Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What are your Thoughts?

Seriously, I want the honest truth?

I have always set my blog up to show my weekly earnings ( sorry about them not being posted for a few weeks..I plan to do a 3 week catch up this Sunday...birthdays...dance recitals...life got away from me on the weekends )

I also break it down so everyone can see what company, how much and where I earned it...with links in case they want to do it themselves. It will often link back to the posts where the instructions were, in case you want to take part, too.

I do this against my husbands wishes. He is private and does not like me sharing this info, as it is part of our finances. He really struggles with this, and I do understand his viewpoint.

But, when I started my blog, before I was barely making anything or had any readers, I tracked my "piddly" earnings even then for everyone. And, I feel it is important to show how I make my money ( because I want others to be able to do it, too ), and inspire others and help them do it for themselves, too.

In addition, I do it so others can see what to expect. Do they want to invest their time in Surveys, Mystery Shopping, Online Offers, Blogging, etc. They can look at my numbers, ask advice and decide what works for them and what to expect.

But, does it? Is it more of a turn off to see my earnings? If so, I am willing to get rid of this aspect of my blog.

The reason I ask, is I have gotten two comments in the last month from disgruntled readers regarding me using Refer a Friend programs and that people shouldn't be clicking on them for me to earn money as a blogger. If this is making people unhappy, maybe it should be private and no one would know if I make $0 or $50. She/He made the comment that I was being sneaky.

That is never my intention, as I try to post EVERYTHING! I even have it in my disclosure ( you can find it at the bottom of the blog ) that I make money and thru what companies. You can also click on my Affiliate link at anytime to see what companies I use.

And, I try to post every company in a series, whether I get a benefit or not. If I get something for it, great..if not....well, hopefully someday they will come out with a referral program.

I guess I want feedback. I trust you, as my readers to give me your honest opinion. What are your thoughts on my format and style of blogging in comparison to other savings blogs. Should I change my tactic and just post deals? Is it annoying to see my week in review?

Should I just put a little (r) next to a link if it is a referral, so people can choose whether or not to click on it? Although, I am afraid that will look odd to new readers?

Please click here and scroll to the comment section to read the post from just a bit ago, my response and please leave your comment letting me know your thoughts. And, if you want to see my numbers from Beyond Hello, click on the Weekly Review button at the top of my blog to scroll back over the last few months to see all my numbers.

I will try to decide by the end of May if I should make changes or stay the same in my format.

Thanks for your participation in making my blog a better site!



Like this site? Please subscribe via Email or Feed to receive your daily updates!
And, don't forget to catch up with me on Twitter and Facebook.

Click here to Refer a Friend

Cash-Back Christmas Shopping plus Online Coupons Galore at Mr. Rebates!

90 comments:

amber said...

I personally like seeing what you've made, and how/where you've made it. It's a great resource.

That person was pretty nasty. It doesn't seem like you're being sneaky at all. You're not twisting people's arms to get them to sign up under you.

Anyway, I like seeing that stuff!

joelle said...

I like seeing what you've made. I find it inspirational. If you can do it, maybe so can I.

Renee said...

Carrie,
I think the same way you do...if I'm going to sign up for something, why wouldn't I be happy if someone else could also benefit from it too (as long as it doesn't cost me any extra)? I think your commentor was implying a conflict of interest in your recommendation, but I've never worried about that with you. You seem extremely genuine in every single of of the posts I've read on your website over the past 6 months since I discovered your blog. Your truthfulness in your earnings adds to your credibility in my opinion.

I think that you list what you make by referrals is your way of disclosing that you DO in fact make money this way. I also think that your list of how & what you do is extremely helpful to me, with regard to which methods I want to try myself. For instance, I'm not too interested in doing survey sites because I can see it's not a big money-maker for you and I know from reading your posts that it's time-consuming!

Keep up the good work, Carrie. If you decide to take down your earnings information because your husband is uncomfortable with it being public, so be it. But please don't make a big change to your website based on one or two negative comments (from "Anonymous" no less!) out of the thousands you must have received.

I love your blog, and read it every single day. If you're making money while coaching me (for free) on how to keep more money in my pockets, then I'd say it's a win-win situation!

I wish you the best!

Abigail's_Mommy said...

The weekly review is my favorite post! I am happy you make some money from things you told me about. I think those mean people need to get a life!

Anonymous said...

I like your blog and appreciate you sharing how you make the offers work and what you make lets others know if they're willing to even attempt the offer. I do understand your DH's feeling in giving out your 'finances' though. My DH would react the same. Men! LOL

Anonymous said...

I do like to see how much you have made -- it is amazing and inspirational . .

C. said...

I think it's your blog and you should do what you want with it. Whether you make money from referring people or from selling your plasma, who really cares?
It's not even where you make the money that's the point.. the point is how you're using it and budgeting with it..
If people don't want to see it they shouldn't read it.

Corrie at "Cents"able Momma said...

I also like seeing how much you make for each company. I have signed up for many things under you because of these posts, and I'm glad that you can make money just for me signing up under you. I have even created my own Monthly Earnings post, since I enjoy yours so much (I figured others might like to see mine, too).

It's funny...I would never post my husband's income or even my own seasonal part-time position, but I don't have a problem posting my blog earnings :-).

Kim said...

I love to see your weekly earnings! I don't have a blog but I have thought about starting one and seeing what you make is very encouraging. I think alot of people think you can't make "real money" writing a blog - I love having your earnings to refer to. Please don't stop!

amanda said...

I love seeing how much you make and where you make it. It's the main reason I'm subscribed to your blog. It motivates me as a stay-at-home mom to find my own ways to make extra cash.

I think the referral links are fine. If the person clicking doesn't want you to get credit, all they have to do is delete your username or whatever and it takes them to the main page. It's really not that difficult.

That being said, some posts like the recent ones about Blingo seem like you're begging for referrals which is fine if that's your intention but I just prefer to see it all in your weekly review instead of having a weekly post about Blingo specifically.

Anyway, I would be seriously sad if you got rid of the weekly review.

Charlene said...

I really like it too as it is motivating- my only concern is that I think the blog earnings can be misleading. Most bloggers don't earn anywhere near as much as you do :)

Jessica said...

