August Income – $1275.58

Here is a breakdown of my income for August.

Cash Back$333.96
Mystery Shop$25

August was a decent income month considering I only worked the first three days of the month.

Dividend income came in at $28.79.

Interest income was $132.76. The high interest rates make for a nice return on my money.

I received $333.96 in cash back. I made a few purchases for buyer’s clubs a couple months ago when shopping portals were offering a high cash back rate and the cash back became payable in August.

I received $25 from a mystery shop. Getting paid $25 to eat a burger and fries and then spend about 20 minutes reporting information on your shop is a pretty good deal.

I made $755.07 in job income. I only worked the first three days of the month. This pay was for my final two paychecks plus my delayed holiday pay for working on Independence Day.

My income was a little more than my expenses which is always good. This month my income will be a lot lower since I won’t return to the U.S. until the end of the month. Even if I manage to get work right away I won’t get paid until October.

This was a solid income month considering I was in Thailand and not working for most of the month. How was your month?

Being a Movie Extra

After my recent post on my movie scene with Reese Witherspoon I received a couple of questions about being a movie extra and I have received similar questions in the past when I wrote about being an extra. I thought I had written a post about the process of being a movie extra here before, but it turns out the post I was remembering was a short post on Bank Bonuses that I wrote way back in 2006. That post didn’t have a lot of information and I know a little bit more about being an extra now so I’m writing this post to answer people’s questions on this subject.

How to Get a Job as an Extra

The most common question about being an extra is how to get a job as an extra. For my first two extra jobs were when I lived in Austin where they usually have a couple of movies or so shoot there each year. For both jobs there was an article in the local paper about a casting call for the movies. They want you to show up to the casting call with a head shot. You don’t need to get a professional headshot, you can just take one yourself. The casting employees aren’t too worried about the quality of the photo, they just want to have a clear idea of what you look like. After filling out a short application I then waited several months before I was contacted to work on the movie. My most recent job I responded to a post on the extra companies Facebook page stating that they needed extras for the next week. I found this company by doing a Swagbucks search for “extra casting” in Atlanta. Note that when you do an internet search for extra casting a lot of the results will be scams. The scams are mostly obvious, but remember you should never have to pay to work with an extra casting company. Also, I was lucky to get the last job since I didn’t live in the Atlanta area. Most extra companies only want to deal with locals since they might need you to work on the spur of the moment or the job might be canceled at the last minute.

How Long Does an Extra Job Last?

The length of the extra job will vary. My first extra job lasted a couple of weeks with weekends and a couple of random days off. My second extra job was only for one day and my last one was for seven days over a week and a half period. When you’re hired for a job they should tell you about how many days it will be, but you will need to be flexible.

Typical Day of Being an Extra

Being an extra is a pretty easy albeit somewhat boring job. Most of the day is spent in an extra holding area. This is an area away from the set where you wait until a PA comes to take you to the set for the scene. I spent most of my time in the holding area talking to other extras and reading books on my Kindle. The typical day lasts from ten to sixteen hours. These are long days, but since you are mostly just sitting around they aren’t that bad. When you are called to the set you will be given further instructions on what to do. A couple of general rules are to not bring your cell phone to the set and to not bother the actors or crew. Since the days are so long you will be given a meal at some point and they usually have snacks and drinks available throughout the day as well. The quality of the food and beverage varies by the job. The food is usually okay but not great. On one occasion when there were just a few extras working we got to eat with the cast and crew and their food was much better.

How Much Does Being an Extra Pay?

Being an extra does not pay much. My pay on the jobs I’ve done was always just a little bit above minimum wage. On the plus side, you do get overtime when you work over eight hours and you almost always work over eight hours. The overtime and the long days make the paycheck a little better despite the low wage, but being an extra isn’t a lucrative job. I think it is worth it since the work is easy and if you are lucky you might get to see yourself on the big screen with a movie star.

March Income – $3152.88

Here is a breakdown of my income for March.

Online Income




Stock Dividends


Cash Back


Sell Stuff


Mystery Shopping




My income from March was actually quite good despite the Google penalties that happened in March.  That is because the effects of those won’t be reflected in my earnings until this month.  It will probably be a long time before I see a $3000 online income in a month again.  I probably won’t even make $1000 online this month.

I’ve discussed ramping up other areas of income if my online income went down and now we’ll see if I’m actually able to do it. I need to increase income from my alternative income and passive income sources.  It shouldn’t be too difficult to increase my income from selling stuff and mystery shopping.  I’m also looking at a few different independent contractor positions.  If I land one of them it will be a big step towards keeping my income at its current level.

Online Income,Goals and Giveaways

It has been way too long since I’ve written a new post. Despite that I am having another great month of income. Don at Money Reasons and Barb at Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance were both kind enough to link to my latest online income report.

The online income is nice but if I doing more work on my blogs the income is not going to last. I have not been good about getting things done this month. Part of that is because I’ve been spending more time on our real world business. The main reason though is that I just haven’t been making working on my websites a priority. My goals for this month were to run/hike 100 miles and write 100 posts and I didn’t even come close to achieving those. I didn’t even try. Rather than set a monthly goal for November I’m going to get in the habit of doing my work first and making daily goals of what I need to be done.

A goal I’ve had for a long time is to write a book but I keep putting it off. Next month is NaNoWriMo. I have wanted to participate the last couple of years but I put it off. This year needs to be the year that I get it done. I am in a great position to do this because I don’t have to work a full-time job and make enough money to pay my bills in just a few hours a week. I may not always be this lucky so I should take advantage of this opportunity while I have it. Is anybody else participating in National Novel Writing Month? It would be great if we could have a group of bloggers doing it to support each other and keep each other accountable.

I’ve been meaning to post about some giveaways that my fellow Yakezie members are having but I haven’t had a links post for a while so I’m adding them to this post. These giveaways have some nice prizes and your odds of winning are pretty good. My wife and I were lucky enough to win a Kindle wi-fi earlier this month in a local giveaway but I’m still desiring a Kindle Fire.

The Penny Hoarder is hosting a Hallo(Wii)n Giveaway until October 30th.
The Frugal Toad is hosting a $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway until October 30th.
Retire by 40 and Buck Inspire are having a big giveaway of a Kindle Fire and lots more until November 7th.

Alternative Income – Focus Groups

It has been a while since I  wrote about a new way to make alternative income.  I made $30 for about an hour of my time yesterday by participating in a focus group.  I just had to give my opinion on new varieties of oatmeal to help the makers determine which product to develop.  There are lots of different types of focus groups.  Last year I participated in one that gauged our reaction to different advertisements by attorneys.  Focus groups are pretty easy money but there aren’t a lot of them available to participate in.  I’m signed up for a local company that has focus groups but you can’t participate in more than one every three months.  The focus group I did last year I found on Craiglist.  The site is supposed to help you find focus groups but I haven’t used it so I can’t vouch for it.  You  could also try the company I just did a focus group with but they only have locations in Dallas, Chicago, and Springfield, MO.  If you know of any other legitimate focus group companies please share them in a comment.