have gas money to keep searching for a job). I feel that was taking in the end from people with an addiction. But what about signing up for an online music site and getting paid $5 for trying it out?

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