I like seeing what you make...that was actually what drew me to your blog. I was amazed and encouraged to do the same. It helped me get some wheels rolling. And, if I'm going to sign up for something I would like someone else to benefit so I think the referral programs are great. I'd sign up through you or any blogger before I just went straight to the site.

Mary Beth said...

Since I've gotten heavily into couponing and better stewardship of our money, I've found many excellent blogs. However after keeping up with them for a couple of months, most of them (as you go from one to the other) have the same deals. This is no reflection on the blogs, but just a reality in getting out the news of the available deals.

I've only been reading your blog for about a month, but I come to it to learn how to MAKE money, not just save it. Since exploring your posts I've started mystery shopping, doing surveys . . . and today I sent out my first certificate to receive my prize from IDeal ($500 CVS gift card -- Yay!!!).

You have always been upfront about referrals; I've always felt that I have the choice whether to sign up through your site, or do it on my own. My feeling is that I am learning from someone who is connected to ways of earning money that I've never heard of, but are incredibly effective. You've put in the time and research and thought to figure out how to make a good living by doing things outside of the box. You're giving your time and talent for free to help anyone visiting your blog community.

And you don't stop with just posting -- you are also very generous with e-mail advice, and response to comments. If I can complete the circle by signing up for things through you, then we BOTH benefit.

What you and your husband decide is your own business, and I think everyone will respect any choice you make. But please don't let one unhappy, negative person spread their poison. And they may have just been having a discouraging day. I hope you keep tracking . . . it's very inspirational.

I'm sorry that this is so long, but I hate it when people try to bring others down to their unhappiness, instead of finding a way to lift others up. You help raise people to a new way of thinking. Thank you for everything that you do!

Anonymous said...

Leave your blog the way it is... if you refer people to sites why shouldn't you get the benefits from doing so?

I know I am happy with sites I sign up through your blog and I have no problem giving you the credit for sharing the site with me.

Some people are just negative about everything in life, don't let them get you down!

Carrie @ Moneysavingmethods.com said...

Amanda,

Very good point! See, this is what I like..constructive criticism.

Blingo posts will stop!

I can put in parenthesis on the Week In Revie ( Congrats so and so on your win ) and let everyone know that way it was a referral win!

Perfect! I am glad you told me it comes off that way. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Gretchen said...

I think that your posting that proves that what you do works- it's motivating! Those are some of my favortie posts- they keep me going since I can see it works. As for it being "tricky", if someone follows your blog, they will know that you do referrals- and will not be tricked at all. Instead, I am happy to click on your site and hope you do prosper from it- after all the help you give me on a daily basis. You deserve it! THANKS!

Brenna Kater, the Oceanskater said...

I wouldn't stop post my earnings because some random commenter said to, but I might if it was bothering my husband. I would sit down with him and hash out exactly what he likes and doesn't like about posting your earnings. Would posting survey income be OK and general info about the gift cards? Are certain things OK, and others not? I'd focus on that rather than some random person because his thoughts matter a whole lot more.

1-2-3 Save said...

I started my blog because you inspired me and made it easy through your links and referrals to start one. I think my feelings would be hurt to get a e-mail like the one you got, but that is just one person and you can't please everyone. But form the comments above you are helping allot of people and I am one of them. Thank you for all your hard work.
Courtney

melay said...

Carrie, it's one of my favorite sections, as well. But, I'm not a family member!! Tell your husband how important it is to your readers that you share this info and how you've inspired us all. Also, think of other options. For example, perhaps you can post your Affiliate Earnings as >$1000 or <$1000 which lets us know our earning potential but isn't so specific that we can guess the range of your personal income.

Melay

Carrie @ Moneysavingmethods.com said...

Brenda,

Yes, you are right! Husband is the important one. :-) So he likes to think. hee, hee.

I think he struggles with the privacy of it. You know, we all grew up where you don't tell anyone your income, how much you save, etc.

But, even though I agree on that side, I try to explain to him my side. Which is that what works for some doesn't work for everyone! And, $$ talks in this economy.

Just like it was mentioned above on the surveys. I feel like by testing it out now for everyone on a weekly basis...readers are getting a better picture of what truly happens.

Yes, you can make money with surveys. And, yes, everyone will be a bit different depending on what they qualify for...but do people want to take the time to do them?

Someone who doesn't like Online Offers and the detail oriented piece of them, might be happy sitting quietly taking surveys and making just a bit.

On the other hand, others might not.

I try to explain all that to him ( which is my side of it ), and he gets it..but he struggles with it still.

Depending on how all this feedback comes back, and if I keep it going thru the end of 2009, I will definitely sit down with Ryan again at the beginning of next year to determine the best course of action for 2010.

Ohh...and I LOVE finding blogs that go over their numbers myself, which kind of originally gave me the idea.

Although this blog doesn't give how much he earns per say, he actually gives his Net Worth broken down. I mean EVERYTHING. I love it, because it inspires me. I want to be on a million dollar journey, too! I say we all jump on the band wagon with this guy! Woo, hoo.

And, it has been helpful to read as the market has plummeted over this past year to watch others going thru the same things as so many of us.

If you get a chance...check out www.milliondollarjourney.com

Tutti @ Tribal Talk said...

As someone who reads your blog daily and participates in the programs you recommend, I am glad that you post your earnings because it helps me discern where I want to spend my time. It's insightful into which programs make the most money.

I have never felt like you are being sneaky since I understood that you make money off referrals and it's not "skin off my back" if you do.

I think readers aside, your best bet is to listen to your husband and follow his lead because ultimately, his is your protector.

Thanks for all you do, Carrie!

Delores said...

Hi Carrie,

I am so appreciative of your blog and of all your hard work. I started this whole journey with moneysavingmom, and then found other sites. Over the months I have got it down to about 3 or 4 that I read every day, sometimes more than once, because I really appreciate their honesty, hard work, and information. And yours is definitely one of them. Your blog is great. I cannot speak highly enough of it.

Now, having said all that, I personally skip the week in review posts. They just aren't for me. I am sure your income is great, but I know I can never do that much. I have too much going on and it just is not a priority for me. So, while I am happy for you -- those posts are just not that critical to me.

