There are some things I have done in hopes to earn even a few more dollars in income for our family while never leaving my house.
First and foremost of course is me creating art. I keep up an art blog with things I have been working on, and have one drawing almost complete, and am currently reworking an old piece for my old roommate, which has been fun. Creating and selling art is great! I not only get to use my talents and have fun doing so, but also can make a decent profit for my work! I even opened an Etsy.com shop so follow me on there! (*Update: It’s no longer open.)
*Disclosure: Several referral and affiliate links are used below.*
I recently signed up with swagbucks.com and have been using the swagbucks search bar (meaning I use it to search for things on the internet) to earn points. In the almost two months I have used it, I have earned 556 points, enough for a $5 Amazon.com credit (which costs 450 points). I use Amazon every month to order diapers, wipes, and diaper pail refills via Amazon Mom, so it is something I can definitely use! They have a ton of other prizes and rewards you can claim too, but I figure why not help pay for something I would already be spending money on? Swagbucks is free to sign up, too. It only took me only a little over a month to earn enough for the $5 gift card, simply by using their search engine.
The other thing I have been doing is on-line surveys. I have joined numerous different survey companies and have found they are not all created equal. Some award you points or entries into drawings. Others award cash.
The survey companies I am signed up for are:
Valued Opinions is really simple and easy. They send you emails and tell you how long the survey should take you (I almost never do one longer than 30 minutes) and tell you what the compensation will be, usually falling between $0.25 and $5.00. However, you may not always qualify for the surveys. A lot of the surveys (this goes for all of the sites) are looking for a certain target audience. If they are looking for opinions on dog food and you don’t own a dog, you won’t qualify for that survey, just as an example. Also, you may not qualify if they have already hit their target number of participants (and I think that also applies to certain groups of people, i.e. a white 23 year-old woman). So, don’t get upset if you aren’t able to take that survey. They send out new surveys almost every day! One of them will cater to you, I promise! In the four months I have been using Valued Opinions, I have earned $12.75. Once I hit $20 I can redeem that for a $20 gift card for Amazon.com, Marriot, magazines.com, Macy’s, or a Visa Pre-paid card. All pretty good rewards cause it’s cash!
Toluna sends out a ton of surveys to my inbox, and I feel like the rewards aren’t as great. However, for every survey you at least attempt to take, but can’t qualify for, you get entered into the monthly sweepstakes drawing automatically, which is good. Toluna rewards you points for taking surveys, ranging from 1,000 to tens of thousands of points. However, I have become a little selective about which ones I am willing to take because some surveys say they will take 35 minutes, but only reward 1000 points. Doesn’t seem like a great use of my time. And here’s why: it takes 60,000 to earn a $20 check. In the four months I have been taking surveys from Toluna I have earned 30,770 points, just over half way to the check. However, some of those points came from just filling out the initial questionnaires when I signed up, or occasionally answering 15 point poll questions on their website. BUT, I have recently qualified for a contact lens study which, if I complete all 15 weeks of the survey, I will receive 240,000 points, or $80! That’s a good chunk of change! So, it really depends on fitting the criteria for certain surveys.
American Consumer Opinion is the first survey website that I joined, a year ago this month. I have made a total of $13 with them, not much. The problem is they don’t send out nearly as many surveys as the two previous companies, and even fewer of them actually offer cash rewards. I have recently stopped doing them unless their is a cash incentive. The non-cash ones are called screeners which will hopefully tell them if you are eligible for the intended surveys. Answering a screener simply enters you into a monthly sweepstakes, which I actually won $5 from one month! I have only actually completed two $4 surveys from this company over the year I have used them. They are not the best survey company, but I still have earned some money with them. The good thing is you can pretty much request a cash-out whenever. I just asked them to send me my cash-out. We’ll see if I get it in 3-4 weeks.
NPD Online Research (NPDOR) awards points for taking their surveys which can then be entered into various prize sweepstakes via their sweepland website. One point gives you one entry and you can put as many or as few of your points towards a certain prize/money. Some of the prizes are drawn daily, weekly, and monthly, from cash, to sweet gadgets. The prizes are pretty good prizes, too. Completing a survey gives you 100 Sweepland points, a chance to instantly win $500 or up to 500 bonus sweepland points, and an automatic entry into their monthly drawing of five $1,000 cash prizes. However, despite the many entries they give you into various drawings, I have never won anything from them, and haven’t done a survey with them in a few months, because there are no cash prizes, unless by some luck you win the sweepstake for it. The only good thing is these surveys don’t typically take very long, about 10 minutes.
Mindfield Online is very similar to Valued Opinions. They send you surveys and tell you how much that cash initiative is. However, I have so far only earned $1 with them. You need to earn at least $5 to request a cash-out. I have been using them for the last four months as well. And though I have tried to take several, I have only qualified for one survey.
What have you done to make a few extra dollars, specifically from home? Do you like on-line survey companies? Do you have a favorite one? Do you use swagbucks or other websites like it? Or do you make money blogging or using a talent?
Want More Parenting, Penny Pinching, and Simple Living Tips?
Subscribe and get my best advice delivered right to your inbox. As a thank you, you'll receive these three laundry room printables for FREE.