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Reader Question: Is Taking Surveys Worth It?

October 14, 2016
You may find yourself wondering, "Is taking surveys worth it?" Well, I've got an answer and it may or may not surprise you. Come read and see if it's worth it.
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Is taking surveys worth it?

This is a question I’ve had pop up a lot lately, so I figured why not address it during this edition of my reader’s questions series.  Some of you may have the same question since you see me talking about taking surveys here on LAAB and I wanted to give you my two cents on it.

If you’re new here, I try to tackle a reader’s question at least once a month. You, my dear reader, can ask a question several different ways. You can use this Google Form to submit your question (especially if you value privacy), you can submit an email or use my contact form – and last, you can leave a comment.

I’m not going to drag this thang out today, but I want to make a few things clear about taking surveys before I give you the honest truth about whether or not I believe it’s worth it.

  1. You’re not going to get rich taking surveys. Anyone who says otherwise is a liar.
  2. Surveys can be time-consuming. You have to use some of the better companies to maximize the use of your time. Some of those companies are American Consumer Panel, Pinecone, and Opinion Outpost.
  3. They can be annoying as hell sometimes, but it’s not like you have to do them every day. Know what I mean?

Now that I’ve said that, let’s address this reader’s question — Is taking surveys worth it?


Related Reading: 7 Free Online Survey Sites to Join for Extra Cash


You may find yourself wondering, "Is taking surveys worth it?" Well, I've got an answer and it may or may not surprise you. Come read and see if it's worth it.


Is Taking Surveys Worth It?

On the personal finance scene, there are usually two camps of people who like to achieve a particular end goal using one or two different ways.

Some of us like to be frugal as hell, stack those coins, and squeeze blood out of a turnip (Google it, I’m from South Carolina). The other group likes to find more ways to earn more money and create as many streams of revenue. Then there’s a few of us who like to do both.

I like to spend money where it’s needed, limit my wants, stack coins, squeeze turnips, side hustle, create revenue streams —  all of that good stuff.  On my pf journey, there was a particular point in time when I relied heavily on surveys to maximize my budget.

It was about five or six years ago after I had my daughter and I thought our budget was literally going to bust!  We had to pay for baby formula, buy diapers, and take care of a kid – all of which was new to me.

My hubby and I had just gotten married, we lacked a sufficient amount of savings, and we were living in a one-bedroom apartment with a tiny human being. We were trying to adjust to the whole adulting thing together and then we ended up with a little honeymoon souvenir that was going to be in our lives forever!

That’s when I discovered coupon and money saving sites.

Those sites taught me how to extreme coupon and take surveys. Then I used those survey rewards to play the drugstore game.  With the drugstore game, you researched the weekly circular for the drugstore you were shopping and found coupons.

You planned your purchases based off what was on sale and maximized the store rewards (for example, Extra Care Bucks at CVS). If you did it right, you would pay little to nothing out of pocket.  Well, since I try to milk it for everything it’s worth — I would cash out my survey rewards for CVS and Walgreen gift cards and use those to pay for any out of pocket costs.

During those lean years, I had stockpiles of toilet tissue, toothpaste, diapers, wipes, dish detergent, and washing detergent. All of this helped me tremendously at the time because I knew little about side hustling.

What little I did know, I knew that I didn’t have the time to dedicate to building a business at that particular time in my life. I was new to marriage and motherhood and I was exhausted. I wasn’t trying to hustle for nothing but sleep back then.  So using surveys to stretch my money was WELL WORTH it during this time.


Related Reading: Shop Online Using Ebates and Get Cash Back


Do I still rely heavily on surveys to float my budget?

Nope. Now I have more income and I can devote my time to other side hustles that earn a decent amount in side hustle income. I only take surveys during specific times and use them for very specific purposes such as kid’s gifts, treats for myself, or gifts for others.

At this point, I’m able to write up a 1,200 blog post in a little under an hour. It’s well-worth my time to write more because my clients are willing to pay me a pretty penny for it. Plus, LAAB is building its own income stream too.


Related Reading: 80+ Ways to Make Extra Money


So, should you take surveys?

Taking surveys is not an efficient use of everyone’s time. I share them because some of you would benefit from having a few extra hundred bucks per month.

You might not be able to pay the rent with that little bit of extra income; however, you could use it for a nice date night out. You could even use it to pay for a kid’s birthday party or gift. Heck, I’ve even used my earnings to buy Christmas gifts for my kids before. I encourage you to give your survey taking tasks a specific assignment so they serve a purpose in your life.

No, it’s not fun earning $2 to $3 for a 15-minute survey. However, if you’re watching television or rocking a cranky baby back to sleep at 3 am, you might be able to get a survey in while you’re doing those activities. Those $2 and $3 will eventually add up to a nice size payout. You can use that money for something you might not otherwise have room for in your budget.


In Conclusion

So, I’m saying all of this to say — bump the haters. If someone says you’re wasting your time taking surveys, oh well!  The same could be said about creating a meal plan to save money or other frugal activities. Who cares what others think?

Sometimes we have to put our pride aside and do what’s best for us and our families. If taking surveys is going to allow you to have a cheap date night with your man, so be it. If it’s going to purchase that toy that your kid has been drooling over, then stack those coins.

Don’t be quick to knock anyone’s hustle. You never know when you may need to rely on some of these money making methods. Not all side hustles are glorious, but they all will help you reach the same outcome —  solid finances. With that said, I’m closing with this — yes, taking surveys is definitely worth it to me.