Also, I agree that you should really respect your husband's wishes. I, too, am a fairly private person, and would hesitate to post specifics about earnings. Maybe I have read too many horror novels or seen too many TV shows about internet stalking, but I just would not post that sort of stuff. And at the end of the day (month, year, life) he is going to be there with you. Other than GOd, he is the most important relationship you have and I think that it just needs to be worked out. Maybe you can compromise somehow -- not post specifics, but just say that you were positive this week by so much or that you earned so much per hour based on all your time (that would require quite a bit of tracking, though). Or maybe you can just skip the whole post (though there might be howling over that based on others' responses :)). I just think it is important to respect his wishes as well. I do appreciate your complete honesty in letting us know that you earn money through the links, but maybe you don't have to tell us how much.

And finally -- that comment. Well, maybe she was just having a bad day. Like you, I try to click through links on blogs. Why not help each other out? I know it was probably pretty irksome, but it was also pretty petty. Hard as it might be, just try to forgive and forget.

Keep up the great, awesome, fantastic job! Your blog is really great. Your awesome for always answering email and just wanting to help us all out.

Business Mommy said...

I like seeing what you've made. It's an ispiration to get things together to be able to make similar progress. You are very upfront about it when you are doing it as a referral thing. Besides, anyone using the internet for financial advice should be doing their own research even once you do point them in a certain direction. We all know that otherwise we would be getting money from the prince of rwanda or whatever. If you give advice, and someone decides to sign up for it, you should get the referral credit.

I read in an msnbc article not long ago that companies who give stuff to mom bloggers are being looked at by the FTC because there is concern about us being "bought" by companies to give good reviews on their products. The example they sited was the recent Frito-Lay convention thing.

Trixie said...

Hi Carrie,

I'm a reader for about the past year and have really enjoyed your blog (Love the last couple of redesigns). I can tell you work very hard at your blog and I think you deserve to be compensated for your work. You are providing valuable information for readers and including referral links is just a part of it. But, you also include many things you don't earn a referral on.

Even though I enjoy your week in review posts a lot, I think you should stop putting them up to show respect for your husband's preference.

Best of Luck to you,

Trixie

toxicpuree said...

I love seeing what you make! It's inspiring!
As for posting referral links...hey, it's your blog, you are referring us/them, why shouldn't you get credit?? It's not like you're bribing anyone for their referral.

Kasey Hunt said...

I think you're doing great and your blog is great. Though I haven't tried the website you use to make your money, I'm in awe about how thorough you are in detail information, so bloggers like us can get the same success. I dont' think you are being greedy, I think you are a very generous person and a giver. That's a tough one to figure out with your husband. Maybe there is a good compromise the two of you can come up with. Maybe you could keep your instructions up, and post daily about bloggers who read your advice and are winning or receiving like you??? Don't get down about a couple of negative comments. There will always be! You have great character!! You help, you give, and you receive so many wonderful compliments from us. Focus on those!!

Tamara said...

Please... I need all the help that I can get. I completed an international adoption as a single parent. I lost my job during it but was lucky enough to find something else even though it had a huge pay decrease. I still owe over $29,000 for the adoption. I don't regret it at all. My son has been home for 7 months now but the debt is killing me. I started couponing which has helped a lot, signed up for Swagbucks, and also a few of the mystery shopping sites that you recommend but there is nothing in my area.. Please don't stop!! I need it BIG time!

Jill Frame said...

Carrie,
Your blog is inspirational! You have a great gift for details and you clearly put your whole heart into this blog, you deserve the success you have achieved!

I greatly appreciate the breakdowns for how much you make for all the deals that you write about- with the exception of the affliates. For all other categories (I-deals, bank offers, etc), readers can get the same deals if they put the time into it. It is very exciting to see the earning potential!!

However, I think most people who start a blog, will never have the success you have achieved with this blog. Keeping the affliate numbers is not helpful, as most people that have blogs will only wish for the success you have.

It is very clear to me (from numerous posts) that your purpose in keeping the affliate numbers up is ONLY to encourage others to start blogging!!!

However, I think it puts you at risk, b/c everyone knows that you are making a nice bit of money, and someone out in this crazy world could try to use that against you. Also, I can see your income breeding jealousy among other not-as-successful bloggers.

I respect whatever you decide, but I would encourage you to listen to your heart and not to the masses!!!! Your success with this blog is b/c of you!!!! Your ideas, your vision, etc. If you start listening to the masses, you will only compromise yourself and your blog.

This is my 2-cents, but again, I respect your decisions! GREAT BLOG CARRIE!!!!

SK said...

I love your blog...it is one of the first I started reading. I read it for the ideas and I do the ones that interest me, so I really don't care about how much money you save because I think all of our situations are different. So, I am indifferent whether you get rid of those posts or not. That being said, I agree with many others that you should work out with your husband what you should post and not worry about what a few random commenters think. Every blog I read gets negative comments from time to time...I think it is because we are all human and all have varying opinions.

Denise said...

I really enjoy seeing the money that is made and I especially like how you break it down so we can see what things are the most effective. It really is helpful for beginners. I have absolutely no problem if you make money through links because I know that you have spent hours writing for your blog and this helps it make it worth your while. If you weren't able to have some benefits it would hardly be worth your time to share all of your experience with us. You do a great job!!

Amy said...

Here's the deal, girl.

No one knows the right thing to do other than you and your husband. You two need to sit down and have a good (uninterrupted) talk about your concerns, the advantages, and disadvantages. Tell him what you want, what your intentions with your blog (and certain postings) are, and what you want to accomplish.

After your talk, you both need to take some time (a few days, at least) for prayer and thought. Give it to God and really lift your issues/concerns/options up to Him.

Come back in a few days, discuss what has been revealed to you, and come to a conclusion together. There may be some give-and-take and compromising, but I feel because you will have put God at the center of your decision, you will both come away satisfied.

Whatever you decide, I will support you. I consider you a friend, and I will be praying for you as you and your husband work through this together!

*Amy*

Anonymous said...

Personally, I think it is great that you earn money doing what you love, and you should not have to feel ashamed or "bad" for doing so! You help us all save money so why shouldn't you make money in the process? You devote a lot of time to this blog, posting multiple times a day. You deserve the money and I love seeing how much you make. It inspires me to find something I love to do and try to earn money doing it!

