Swagbucks: My Story

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Over the course of my time using Swagbucks I have earned a total of 105,116 SB (equivalent to $1051.16).  While this may not be a huge amount compared to what others are able to earn, it is nothing to sneeze at either.  Swagbucks will not replace a full-time job, but it can be a great help if you are looking to bring in a bit of extra money each month.

I was able to earn this amount while:

  • raising two very needy toddlers and a few teenage and preschool foster kids
  • my husband working full time and going to night classes for a few years
  • and it was only a part of other activities I was doing to earn a bit of extra spending money

The amount represents an activity I have been able to incorporate into my life, not something for which I have had to adjust my life to do.

Looking Back

As I looked back through the past 8 years, I could see when the times I had specific goals, times where I went for months not earning anything, and other times where I took the time to find new ways to earn.

Some years, and those were tough years, I earned as little as $15. Over the entire year. Did I mention that was a tough year?

Then there were years like 2016 where I earned $385. It may not be enough to buy me a car, but I did not have to leave the house, pay for gas to get somewhere, or even get the kids to brush their teeth. (Who knew a 2 minute task could cause such agony!)

Looking back over my totals, ways I have earned points, called SB, and my gift card redemption patterns, I am wondering what was going on during those times.

In 2015 I redeemed my SB for gift cards during two month out of the whole year, January and August.  I suspect the August gift cards were used for home school curriculum while the January gift cards were used to purchase gardening supplies.

Deer and Rabbit repellent purchased with Swagbucks


My first gift card redemption was a $5 Amazon card earned in July of 2009.

We had moved to a new town the year before and I had not found a job outside the home yet.  I was looking for a way to earn a little bit of money each month to help out.  It was not a lot, but at that time it was better than nothing and the months following I was able to earn a $5 Amazon card each month. In the 6 months I redeemed for $40 in Amazon gift cards. Not too bad for doing something no one else I knew was doing or had ever heard of.  There was a lot of trial and error, as well as slow learning, between home improvement projects and lining up contractors.

The following year my activity levels were not quite as steady.  It may have had to do with deaths in the family, becoming foster parents, or other factors.  I earned $75 that year.  Some months I was able to earn 2 – $5 gift cards (again to Amazon), though I could not seem to break the $10 mark each month.

The first few years I used the Amazon gift cards toward whatever we happened to be ordering online, focusing on Christmas gifts and grocery items.  No set monetary goals, but it was a nice surprise to “save” $5 here and there when we did order online.

Items purchased with gift cards earned through Swagbucks.

Items purchased with gift cards earned through Swagbucks.

At that time, Swagbucks was also structured differently:

  • There were no team challenges or other ways to connect with other Swaggernauts.  The way to find the best ways to earn at that time was to search for blog posts or articles.
  • SWAGO did not exist.
  • Activities were worth more in points, called SB, on average. However, there were fewer choices of ways to earn.
  • There were no ways to earn by watching videos via apps, now one of my most completed activities.  Even if there were video apps, I did not have a phone which I could use to watch them.
  • The $5 Amazon gift card was the best deal points-to-dollars wise.  There was no monthly discount on your first $25 gift card (from almost any retailer) like there is now.

cloth potty trainers swagbucks

In 2012 I set a goal of using Swagbucks to help buy cloth training pants.  It was my first time setting an actual goal.  Combining these gift cards and online deals I was able to pay for our first set.   Within a a year we saw the need for different nighttime items, again turning to Swagbucks to help cover the cost completely.

In 2014 we began homeschooling.  By the Spring of 2015 I set the goal of paying for our home school materials with SB.  Using PayPal and Amazon gift cards I was able to make a significant dent in the cost of materials.

Recently I have used gift cards to cover, fully or a portion thereof, the online purchase of:

Join Swagbucks!Today I am using my balance, which I have slowly been increasing, to purchase something to hopefully make my life a bit easier and our new home look nicer.  This is something I have been researching and waiting to purchase.  Due to the normal cost, it was not high on my list of items to get right now.  I have been saving up the SB left over from my gift card redemption each month in anticipation of purchasing this sometime in the fall.

Today I found out that this was listed as a Daily Deal on Amazon, thereby saving me 70% off and totaling just under what I have saved in SB.  While it was not one of the exact brands I had been researching, I quickly realized it met all of my requirements, needs, and the price was perfect.  This is what I mean by “combining gift cards and online deals” above.

With the remaining SB left I am going to be saving them up again to go toward the purchase of a rain barrel for the new house.  Knowing rain water is better for plants and helps lower our water bill each month, I have been wanting to invest in one for several years.  Now seems like the perfect time to do so.  Honestly, if I had not seen the Daily Deal above, I would have been purchasing a rain barrel this week.  In the long run, though, taking advantage of a reduction in price on one item will save me 100’s of dollars over the course of the next few months.  And who knows, I might find a sale on rain barrels to match the SB I have earned.

Until then, I have a goal to reach, which I have seen over and over really helps me focus on doing activities on Swagbucks which can result in more SB earned faster.

Note: this post was written in May 2017, but  was not published at that time.  When it was written, the earnings numbers were accurate, though they have increase by this point in the year.  I also had to adjust my goal of purchasing a rain barrel as life gave us some other goals which needed to be covered.