How many nights do you spend sitting in front of the TV, watching cooking shows or reruns, maybe with a glass of wine in your hand and your dog at your feet?
That’s not a bad evening, in my opinion. But it’d be even better if you could rake in a few extra bucks at the same time.
Since I can watch Netflix on my desktop and still use my laptop, I’ve taken to creating a small passive income stream by watching Swagbucks videos on mute in the background. I’m not doing anything else, so even though the earnings are small, they seem worthwhile.
In the same vein, I recently decided to try a survey site called Springboard America that promises rewards for your opinions.
After all, how many Buzzfeed quizzes have I taken for free? It’s worth a shot to see whether I can actually make money taking surveys.
How Springboard America Works
Springboard America is a survey site that offers its members cash rewards for sharing their opinions with the world.
When I signed up, I entered my login information (email address and password), and answered some basic questions about my age, race and gender, as well as information about my income level and political leanings.
The sign-up process wasn’t too long or tedious — although it was in-depth, the methods by which you answer the questions varies.
Some questions ask how much you agree on a scale from 1-10, while others are multiple choice and short answers, all with different visual arrangements (such as drag and drop, pulldown menu or a large array of options to click) to keep it interesting.
Making my First $1 From a Survey
After signing up, I immediately qualified for a survey called “What kind of technology user are you?”
Springboard estimated the survey would take me four minutes to complete, and that finishing it would enter me in a drawing for a sweepstakes with $750 worth of prizes (six prizes in total).
After answering a few questions, I found out I was “Techno Elite” — but I earned nothing as a result of this survey. My only reward was entry into the drawing, which, no surprise, I didn’t win.
The next day, I qualified for a survey that took about three minutes to complete. I answered questions about the site itself, why I joined, what I was interested in and where I frequently bought products.
I earned $1 for that survey — not bad for such a short amount of time.
Unfortunately, it was over a week before I received another email notifying me I had a survey waiting.
I guess 20-something white women are a pretty well-represented demographic, because I was ineligible for whatever surveys came out in that time — or else there just weren’t any.
When I finally found another survey available to me, I, again, earned nothing but entry into an unlikely sweepstakes.
Is Springboard America Worth It?
The $1 I’ve earned is unavailable to me as of yet, as the site only allows you to cash out (via Amazon or Visa gift card) once you reach $50 in prizes.
The high minimum cash-out value is part of what keeps substantial rewards possible: Springboard America states it awarded $47,900 to members in September.
The site features profiles of happy users who have profited from taking surveys. But, as I learned, your mileage may vary depending on your demographic.
Another reason my payouts are low is my reluctance to share these kinds of opportunities with my friends and family, for fear of annoying them.
If you’re not as concerned about bothering your social networks, you stand to earn substantial earnings simply by spreading the word: You get $2 for each referral who signs up, qualifies and confirms membership.
Springboard America has higher payouts than most survey sites, and its interface is extremely user-friendly and attractive.
The company seems sincere in its attempts to improve the site for users and to get you the biggest bang for your survey-taking buck.
The site consistently asks about its performance, whether or not it’s a place you’d like to visit, and how it might improve.
But it might take a while to amass the $50 it takes to actually see money in your wallet.
My recommendation? Sign up — and take the surveys when you’re bored. If you’re not doing anything else, the occasional survey won’t be a burden at all. It might even be fun.
And in a few months, that $50 will just feel like a bonus.
Your Turn: Will you become a Springboard America member?
Disclosure: We have a serious Taco Bell addiction around here. The affiliate links in this post help us order off the dollar menu. Thanks for your support!
Jamie Cattanach is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder and a native Floridian. She’s passionate about learning, literature, chocolate and finding ways to live the good life as cost-effectively as possible. You can send smoke signals (or, you know, friendly greetings) to @jamiecattanach on Twitter.