What the Tech? Extra money for the holidays

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) -Now that Halloween is behind us, people (and retailers) turn their attention toward Christmas. Even Thanksgiving thoughts are often about Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. If you haven’t set aside money for a holiday budget already, you may be looking for a few ways to earn some extra cash for gifts and parties.

Technology makes it easier than ever to find opportunities to earn honest money from home.

I’m sometimes asked about online surveys. How do they work and how much money can you earn answering them? I’ve tried several of them such as Survey Junkie, Opinion Outpost, Swagbucks, Nielsen, and One Opinion to see what they’re like.

The first thing I noticed is you have to give away a lot of personal information. A ton in fact. In addition to my name, age, gender, location, and email address. I had to answer questions about my own spending habits and household income. These companies take that information and search for surveys they think apply to you and your family.

When a survey is delivered, you are asked many of the same questions in addition to what you’ve purchased in the last year, your opinion of certain companies, about their online presence, support, and brand awareness. I found several times after answering questions in a survey I was not eligible to complete the survey and earn money or points, and I started all over again with another survey.

One survey took well over 20 minutes to complete and I earned less than $1. What you should know is you can’t just pretend to answer survey questions while watching a movie or TV. Survey companies slip in odd questions just to make sure you’re paying attention. In addition to the time, the survey required my undivided attention.

How much can you make? Each survey company is different but the pay is about the same. In my own research, I found answering surveys rounded out to about $2/hr.

Writing reviews about popular music is appealing and I found the website “SlicethePie”. It played a song and asked me to write a brief review. Sounds easy enough I thought.

You have to listen to at least 90 seconds of a song before you can write a review. Even when I immediately began writing a review after the required number of listening minutes, I found it took about 3-minutes to complete listening and writing the review. For one song I was to be paid 1 cent. SlicethePie did offer surveys that took a little longer and paid out 7 cents. The site says the more detailed reviews you write, the more you will be paid. Payments are direct to PayPal accounts.

Better opportunities await in a couple of apps and websites. Fiverr and Upwork pair people with skills with people and companies in need of those skills for a project. There are jobs for transcribing podcasts, proofreading, voice work, and virtual assistants. More than a dozen people are teaching guitar on Fiverr and charging $130/hr. Notary Publics are charging around $25 per document. Make sure to check to see if you’re licensed to practice in all 50 states.

You can also keep more cash in your bank account by pausing subscriptions to a few streaming services for a couple of months. Most streaming services are $15-$20. You can always restart them again after the holidays and after paying credit card bills.

How much you save or earn for the holidays depends on how aggressive you want to be but it all adds up.


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