Welcome to the latest post in my side hustle series, looking at tried and tested methods to earn extra income. There are so many ways to make extra cash when you need to. This week Naomi Willis tells us how to make money from paid surveys.
Naomi Willis is the co-founder of the award-winning money saving website SkintDad.co.uk, which helps people save money by showing that every penny counts. Having previously been in a mountain of debt, Naomi knows the burden of living on very little. She managed to become debt free by learning from past mistakes and following her own money saving tips and tricks.
5 Tried and Tested Tips to Make Money from Paid Surveys
I have been making money from surveys since around 2004, when my daughter was born. As a young and new mum, I was looking for ways to boost the amount of money I had each month. I was in a low paid full-time job, and the sole earner. After I paid out for childcare, there wasn’t much left.
I couldn’t get a second evening job as there was no one available to look after my baby, so I started to investigate ways I could make money from home. This is when I found surveys.
With years of knowledge under my belt, I’ve learned – the hard way – the dos and don’ts when it comes to making the most money from surveys.
Only join legitimate survey sites
Several sites are better than others. Be sure to sign up to a number of my favourite legitimate paid surveys sites that have been tried and tested.
Please do not pay to join a survey site – they should be the ones paying you for your opinion. Any that are asking you for money to sign up need to be avoided.
Be sure to do some checks before you sign up. For example, look at their terms, then go with your gut instinct.
Get a new email
So things don’t get muddled up with real life, it’s best to get a second email address to use for entering surveys. This will stop your primary inbox getting flooded with requests to complete surveys, and can ensure you track things more easily.
It’s worth regularly checking in your spam folder and “allow” emails from the survey sites, so opportunities don’t get blocked and missed.
Complete your full profile
When you first sign up to a new survey site, you will be asked to complete a profile. They’ll ask you to tell them things like your general location, your employment status, your gender, what vehicle you drive, and if you have a goldfish. You may think it’s all pointless, but the reason they need this is so they can match you to the best-paid surveys.
Now, I know this may seem long winded (especially if you’ve signed up for a few different sites), but it’s worthwhile doing as it will boost your chances of earning more money.
Also, remember to update your profile if there are any changes to your lifestyle. For instance, if you quit smoking (congrats), put this in your profile. You may well get access to new surveys.
Withdraw your money
Not that it’s ever happened to me, but if a survey site were to close and you haven’t cashed out your money then you’ll lose it! The money you make is not protected like it is in a bank, so be sure to cash out as soon as you’re able. I don’t mix my survey earnings with my day to day budget. Instead, I keep it in a separate account and use it as “fun money” and for days out with the kids. This feels like a real treat.
Most survey sites payout via PayPal, so be sure to have your email address linked to the account.
Register with HMRC?
If you’re making additional income outside of a main job, then you are effectively self-employed. However, there are some rules around the income tax you need to pay.
While you need to pay tax on your income, you don’t have to pay tax on all your income. The government site says that you don’t have to pay tax on the first £1,000 of self-employment, as this is your “trading allowance”.
However, just to point out, be sure to do your own research. It may be worth contacting HMRC so you can know what happens for your personal circumstances.
Thank you so much to Naomi for this excellent advice on how to make money from paid surveys. Please see here for more ideas on how you can make extra income from home.