Two month interest-free loans

OP, you use an investment account to pay for your shops?

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Yipes i cant imagine waiting for a return on this much money.Iam retired and need my money monthly.I mainly do store shops for groceries .Its like putting my money in savings and getting it back in two weeks and i still get the free groceries.Thats why i love to shop for the one iam with now, i waited six weeks for pay from another msc and i didnt like that at all.I also do some fast food shops and some picture shops but i would never do a high end dining shop because i think its crazy to spend that much money for a meal for one thing i and for another its a big expense i could not afford to take out of my montly budget.On the picture shops you dont have to pay anything out of pocket just a little effort ,not a great deal of pay but clear money after a small amount of gas.I dont take jobs any futher than 11 miles unless there is gas money included.I love it .Its much better than a regular job with regular hours did that for 50 years.I do a average of 20 jobs a month for the same MSC.
I have a Paypal debit card. The msc that pay through paypal, I leave the money in the paypal account. Any shops that has reimbursement, I use the paypal debit card. I consider paypal as my business account.
@HonnyBrown wrote:

OP, you use an investment account to pay for your shops?

I don't. I keep much more than I should in cash (the bank). I am maybe 50% in the market in an index fund.
@ceasesmith wrote:

Four years ago, I was working 2 W-2 jobs, and had several thousand dollars in savings. I also had 4 credit cards (paying the balance in full each month), and a 780 credit rating.

Then I got hurt at work (a fellow employee assaulted me with a knife; I tore the meniscus in my left knee trying to escape the assault). That was May 19, 2015.

Savings lasted until September, then I started borrowing. And borrowing. And borrowing. I really didn't worry about it, as my attorney assured me I would receive $486 a week for 3 years from workmen's comp.

In April 2017 -- almost two full years later, when I was still in agony from the injury -- the workmen's comp declined my claim. They even came after ME to pay the doctor's bills from the assessments, tests, etc.

I returned to work in August, 2017, and have worked ever since. I worked the counter in fast food, delivered pizza, and continued to mystery shop.

I was just getting on my feet when my car broke down June 1 this year. For five months, I missed most work; I ended up spending over $2,000 to get my car fixed. Then last week, the alternator failed, and I lost a route of 27 gas stations. And another $400 in car repairs.

I am deeply in debt, have no credit cards, and my FICO is 511.

Some of us CANNOT wait 8 weeks for payment.

Some of us don't have a "shop kitty" (I did; but it all went to fixing my car!).

So, yes, I'll take that $13 job that pays in 48 hours, and use that $13 to do many, many more shops in the next 8 weeks.

Or I could use it for a week's worth of groceries (yes, that's right; my grocery budget is $13 a week, and I haven't had even that much the last 3 months!).

Wouldn't you be qualified for public assistance? Food stamps should hopefully be able to supplement your income.
The money she gets from Social Security is probably too high to qualify for any public assistance.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
The $13 week seems hard to imagine. Maybe get a roomate? Food pantries? Work at home as a scheduler if the disability stops work outside of the home?
Here is how I do it....

I opened a new bank account via one of my shops. I now use that bank account (which is linked to my paypal account) exclusively for my shops. I have all direct deposits go into this account. I can then use my paypal card for shops so the money kind of recycles itself. I have a small "Petty cash" fund I keep in a separate pouch for shops that require cash.

I keep all my shopper funds separate from my private funds. At the end of the year I usually have close to $3500 in my shopper account that I then use for Christmas shopping (minus a couple hundred I hold back to start the new year off. I treat my shopping as a separate business entity.

so every time I'm out and about or up late putting my my reports, I remind myself I'm doing this to pay for Christmas. Also helps keeping my family budget on track without that huge financial hit at Christmas.

-fantazyland
$3k on Christmas? Wow. That seems like a lot. Or maybe I'm just cheap? LOL

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
"Wouldn't you be qualified for public assistance? Food stamps should hopefully be able to supplement your income."

I applied last month. My social security is, indeed, $2 a month OVER the cutoff for food stamps.

I have my heat set to 55 degrees, and wear 5 layers in my house. Last year, I asked Santa for new shoes, and for long johns. I got everything I asked for! This year, I'm not asking for anything.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/07/2018 03:39PM by ceasesmith.
Both.

@bgriffin wrote:

$3k on Christmas? Wow. That seems like a lot. Or maybe I'm just cheap? LOL

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
@SoCalMama wrote:

@Niner wrote:

How many people mystery shop who spend $300 for dinner and take 10k vacations? I definitely don't. They apparently are somewhere.

They are here on this forum. I know of a few at least.

