Make Money Taking Surveys

Have you ever considered making money online by taking surveys? I hear about this all the time, but I’ve never done it myself.

I emailed Lauren and Candice, and they both graciously agreed to be interviewed for this post. Here’s a look at what they had to say about how to make money taking surveys.

 

How Lauren Makes Money Taking Surveys

Lauren is a 23 year old college graduate, focusing on growing in her career and paying off her student loan debt.

You can find Lauren on Instagram @destinationdebtfreedom, where she tracks her debt payoff and side hustling efforts.

Here’s what Lauren had to say about making money from survey sites.

1. First, tell me a little bit about yourself.

Hi! I’m Lauren. I’m 23 years old, and I’m from Tampa, Florida. I’m a recent grad school graduate with a Master’s Degree in Health Administration from the University of Florida. Since graduation in late April, I’ve recently begun my career in healthcare as an associate consultant at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. Right now, I’m very focused on growing my skills in this job as well as paying off my student loans as soon as possible.

 

2. Why did you start using surveys to make money online? How did you hear about them? Were you skeptical at first?

I started doing surveys in late 2015 because I was taking out student loans to pay for grad school and my part-time job as a retail Pharmacy Technician paid pretty poorly, so I was really worried about my financial situation. Taking out a second part-time job really wasn’t an option if I wanted to successfully manage my course load, a sufficient amount of sleep, and a semblance of a social life too, so my side hustle options were limited. I wanted to find something that I could do just when I had free time and that didn’t require any investment in training, so surveys seemed to be a good fit for me.

I got the idea from personal finance bloggers like Michelle from Making Sense of Cents. She and others all said that the best way to make decent money from taking surveys was to join several panels.

At first, I was nervous to sign up for so many since I wasn’t sure what the time commitment would be like, but not all of them turned out to be a good fit for me so it worked out in the end.

 

3. How much time do you spend doing surveys? How do you fit it in to your schedule? How long does it take to complete one?

The time it takes to complete a survey really depends on which survey panel it’s coming from, but most surveys I partake in take me about 5-20 minutes to complete. Especially since I’ve begun to work full time, I’ve tried to stick to only the kinds of survey panels that directly send me surveys I am guaranteed to be able to complete as opposed to panels that have unlimited opportunities but would screen me out a lot. I fit these into my schedule either in the early morning when I first wake up, on my lunch break, or in the evening after I get home from work.

 

4. How do you find legit survey companies that pay and aren’t a scam?

Before I join a new survey panel, I look up reviews on SurveyPolice.com. If I see reviews from members saying they were unexpectedly removed from the panel with no explanation or never paid for their participation then I won’t join.

 

5. How much money do you make from surveys? How are you paid?

Most surveys I take pay about 75 cents to $3 per survey, but one panel I’m on pays $10 per survey. For each panel, I’m compensated with points that correlate to cash. With some panels I can cash out right away (which I love!) and others require me to hit a certain points threshold before I can cash out.

The majority of the survey panels I participate on pay me via PayPal, but I also have the option to cash out for a gift card if I wanted that instead. Only one panel I participate on pays via check only.

 

6. If someone reading this wants to get started making money with surveys, how can she get started?

I suggest researching survey sites before you start and choosing a site that allows you to cash out after each survey you take. This way, if you decide you don’t like taking surveys,  you can easily quit without sacrificing any pay (if you are on a panel with a high cash-out threshold and you want to quit, you won’t get paid if you don’t meet the threshold).

Here are some survey companies I recommend to get started with:

  1. Pinecone Surveys: Cash out at 300 points for $3. Sign up for Pinecone here.
  2. E-Poll: Cash out at 3,750 points for $5.
  3. American Consumer Opinion Program: Cash out at 1,000 points for $10. Sign up for ACOP here.
  4. Amerispeak, which is invitation only.
  5. Mintvine: Cash out at 1000 points for $10.
  6. Tellwut: Cash out at 4000 points for $10 gift card.
  7. Springboard America: Cash out at 5,000 points for $50.

 

7. What’s one thing about making money with surveys that you didn’t expect or that you think someone should know before they start?

Even though I’ve never been scammed, it’s still been a lot of trial and error for me to find survey panels that are a good fit for me. Some of the suggestions I’ve gotten from personal finance bloggers have required me to do a lot of tedious work for very little pay or screen me out when I’m almost finished with the survey and I just don’t have the patience for that, so it’s important for people to know what they’re willing to put up with.

 

How Candice Makes Money Taking Surveys

Candice is 30 years old, working her way up the ladder in academia. She is specifically focused on achieving financial stability right now.

You can find Candice on LinkedIn here.

