Making Small Amounts of Money vs. Saving Big (or Small) Amounts

I recently spoke with a friend who is heading to Walt Disney World soon. She was so excited because she has managed to amass $1,200 in cash and Disney gift cards by participating in several “Get Paid To” (GPT) programs and survey websites. This money will pay for the majority of her family’s spending while they’re in Disney World.

I was happy for her, but I had to ask her how long it had taken her to accumulate that much money. When she said, “About three months. Maybe a little less,” I took a step backwards in shock. You have to understand: I’ve been doing surveys and GPT and survey sites for years and, because I only do them in my idle hours, it w


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14 Responses to Making Small Amounts of Money vs. Saving Big (or Small) Amounts

  1. David G. Mitchell says:

    As always, Jennifer has delivered an excellent, thought provoking article that defends pragmatic money management and time management theories.

    Well done!

  2. MollyJ says:

    As a freelancer, I know that it isn’t that simple to get work going. it can take months to get a project started, then it can take months more to get paid, so if she wants to fill in with surveys, I say go for it. It’s time she wouldn’t have been earning money anyway. I do a lot of things to fill in between projects, not all of them earning me a high wage, but still earning my family money. Also, with a baby at home I will tell you it’s not practical to go get a job at a retailer. You’d need a babysitter, or you’d have to pass the kid b/w parents, and you’d get basically no time with your Significant Other. That’s no way to live either. if this worked for her, I say good for her.

  3. Monkey Mama says:

    Agreed Agreed Agreed.

    What I never understood is people who would spend an inordinate amount of effort (& make like $2 an hour) simply because they “want more time with their kids” or “hate working for the man.” I find these arguments ridiculous.

    Working 6 hours a day with a baby? I think that’s crazy and unrealistic. I’d say it would be easier to get a big box job on the weekends. Babies are only babies so long.

    Anyway, I understand it on a smaller scale. But that’s practically a full-time job.

    You bring the point that there are SO MANY easier ways to bring in that kind of cash.

  4. A Marino says:

    By working at home your friend saves in other areas as well. She doesn’t have to pay for transportation to a job. (Gas can be expensive). Wear and tear on the car in general). She doesn’t have to buy clothes, hosiery, shoes, accessories, and she doesn’t have to worry about going to the salon on an inconvenient day as Saturday. No office parties, no coffee money collections, no gifts,etc.

    So, by staying home, she is able to earn some money while also being with her family. And as for family, let’s not forget babysitters pay.

    As you said, there are many ways that she can make more money.

  5. Alain Theriault says:

    Oh boy! They should do better money management and maybe she should try blogging. With that much free time, she could promote her blog and you don’t need to do it 6 hours strait.

    It’s maybe nice that she accumulated $1200 but it wasn’t worth it.

  6. Debbie M says:

    I think this was obviously worth it for your friend. She worked hard and is getting a great trip for the whole family. I hope she doesn’t feel sad for too long.

    I’m amazed that she understood your concerns (because it’s hard for people to learn to think differently–and because my relatives never like any of my ideas!). I hope she finds some good ways to save. Even some of the ones that are more time consuming might be more fun than the survey work. Now she knows that she doesn’t mind spending a fair amount of time to improve her finances.

  7. minny says:

    In Yorkshire there is a saying ‘a penny saved is a penny earned’ and how true it is. We discovered ‘frugality’ about five years ago. The first thing we did was a ‘money makeover’ when we looked at all of our monthly outgoings – phone, insurances, inteernet, television, gas and electricity and lots of other little bits and pieces.

    Well, what a surprise we got – we saved about $3,500 a year – and nothing had changed! We still had all of our services – all we sacrificed were a few channels on the TV.

    From there we went on to look at our spending on food and clothes – all those ways that money ‘leaks’ out of the bank.

    What a difference now! That saved money is sitting in the bank ready for our retirement which is not only better served financially, but we can live so much more easily on what we will have.

    Worth taking this articles’s advice? You betcha!

  8. Pat MaGroine says:

    Take a walk to your local blood bank and let them do a little pump action on your plasma.
    You recline back, ear buds in place listening to the music of your choice, close your eyes, open your eyes, enjoy some juice and cookies, receive a check. It’s that easy!
    So much better than what the person in the article went through AND you make MORE MONEY!

  9. Gail says:

    Jennifer, a very interesting article. Considering the problems of theft that she went through, that was a very expensive way to earn $1200. Some families are cutting every penny already and if that is the only way to earn more, so be it. It is great in this age of the internet to be able to earn bits and pieces in odd moments. Some of your points were very good, especially about the not eating out. If she was spending 6 hours every day cooking from scratch, think of the money she could have saved! with actually time leftover!! Getting better shopping habits etc. would really pile up with that much time to put into it.

  10. Jan says:

    The article made some excellent points. Thank you! What I enjoy most about is the innumerable options everyone comes up with to make/save money. Lots of creativity. I thank everyone for their comments.

  11. gaelicwench says:

    A very good article. I used to do the surveys and join a “club” such as for books and DVDs/CDs, but it got both too boring and took forever to accumulate a mere $20. That’s where joining the silly club in order to get a few bucks would jack up my earnings. But to play the “buy to earn cash” game was counterproductive.

    I am grateful for the job I have; it may be part-time and pay only around $8, but I love it. I get so much of it.

    Well, to each their own, I suppose.

  12. bindu says:

    Also, doing the surveys, you are giving out your information to the businesses. It makes you a target for the telemarketers, I think.

  13. minny says:

    Pat MaGroine, I was so fascinated to read your post. Here in the UK people give blood for the greater good. No money changes hands – all you get is a drink and a packet of cookies.

  14. Ruth says:

    $280 a month saved? Really?
    My husband takes his lunch every day. My daughter does to school, for that matter. We have nothing but FREE OTA TV. We never eat out. Period.
    I really don’t know what world you live in, but I’d like you to live in mine and figure out how to save $280/month.

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