Please ignore all previous posts on this blog. It is now a place where I review side hustles and money-making schemes. Let’s do this.
ARE YOU BROKE LIKE ME?
I have a decent adult job with decent adult pay. But you know what else I have? A university degree. And a house. And a credit card. University put me into a hole of debt from whence I may never emerge – six years later I still feel like I’m drowning in it, and I only got one degree. I know some people with two or three. Yikes. The only reason I could put a down payment on a townhouse is because my job matches my RRSP contributions, and I was able to use that saved money as my downpayment using the First Time Homebuyer’s Plan. Which means I am now also in debt to my own RRSPs. Being a millennial is pretty cool.
It’s hard to make ends meet every month, and I inevitably end up in overdraft on my bank account (yet another expense, as it charges me $5/day for being poor).
IT’S TIME TO GET A SIDE HUSTLE, BUDDY.
When things started to feel desperate and the existential pain of financial entropy had gotten to be too much, I did what any member of my generation would do, and asked Google how to make quick and easy money from home. This tactic, in case you haven’t tried it, get’s you bombarded with claims that you can “earn up to $5 for every survey you complete!” Sounds too good to be legit, but I’m already a mess of a human so I’ve got nothing to lose from trying it out, right?
IS THIS LEGIT?
That depends on what you mean by “legit”. It’s not generally an outright scam. No one is going to steal your money or your identity. But you also aren’t going to be earning $5 per survey. Ever.
It also depends on what sites you use. Many sites require you to pay to sign up, and I avoided those like the plague, so I can’t speak to their legitness.
Seriously, I’m here to make money, not pay money.
I did, however, try a bunch of the free to sign up survey sites. They generally pay you in points or in outright money, but only allow you to cash out once you hit a certain threshold. How you cash out varies widely, and while some allow you to get paid via PayPal, many of them only cash out in various gift cards, which is only useful if you shop often at the places they offer cards for.
Universally, each survey rarely pays more than a couple of cents. In addition, there is always a pre-survey where they collect demographic information about you to determine if you match their target audience. If not, then you just wasted a bunch of your time on the pre-survey only to get kicked out with little or no payment.
In about a year of doing surveys for multiple sites on an almost daily basis, I cashed out a grand total of $175.
I no longer do surveys as a side hustle, because the amount of time you have to dedicate is not at all worth the payout. It’s also, and I cannot stress this enough, one of the most soul-sucking things I’ve ever done for money. I have yet to find something as awful as hotel housekeeping, but paid surveys gets pretty close. I got to a point where I would open a new survey and just sit there staring at it, feeling sad, before closing it without even starting.
BUT I’M DESPERATE AND THEREFOR STILL INTERESTED!
Of the sites I tried, most were relatively legit, while others were a bit more… scammy. It’s complicated. Let me just go through a list of the ones I’ve tried, and give you my experience of each one.
- Toluna – this is one of the most legit ones I tried. It was responsible for 60 of the dollars I earned on survey sites. It’s really good at pre-matching you to surveys you qualify for, so you rarely get disqualified. You collect points for surveys, the amount varies by each survey, and when you reach a certain number of points you can cash out via PayPal. When I used this site a year or two ago, the payout threshold was about $20. It’s a difficult threshold to meet, but not impossible.
- Daily Rewards – this one is pretty legit, and has offers besides surveys that can earn you money. However, it’s also one of the most annoying. I earned about $60 here as well, but the vast majority of that was earned in the first week or two when a bunch of random offers are available for which the payout is relatively high. Once you’ve exhausted those offers, there are no more coming, and you have to get disqualified by pre-survey after pre-survey, until you finally find one you actually qualify for that earns you about 5 cents. It’s pretty gruelling. The payout threshold is $30, and you get your money via PayPal. That first $30 is relatively doable, but after that, it’s a real slog.
- Global Test Market – I made about $30 from this one. The payout threshold is relatively low, which makes payouts feel much more achievable. However, I think the fact that I made half here of what I made at the other two speaks volumes. It’s hard to build up enough points to get to a payout.
- i-Say – This one is probably the most fun of them all. Even when you don’t qualify for a survey they’ve offered, you get to play a guessing game in exchange for entries into a draw. I never won the draw, and who knows if anyone ever does, but it was still entertaining nonetheless. In total, I made $15 from this one. You can get a PayPal transfer at $15, but there are rarely surveys you qualify for and the site is glitchy as all getout, so even when surveys are offered they have a tendency to crash or kick you out.
- Web Perspectives – I only got $10 from this one, in Amazon gift cards. There were rarely any surveys on offer, and building up points was difficult.
- Opinion Outpost and Maru – I didn’t get payouts from either of these, ever. They almost never had surveys available, and their payout thresholds were so freaking high it was impossible to reach in a reasonable amount of time. These are ones I would deem to be more on the scammy end of things, and I recommend avoiding them entirely.
- VIP Voice and InCanada – both of these have you use points to bid on prizes. Once again, very scammy. Stay away.
WAS THIS HELPFUL?
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