Friday, February 19, 2016

Make an Easy $100

I just signed up for a Wells Fargo Checking account.  Why?  Because they are offering a $100 bonus to do so.

I've done a few of these offers before (See Checking Account Bonus Awards).  I just follow the steps to get the bonus, then I empty the account and close it.  It does take specific steps to get the bonus, some more than others, but I've outlined what to do and look out for here!
Wells Fargo Checking Account
Go to to sign up today for your account to get your bonus!  All you need is $25 to open it.

Important steps you must follow to get the bonus:

  • Open with $25 ($50 if you open in person) before 2/22/16
  • Make 10 debit card purchases or set up direct deposit for at least $500/monthly in the first 60 days
That's it!

I will just do the 10 debit card purchases.  I'll just go to the Dollar Store and grab a candy bar or something 10 different times.  So technically you'll only get $90 since you'll have to spend about $10 this way, but it's still free money.

****Watch out because there is a monthly $10 account fee unless you make 10 debit card purchases or have a balance of $1,500.  So get the 10 purchases done as soon as possible, and once the bonus has been deposited, close that account as soon as possible.  The bonus is supposed to be deposited within 45 days so it may go into another month with the account which means you'd have to make another 10 debit purchases.  This lowers the bonus to $80 in a sense but again, it's still easy free money.****

I'm going to sign my husband up too so if you have a significant other, you can double the money!

Hurry up, this offer ends in a few days!!!!!!  Enjoy your money!

Friday, January 1, 2016

My One Day Experience Driving for Uber

So most of you know, my husband has been using Uber extensively to get to and from work when I have the car and it's great!  (See my article, Ridesharing)  So over the summer, my schedule was quite strange: I'd work really long hours for one week, and then have a couple weeks off.  I'd work three days for a few hours in the middle of the day, and then have a few off.  Although I was still making good money, I had a lot of time open that could have been filled with another job.  But it's hard to find a job when you have weird hours, and schedules that fluctuate, and something only for the summer.  So I thought I'd look into driving for Uber.

It seemed like a good option because it was easy and I could create my own hours.  So I began the process of signing up.  All you need is a 2000 or newer car with 4 doors with current registration and insurance and a valid driver's license.  They run checks on your driving record and a background check and then you just need to get your car checked out (a general 19 point inspection) and that's it!  (There are instructional videos on their website and onsite people at Uber Activation Centers for help and info)

So I did all the paperwork requirements and once my background check passed, all I had to do was bring my car in for the inspection.  And that's where I dropped the ball.  I did get busy, we had vacations, I may have been a bit lazy (we didn't REALLY need the money), and, to be honest, I'm always nervous about starting something new so I guess I was a bit scared about change and the slight possibility of letting a murderer into my car.

September came around, and school started (I teach an after school program) and my schedule was no longer so open).  I kept getting emails and texts from Uber saying, "You're almost done!  Just get your car checked out and then you can start driving!"  And I'd think, oh I have time next week . . . and that went on and on.

When I originally signed up, I found a code online that offered an extra $100 after you complete your first 10 rides.  Easy enough.  And so when December came, I got another email saying that I only had until the end of the month to still get the $100 bonus.  Well the beginning of December was super busy for me, but I knew I would have some time once school got out.  But then there was Christmas shopping and decorating, meeting up with friends and family, and all that jazz.  Let's just say, I left it until the very last day -- Dec 31 -- to actually try and start this up.

And this is how it went . . . 

I went to an Uber Activation Center to get my car checked, it passed, and a lady gave me some tidbits and I was on my way!  I pulled into the nearest parking lot to get the app started and within a matter of minutes I already got a notification of a rider requesting a ride nearby.  I accepted, and I was on my way.  This ride was short, in town, and actually on my way home!  Perfect, just the kinds of trips I wanted!

After I dropped him off, I headed back towards my apartment.  I thought I'd just wait there and leave when I got more riders.  But as I was almost home I realized, Uber lets the nearest Uber driver know about people.  That means if I'm not in a populated area (unless there were like no Uber drivers on in my city) I wouldn't get very many people where I live.  So I turned around and went towards a shopping center.

Well I drove in a big circle around the whole city and neighboring city hitting all the major shopping centers and not one other ride!  (It was the early afternoon).  Then it hit me, people will be getting off work soon, I should wait at BART (our local transit to and from San Francisco).  I went there, and sat in the parking lot and then only a minute or two later, I got a text from my husband saying he was off work.

So I went offline, picked my husband up, and went home.  We ate, and by this time it was getting to be the early evening.  We had a New Year's party that we wanted to get to, but I still wanted to try and get the $100 bonus.  So I headed back out.