Hope that helps~
RACHEL

TopazTook said...

I've said before that I view your blog, in the "frugal blogs" category, as a blog that helps me *make* money, rather than *save* money. I think the money-making opportunities you post about are your blog's biggest strength, and I think the specifics you go into are very helpful.

I like the "Week in Review" posts, and they've inspired me to start keeping better track of my own numbers. (I'm not as good as you are yet, but at least I'm getting better.) In fact, they're one of my favorite parts of your blog.

As for your husband's concern, I don't know what to say about that. You don't post about his income, so I personally don't feel you're airing all the family finances, but I think you should certainly take his opinions into account. If you stopped posting the Week in Review because of his concerns, I would be sad about it, but I would understand.

And I understand that bloggers receive compensation for a lot of referrals; in fact, I specifically came back to your blog to sign up for Swagbucks under you after another blogger posted about it (and I hadn't gotten around to it yet), because you were the first one I heard about it from -- it's kind of an honor thing with me. As long it's clear and aboveboard (e.g., "if you sign up through this link, I get benefit x; and you in turn get benefit x, y or z from this program), I don't have a problem with it.

Anonymous said...

Carrie,

I love your blog just the way it is. I think your blog offers something different than most blogs out there. I subscribe to so many blogs that post about the same thing. I've been thinking that I need to unsubscribe to some of them. I mean really...how many times do I need to read the weekly deals for Walgreens. That's why I enjoy your blog. It's not the same old same old. Keep up the good work!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Carrie! I think you should keep it up! That is actually how I started doing mystery shops back in October. And I think I'm the one who motivated you to do mystery shop posts. Remember me Jennifer when I emailed back in October/November to see what Beer I should order because my husband and I are not drinkers? So far I have done countless mystery shops with hundreds of dollars of free meals. Although I think I've done so many I'm burnt out for a little while.
I always look forward to seeing what you've made, it's fun and inspirational.

My only suggestion would be to have 2 breakdowns in 2 differnt tabs. 1 for earnings, and 1 for savings. I just don't view savings like couponing or sale shopping as earnings or money that you have made.

We are living in a new time, I think being open about what you make is fabulous, more should do it. The ones who don't want to share probably make so much that they don't want to make others jealous. Another blogger you know used to post her earnings but doesn't anymore and I really miss that. It just gives the rest of us ideas of what we can do to earn money and we don't have to be a blogger. Keep it going! Don't let others make you feel ashamed of what you make! You've earned it! Besides, your blog is successful right? Doesn't seem showing your earnings is hindering it at all.

You've been so inspriational. Recently I got back $3 for something that didn't ring up right. Before your blog, I would have let it go. But that is my money the store had and I went and got it back. It felt great!
Jennifer

kasandria said...

Hi Carrie! I too have a blog where I show my earnings and was skeptical about it, but I think like you. Someone will like to see what you make from a company. Even if it's just a dollar. That shows your readers that it's not a scam. That's what I think and you are truly an inspiration out there! your doing great girl! Keep up the good work!
Kas

Anonymous said...

My first thought is to do what is right for your marriage first! Make your husband's wishes a priority!! If that means we have to sacrifice knowing anything about you or your finances then we'll just have to manage. You have tons to offer in your blog and this isn't really going to make it or break it. The format you use is particularly easy for me to scan and make sense of. It gives me an idea of where to invest my time and gives me something to ponder and discuss with my husband. I've shown him your site before and said--look what Carrie did--what do you think of this or that. It is quite helpful but we your readers are not more important than you doing what will make your husband comfortable. As far as the referral idea, I remember when I first started reading your blog and signed up for something after researching it only to later find that if I had gone through your link you could have made some money. I was so bummed because I would have loved for the money to have gone to you.
Hope this is helpful!
~Cher

Carrie @ Moneysavingmethods.com said...

Lovin' all the comments so far. I think at the end of the month, I am going to sit Ryan down and we will read thru them so I can see what he thinks.

And, love the idea of breaking out savings/earnings. Since I already started this way for 2009...that can be a change I implement for 2010 if I continue on with it.

Jennifer,

Of course I remember you, you are the reason I do the weekly Mystery Shopping post now and put together that whole webpage with them all listed.

Before that, I just had a general post on the subject.

I get alot of positive feedback from the MS posts...so Jennifer...that is all thanks to you!

I love suggestions, because alot of them are what have inspired so much on my site.

In fact, my Free Photos post I am getting ready to do is thanks to another reader a LONG time ago. She emailed and asked if I would be willing to start finding free photo deals.

And, so I did!

Thanks to everyone who emails me, leaves comments, etc with suggestions. I do take them all into consideration...even if it does take me a long time to implement them at times. :-)

CheepDaters said...

I have always felt that you have been very honest. I thought it was respectful of you to let us know how much you are making off of referral programs. You're not trying to hide anything. And you've always encouraged everyone to do their own blog to earn the same way you do. You have helped us all so much, why not make some through referrals?

But, with all that being said, you should do what's best for your family and your marriage.

Chief Family Officer said...

Carrie, I LOVE MSM! As I've said before, one of the things that you makes you really unique in the blogosphere is the info that you post, especially the ways that you make money online. The figures you share give your info tremendous credibility. I also have no issues w/ affiliate links, etc. but I can see how someone who's not used to blogs might be put off a little bit - I'm not sure that you should do anything differently though ...

That said, I personally wouldn't post actual figures if it bothered my husband - I actually don't do it at CFO b/c my husband and I are both private that way. If my blog was anonymous, I would be more inclined to share hard numbers.

So ... I think you're in a tough spot. Hubby is super important, of course. But on the other hand, the info he's asking you not to share is one of the things that makes MSM so special.

I have no answers, just food for thought! Good luck!!!

Robin said...

Another vote for leaving things as they are. I like seeing what is paying out for you and what may not be - I do plan to do a blog in the near future that is monetized and that is extremely helpful info.
You are very generous in your postings why shouldn't you make some $?
Don't worry about a few neg comments, keep things as they are if you are so inclined (I understand your dh's feelings but...).
I appreciate your insight and info!
Thanks!!

Heidi said...

