Friday, April 15, 2011

Extra Spending Money

I told you about my mini medical side job.  Now let me explain all the other ways I make a little spending money.  Just to be clear I work a regular 40/hour work week at a large company.  But I manage to contribute a little more to our household income by these extras:

  • Every once in a while (often monthly) they'll offer a $10 gift card for writing 10 reviews.  This is a product review website.  They have reviews on everyday items - electronics, appliances, home goods, food, health/beauty items, basically anything.  So I write 10 reviews and get a $10 gift card.  Gift cards come via email about 2 weeks later.  Catch is each review has to be over 900 words - not hard once you've done a few.  Just ramble on about why that hairbrush, blender, vacuum or iPhone is so amazing and you never could live without it.  So far this year I've earned $30.  This is free to sign up with no wait list.
  • Surveys.  I do a decent amount of online surveys.  I only belong to reputable sites - nothing you'd see in a pop-up.  Most surveys take no more then 5 minutes.  I get them via email and much of the time I don't fit the demographic so can't participate.  Most reputable survey sites don't accept participants very often so it's hard to become a member.  I've been wait listed for a long time in order to get these:
    • Pinecone Research. Earn $3 per survey.  Online surveys on 'up-and-coming' products.  Paper checks come via USPS in about 4 days or via paypal.  I've made $30 so far.  I also participate in product testing - full sized new products to try, review and keep.  Last week I got 5 perfumes to test, review & keep, up next contact lens solution!  thrilling I know.
    • Synovate - A standard good 'take a survey get points' company.  So far I've earned $10.
    • Toluna Survey Center - I'm thinking about quitting this one.  You get points for each survey but so far it seems impossible to get enough points to cash in for the minimum of $20.  So far I've earned $0.
    • National Consumer Panel - I am new to this.  I finally got accepted and will begin soon.  This is a barcode scan all your groceries program.  I'm open to seeing if this is worth my time or not.  My scanner is due to be delivered this week so I'll keep you updated. 
    • Kellogg School of Management - I've gotten $10 off this.  Really easy, quick surveys.  I keep waiting to win the grand prize though.  Odds are 1/50 and I've almost done 50 so I should be winning that large gift card any day now. (right?)  Surveys via email and super quick.
    • L & E Research - a local place that does face to face surveys on random things - often medical but not always.  Get paid {very well} in cash on the day.  Many 'round table discussions' with 5-10 people - I never do those because I think they're weird.  This year I haven't done any studies.  Last year I made about $150.
    • Other local stuff.  I've done random ones through universities in the area.  There's a NCSU food tasting panel that pays well (plus free food) but the time slots never fit me - plus I'd have to pay to park.  Nahhh.
  • Blogging. I haven't actually made any money from blogging.  I technically could if my site had more visitors.  I have the goal of making $100 by the end of 2011.  So far I've made $6.01 but need to hit the $10 mark before I can cash in. 
You may think all this work is a lot for very little.   It really isn't.  It sounds overwhelming but really I do it in my spare time, on lunch breaks, on my iPhone etc.  I work four 10 hour work days per week so I have 1 day off a week to go do MRI's and click my way through surveys.

My earnings aren't very much - you can see, less than $100.  But consider, it's only April!  I've also made $210+ through my MRI's. 

I've discussed our newlywed finances and we're not strapped for cash that I have to resort to this.  For me it's just something fun/interesting to do.  If we needed that little something extra I'd get a better job than filling in surveys - I'm smart enough!  We have a decent income although I work as a contractor and thus don't get benefits like paid holidays, PTO, medical insurance, retirement funding, paid parking, etc.  

These earnings barely cover 1 month of parking at work!  ouch.

*note: all money earned is year to date.


  1. good to know! i might check a few of these out :) xoox jcd

  2. Very interesting... I make some money from my blog through sponsor but I've been wondering if I should monetize as well.

  3. I do some e-research surveys, and have earned 40 dollars for "trade in" to gift cards, magazine subscriptions, etc. It's not much, but it's better than nothing, and the resulting freebies can brighten my day!

  4. i used to do 4 10 hour days and wish i could go back to that!

    And have to pay for parking at work? :(

  5. Interesting! I've heard about people making money from surveys but have never found a good site! Thanks!

  6. Love this post because I've been doing a lot of thinking about extra streams of income lately. I recently began writing for eHow (averaging about $15-20/hour). I also participate in surveys for, which pays reward dollars that can be redeemed for things (not cash). Unfortunately, the reward selection is limited and sometimes the surveys take a while. I'm up to ~$50 for that (which, for some perspective, can net you just a $25 Express gift card). There are some practical rewards, however, and for a few minutes of my time it's still some free cash.

    I'd really like to find out about university and/or local studies. Is there a way you found out about those?


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