Sorry for the late reply, but I was busy on a $10k vacation...and dinner was closer to $400 this week, but everything is a bit more expensive in Tokyo. I have been taunting SCM with food pics on Instagram all week, though winking smiley

Simple answer; You have to pay to play. I'm floating $10-20k on my credit cards almost every day of the year. Yes, I end up paying some interest here and there, but I have good rates on the cads. I get the airline status, hotel status and all of those points associated with each card, so that's a fair exchange to me. My annual goal is $50k of reimbursed travel and dining expense...and I'm on par to get there if I can just get my guest to eat a bit more on the next few trips!
@ceasesmith wrote:

"Wouldn't you be qualified for public assistance? Food stamps should hopefully be able to supplement your income."

I applied last month. My social security is, indeed, $2 a month OVER the cutoff for food stamps.

I have my heat set to 55 degrees, and wear 5 layers in my house. Last year, I asked Santa for new shoes, and for long johns. I got everything I asked for! This year, I'm not asking for anything.

Something doesn't seem to be adding up. $2 a month over means your SS check is $1315 a month. You already said your rent is $250, food is $50 (at $13 a week), and phone is $50. I could VERY easily live on $965 a month for everything else.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
@SteveSoCal wrote:

@SoCalMama wrote:

@Niner wrote:

How many people mystery shop who spend $300 for dinner and take 10k vacations? I definitely don't. They apparently are somewhere.

They are here on this forum. I know of a few at least.

Sorry for the late reply, but I was busy on a $10k vacation...and dinner was closer to $400 this week, but everything is a bit more expensive in Tokyo. I have been taunting SCM with food pics on Instagram all week, though winking smiley

Simple answer; You have to pay to play. I'm floating $10-20k on my credit cards almost every day of the year. Yes, I end up paying some interest here and there, but I have good rates on the cads. I get the airline status, hotel status and all of those points associated with each card, so that's a fair exchange to me. My annual goal is $50k of reimbursed travel and dining expense...and I'm on par to get there if I can just get my guest to eat a bit more on the next few trips!

O-M-G!

I wanna be there as a shopper! ^^^ LOL
Didn't you say in another thread you're trying to be a full time shopper? If so you probably don't want to be where Steve is. He does amazing reimbursement shops but he makes no income from shopping, which I believe is your primary goal.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
ceasesmith, what is wrong with your house? For my $2,100 square foot house the gas, electric, water, sewer and trash is less than $275 a month. The thermostat stays on 71 in the winter and 73 in the summer.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/07/2018 05:41PM by LisaSTL.
Ah, but the cutoff for food stamps varies by state. Nebraska's cutoff is lower (yes, I know it's a federal program -- but states set their own cutoffs).

December 1, my rent and utilities to my landlord was $780. I owed a neighbor $170 (she loaned me for gas last month so I could go do the shops I could get to); another neighbor $52 (another loan), and yet a third $100 (same reason). I HAD to repay those loans, as all three are elderly widows who love me, but are as poor as churchmice. I will repay them before I eat. I'm not kidding!

That's my ENTIRE SS check. I have not paid my cell phone ($43.50), so I have currenty no phone. My TV service will be turned off any day, as I cannot pay the cable bill.

The $400 alternator for my car a couple weeks ago was an unmitigated disaster for me.

The last time I ate meat was Thanksgiving. I volunteered all day for the community dinner, and the kind people there let me take the hambone home. I simmered it for 6 hours, threw in a couple pounds of white beans, and I've been eating that ever since. I have enough left for two more days.

I'm just trying to get on my feet. It's just been a disaster since June 1, when my car broke down 150 miles from home.

@bgriffin wrote:

@ceasesmith wrote:

"Wouldn't you be qualified for public assistance? Food stamps should hopefully be able to supplement your income."

I applied last month. My social security is, indeed, $2 a month OVER the cutoff for food stamps.

I have my heat set to 55 degrees, and wear 5 layers in my house. Last year, I asked Santa for new shoes, and for long johns. I got everything I asked for! This year, I'm not asking for anything.

Something doesn't seem to be adding up. $2 a month over means your SS check is $1315 a month. You already said your rent is $250, food is $50 (at $13 a week), and phone is $50. I could VERY easily live on $965 a month for everything else.
@bgriffin wrote:

$3k on Christmas? Wow. That seems like a lot. Or maybe I'm just cheap? LOL

I have 4 kids. We spent $500 for each of them for many years. That didn't include buying for in laws, parents, brothers....one of the reasons we did this was because at age 8 or 9, my oldest wanted a trick bike...it was $450. We got it for him; along with a little thing or two to go with it (pegs)...and we spend the same each year for each kid. Although my youngest was not born until the next year, but we kept up the amount for a few years.

Prior to that year, it was around $200 per kid. Since about 2016, it's varied even more, depending on how extensive our family vacations have been....

