Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Saving and making money on vacation

As you may know over spring break we went to Myrtle Beach and stayed at the Marriott OceanWatch Villas. The villa's floor plan was wonderful. It had a kitchen, dining area, living room, master bedroom with a master bath and another bedroom with 2 queen size beds that attached to a bathroom. The balcony overlooked both the pool and the beach. It was a spectacular view. This was courtesy of my Step-Mother who owns several timeshare weeks through Marriott. We were asked to pay her annual maintenance fee for the week.

Estimated savings for the accommodations: $400.00

During the trip to and from Myrtle Beach we stayed at a Fairfield Inn. I used some rewards points from my Marriott Rewards Card to get a free room each way. The night going down we had a fairly nice room. However the night heading home the room was not good at all. That is all I'm going to say here. Marriott has been properly admonished for the quality of that room.

Savings for the travel accommodations: $218.00

We ate all of our meals at the villa while in Myrtle Beach. We had planned on going out one night to a seafood buffet but I called several restaurants and asked how much their buffet cost. The average was $23.50. For six people we were looking at $141.00. We decided to ask everyone what their favorite meat based meal was and headed to the store. That evening's dinner prepared back at the resort came to $58.26. I had steak cooked on the grill. mmmm good. Groceries were about $300.00 the estimate for eating out [breakfast $90.00, lunch $165.00, dinner $285.00]

Estimated savings from eating in instead of out for the entire week: $240.00

Most of the grocery shopping was done at a very conveniently located Kroger. The first day in Myrtle Beach we went grocery shopping and noticed that quite a few sale items need a preferred customer card in order to receive the sale price. So I went to the service desk and asked how to obtain a card. They gave me a visitors version of the card to use while in town.

Savings just for asking for the card: $31.18

We were curious how much a Marriott timeshare costs so we decided to spend 90 minutes and listen to the sales pitch. A perk to listening to the sales pitch was a $75.00 gift certificate for some local restaurants. After setting up the appointment and arriving for the sales meeting we were told that since we were staying on the property already that they had upgraded our gift to $100 in Visa gift cards. Cool!

Earnings for attending the timeshare sales appointment: $100.00

Total "income" for the week: $989.18. Wow that number is a shocker. I'm pleasantly surprised by how high it is.

Monday, April 28, 2008

My Moola update from the weekend

I had a pretty good run on Friday and Saturday on Moola. I had run my total up to $.16 and then went on a losing streak. After my 4 game skid I recovered and won a couple. Fortunately I had played a bunch of games at a lower lit evel so I wasn't totally busted. That is until I busted on Sunday morning [I played some games before getting ready for church. Maybe it was Karma saying I shouldn't play on Sunday.] Sunday afternoon I won two in a row and went to play a third game which I also won but on the screen that shows the results of the game I noticed that I had only won $.01 when I was expecting to win $.04. Apparently if you don't change the settings Moola will look for opponents at the level you select and will work down levels until it finds an opponent willing to play you.

I decided that when Moola does this I'll move some of those winnings to the savings account. Especially when the winnings are only $.01. Warning!!! When you move money into the savings account you can't move it back to the play account.

Of the three games I seem to have a better head for Gold Rush. Although I still have more than my fair share of losses in that game. I also play a lot of the Hi/Lo card game. I hate the rock-paper-scissor game and have only played it once.

Money in my Moola savings account: $.01

Friday, April 25, 2008

Making moola at Moola

Yesterday while I was dropping EntreCards like a wild man I read a blog post about Moola. Apparently you can play games against other Moola users and win money from the other users. Of course you can also lose money to other users. Moola starts you out with a penny and you play double or nothing until you either win millions of dollars or lose it all. If/when you lose don't worry. Moola will give you another penny to start over with. The cost to you for receiving all these pennies is you are forced to watch an ad before each game that you play.

Right now Moola has three different games. The first one that I played was Hi/Low. This is a card game where you guess if the next card is higher or lower than the current card. Each time that you are wrong you lose a life. The player that has the most cards when all their lives are gone wins. You can use a life to lock your position. This is important because when you are wrong you go back to the beginning or to the last point where you locked.