First, I'd suggest that you and your DH find a happy medium. After all, we are to submit to one another in love, right? Don't let this blog or anything related to it come in between you and your husband. Ultimately, he is more important....that said, though, consider the argument/explanation that we don't all go to the same church or see each other in WalMart or the line at the bank, so in that sense it is anonymous.

Personally, I am not that organized to be able to do most of the offers you mention, but I smile every time and cheer you on. We've never met, but I get your feed daily and I feel like we're friends, so I want the best for you!

You have never reached through the screen and made me click on Blingo or anything else, so if I want to give you some extra credit, I will. But in addition to "Mommy Guilt", I have "Blogger Guilt" so I have tried to benefit my favorite five frugal bloggers I subscribe to by signing up for different programs among them equally. I try. Its just what I do :P

THANK YOU for the time and effort you put in here!

Tiffany @ Real Simple Saving Methods said...

My favorite post is the Weekly Review! I'm struggling to make ends meet since my fiance lost his job and your posts help me find ways to earn some extra cash. I think that you deserve every bit of referral income you receive. It's not sneaky at all. It's not like every single link on your site is a way for you to earn money. If you're putting the time into finding this info for all of us readers, then you deserve something in return. Those who are saying you're sneaky are just jealous that they're not bringing in the extra money like you. I appreciate everything you do with your blog! Thanks!

Steph said...

Carrie,
I think your earnings updates are part of what makes your blog what it is and should stay. It is an inspiration. I don't see how you are being sneaky, you are more open about the referral than any other blogs I've seen.
Steph

Connie Petertonjes said...

Her are my thoughts...your blog is about how to save and EARN money. So, I think it makes sense for you to post how you earn it. If you had a different type of blog, then of course, it wouldn't be appropriate to post what you earn off the blog. But, since that is your purpose, I think it is totally appropriate and it makes sense. Your blog is about METHODS of saving and earning money. It is why your blog is my first stop everytime I log on! I have made and saved loads since I have been following your blog.

I don't pay much attention to the some parts of the Week In Review. I skip over the affiliate earnings, etc. since I have no interest in starting a blog. But, I love looking at the other sections. (Although, I admit I am always amazed by your numbers for affiliates.) If you and Ryan can work out the privacy versus comfort issues with you posting your earnings, then I would vote for continuing to post those reviews.

As far as referrals, I think you should ignore the poster who was upset about the referral link. Why would you NOT put a referral link? Clearly, that person is a new reader or someone who stumbled upon your blog. I think any of your followers are happy to give you credit. I gladly click through and help you earn more. You spend all your time researching these deals and answering questions. Giving you referral credit is the least I can do!

Love your blog, Carrie!

beegeegigi said...

Carrie,

I PURPOSEFULLY click through your blog for you to earn $$ and I am thrilled to see you earn so much! I LOVE your weekly review posts and I also agree that whatever you decide is best for your family is what you should do. Your blog is truly unique in that way, and so many others. Keep up the great work and don't let one rotten apple spoil the whole bunch!

Jenny

Coupon Kim said...

With all of the help and advice you give, people should be HAPPY to click through your links to help you out a bit! As a long time affiliate blogger (on other sites other than my coupon site), it makes no sense why someone that you are helping feels the need to complain about helping you with a few cents here and there. Its not like you are getting rich by doing it (I know that from experience!) You keep doing what you are doing. There will always be those nah-sayers that complain about everything. Forget it, move on and don't look back.

In regards to posting your savings - I love it! It helps new people envision what they can do.

You are doing a FABULOUS job!

Anonymous said...

Carrie, I believe you should stay with the decision both you and your husband make together. While it is exciting to see where you are getting revenue perhaps just being descreate about the number and just saying what works, what doesn't it good.

skyfly21 said...

Hi Carrie,
I have really enjoyed reading your blog and seeing how 'sucessful' one can be through blogging.
However, having said that, I must let you know that I am truly upset that you admitted that you post your earnings against your husbands wishes...and THEN go on to ask us our opinions about whether you should stick with it or get rid of it...like you value our opinions so much higher than those of your husband. I understand you are asking us because we are one of the 'reasons' for your income, but I think that you need to keep your priorities straight. I personally think that not PURPOSELY adding any amount of unnecessary tension ( either big or small)to a marriage is worth way more than any amount of money in your bank account. So I hope that you follow your husbands wishes now.
Others may not agree with my viewpoint, but I wanted to let you know how I felt about it, since you asked.

Andrea @MommySnacks.net said...

Carrie,

You are one of the few bloggers who actually share income. I have fallen off of that for time sake. But, I always point people to you to look at numbers and show them it's possible!

Now, I do understand Ryan's POV. It is personal information. But, you and I both know that people do value what you share (obviously, look at all these comments!!). So many people are unwilling to share anything so having your open thoughts are GREAT (cause you are GREAT).

But, it's tough. If you have to come to a compromise, maybe round to the lowest 100 or something?? With your online offers I definitely see the credibility there though because many people are skeptical.

Now, with the affiliate link issue, I think that is just silly! I can see it from a persons' POV if you aren't a blogger, but when I wasn't a blogger and realize now that other sites got a referral commission from me, I was happy I could contribute to them somehow to thank them for the thankless hours we spend doing this!

Anyway, you're great - your readers think you are and we love your authentic voice! Please don't let a few sour apples ruin the good that you're doing!!

Sandra Dee said...

Hi Carrie,

Your blog is the best! I love the Weekly Reviews. They are so motivating! You are amazing at making money without having a "job". If I could make a fraction of what you do, I'd be delighted.

I think it was a great idea that someone suggested about listing your income as a range.

Keep up your hard work. Don't worry about the referrals, you are always 100% up front with everything you promote. Also, I don't mind your Blingo posts at all. They give me hope that I have a chance of winning too. To each is own I guess.

Thanks again for all your hard work !

skyfly21 said...

I wanted to reword my earlier comment (3 above this one) from saying I was "upset", to "disappointed".
But, I do have a suggestion for you. Since this website is called money saving methods, maybe your week in review could just include all of the ways you have saved your family money for the week. Just take out all of your income earnings. That way your husband's wishes would be respected and we could all still see how much money you are saving your family by all of your bargains and freebies!

Emily (Laundry and Lullabies) said...