For the last 10 (or 11 or 12) years, we haven't gotten them bday presents, though. Instead, we've done a family outing (Rockies game/monster truck show/disney on ice show/Rapids game/dinner and a move/hike and a picnic/museums/aquariums/skiing, etc)
How big is your house? I still don't see how your utilities could be $530 which is as much as mine if I included cable, landline telephone and burglar alarm monitoring. Cable and internet alone are $200.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
My house is two bedrooms. The $780 includes rent, telephone and internet, water/sewer/garbage, and heat, and electric. It goes down in the summer, when gas (heat) isn't used, but the minimum (even if I use zero gas) is $48 a month.
@bgriffin wrote:

Didn't you say in another thread you're trying to be a full time shopper? If so you probably don't want to be where Steve is. He does amazing reimbursement shops but he makes no income from shopping, which I believe is your primary goal.

Amazing reimbursement shops would be great, too!

One day... smiling smiley

I suppose. For now, I'm just trying to supplement our income with whatever means I can that allow me to still "stay home" and continue to home educate the kids. I shop (and am trying to do more), babysit, and tutor...IDK if shopping will be "it," because it seems like I would have to travel quite a bit to be FT (routes). I am trying to get "day routes" working out, though, but too many days away takes away from being able to effectively home educate the kids. But I'm also looking into teaching online and being a notary for refinance documents....we shall see how it all works out

Goal is to be in a position to be able to do things like what Steve does. We have properties and hopefully will get a few more in the next couple years. Again, that's "iffy." But the "back pocket" goal is to ultimately be able to live abroad for a couple years or five or six...and have our properties support us while there. Shopping would help, too
@ceasesmith wrote:

Ah, but the cutoff for food stamps varies by state. Nebraska's cutoff is lower (yes, I know it's a federal program -- but states set their own cutoffs).

Perhaps you were given incorrect information. That's well under the Nebraska guidelines.

[www.benefits.gov]

@ceasesmith wrote:

December 1, my rent and utilities to my landlord was $780.

Why did I think you said your rent was $250? I must have misremembered.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
@ceasesmith, I'm sorry that things have been so tough! I hope that you can get back on your feet soon
No, my RENT is $250 a month. Rent here is low. Utilities, however, are very, very high. Minimum water bill is $70 a month. My landlord pays my utilities and adds it to the $250.
I'm beginning to feel like I'm being attacked.

I applied for food stamps last month, and was told I was $2 a month OVER the cutoff.

That's what I know.

The lady was very sad that I did not qualify. She said as a senior, and a disabled person, certain portions of my income could be exempt, and she explored every option to try to get me qualified. I just did not qualify.

However, the $1315 was NOT the cut off last month. It was lower. Perhaps this is the new cutoff, for 2019?
You are being charged $530 for those utilities and have to keep your heat at 55? You pay $150 more a month than me and my thermostat is never lower than 71. My quarterly water bill is only around $85 with running the dishwasher every other day, at least 14 loads of laundry a week and even a yard to water weekly from June to September.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
Did you include your mystery shopping income? If not, your SSI income doesn't appear too high. It also pays to speak with another person. My mother was given misinformation by someone. It resulted in her collecting her SSI just a few months too early which meant she was receiving less. She was able to finally get it straightened out.

@ceasesmith wrote:

The lady was very sad that I did not qualify. She said as a senior, and a disabled person, certain portions of my income could be exempt, and she explored every option to try to get me qualified. I just did not qualify.

However, the $1315 was NOT the cut off last month. It was lower. Perhaps this is the new cutoff, for 2019?

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
@Jill_L wrote:

@bgriffin wrote:

Didn't you say in another thread you're trying to be a full time shopper? If so you probably don't want to be where Steve is. He does amazing reimbursement shops but he makes no income from shopping, which I believe is your primary goal.

Amazing reimbursement shops would be great, too!

Technically, I do make a small income, but I add that to my reimbursements to reach my travel goal each year...so BG is correct that in that I don't count on any income from MSing to pay my bills outside of food/travel.

And I have said many times before: I do not recommend high-reimburement shops for anyone who would be seriously financially hurt if they were out the expenses for the assignment! Problems come up and if you do this long enough, you will end up eating the expenses for a shop. Mine was luckily under $1,000 when it happened, but that still hurt quite a bit.

I have also been unemployed and a full-time shopper in the past. I feel for any who are struggling and hope that MSing helps you the way it did for me...
@LisaSTL wrote:

You are being charged $530 for those utilities and have to keep your heat at 55? You pay $150 more a month than me and my thermostat is never lower than 71. My quarterly water bill is only around $85 with running the dishwasher every other day, at least 14 loads of laundry a week and even a yard to water weekly from June to September.
Electric, water, sewer, and garbage last month ran us about $600. It depends on your local utility costs. Our water was free and unmetered when we moved in. City took it over and just water is about $75/mo now.

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.

(Yes, I stole Hoju's tagline.)
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