A testimony from Tanja
My husband and I live in the US, but I am originally from Germany. In January of 2013, we made plans to spend Christmas and New Year’s 2013/2014 in Germany with my family. As you can imagine, it’s quite an expensive trip — especially during the holiday season.
I knew I wanted to take a lot of awesome family photos while spending time with family. But there was one problem, my ancient camera. It just would not live up the my crazy picture taking. I needed a new camera.
In November 2012, I signed up for UserTesting.com and MySurvey.com, but I didn’t complete any surveys and only 4 website tests (worth a total of $40). However, after booking our tickets in January of this past year, I realized UserTesting and MySurvey could be the path to my new camera.
I did my research on cameras and memory cards and decided I wanted to go all out and get a Canon Powershot G15 (average price $440) and a PNY 32GB HC class 10 memory card (average price $30).
Now I had a goal!
I hoped to do about one website test per week. But I could only get 2 to 3 tests per month due to my schedule and what I qualified for (PC and Android phone tests). I then decided to also do some surveys on MySurvey.
Fast forward from January 2013 to October 2013, I had completed 28 website tests on UserTesting (10 mobile website test at $15 each, and 18 PC website test at $10 each). This totaled up to $330. I also earned $60 from MySurvey — plus the $40 from before.
The grand total was $430!
I placed all the money in my PayPal account since it would allow me to order my camera and memory card from almost any website.
At this point, I enlisted my husband’s online deal searching skills and he found a great deal for me.
At the end of October 2013, I purchased a Canon Powershot G15 from EBay for $399 and a PNY 32GB HC class 10 memory card for $25 — which left me with $6 leftover! The camera and memory card were both brand new and included shipping and tax! Now I have about one month left to play with my new camera before our trip to Germany.
When people ask about my new camera, I tell them it was literally free… and they can’t believe it.
Thanks MoneySavingMom.com for showing me a frugal way to a new high-end camera!
Have you saved up and paid cash for something — large or small? Submit your story for possible publication here.
Amy R says
USERTESTING ROCKS!!! I signed up last November hoping only to earn enough to buy my hubby and son an xbox for Christmas with my own money. I did that easily. Then I decided to save spending money for our May trip to Disneyworld (a trip we’d been planning forever!!) I set a goal to earn $1500, but I easily earned $1600 between March and May. Now, this Christmas is being totally paid for by user testing! I also bought a camera and card before our trip to Disney. (That’s where my January and February money went.) I love that I can really control how much I’m earning and how much time I spend on it. You could never rely on it for a necessary income because it can be unpredictable, but for long-run savings, it’s awesome!
Jessica @ The Abundant Wife says
Thanks for the inspiring story! I want to save up for a camera too! 🙂
Glad you were able to get the camera you wanted without going into debt, and that you found a way to earn the money that works for your lifestyle. That’s great.
But it’s not true to say that is was free. It wasn’t. All the things you did to earn the money to pay for the camera — that was “work” in that it takes time. Your time is worth something. It’s really no different than spending money you earn at a paying job. You spend time doing something, you get paid, you spend the money.
Pretty much every penny my household spends on music downloads and kindle books comes from swagbucks gift cards, but I don’t consider it “free.” I spend more time doing mindless junk on swagbucks than I care to admit, but in doing so I “earn” a little extra cash (albeit far far far below minimum wage) that we spend on books and music.