Sunday, January 27, 2008

"Survey Says!!!...."

Dear Mom,

I was reading a blog about personal finances and one author referred to a savings method as 'snowflaking'. The basic premise is that, just as debt can 'snowball', you can also add to your assets by adding small amounts every day when possible, and never spending money foolishly, 'snowflaking', so to speak. Snowflakes add up to snowballs, and you can have an asset snowball just about as easily as a debt snowball. Accumulating assets makes you feel great, debt makes you miserable.


One thing that the author does is take online surveys for cash and recommended a few that had proven trustworthy and paid cash. I've signed up for and taken pre-qualifying surveys for four of them so far. The amounts are very modest, but since I'm at the computer often and spend no time at all in front of the TV "wasting my time", why not try it?

I was leery of receiving spam, so I set up a new email account to handle just the surveys. Gmail has great spam filters and I'm happy with their service so I set up with them, then installed Thunderbird. Why Thunderbird? Don and I were setting up an email account for a friend and the process of getting a gMail account with Thunderbird was absurdly easy. And it's just fun and kind of cool to have more than one email client. You do have to give a lot of what I used to consider personal information to the survey sites, but so what? What do I have or know that anyone would use, and for what purpose? I have *so* gotten over paranoia.

On occasion I've taken online surveys and then they want your email address to send you the results. This is not a good idea, they're asking for your email address and offer you something you want, like to find out "how smart are you?" or "how do you stack up in the bedroom?" or some such silliness. As soon as I find out what they want, I close out the window by clicking out the window, not by clicking a "no, thank you" or "don't email me", those are just a ploy to get you to give them information.

It will be interesting to see how this comes out. I was careful to use only those sites recommended by real people who "field tested" them. Do I see a snowflake?

I love you,


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