I like seeing the breakdown of how you saved/made money, personally. However if it is a source of tension for your husband, then I'd agree with the previous commenter and say maybe you should just post your savings and not income.

As far as referral links - you are so transparent on this blog I can't believe anyone is complaining! You are most certainly NOT being sneaky.

Anyway, I love your site. You've been so incredibly helpful to me and I keep telling everyone they should come check it out!

Anonymous said...

Okay, so I absolutely love reading the week in review. I've actually wondered where it was the last two weeks. Now, I'm not going to say I wouldn't continue to read if you stopped publishing it, but it would absolutely change the way and consistency I read.

I really feel by posting all of this, you're keeping yourself honest. There are a lot of other blogs out there that I feel are being unnecessarily "purchased" and not giving their readers a heads-up. Because of the week in review, I don't question your motivations.

And Carrie, you have absolutely no reason to feel guilty about posting these numbers. People saying they are mad/disappointed/upset are being ridiculous. Your personal relationship with your husband is exactly that and should not in anyway be judged by anyone, but especially strangers on a money saving blog. I think you do the right thing and are making a good, educated decision to better your business.

And I would LOVE to see all of these women who have supposedly never defied their husbands in anyway. You never have disagreements with your husbands? REALLY? My husband and I's opinions differentiate on so many different issues, I can't even keep count, but our marriage is more than strong. It's okay to have your own opinion and be married. We're not slaves to our husbands, we're perfectly capable of making well-informed decisions that include their input, even if we don't follow it exactly.

Anyway, Carrie, I love Week in Review and I hope it doesn't go away. :)

Misty said...

Well, all I can say is I like seeing your numbers. It's inspirational. I know that someone has to be making money. But you are doing a service by posting all the deals. If you weren't, someone else would be and making money, and probably not being so honest about it. I give you all the credit on my blog, I hope friends of mine are helping you make money, and making some for themselves as well! :) You do what is best for YOUR family.

Anonymous said...

While your savings and earnings amounts are inspirational, I will state that seeing it as one figure can be misleading initially.

I agree that these should be separated for a true measure of what you've brought in versus what you've simply saved by buying (for example) $400 of gifts at Target instead of $1200.

Stephanie said...

I love seeing what you earn and which companies are working well for you. I don't think you have been sneaky at all! You have always been up front saying that you earn money from the blog!

I think you're doing a great job and I hope you don't change anything!

Anonymous said...

I have to say that your blog is my absolute favorite to read. I love that you share your earnings and how you did it. Thank you for sharing and helping others, I am a SAHM and every little bit helps. I don't think you are sneaky at all.....Why shouldn't you get a referral? I don't understand why it makes a difference HOW one would sign up for these companies.....why wouldn't you want to give credit to the person who told you about that particular website? Well, I am rambling, but I wanted to thank you for your inspirational and helpful postings!

Anonymous said...

The person that posted that comment was jealous of your good fortune, plain and simple.

I like seeing your numbers; keep doing it! I think it's good to see how much you are making and saving, so other people considering these ways know how much they could earn. It helps in deciding whether the effort of getting into affiliates, online deals, etc is worth the time

Anonymous said...

I agree with another commentator. My husband and I don't agree on everything and we still have a strong marriage. Sometimes you have to agree to disagree. If you stopped putting up your numbers, I think I would feel that you are making so much money that you wouldn't want readers to really know how well you are doing. Then I probably would read less consistantly.
I view your numbers as a testament. What a difference from last year and this year. How God has blessed you and how awesome that you have the evidence to back it up. Let the whole world see how God has poured his blessings on your family and to teach others they can too can do the same. His blessings come in so many ways, even by having a "job" of sharing with others your knowledge on how to be creative to get more money for our families. Even if it's pennies, they really do add up!

Vicky said...

Hi Carrie,

I love your blog - prior to finding it, I did some couponing and thought I was doing well saving money for my family. Since I started reading your blog though, I have been inspired to save in so many different ways.

Your "Week in Review" posts are always interesting. I do not do online offers so I know I will never come close to what you make (but I'm ok with that). As far as posting these numbers; you should do what you are comfortable with. If you want to continue posting and your husband is adamant that you do not, maybe you can pick one category per week from which to post your savings/earnings (I did like the one comment that talked about posting your savings rather than earnings as well).

The only thing I can say I dislike about your blog is the new purple pop-up that comes across the screen. It's a bit annoying (but not nearly annoying enough to make me stop reading)! Keep up the great work Carrie!

Marie said...

Carrie,
It has been a tremendous blessing to our family that you blog about how much you have made and how you have made it. It helped convince my husband that blogging and other online pursuits were worth my time to make some extra money for our family. Thanks for being willing to be open and help others along the way. Please don't stop. I recently emailed you for more info about your affiliates and can't wait to hear more about your experiences. Blessings, Marie
lmlrml00 at yahoo dot com

Anjie said...

Hey Carrie,
Its anjie,thefrugalfreelancer.com!
remember a long time ago when I told you , you would get some negative feedback for this? nothing different than I got when I was posting my contest wins (thinking I was helping everyone out) instead I got ....... that people somehow thought I was BRAGGING about what I got thru sweepstakes and contests. NOT AT ALL but rather sharing and trying to inspire. The other thought process behind this is DO YOU CLAIM EVERY PENNY YOU MAKE? meaning do you claim your survey $3 checks as income? many people need to be aware that this is TAXABLE INCOME and if you are claiming every penny, MORE POWER TO YOU! and HIGH FIVE for contributing more to our struggling economy! If you don't claim every penny (watch out for IRS watching your INCOME GROW!)
anyway, I personally like reading about your growth.....and occasionally you find something that I will do as well (BIG CRUMBS being one.......) SO if you are comfortable with it GO FOR IT SISTA~!

Carrie @ Moneysavingmethods.com said...

Wait...WHAT??? Purple pop up???? Is everyone getting this?

Can anyone tell me what it looks like and what it says...as I didnt know I put any pop up on my blog..and I wouldn't even know how.

Got me worried that something is going on with my site...let me know.

Anjie,

Yes, I immediately thought of you when the two comments have come in. :-)

I do clain EVERYTHING. Yep, I am detail oriented girl, and when I did my taxes this year, every little suryve income ( whether $1.50, etc ) got claimed in the appropriate category.

