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Ten Creative Ways to Earn Extra Money on CNN.com

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Ten Creative Ways to Earn Extra MoneyThis is the article that never quits. First it started on the Careerbuilder.com website on April 13, 2009, moved up to AOL on April 30th, then the front page of MSN last week on May 1, 2009 and today (May 18th) it is on the CNN website under the Living section.

My friend and fellow blogger, Zippy, from Champagne Living, was also featured for mystery shopping. For those of you who have not read the article here are some excerpts. I am only showing my section and Zippy’s section. Go here to read the full article.

With an abundance of job losses, salary cuts, eliminated bonuses and diminished 401(K) matching contributions, your income is shrinking — but the bills aren’t.

If your regular job isn’t earning you enough cash or you’ve lost your job altogether, these simple side gigs can help put some padding in your pockets until — maybe even after — you get back on your feet.

Enter local and online sweepstakes

Wendy Limauge has been entering sweepstakes since 1993 and teaching others to win through her Web site, Sweeties Sweeps, since 2002. Though winning sweepstakes rarely provides actual cash, her winnings have consistently provided her and her family with 200 to 300 prizes a year, many of them large items she and her husband couldn’t afford on their incomes alone.

Prizes she has won include three TVs, two of which are flat-screens; a home theatre system; three dishwashers, each won on separate occasions; at least $1,500 in grocery gift certificates; an $18,000 voucher for the vehicle of her choice; a trip to France valued at $25,000; and, in March 2009, she won $5,000 in an instant-win game.

“The Internet has so many options for saving money, getting something for free, winning a prize or earning money from home,” Limauge says. “You just need to find those resources that offer helpful information and point you in the right direction to get you started and keep you motivated.”

Be a secret shopper

Keen eyes for detail as well as a good memory are really all that it takes to succeed as a secret shopper, says Zippy Sandler, who has been mystery shopping for about 13 years. After registering with a secret shopping company, you are paid to basically go undercover and report on a company’s operation from the customer point of view.

Sandler decided to start secret shopping not only to earn money eating, traveling and shopping, but also to learn customer service skills to pass along to the employees she managed at a retail store. Depending on the clients she is shopping for, Sandler says she has earned everywhere from $100 to $2,000 per month.


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