FREE 101 Guide

It is simple economics. I work a full-time job, but need extra cash to do all the things I want to do. This website is about sharing a few legitimate ways I am able to do that every month. It is not about get rich schemes, or programs that pay a few pennies each month. It is about investing your most precious commodity, time, into a few places that will reward your hard work.

Are you too wondering how to make some extra cash? Could you use Amazon, PayPal and other major gift cards in your pocket every single month? Then you are in the right place! Here is a guide to what I do to find FREE income every month.

Use Rewards Programs

I have tried unsuccessfully in the past to increase my income online. Who doesn't want to believe all those 'Make $1000's in your spare time!' ads? I don't believe them and I don't promote them. What I do believe is that it is possible, and easy, to increase income by earning FREE gift cards, cash and/or prizes from a few legitimate and proven rewards sites online.

Instead of joining dozens of programs and making a few pennies a month, I concentrate my time on using a few programs that work. Will I get rich overnight with them? No. Will I be able to quit my full-time job? Probably not. Can I make at least $100 a month (I usually make more) using them diligently each week? Absolutely!

I have no idea how much YOU will make each month. It all depends on how much time and effort you put into the programs. I personally paid for all of my Holiday presents in 2011 through Amazon Gift Cards I won through just one of the programs, Swag Bucks, and you can too! Right now I win Amazon Gift Cards from SuperPoints, PayPal Gift Cards from Swag Bucks, and use mobile shopping apps to win more gift cards as well as deep discounts. Every single month.

Instead of spending my free time watching TV, I do these programs. They are my part time job. They require no transportation and I can 'clock into work' whenever I want! I like to break them up to a few chunks of time each day. Some of them even allow you to do some things to earn points on your smartphone! Standing in line? Grab some points. Once you get the hang of them you can do them whenever you have a few minutes to spare. It all adds up! And yes, I still have plenty of time to have a life. I am a big fan of having a life!

My Big 3

Swag Bucks -- where I have won Amazon Gift Cards, PayPal Gift Cards, and various smaller prizes. They have a monthly charity and I also support those as well.

SuperPoints -- where I have won Amazon and PayPal Gift Cards!

Mobile Rewards apps - where I have won Target Gift Cards, deep discounts to my favorite stores, and have donated to worthy causes/charities!

A Word on Referrals

All of these sites increase your winnings when you have referrals sign up. Swag Bucks is still very easy without them. SuperPoints requires 5 referrals to reach their Platinum Level and fully utilize all the benefits of that program. The mobile apps give you bonuses as well.

Referrals are a great way to quickly increase your winnings. However, I believe that SPAM is a four letter word for a reason. Trying to get referrals through unsolicited acts is a big no-no in my book and gives the few legitimate Rewards Sites out there a bad rap. Please don't spam! Just be honest. Share your winnings on Twitter and Facebook. Turn on the Social Connections in Swag Bucks and share your winnings on SuperPoints. Utilize social media! When people ask where you got that cool gadget, that you saved up for with your Free Gift Cards, tell them! Success is not just financial, it is also about treating people the way you want to be treated.

Sweepstakes and Giveaways and Good Freebies

Yes, my name is no misnomer: I, Valerie Sweeps, am a bona fide Sweeper. I love winning prizes! I always have. These days I am able to utilize the popularity of social media, i.e. Twitter, Facebook, blogs, to enter more sweepstakes than ever before. The secret to winning is the same as it has always been: enter as many as you can. My own rule is to only enter for items I will use/gift, and only from companies I have heard of before entering.

TIP: Sweepstakes that only last for one day or with the lowest number of entries are the easiest to win. Be on the lookout for 'flash' sweepstakes and giveaways on the social networks. It pays to be social!

To follow along with the sweepstakes I have entered just follow me, @valeriesweeps, on Twitter. I post several legitimate sweeps, giveaways and freebies there as I find them almost every single day. Due to the high volume and short duration of many of them, I prefer to use Twitter for these over traditional blog posts. If you are on Twitter, feel free to share your sweeps, giveaways and freebies with me there!

Final Thoughts

Before you enter any Rewards Program or Sweepstakes it is a good idea to create at least one email account just for that program or general category, like a sweeps only email. Be sure it is an email you can check regularly. A Google voice phone number is handy as well if you don't want to give out your direct phone number. It is still a legitimate (and perfectly acceptable amongst the rules of most programs) number as it goes to your real phone. Don't give out any information or download anything you aren't comfortable with. This is especially true in the Special Offers sections of the Rewards Programs. I personally will not download anything to my computer, unless it is a program I have been wanting to try. I do download Facebook apps, as they are very easy to remove if you decide that they are not right for you.

This blog, and post does contain affiliate links to programs that I may benefit from. My success in any of these programs does not guarantee any success you may have with them. I do honestly believe you can succeed, if you give them a fair chance. Please take the time to read the Rules, FAQ's and fine print of every program/sweepstakes/website you are thinking about joining! Don't just take my word for it. Check them out for yourself.

Be sure to also check out the 101 FREE Things page for more ways to find free, right in your own back yard. Please let me know if you have any questions or have been inspired to start your own journey to Embrace The Free!

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