I figured I want my blog to be my business, so I need to claim it all.

Plus, I am making that money. In fact, I even went around and around with the banks when they tried to tell me I didn't need to claim some of my bonsues.

Nope that shouldn't be an issue. Although I grumble about the IRS at tax time, I am definitely blessed to live in America and have such a blessed life, so I suck it up and pay my taxes on everything.

But, Anjie, that is a great reminder for everyone else following along.

All the money you make ( mysteryshopping, etc ) is taxable. You may not always get a form if you make under a certain threshold, but technically, you are still supposed to pay up. :-)

Kelly H said...

I like the week in review- for me, it's simply validation that this is all real.

I'm not sure that it's possible to have a blog about money, but not discuss money. At least not one that is taken seriously. I'm sure there are people that look at your earnings just to be nosy, but for us followers, it gives us hope and inspiration.

Also- there is definitely a purple line thing that pops ups and follows me when I scroll down- but if I ignore it, it goes away. (Which I have always done.) It doesn't come up every time, and I don't remember exactly, but I think it asks me to take a survey?

Anjie said...

it doesn't even have to be money
the GIFT CARDS that you guys are doing $400 and $500 and WII'S and WHAT EVER you get as incentive is TAXABLE not just the dollars. I have had people that are on DISABILITY think that this is a cool way to supplement their income, IT WILL DISQUALIFY YOU from SSI and you WILL HAVE TO PAY DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR BACK if you go over your allotted amount, this is also true for other sources of GOVERMENT MONEY, GRANTS ETC..... if you have stipulations (have to make under certain dollar amount)
BE CAREFUL what you sign up for, that $300 PRIZE may be enough to put you OVER the limit..... ON THE FLIP SIDE you can ITEMIZE your taxes and claim all legitimate EXPENSES to offset your income. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS CONSULT YOUR TAX EXPERT or BENEFIT COUNSELOR etc. REMEMBER EVERYTHING THAT YOU EARN OR GET FOR FREE IS TAXABLE

CARRIE, PROUD OF YOU GIRL!

Karen said...

Your success and passion for your site inspired me to finally do what I've always wanted to do. I am now doing what I love and it's because of you. I love how open you are and as a newbie it helps me learn and develop on my own site. There are so many sites out there that are not honest or legit. It's nice to get information from someone who has worked for a company and had experience with them. So what if you make money off a referral. You've done the hard work and most of us can appreciate it. Telling us about them and sharing your success...also helps make you trustworthy. I asked my husband if he was bothered by me sharing the numbers with my readers and he did not care. Although I have not shared Affiliate income yet, partly b/c it's so minimal right now. Stick to your guns and listen to the readers who love it! It keeps us going.....success can be had!
Karen
http://Savingthefamilymoney.com

cornhusker said...

Hi Carrie - The purple bar usually pops up the first time I visit your site each day so I can't tell you what it says right now. You can X out of it, otherwise it's a little annoying! :)
I think it's great that you show what you make - seeing what you made with your online offers finally inspired me to try. As I've already written you, so far I've made $1,000. We just completed adopting our son from Ethiopia, but I'm going to save all of my online offers because we want to adopt from there again in 3 or 4 years. Without you, I wouldn't have much hope of pulling off another adoption. Ignore the mean comments, I'm sure they're just jealous! Thanks again for answering all of my e-mails when I've needed help!
Amy

SavinMaven said...

I have pretty strong feelings on this & I've shared them with you privately. There are tons of dishonest people making money by misleading others. (Here's an article I wrote Blogger Reviews.

Many of these sites like to remind readers how much they are helping them, how valuable the info is, please donate or we'll start charging membership, etc., although one nationally known site finally gave it a rest. One guru mentioned how she just logged into a forgotten account and "found" enough points to get a free iPod. I'm familiar w/ that particular program and the points require referrals and/or ongoing active participation. She glossed right over that.

THOSE are the people who should be taken to task! (I haven't had the heart to do it, but I also doubt they would see my point since they are so proud of how much they are "helping" everyone.) This site is pretty transparent, responsive and interactive. I was very surprised by the level of integrity I found here.

I clear my cookies to avoid inadvertently supporting the dishonest sites. On the flip side, I often come here to see if you have a referral link I can use. I know you put lots of effort into this site and I'm glad to see you earn something for it. I'm private too, so I'd understand if you choose to make changes, but make that choice for the right reasons.

Carrie @ Moneysavingmethods.com said...

Savin Maven,

That is EXACTLY what I don't want my site to become. Good points!

Anjie

The Online Offers everyone does are pretty straight forward with taxes. They actually send 1099-Miscs to all of us, even for the Wii's, etc.

Hence why I recommend to everyone to go for the cash instead, and then go buy the product they want.

When I did my first one for the free TV, they valued it at $2,000. I looked and could buy it for much less, so I had them send me the $2,000 instead and then went and bought the TV for less.

If you take the product, you have to pay taxes on whatever the company values it at and sends it on the 1099 to you. Even if you could have bought it for less!!!!

But, I know some enjoy getting the gifts instead. I just like to get the gift cards and shop the sales with it myself. :-)

Christina said...

I think you should absolutely be making money for all the work you do writing about deals. It's not costing me anything, so why not help you out by clicking on links that interest me?! I'm happy to!!

Kisha said...

Don't change anything unless you want to, that's what I think. I enjoy seeing your numbers but if your husband can't get on board for it, then I would totally understand.

I really don't understand the aversion to bloggers making money on their blogs. You're providing free content to whoever stumbles by. You're open about the fact that you make money blogging. That should be enough of a "warning" for anyone. Is their sense of entitlement so strong that these people don't even feel like they can click on a link that gives you a little something but costs them absolutely nothing? It's not like you're asking for a KIDNEY here. It is just completely silly. If you trust someone enough to follow their blog and use their ideas, then surely you trust them enough to know that they're not one of the bad guys.

p.s. I have never gotten around to saying this, or sending in a picture because I'm terribly lazy, but I have gotten two $500 gift cards from doing online offers because of you. I'll click on your links anytime.. :)

Carrie said...

