New Year’s Resolutions

If you are like me, you like to stay on top of your online earnings and keep a record of how each app, site, and survey panel is performing. Otherwise, how would you know which to focus on and which to retire?  Maybe you’ve never considered it before; maybe you document all of your earnings down to the penny; or maybe you fall somewhere in between.

There is no right or wrong way to track your earnings — all you need is a simple spreadsheet and an idea of how general or detailed you want your tracking to be.  If you’ve never kept track of you earnings before, but wish that you had and don’t know where to start — there’s no time like the present.  Start fresh on January 1, 2017!

My method is definitely not the most logical or artful, but it accomplishes what I need — a detailed summary of my earnings as close to the penny as practicable, but with a minimal margin of human error.  I have a master spreadsheet with an individual tab for each respective site/app/panel.  I access and edit this spreadsheet often as I accumulate points or dollars and cents from each source. I don’t necessarily keep every tab up to date daily, but I do what I can.  I have dozens of tabs in that workbook, each tab is color coded based upon whether it is a survey site, a PTC site, a smartphone app, or miscellaneous.  If a particular earning source is both an app and a survey site, I just pick whichever category it better fits in and color code it accordingly. The color coding makes it easier to find specific tabs as my number of tabs increases and requires some scrolling to get from one end of the workbook to the other.

I am not an Excel expert and much of my content and tracking formulas are revised through trial and error, but it ultimately tells me what I want to know. Many of the different tabs have the same or very similar layouts, but some others look quite different.  This is because some earning sources credit in points with a strange conversion to dollar earnings, while others are straight dollar and cents.  Some apps pay out only after you’ve reached a minimum threshold of earnings, while others pay out each time you complete a particular task so that you never have a “pending” balance.

I try to put all of the following information into each tab either in a static location or through running columns with Excel formulas to generate updated figures:

  • name of the app or panel
  • website (if applicable)
  • minimum payout amount
  • the date I first joined
  • total earned as of December 31st of each year (crucial to calculation of YTD earnings)
  • current points earned with an adjacent cell conversion to current dollar value earned *
  • amount remaining to be earned to reach the minimum payout
  • amount pending but not yet credited (if any)
  • total actually received through previous payouts
  • total earned year-to-date
  • global total (combining all the earning categories together from the beginning of time)*
  • cash out request dates + amount + received dates

*Once the rest of the sheet is properly tweaked, the current points earned cell is usually the only value which requires regular updating on a daily or weekly basis.

*This is where I pull my earnings figures reported on the GetPaid! site.

I also jot random notes to myself specific to each tab representing quirks of my calculation and conversion formulas or any special handling or requirements unique to each app/site/panel.

I then have separate overall category tabs (PTC, Surveys, Apps, Other, etc.) which gather up all of the key figures from each tab in that particular category.  So I can look to those sheets to know generally how much I am earning overall from surveys, or apps, or PTCs, etc. in total as opposed to each one individually.

Finally I have a TOTALS tab which summarizes all of the categories in a single location and gives me a global breakdown of all of my online/mobile earnings from everywhere – right to the bottom line of over $18,000 total earned since 2010 when I first started this run.

My explanation may sound complicated and it may be WAY more information or detail than you are interested in, so I’ve posted a few sample pages from my most recent earnings for a visual review: Sample Clixsense Tab | Sample FusionCash Tab | Sample mPOINTS Tab | Sample Total Tab These are just a few pages to give you a feel for how they look. (You may need to zoom in to read the actual detail).

At the end of each month. I save an archived copy of the master spreadsheet for historical tracking.  Then at the beginning of each year, I make the necessary adjustments to reflect a new year-to-date starting balance of ZERO for each tab. It really is beneficial to keep a running track of both the year-to-date earnings and the overall earnings across the years. But like I commented above, if you haven’t tracked your historical earning and want to start, January 1st is always a great time to begin!

I am neither an Excel expert nor an accountant. I know that my method can be greatly improved. It has undergone many revisions over the years and it now looks very little like it did when I first began tracking my earnings. I expect it to look still different in another few years after I’ve made more changes I’m sure.  If you have your own system for tracking earnings and want to share, please leave your remarks in the comments.

Now Go Make Some Money!!!

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