I got a ride pretty quickly.  He ended up going a few cities over. (I still haven't figured out to tell where they want to go before I accept the ride, you only get 15 seconds to accept.  I'm just glad nobody wanted to go really far away since I just wanted to stay local)  Once I dropped him off, I set my destination to home (so I would only pick up people going that direction and not get further away from my area).  Once I hit the somewhat bigger city next to my city, I turned that off and I got another rider.  This one was actually going to my city, score!  But she actually just wanted to pick something up and go back home.  So I ended up back at the neighboring city.

These two rides were good because I made a lot of money off of them ($20 and $16) but I wanted many quick rides so I could get the 10 ride bonus and go to my party!  I did one more short ride, and decided I would just forgo the bonus so I could go to the party and enjoy my day (I was kind of tired of driving too as it had been almost 2 hours).

So for my first day, in just about 2 and a half hours total I made just over $40.  Not bad.  You meet some really interesting people.  The one thing that does get annoying, is the constant backtracking.  Just as you leave an area, you pick a person up that wants to go right where you just came from!  But if you don't mind driving and you have a fuel efficient car (like my Prius!) then it's a really easy way to make a few extra bucks.

Luckily, when I got my account activated, the woman helping me gave me another bonus of $200 after my first 20 rides.  So I will definitely take advantage of that one!  (I think I have 30 days to complete it)  I'm kicking myself for not getting the 10 rides done in those 6 MONTHS that I had to get the bonus since it is so easy, but oh well.  At least I'll have something to do to make some money on my weird bouts of no work.

Sign up with my Uber code: carmenl419ue to get a bonus. For a limited time the bonus is $300 so sign up now!

Limited Time Offer: $300 Extra for New Drivers!

Uber's the fast and easy way to make money driving in your own car and on your own schedule. Sign up to receive your $300 reward. New uberX partners only.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

MetroPCS Is The Best Phone Plan For 2 People

A week or so ago, my mom came over to visit.  And since she lives out in the boonies, of course she had errands she wanted to run in the "city", one of which being she wanted to look at a new phone plan/carrier.  As I was helping her research, I realized that there may be better options for my husband and myself as well.  So after she was done (she settled on Cricket btw which has great deals as well and on an awesome network), I got to work looking up for myself.

Now if you've been reading a lot of my posts, you'll know I posted a while ago about a cell phone carrier that I've been with for a few years that I love, Ting (red my blog article on it here).  They are consistently rated the highest in customer service and that is part of why it is hard for me to leave them but there are a few negatives: 1.) You have to pay full price for your phone (unless you can find an amazing deal online somewhere).  At first this wasn't an issue, you save so much each month it made up for it.  But now phones are basically computers and they cost about $500-$600 new.  My husband and I were waiting to save up money for a new phone (not even the newest!), while our current phones were driving us crazy with how slow they are!  2.) Speaking of slow, unfortunately most of Ting's phones are on Sprint's network which, apparently, is the slowest of them all.  And 3.) For the amount of data we were using, there were actually cheaper plans out there for the two of us.  With all that being said, I still love Ting, and their idea is awesome, I just recommend it more for people who use very little to no data and don't need a newer phone.

At the time I had settled on Ting a few years ago, I had never had a smartphone before, so I didn't know how much data I'd be using and, therefore, how much I would need in a plan.  I liked that Ting was a no contract, and that you only paid for what you used.  Plus, there weren't as many options then for cheaper and no contract phone plans.  THINGS HAVE CHANGED.  This is a consumer's market.  With the internet, people are able to do more research, find the best options, and make complaints/suggestions, especially publicly, which has forced companies to change their plans.

So down to my findings: the cheapest and best plan for two people is MetroPCS's 2 for $50 plan.  It comes with unlimited text and talk and up to 1GB of data for each line at 4GLTE speeds, and unlimited at slower speeds.  My husband and I generally used about 1GB between the two of us, so we should be fine.  They use tMobile's network which isn't the best, but it's better than what we were on.  They do offer discounts on newer phones as well and the best part was: they were giving away a $50 discount to new customers that had their old account number and pin on the Samsung Galaxy Core Prime which is at a $49.99 discounted price.  Meaning, we got our phones for free!  Oh and all their plans are no contract :)

So do some research.  Find the best plan for you.  There are so many companies out there now offering customizable or unlimited plans for much cheaper than the main companies.  Plus you're not locked into a contract or only able to update every so often.  That's so 10 years ago! ;)

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Join Amazon Student

This week, from October 7th to 9th 2015, shop exclusive deals for Amazon Student members on electronics, tech, study supplies, and more.  Not an Amazon Student member?  Join here and try it for free for 6 months!  After the 6 month trial, upgrade to Amazon Prime at 50% off!!

