The beginning of 2018 saw a lot of volatility in the financial markets. While the quarterly reporting investment accounts will not be shown in this report, Acorns (which reports monthly) will be – and is indicative of that volatility. Acorns fell sharply this month (though it is still in the black overall).

Over-all, February was a slow month, though it did show a return of trading on /r/giftcardexchange – a Reddit community for trading unwanted gift cards.

Passive Income

This month the Acorns account lost a significant amount of money. While this is unfortunate, it is also expected and since Acorns is a long-term investment account, I’m confident that it will perform above inflation in the long run.

Acorns performance put the entire passive income category in the red for this month – when only taking into account income streams with reported income for February 2018 (i.e. not quarterly reporting accounts).

The returns are as follows:

  • Acorns: $-79.96
  • Prosper: $33.69
  • Swagbucks: $25.00
  • Total passive income: $-21.27

Non-Passive Income

This month, the only GPT income came from UserTesting.

The returns are as follows:

  • UserTesting: $135.00
  • Total GPT income: $135.00


This month’s trading volume on /r/giftcardexchange was low, but nicely profitable. In total the trades brought in $61.50 in total earnings, representing a 295% return.

Hourly Rates Comparisons

While no contributor to Easy Beer Money earns money through online surveys, as a public service we do monitor several of survey providers including Vindale, Swagbucks, TellWut and Pollbuzzer. According to their published estimates on the time it would take to complete the surveys, the hourly income rate from surveys during January 2018 would have been $4.38.

Hourly Rates By Type:

  • GPT: $37.74
  • Passive: $-159.52
  • Survey (inactive): $4.38
  • Trades: $369.00

It should be noted that these earnings number are not net of taxes and other costs and fees, and any potential tax credits from the investment losses.

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