Budgets

April Budget Challenge – Additional Income

For the April money challenge, I tested out a few websites from which you can get some additional income.  Now I work a full-time job plus I have quite a few hobbies (you’re reading one), so I wasn’t looking for something to take a whole ton of time.  Here are the few I tried and my reactions:

MyPoints

This is the first of two survey sites that I tested out.  I would spend a few minutes in the morning filling out surveys or watching videos.  I eventually got a few Amazon gift cards out of it.  MyPoints has a daily 5 – if you complete five activities, you get extra bonus points.  Most of these I didn’t use, like coupons and connecting to your email.  But I could still get five done when I first used the website.  I started to get frustrated with the website when a bunch of those activities stopped working.  At that point, I started looking for other options.

Pros:

  • When the website is working, the daily 5 is a good way to get points
  • If you don’t qualify for a survey, you get five points, up to a certain number of surveys

Cons:

  • It takes more points than other sites to earn gift cards
  • Daily 5 doesn’t work well anymore

Swagbucks

I joined this site when I heard it was easier to get rewards.  It also has the videos and other ways to earn points as MyPoint.  However, it turned out to be way more frustrating.  I certainly don’t recommend this site.

Pros:

  • It requires fewer points to earn rewards

Cons:

  • Qualifying for the surveys was hit or miss, and there were no points given for non-qualifying surveys.  Sometimes it took several minutes of work to realize you didn’t qualify
  • I could never get the video playlists to work, so my only points-earning option was the surveys.
  • They still have not sent me my gift card.  I emailed repeatedly and messaged their Facebook page, but I have not received the gift card.  This is entirely too much time and effort for $5!

Mystery Shopping

I completed two assignments for a mystery shopping company.  MSPA is a popular service that you can sign up for and receive potential jobs via email.  I completed one assignment was at an electronics store and one assignment at a well-known restaurant.  The value of this is debatable, though.  I think I earned $12-15 at the electronics store, and had to drive there (I don’t drive much).  With the restaurant assignment, I got reimbursed for an appetizer and two entrees but not drinks.  So we actually ended up spending quite a bit, because we got drinks and a second appetizer.  At first I thought it was a complete bust because of that, but then I realized we got a nice date night for about half the price of a normal meal.  Ultimately, however, this may be better for someone without a regular 9-5 job because many of the jobs need to be completed during work hours.

Pros:

  • Involves getting out more in the community than an online method
  • You can have some fun experiences on someone else’s dime
  • Feels stealthy, like you’re undercover

Cons:

  • You might have to be slightly confrontational, as I had to tell the manager at the restaurant that our otherwise excellent server did not say the magic phrase he/she was supposed to
  • Odd hours and sometimes difficult locations make this more difficult for people without a car/flexible hours

FleetWit

Ok, this is a non-traditional way to make money, but this is my favorite.  This is a trivia site with daily games that you can play for cash.  There used to be a free daily game, but now they charge one or two credits.  I think there are still free games on Sundays.

Pros:

  • It is fun while also having the potential to earn money
  • I actually earned the most on this site of any of my experiments.

Cons:

  • It requires an upfront cash commitment, so you’ll have to do math to make sure it’s worth it.

 

This was a fun monthly challenge.  I will not be completing any more surveys, but the trivia website is an awesome way to earn a little extra cash.

 

Next month: miscellaneous ways to save money.

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