Most of the commenters have summed up my feelings nicely, particularly Mary Jane on 5/19. Don't let the stinkers get you down. What you do is great and helps so many people, including myself.
Thanks for everything,
Carrie G

Rachel said...

I think showing your earnings sets you apart from other blogs. I don't see that anywhere else. You are up front.

Sariah S. Wilson said...

The unfortunate thing about the 'net is the anonymity it gives some people to be rude and hurtful and say things they'd never say in real life.

I say don't let the jerks get you down. You are an incredible resource for so many of us who want to do what you do, so please continue posting all the nitty-gritty details. They are so helpful!

Money Savin' Momma said...

I think readers like seeing your earnings, BUT if your husband does not like you sharing this, I certainly think you should seriously reconsider your decision to share your earnings. In life, I believe God and family come first. Blog readers may come and go, but we only get one family. :)

Good luck with your decision!

Jen said...

I think it's great...more power to you for doing what you do and making money doing it. It's an inspiration to others!

Evelyn (ehoward@si.rr.com) said...

I love seeing what you have made and how you made it. It is an inspiration to others trying to make some extra $$ on the side and it's a valuable resource. There is nothing sneaky about your posts or your referral links. Keep up the good work - I am a regular reader of your blog.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't look like my comment yesterday went through.

Sneaky???????

LOL!!!!

You are SOOOOOOOOO straightfoward and honest!

I LOVE your blog! I TRUST your recommendations. You check things out pretty thoroughly - and you are always VERY good about putting disclaimers on some offers you haven't had the chance to check out - to let US get in on the offer(while the getting is good) but letting us know you don't know that much about the offer yet to vouch for it.

I ALWAYS have the feeling that you have OUR best interests at heart (and NOT just your own).

Clicking through on the referrals ALLOWS US to GIVE BACK just a SMALL piddly amount to you for what you have helped us earn and save (and learn about life!)

If I find something I want to join online, I ALWAYS come to your site and see if you have a referral link!

If you don't - I still look for referral links from someone - because as you have taught us well - often BOTH the REFERER and REFEREE get a BOUNS by doing so!

Keep being YOU!

Janet

Mama Bird @ Fly Away Family said...

Okay, so I'm just repeating what everyone else is saying, but I too like the reports. I also feel that all the work you put into what you do and your site, you deserve every penny you make. It might not be rocket science, but it's definitely not easy. It's time consuming and requires a lot of organization and follow through, which is one of the main reasons most people, including myself, aren't doing it nearly as well as you do. Keep up the great work and don't stop the reports!

Michelle said...

It's your blog, your business. I think your very up front with everyone and always remember. If they are criticizing you they are jealous. I could easily go on a rant and talk about how there are enough people telling us what to do with our own "stuff". This is your blog, your generous enough to share with people how to save and gain, you do with it what you want. It is completely between you and your husband on how much information you put on here. You have a huge fan base so just tell those playyard bullies to GO JUMP IN A LAKE! If they don't want to you use you as a referral THEN DON'T CLICK ON THE LINK PEOPLE!

Tonya said...

All I can say is I LOVE it and it has helped my family. So be it if you get credit for me signing up somewhere, I wouldn't know about it otherwise.

Shawna said...

Honestly, I owe a lot of my extra earnings to YOU, so if you get a little extra $$ for me clicking on a referral link that a company is paying for, I say, take it! You work very hard on this blog and deserver every penny that you receive from it. I'm nowhere near the same level as you, but I enjoy the referrals that I receive. Why wouldn't you take advantage of it?

I like your Week in Review posts. I like to see what is possible if you work hard on your blog. I like to see that you can be a SAHM and make some decent money, especially in this economy. Maybe not posting everything would help with your DH. Maybe agree to only post earnings from certain topics?

Anonymous said...

Carrie -
I think posting how much you've made is one of the BEST features to your blog!

You're absolutely right that it shows where and how and helps us readers determine if we should try those types of money makers or not.

Maybe Ryan would be more comfortable if you didn't post your "affiliates" income... and just your savings on shopping, income from surveys, etc...

It's a HUGE source of inspiration for us SAHMs and your blog has actually changed my life and my family's life for the better. That's a big burden to put on you, but it has!

You can tell those 2 readers of your 10,000+ to stick it. There will always be nay-sayers. But, your fans definately outweigh them. If the don't like it... they can find another blog!

Swap Savers said...

I think it is refreshing how honest you are with how much money you make, etc. I understand why you are upset with what the reader stated. Something similar happened to me and I was accused of "only trying to make money off of other people". I was really hurt and upset about that comment since it is SO far from the truth. I spend hours of my "free" time trying to help other people save money because I enjoy it. My goal is not to make money but if I can make money doing something I enjoy then great--that is added benefit. I have since learned that you have to focus on the people that thank-you and appreciate what you do rather then the ones that are not always nice.

Sandra said...

Please continue posting your earnings and how you made it! You are one of my go to blogs for this info. I love finding out how to make money blogging. Thanks for your site.

Mindolla said...

Carrie,
Reading that someone was so critical made me angry! I see most people have already stated my thoughts.. I have always thought you were completely on the up and up and YES why shouldn't you have referrals? Why shouldn't you be compensated for the time and things you share.
If you just don't list the referral money thats ok with me because it is after all something private you have chosen to share as encouragement and disclosure but I have never been offended or suspect of it.
Keep up the good work!

Vicky said...

The purple pop up is a survey offer from safecount.net (I finally read it before I clicked out of it). :-)

wordsbyanne said...

Most people visiting will know the link is most likely a referral link and will choose to sign up through it or not. Personally, I try to find affiliate links when I can. I buy a lot through Amazon.com and can't use my affiliate link and they do not participate in any rebate programs (ebates, cashbaq, big crumbs), so I like to share with someone else. I think it's great you have earned so much and actually plan to sign up for Blingo - through your link. But, it is a personal choice and I am sure everyone will understand if you decide to remove your personal finance information.

AJ said...

I personally love your blog because of the advice. I hate the whole referral business, but I understand that is how you make most of your money. With that said, my husband is extremely private as well. Therefore, if he asked me not to (which he has) make something known to the public, I wouldn't and I don't. More especially if someone you and he personally know reads your blog, you are putting him in an uncomfortable position.

 
Photobucket