As I’m not financially independent (yet), I’m always looking for easy ways of making money (or saving or, hell, even recouping). That, of course, seems like bullshit. It’s certainly a quick way to get scammed. Fortunately, my skeptical nature, paired with a background in teaching critical thinking, usually keeps me from getting screwed. So far. *knock on wood* I’m not out to brag myself into bad luck here.
Making Money: Disclaimers
With that in mind, please know I would not share anything if I hadn’t vetted it or learned it from someone I trust. I test all personal finance finds I share by putting myself out there first.
This is also why this is my first and only share so far regarding making money. Reputable opportunities are not at all easy to find. So, let me disclaimer this into the ground: I am not a financial expert. This is not financial advice. It’s me saying, “This is working for me.”
Take Respondent* as my first example.
Making Money with Respondent
Many moons ago, I used to belong to a research panel that paid in gift cards for completing surveys. I missed doing that, so I started looking for something similar. Every single website and app I tried was utter, UTTER bullshit. The ads, the amount of work, the tiny rewards . . . absolutely none of it was worth my time or the risk of picking up malware. Trust me when I tell you “paid survey” apps are 95% trash.
I thought about who might suggest a no-bullshit money-making resource. I searched Reddit.
I recognize “Reddit” and “no-bullshit” are paradoxical together. However, if you wade through enough posts (and misogyny), you can often find good stuff.
While I can’t remember which subreddit it was, I read a thread discussing ways to make money through surveys. Respondent was a name that kept coming up with positive feedback. I decided I’d try it.
Respondent: My Experience Thus Far
I joined Respondent at the end of August 2023. I put a lot of attention on my profile, as that plus screeners are what project managers are looking at when selecting participants. Respondent suggests creating a video for your profile, which I did despite not wanting to do so. I can’t say it helped, but I also can’t say it hurt.
In the month-ish that I’ve been on Respondent, I’ve completed three projects. I can’t go into specifics on these because many projects require you to sign NDAs. This is understandable. Some of this is proprietary information from small businesses, and they need to protect themselves. Some of it is just rich companies being jerks. But that’s why some of this is redacted.
But I can tell you I’ve done four to five hours of work over those three projects. Some are more intensive than others, but none were so demanding that I minded. YMMV. I have the time right now.
After the “fulfillment fee of, $1 or 5%, whichever is higher,” I’ve earned $351.50. Here’s a screenshot of my PayPal account, with redactions because y’all don’t need all of my personal spending information.
What I like about Respondent–beyond actually making money to answer surveys and focus groups–is the ease of the screeners. Every day, companies post screeners to find people who are good fits for their projects. You can answer up to three screeners every 24 hours. It’s quick to look through the most recent projects for potential opportunities, and most screeners are less than 20 questions. Higher-paying projects usually have longer screeners, as you might imagine.
Payment for projects also ranges anywhere from $5 to $500, based on what I’ve seen. Some screeners are looking for people to do in-person work, while most are online. Some are short projects, while others are long-term, diary-style. It truly depends on what they’re looking for, but the longest project I’ve done was about a week. That was also the highest paying, and I found it fascinating. (Again, NDA.)
What I don’t like is that the sorting tools aren’t great, and a lot of the surveys are focused on software developers or, strangely, people who do laundry a lot. My husband is the target market, frankly. Why he’s not on Respondent yet is beyond me. Lastly, I’ve answered 111 screeners. So, you do have to go through a lot of stuff before you’re even selected for one.
Now, I can’t say what other people are experiencing. I know someone else who joined but hasn’t been invited to complete any projects yet. That I’ve been chosen for three is incredible to me. But I’ve also seen a slowdown lately, so I wouldn’t count on this as a stable source of cash.
Ultimately, I’ve made legitimate money through Respondent, and I have zero real complaints so far. It’s nice to have a little extra cash!
*Referral link: If you join and earn $75, I’ll earn $20. It’s a stingy one.