Oh, and I’m not good with this whole birthday shebang, but today marks a year for LAAB!  I guess I should have had some cupcakes or something, but I’ll celebrate by going to bed early tonight! Lol!  Happy Birthday, Life and a Budget!


Have you ever used surveys to float misc. expenses in your budget? If not, what’s holding you back?


Latoya Scott
CFEI/Social Entrepreneur
Latoya Scott is a Certified Financial Education Instructor and personal finance writer with a mission to help millennials learn how to stop living paycheck to paycheck so they can become financially carefree.

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  • Kemkem October 14, 2016 at 9:48 am

    Thanks for keeping it real. I know l have no patience for surveys for sure. Imagine, l worked for CVS and rarely used my extra care bucks. My husband on the other hand used to track it, thank goodness, because it added up like you say.
    Kemkem recently posted…Jeronimos Monastery Belem Portugal: Must VisitMy Profile

    • Latoya Scott October 16, 2016 at 1:09 am

      Ha! It’s amazing how our spouses compliment us:)

  • carlana October 14, 2016 at 9:50 am

    I love it that so many bloggers are taking the time to educate on finance. I always used to get these things to sign up to do surveys but thought they were spam. It’s something I should look at them and can do them when listening to the news, a podcast, etc.

    • Latoya Scott October 16, 2016 at 1:09 am

      Yes, it’s important to choose the companies you sign up for wisely and know when a survey isn’t worth going through. For instance, they often tell you how long it will take and what you will be paid. I wouldn’t take a survey for an hour for a 50 cent payout. I like to keep the surveys 20 minutes and below.

  • Rachel @ The Latte Budget October 14, 2016 at 10:56 am

    Great tips here! Frugality can be tedious but worth it to many people. I try to think that “every dollar counts,” instead of every penny counts. I don’t like to be too detailed in saving money, but it really does add up to a point.

    I will be googling about squeezing turnips! 🙂
    Rachel @ The Latte Budget recently posted…How to Stop Living Paycheck to PaycheckMy Profile

    • Latoya Scott October 16, 2016 at 1:08 am

      Yes, it surely does!

  • KenyaRae October 14, 2016 at 11:34 am

    Good info! I dont think I have the patience to take surveys.
    KenyaRae recently posted…The Research Project that Gets a Grade A From Me [#ForeverDuncan]My Profile

    • Latoya Scott October 16, 2016 at 1:07 am

      Yeah, it’s not for everyone. The purpose is to encourage anyone to do what’s right for them because everyone’s situation varies.

  • Emily @ JohnJaneDoe October 14, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    Happy blogiversary!

    I was thinking about surveys a lot, because I’ve been taking a lot lately to try to earn some extra gift cards and the way they are presented often seems like an intense advertisement. They don’t want to know what I think as much as sell me something by presenting it in multiple ways in a way that funnels my attention, where I can pretty much ignore ads on the internet/TV/Radio.
    Emily @ JohnJaneDoe recently posted…How To Stay Warm When You’re Keeping Your House CoolMy Profile

  • Latoya October 14, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    I know exactly what you’re talking about, Emily! The one’s that I mainly deal with, especially Pinecone Research are nothing like that. With every survey I take through Pinecone, I get three bucks credited to my account the following day and I have the money sent to my Paypal account. Find the good companies without the advertisements and it’s a good way to make extra money. I don’t like the ones where I have to prequalify for surveys and end up getting nothing. There are a few that do pay you atleast something for ones you don’t qualify for, but it’s not often.
    Latoya recently posted…Reader Question: Is Taking Surveys Worth It?My Profile

  • DC @ Young Adult Money October 15, 2016 at 11:34 pm

    I love that you are encouraging others to not think about other people’s opinions. If something is worth your time is totally dependent on your personal situation. For a couple years my wife and I both entered giveaways pretty hardcore and it really benefited us as a side hustle. But now I have a couple businesses going and it doesn’t make sense for me. But it totally could make sense for someone else!

    • Latoya Scott October 16, 2016 at 1:05 am

      Exactly! Some hustles are only for a season!

  • Antoinette October 16, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    I signed up for one of the survey sites but I never really did anything with it. It does seem to be very time consuming, but you’re right. Why not turn a few minutes of idle time into some residual income.

  • Tanya Barnett October 16, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    Congrats on the anniversary! That’s exciting! I have my kids do surveys all the time and I love getting those small checks in the mail. They do add up.
    Tanya Barnett recently posted…{Shelly’s Story} The Beauty of the Blended FamilyMy Profile

  • Ty October 16, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    First of all, Happy Anniversary!!! I used to do surveys all the time but never saw any profit from them. Maybe I need to try again because I was not doing something right!! Thanks for the tips

  • CJ from Thirty30Courtney October 17, 2016 at 1:08 am

    I appreciate your candid answers. Time is not something that I have a lot of and wouldn’t want to get bogged down with pressure to complete them. However, any extra change always helps!

  • Eva October 17, 2016 at 9:48 am

    I haven’t tried surveys before, but I know folks who swear by em. I can always use some dxtra cash, so maybe I add should check em out!

  • Kiwi October 17, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    I take surveys when I can. Only when I feel like it will be beneficial for me to do it…a lot of them wouldnt work for me but I would be open to taking more if there was a great incentive.
    Kiwi recently posted…Glamping with Bloggers at Camp Twin LakesMy Profile

  • Adeola Naomi October 18, 2016 at 10:17 am

    I will have to echo what you said, do you and forget what anyone tells you or even those who judge your frugal activities.
    Adeola Naomi recently posted…Fitness Friday: Simple Daily Full Body Exercises for Healthy LifestyleMy Profile

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