How Do You Spend Your Survey Earnings?

Posted on by

Today I will be writing about something a little different. We have discussed which survey panels are legitimate and profitable and how much I have made and how much you can make from these panels per month and per year; however, we haven’t discussed what to do with all of that money we are earning, or how long it would take to reach one of your goals! I think it might be instructive for us to look at exactly what you can purchase with your survey earnings and I will describe some of the things that I have done with my survey earnings. I really hope to get a lot of comments below on what you have spent all of that extra cash on from the money and gift cards you’re making from paid online surveys!

My Situation Editor's Note: The figures and examples given in this article are an example of the success of one person, and do not in any way guarantee that you will have the same results. You could do better or worse, every person and situation is different.

Since January 31, 2008 I have earned roughly $10,000 from 20 primary survey panels that I track and from another 10-20 that I do not track because I don’t earn very much or because they do not send surveys very frequently. A lot of people ask “What do you spend all of that money on?” and I tell them that, initially, I was simply paying down my credit card debt with my extra $100-200 per month; however, since then I have found that the smartest thing to do with my extra $200 per month is to pay my Internet and cable TV bills because without these I wouldn’t be able to take any surveys at all! My total bill for high-speed internet, HD DVR service, and HBO is $106.75, which I pay every month with survey earnings.

What do I do with the other $100 or so of monthly survey earnings? Well, the second most important thing for me was having a good new computer, so I shopped around and found the perfect desktop computer at a great price, saved my survey earnings and purchased it on Cyber Monday 2010 (this is the best time to buy almost anything at a discount). It’s an Acer Aspire X3910 with a Pentium Dual Core E5800 CPU that is rated at 3.30 MHz with 4 GB RAM (upgradeable to 8 GB) and a 1000 GB (1 TB) hard drive. The operating system is Microsoft 7 Windows Home Premium. The final price was $299 and if you shop around you can still get this exact model or a similar one for the same price right now.

How many months of taking surveys would it take you to purchase a brand new computer like this? Well, if you only had earnings from OpinionOutpost (my #1 panel), and earned my average of $27.11 per month, it would take 11 months of saving to buy it. Or if you used GlobalTestMarket (my #2 panel) and earned my average of $23.82 per month, it would take just 12 months to buy a new computer. All of my top 20 panels combined earn me $197.42 per month, or $6.37 per day, on average, so I could buy a brand new Acer Aspire computer in just 47 days! Of course, your earnings will vary and won't be exactly the same as mine, but this is an idea of what possibilities are out there.

OK, you don’t want or need a brand new computer, so what else could you purchase with your survey earnings if you were earning at roughly the same rate that I do, $197.42 per month or $6.37 per day?
Here are few things that I have picked up over the past three years or so.


  • Fender Standard Stratocaster® Electric Guitar Rosewood Fretboard: $449 or 71 days
  • Toshiba 40" LCD HDTV: $398 or 62 days
  • Canon PowerShot SX150 IS 14.1 MP Digital Camera: $140 or 22 days
  • Kindle Fire Wi-Fi, Full Color: $139 or 22 days
  • Garmin eTrex Venture HC GPS Receiver: $130 or 20 days
  • Yamaha 3/4 Size Acoustic Guitar with Gig Bag: $130 or 20 days
  • Cuisinart Chef's Classic Stainless Steel 10-Piece Cookware Set: $118 or 19 days
  • Samsung WiFi Blu-ray Disc Player: $112 or 18 days
  • VTech DECT 6.0 Cordless Phone: $40 or six days
  • Hamilton Beach 2-Slice Toaster and Mini Oven: $40 or six days
  • Kenmore 2.0 cu. ft. 1200 watts Countertop Microwave: $39 or six days
  • Sennheiser Lightweight Over-Ear Binaural Headphones: $25 or four days
  • Logitech Wireless Mouse: $20 or three days
  • CONAIR 1875 Compact Styler & Hair Dryer: $19 or three days
  • Stylophone Retro Pocket Synth: $17 or three days


Finally, what if you really went crazy and saved up your survey earnings for a long, long time? What could you get then?
How about a Carnival cruise to the Caribbean?

Carnival Cruise Ship Ecstasy

5 Day Eastern Caribbean from Port Canaveral (Orlando), FL departing from Port Canaveral (Orlando), FL aboard the Carnival Ecstasy to Key West, Nassau and Freeport (Bahamas) for $469.00 average per person or as little as $94/night for just 74 days of survey earnings!

Or a brand new car?
Nissan Versa

The Nissan Versa 1.6 S: $11,750 or just 60 months (five years) of survey earnings. It could happen!

Please let me know what you have used your survey earnings for below, along with any other comments!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments (3)

  • peter June 19, 2012 Reply
    Please let me know where these survey site that you can earn $10,000 are. I do surveys everyday and i have to get a certain ammount of points before i can make a withdrawel. With all the sites i,am a member of I'am lucky to make $20-$30 a month. If you would like to know how I spend it, well I put it towards my household bills. If someone out there knows of any survey sites where you can earn enough to buy a new car or go on a cruise or even earn $10,000 please let me in on the secret.
    • Hannah June 20, 2012 Reply
      Peter - if you've followed Lee's posts in the past, you'll get a good idea of where his top earning panels are. As you can see from his article here, "Since January 31, 2008 I have earned roughly $10,000 from 20 primary survey panels that I track and from another 10-20 that I do not track because I don’t earn very much or because they do not send surveys very frequently." - So, it isn't any single survey panel that pays that much, it is a combination of all of them over the time that he has spent.

      Try reading the "Monthly Top Survey Panels" posts for the month, those are the best survey panels for each month and give you a good idea of what to expect.
      Also, I'd highly suggest reading our Seven-Day Course, as it lists some of the higher-paying survey sites, along with some tips on how to make a little more money with your time.
    • Lee New June 21, 2012 Reply
      Peter - My comment about buying a new car was actually tongue-in-cheek; however, I have earned over $10000 since I started taking paid online surveys in January 2008, 53 months ago. Looking back over my archives I see that my first entry was July 3, 2008 and I had earned $703.66 and received $509.94 from 26 survey panels with my top five being Survey Spot, Opinion Outpost, Tik Tik Cash (it was a happy day when I unsubscribed from this one), Inbox Dollars (another one I don't miss) and Global Test Market.

      One year later I had earned $1721.14 and received $1653.24 from 34 panels and there is a note indicating that I had retired several panels that had earned less than $100 and was evaluating another ten to see how well they performed. What I remember from that first year was spending eight or more hours per day, often staying up until 4am, laboriously filling out endless surveys that never seemed to pay much; however, they did add up.

      Now, 53 months later, I rarely spend more than four hours a day taking surveys and I have whittled a list of literally 100 survey panels down to just 20 that perform best for me and I have a sixth sense about which surveys might lead to those lucrative Invoke Interactives paying from $35 to $200 or more and opportunities to join online communities that generally pay $20 per month for six months or a year.

      My belief is that after putting in literally thousands of hours taking surveys, researching and writing about survey panels I not only know how to find the ones that pay, but they also know how to find me for objective, honest, thoughtful, well-written opinions. Work smarter, not harder.