Alternative Income: Online Surveys

One of the ways I make alternative income is by doing online surveys. The only company I do surveys for is Pinecone Research. They pay $5 per survey which take about 10-15 minutes to complete. I usually only get 1 or 2 surveys a month though. They only accept signups at certain times so you have to be on the lookout for when they are accepting new members. I’ve never had any problems getting paid by Pinecone. They send out checks quickly or you can have the money deposited in your PayPal account. This isn’t much money but it is easy to make and every little bit helps.

Other companies that I haven’t used but I’ve seen recommended by other PF bloggers are SurveySavvy and Greenfield Online. Leave a comment if you know of any other good survey comments or let people know of any survey company you have had a bad experience with.

Alternative Income: Mystery Shopping

One of my alternative streams of income is mystery shopping. This is not a very lucrative job. Many of my mystery shops amount to little more than a free meal. I mainly do these mystery shops as a diversion not as a way to seriously make money.

As an example I did a mystery shop earlier this month that paid $11 but I had to pay about $7 for my meal out of the $11 leaving me with only about $4 actual profit. When you add in the time spent entering the report and faxing the receipt you’re really not making much money for the time invested. This is why I only do mystery shops at places that are close to me and where I would normally conduct business anyway. There are exceptions, I’ve been paid $100 for mystery shops but the high-paying shops are very rare.

If you are interested in doing mystery shops do not pay for information. The way I got started is by reading the mystery shop page at Look at their list of mystery shop companies and read their mystery shop forums and sign up with the companies that interest you. That is how I signed up with the 3 different mystery shopping companies that I do work for presently.

Alternative Streams of Income

Over at Lazy Man and Money he has a category on alternative income. His goal is to have his alternative streams of income match his expenses. This has also been a goal of mine for a long time so I’m going to start tracking my alternative income as well.

Since I don’t have a job right now my only sources of income are alternative streams of income. My income last month was $205.00 and my expenses were $839.12. That leaves me with a gap of $634.12 to go. Or to express it another way I’m at about 25% of my goa. I will post monthly on my progress.

My income should go up for this month but unfortunately my expenses willl probably go up as well. I plan to have several posts detailing the different things I do for alternative income.