I lost my first 6 games that I played. Currently I am on a 2 game winning streak so I have $.04 in my account. If I win my next game I will have $.08. Of course if I lose I will start over with a penny.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

April 23 Challenge Results

As I take another look at the Adsense vs ADSDAQ vs metal detector challenge it looks like Adsense has a commanding lead that won't be overtaken. I have been to busy with projects around the house and my QuickBooks class at the community college to breakout the metal detector since spring break in Myrtle Beach. So the metal detector's failings have been due to my lack of time to go searching for treasure.

Month to date results
Adsense: $1.86
ADSDAQ: $.38
Metal detector: $.10
Total: $2.34

I'm thinking that Adsense will accept the challenge of Project Wonderful in May. So far Project Wonderful has earned $.38 through four ad boxes. But the earnings are getting stronger as time goes by.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Lesson Learned from Smorty

My application for Smorty was declined due to my Google PageRank and the number of indexed pages. I was kinda anticipating this type of response. The good news is that I learned something from this experience.

I logged into Google's Webmaster's tools and looked at this blog's sitemap information and saw that only 18 URLs were indexed. So I resubmitted my sitemap. I'm guessing that you should do this periodically to assure that your new posts get indexed by Google. Good lesson learned. Now all I have to do is increase my PageRank.

Oh and by the way that sure was a fast rejection from Smorty!!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Metal detector gets on the board

In the Adsense vs ADSDAQ vs Metal Detector Challenge the metal detector is on the board with $.10. After digging up 4 paper clips, some scrap metal, 2 rusty nails and a razor blade on the beach in front of the Marriott OceanWatch Villas in Myrtle Beach I discovered a metal washer.

At this point I was getting ready to call it quits because the sun was down and I was working by the light coming off the resort. I began heading towards the wooden ramp back up to the resort while swinging the metal detector back and forth and received an indication of metal in the sand. I started digging and felt a round piece of metal about 2 inches down as I pulled it from the sand and looked at it in the dim light I thought that I had plucked a long lost penny from the sugar sands of Myrtle Beach. I later discovered that it was actually a dime once I was in proper lighting.

So what are all the totals?
Adsense: $.35
ADSDAQ: $.17
Metal detector: $.10
All three: $.62

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Project Wonderful Experience

Right now I'm a couple of weeks into the Project Wonderful Experience. The way that Project Wonderful works is you create ad boxes on your web site and then advertisers will bid on the boxes. The highest bid wins and your account is credited after the ad has been displayed for a day. Instead of the typical cost per click or cost per impression paradigms, Project Wonderful works on a cost per day basis.

Right now I have ad boxes on ABB and on the bottom of this site. The most that anyone has bid on my ad boxes has been $.02. Alas, not big seems like what ever I try it never is.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Month to date results

So far in the Adsense vs. ADSDAQ vs. metal detector April earnings challenge the leader is....Adsense with 16 cents. ADSDAQ is in second with 6 cents and the metal detector has yet to get on the board.

Admittedly, Adsense has a bit of an advantage because I have more of their ads on more of my websites. I will be expanding the number of ADSDAQ ads during the course of the month so I expect the results to become very competitive.

The plan for my next post is a look into my Project Wonderful experience

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Did you ever want to be a pioneer??? In outer space???? Well Virgle might be for you. How would like to be one of the first to live on Virgin & Google's Mars colony? Virgle is a joint partnership between these two companies that will attempt to colonize Mars. What a grand plan. An epic endeavor. Virgle is now hiring so if you think that you have the heart and foresite to join the other worldly crew now is the time to get in the ground floor.

All of you Scifi lovers must be going crazy at the possibility of an extraterrestrial job. To bad that the Virgle project is not real just another April Fool's Joke played on all of us poor Earth bound humans. What a pity.

I made the drop goal of 100

115 drops. 5 over the goal. But came up short of getting 1000 visits in March. Bummer. I had 879. Still a record which is cool. EntreCard has given me more traffic and I have visited a ton of cool sites. I have also visited a bunch of crap sites. I guess I have to take the good with the bad. Such is life.

The metal detector that I ordered arrived today. The box was kind of small so I was a little worried about the quality of the metal detector. I put it together and determined that the tube between the disk and the handle seemed a little cheap. It went togther very easily and I tested it out with some coins and jewelry. It did the job.

Now I'm going to have a money making challenge, it will be Adsense vs ADSDAQ vs metal detector for the month of April. It should be a good one.