It's a sound idea to want some extra at home dollars throughout the pandemic, therefore I have added some links and discussed my own experiences with at-home money ideas. The links are based on extensive research and are designed for Australian readers as overseas sites don't always cater to Australian participants. Even so, many lessons learnt in the following are quite universal, and it is still about enterprise and effort:
My main topic is that of the online paid survey, as it is so accessible. While it is becoming more common knowledge these days to sign up for sites that do paid surveys, they are still a mystery, so here is the what, the how and the why:
What - an online paid market research survey quizzes you online like any other online customer satisfaction survey (such as what you have likely done via an invite from your bank, online retailer or power company) and pays you a small fee often in the form of redeemable points for your completed surveys.
How - based on my experiences, occasionally you can get further contact such as a product test sent to your home or a paid activity, or an invite to participate either online or at a real testing centre with real participants. Your redeemable points usually can be exchanged for downloadable supermarket vouchers or Paypal money, which is easily transferred to your bank accounts.
Why - the sites do this because they are linked with companies and partner companies who have been employed by an organisation (such as a multi-national but sometimes a charity or government department or smaller business) to get data from participants about their lives so they can be used for research. All this is permitted by law due to the privacy act, so all handlers of this information have to act ethically with it and you don't have to give your name in the surveys. After seven years of regular participation, I have never seen my real name appear anywhere due to participating.
Some paid survey sites that I really recommend are Myopinions.com.au and Octopus as well as Mint Surveys. They are more reasonable than many others I have seen. One can't be taxed for participation, however, the average pay and amount of chances to work are very low, so you can't make a day job out of it unless you are really fascinated, determined and have a lot of spare time. They can, however, be excellent because you can make extra dollars when needed through a variety of sites; it's a surprisingly motivating concept and would make a great side activity for a job that requires a lot of waiting, such as babysitting or house sitting or pet sitting. Perhaps when even stuck at home in the pandemic they take one's mind off things and allow for some extra income to accumulate. I know those three mentioned sites at least pay grocery vouchers but Octopus does bank transfers of your pay and Myopinions does both vouchers and Paypal pay. I gravitated towards those sites after years of trying, they sort of won my trust and made the best impression on me.
A similar website is Swagbucks, which is a quite low paying but expansive American concept with Australian access, that pays rewards to your Paypal account.
It's important when budgeting to keep track of things, photographed 02-09-2020.
Other money-making ideas at home include leaflet walking, (try IVE (formerly as Salmat) distribution nationwide), and there are many sites that require more specialised work such as photography, writing, computer programming, tutoring, English teaching, virtual office assistant (which is at home remote access office work). However, the best one I have seen so far is indeed the most challenging yet rewarding, which is to develop a new business idea at home. A mask-making business is definitely in line with the global trends and likewise hand sanitiser. In Australia, we are blessed with space, and spacious houses and units, so it's playing to the strengths to make things and to develop things useful in a pandemic from home. Innovation should never stop despite the destructive nature of the pandemic nor should one's right to at least have something to do.
I have added some links at the very foot of the article to help people get some inspiration for home money-making opportunities. They are Australian-based sites that I approve of based on my insights and research into this topic. My main concern or point of hesitation is that a lot of these paths promise a lot but don't deliver, there are catches involved such as needing a professional history to sign up for many sites and online opportunities, however, many lower-paying opportunities require just some good old fashioned willingness to try. It's a good idea to inspire others in this sense and don't forget that on the job market there are still many opportunities out there while study opportunities are also excellent for many courses, for example, business, even journalism and arts along with IT can be studied at home without needing many practical classes.
A good strategy for the finances is discounts while shopping (may sound obvious yet still worth some thought), plus scanning the loyalty card is useful, often discounts are lucrative as the dollars gained/lost are significant on a shopping bill, an electronics purchase or a furniture purchase. Budgeting is actually quite serious especially these days. There is often no substitute for good disciplined saving, whilst exercising discipline in spending as well makes sense. However, given the pandemic and the changes that have occurred, I am sure this article is useful at least as a discussion if not with some gains for interested readers.
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Doing the surveys is a great way to fill in a bit of time - I do a few here and there when I have to catch the train to work. It might only be $2-3 at a time but its $2-3 I wouldn't have just staring out the train window!