I found surveys pretty late in my debt-free journey so it didn’t really have much of an impact on reducing my debt. However, even though I am now debt-free I swear by completing surveys as a side hustle. You can do them at any time, so they are great for busy mums (or dads!) who are trying to make some extra money around looking after their children.
HOW MUCH WILL I EARN?
Lets face it, you’re not going to become rich by completing surveys as they can be so time intensive. However, they are a great way top-up your monthly income and when you’re paying off debt every single penny into the pot helps. I am typically able to make around £30 pm by doing online surveys and this is enough to pay one of my regular monthly bills. However, I know of others who are able to earn much more than this. It really depends upon how much time you can put into it.
WHERE DO I START?
To start with I suggest setting up a new email address so that your personal email account isn’t bombarded. It’s very easy to do and I promise you – you’ll regret it if you don’t. I set up a Gmail account specifically for my survey side hustle but you could use Yahoo or any other provider.
There are many, many companies offering survey opportunities and some are much better than others. Sign up for a few so that you can see what they’re like and then choose your favourite. I would point out that if you are asked to part with any money then run a mile. I have never been asked to pay to sign up with any survey company.
PROLIFIC: My favourite survey site! The main benefits are the speed in which you can complete the surveys, the surveys are interesting, it is very easy to cash out and there is a low cash-out value of £5, meaning that you can withdraw your earnings as soon as you reach £5. Even better is that payment is almost instantaneous. I tend to just withdraw at the end of the month but there are no penalties for withdrawing more often if you’d prefer to do so. The only disadvantage I can see is that the surveys can fill up quite quickly so it’s easy to miss out if you’re not quick enough. Signing up was straightforward. There is an option to complete a pre-screening section when signing up and, although not compulsory, I really recommend that you do this as it allows Prolific to send relevant surveys your way and you are more likely to receive more surveys than you would if you leave it incomplete. I get a pop-up notification when a survey is available which is very handy.
ONEPOLL: Onepoll is one of the oldest survey companies around and is still very popular today. At the time of writing you will receive a £2.50 bonus upon signing up. When you sign up you’ll be able to see a list of the surveys available and their monetary value. The Surveys are usually interesting and there are often multiple per day to choose from. Payment is typically 10-20p per survey but there are often more valuable ones to be found. The main downfall with this survey site and the thing that tends to put most people off is the high cash-out threshold of £30. But if you’re willing to keep plugging away and don’t need the money quickly Onepoll are a great, reputable company to use. Payment is via BACS or Paypal.
YOUGOV: This is probably one of the most well-known survey sites and they send survey requests for political questions. YouGov does a lot of high-profile work for the government and it has some four million contributors. Each survey typically takes around 10-15 minutes and you earn points for each survey you complete. Once you reach 50 points, which equates to £50, you can cash out. Although a legitimate and high-profile company, with quite interesting surveys many people find that they can never amass enough points in order to cash-out. This was certainly the case with me and I did eventually give up as I was spending a lot of time completing surveys and gaining nothing in return.
SWAGBUCKS: Swagbucks is a little different to the sites mentioned above. It’s a website where you complete tasks that you would usually do when the internet is on anyway. You are rewarded with ‘bucks’ that can be exchanged for gift cards once you reach a certain threshold. You can earn these bucks by using a Swagbucks as a search engine, by shopping online via Swagbucks and earning cashback for doing so, by completing surveys, playing games, and watching videos. The pros of Swagbucks are that it’s very varied – there’s bound to be something for everyone. The main drawback is that you get timed out of surveys a lot. However, even if you’re timed out you are rewarded with 1 buck! Swagbucks can be redeemed as soon as you reach $3. There have been stories of people amassing hundreds of Swagbucks and then having issues trying to redeem them so to avoid this make sure that you cash them out as soon as you reach $5 or so. It is worth bearing in mind that when you redeem your bucks you don’t receive your chosen gift card instantaneously. It can take up to 10 days to receive the email letting you know that your gift card is ready to download to your profile.
PANELBASE: Panelbase is a well-known and reputable survey site. Upon signing up you £3 will be deposited into your Panelbase account. Some of their surveys are slightly different to the surveys offered by other survey companies and include listening to radio adverts or watching TV adverts. Most surveys will take around 5-10 minutes to complete but some can take longer. Payment varies according to the length and complexity of the survey but they typically range from 25p-£10. More complex surveys can be rewarded up to £50 each. There is a minimum cash-out threshold of £10. You can choose to have the money paid into your bank account via BACS, have the money transferred into vouchers or donate the money to charity.
There are many, many other survey companies out there but the above are some of the most well-known and trusted and will give you an idea of whether or not surveying is for you. I think it’s a great way of making some extra money but keep in mind that it can eat up a lot of your time. So remember….
…DON’T part with any money – all of the above are FREE to join and some even pay you just for signing up.
… Set up an alias email address so that your personal account isn’t bombarded.
…Answer all questions HONESTLY. There are often questions thrown in to surveys to test to see if you are paying attention and not just randomly ticking boxes in order to get through as quickly as possible.
…Cash out when you reach the minimum payment threshold. This will ensure that you don’t end up with cash/points stuck in your account and it will also help you keep track of your earnings.