2020 Third Quarter Income Report – $813

Welcome to the 2020 third quarter Finance Notebook Income Report! In this post, I will talk about how much income I have made for the third quarter of 2020 and how I made that income. I will also go over the progress on the strategy to boost income in 2021 and beyond.

A Little Bit of Background

In the summer of 2019, I decided to retire from my main occupation. I have worked in banking for the past 30 years, mostly in audit and compliance roles. Instead of just retired, I decided to build this website and start earning money as an entrepreneur. 

Take a look at the Rules and Goals of Finance Notebook to read about the overall objectives.

You may also want to see how much money I have made from the beginning.

Why I Disclose the Income I Make

I think it was Napoleon Hill, who said, “A goal is a dream with a deadline.” Without a deadline, a dream is just a series of thoughts, images, and sensations (Wikipedia). We need to act on those dreams to make them real.

To make my dreams real, I have set annual goals and will document my progress in these quarterly Income Reports.

You may be thinking that I publish these income reports to brag, but that’s not the case because I am not making a lot of money yet. I think what is important is not how much money I make, but whether I am accomplishing my goals.

Eventually, I am hoping that with hard work and a lot of determination, I can continue to meet those goals and maybe go above and beyond those goals.

I am hoping that over time this will become a roadmap for people who want to become entrepreneurs and other than want to earn additional money.

Finance Notebook Income for 2020 Third Quarter

At first glance, it may look like this quarter was not successful, but that is not the case. Although I made only $813, less than in the prior quarters, I am on target to make $5,000 for the year.

Year to date I have earned $3,919.58. You can see the breakdown for the third quarter by sources of revenue on the table below. You can also see the earnings for the 2020 first quarter here and the second quarter here.

It was a busy quarter writing for Site #2 Income Report (Home & Garden Niche)–more on this below, and working on several gigs, and continuing writing some blog posts for Finance Notebook.

You can read individual blog posts by clicking each link within the source of income column.

Source of IncomeRating (Max. ★★★★★)Income Earned
Field Agent★★★★$386.10
Prolific★★★★$208.15
Observa★★★$140.50
Gigwalk★★★$24.00
Mechanical Turk★★★$8.95
Sweatcoin★★$20.74
ReceiptPal★★$7.97
Paid Viewpoint★★$5.73
Fetchrewards★★$3.37
CoinOut★★$2.34
YouGov★★$1.75
InboxDollars$2.29
Lifecoin$1.44
Total$813.33

To clarify, the figures above represent income earned, but not all cash has been received, for two reasons:

1) For some of the new apps I have tested, I have not reached the minimum to get paid, and

2) For other apps, I may have requested the money at the end of the quarter and have not received it yet.

The overall income goal for 2020 is $5,000. Since I have made $3,919.58, I only have to make $1,080 in the fourth quarter, about $12 a day.

I am not too concerned about the progress of individual months or quarters, as long as I am on target to meet the annual goal.

Cash Received Year-To-Date

Below is the income overview showing cash already in my business account. This is a screenshot from my Hurdlr app.

The Hurdlr app is an automatic business expense and mileage tracker app that keeps tabs of all of your income streams, expenses, and tax deductions in real-time, on the go. I am enjoying this app so far and recommend it to any entrepreneur.

As I mentioned above, the amount shown on the Hurdtr app (amount collected) will always slightly different from the amount earned.

Income received

Income From Gigs and Side Hustles-$813.33

Three apps have captured the spotlight for the second quarter: Field Agent, Prolific, and Observa. More than 90% ($735) of the income for the quarter came from these three apps.

Mystery Shopping and Retail Audit Apps

Just like last quarter, Field Agent represented almost half (47%-$386) of the income for the quarter. This shows that Field Agent continuous to be my go-to app when I am doing errands, or I need a break from writing. To learn more about Field Agent, you can read this post I wrote. However, Field Agent is starting to show too many jobs that are pretty unreasonable, and hope this is not a trend. I will keep you posted.

I also made $24 from a similar App I also like, Gigwalk. But just like last quarter, I don’t see many jobs from Gigwalk in my area; otherwise, I would use it more.

Surprisingly I completed quite a few jobs with Observa ($140.50) and now I think it may be as good as Field Agent. I still don’t see as many jobs available in my area as I would like to.

Survey Apps

Prolific

Same as last quarter, Prolific was my second best performing platform ($208) of the quarter. If Field Agent is my best app when I am out and about, Prolific has been my go-to platform when I am at home.

