Are surveys a waste of time? 6 tips for avoiding survey burnout

  I have a child that talks A LOT!  She’s very smart. But all the questions start to get to me. Especially after an hour or so spent answering surveys.  Are surveys a waste of time?  Are they worth the trouble?  It really depends on the survey, how much time we spend, and how much we’re being compensated.  I’d even factor in how we’re being paid, because at the end of the day Amazon gift cards are not going to pay our bills.  I love my daughter to death! But I simply do not always have the answers!

I suspect this is all due to survey burn out. Maybe some of us can relate to those moments where you’ve stopped reading questions and started choosing ‘I don’t know’ for every question. I can give the perfect example of an occasion where I’ve undoubtedly wasted time taking a survey.  We’re all guilty of being disqualified from a survey for blindly selecting answers at least once, right? 😥

In all fairness, surveys are a great way to make a little extra money.  They may even be life changing for some of us.  There have been many instances where I’ve made some serious breathing room in the budget by purchasing necessities with survey payouts.  Why not?  This is the same reason we all use coupons, isn’t it? For breathing room and to stretch things out, right? Don’t dare ask me if couponing is a waste of time!  That’s a different post for a different day.

I’ve put together a list of 6 ways to avoid “survey burnout”. Taking surveys can truly be an amazing tool to keep or add to our “frugal living toolboxes.”  Living expenses are high and rising, but let’s try to make our minutes and dollars count without burning out!