1. First, tell me a little bit about yourself.

Hi, I’m Candice! I am 30 years old and currently living in Alabama. I work full-time managing a small university museum, and part-time as an adjunct instructor teaching courses in Anthropology and Museum Studies. I am originally from Bakersfield, California, where I graduated in 2009 with my B.A. degree in Anthropology before moving on to receive my M.S. degree at Utah State University in 2014. I have been working in museums since 2011. As a single woman working in academia, my current focus is on achieving financial stability and ensuring I am taking all the necessary steps to advance in my field. This often requires significant sacrifices and flexibility, including being able to pack up and move to a new place at the drop of a hat if a new opportunity arises. While I am generally happy with my work, I am also considering new career opportunities outside academia that would allow me to live my life to its greatest potential.

 

2. Why did you start using surveys to make money online? How did you hear about them? Were you skeptical at first?

I started using surveys to make money online in college. I wanted to supplement my part-time incomes working as a substitute teacher. Online surveys and other small task-based sites allowed me to earn a little extra money on a flexible schedule. I had always enjoyed thrift shopping, deal hunting, and saving money where I could so it seemed like a natural fit for my lifestyle. I researched reliable survey websites online and consulted various personal finance blogs for advice, picked a few sites to try, and dedicated myself to earning with those sites.

When I first got started, I did surveys mainly to earn a little “fun” money so that I could treat myself to a drink at the coffee shop or dinner out at a restaurant every so often. Later, I relied more heavily on the income from survey sites because I was on a fixed income as a graduate student, still pursuing full-time work after graduation.

I combined taking surveys with other money-saving strategies such as thrift shopping, couponing, and using cash back apps and websites, and I still do these things to this day.

My primary motivation for taking surveys early on was that I wanted some freedom and the means to do something nice for myself every once in a while. Graduate school was a rough time for me financially, physically, and emotionally, and while it may not have been much money in the grand scheme of things, the money I earned from taking surveys helped me get through it at the time.

I didn’t (and still don’t) want to feel limited by my income, and taking surveys online works well with my variable schedule and goal to make more money.

 

3. How much time do you spend doing surveys? How do you fit it in to your schedule? How long does it take to complete one?

I would estimate I spend anywhere from ten minutes to an hour per day taking surveys, but this varies depending on what else I have going on and the availability of surveys on the various platforms.

Some days there are a TON of surveys available, and if I get lucky to qualify for them all I may spend a bit more time doing them. I often take surveys while I am home watching a show on Netflix or working on a project, as I find they provide a nice mental “break” and allow me to express my opinions on a variety of interesting topics.

One survey may take me anywhere from a couple minutes to half an hour, but generally I won’t spend much longer on any one survey unless the payout is significant or if it is part of a series of surveys.

 

4. How do you find legit survey companies that pay and aren’t a scam?

When I first got into taking surveys as a college student, I consulted various personal finance and “deals” blogs as well as trustworthy websites to help me select a few reliable sites. I have stuck with these sites from the beginning with no problems!

 

5. How much money do you make from surveys? How are you paid?

When and how much I am paid for each survey depends on the site, and the main sites I use actually work on a points system where you are paid so many points for each survey and once you accumulate so many points you can cash them out. I generally cash out at each of these sites once I hit anywhere from $5 to $25.

Money is directly deposited into my PayPal account, or in cases where I can only earn gift cards, delivered to my email inbox.

I earn several hundreds of dollars a year taking surveys, which helps me pay smaller bills such as water, gas, cell phone, etc. in their entirety. Taking surveys would also be a great way to boost savings if that is one of your goals!

 

6. If someone reading this wants to get started making money with surveys, how can she get started?

I recommend doing some online research and selecting one or two sites to get started. It’s easy to start signing up for every one that you come across, but I find that focusing your attention on just a few is the best approach to maximizing your earning potential.

Three of my favorite online survey sites are:

  1. Pinecone Research
  2. E-Poll Surveys
  3. Swagbucks

 

7. What’s one thing about making money with surveys that you didn’t expect or that you think someone should know before they start?

Not all survey sites are scams! I definitely experienced some hesitation when I first got started taking surveys, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that there are some great sites out there that are reliable and have great customer service if there are any issues. I think I’d also note that while you definitely CAN earn money taking surveys, don’t expect to be able to earn a living off them.

 

How You Can Make Money Taking Surveys

To start making extra money by taking surveys, click on the links below and sign up to get started (it’s free to sign up).

  1. Survey Junkie – general surveys anyone can take
  2. Pinecone Research – evaluate products before they hit the market
  3. Opinion Outpost – a variety of surveys and a wide range of rewards, including gift cards and cash
  4. American Consumer Opinion – a variety of surveys about about consumer opinions
  5. Index Dollars –  earn money watching tv, taking surveys, shopping, and more.

 

A Final Note!

I don’t know about you, but I was super inspired when I heard Lauren and Candice share their side hustle successes.

They’re both examples of how you can make extra money with a side hustle to achieve your financial goals.

It’s a great way to bring a little extra income in. I’m a fan!