I have completed over 472 surveys and made $793 in nine months. You can read my review of Prolific to learn more.

MTurk

MTurk was strong on the first quarter but is not working very well for me lately. I only like to complete surveys with MTurk and takes a while to get one. I find much easier to complete surveys with Prolific. I have only made $8.95. You can read more in this MTurk post.

In general, as long as I can achieve my income goals, I will use the most convenient money-making opportunities I know. That said, I didn’t need MTurk this quarter, but I may need it another quarter. MTurk is good to have in your back pocket.

Other Survey Platforms

I have continued to use some other survey platforms in the second quarter, but I am not too excited about them. Ultimately, I am trying to identify ways of making as much money as possible per hour of my time. You may want to use these platforms below to see how they work for you.

  • PaidViewpoint: I am more positive about PaidViewpoint this quarter and have increased the rating from 1-star to 2-stars. My traitscore has increased to the maximum (10000) and I have received 5 surveys in September, which is not amazing compared to Prolific, but it is much better than before. I have made $5.73 and perhaps there is hope with PaidViewpoint. I will keep you posted. You can read my PaidViewpoint article for more details.
  • YouGov: I am having problems with YouGov. I have not received any surveys from them for a long time. It looks like they having some problems with my e-mail. I don’t have time to troubleshoot it now. I’ll get back to them at another time.

Receipt Apps

I started testing three receipt apps last quarter and have continued doing it this quarter. They all work very similarly. They give you rewards for scanning and submitting receipts. To summarize, you get very little money for very little effort.

This is what I have made this quarter:

  • Fetch Rewards: I have made $3.37 with Fetch Rewards. To learn more, you can read my blog post.
  • Coinout: I have made $2.34 with the Coinout app. To learn more, you can read my blog post.
  • ReceiptPal: I have made $7.97 with ReceiptPal. To learn more, you can read my blog post.

So, I can have maybe 5 free cappuccinos for scanning receipts this quarter. You decide if this is worth it to you.

Youtube Channels

I have decided to postpone the Youtube channels for now for two reasons. The main reason is that I don’t see it as a good strategy for me for the first two years. The second reason is that the platform I was using to create the videos (Rocketium) was a little expensive $480 per year.

Youtube is a very good online strategy in general, but I don’t see it right now for me. I probably will revisit it in the future.

Blogging Strategy

I know that blogging has a lot of potential and I have decided to invest most of my time and a significant portion of the money I have earned with it. I don’t want to disclose the domain name, but I will report my progress at Site #2 Income Report (Home & Garden Niche).

The content of Site #2 revolves around the new house my wife and I built in Lewes, Delaware. I can easily come out with 1,000 articles for this site, which means I will be able to produce content for a long time if it is successful. My overall goal with Site #2 is to complete 3 articles per week for about 2 years and see how that’s working and decide whether to continue with 3 or fewer articles per week depending on the results.

I started the site in May 2020 and I am hiring writers from IWriter to help me with some of the articles and have spent $1,750 so far to pay writers. I have written 57 articles and should have almost 100 articles by year-end. The traffic is slowing growing but we need to wait and see if it is a continuous upward trend. Traffic has gone from 31 users in May to 118 in September. You can read more about Site #2 here.

Site #2 traffic progress

Finance Notebook (Site #1) Progress

I have only completed 5 articles in the third quarter because Site #2 was the priority for this quarter. So, it’s not surprising that there is very little traffic coming to the site at this point. However, the trend is positive with a “record” 98 users in September. I know it is not too much, but hopefully, it is a positive trend. I have 31 articles, and most websites, if they are lucky, start seeing some traffic after a year and over 50 blog posts published.

I would like to start writing 2 articles per week, but it’s not going to be easy in addition to 3 articles a week for Site #2, and working on the side hustles but that’s the goal for the fourth quarter.


Below is the Google Analytics Chart for the third quarter. Traffic has gone from 19 users in January to 98 in September.

Finance Notebook Analytics

Final Thoughts

I am currently focusing a lot on writing articles, and blogging will continue to be a significant aspect of my business. But I need to keep in mind that I need to meet my income goals one way or another. 

For example, in the year 2022, my goal is to make $20,000 with the business. If blogging generates $5,000, I will have to generate at least $15,000 with other business activities, including being hired as an independent contractor, but not as an employee. You can read more about the Rules and Goals of Finance Notebook to see why I am doing this.

Thank you for reading.

Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think.


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