Keeping Money in Your Survey Account
In this feature, we try to answer our readers questions in a thoughtful way. If you have other questions you would like to see featured in a later post, please leave them in the comments below!
Q. When is there a good reason to keep a lot of money in your account and how much should you keep in your account? - JaiA. There are two schools of thought on this, either cash out immediately, or wait for a big payout.
Personally, I like to cash out immediately upon getting to the cash out threshold. This gives me assurance that if something were to go wrong with the paid survey company and they were to close my account, I would not lose much, if anything. You occasionally hear horror stories of people leaving hundreds in their account and then having the account closed due to inactivity or because they violated the terms of service or something else and then they are not able to get it back and have lost all the money they earned. I’ve never had this happen to me, it does seem to be extremely rare, and it may all be internet rumors, but I personally figure "better safe than sorry."
The FIRST time I earn enough for a minimum payout, I ALWAYS take it, that way I get an idea of how long it will be until I actually get the funds (some companies, it is immediate, others take three MONTHS!) and am assured that the company really pays before I spend more time and effort taking their surveys. I’m suspicious that way. :)
Also, I’d rather have the money in MY bank account, earning a teensy bit of interest (even if it is only .15%), rather than sitting in the company’s account, earning me nothing. I have a special bank account set up where I send all my survey earnings, and while I only earned 23 cents in interest last month, that's 23 cents I wouldn't have had if the survey company still had my money. By the time Christmas comes around, I might be getting a dollar or two a month, and that's nothing to complain about! If you're already planning on saving your survey earnings for a big purchase, it makes more sense to save it in a bank rather than at the survey company. Having the money in your own account also means that if you needed the money for an emergency (your car broke down, etc.), you would have the money immediately at hand, rather than having to wait a month or two for the survey company to get it to you.
The only reason I can personally see that would get me to leave more money in the account is if the company has a better cash out deal for a larger amount. For instance, if a company would give you $10 for 1,000 points, but $25 for only 2,000 points, you obviously earn more money by saving up for the larger cash out.
On the other hand, some people (like Lee) prefer to cash out for the same amount all the time, to make their record-keeping easier. Lee likes to cash out for $50 when he can, as it makes his accounting much easier. Since he is a member of many sites, that means he has fewer cashouts to keep track of, and obviously he's been a member of them long enough to be confident that he will not lose his money.
Another reason that I've heard for people leaving their money in for a big payout is that they like to get it all in a big lump sum to use for Christmas gifts or other large expenses. They figure they can't spend it while it is still at the survey company, so it works as an effective way to force them to save. This is true, but if you have some self-control, you can set up a separate savings account, put all your survey earnings into this account and have the same effect of saving up for Christmas, with the added bonus of getting a little teensy bit of interest at the same time.
When the best time to cash out for you really depends on your own take on things. Ask yourself these questions:
Should I Wait? 1. Is it worth it to you to leave the money there so that you can keep track of your funds easier? 2. Do you want the help to stop from spending your earnings immediately? 3. Will you earn more by waiting to cash out at a higher level? If your answer to any of the above is “Yes,” you may want to leave your money there and take your chances.
Should I Take It Now? 1. Are you worried that the company might take off with your money? 2. Do you have the self-control to save? 3. Will you earn the same amount per point if you cash out now instead of later? If your answer to any of the above is "Yes," you might want to go ahead and cash out right away.
If you have "Yes" items in both categories, you'll really just have to decide which is more important to you. Would you rather have the security of the money now, or would you rather wait to get a better return for your points? At the end of the day, it all comes back to you and what you are most comfortable with.
What other reasons might you have for cashing out immediately or leaving your money there? I'd love to hear your point of view! Please leave those comments and other questions you might have below!
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