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Looking for extra ways to earn money this month? Join the club. According to CNN Money, more than 44 million Americans have a side hustle. A recent Bankrate survey reported that of the 86% of participants who reported making extra money with a side hustle, 36% were making more than $500 a month. A great way to get in the side hustlin’ game is by signing up for some of the best paid survey sites where you can make money simply by giving your opinion.
If you’re not hustlin’ yet, it’s time to get your cash in the game (see what I did there?).
Note: I was inspired to write this post because my mom recently informed me she’s been taking surveys online to earn extra cash. Hey, mom. I know you’re reading this…
What’s the deal with online surveys?
Let me be real with you for a second — you probably aren’t going to get rich taking surveys, even on the best paid survey sites.
You may even get frustrated at first when you start to fill out information for a survey only to find out that you don’t qualify. There is a learning curve, and making the most money with your time requires a little bit of strategy (i.e. signing up for several of the best paid survey sites, not just one okay site).
Taking surveys, while not the most lucrative gig, is one of the easiest and fastest side hustles to start. All you need to do is sign up, fill out some basic information, and start answering questions. It’s that simple.
Realistically, you can expect to make anywhere from $0 to a few hundred dollars per month, depending on how much time you’re willing to invest in it.
Surveys are usually only a few minutes each. That means you’d need to complete several surveys a day in order to make any kind of real cash, which really isn’t difficult if you can commit.
And, perhaps best of all, you can do it while catching up on your Netflix list.
Tips for Taking Surveys Online
You’re probably thinking “Tips? What tips!? It doesn’t take a genius to answer survey questions!” I know, I know. However, there are definitely ways to save time and maximize your earnings with online surveys. Here are a few tips for your new survey-taking side hustle.
Tip # 1: Sign up for Several of the BEST Paid Survey Sites
As I mentioned earlier, the best way to make money taking surveys is to sign up for several legitimate survey sites. The reason for this is because there are only so many surveys available on each site at a time. Signing up for several sites means you’ll qualify for more surveys and therefore be able to make more cash.
Tip # 2: Create a new email address JUST for taking surveys.
It may sound silly, but do it anyway. Your inbox will thank me later.
Tip # 3: Use RoboForm to answer common questions.
This is a huge time saver if you really want to maximize your earnings and your time. RoboForm allows you to fill out the answers to common questions like age, sex, address, race, income, etc. and automatically populate them for each survey. And it’s free.
Tip # 4: Don’t spend forever on a survey.
You’re going to get frustrated very quickly if you take 30 minutes to complete a survey that was listed at 7 minutes and get $1. You want to give honest answers and feedback, but don’t second guess yourself and take forever or you won’t see a good return on your time invested.
The Best Paid Survey Sites
Now for the good stuff. These are the top vetted, legitimate paid survey sites especially curated just for you. These sites have the highest paid return for time invested.
Swagbucks is one of the most widely known survey sites out there. Their website says they give away 7,000 gift cards a day. Take surveys, earn Swagbucks (“SBs”) and redeem them for gift cards to retailers like Walmart and Amazon or get cash back via PayPal.
Harris Poll rewards survey participants with points called “HIpoints” for each completed survey. Each survey is worth between 75 and 200 points, which can be redeemed for e-gift cards once you reach 1,250 ($10). In addition to HIpoints, you’ll also get a chance to enter their bi-weekly and quarterly Harris Panel Sweepstakes, even for surveys you don’t qualify for.
Note: Registration isn’t always open. If you click the link and registration is closed, be sure to bookmark the page and revisit it later.
With Earning Station, you can earn points by watching videos, playing games, shopping, and a variety of other ways. Points can be redeemed for gift cards to places like Amazon and Walmart.
OneOpinion is another great, legitimate, high-paying survey site. You’ll get points for each survey you complete. Once you reach 25,000 points, you can redeem them for things like Visa Debit Cards.
Pinecone Research is another exclusive survey site that doesn’t accept new members 365 days a year. So if you click the link and it doesn’t work, be sure to bookmark the page and come back to it later. This site pays well for their surveys, so it’s definitely one you’ll want to have in your repertoire.
Take surveys and earn points to enter sweepstakes for prizes like cash, electronics, and vacations. You can also bid on auctions for various products and services.
Inbox Dollars has paid participants over $57 million to date. That’s a lot of money. Get your first cut just by signing up.
More Awesome Survey Sites to Earn Extra Cash
Not all survey sites are created equally, but most of them are pretty similar. That being said, I won’t bore you with the details. Here are a few other survey sites that are well worth your email address:
More Ways to Make Extra Money
Drive for Uber – I started driving for Uber in 2016 to help accelerate my student loan repayment. Read more about my experience in my Uber driver review (+ 4 tips for lady Uber drivers).
Shop smart online – With so many websites and options for purchasing on the World Wide Web, it’s tough to know if you’re getting the best deal. Apps like Ibotta, Ebates, Honey, and Wikibuy help me feel confident that I’m never missing out on money while shopping online.
Rent your home – If you own your home (or if your landlord allows it), then renting out your space on Airbnb could be a lucrative gig.
Become a freelance writer – Holly Johnson teaches in her online course exactly how she created a freelance business and took it from $0 to $250K, allowing her to quit her day job within 12 months. Read about how she did it!
Legitimate paid surveys are a sweet side hustle.
Like I said, you probably won’t get rich taking surveys. However, it’s a good way to make money in your downtown without having to really think about or focus on much of anything.
You can take surveys while you’re watching TV, hanging out with the kids, in between classes or meetings, commuting to and from work (assuming you’re not driving – don’t do that). Really any time you have a few free minutes and want to make a quick buck.
Have you had success taking online surveys? What do you think are the best paid survey sites?
I’m a financial coach and author + owner of Goodbye to Broke. I love all things personal finance, money management, and healthy living. And I talk to my dog way too much, if we’re being honest.