In addition to saving money thru coupons and deal-shopping, earning extra money is one of the best ways to change your family’s bottom line.
I’ve received a number of questions from readers looking for legitimate work at home opportunities, so I thought I would do a series of posts on reputable ways to earn extra money at home.
The first option I want to highlight is participating in market research (aka completing surveys). For those of you who are at home with your kids and/or spend a lot of time online, surveys can be a great way to bring in a few extra dollars each month.
Will completing surveys online earn you enough to pay your mortgage? I highly doubt it. But you can earn enough each month to cover a date night or two – and possibly even the babysitter.
It’s important to remember, though, that not all survey companies are created equal, so you will definitely need to look carefully at any company you are thinking about signing up with. Here are a few of the survey companies that I can confidently recommend to my readers.
#1.Synovate – Synovate is well-known for sending multiple full-size samples to its panelists for their review – readers have gotten everything from free diapers to tubes of toothpaste to household cleaners. Then for each survey you complete, you earn points, which can be redeemed for cash. Since the minimum payout at Synovate is only $5, you start getting paid right away.
(Updated 5/1/12: Synovate is not currently accepting new panelist, but I’ll update this post again once they are.)
#2. Toluna Opinions - Toluna pays you $1 – $5 per qualified survey. You also have the opportunity to try out new market products, for which you will get paid for completing surveys as well. Free products and a few extra dollars – it’s a win-win. Here’s what KOAB reader Sarah S. had to say about her experience with Toluna:
There are almost always surveys available and for each survey you do you are entered into a monthly drawing for cash and prizes. You can also convert your points into drawing entries or save them up for cash. It takes 60,000 points to earn $20, but for some of the surveys you can earn 12,000 points+ at one time. I have been doing it for about a week and already have over 13,000 points. I figure there’s no harm in taking the surveys.
#3. Opinion Outpost – I’ve heard great things about Opinion Outpost from friends of mine who are panelists. Like Synovate, you earn points for completing surveys, which can be redeemed for cash – or Amazon gift cards. Every ten points is worth $1 and most report earning at least 75-100 points per month.
#4. Pinecone Research – Pinecone is very hard to get in to, but it is definitely one of my favorite survey companies. My husband has been a panelist for many years, and I love that he gets paid ($3/survey) almost immediately – either by check or via Paypal. Sign up for Pinecone Research now.
In addition to picking reputable companies, here are a few more tips for being savvy about your survey-taking:
- Even if you signed up thru a link on my blog or are otherwise 100% convinced the company is reputable, I still suggest that you use a separate email address exclusively for survey work.
- Complete your profile as completely as you can for each company – that way they will be better able to match you with surveys you qualify for.
- Check into loyalty and referral companies. Many survey companies will pay you a bounty for referring friends and family members to their program. If you’re happy with a company, why not spread the word and earn an extra gift card or two in the process?
What are your favorite survey companies? Did I miss it on my list? Let me know so I can update this post.