This morning, I had to fly to Rochester for a board meeting. I have a house in Rochester and love it here too. In fact, it's one of my favorite places in the world, just like Hartwick. As I wheeled my suitcase toward the Nostrand stop, I was thinking about the past weekend and the fact that I found no money in Oneonta. I was reminded that there are a few things that I do daily that earn me a little bit of money.
First, I do searches on Bing every morning for about two minutes. You can click here to sign up for Bing rewards. I've found a way to make it go faster than typing in a search every time. First, on my phone, I click onto the Bing rewards application and mobile search. I then clear out the search bar and type a very long word or string of words one letter at a time. After each letter, I click on search. You do this 20 times, and depending on the speed of your connection, you've earned 10cents. Then I sign on to my laptop and click on the news link of Bing. I click through all of the subheadings (top stories, us, north, south, east, west, world, etc.) until I've done 30 or so clicks and earn my 15 cents. I also then click through the other things to earn one or two cents more. Every 20 days or so, I then redeem the money for an amazon gift card.
The other thing that I've been doing is using this round up application on my iPhone called Acorns. Acorns takes any purchase I make from an assigned credit card and rounds it up to the nearest dollar. Every time that amount reaches $5.00, Acorns invests it in an index fund in the stock market. I've picked a moderately aggressive investment strategy, but you can pick your own strategy. The market has been down over the past few months, but I am managing to stay pretty even and not lose too much money. Some days it looks like I've had good gains. There is a management fee that is minor. As of right now, I'm $1.73 ahead since I started investing a year ago. Acorns has been a very interesting way for me to get involved with the stock market at a small level. It also forces me to save a little each month in a way that I hardly notice. I find that I end up putting about $100 a month in the market since I changed the upload to include only those purchases under $1.00. If the dollar amount is even, I don't have it invest. To give you an idea, too, I use my credit card for everything. Acorns also provides a weekly email with articles on finance that are helpful.
My day today has been dominated by board meetings in a hotel conference room. The people I meet with are really fascinating. The majority of the board are clients who receive services from the nonprofit. The nonprofit is called Pathstone. I worked there at one point as a fundraiser. I really do think that they do amazing work in the 7 states and Puerto Rico where they provide job training, head start, small business lending, affordable housing, and other supporting programs for those people looking for a helping hand. In fact, I bought my first house where I am staying tonight through their program before I worked there. Many of the board members speak Spanish as a first language. I also speak spanish. It makes for a long, and very interesting meeting to have everything translated through small headsets in board members ears. Some days I feel like we are in the United Nations with all the headsets and mumbling in Spanish or English. Today, there was also a staff member who was deaf. She had a sign language interpreter translating for her.
I'm off to a new local food sourced pub for dinner with an old friend. I hope you find ways to make money even if you can't find it on the street. My favorite blog so far about it is the Penny Hoarder blog.