By JAMIE TUCKER Consumer Technology Reporter
Now that Halloween is behind us, people are turning their attention to Christmas.
Even Thanksgiving thoughts often revolve around Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. If you don’t have any money set aside for your holiday budget yet, you may be looking for ways to make some extra money for gifts and parties.
Technology makes it easier than ever to find ways to make honest money from home. Sometimes I get asked about online surveys. How do they work and how much money can you make answering these questions? I tried several of them like Survey Junkie, Opinion Outpost, Swagbucks, Nielsen, and One Opinion to see what they were like.
The first thing I noticed is that you have to reveal a lot of personal information. A lot, actually. 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 use this information and look for surveys that they believe are relevant to you and your family.
When a survey is conducted, you will be asked many of the same questions, in addition to what you have purchased in the last year, your opinion of specific companies, their online presence, support, and brand recognition. Several times after answering questions in a survey, I discovered that I was not eligible to take the survey and earn money or points and started 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 that you can’t just pretend to answer survey questions while watching a movie or TV show.
Survey companies ask strange questions just to make sure you’re paying attention. In addition to time, the survey required my undivided attention.
How much can you earn? Every survey company is different, but the pay is about the same. In my own research, I found that answering surveys costs around $2 per hour.
It’s fun to write reviews about popular music and I found the website SlicethePie. It played a song and asked me to write a short review. Sounds easy, I thought.
You must listen to at least 90 seconds of a song before you can write a review. Even when I immediately started writing a review after the required number of minutes of listening, I found that it took me about three minutes to fully listen and write the review. I should get 1 cent for a song.
SlicethePie offered surveys that took a little longer and paid 7 cents. The site states that the more detailed reviews you write, the more you get paid. Payments are made directly to PayPal accounts.
Better opportunities await you in some apps and websites. Fiverr and Upwork connect people with skills with people and companies that need those skills for a project.
There are jobs for transcribing podcasts, proofreading, voice work, and virtual assistants. More than a dozen people teach guitar on Fiverr, charging $130 an hour. Notaries charge about $25 per document. Be sure to check that you are licensed to practice in all 50 states.
You can also keep more money in your bank account by pausing subscriptions to some streaming services for a few months. Most streaming services cost $15 to $20. You can restart it at any time 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.