Welcome to October’s series on 31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas. In this series, I’m highlighting simple and legitimate ways you can earn extra cash in the next three months for those of you who could use a little extra cash to help you pay for Christmas — or just for your living expenses if you’re in a tight spot right now.
If you’ve found a great way to make extra cash before Christmas that doesn’t require an outlay of cash upfront, please email me your tip. I’d love to hear it and possibly share it during this series!
When my husband was in law school and money was extremely tight for us, I stumbled upon the idea of earning money by taking surveys. It sounded so simple, so I signed up with a bunch of different companies.
I had no idea what I was doing — or what to look for in a company — and I quickly found out that most of the online surveys are more work than they are worth. However, if you could use some extra cash and have extra time on your hands, you can make a nice little side stream of income by taking surveys.
You won’t get rich taking surveys and you’re probably not going to make anymore than $10 per hour, if that. But if you’re patient, persistent, and thorough, you will definitely earn some money — especially if you sign up with companies that are legitimate and have a good reputation in the online survey world.
Do Set Up a Separate Email Address For Surveys
When applying to survey companies, do not use your primary address — unless you don’t mind getting some extra emails in your inbox every day. When I was regularly taking surveys, I found that it was easier to set up a separate email address for all my survey companies. I could just log into this once per day and read through the emails/take the surveys versus having the survey opportunities continuously filling up my regular inbox.
Don’t Take Surveys That Only Enter You Into Sweepstakes
Unless you just love taking surveys, I highly discourage you from taking surveys that your only reward is being entered into a sweepstakes. You’d have a much higher chance of winning blog giveaways than a survey sweepstakes.
Don’t Get Discouraged If It’s Slow-Going At First
It takes a little while to learn what types of surveys you enjoy most and which ones are worth the effort. Don’t get discouraged if you end up spinning your wheels and not making a lot of progress in the beginning. Stick with it and you’ll get a much better grasp on where the best return on your investment of time is when it comes to surveys.
If you’re looking for legitimate survey companies to sign up with, here are some I recommend:
Pinecone Research: My personal favorite survey site. They pay $3 promptly for every survey completed.
Swagbucks: The best part of this site is how easy it is to cash out. Save up your points if you want, or redeem for a $1, $3 or $5 Amazon Gift Card right away! Get paid $0.50 to $50 per survey, depending on how long it takes you, plus a $3 bonus for signing up. Swagbucks will also pay you to watch videos, try products, shop online, and even search the web. Go here to sign up.
MySurvey.com: This is a survey company that many of my readers have used and recommended.
MyPoints: This is a site that rewards you points for online activity such as reading emails, taking surveys and signing up for offers. When I was participating in this, I mostly just read the emails and clicked on the links and slowly accumulated points. You won’t get rich quickly doing this, but you can earn enough points by reading emails to get free gift cards each year. We paid for our few and far between law school date nights mostly with gift cards I earned through MyPoints. Go here to sign up.
iPoll: Pays in point rewards for every completed survey. You can cash these in for instant win opportunities, sweepstakes, or cash. There are also opportunities to do free product testing. Go here to sign up.
Toluna: When you sign up for Toluna, you will receive 500 points to welcome you to the site. When you have earned at least 60,000 points, you may redeem your points for a cash reward. Go here to sign up with Tulona.
Have you tried earning money by taking online surveys? Tell us about your experiences and any tips and tricks you’ve learned for maximizing the return on your investment of time.
(Note: The links in this post are my referral links. Read my disclosure policy here.)