Amazon Student is a great way to to get free 2 day shipping from Amazon plus all the other perks of Amazon Prime: music and video streaming plus kindle books, for much cheaper!  I utilize this all the time as I do a lot of shopping on Amazon, it saves time by not having to go to a store and if you have free shipping then it's no extra cost!  Plus the movie and tv selection is different than Netflix so you get more streaming options.

Right now they are also doing giveaways like gift cards and games!  So join now!

Amazon Student

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Trader Joe's: It's Cheaper Than You Think

So it's been a little over a year since my husband and I got married and we moved in together.  As with any new location, scouting out what grocery store you are going to frequent can be difficult.  For most of this year, I'd been going to Safeway to do most of our shopping because of all the deals they offer on their member card.  But lately I had gotten tired of getting the same things we usually get and thought I would shake it up a bit and go to Trader Joe's.

For some reason, for a long time, I had always assumed that since Trader Joe's is healthier, it is more expensive.  It wasn't until I moved to San Francisco and had one right across the street from my apartment that I realized this wasn't the case.  But after years away from it again, the old assumption had crept back into my mind.

For those of you that may think that too . . . don't!  Trader Joe's has great selection with great prices that even rival national supermarket chains.

So eat healthier and save money!  Click here to learn more about what's new at Trader Joe's and their prices.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

hitRECORD: How Joseph Gordon-Levitt is Paying Artists Around the World

So for those of you who don't know, I'm a performing artist.  I do musical theatre primarily which means I act, sing, and dance and currently my job is teaching theatre and dance as well as performing when I have the opportunity.  My parents were professional musicians, my grandparents on my mom's side were musicians, let's just say I know exactly what an artist's life is like.  All art forms go greatly unappreciated in this country.  Because many people assume it is a hobby, they are reluctant to pay people for these jobs.  (Yes, they are jobs)  So this is why I am so pleased to write about something today that will help earn artists (and art appreciators) money for their work!

Joseph Gordon-Levitt
While looking for a new show for myself to watch on Netflix, I came across a show called Hit RECord on TV!  It had a picture of Joseph Gordon-Levitt with an artistic background and it triggered my memory of a YouTube clip I saw on Facebook of JGL (is that a thing?) doing a musical theatre number and it said it was on his show Hit RECord on TV.  At the time I just watched the clip, enjoyed it, and thought nothing more of it.  But seeing this complete season of his show available on Netflix, I thought I should check it out.

What I was treated to was an amalgamation of different artists' writings, drawings, readings, music in a very unique and fun way.  It was funny because I started it right as my husband was walking back to his gaming station after a bathroom break and he stopped in his tracks to see what I was watching because it was so interesting.  He stayed standing because presumably he was going back to play a game but he ended up watching the whole episode, standing in the middle of the living room.  At the end I said, "Do you want to watch this with me?"  With out a pause he said, let me just save my game and I'll be right there.

So what is this show exactly?  Well I urge you to just check it out because it really is a great show that I think would appeal to just about most people but here's a brief explanation.  Hit RECord on TV is a new kind of variety show.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt hosts the show which features short films, live performances, music, animation, conversation, and more from an online community, hitRECORD, with each episode focusing on a different theme.  (And by the way, if you just love Joseph Gordon-Levitt you will even more as he continually shows more of his talents as well)

After quickly finishing the first season (the only available on Netflix right now) I thought I would check out the website where they do all these collaborations, hitRECORD.  I was even more impressed with what JGL had put together because, well, he honestly believes in featuring all people's work and the best part . . . he actually wants to compensate you fairly for it!  And who better to explain how it all works than JGL himself?!

I think this idea is so awesome and I'm really trying to be a part of it as much as I can.  And I really encourage everyone to be a part of it, or at least watch the show because it's really fun!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Prius Auxiliary Battery Saver

In my last post, Hybrids . . . Are They Worth the Upfront Cost?, I wrote about purchasing a hybrid car.  Well, only after about a month of owning the car, we had battery failure (the auxiliary not hybrid).  I did a lot of research about how each of the batteries work before deciding what to do.  I found this battery on Amazon:

In the reviews, I read that this is the most recommended auxiliary battery for Priuses.  A common problem is that since the battery needed for a Prius is so different from a normal car, they don't get used as much so auto shops can have them sitting on the shelves for years thus diminishing the quality of the battery.  Many people were saying they were having to have them replaced every year.

Since this was a highly recommended battery, I thought I would buy it.  And even better, when I added it to my cart, Amazon asked if I wanted to have it installed through Amazon Services.  There was an option for a shop in the city next to me for only $15.  So I ended up getting a battery and installed for under $200, hundreds less than if I just took it right away to a shop.  Plus, I can be more sure that this battery is better quality!

So if you have a Prius, keep this in mind for when you start having power issues!