  1. Answer questions thoughtfully.  Notice that I said thoughtfully and not honestly.  What our answers are and how we answer are two different things.  I try to stay honest, but I am a private person.  If I don’t want to answer the question I simply tick ‘prefer not to say’ or leave the survey.  If we take surveys that are not relevant we lose interest.  If we answer only to continue we might as well start searching for loose change in our couch cushions. I think I’d rather do that than do anything that doesn’t matter just for money. We shouldn’t give our time to things that don’t matter to us.  It’s unhealthy and quickly turns a great tool for our budgets into a grueling task. I know this firsthand because at one point taking surveys had directly impacted how I felt about answering my own child’s questions.  The point of making ends meet is so we can enjoy our lives and our families. Let’s keep things positive!  Some of us might be shaking our heads now thinking, “if we answered every question honestly we’d be disqualified over and over, etc.”  This brings us to tip number 2.
  2. Choose your platforms wisely!  This is so important! We might have done so well with one particular platform for so long that we don’t even realize it’s fizzling out.  Some examples of this might be survey offers becoming less and less or the types of surveys not being relevant to us any longer.  What’s equally as important is not limiting ourselves to the amount of platforms we use for taking surveys.  There are so many and the number is growing everyday.  I know we can get comfortable with one thing and hesitate to venture off.  But sometimes the grass really is greener.  I’ve had high paying follow up offers come from surprising places.  You just never know! We should not be afraid to try out others. I think one of the reasons a threshold is set before payout possible is so we won’t go anywhere.  But doing so could pay off big time! Another reason to use other platforms is for other forms of payment.  A lot of the time I don’t mind getting gift cards because I’m going to use the money to buy goods anyway.  But who knows?  There may be very unfortunate circumstances where we need the extra in cash for things like bills. Having the option to receive payment via paypal or even paper check is a very nice reason to try something new.  Also, knowing what we’re doing anything for, keeps us motivated. Hopefully we aren’t taking surveys to make the rent on time in full, but it is comforting to know we have options. That brings us to tip number 3 on how to avoid burnout…
  3. Set a goal. I tend to set small goals before diving in.  This helps a lot. I like to use platforms like quickthoughts and swagbucks when I’m getting low on something for the house that I typically buy on Amazon.  These platforms pay in Amazon gift cards and getting away with not having to fork over cash or money from my bank account for these things is extremely motivating for me. I don’t just see a gift card. I see the thing we need for the house or the money it’s saving my checking account at the finish line.  I’d limit using survey payouts for large expensive goals to very patient and goal oriented survey superstars.  I like to use surveys for little things and other streams of income for big things.  I know it’s probably all in my head, but I’ve given all the patience I have to avoiding survey and mommy burnout so…Patience? What’s that?!!
  4. Stay Motivated!  Once we’ve established a goal and something to work toward we need to keep at!  It’s becoming apparent that we can apply these tips to just about anything we do in life. But nonetheless, staying motivated is still important while taking surveys.  There’s nothing worse than setting a goal and not reaching it. I think it’s imperative to remember why we do what we do.  Some of us are stay at home moms doing what we can to supplement a one income household or our own part time incomes.  We deserve a pat on the back.  Being a fulltime mom is the most difficult job out there.  My kids are all under the age of 5, and outnumber me by 2, so people probably think I’m insane for staying home. They’re probably right, too!  But this is what works for me.  I get to be with them and they get their mom.  I had an interesting conversation recently about a radio show topic.  They were talking to their listeners about a study conducted on failed marriages in America.  I guess so many divorcees were asked why their marriages failed. Over something like 80% of them said, if their household’s income was an average of some sparse amount more each month, they’d still be married.  I wasn’t shocked by this, but I still thought it was fascinating.  In fact, I’ll have to find it so I can include it in a future post.  But let’s think about it.  We might think we’re just saving our family money with things like couponing and surveys. We may not realize that we could actually be saving our families, period!  We are the backbones of our households and we’re keeping everything together. It’s a brutal world we live in today.  It’s not like it was when our grandparents were raising children.  Making it work is why we do what we do. We’re doing a great job so let’s keep it up and stay motivated!
  5. Refer and earn  If a platform we use offers incentives for referring others we should take advantage of it. Surveys take time. If we can refer others to help out with some of the heavy lifting by all means we should!  This link to swagbucks contains my referral link.  If someone signs up using this link I get 10% of their earnings for life!  Not a horrible referral program at all especially if your referrals keep at it. Swagbucks has a decent survey platform and you can get cashback making everyday online purchases, too.  I’ve signed up for subscriptions or trial offers from swagbucks and earned more money off the offer than I actually paid for the subscription.  I simply moved the subscriptions before the next shipment and essentially got paid to keep the products.  Not knowing I could move my subscription with shoedazzle online, I called to cancel and I was given another $10 to skip the month! That alone almost covered the cost of the shoes and shipping.  Then top it off with $25 worth of swagbucks and this became a heck of a good deal.  If we spend time digging around on the ‘discover’ section at swagbucks we find trials like this. Shoedazzle and Justfab pay high.  I was paid $25 worth of swagbucks for each subscription and paid only about $12 out of pocket.  The $10 credit from shoedazzle was just a nice surprise bonus. The two are the same company and they also do fabkids and fabletics to name a couple others. Take a look at these nice money maker shoes! My sister laughed at the brand when she saw these.  She said, “these are just fab!” Haha! Laugh all you want. I made money off these and I like them, too. 😀  So those are good ones to look out for on there. Another honorable mention is dollar shave club. I made a little being a new subscriber to that through swagbucks, too.  All of these offer their own referral program to their members.  As an example, we get $15 to spend whenever a friend joins shoedazzle using our referral link. Referral incentives are everywhere! Important to note: If you’re thinking about becoming a swagbucks member, be sure to use the email you use for paypal when you sign up. You will only be able to redeem your swagbucks for paypal money if your swagbucks email matches your paypal email!!  Otherwise, there are plenty of gift cards to choose from and some are even on sale at times. I often redeem $25 Amazon gift cards for 2200 swagbucks. 100 SB (swagbucks) is equivalent to $1.00 USD so that’s a $3 discount. Surveys pay an average of about 75 SB per survey and it’ll let you know about how long it’ll take before you take it.  Remember how I said I received high paying follow up offers from surprising places?  Swagbucks.com is one of those surprising places. I once was offered $125 to take a 20 minute phone survey about credit card debt. $125! I get excited over $20 offers like this. You truly never know!  There are a lot more platforms and I plan to review some of them soon.  But whatever we are using, let’s make sure to take advantage of referral programs when we can.  Not only does this help us, it helps those ones we refer as well!
  6. Stop!  The last tip for avoiding survey burnout is to simply stop!  If we get to a place where we cannot stand to answer another survey question maybe it’s time for a break.  There are other avenues and directions we can take to earn extra money or stretch what we have to work with.  We can start exploring other options and branching out.  Then, when we feel motivated to, we can always return to taking surveys with a fresh outlook again.

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